The title Lions (soldiers) led by Lambs (generals) derives from a distant
time and another war: WWI a German General’s remark regarding inept
English generals leading hundreds of thousands of brave soldiers to their
senseless deaths in Europe’s dirty trenches.
plot portrays several layers:
driven by ideology to defend the country, connected to Academia,
where teachers are no longer educators but “salesmen”; the news media,
seeking sensationalism (broadcasting banality in the absence of the
extraordinary); and , the Politicians: trying to get out of
the Iraq/Afghanistan mess… where real politics are absent and only the
ultimate prize matters: the White House.
Close-ups of the actors’ faces create THEATRICAL DRAMA captivating the
Dialogue is intelligent in the absence of any real action other than the ill-fated
military landing in a remote Afghan mountain ridge. Today intelligent
dialogue prevails even in remakes of old movies or historical dramas.
Today, however, perhaps we’re more intelligent than before (or do we need to
Fighting a global war on terror with enemies who haven’t evolved past the
Seventh Century beyond adopting new types of weaponry, requires new
approaches and strategies… just as in WWI the introduction of tanks broke
through extensive networks of interlocking trenches and barbed-wire in a
matter of months.
Taking high ridges in Afghanistan is neither historically or tactically new.
It is documented since Greek, Roman and Medieval Times through World Wars I
and II, and in the recent Israeli Six Days and Yom Kippur Wars, the most
eloquent examples being the Monte Casino and the Golan Heights.
Changing hearts and minds is tactically imperative. The PR war is so
powerful that obscure incidents such as Abu Ghraib become pivotal. How many
such incidents occurred and went untold during the preceding 2000 years of
war from the Romans to WWII’s camps and prisons?… perhaps millions?
Bad causes promoted by good PR emerge victorious over TV, cable, computers,
the Internet or YouTube. The reverse also applies. Countering bad PR is
colossal. It takes history anywhere from 30 to 50+ years to reshape and re-project
a political, social or military event!
Consequently, we’re all becoming Advocates for our own causes, products,
and policies, even prior to releasing them to the masses. PR rules
Tragically, however, people died…not on a sunny afternoon saving a bridge in
Normandy (Saving Private Ryan)…but in a distant, dark, cold, snowy and
forgotten mountain ridge of Afghanistan.
posters depict Redford, Streep and Cruise, PR symbols of their own political
agendas. The two college graduates, abandoned dead in Afghanistan, metaphor
of human sacrifice in the name of politics, are not shown…. BECAUSE GOOD PR
SELLS…! …Even movies!)
Renoir once said: “everyone has his reasons”. This is very true of
this movie and of the characters and social “milieu” they represent.
Unfortunately, more green fields are covered with ever more white
gravestones…while bright minds are lost…
Enghelberg | Gail Tenzer
Enghelberg is a published author and columnist. Gail Tenzer is a Political