Mitch Perry Report 1.13.14 - Remember Afghanistan?

  • Lone Survivor

Over the weekend I checked out two new films - Her and Lone Survivor.

Her is the new film written and directed by Spike Jonze (who won the Golden Globe Award last night for the film's very original screenplay) about a man who falls in love with the voice of his computer's operating system. It's a meditation on love, loneliness and relationships, and will definitely stay with you for awhile.

Lone Survivor is the adaptation of a memoir written by Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell about the botched Operation Red Wings incident in 2005, an intense firefight that had just one survivor - Luttrell. It's a riveting drama, and though it has no essential politics, it's extremely political, because like nearly every war film I've ever seen, it's inherently anti-war.

It made me think afterwards that other than the Pat Tillman story, there haven't been any films about the 12-year plus conflict (Does Zero Dark Thirty count?) I'm thinking of The Hurt Locker, Stop-Loss and The Green Zone, just off the top of my head.

The story of Lone Survivor is an incredibly tragic one, and it inevitably leads to the question of what they were doing over there then, and what our troops are doing in Afghanistan today. Approximately 38,000 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan this morning. The U.S. is still negotiating with Hamid Karzai about how many will stay at the end of this year, but again, the question is- - is it working? What are we doing over there? Protecting Americans against the Taliban?

Bill Young was considered one of the U.S. military's best friends in Congress, but he couldn't answer those questions to his own satisfaction, leading to his own evolution into believing our troops should come home.

Meanwhile, the three Republicans who would like to succeed Young in Congress have just one more day on the campaign trail. Over the weekend they engaged in a televised debate.

There's been lots of talk in the early part of this new year on income inequality. Marco Rubio says the War on Poverty is failing, but his prescription to repair it faced some hostility on Face The Nation yesterday.

And on Saturday, the Abolish Movement to end human trafficking in Florida kicked off an event in downtown Tampa. CL's Terence Smith reports.

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