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Posted: 2/28/2002 6:27:09 AM EDT
By Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid February 27, 2002 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The successful movie Black Hawk Down is "R" rated with lots of violence and gore. It’s about a battle almost ten years ago that took the lives of 19 American soldiers on a mission to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farah Aidid. But the real story of what happened is obscured in the film. Reviewers are also confused. USA Today said the fiasco was due to "bad luck, confusion and technological limitations converged." The New York Post said, "Unlike the book by Mark Bowden, [the movie] Black Hawk Down doesn’t try to explain why things went wrong," but you "get a vague sense of inadequate planning and preparation." Bowden, whose book forms the basis for the movie, makes it clear that when the U.S. mission in Somalia of feeding starving people was turned over to the United Nations and became a nation-building scheme, disaster followed. Bowden wrote, "Jonathan Howe, who managed the United Nations effort, sought and obtained the intervention of special U.S. forces for the purpose of arresting Aidid and other top leaders of his clan." Senator John McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, noted that the mission "changed rather dramatically as the result of the United Nations Security Council resolutions from one of keeping people from starving to peacekeeping, warlord-hunting [and] nation-building…" A 1995 bipartisan U.S. Senate report on the debacle said, "Policy makers within the Clinton Administration were determined to ensure that the United Nations nation-building efforts in Somalia did not fail. They, along with the U.N. Representative in Somalia, Admiral Howe, pushed incessantly for the U.S. to provide Special Operations forces to capture Aidid." Howe was a retired American admiral but he was working for the U.N. at the time. The U.N. had lost several peacekeepers in Somalia when Aidid’s forces ambushed them and it wanted revenge. General Colin Powell, now the U.S. Secretary of State, strongly opposed the mission but eventually complied with "civilian control" and agreed to the request for additional troops to capture Aidid. Howe was the "man on the scene" for then-U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and his assistant, Kofi Annan, the Under Secretary for Peacekeeping. The Senate report described them as the "main strategists and operational directors" of the failed mission. The U.S. General in charge took responsibility for the disaster and retired. Annan was promoted to Secretary-General of the U.N. Defenders of the U.N. point out that Task Force Ranger, which lost 19 soldiers, was not under U.N. command. It was led by U.S. military officers. But the mission was defined and conceived by the U.N. The Clinton Administration assisted the U.N. in this disastrous nation-building mission and U.S. soldiers paid the price. There is a lesson here that this film could have conveyed as the U.S. considers the next target in the war on terrorism. Kofi Annan says that, next time, the U.S. should seek guidance and approval from the U.N. before picking a target. Black Hawk Down shows what can result from U.N. interference.
Link Posted: 2/28/2002 8:57:36 AM EDT
and given that this film was created in [i]Hollywood[/i], does it really surprise you that the U.N. wasn't made out to be the bad guy? there may be no honor among theives, but they stick together like flies on shit when it serves their purpose.
Link Posted: 2/28/2002 9:18:24 AM EDT
The movie made it clear that William Jefferson Clinton was responsible. And since he controled any US military involvement with the UN that is ultimately correct. The movie script was slanted towards that goal, the UN issue was simply to complicated to show in the alotted time. However, as Clinton was also responsible for increasing US entanglement with the UN, placing the blame on him and his administration was still not far from the mark.
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