Black Hawk Down (2000)

 

 

 

Director:    Ridley Scott.

Starring:    William Fichtner (Sgt. Howe), Josh Hartnett (Staff Sgt. Matt Eversmann), Ewan McGregor (Grimes), Jeremy Piven (Cliff Wolcott), Sam Shepard (Gen. William Garrison), Tom Sizemore (Lt. Colonel McKnight), Eric Bana, Ewen Bremner, Orlando Bloom (Blackburn), Ty Burrell, Gabriel Casseus, Hugh Dancy, Ron Eldard (Mike Durant), Giannina Facio, Tac Fitzgerald, Carmine Giovinazzo (Goodale).

American troops caught in hostile territory in Mogadishu, Somalia, 1993.

 

 

This is a real action-packed adventure.  There are people being killed for almost the entire movie.  Not much historical background is provided  --  it's just all shooting, all the time. 

You have to admire the courage of the American forces who were surrounded by Somalians absolutely determined to kill them.  (To an American the behavior of the Somalis in being willing to die in order to kill an American appears to border on fanaticism.  They died like flies and yet there were always more to pick up the weapons of the dead to fight on.)

One also learns to appreciate just how dangerous and tenuous was the position of the American soldiers, trapped as they were in urban Mogadishu. 

With that kind of fanaticism on the part of the Somalians to kill American soldiers, was there any real sense in the United States staying in that country?   When they want to kill you so bad that they make decisions totally oblivious of their own safety and being, I can see why the Americans pulled out.  What would be the point?

 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.


Historical Background:

On October 3, 1993, 120 American Delta units and Ranger infantry are dropped by helicopter into Mogadishu, Somalia to abduct two warlords, lieutenants of Mohamed Farrah Aidid.  But all hell breaks out when two the the black haw helicopters are shot down.  An easy operation turned into the Battle of Mogadishu lasting 15 hours and resulting in the deaths of 18 Americans (with 73 wounded) and the death of hundreds of Somalians.

Clinton pulled the American forces out of Somalia after being so roughly handled by the "ungrateful" Somalians.

 

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