Monday, August 08, 2005

I'm not the biggest TV watcher in the world, so I miss out on a certain amount of "popular culture", if you will. Well, I turned on the TV just today to be met with an advertisement for a video game based on the raid in Somalia that has become popularly known as "Blackhawk Down".

I was extremely uncomfortable with the game. From the animated screenshots I saw on TV, the game tracks the real events. It's not a game about a huge sweeping event such as the invasion of Normandy or the Battle of the Bulge, in which the vast majority of participants are anonymous, rendering the whole thing somewhat generic (though they damn sure weren't generic to the guys who were there). This game is about a well-defined military action which has been written about in great detail and has had a major movie as well as several TV documentaries made about it. It was a small-unit action and most Americans can name at least one person who was there. Try Randall Shugart, Gary Gordon, Michael Durant, Jamie Smith, Todd Blackburn, Matt Eversman...It goes on and on.

Our military people were hung out to dry by an incompetent president who is on record as "abhorring" the military. People were starving due to a warlord mentality in Somalia. The UN made a typically pathetic effort to relieve the suffering and we ended up sending in military forces to destroy the warlords and allow aid to be distributed amongst the people. Once on the ground, US military commanders informed the commander-in-chief that they needed armor to effectively prosecute the fight against the warlords. This much I remember vividly: The Dept. of State (Which controls the military since when?) said that sending armor to Somalia would be deemed "provocative". Why it would be any more "provocative" than our military patrols is beyond me, but I don't have a PhD in International Relations.

So we sent a raid into the middle of a city swarming with armed and hostile citizens, and paid dearly.

Now somebody has created "entertainment" based on that. I have but to wonder how long before someone releases a "Battle of Roberts' Ridge" game. Or maybe an "MH-47 Down" game.

Sick, sick, sick.

Matthew Heidt at Froggy Rumunations has more to say about it.


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