Thursday, January 26, 2006

Interesting Iraq Footage in "BattleGround"

A documentary called "BattleGround," now playing on the Showtime cable network, shows some interesting footage of streets and people in Baghdad, Samarra, and elsewhere in post-invasion Iraq.

Scenes include patrols by US forces along roads that could be sown with bombs, tumultuous meetings between US commanders and Iraqi town councils, the aftermath of suicide bombings, and family reunions with an Iraqi-American who lives in New York and who had fled Iraq after fighting against the Saddam Hussein regime in 1991.

Produced by a group called "Guerilla News Network," the 83-minute movie seems to be pretty balanced in its interviews of various people in Iraq and how they view life there today, and whether they think the US-led operation is or was worth it. While the opinions of any of the interviewees are debatable, they at least help convey a more complex picture of Iraq than the image of continual bombing and mayhem some people may have.

US soldiers are trying to do good, but under trying circumstances. In one scene, commanders are shown planning a raid on a person believed to be training insurgents how to use mortar systems. But how solid is the intelligence? they ask each other. It could be based on a personal vendetta. Another soldier on patrol compares Iraq to the Vietnam War, when US soldiers fought against an enemy that easily blended in with the civilian population.

Clearly, the terrain in Iraq, both physical and psychological, is difficult to manuever across.

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