Hollywood and War

I like Toby Maguire. I like Natalie Portman. I have no desire whatsoever to go see Brothers.

Based on the trailers and reviews I have read, I'm inclined to agree with Meghan McCain on this one. The plot of Brothers is a familiar one, and not a heck of a lot different than love story that ruined Pearl Harbor - though this version is just a tad grittier. Quite honestly, I hate these plots. I know that fidelity is one of the first and unfortunately common casualties of war, but it is by no means the norm.

What about the thousands of faithful, loving wives who raise children and manage the day-to-day activities of their households while their husbands are deployed? It may not be as "gritty" as the typical storyline, but those women deserve recognition too. As do all family members with loved ones overseas.

Hollywood's treatment of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been remarkably slanted to the dark side of war - to the virtual exclusion of all else. While it is important not to gloss over the horrors of war, many of the finest films about war - Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down - are also incredibly graphic. What makes those films great is how they capture the camaraderie and bravery of soldiers at war.

The current crop of Hollywood war films - at least those set in Iraq and Afghanistan - portray our veterans as victims of war and their own minds rather than heroes who act with courage when faced with extraordinarily dangerous circumstances. We have all heard stories from these wars about PTSD and traumatic brain injury, but how many of us can say that we know about the 6 men who have been awarded the Medal of Honor or the dozens who have been awarded the the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross or the Air Force Cross?

I don't have a problem with telling the truth about war, but let's make sure it really is the truth.