“So Black Hawk is the name for the helicopter that is shot down and
Black Hawk Down is something like an alert? ” Kristl brushed her
shoulder length hair painted black and white. She had to do it by touch
as the light in the garage they had turned into a movie-theater was
still turned off. Henry flipped the switch and for a moment Kristl was
“And when that happens the shit hits the fan, because they have to
rescue the crew from those Africans. And so they get bogged down in war
for survival. That is why the general says they lost the initiative.” Henry nodded.
“Those Somalians were pretty angry.” Kristl remarked, “I mean it says
about a thousand of them died compared to twenty of the US and UN
troops. That is like fifty for every one of them. Wouldn’t you stop
assaulting if you see so many of your people being killed?”
“Your guess is as good as mine. Our troops were the best. So it was
ragtag bands assaulting crack troops. You can see it in the movie, they
shoot a lot, but they almost never hit anything. And if they hit
something it seems accidental.”
“Then they were pretty lucky shooting those helicopters down. They even
have a hard time shooting those rockets at static targets like the
downed helicopter or those guys in the buildings. Imagine the luck they
must have had in hitting the tail of a moving helicopter.”
“It might be very lucky, but that is not what the movie is about. The
movie is about a group of soldiers getting stuck in a nasty situation.
Despite their differences and anxieties they work together to survive
and make it out alive.” Henry said.
”It reminds me a bit about that charge of the light brigade. You know
where an English cavalry unit charges a line of artillery across a valley
occupied by enemy troops and get all but vanquished. It was a
Glorious Defeat, as they say. “
”Maybe it was one, but it showed our troops could kick balls even when
they didn’t get the means. They had no tanks for instance because the
government didn’t want to give them any.”
“That killing made the movie a bit long in the tooth. Scott can make
nice visuals, but after a while I lost track of who was who and where.
Soldiers seems so much alike in a gritty movie. I also missed
information about the context. ” Kristl said.
“Like why did those Somalians attack and why did they keep on attacking?
And why were the troops there. Why all this hatred? And why did that one general
not know that the other general had troops in the city?”
“I think they just wanted to focus on the fighting and the
“And why were there so many Somalians dead? And why did those Pakistani
troops in the armored trucks leave those soldiers on foot behind?”
“I don’t know.”
“I read that the Pakistani general and the Malaysian commander where
quite annoyed at how they are shown in the movie. They say they had a
far bigger role in the fighting than they are given in movie and
suffered losses too. It almost looks that they ride in and then
hightail it out of town leaving those others behind.”
“Well, it’s more about the US troops.” Henry shrugged.
“I even read the comment of one of the soldiers of that other US unit.
He was a bit miffed about their unit being depicted as lackluster and
not doing their part.”
“That happens at times. Sometimes the story of one overshadows those of
“But the final effect is never told. I read a story what the effect was
of this battle on the US foreign policy.”
“Soon after the US army stopped involving themselves in international
humanitarian aid actions. The only reason US troops got deployed was as
part of the War on Terrorism. When they could make a difference they
were too afraid for another Black Hawk down. “
“Someone finally got what he wanted.” Henry said.
To that Kristl could only agree.