Friday, August 3, 2007

Blackhawk Down (and Iraq)

My wife is at a three-day "spiritual formations" retreat called "Faces of Christ" this weekend. So, after I get the kids in bed for the night, I'm trying to watch three movies that she would not enjoy or has already seen. Last night, I watched an oldie but a goodie (or so I was told): Blackhawk Down. After awhile, all of the shooting started to get old, so I started to multi-task a bit. But the key points (and their applications to contemporary events) were obvious.

1.) As with most government activity, it usually looks (much) better on paper than in practice. In particular, it is common to exaggerate the benefits (here, who they were going to capture on the mission) and to underestimate the costs (here, what they would encounter and what they would lose).

2.) It is a bad idea-- individually and corporately-- to ever underestimate your "enemy" militarily.

3.) Many/most of our soldiers are idealistic people of tremendous courage and willingness to self-sacrifice.

Whatever one thinks about the wisdom of to going to Iraq in the first place, it seems beyond debate that we have seen all three of these points lived out again over the past few years.


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