Just another day in the Green zone
Mission Accomplished? Not really
Warfare as It Really Is
By BOB HERBERT
Published: May 1, 2006
In the first few moments of the documentary film "Baghdad ER," we see a man dressed in hospital scrubs carrying a bloodied arm that has been amputated above the elbow. He deposits it in a large red plastic bag.
This HBO production is reality television with a vengeance — warfare as it really is. And while it is frightening, harrowing and deeply painful to watch, it should be required viewing for all but the youngest Americans. It will premiere May 21.
For two months in 2005, the directors Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill were given unprecedented access by the Army to the 86th Combat Support Hospital in the Green Zone in Baghdad. Working 12-hour shifts, they watched — and taped — the heroic struggle of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel to salvage as many lives as possible from what amounted to a nonstop conveyor belt of bloodied, broken and burned G.I.'s.
At one point in the film, a specialist who survived a roadside bomb attack murmurs from a stretcher, "It was the worst thing I ever saw in my life, sir."
"What was that?" he is asked.
Recalling his last view of a buddy who was killed in the attack, he says, "My friend didn't have a face.
And the best part, some Army bean counter, months from now, as this kid relives this day in his dreams, will be asking him for thousands back because he lost his gear in combat.
posted by Steve @ 6:47:00 AM