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Thursday, September 13, 2007

So Much for Gripping Authenticity...

I’ve been talking for months about Nick Broomfield’s fictional account of the Haditha incident. Like Brian DePalma, Broomfield has taken an actual event and stretched it so it is not even in the same zip code of the events on November 19, 2005. Despite the fact that 5 Article 32 Hearings have been completed with testimony on the record, Reuter’s entertainment reporter, Michael Rechtshaffen, touts the movie’s “gripping authenticity”.

With its dialogue largely improvised by many who had seen extensive combat in Iraq, "Haditha" has a gripping authenticity lacking in other similarly themed dramas.

Just reading Rechtshaffen’s description of the movie tells quite a different story…

Seeking vengeance and hopped up on a diet of caffeine and death metal, the surviving Marines retaliate by conducting a violent house-to-house search for the perpetrators.

There has been no documented evidence that the Marines were stoked with caffeine and heavy metal music. This is just another urban legend. The claim of “vengeance seeking Marines” was thoroughly debunked by Lt. Col Paul Ware, the Investigating Officer for 3 of the Article 32 hearings. So much for the authenticity claim.

Rechtshaffen could not even get simple facts straight in his article…

Back in the real world, the Haditha trials are about to get under way at Camp Pendleton, almost two years after the incident.

Five of the Article 32 Hearings have been completed with dismissal of charges in 3 cases. It pays to do a little research before making ignorant statements.

The choice of actors apparently impressed Rechtshaffen

One of those individuals is Elliot Ruiz, a former U.S. Marine corporal who had been told by doctors that he might never be able to walk unassisted again after badly damaging his leg during an insurgent attack in Tikrit.
Having since taken up acting, his performance as the conflicted Cpl. Ramirez lends the film a particular poignancy.

There is no “poignancy” to former Marines acting in a movie that stabs the “brothers” in the back – only disgust. Call it a John Murtha moment on the same level as his “cold blooded murder” label. Broomfield is perpetuating propaganda from the very terrorists our military is fighting against. These former Marines are willing tools in the dissemination of the propaganda. There is no poignancy to betrayal.

Rechtshaffen believes The Battle for Haditha will have no problem finding North American distributors. Great – it’s bad enough that the Marines in Haditha have been slandered and defamed by members of Congress and the media. Now the betrayal will be on the big screen with dolby surround sound.

I will not stand by and let this movie be shown in my community. I encourage everyone to monitor the theatrical releases and fight back against any theater that decides to show this Lie. The truth is a powerful weapon in this battle but it must be shouted from the rooftops. We must fight alongside our Marines to defend the honor of their service and sacrifice. We owe it to them.

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