Flags: another view

I saw the "adult" modern war movie Flag of Our Fathers, (reviewed today by AT's Douglas Hanson) produced by Clint Eastwood. It is a great, sophisticated movie about the people who raised the flag on Mt. Surabachi on Iwo Jima and became national icons with their famous photo, even though this was actually the second flag raised and it occured on only the fifth day of a 35 day battle to take Iwo Jima.

You can see the History Channel influence in telling the real story which is just as compelling, if not more so, than the sugar—coated one we grew up with.  As one Treasury Dept. official told the surviving Marines and Sailor who raised the flag when they were plucked from battle to go on a national US Bond selling tour, (I quote a rough approximation)

"We need to raise 14 billion to end this war. I don't care if you guys think this story is bullshit, full of holes. We need to raise the money so that your buddies in the field will have new tanks, bullets, rations, a few new battleships to protect them when they continue fighting the Japs."

In the movie, a Navy Corpsman (medic), who helped raised the flag, is told to remove any identifying insignias showing him to be a medic because the Japanese soldiers will shoot him first, figuring that his death will cause the death of ten other wounded Marines in the field. The Japanese did sign some kind of Geneva—like agreements but obviously didn't adhere to them in the field, far from the striped pants diplomats. And they didn't care about the bad press they did, in fact, get in those days.
 
Jack Kemp (not the politician)  10 22 06

I saw the "adult" modern war movie Flag of Our Fathers, (reviewed today by AT's Douglas Hanson) produced by Clint Eastwood. It is a great, sophisticated movie about the people who raised the flag on Mt. Surabachi on Iwo Jima and became national icons with their famous photo, even though this was actually the second flag raised and it occured on only the fifth day of a 35 day battle to take Iwo Jima.

You can see the History Channel influence in telling the real story which is just as compelling, if not more so, than the sugar—coated one we grew up with.  As one Treasury Dept. official told the surviving Marines and Sailor who raised the flag when they were plucked from battle to go on a national US Bond selling tour, (I quote a rough approximation)

"We need to raise 14 billion to end this war. I don't care if you guys think this story is bullshit, full of holes. We need to raise the money so that your buddies in the field will have new tanks, bullets, rations, a few new battleships to protect them when they continue fighting the Japs."

In the movie, a Navy Corpsman (medic), who helped raised the flag, is told to remove any identifying insignias showing him to be a medic because the Japanese soldiers will shoot him first, figuring that his death will cause the death of ten other wounded Marines in the field. The Japanese did sign some kind of Geneva—like agreements but obviously didn't adhere to them in the field, far from the striped pants diplomats. And they didn't care about the bad press they did, in fact, get in those days.
 
Jack Kemp (not the politician)  10 22 06