Sunday, January 17, 2016
'13 Hours': Firefights at the Edge of the Empire
I saw '13 Hours' on Saturday.
It is a first class action film, but don't expect too much more. It doesn't dwell on the behind the scenes machinations of the Empire in Libya. There's almost no focus, for example, on why U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens was really in Benghazi.
That said, it is difficult to see how anyone, except a neocon, could walk out of the movie not thinking, "Why the hell is the US operating in Libya?"
The film does a great job of portraying the difficulties an Empire has in knowing friendlies from enemies in geographic areas where fighting goes on between various factions. The film also informs us of an oil lobbyist in the area that the US "secret soldiers" were assigned to protect during the days surrounding the attack.
Also of note, the CIA is not portrayed in a very positive light.
In fact, the CIA is portrayed in such a negative light that a spokesman for the CIA has come out to slam the film:
“No one will mistake this movie for a documentary,” CIA spokesman Ryan Tripani told WaPo. “It’s a distortion of the events and people who served in Benghazi that night. It’s shameful that, in order to highlight the heroism of some, those responsible for the movie felt the need to denigrate the courage of other Americans who served in harm’s way.”
That is not, however, the view of the soldiers who had to battle the attackers that night, as is made clear when three of them were interviewed by Megyn Kelly. Their take is that the film accurately portrays what went down--including CIA orders to stand down, which they ignored:
at 8:01 AM