Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Cowboys and Indians?: American movies about Special Operators killing Somalis

I saw Captain Phillips over the weekend. I thought it was very good, and pretty realistic in its portrayal of how the military operates. As I left the movie I thought, Yow, that’s the second movie I’ve seen in two weeks about Americans getting in lethal trouble while out in the Indian Ocean, the other ...

Wikimedia
Wikimedia
Wikimedia

I saw Captain Phillips over the weekend. I thought it was very good, and pretty realistic in its portrayal of how the military operates. As I left the movie I thought, Yow, that's the second movie I've seen in two weeks about Americans getting in lethal trouble while out in the Indian Ocean, the other being Robert Redford co-starring with the water in All is Lost.  

Then I had another thought: Over the last 12 years, Hollywood has made two movies involving Somalis, and both involve killing Somalis, the first one being Black Hawk Down. Maybe they are the new "Indians" to our "cowboys."

I saw Captain Phillips over the weekend. I thought it was very good, and pretty realistic in its portrayal of how the military operates. As I left the movie I thought, Yow, that’s the second movie I’ve seen in two weeks about Americans getting in lethal trouble while out in the Indian Ocean, the other being Robert Redford co-starring with the water in All is Lost.  

Then I had another thought: Over the last 12 years, Hollywood has made two movies involving Somalis, and both involve killing Somalis, the first one being Black Hawk Down. Maybe they are the new “Indians” to our “cowboys.”

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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