I respectfully disagree.
Personally, I want bland, unvarnished facts. Are you saying that the film is needlessly sensational?
If you are speaking strictly from the perspective of Military Strategy, then no, I’m not surprised. But if you are extrapolating that idea onto the American populace, then I am afraid you are sorely mistaken. The vast majority, it seems, is roundly disinterested in Afghanistan.
This topic is important, now, because of the siege of the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf and the simultaneous, deadly raids in Sadr City. There are no cameras near those battles; reporters are regularly fired upon by Iraqi police and Iraqi soldiers. Notable photo and film journalists have been murdered, captured or expelled. There is little historical record of what is happening right now in Iraq.
Just as we used the invading Northern Alliance to bury our Taliban problem, we now use Muqtada. The people of Iraq are shattering at the feet of a young cleric; our bellicosity against him is a convenient ruse, a titular assault to cover the purge of the Shi’a. Now that the penalty for insurgency is once again public beheading, every defense of Muqtada is necessarily a fight to the death. Against American Might, his followers are mowed down like paper targets.
If we were speaking of any other nation, these actions would be decried as Ethnic Cleansing, but America is so skilled, so clever in its obfuscation. And there is little argument from Iraqi Security Forces, because the puppet regime of Allawi has flooded the police stations and army barracks with Baathists.
A final, sad parallel in the two stories is the root of the Taliban itself, for entombed in the besieged mosque is the body of its namesake. As the earthly remains of Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib slumber beneath the shrine, the graceful, gilded dome is slowly perforated, the walls pocked with shell and slug, the holy floors pooled with the blood of the tragic misinformed. Too soon, the memory of this desecration will yield yet more meat for the machine, and the circle will again be complete.
This story needs to be told. If I must, I will do it by proxy.