United 93: Just a thought about the US Military and 9/11 October 31, 2006Posted by WorldbyStorm in 9/11.
Caught United 93 the other evening. Part of a double bill that included the Metallica movie Some Kind of Monster (perhaps the most entertaining documentary I’ve ever seen – and largely for all the wrong reasons – the great big empty feeling I had after seeing them in the Point back in 1999 was replicated in full, still at least I didn’t have to pay this time). Anyway, this mixture of pathos and bathos respectively made for a predictably uneven evening’s viewing.
However, I don’t want to review either movie other than to say that Greengrass managed to pull off the remarkable trick of leaving the viewer transfixed by the unfolding brutality and tragedy of United 93 and hoping against all knowledge that it might go another way in the end.
On the other hand one of the closing captions gave pause for thought. According to it the US Air Force was issued with instructions from President Bush at 10.18 am on September 11, shortly before the North Tower fell, that they were permitted to shoot down civilian airliners if they thought they constituted a threat. The caption stated that this instruction was never passed on to the pilots for fear of making a mistake and downing a passenger jet that had no connection to the events.
Whatever about the debacle of Iraq, and the responsibility must lie squarely with the civilian government particularly for the unbelievable ineptitude of the planning and implementation of it and it’s immediate aftermath, the US is well served by a military that adopts that stance.