Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CNN's "Home and Away" page

Kudos to CNN for putting up an interactive guide to all the Coalition troops who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Giving the public a way to put names and faces to our fallen warriors is so important. Spend some time there during Memorial Day weekend, and read the stories of these brave men and women.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington talk about "Restrepo"

Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington discuss their movie Restrepo, which won the Grand Jury Award at Sundance this year, for the magazine Moving Pictures:

Movieline also published a lengthy interview with them in January.

About the movie, which opens July 2 in the US:
Filmmakers Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington pay a visit to the Afghanistan's Korengal Valley to spend a year with the Second Platoon, a besieged squadron who dubbed their stronghold Outpost Restrepo in honor of their fallen comrade PFC Juan Restrepo. An al Qaeda and Taliban stronghold, Korengal Valley sees some of the fiercest fighting in the War on Terror. At Outpost Restrepo every shot fired is personal, and every target hit a gift to a fallen friend.
Sebastian Junger also has a new book coming out next week titled War:
From Publishers Weekly. (Starred Review.)
War is insanely exciting.... Don't underestimate the power of that revelation, warns bestselling author and Vanity Fair contributing editor Junger (The Perfect Storm). The war in Afghanistan contains brutal trauma but also transcendent purpose in this riveting combat narrative. Junger spent 14 months in 2007–2008 intermittently embedded with a platoon of the 173rd Airborne brigade in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, one of the bloodiest corners of the conflict. The soldiers are a scruffy, warped lot, with unkempt uniforms—they sometimes do battle in shorts and flip-flops—and a ritual of administering friendly beatings to new arrivals, but Junger finds them to be superlative soldiers. Junger experiences everything they do—nerve-racking patrols, terrifying roadside bombings and ambushes, stultifying weeks in camp when they long for a firefight to relieve the tedium. Despite the stress and the grief when buddies die, the author finds war to be something of an exalted state: soldiers experience an almost sexual thrill in the excitement of a firefight—a response Junger struggles to understand—and a profound sense of commitment to subordinating their self-interests to the good of the unit. Junger mixes visceral combat scenes—raptly aware of his own fear and exhaustion—with quieter reportage and insightful discussions of the physiology, social psychology, and even genetics of soldiering. The result is an unforgettable portrait of men under fire. (May 11)
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You can follow Sebastian Junger on Twitter (@sebastianjunger). And you might also be interested in following @afpakchannel from the New America Foundation/Foreign Policy Magazine.