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Nov-15-2007 05:20printcomments

De Palma's Redacted Sizzles Emotions Over Iraq

One of eight movies on the Iraq war scheduled for release over the next year, Redacted by Brian De Palma sheds light on a night of gruesome crimes, while Bill O'Reilly organizes protests.

The movie revolves around the rape of 15-year old Abeer Qasim Hamza, pictured here as a younger child on an Iraqi I.D. card
Redacted comes out this week at select theaters

(SALEM, Ore.) - 'Redacted' is more than a shocker of a movie, it's Brian De Palma's beyond brutal, no-holes-barred journey through the camera lens and into the minds of two twisted young men in Iraq who showed no hesitation in raping a young girl and stealing her life, as well as those of her family.

Shot from the movie 'Redacted'

The release of the new film later this week has the FOX network's Bill O'Reilly agitated and running at near boiling point, but people who operate with bad information like O'Reilly are almost never right, unless you are talking about politics of course.

O'Reilly's political fanaticism is causing a frenzy as he encourages the intimidation of people who simply plan to watch the movie.

He is trying to rally right leaning veterans to protest and boycott 'Redacted' because it shows bad soldiers in a bad light. There is nothing wrong with telling the truth, regardless of how hard some people take it.

The movie represents the horrors of Iraq, it plays with quotes drawn from places like "FOX News" where reporters never did tell Americans that Iraq was not connected to the 9/11 attacks.

I think most Americans care about things on this earth in the right order, but for those who insist on going the other way, this mental midget named Bill O'Reilly is there to hold the torch high.

His perspective is frightening, that of the little man in his suit and safe surroundings, rooting, urging, demanding the blood of people in Iraq and consequently, the blood of our own. He sure as hell isn't over there, he wants your sons and daughters there.

He isn't willing to accept the truth of what we are doing in the war in Iraq, veterans say it is a horrible nightmare that is going to plague thousands for many years to come.

The movie may touch a raw nerve with Americans, particularly veterans, but O'Reilly's point of view equates to more divisiveness, more polarity. If the crime this movie centers around happened in the continental U.S., the nation would be horrified. We still should be.

The movie revolves around the rape of 15-year
old Abeer Qasim Hamza, pictured here as a
younger child on an Iraqi Identification card

It can't be proven, but one Oregonian and one Texan were almost certainly murdered over the rape of the young Iraqi girl that is the basis of the storyline in Brian DePalma's new movie, and O'Reilly's desires to discredit and grumble over this thing we call 'freedom' in this country is not closely tied to any notions of freedom.

Some veterans groups have joined hands with O'Reilly in denouncing the movie and calling for protests and demonstrations. They apparently fall somewhere between the "bury the truth" and "well that's what happens in war" mentalities.

Most Troops Would Never Consider it

Just remember, most soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen will never even consider a major crime like rape or murder in their lifetimes. Why are we supposed to accept this crazy notion that "things like that happen in war"? What a mistake every person makes when they parrot this statement. Killing is war, yes. Plotting the rape of a young girl is not part of it. Don't try to confuse such entirely different subjects.

There is this strange belief in the United States that we should be able to commit war crimes and not have to answer for them. Hell, Bush and his team have tried to write it into the laws and they have succeeded to a degree with that.

I don't want movies or facts like this to exist either, but they do. Still, O'Reilly wants to persecute De Palma and in the end, it will only bring the movie more attention.

Do you remember when Tommy Tucker of Redmond, Oregon and Kristian Menchaca of Houston, Texas were captured, tortured and beheaded in the summer of '06?

Brian De Palma of the movie 'Redacted'

It wasn't standard combat, their deaths were more likely a revenge killing for the rape of the Iraqi girl, 15-year old Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi who lived near Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad, and the murder of her family. They were attached to the same military unit as the offenders, but they were the ones that were captured, they are the ones who paid with their lives.

Tortured and beheaded, even though they had nothing to do with the rape of the girl and the murders. They were just soldiers, and they died because a group of dirtbags decided that human life is worth less than a night of depraved sex and death.

A group in Iraq released a graphic video in July '06 showing the bodies of PFC Thomas Lowell Tucker and PFC Kristian Menchaca, after they were allegedly kidnapped, tortured and beheaded by insurgents.

A voice at the beginning of the video states that it is being presented as "revenge for our sister who was dishonored by a soldier of the same brigade." The video referred to the Mahmudiyah incident, in which the five U.S. soldiers murdered the Iraqi girl named Abeer Qasim Hamza, after murdering her mother, 34-year old Fakhriyah Taha Muhsin; her father 45-year old Qasim Hamza Raheem; and her sister 7-year old Hadeel Qasim Hamza.

A statement issued along with the video stated that "God Almighty enabled them to capture two soldiers of the same brigade as this dirty crusader."

Don't worry Bill, that is how most people already feel about you

In his stupid statements and dark heart, O'Reilly is sticking up for the rapists and murders, not the 99% of the troops like Tommy Tucker and Kristian Menchaca who would never consider hurting an innocent civilian family. That's what it comes down to.

He seems to think that major crimes and criminal acts that are in-your-face violations of the very laws we are charged with enforcing, should be ignored and passed over.

O'Reilly is not a friend of the troops. The good of most is being forgotten as his tirade gets louder.

He knows that our nation has been plunged into despair over Iraq, he knows about all the mistakes our leaders have made, yet he thinks it is more important to scandalize this movie than just accept that having a truly free nation means you deal with a lot of things you don't like.

Story continues below

He should know about dislike, he is one of the biggest polarizers and dividers ever imagined under the guise of freedom of speech. A hate conductor with few parallels, countless thousands of Americans believe O'Reilly should be locked up for the lies he injects into the minds of the public on FOX News.

One big difference between O'Reilly and De Palma is that O'Reilly is a known liar and propagandist, while De Palma is another tortured soul who is willing to take his craft to the most uncomfortable place.

Truth Hurts

O'Reilly doesn't consider how this movie may snap people into line, scare them straight, and make them realize that they will be brought down if they stray over the line. Since Bush and Cheney urged the Congress to begin accepting enlistees from category 4 on the AZVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Test) the rate of crimes in Iraq has gone up. The same events preceded the worst war crime of Vietnam.

Redacted is put together with what appear to be, real clips from soldier's video cameras, and Internet clips from sites like YouTube. One scene shows an American peace activist who makes a statement on the Web that sets true all of the right wing propaganda about how Hollywood sees life:

This is the one who everybody should blame,
rapist and former Army Private Steven Green

"You don't see the My Lai Massacre in the movies, because the truths of that fascist orgy, are just too hellish for even liberal Hollywood to cop to. Oh, but that doesn't stop them from making another movie about 9/11, because an American life is worth so much more than a Vietnamese life, a Palestinian, a Lebanese or an Iraqi life because we are the uber race.

It is doubtful, but maybe De Palma didn't realize that the liberal Hollywood mentioned in this movie has decided that the story of My Lai, the rape and massacre of over 400 civilians in Vietnam, is going to hit the screen soon also. Oscar-winning director and Vietnam vet Oliver Stone says he wanted his film portrayal of the 1968 My Lai massacre by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam to serve as a reminder of war atrocities.

De Palma said the same thing about Iraq.

But we have to remember that these storylines aren't about soldiers, they are about the actions of criminals and animals in war and there is not ever an excuse for raping or murdering human being. Only the shrills of O'Reilly and others like him spread their stain to make it be about all of our soldiers. It is about a sad few who influence so many.

A fictional story inspired by true events, 'redacted' is a gut wrenching cinematic statement about the war in Iraq from one of film's greatest provocateurs.

------------------------------------------------------------
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with almost twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist and reporter. Today, in addition to his role as a war correspondent in Afghanistan where he spent the winter of 2006/07, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated only with Google News. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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DeoVindice December 6, 2009 6:53 pm (Pacific time)

What warmonger Howie doesn't tell you is that the US miitary just discharged the dirtbag Green at first.

It was only when the Iraqis avenged the little girls death that a fellow soldier in the same platoon came forward to tell the story of the atrocity because he was friends with the two soldiers who were killed in revenge, his name is Justin Watt as I remember.

In other words Mr. Green and the other rapist murderers woud have gotten away scott free if the Iraqis didn't avenge the girls death.

That's US military justice for you.

And FYI Howie all those sentenced could be out on parole within 10 years.

Maybe you would sing a different tune if your 14 year old daughter was gangraped you disgusting neocon scumbag.


GodsofChaos November 27, 2007 3:13 pm (Pacific time)

"There is an amazing movie that gives me chills called "Blackhawk Down"."Tim King
Well though you stated movies that do put America in a better light I am asking if there is any movie about the current war that doesn't paint all of are soldiers as murders and scum while The Islamic terrorists as pure and good. The few war movies about the current war in Iraq have been as Anti-America as possible.

The one show that I liked about Iraq was Over There. It ,to me, painted a more accurate picture. Though they had there flaws the soldiers for the most part were just trying there best and the Terrorists where show for what they were. On the other hand it showed the complexness of the current war because of how the enemy hides behind civilians and religion.

I liked Black Hawk down but one of the aspects of the battle that was skimmed over was the militias wiliness to use there own women and children(either as human shields or gave them guns to fight) in the attack.

My point the people in the Middle East and Africa region of the world have different rules and different views of right and wrong.

Note: Wasn't Black Hawk down used by Saddam Hussein as propaganda?

I will also try to remain calm in these debates.

One more thing:"Killing is war, yes. Plotting the rape of a young girl is not part of it. Don't try to confuse such entirely different subjects."

The main thing to remember is that no matter what group of people are out be religious, military or governmental there will always be a bad seed. What I hope this film doesn't do is portray all soldiers as rapist murders for the actions of a small group.


GodsofChaos November 27, 2007 2:33 pm (Pacific time)

Though I know I am not welcome here I can't help but comment on this story.

"'Redacted' is more than a shocker of a movie, it's Brian De Palma's beyond brutal, no-holes-barred journey through the camera lens and into the minds of two twisted young men in Iraq who showed no hesitation in raping a young girl and stealing her life, as well as those of her family."

I have a question has this same no holds barred idea every been made into a movie about the evil of Islamic Terrorists? So far every movie I have seen has either remained silent "World Trade Center" Or painted us as evil and the Terrorists as good guys all "the rest".If there is a movie out there that shows the evil of Islamic Terrorists please name it. I actually want to see a film that isn't seeping with "America is evil","War is always our fault" and my favorite "Enemies of America are good".

Tim King: I have never said you aren't welcome here, I just think you run into people with conflicting points of view frequently and it is my hope that at some point you put major effort into trying to see the bigger picture. "We We Soldiers" is just one of many films that have glorified American combat, "Saving Private Ryan" comes to mind also. There is an amazing movie that gives me chills called "Blackhawk Down".

Because a President says a particular war is OK and the right thing to do, does not mean he is right. I know you want to admire and respect your President, and you should want to do that, but George W. Bush has imperiled our nation, and many of us resent that. We would like to see our troops used to fight wars with good strategies that can be won, surely that isn't liberal or asking too much. You are not unwelcome here GodsofChaos, just keep a thick skin on, believe me I know all about it as one of the site's primary writers.


scooter November 20, 2007 3:19 pm (Pacific time)

PFC Tucker was from Madras -- just a small detail.

Editor to Scooter: Thank you so much, we do not take any mistake regarding this brave soldier lightly, our sincere apologies


Jefferson November 17, 2007 9:29 am (Pacific time)

I say this story is finished/dead/kaput. De Palma has failed to generate any enthusiasm, nor have any of the recent Hollywood films that deal with negative Iraqi themes been able to turn a profit, much less break even. The term that best descibes this situation: loser.


Jefferson November 16, 2007 9:40 am (Pacific time)

I certainly have no problem with De Palma or any other individual who wants to make any movie regardless of it's perspective. The public will eventually be the ones who evaluate it's authenticity. For example, clear thinking and informed people realize just what a fraud a person like Oliver Stone is re: Platoon. I recall a while back when Rep. Murtha talked about all those cold-blooded Marine killers, well it appears as the justice system started to sort the fiction from the facts we see a different story emerging (where's the apology from Murtha?). This may also be the case of DePalma's flick? I feel confident that only a (very) tiny percentage of Americans will wath this movie, but a huge percentage of muslims will, it will be a great propaganda piece for those who are determined to wipe us out.


A registered republican November 16, 2007 9:18 am (Pacific time)

I watched this movie last night and it is wretching. But I hope its message is received by at least some of the blind, deaf, and comfortable conservatives that, through nothing explainable by anything other than blind-faith and ignorance, continue to support the Bush/Chaney war, and it IS THEIR war, NOT ours. The problem is that OUR loved ones are the ones dying, losing limbs and their sanity over it, NOT theirs. And through a total abuse of power and disregard for OUR constitution, THEIR war is being executed with our money, currently over $20,000 BORROWED from EVERY AMERICAN HOUSEHOLD that WE will be paying back for decades, while all their buddies profit from the horrific fallout immensely. This war was not about fighting Al Quada, they weren't there before WE invaded, and it was not about terrorism or any threat to the US or our allies because there were no WMD's in Iraq or ties to 9/11. It was an OFFENSIVE move about unfinished business and righting a personal vendetta that George W. Bush had against Saddam Hussein for making a death threat against his father, and about all the money Dick Cheney thought he and all his corporate buddies could make in the aftermath. What we're left with now...1687 days after his declaration of "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq, is the collateral damage, rot, hatred, and horrible mess of humanity that remains from those selfish, short sighted, greedy and ignorant personal agendas our "Leaders" made at the expense of every man, woman, and child in our great country. It will take a lifetime for our nation to recover. The real tragedy is that is was parlayed on the greatest opportunity in history (9/11) that this country had to rally worldwide support and alliance with the US and democracy. Instead, we now stand alone.


Neal Feldman November 16, 2007 12:11 am (Pacific time)

The movie is not anti-troop/ Not against all troops. But it IS againsrt these troops and any like them (and there are many more who have not been caught). It is THESE scumbags who are to blame for danger to the troops not pointing out the truth instead of allowing it to get swept under the carpet. If we as w free country cannot look at what wrongs have been done n out names and say this was wrong and should never be repeated again then we as a nation are scumbags, period. We now have a USAG who refuses to state that waterboarding is torture. It is disgusting. The sooner Cheney and Bush and the rest opf the Texas Mafia are impeached and removedthe sooner we can start having govt that operated by the rules and starts earniung the respect of the world community instead of its disgust and disdain and antipathy. Ah well...


Tim King November 15, 2007 12:54 pm (Pacific time)

Well I don't mean to have passed that over, I think most who keep up know about what happened to Green and the others. I was in that system once and I know about how the UCMJ works in comparison to the Constitution. That is what those guys signed their names to when they took their oath though isn't it?

These idiots represent just a small percentage of our soldiers, but if we don't hold people accountable then we all lose. I do not doubt the point you make about the other side being worse, but do you even know who or what Al Quada is? Geez, people have almost no idea what is going on over there man. The VC were worse than us too, does that justify unwarranted brutality? I don't think it does.

This argument reminds me of Bush himself, just do what works for you and screw everybody else. Well De Palma is going to make his life harder and I like that personally. I can tell you first hand that soldiers fighting overseas right now are far from his fans. Whoever thought about voting in a national guard drop out anyway? People have lost their pride in this country. While you have every right to make your point here, please don't blame it on De Palma, or me for that matter. Our problems rolled down from the highest hill.


Howie November 15, 2007 12:44 pm (Pacific time)

Brian De Palma has said in interviews that you too can find on youtube that he has made an anti-troop film. The biggest falicy perpetrated by this article is that those who commited the crime got off scot free! They did not! The shortest of the five sentences handed down by the Courts Martials was 20 years, and that was the only one under 3 digits. And unlike civilian convictions, there is no parole or time off for good behavior. If De Palma rally wanted to make a movie about the atrocities going on in Iraq he would have made a movie about Al Quada baking the children of Iraqis that will not offer up another child as a suicide bomber. This film will be used as a recruiting tool by al quada without a doubt!!!!

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