The Invisible War
From Oscar(R)- and Emmy(R)-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick (This Film Is Not Yet Rated; Twist of Faith) comes The Invisible War, a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. The film paints a startling picture of the extent of the problem–today, a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. The Department of Defense estimates there were a staggering 19,000 violent sex crimes in the military in 2010. Twenty percent of all active-duty female soldiers are sexually assaulted. The Invisible War exposes the epidemic, breaking open one of the most under-reported stories of our generation, to the nation and the world.–from the filmmakers
Well that… troubles me, to put it lightly.
It does not however surprise me.
Unfortunately given the rash of atrocities associated with our military, particularly in the last dozen years, the tale THE INVISIBLE WAR has to tell while infuriating, is not surprising.
I have to think it has a lot to do with that rash of news stories about the military being in dire need of soldiers, and filling their ranks by any and all methods; some extremely suspect.
Here’s the thing, for every person who is in the military for the right reason and to do the right thing, you have three people who… in no manner, no way, and for no reason, should have passed the screening process and been given a gun, and put in a position to control others, much less in a position to end lives.
At the best of times, and to the best of people, such responsibility… is to be watched.
But seemingly, no one is watching anymore. So we end up with a rash of incidents about people who cannot even control themselves, being given a gun and sent all over the globe to control people and cultures that were old when America was but a dream. And doing it badly.
Again not all our soldiers, hopefully not the majority, but enough. Enough bad apples to spoil the pie.
And this isn’t just about our military over there. This is about our police force, and our prison guards here. This is about a culture of oppression and the cost we all pay for turning a blind eye to a police/slave state… it is about rule by terror. And the thing about terror, it doesn’t respect boundaries real well.
There’s no way to sow terror and horror, without reaping it. Without breathing it in. And when the mandate from the top, to this immature and often volatile young world police force is to, still, spread shock and awe… the results as we have seen, are not pretty.
When in our name, soldiers are given authority to terrorize and devalue the other with impunity, you get American torture prisons, you get American concentration camps, and eventually you get that behavior coming home to roost. You get the abhorrent methods used to pacify the resistance of those we disagree with abroad, brought home… to be used against those we disagree with here.
It becomes our method for relating to everything, and everyone. Even our own. Barbarism as national policy.
And maybe it’s even simpler than that. Maybe it’s an American male population that instead of being raised on movies about saving damsels in distress and opening doors for ladies, finds entertainment in movies and video games about women getting raped and tortured and killed. The truth is… we do not rise above our fictions, we become them. The fifties dreamt of space and the sixties saw us achieve it. In the last two decades the mass media of America has been about fear and terror and torture and mistrust, and we are living up… to those dreams.
Maybe in the mad rush to devalue the other, all we have done is learned to laughingly… devalue ourselves.
I don’t have the answers. But we better damn sure start looking for them. And it begins with asking the hard questions. Is our military doing right? If so, how? And if not, how? And what can we do, to make our soldiers not victims nor puppets nor fall-guys for an administration of madmen?
These are questions, especially as yet another election devoid of any real choice (you can pick corporate meat puppet 1 or corporate meat puppet 2) approaches, that we have to ask and answer.
Because the security and rights of anyone in this country, any soldier, any woman, any person, is tied directly to the amount of security we give even the least of us.
Our liberties as citizens are only as secure as the liberties of those we disagree with. is tied to how we treat enemy combatants, prisoners, foes (which as history teaches us, will be our governments friends tomorrow. Never hate for your government, because to your government it is all just a game of dollars and cents). Because the lines we cross cannot be easily uncrossed, and the human rights we ultimately eradicate when we violate the other… are our own.
Go see the trailer here, and see what questions and what answers you come up with.