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Black Hawk Down Lies About Malaysian Contribution  
User currently offlineG-KIRAN From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2000, 736 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 17015 times:

Black Hawk Downer
Malaysian general says film glosses over contributions of his soldiers

By Brendan Pereira
MALAYSIA CORRESPONDENT

KUALA LUMPUR - In the Hollywood action movie Black Hawk Down, there are only fleeting shots of Asian men helping to rescue 75 US soldiers pinned down by militia fire in Mogadishu, Somalia.

And that is not good enough for Brigadier-General (Retired) Datuk Abdul Latif Ahmad (above). He wants the real story of what happened on Oct 3, 1993 told.

Brigadier-General Datuk Abdul Latif Ahmad was the commander of the Malaysian contingent in Oct 1993. -- THE SUN
He was the commander of the Malaysian contingent, part of the United Nations peacekeeping force stationed in the tumultuous African state.

He saw 114 of his men go into battle with US forces on Oct 3 1993 and emerge six hours later with one man killed, nine injured and four armed personnel carriers destroyed.

'We were there in the thick of the battle. It is only right to set the record straight or Malaysian movie-goers will be under the wrong impression that the battle was fought by the Americans alone, while we were mere bus drivers to ferry them out,' said the 59-year-old former officer, who keeps a scrapbook of his tour of duty in Somalia.

Since the movie opened in theatres in the country, there has been no debate in the newspapers about the role of the Malaysian forces.

The general feeling appears to be that it is a movie loosely based on a real incident.

Accounts executive Rahim Osman, 33, had a vague idea that there was a local angle to what he had seen on the big screen. 'I remember that Malaysia was part of the UN forces, ' he said.

No such problems remembering the events of Oct 3, 1993 for Gen Abdul Latif and his men. An operation by the US forces to nab Somali warlord Gen Mohammed Farrah Aidid in his enclave failed. Compounding matters, two Black Hawk helicopters sent to pick up the US soldiers were shot down.

An order 'to assist by all means available' was made by the United Nations command to Malaysian and Pakistani contingents. But it came after the US had made four unsuccessful attempts to rescue their trapped soldiers.

There was a further delay before the Malaysian team could move into action. The US wanted to go it alone but with the use of 32 Malaysian armed personnel carriers.

Gen Abdul Latif recalled that the US military was advised it could not learn how to operate the Belgian-made carriers in a short while.

Only after considerable discussion and delay did Malaysian troops and US Ranger teams move into action.

Eighteen US soldiers died and 70 were wounded. Private Mat Aznan Awang was the sole Malaysian casualty. He received the highest gallantry award from the Malaysian King. Other members of the team were also decorated.

More satisfying was the praise the Malaysian soldiers received from the men with whom they fought alongside.

Brigadier-General Greg Gile, commander of the US Ranger Force wrote on Oct 14, 1993: 'The battle that will live in history - your forces proved essential to accomplish the mission. The Rangers were saved, thanks to your soldiers.'

Major-General Thomas Montgomery, commander of the UN forces, was equally effusive. 'We are mindful of the price paid by your brave soldiers. We will never forget them and will be eternally grateful to Malaysia,' he said, assuring Malaysia that any US press critical of the rescue effort was off the mark.

The Hollywood movie has chosen to gloss over a contribution that a lieutenant in the US army appreciated.

A few days after the rescue, Lt John Breen wrote to the Malaysian soldiers who fought alongside him. He said many Americans were able to go to their families because of the help provided by the Malaysian troops.

He said: 'I would fight alongside you anywhere, any place.'

Gen Abdul Latif wants this untold part of Black Hawk Down known.

-Straits Times


26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineG-KIRAN From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2000, 736 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 16995 times:

Some comments I forgot to put in.

Whats really new with Hollywood movies about war these days?

Saving Private Ryan made it look like is was a totally US effort during D-Day ignoring Britain and Canada as well as other nations which took part.

U-571 is a total lie.Its was a British sub and soldiers that eventually captured the enigma.

Band of Brothers is a disgrace.Hanks and Spielberg are just using the lagacy of Easy Company to make money.If they really cared about the memory of the men,which was the reason why they made the mini-series, maybe they would like to give all of the cash they earned to the people who deserve it:the men of Easy company.

Also are we going to see any money given to the survivors and the families of the victims of the real Black Hawk Down?I dont think so!


User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 16990 times:

G-KIRAN. Wake up homeboy. THEY ARE MOVIES. THEY ARE NOT REAL. Private Ryan obviously focused on the AMERICAN aspects of the invasion. Nobody is discounting other nations contributions. U571...The US ran intercept missions like that all the time, as did the British. Still looking for a point. Considering you are bitching about a Hollywood movie. You outta focus your attention towards something that is meaningful. Not something that is meant for entertainment. *Yawn*

User currently offlinePerthGloryFan From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 751 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 16973 times:

Of course it's only entertainment, a ripping yarn, a dramatic adventure story, you know that, I know that, most thinking half intelligent people know that, but in today's world of virtual reality the borders can become blurred.
This is especially the case with "dramatisations" and "based on" movies which have at times been used by those with revisionist tendencies.

We know "reality TV" really isn't, but the gullible believe it and also believe movies supposedly depicting historic events are accurate.

For example, two classic Australian "based on" movies of the 1970/80s, "Breaker Morant" and "Gallipoli" were very anti-British in depicting military issues of the Boer War and WWI respectively and some people really took up these causes.

And if a serving US President, albeit in his dotage, can confuse the hero character of a WWII movie with reality it would do no harm to ensure an accurate as possible rendition of historic facts in "based on real events" entertainment.

PGF


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 16971 times:

Yes, I agree that its a problem because people do believe what they see on screen. I absolutely hated JFK (the film, rather than the President!) because I am not an expert on the assassination, and therefore didn't know where the truth ended and the fiction began. Unsatisfactory, but that's just me.

KROC, although I generally agree with you on this, I take issue with you saying that the US Navy carried out operations in the Atlantic in the same way as the Royal Navy. The US Navy had their hands full in the Pacific, and the Atlantic was almost entirely the province of the British, in naval terms. The contribution of the US merchant fleet was, of course, huge. Whilst the US Navy did have a role in the Atlantic, it was very much a supporting one, similar to the Royal Navy in the Pacific. You must remember that the British Navy was absolutely vast at that time, the biggest in the world - they ended the war with something like 60 aircraft carriers! So, a film about the US capturing the Enigma machine would in reverse, be similar to one depicting the British winning Midway. OK, slight exaggeration, but that's about how out of place it is.

It is hardly surprising then, that veterans of the Battle of the Atlantic were upset by the portrayal, even though it is, as you say, just a piece of entertainment.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineFlyBoeing From United States of America, joined May 2000, 866 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 16966 times:

As I recall, the Malaysians were indeed fighting in Somalia, but they were just bus drivers. U.S troops were commanding the APCs, shooting from the gun ports, and talking on the radios.

Driving in a combat zone deserves recognition, but it's not like the Malaysians were the heroes of the whole affair.


Saving Private Ryan made it look like is was a totally US effort during D-Day ignoring Britain and Canada as well as other nations which took part.


Saving Private Ryan made no attempt to portray the whole D-Day effort as only American. The titles on the screen clearly marked "Dog Green Sector, Omaha Beach". The movie covered only Americans, but that was because only Americans were Rangers and 101st Division paratroopers. To make it any different would be a damn lie.

U-571 is a total lie.Its was a British sub and soldiers that eventually captured the enigma.

Yes, but wasn't it really the Polish who captured an Enigma back in 1939? And wasn't it true that a U.S escort carrier did capture a German U-boat on the surface in 1944? Yes, a British sub did get the Enigma but the heroism of their task, like the heroism of the Americans in U-571, was illusory.

Band of Brothers is a disgrace.Hanks and Spielberg are just using the lagacy of Easy Company to make money.If they really cared about the memory of the men,which was the reason why they made the mini-series, maybe they would like to give all of the cash they earned to the people who deserve it:the men of Easy company.


How does giving somebody money contribute to the memory of Easy Company? Buying Alzheimer drugs? Making a movie contributes to the memory. And yes, I'm sure that Spielberg's production company had to donate to the historical association and Stephen Ambrose in order to get the book licenced.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 16962 times:

FlyBoeing,

Just on one point, you are correct about the Polish and the Enigma machine. However, I believe that the naval version had additional rotors which made it infinitely harder to break the codes and therefore its capture so important.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 16953 times:

Read the book and you will find that if it weren't for a Delta guys putting a gun to the heads of some of the APC operators they would have left half the men at the site.

If he wanted the truth it would have embarassed him worse, be happy they even put you in there. Is it just me or did all these people that are complaining not read the book and are overreacting even though a majority of the facts in the movie are true.



At worst, you screw up and die.
User currently offlineEal401 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 16947 times:

U-571 does acknowledge reality at the end of the film.

As long as you treat all Hollywood films as what they almost always are, i.e. brainless eye-candy, you'll be OK!


User currently offlineFlyBoeing From United States of America, joined May 2000, 866 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 16938 times:

The US Navy had their hands full in the Pacific, and the Atlantic was almost entirely the province of the British, in naval terms. The contribution of the US merchant fleet was, of course, huge. Whilst the US Navy did have a role in the Atlantic, it was very much a supporting one, similar to the Royal Navy in the Pacific.

Really? I thought that the U.S Navy provided a multitude of indispensable services in combat duty in the Atlantic; for instance:

1) Air patrols with the B-24 and Catalina aircraft that closed the air gap over the Atlantic and made it so that U-boats would never be safe on the surface.

2) Convoy escort carriers (CVEs, CVLs) which gave convoys their own air cover.

3) Scores of destroyer and frigate escorts.

Admittedly, the U.S Navy wasn't responsible for taking out the Graf Spee or the Bismarck and actually taking on the big capital ships of the Kriegsmarine. Those ships were important but there's definitely more of a "morale booster" effect to taking out the Graf Spee and less of a utility effect. The U.S definitely contributed way more in terms of utility to winning the Atlantic war.


User currently offlineAviatsiya From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 16931 times:

Why shouldn't people be scathing of Black Hawk Down....especially when you see ads on TV promoting this rubbish with the line:

"Its not just a movie...its the truth"

The only truth is, is that Hollywood has yet to produce a truthful movie dealing with war...and I doubt they ever will.

Have they not used the REAL names of people involved in the event? If that is the case, then 2 big thumbs down for any movie which doesn't tell the truth as it really should be told.


User currently offlineTbar220 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7013 posts, RR: 26
Reply 11, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 16917 times:

I still don't see why Blackhawk Down (the movie) isn't truth. Well, I guess the fact the I haven't seen the movie doesn't help...but take the book for example, which I have read. I think its a very truthful account of what happened, and if the movie was like the book, then I think people should have no gripes about it.


NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16248 posts, RR: 56
Reply 12, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 16904 times:

It's an American movie with an American POV. Entertainment. Not meant to be a documentary or a history lesson per se.

Sit back, crack a beer and enjoy it. Leave the accuracy checks to the uptight hand-wringing Somalia buffs and other do-gooders.

Anyone overly offended by historical inaccuracies or American favouritism can make their own damn version of what happened.






Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 16902 times:

Aviatista; Maybe If you stopped your usual complaining and do some indepth reseach you'll see that they used real names in the movie including one man from NJ who bleed to death because it was too hostile for rescue chopper to fly over and get him. They also showed the US Soldier that was shot to death and had his clothes torn off before being dragged in the streets of Mogadishu (sp)

I swear all you ever do is complain about the US. Your endless complaining is going over the top. You don't hear me bitching about Austrailia.



"FUIMUS"
User currently offlineAviatsiya From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 16894 times:

Aviatista; Maybe If you stopped your usual complaining and do some indepth reseach you'll see that they used real names in the movie including one man from NJ who bleed to death because it was too hostile for rescue chopper to fly over and get him. They also showed the US Soldier that was shot to death and had his clothes torn off before being dragged in the streets of Mogadishu (sp)

Huh? Can you please explain this to me again in ENGLISH? I made a comment about them using real names in the movie (which means they are meaning for the movie to be a true account). What have you written above?

I swear all you ever do is complain about the US. Your endless complaining is going over the top. You don't hear me bitching about Austrailia.

No...you see what you want to see. I got better things to do with my time than to bitch about America. My endless complaining??? Hmmmm.

Virginwhatever, I am just surprised that you didn't threaten me and offer for me to participate in a bar room brawl with you....your standards are slipping chummmmmmmmp


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 16886 times:

Is it even possible to make a movie today that is "based" on real events and not piss somebody off?

I don't think so.

I just saw it Sunday night....It is an Excellent flick! Big thumbs up



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineToadpipe From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 16882 times:

Might I suggest that to contain the whole truth would be impossible? If you want the whole truth read a book or take a history course, even then you might not get it. If you want a condensed version with things left out and a cheap history lesson go see the movie. Remember, your only going to get out of it what you are willing to put in. Don't expect to get a doctorate in foriegn affairs in 2.5 hours of hollywood history. And I doubt you or I would know jack about any of it, if it weren't for the book and the movie, so kudos to those involved in at least attempting to shed some light on the matter.

User currently offlineEal401 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 16875 times:

L188,

You are quite right. Everyone will have different opinions of how something occurred in history, so any attempt to portray reality will be hampered.

For example, "Titanic" made a credible effort at realism, for example with the sets built for the movie, and ignoring the fictional characters, but is still littered with factual errors.

U571 never attempts to potray a real event, it merely uses real events to create a fictional film.

Saving Private Ryan is intended to portray the flavour of what happened on D-Day and after, and as has been rightly pointed out ONLY concentrates on US forces, sectors and personnel.

My understanding of Black Hawk Down is that the actual event was one almighty screw-up by the US, but the film attempts to put a different light on this. Rumour has it that the film was rushed to the box-office to cash in on the upswell of American patriotism following 9/11/01. That might explain why US viewers have been favourable towards the film whereas, non-US critics has given something of a thumbs down to it. I am speculating somewhat here, so...

The list of such films could go on...

At the end of the day, everyone is different in how they perceive a film "based on truth."


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 16874 times:

Just briefly to go back, Fly Boeing you are absolutely correct, the US did do all of that, which is more or less similar to the level of support (in different roles) the Royal Navy provided the US in the Pacific. I'm not criticising in the slightest.


She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineToadpipe From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 16873 times:

My understanding from the book, politics aside, is our guys did what they do best, kick some serious A## old skool style. The somalis just couldn't hang. At least those facts are undeniable. And ain't nothing better than watching our L33T forces in action.

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13192 posts, RR: 77
Reply 20, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 16851 times:

The enigma machine in question was captured by HMS Boxer before the US entered the war.
Recently, Mick Jagger, who produced the film 'Enigma', based on the Robert Harris novel, told about his problems in getting funding.
He got some from the UK, he then went to Hollywood but they wanted to change the location from Bletchley Park in England, to Philly. And of course all the main characters had to be American.
The film, like the book, is a fictionalised version of events at Bletchley Park, which did get some US experts in codebreaking from about 1943.
So where did Mick get the rest of his funding?
Ironically it was Germany!


User currently offlineTbar220 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7013 posts, RR: 26
Reply 21, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 16848 times:

"My understanding of Black Hawk Down is that the actual event was one almighty screw-up by the US"

I have to disagree with you. If it was an almighty screw-up, then there would be no survivors from the battle. The U.S. did incredibly well, considering the circumstances that they faced.

1. They didn't know that Aidid's milita were massing in preparation for the United States raid. Thousands upon thousands of Somali militia men and armed civilians participated in the battle against the Rangers and D-Boys.

2. The unexpected downing of two Blackhawk helicopters put an entirely new spin on the mission, and thanks to the dogma of the Rangers that no man should be left behind, men were rescued from the first crash site. Sadly, the same cannot be said about the second.

3. Considering the overwhelming odds that they faced, the U.S. troops did an amazing job on the ground, and the boys in the air (the Little Birds) did amazing job in keeping the Rangers and D-Boys alive.

This is kind of long, but here is a bit from the Epilogue of the book. Hope it clears things up a bit.



"The following is a letter that General Garrison wrote to President Clinton the day after the battle.

I. The authority, responsibility and accountability for the operation rests here in Mogadishu with the Task Force Ranger commander, not in Washington.
II. Excellent intelligence was available on the target.
III. Forces were experienced in the area as a result of six previous missions.
IV. Enemy situation was well known; Proximity to Bakara Market (SNA stronghold); previous reaction times of the bad guys.
V. Planning for the assault was bottom up not top down. Assaulters were confident it was a double operation. Approval of the plan was retained by the TF Ranger commander.
VI. Techniques, tactics, and procedures were appropriate for mission/target.
VII. Reaction forces were planned for contingencies. A.) CSAR on immediate standby (UH60 with medics and security).
VIII. Loss of 1st Helo was supportable. Pilot pinned in wreckage presented problem.
IX. 2nd Helo crash required response from the 10th Mtn. QRF. The area of the crash was such that SNA were there nearly immediately so we were unsuccessful in reaching the crash site in time.
X. Rangers on the 1st crash site were not pinned down. They could have fought their way out. Our creed would not allow us to leave the body of the pilot pinned in the wreckage.
XI. Armor reaction force would have helped but casualty figures may or may not have been different. The type of men in the task force simply would not be denied in their mission of getting to their fallen comrades.
XII. The mission was a success. Targeted individuals were captured and extracted from the target.
XIII. For this particular target, President Clinton and Sec. Aspin need to be taken off the blame line.

William F. Garrison
MG
Commanding"


Hope that helps.



NO URLS in signature
User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 16843 times:

The Malaysian pure and simple only helped because they had to the men, had no intention about staying in that fire since they knew there were a ton of RPGs around there. If it weren't for a Delta Opretive putting the gun to the head of the APC driver they would have ran away leaving many men still at the sight.

The Americans made several errors, first is the lack of taking the NVGs, second as the lack of armored support, if they had armor in place (at the ranger base) to move on a moments notice then I believe that the results would have been much diffrent. There still would have been 2 UH-60s down, but the crash sites would have been secure with APCs providing covering fire for the men while they bored and left.



At worst, you screw up and die.
User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 16840 times:

Banco, let me revise my statement a little. The U.S. Navy did similiar things in the Atlantic that the Royal Navy did, but on a smaller scale, due to as you said, there commitment in the Pacific Theater.

User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 16835 times:

Aviatistya or whatever you call yourself. Why don't you fly from downunder and come up to NYC and I'll show you how tough I can be. I'll remind you that once you enter NYC you are not in Captian Kangaroo land boy!

Your anit US comments that you've aired here will get you an ass kicking.

Boy!

Good thing the rest of Austrailia isn't like you and your partner in crime ADG.



"FUIMUS"
25 Toadpipe : Holy Crap that was funny VirginA340!!!!!
26 Hkgspotter1 : G-KIRAN, Well said. The Americans are allways doing this, they only care about the USA. They are not interested in other nations. KROC, You know that
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