Monday, January 19, 2015

The Chosin Few vs American Sniper

Hollywood is so fixated on superheroes and victories that it ignores the most highly dramatic war stories - even if they happen to be true.

If Hollywood - leftish or rightish minded, it matters not - ever made a well done film about the key battle of the Korean War - Winter 1950's Battle for Chosin Reservoir - I'd see it in a Wilshire Blvd minute. And I hate to watch war movies usually.

Partly my interest is personal --- the bad news from Choisin was so depressing to my parents that they went home and defiantly made me.

It was a sort of demographical nose-thumbing against the incoming Chinese Communist forces currently overwhelming the UN forces high in the mountains amid bitter cold and wind.

My father had just given up his career in the university tenure track to volunteer once again with the overseas Canadian Armed Forces.

But Chosin deserves to be much better known  to all of us.

Partly for the sheer drama of very large forces on both sides fighting full out for a brutal 17 days straight - and fighting as much against Siberian cold and starvation as against each other.

Chosin marks the only time the West ever invaded a communist country and the first and only full war clash between China and America.

But mostly it should be remembered because there is a direct line between the Allied retreat at Chosin and the long term massive buildup of cold war nuclear weapons, first among the west and then matched in the east.

If the world had ended in one big bang in 1962, Chosin could take a bow.

(President Truman in fact first publicly warned the world he might use the A-bomb, on the very day the Chinese unexpectedly surrounded the American (and a few British) Marines at Chosin.)

Chosin still looks far too grim for Hollywood - too much like WWII's Eastern Front in the winter to suit So Cal's sunny mood.

No flashy superheroes here - just Willy and Joe winning by merely surviving, hanging in there, enduring .....

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