News Media Movie/Game
The stereotype placed on Somalis was "ruthlessness" and the stereotype was justified in people's eyes because of the civil war in Somalia. What the media portrayed shaped the world's view of Somalia. The media was more inclined to show the problems Somalia had instead of the progress being made. For instance, the media decided that food being hijacked from starving civilians during a drought was far more ruthless than "systematic extermination" of ethnic people by other ethnic people. The media continued to accentuate the stereotype by showing tourists in Somalia being robbed. Although this was true, it wasn't the whole truth. The media only showed the small percentage of the Somali people who did actually steal and loot but failed to even mention the huge majority of people who wanted "stability" and success. The global media was at fault as much as anybody else for the failure to rebuild Somalia due to the "lack of accurate information" that was given.
The news papers started printing articles that continued showing Somalia's problems, almost as if they were trying to hide the progress. When warlords came to an agreement, the newspapers pointed out the delays and troubles. The media's inability to inform the world about Somalia was a very big factor in why "political victory" was not achieved.
Operation Restore Hope and The Battle of Muqdisho are more famously known as Black Hawk Down. The event occured many years ago in 1993 and the story finally came out in a 2001 movie called "Black Hawk Down". The name came from the MH-60 Black Hawk, the type of military helicopter that was downed twice in the battle. News of the event aired in 1993, many people remember images of a dead American being dragged around the streets of Somalia. This movie was made to shed light on the topic by depicting what happened and why the soldiers were sent in. After watching this film, many may think the mission was a failure. In truth, the mission was a success. The only disaster was the casualties that could have been prevented. The movie heavily depended on the "leave no man behind" rule. It explained why the casualty rate was high because soldiers kept dying when they tried to secure each crash site. The movie effectively portrayed the important parts.
Rangers and Delta Force came in with a mission to capture two major clan officials and they were able to do that. The movie did not explain the mission well. But, it depicted the heroism and realities of war. In the beginning of the movie, it showed the confidence of the Rangers and Delta Force. They thought the mission would only last a few minutes. They were elite soldiers, and they knew their training and tactics made them the greatest soldiers in the world. When they went into battle, they did not realize that the Somalis were experienced fighters by fighting in many civil wars. The Americans ended up underestimating them. The soldiers paid for it by fighting a longer battle. Most of the movie was an accurate depiction of what happened. It showed how the whole city of Muqdisho just came down on the Americans. The skirmishes illustrated the fighting styles of American and Somali soldiers. In the real battle when Delta Force soldiers died the Rangers were shocked because these were their heroes. The problem was that there was no guide on how to fight a whole city filled with thousands of armed militiamen.
The end of the movie depicted the Muqdisho Mile well. Some U.S. Soldiers were left and the convoy began leaving. The soldiers were supposed to take cover while it left but the drivers just took off since they were still taking fire. The Soldiers had to run a mile up to the safe zone in the stadium. Luckily all soldiers who were left behind survived the mile run while being fired at. Later on a game was spawned on this story.
Nova Logic first created "Delta Force: Black Hawk Down" in 2003. Two years later, it ported the game to the Playstation 2 and Xbox. The game took on the same name of the movie but its story was different. Many parts in the game were fictitious but the primary story remained and it was to fight militia and defeat Aidid. Players were able to shoot at Technicals and had to keep themselves from shooting angry civilians or the mission would be failed. This game was a Delta Force Game so was in an American point of view. The game could have been better if you could choose a side like Somali or American in the online battles since it is always U.S. soldiers vs. each other.
The game and the movie are both worth experiencing if you want to learn more about the topic. Both have their advantages. The movie is more accurate while the game is just for entertainment but with an accurate environment. Both outlets shed enough light on the topic giving users a good idea of what happened.
Fogarrassy, Helen. Mission Improbable: The world community
on a UN compound in Somalia. Cumnor Hill, Oxford,
England: Lexington Books, 1999.
Kaus, Mickey. "What Black Hawk Down Leaves Out."
Slate. 1/1/2006. 25 Jul 2006
Sulic, Ivan. "Black Hawk Down Review."
IGN. 3.18/2003. IGN.com. 25 Jul 2006