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Julia Leonardi // 11.01.2020

Platoon was a movie that focused a lot on showing us the real struggles of war, not just heroic scenes meant to inspire. It really showed us how guerilla warfare is almost impossible to fight against. I think it is interesting that my whole life, I had only heard of guerilla warfare when it related to Vietnam and talk about as a smart, but unethical way of fighting, but the Americans only won the revolutionary war because they themselves used guerilla tactics. I only learned that fact recently and it shocked me because I always associated guerrilla with bad because that is how we are taught how to think through the American education system. That just goes to show how history gets manipulated because people choose to omit certain parts of what really happened to justify their anger or wrongdoings in other parts.

A scene that stood out to me was the ending when Chris says, “we didn’t fight an enemy, we fought ourselves and the enemy was within us.” I think that is a perfect line to describe the war. We always hear that we were fighting an invisible enemy when talking about the war because of guerrilla warfare, which led Americans to ultimately fight themselves. No one wanted to get drafted into the war; it was an extremely unpopular war, yet these men fought for logistically nothing. It is sad how long this tragedy lasted. So many years and so many men killed for nothing. It is truly one of the biggest American mistakes, but what interests me is that we do learn about it. I wonder if it is because it was so recent, and affected so many that still are alive today that it would be impossible to cover it all up.

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4 Comments

  1. Maggie Otradovec Maggie Otradovec

    Platoon is a fantastic film because of how realistic it is. It delves deep into the best (or as good as it can get) and worst parts of war. I like how you mentioned Chris’ quote “we didn’t fight an enemy, we fought ourselves and the enemy was within us.” It shows how morally ambiguous the war was.

  2. Michael Stein Michael Stein

    I think the quote you chose at the end is great in explaining how the national sentiment surrounding the war impacted the soldiers. As Dr. Bezio noted in today’s podcast, low public support for the war can hurt soldiers’ opinions of the war. Since the support for the war was so low in the United States, it is no surprise that the soldiers felt as though the only enemy was within them. Without public support for the war, the soldiers are convinced that their “enemies” are not their true enemies and, instead, internalize the conflict.

  3. Elina Bhagwat Elina Bhagwat

    I like that you pointed out that line. I also think it is a really good summary of the sentiments of the Vietnam War and how it was a major internal struggle for the soldiers. I found it interesting how much conflict there was within the army itself.

  4. Mohamad Kassem Mohamad Kassem

    I agree with the other comments, I think the line you chose perfectly describes the war and shows how the soldiers have formed an opinion about it. Due to the fact that not a lot of soldiers wanted to join the war, we see such an opinion to be common.

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