Skip to comments.Bruce Willis comes out fighting for Iraq's forgotten GI heroes
Posted on 11/27/2005 9:27:04 AM PST by Khankrumthebulgar
ANGERED by negative portrayals of the conflict in Iraq, Bruce Willis, the Hollywood star, is to make a pro-war film in which American soldiers will be depicted as brave fighters for freedom and democracy.
It will be based on the exploits of the heavily decorated members of Deuce Four, the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, which has spent the past year battling insurgents in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul.
Willis attended Deuce Four’s homecoming ball this month in Seattle, Washington, where the soldiers are on leave, along with Stephen Eads, the producer of Armageddon and The Sixth Sense.
The 50-year-old actor said that he was in talks about a film of “these guys who do what they are asked to for very little money to defend and fight for what they consider to be freedom”.
Unlike many Hollywood stars Willis supports the war and recently offered a $1m (about £583,000) bounty for the capture of any of Al-Qaeda’s most wanted leaders such as Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri or Abu Musab al- Zarqawi, its commander in Iraq. Willis visited the war zone with his rock and blues band, the Accelerators, in 2003.
“I am baffled to understand why the things I saw happening in Iraq are not being reported,” he told MSNBC, the American news channel.
He is expected to base the film on the writings of the independent blogger Michael Yon, a former special forces green beret who was embedded with Deuce Four and sent regular dispatches about their heroics.
Yon was at the soldiers’ ball with Willis, who got to know him through his internet war reports on www.michaelyon.blogspot.com. “What he is doing is something the American media and maybe the world media isn’t doing,” the actor said, “and that’s telling the truth about what’s happening in the war in Iraq.”
Willis is likely to take on the role of the unit’s commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Erik Kurilla, 39, a Bruce Willis lookalike with a chest full of medals, more hair than Willis and a glamorous blonde wife.
He was injured in August after being shot three times by insurgents “in front of my eyes”, Yon recorded in his blog: “He continued to direct his men until a medic gave him morphine and the men took him away.”
Kurilla now has a titanium plate in his leg. He met Willis at the ball and said that his men were “very excited and appreciative that he was there”. ”
Deuce Four has a chequered history. For decades it was a segregated black unit commanded by a white officer. It was disbanded in 1951 but veterans felt hurt that its past was considered to be a stain on the army and it was revived in the mid-1990s.
When the battalion arrived in Mosul in November last year the city was under threat from insurgents. “We faced very heavy fighting for about three months,” Kurilla recalled. “Every patrol was making contact with enemy forces. We would hit them where they slept, where they worked and where they ate.”
Today the picture was very different, he said. “I have watched a city that was in absolute chaos turn into one that has a viable Iraqi security force, which is taking the lead in fighting the terrorists.”
Yon, 41, went to Iraq after a friend from high school, Scott Helveston, a former navy Seal, was hanged from a bridge in Falluja in an incident that shocked the world. Yon had never blogged before but was the author of Danger Close, a book about his experience as a green beret when he killed a man in a bar-room brawl. He was charged with murder and acquitted on the grounds of self-defence.
“When I landed in Baghdad I was immediately struck by how much of a war zone it was,” Yon said. “Explosions were going off constantly. It was full-on.”
His first experience of Mosul was worse: “I got attacked on my first mission. One of our vehicles got hit with a car bomb and three guys were killed.”
In May, Yon took a photograph of a soldier from the Deuce Four cradling a little Iraqi girl who had been fatally wounded by a suicide bomber. He sensed that the inhabitants of Mosul were turning against the insurgents. “People began to realise that all the insurgents ever did was break things and kill people,” he said. “It started to switch from a firefight to an intelligence war. People started to talk more to us. They would pull us over and give us tips.”
The Iraqi security forces began to take pride in their work, Yon added: “These guys were getting slaughtered but they continued to volunteer and fight. It’s very dangerous now to be a terrorist in Mosul. They’re still out there but it’s not like it was.”
Willis said it would be wrong for Americans to give up on Iraq just as progress is being made. “The Iraqi people want to live in a world where they can move from their homes to the market and not have to fear being killed,” he said. “I mean, doesn’t everybody want that?”
Bruce will be shunned by the Hollywood elites.
He'll have a hard time finding work unless he produces it himself.
Anyhow, GO BRUCE!
The "Lion King" for me.
Another PING for you!
He just made my top 10 list of real people in America. I can only hope that others will have his fortitude.
I don't know what Bruce's political views are but I applaud him for making this movie. If the movie tells the REAL story of our troops in Iraq, I WILL go to see it. Thank you Bruce Willis.
This movie has all the elements that made "Passion of the Christ" so successful for Mel Gibson. The majority of Americans are at odds with Hollywood when it comes to politics, the Iraq war, and religion. Hollywood refuses to give us what we want - a patriotic war movie with a Rambo-like hero and a pro-America theme. If Bruce Willis produces a good movie, I expect ticket sales to rival Gibson's "Passion".
I hope he just goes ahead and makes it, regardless. But I wouldn't be surprised that, if he does have the courage to do it, other more timid Hollywood types might actually be emboldened to come out and support him. There have got to be some others who aren't totally left-wing bonkers, and maybe he'll encouarge them.
LOL! Love it...
Hollywood is a slowly sinking ship anyway. Technology prices have come down to the point where you don't need a huge budget and the backing of a Hollywood studio to make a *really* good film.
Brave Bruce Bump.
It was Shane for me!
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