The First Casualty of War Is the Truth

Five thoughts about the new Hollywood targeted killings fiction 'Eye in the Sky':

1. The scenario is as unrealistic as the torture 'ticking time bomb' scenario. Typically, targeted killing operations do not target suspected terrorists who wear explosives and are ready to bomb a shopping mall. Also, there are typically a few more bystanders in the area, when you bomb a civilian residence in a densely-populated area (as the tragic outcomes of so many recent and real-life targeted killing operations demonstrate).

2. When suspected terrorists do wear explosives and are embarking on a subside bombing operation no one argues that they should not be attacked. Of course - there are typically several alternatives to chose from, but why complicate the audience with more options than a hellfire attack on a home in a residential neighborhood.

3. Women in the military or politics do not burst into tears every time something bad happens. The scene with the male general berating the senior female politician for criticizing him while 'eating her cookies and drinking her tea' and then telling her she should 'never tell a soldier he doesn't understand the price of war,' is chauvinistic and insulting. The fact that she responded to this insult with massive crying just made it worse. Similarly, the female air crew cried so much she could barely follow her instructions, while her superior male pilot shed a tear or two, but kept it cool; sensitive yet in full control.

4. The one realistic point in the script was the way the Somali agent was treated: as disposable. Sent again and again on suicide missions, based on the racist assumption that all Somalis look alike.

5. Finally, watching this movie a few months after British and US forces targeted an ISIS hacker in northern Syria and killed instead 3 innocent bystanders and wounded 5, and shortly after a US force continuously fired at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, killing 30 people, mostly medical staff and patients and completely destroying the only free trauma center in northern Afghanistan, portrayed the dilemmas in this Hollywood fiction as both unrealistic and self-righteous.

Similarly to so many other mainstream TV shows and movies, 'Eye in the Sky' continues the efforts to erode some of the most important moral dilemmas of our time, by simplifying them and using fake dichotomies between good and bad, us and them, now or never. Indeed, the movie's biased and dogmatic plot proves the maxim that 'the first casualty of war is the truth.'