By Fikru Helebo
The average number of movies that I watch (in a cinema theater or on DVD) in a one year period is probably in the vicinity of six, which hardly qualifies me to be called a movie buff let alone a critic. Nevertheless, please allow me to play the role of a movie critic for a few minutes and recommend to you United 93. This is a movie that was released in 2006 and it is about the fate of the only airplane that was hijacked by Islamic fanatics on September 11, 2001 which did not reach the hijacker's intended destination.
United 93 does not have plot lines that you would normally expect in movies, and what happened to all the passengers on that fateful flight is known to almost everyone who was old enough to remember the harrowing images of 9-11. But, the movie gives the viewer a realistic and gut-wrenching experience of what happened in the airplane and the flight control centers by skillfully reconstructing the heroic efforts of the passengers who, having learned the fate of the other three hijacked planes, decided to act to prevent the hijackers from realizing their objective by retaking control of the aircraft.
The movie also deals with the failure of the air traffic control system which was not equipped to deal with a disaster of the 9-11 magnitude and the unpreparedness of the mightiest military on the face of the earth to react to a worst case scenario that dealt with the civilian air space. The best the US military could do on that day was to watch events unfold just like the rest of us and shake their heads in utter disgust and helplessness by repeatedly uttering "we have a real-world situation here".
Unfortunately, Americans seem to have already forgotten the lessons of 9-11! The main lesson of 9-11 is that there is a real war going on between Islamists of the Bin Laden ilk who have hijacked the religion of Islam for their own political objectives and the rest of the world, and that this war will probably take a generation or more before it ends and the Islamists are defeated for good. I have previously shared my views on this Islamic-inspired war from the perspective of what is going on Somalia here, here and here.
United 93 is the perfect movie to remind us of what happened on 9-11 and what could happen if we forget the lessons of 9-11 and loose our focus on the war on terror. If you have not seen United 93, I highly recommend that you watch it and recommend it for other friends of yours to watch.