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Potentially Disasterous Plot Hole in Courage Under Fire

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Potentially Disasterous Plot Hole in Courage Under Fire

Old 04-14-03, 02:13 PM
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Potentially Disasterous Plot Hole in Courage Under Fire

I watched this film again over the weekend and revisted the IMDb user reviews to see what people think. I love this film and think it is excellent. Great perfomances all around, especially from Denzel. But now I read something that I almost wish I hadn't because if this guy is right (and I think he is) this destroys the whole movie's premise. Can any combat experts give me some info on this?

Medals of Honor usually are not bestowed upon war criminals.

Captain Walden initiated a machine gun- and incendiary bomb-attack on an Iraqi tank and ground forces. She did this while prominently displaying one of the two symbols of The International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. In so doing, she committed a crime.
I'm hoping the geneva convention dictates they can fire if fired upon or something, because they did not innitiate the battle.
Old 04-14-03, 03:21 PM
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Interesting.. but like you say, the heli was being fired upon.
Old 04-14-03, 04:50 PM
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I don't know what the rule is either way.
Old 04-14-03, 05:22 PM
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7. Medical units

Military(2) or civilian medical units are protected by the Conventions and the Protocol. Such units comprise all buildings or fixed installations (hospitals and other similar units, blood transfusion and preventive medicine centres, medical depots and stores) and mobile units (quarantine stations, tents, open air installations, vehicles assigned to medical purposes) [I, 19; P. I, 8, 9, 12] :

a) which belong to a Party to the conflict or which are recognized and authorized by a Party to the conflict (naturally including the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and other authorized Societies);

b) which are placed at the disposal of a Party to the conflict
- by a neutral State,
- by an impartial international organization of a humanitarian nature.

Assigned to medical purposes means units devoted to searching for evacuating, transporting, diagnosing or treating the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, as well as to disease prevention.

It is however specified that the protection to which these medical units are entitled may cease if they are used to commit acts harmful to the enemy (for example, sheltering unwounded soldiers or installing a military observation post). Protection may only cease, however, after a warning has been given, setting a reasonable time limit, and after such warning has remained unheeded.[I, 21, 22;P, I, 13]

8. Medical transport

Medical transport by air (medical aircraft) carried out in areas not controlled by an adverse Party shall be respected and protected. In contact or similar zones, medical aircraft operate at their own risk, unless prior agreement has been reached between the Parties concerned. They must, however, be respected, even in the absence of such agreement, after they have been recognized as medical aircraft. When flying over an area controlled by an adverse Party, protection is subject to the prior agreement of this Party.[P. I, 24, 25, 26, 27]

Medical aircraft must not be used to attempt to acquire a military advantage over an adverse Party nor, without the prior agreement of this Party, to search for the wounded, sick and shipwrecked.[P. I, 28]

Medical aircraft flying over areas not controlled by the Party to which they belong may be ordered to land or to alight on water and must obey such an order. If inspection reveals that the aircraft has not infringed any rule of the law of armed conflicts, it must be authorized to continue its flight without delay.[P. I, 30]

Medical aircraft must not fly over the territory of neutral States except by previous agreement or in an emergency. In the latter case, the medical aircraft will make every effort to identify itself and the neutral State will refrain from attacking it as soon as it has recognized it as such. If wounded, sick or shipwrecked persons are collected or disembarked on neutral territory, they will be cared for and detained by this State if they belong to the fighting armed forces of a Party to the conflict, so that they cannot again take part in the hostilities.[II, 40; P. I, 31]

_________________________________________________

Dunno.. everything in the Geneva convention sounds vague...

Read more here: http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0...mlall/party_gc

Last edited by devilshalo; 04-14-03 at 05:24 PM.
Old 04-14-03, 05:30 PM
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Thank you very much for the info.

Well that makes it pretty clear that by fireing on the hilicoptoer the Iriqis ARE in violation of the convention. But the question remains: Is the 'copter, it's crew, and captain (meg ryan) in violation by firing back and taking a combative position (ie, firing on Iraqi soldiers and using their aux. fuel tank as a bomb). All of this while flying a clearly marked Red Cross Hilocopter. If they are in violation then it wouldn't make any sense for the US to even be CONSIDERING giving her the Meddle of Honor.

Anyone else got any info?

Last edited by Pants; 04-14-03 at 05:33 PM.
Old 04-14-03, 06:12 PM
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If that were the case, then why have any men on board with weapons at all, especially Lou Diamond Phillips' character that seams to only be there to respond to an attack.
Old 04-14-03, 06:16 PM
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Originally posted by sherm42
If that were the case, then why have any men on board with weapons at all, especially Lou Diamond Phillips' character that seams to only be there to respond to an attack.
Yes exactly. "If that were the case" the film would be TOTALLY WRONG and off base in its central precept. That's why I'm almost sorry I read the review at IMDb. The guy may be wrong, I'm waiting for someone (anyone...please) to give me different info. Other wise I think Courage Under Fire belongs in the "Movies that require audience ignorance to work" thread. Hell, it could be the definning entry
Old 04-14-03, 06:21 PM
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Well I still can't see them sending any military chopper out with possible protection from an attack. If a medical chopper were attacked during wartime, I cannot imagine that the military would discipline the crew from defending themselves.
Old 04-14-03, 06:35 PM
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sherm42-

What don't you understand?!!?!
I still can't see them sending any military chopper out with possible protection from an attack.
I don't see the military doing this either. That's my point. If what this guy quoted in the first post says is right, the movie is totally shot to hell, 100% unadulterated bull****!

If what they did was illeagle in real life then the movie looses all authenticity. If taking a combat position is not allowed in real life then in real life they wouldn't have weapons on board. If they didn't have weapons on board they wouldn't have responded unescorted to rescue the soldiers on the ground. If they didn't respond unescorted then they wouldn't have been shot down. Etc., etc. The whole movie is bogus if this guy is right. Which I think he is.

Anyone...anyone...anyone

Last edited by Pants; 04-14-03 at 06:38 PM.
Old 04-15-03, 01:05 AM
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It is just a plot construct to create a scenario where the pilot would be a woman but where she would be able to proactively defend herself against enemy fire. I'm sure these were two elements central to the script before it was even put on paper.

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