Most of us have a unique experience associated with Sept 11, 2001. Here in the Philippines it was already Tuesday evening when the events were unfolding. That morning I had finished The Clancy novel The Bear and the Dragon. China fires an ICBM missile aimed at Washington. Later on that night I watched CNN and witnessed in real time as the second plane flew into the the other tower. As this was happening Tom Clancy himself was being interviewed on what and who could have caused what was happening.
An elite military unit is dispatched covertly on a mission then is massacred by militia not officially representing any country. At the time of their greatest need the military unit is disowned by their commanders and all hope of help is cut off. When the dust settles the government officials who were in the loop about the covert operations refuse any accountability and will not truthfully identify who made the decisions that resulted in the botched mission. Hands up if you think I described the Mamasapano massacre?
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I have read most of the Jack Ryan series (until Teeth of the Tiger) and have read the earlier ones twice. Those turned off by the thickness of the books deserve to be left out of such pleasure and enlightenment for being pansies. The Jack Ryan series is not just an education on warfare and politics but strategy, world culture , human nature and deductive reasoning. What I did not expect that the blueprint of stupidity and treason in the Philippines in 2015 would be laid out in a Clancy film that is 21 years old.
John Clark: “Reciprocity.” That’s a clever name for it. Revenge is a very, very, very dangerous motivation.
Robert Ritter: Are you able to handle this operation or not? What I’m looking for here is a simple yes or no.
John Clark: What you’re looking for is a political mess.
Robert Ritter: Yes or no?
John Clark: Is that what they want? Because that’s what this is.
Robert Ritter: They want what every first-term administration wants – a second term.
Let’s turn this thing around. 650 million dollars and change. It’s worth ten times that in political capital.
There he goes, old blood and guts…. his glory… our guts.
Unidentified soldier talking about General Patton from the movie Patton
In Clear and Present Danger, the motivation for mobilizing troops might be seen as similar to what some believe motivated the mission that the SAF 44 were on. The perception that something is done. Some even suggest that Noynoy was in the vicinity of the operations so that he will be present for the photo op of a successfully completed mission thus pole vaulting him to the Nobel Peace Prize. Sorry Noynoy but last I looked they gave the Nobel Peace Prize to smart, well intentioned people who did good for their communities and weren’t gunning specifically for the Nobel Peace Prize. As far as I am concerned I am holding to my earliest hypothesis that Noynoy sincerely believes a naive simpleton like himself is capable of solving the complex conflict that is Mindanao.
Admiral Greer: [speaking to Jack Ryan] You want to know about politics in Washington? Four words. Watch your back, Jack.
James Cutter: Are you suggesting a course of action, sir?
The President: The course of action I’d suggest is a course of action I can’t suggest.
Jack Ryan ( in this movie played by Harrison Ford) as Acting Deputy Intelligence went before Congress and asked for funds for the “war against drugs”. In it, he gave his word that the funds would be used only for advice and supplies for the local governments where the war against drugs was being fought. He was made to promise that would be the extent of the activity. The problem is President Bennett and his aforementioned thirst for P.R. ( remind of you anybody?). He suggests a course of action (remind you of anybody) to his National Security Adviser which he then puts into action totally under the radar. In order to rationalize the president’s plausible deniability Cutter (NSA) tells CIA’s Deputy Director for Operations Bob Ritter ” He can’t be clear when clarity is what he wants to avoid.” Somebody out there please find me somebody not named Jim Paredes or Leah Navarro or Bimby who will claim the government’s handling of the deaths of the 44 does not avoid clarity.
I need to defeat those soldiers blowing up everything they see. Give me maps of their locations. Cut off their communications.
Cortez (Drug Cartel Intelligence Adviser) to National Security Adviser James Cutter in a secret meeting in a hotel room in Panama City.
“I think it’s time the whole thing went away.” Cutter
” Then it should go away. lt never happened. “President Bennett
What is a good spy movie without a double cross? Better yet the one doing the selling out is doing it to save the a$$ of his boss. Remind you of anybody?? Tom Clancy books just like Harry Potter books are infinitely superior to their movie counterparts. In the book Clear and Present Danger, Clancy goes into great detail showing how clandestine this clandestine operation was. They went for a specific profile of Hispanic ethnicity with no family ties. They trained isolated in higher elevations and the force was given high tech equipment that was neither registered or signed. It seemed like it was designed that it was easier to make it go away. That is a novel. In real life Noynoy is telling grieving widows about playing computer games, going to Mall of Asia, being at the same level as them and fingerprinting rebels. I doubt anyone could recreate that scene for a movie.
In the film the Godfather Francis Ford Coppola juxtaposes the baptism of Corleone’s nephew with all the assassinations he ordered on a family that was supposedly allies of his. In CAPD they juxtaposed the funeral of Jack’s mentor Admiral Jim Greer with scenes of the jungle ops being hung out to dry. I dare you watch at 1:40 of the film where the troops are being massacred by a drug lord’s army while God Bless America is being played by a military band not to think of what happened the 44. In that scene where they are laying Admiral Greer to rest, his idealism and loyalty to his country were also being buried in the ground by the same people putting on the funeral including President Bennett.
“One of mine”
John Clarke looking at the corpse of one of the men formerly under his command face down in a stream.
Jack Ryan gets wind of the abandoned men and heads down to Columbia. In his mind to make good on a check he had no idea was going to bounce when he wrote it. At (1:53) a justifiably enraged sole survivor named Ding Chavez ( played by Raymond Cruz AKA Tuco of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad) confronts his commanding officer Clarke for abandoning them. Jack Ryan breaks them up and says it is not his fault. When Chavez then asks who Ryan responds with words you have never heard from Noynoy Aquino in his public life: “It’s my fault”.
Jack Ryan: “I will not let you dishonor their memories by pretending you had nothing to do with it. ”
President Bennett ” How dare you come in here and bark at me like some junkyard dog I am the president of the United States!”
No, no, no! Not black and white Ritter, RIGHT and WRONG!
Jack Ryan after being accused of only seeing the world as black and white and not grey by Ritter.
In the movie there is a rescue of a small fraction of the abandoned men. Lead by an actual government desk jockey (who was a former Marine) . But that is the movies. Close to the end, President Bennett tries to bully , discourage Jack Ryan in the confines of the Oval Office from giving full and complete disclosure of the misappropriation of the very funds he asked from Congress earlier in the story to the Senate Oversight Committee. Bennett/ Ritter/ Cutter were the ones engaging in skulduggery with taxpayer money and wasted lives of good men. They wanted good people like Jack Ryan and Jim Greer to pay for it with their reputation and legacy. Remind you of anything???
Putting a very sharp needle into the balloon known as Pinoy Pride since 2012.