The Rules of Engagement ~ Till Death Doth Us Part

The Rules of Engagement ~ Till Death Do Us Part

Rules of Engagement (2000) |128 min – Action | Drama | War31 March 2000 (USA)

An attorney defends an officer on trial for ordering his troops to fire on civilians after they stormed a U.S. embassy in a third world country. Director: William Friedkin  Writers: Jim Webb (story), Stephen Gaghan (screenplay)  Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Guy Pearce


I first came across this movie, “the rules of engagement”, courtesy of a friend – Green Knicker. In the summer of 2001, almost every statement Green Knicker made was accompanied by a direct reference to one or more quotes from the movie. By the end of that year, I had heard so much about these “rules of engagement” that I was determined to see it for myself. Eventually, I did get to watch it, and I must say, the hype was so much that the actual movie did not make a lasting impression on me.


Fast forward 2013

A few days ago, I was flipping through the myriad of TV channels available to this generation when I saw that “The Rules of Engagement” was on. It had been on for barely 15minutes, so I instantly stopped the search and decided to watch it again. Call it boredom, call it what you may, but in spite of the déjà vu feelings, I sat through the entire movie, and noticed something I had not paid attention to at any of the previous times I had watched it in the past.

No, it wasn’t the rules that caught my attention this time; it was something I had never really given much thought to at any of the previous times. Being a human rights activist of some sort, the scene that caught my attention had previously elicited a different reaction from me in the past. But this time, it carried a different weight from all the other times I had sat down to watch. Let’s just say, ten years is a long time to NOT change.

Anyways.  Here goes…

I recall how in the past, I had hated the ambassadors wife for refusing to testify in favor of Col. Terry L. Childers (Samuel L. Jackson). All she seemingly had to do was testify that he had indeed risked his life, to save theirs and bla la bla. Right? No. It was not that simple, far from it, actually. The down side of her testimony would have meant she was testifying against her husband. And like she pointed out to Childers, this had serious consequences on her home front.

The problem with being in a committed covenanted relationship such as marriage is that you stay in it till death doth you part, against all odds. No?


Did the ambassadors wife do the right thing?

Feedback required.

Categories: Relationships | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “The Rules of Engagement ~ Till Death Doth Us Part

  1. This scenario repeats itself in situations where siblings refuse to testify against themselves, or parents against their children. The real question is where do we draw the line on loyalty? “Blood is thicker than water”, “Till death do us part”, “You always do right by your family” are all shades of the same idea: That you stand by “your people” (spouse, family, pastor, gang, employer, etc) even when they are wrong.
    While I do not necessarily agree with this, I understand the premise. It’s the need to belong to a side. Our side is always right… even when we are wrong. Hence I always stand by my people.
    You can watch the series, Arrested Development, for loads of humorous examples of this thinking.


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