Marines make do

Half of my interest in Generation Kill is watching people’s reactions to it: Those who support the Iraq war, those who don’t, those who have been in the military, and those who haven’t. To get the obvious out of the way: This is a great series by the creators of The Wire, and you should watch it for that reason alone. Yes, but how accurate is it? The series portrays Marines in a partly negative and unheroic light, so the best people to point out flaws would be ex-Marines themselves. In that respect, the discussions here and here are illuminating. Scroll past the “stupid Hollywood elitists hate the military”-comments, and you’ll find comments along the line of “uh, I was actually in the Marines, and this is pretty much what we’re like”. The funny thing is that Generation Kill does not come off to me as an indictment of American Marines, at most it’s biased against the commanders. It shows regular people making mistakes, it shows civilians getting killed, but that’s what you get when you go to war, any war, even the justified ones. The crime of the Iraq war was the decision to launch it, but if you have to fight a war, the people in Generation Kill would be the right people to fight it. What the series does is present the unavoidable chaos and screwups of war, and it does it so well that I think it will set the standard for this genre for a long time.

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