Saturday, January 03, 2009


i just finished watching david simon and ed burns' television adaptation of evan wright's generation kill. while watching this stark and remarkable series i couldn't help but think about the lack of publicity generated by generation kill as well as the low box office takes for iraq-related movies over the past couple of years

i suppose that the apparent lack of interest in iraq related fare might be related to questions concerning the quality of films or the poor publicity these films have been afforded.

however, i suspect that this media has largely been ignored because the public would rather consume, and corporations would rather promote, a few more stories about our country's past "glories" than spend a few hours reflecting on our current quagmire.

if you're interested in a thought-provoking reflection on the iraq war and you live local i'll be happy to lend generation kill to you.


slowfo said...

dude, help me with this....because I'd really like to be more of a pacifist in my Jesus following...but I have a hard time not being more than okay with American military fighting back against militant Muslims.

My understanding is that Al Qaeda and similar groups would like nothing more than to come to our land and kill people who live in my global neighborhood...aka, the neighborhood association known as the United States.

This is not to say that the United States hasn't played the role of neighborhood bully and that our country is not at fault for many things. I'm just initial reaction when someone does damage to the people I claim and the people who claim me, then I usually want to punch back.

Heck, even Jesus went and turned over tables in the marketplace when he was upset....and on a human level, those money-changers hadn't done a thing to him personally. They were probably like, "WTH dude! Who gives you the right to walk in here and f--- up my business??"

Again, I'm probably wrong and fully expect for my view here to get torched by fellow bloggers....just thought I'd throw it out for conversation.

g13 said...

i don't know. i think if attacking iraq had actually struck at the heart of al qaeda, rather than creating a rabid new base for them, many folk such as myself would have been more sympathetic to the aims of the iraq war.

but iraq was never about al qaeda or, apparently, wmd and american manufactured chemical weapons. it was about settling old scores and securing the united states' strategic interests in the regions.

i still would have been opposed to iraq if the bush administration had trotted out the latter logic in the run-up to the war, but i would have respected their approach to a much greater degree.

as for the pacifistic stuff, i don't know if i'd categorize myself that way. maybe this is too simple minded, but as a christian i think that believers should participate in the city of man's wars only as a last resort and, if they choose to do so, they should go forth with great lament in their hearts.

for that reason, when many of our churches greeted the ill-considered iraqi incursion with a pseudo-military, hoo-rah, i was pissed as hell.

i don't expect all christians to be pacifists or even to eschew military service, but i think we should engage in deep theological reflection before choosing to put our life on the line for the city of man.

slowfo said...

Great response Jeff. After thinking about my previous post, I wasn't very specific in what military actions I was supporting...and your original post is about the Iraq war.

My thought is that if U.S. military action is the only way (i.e. - last resort) to rebuff proactive militants who seek and plan and work to kill Americans, British, and other westerners, then those actions are seemingly necessary.

The Iraq war're right, was about settling scores and killing in order to shore up our sources of oil. Then again, I know I don't have all the inside information either so my view is only at a glance.

Anonymous said...

Great posts and responses.

G13, first of all, to respond to your curiosity about Iraq dramas and the lack of interest: it feels like it's a combination of (1) an apathetic culture, and (2) less than exemplary filmmaking. Take the Vietnam era: this country was clearly involved/divided. Over 50,000 Americans were casualties of a "what if" conflict spun by LBJ and his bitch, Bob McNamara. Now, look at the films: M*A*S*H (set in Korea, but about 'Nam), The Deer Hunter, Coming Home, Apocalypse Now...those were powerful films, and people responded to them.

So, that could be a reason In The Valley of Elah and Stop-Loss didn't do business.

Now to G13 and Slowfo, I've become more and more of a pacifist in these days, so I appreciate your struggles. Yet I've found myself beyond angry at the U.S. about our selective involvement. Translation: if it's a grudge, or in the Middle East, it's worth BILLIONS. If it's sub-Saharan Africans slaughtering each other en masse...ah, let the UN handle it. It's like Bush and the Cabinet turned into the gang from Seinfeld: observing a travesty and following it up with, "That's a shame."