Generation Kill

Generation Kill Extended Trailer

So far (as of episode four) I've been really enjoying this mini-series.  The language has the same ring of authenticity that the Wire had and it serves much the same purpose that it did in the Wire, which is to make it all more real for those of us who lack the actual experience of having served in the Gulf Conflict.  The actors are all top quality and seem, in at least a few cases, to be playing themselves, furthering the feeling of authenticity.

But there is an obvious political agenda in the series, which portrays the upper ranks of officers, and by extension, their handlers in Washington, as power-hungry, inept leaders, more interested in the glory to be had than by running a successful campaign.  So far, I've been reading a lot of commentary online from former military personnel, some who say the series is brutally accurate to their experience, others say it is completely false.  There seems to be little middle ground.

And yet, I find I don't have much of an opinion of my own.  I find that I lack the experience to form one.  My generation got skipped.  I've only got one friend currently serving, and only three more who ever served.  If I take as an example, my circle of three other Americans I usually hang out with on a daily basis, none of us have served.  Three out of four of our fathers did, and four out of four of our grandfathers did.  Quite a difference.  So when I read through the opinions of others, I have very little to relate too.

My own military experience is very, very brief.  I was 16 when the first Gulf War started and there was panicked mention in the news over what would happen if the campaign was long and drawn out and the draft was reinstated.  My friends and I discussed whether we would volunteer before being drafted, or if we would try to escape to college.  All of our knowledge of military workings, you see, came from our fathers' Vietnam experiences.  As I graduated, I spoke to the Marine and Army recruiters before deciding that college sounded like more fun and that was the end of my direct experience.

So, what I'm saying, is I like the show.  It's well made and interesting to watch.  But I don't know if it's truth or propaganda or if it's somewhere in between, like I suspect.  But I'll keep watching.

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