TV Review: Generation Kill

TV Review: Generation Kill

Generation KillRATING:  MADISTRIBUTOR: ABC2RELEASE DATE: Mondays, 9:30 PMIt’s easy to assume when you look at a group of military personnel that just because their uniforms look the same they must think the same way on a whole range of topics. Otherwise why join up in the first place? But the Emmy Award-winning series Generation Kill reveals there is […]

By Mark HadleyTuesday 8 Feb 2011TV and StreamingReading Time: 2 minutes

Generation Kill
RATING:  MA
DISTRIBUTOR: ABC2
RELEASE DATE: Mondays, 9:30 PM

It’s easy to assume when you look at a group of military personnel that just because their uniforms look the same they must think the same way on a whole range of topics. Otherwise why join up in the first place? But the Emmy Award-winning series Generation Kill reveals there is as little cohesion in the armed forces as there is in every day life.

Generation Kill is an HBO series based on the book of the same name by embedded war correspondent Evan Wright. It chronicles the movements of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion of the United States Marine Corps during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. What emerges will hardly be a surprise to people who have spent time in any military, but it may shock civilians. At every level the US forces are hamstrung by the personal challenges of the people involved. Commanders take liberties with the lives of their soldiers because of the impact caution will have on their self-esteem. Officers make paranoid decisions that result in the deaths of innocents because of their personal cowardice. Recruits ignore the rights of POWs or the common decency due civilian populations because of their unquestioned racism.

Generation Kill is a revelation worth watching if you’re up to the realistic violence associated with any conflict and the raw but accurate way soldiers voice their problems. What emerges is a clear sense of the confusion that pervades conflict. Napoleon Bonaparte once told his generals, “Be clear! Be clear! Be clear! Any order that can be misunderstood will be misunderstood.”

The same remains true today despite advances in communications. However good the goals of armed intervention, it is still human beings who are charged with bringing any plan to fruition. And every soldier carries his faults as well as his equipment into combat. Which goes to show that the Bible is right about the pervasive limitation humans struggle under. Thanks to our Creator we can conceive great good but, separate of him, we’re not that great at bringing good about.