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War schlock

Posted by Richard on August 12, 2005

The FX Channel has been touting Steven Bochco’s "Over There" as a realistic view of the war in Iraq, and many reviewers have praised it. I knew better and haven’t watched it. Now, Michael Fumento — not exactly a raving neocon — has provided a scathing review, I’ve Been Over There and "Over There" It Ain’t, that documents just how unrealistic this favorite of the "reality-based community" is.

Fumento was an "embedded" journalist in Iraq, so he knows whereof he speaks. For starters, he notes:

If "Over There" has a true military advisor, he deserves the firing squad. In the first episode a squad is pinned down while besieging a terrorist-filled mosque. The unit remains for about 36 hours with no air support, because "Air is dedicated to another area." Never mind that air cover from jets or helicopters is always available within minutes. They also request artillery, again to no avail. There’s no armor. Until near the end of the siege the only guys with a mortar are the enemy.

Fumento cites a number of other ways in which our military is misrepresented as incredibly stupid, clumsy, and incompetent. As for the individual soldiers? Bochco, reviewers, and the usual "of course we support the troops" leftists have all emphasized that the series portrays "our brave men and women" sympathetically. Fumento explains what that really means:

The GIs ARE depicted as both brave and dedicated, as they must be in order to be proper pawns. Conversely they’re also hot-headed; they constantly bark at each other like obnoxious poodles and there’s a knife fight by the second episode. Do the soldiers beat and torture prisoners? Do you have to ask?

Any signs of sympathy — or even evenhandedness — regarding policy and leadership? Yeah, right:

As for American policy, that’s depicted in a dream sequence in which a captured GI is given a litany of reasons for why we’re over there such as wanting to steal Iraqi oil, then asked, "Your masters are liars and thieves, and yet you obey them. Why?" He doesn’t deny it, rather providing the pawn answer of "Because I’m a soldier!"

Is anyone really surprised that Hollywood’s version of this war "proves" to the pseudonymous fawning reviewer at Daily Kos that "Iraq was Vietnam all over again"?

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2 Responses to “War schlock”

  1. Anonymous said

    Yeah, Fumento is pretty right on. If you’re interested in what a veteran of a previous Middle Eastern war, who is definitely not a neo-con, thinks, check out my post, I Finally Watched Over There

  2. Michael Fumento said

    Thanks for the mention and thank you even more for observing that I am NOT a neocon and don’t share neocon views of “The American Empire.” I simply believe that if the bad guys win in Iraq it will become the new Taliban Afghanistan or there will be a horrible civil war FOLLOWED by a section becoming the new Taliban Afghanistan. Plus I happen to care about the Iraqi people, which makes me politically…well, I don’t know what. I also got an e-mail from a Bochco producer which I will be posting on my blog. Very revealing.

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