Generation Kill: Through it all

In the 2nd episode of Generation Kill the Bravo squad marines are engaged in combat. The soldiers become fixated with killing, insisting since the war provides the opportunity it is their obligation to execute their slayings. The killings are visceral, filled with  blood and dismembered bodies that line the war topography. Even marines are depicted in mutilated positions, at times with blood sprawling the wheels of humvees. The Hajji are frequently vilified and subordinated despite Hajji non-combatants who do not oppose the marines. Generation Kill integrate marine’s usage of the camera, evidencing military authorship practices. One marine comments that footage would easily be sold to CNN, while at another moment his camera  graces the bodies of a fallen victims to the point of revulsion. It is not until the image of a lifeless girl is captured within their recording that men stop filming.

Just because Captain America wants to shoot, he shoots at inoperable and unmoving vehicles and later guns down an unarmed Hajji. He is represented as an incompetent leader, however because of his rank his subordinates rarely oppose his orders. Chromlie, the rookie marine is discontent with being unable to shoot.  He repeatedly protests the fulfillment of his libidinal aspirations without respite. He is often represented accounting how he will engage in combat and assault Hajji people. Soon, the bodies become so common to the desert terrain that Chromlie smiles at devastation wrought upon Hajji citizens.

The marines whimsical affinity for killing Hajji is buttressed by their musical renditions. In transit the marines are seen singing pop culture tunes, however lyrics are rearticulated with lines that call for Hajji death. The violence is representationally heightened by the marines marriage of violence with musical sentiment, insinuating killing is an enjoyable process. A marine attempts to assuage the group’s rancor by stating “if it goes a little different we could have all be killed today”. Upon brief silence from the crowd. the marines resume laughter, gaffing at the notion that Iraqis can kill marines.

The show nears end with the godfather’s soliloquy affirming marine’s military expertise. His stature is backed by the radiance of the sun. In this scene the glorification of the military is so gratuitous that it conversely bolsters the war’s absurdity. By taking the Hajji lives the characters are unabashedly self glorifying themselves. Additionally accentuating this episode’s conveyance of marine disillusionment is the Sergeant Major who comes demands the marines shave. His insistence on adherence to grooming policy amidst violence and moral deprivation further demonstrates the marine total incomprehension and coping strategies for the tasks of war.

Generation Kill renders a military dialectic. Within military protocol amorality seems mandated for marine performance. The vilification and sexualization of Hajji people is necessitated by Marines inability to properly cope with the war environment. Although there are glimpses of sympathy towards the Hajji people and amongst themselves, such instances lapse into demeaning rhetoric and hetero-erotic and homo-erotic espousals. Within the text the actuality of killing, dismembering, and subjugating another people is never named, but rather posited as a subtext that affects Marine psyche, military practice, and emotional stability.

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