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October 9, 2015

Generation Kill: A Burning Dog

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Aug 11th 2008 1:25AM

Generation Kill(Part 5 of 7) "You think givin' them some rice and a chocolate bar is gonna fix things?" - Espera

This was by far the best installment Of Generation Kill we've seen yet. Burns and Simon stayed 100% true to Wright's account. I remember reading about the battle on the bridge at Muwafaqiyah and wondering what all that insanity must have looked like. To be so scared that, as Trombley put it, the adrenaline rush is so intense that it messes up your blood flow and some Marines achieve happenstance erections.

It wasn't just the bridge battle that made this one such a memorable episode though. Along with the continuing escalation of stupidity by all those with higher rank, there were some great scenes where we saw Colbert, Fick, Hasser, and even Encino Man evolve. Clichéd as it may sound, war changes people and we're bearing witness to some pretty screwed up transformations.

From the beginning, Colbert has always been the rank and file guy, willing to do what he's told and then in turn, justify it to his own men. It's not so easy anymore. How can it be? He watches and stakes out a small village with no men - just women and children. He makes this case to command and simply because a random mortar team can't be located, Godfather ignores Colbert's intel and bombs the village. Who's to say that mortar team was even in there? Are the casualties worth it? Brad had definitely begun to lean towards "no."

There was even a time when Brad could bounce ideas off Fick, but that era has also ended - although he did get some leeway with the smoke grenades at the end. Fick has changed his tune though. Despite the brilliance he displayed when he put Casey Casem in his place for calling him a coward behind his back, it still got to Fick. So now he's adopted a mentality of no longer questioning anything and it certainly doesn't leave room for Brad's constant queries. Fick wants aggressiveness now; not questions.

The ironic thing is that even the people above Fick, the ones he's now making a half-assed attempt to appease, don't have the mentality he's adopted. Encino Man essentially sat on a radio complaining about a road-block instead of doing anything about it. It took Eckloff coming over to him and essentially saying, in far politer terms, "move the hum-vee you dumb ass." So Encino Man and a few others did just that. They picked up the truck and the problem was solved. The lack of common sense is just astounding.

And while I'm preaching to the choir, let's touch on Captain America again. Despite Kocher's warnings, America is still taking enemy AKs for his own use and he's now taken a liking to raiding the pockets of the deceased Iraqis. Because taking poor Abu's Indiglo watch and smashing it into the ground is really going to make the difference between winning and losing. The hilarious point to be made is that the whole time, Captain America looks as if he truly believes he's making an impact on the greater good.

More thoughts...

  • I can't stand Godfather anymore. What a putz. Also, the whole talking in the third-person thing is old.
  • Once it became clear that Hasser wasn't going to get any sleep, it was just a matter of time before he screwed up. But did he really? I don't think so. That car wasn't stopping for Colbert's smoke grenade. So he got trigger happy. This is just further proof of what Colbert said about First Recon, calling them "perfectly tuned Ferraris in a demolition derby." Hasser was working on no sleep and on one accidental squeeze, he put four shots right through the windshield of the oncoming car and hit the driver in the left eye. These guys are crazy good.
  • Let's talk about Person's M.R.E. cookie recipe... non-dairy powdered creamer, sugar, and peanut butter. Cooked in an aluminum cup with a cigarette lighter. Mmmm.
  • I loved when Kocher jammed the radio so Cpt. America didn't get any Marines killed.
  • I've actually heard the phrase November Juliet used before, but I don't recall it being in the book?
  • John Wayne Bobbit made a porn where he screwed a midget? Why did I not know this?
  • Blow up a bunch of mines and explosives in the middle of a field or blow up a bunch of mines and explosives stored in a town's only school. Apparently, the choice isn't as obvious as it should be.

Now I'm trying to remember what came next in the book, and as I recall, the onslaught as the Marines move through Al Kut, Baqubah, and into Baghdad were hands down the best chapters. So I'm expecting this to keep getting better.

Which sounded grosser?
Q-Tip's roasted goat44 (30.1%)
Person's M.R.E. cookies53 (36.3%)
Brad being forced to spread peanut butter on everything... no jalapeno cheese49 (33.6%)

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By the time of this episode, the platoon was down to one MRE per day, when they started out with 3 per day. Even though they all carried humrats, they weren't supposed to break them open. The pictures in the book show this very clearly. There's a picture of Colbert taken while still in Kuwait and he looks pretty healthy and then a picture taken in Baghad where he looks honed down and hollow cheeked from lack of food.

August 13 2008 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Captain america isn't keeping AK's anymore, he took them and threw them in the river. He was destroying AK's so no one else could come by and use them.

Great Episode, I haven't read the book but I hope Fick sees where he's starting to mess up and rights himself. I think he started to get it once brad used the smoke and talked to the marine after he shot the driver. The marine who shot the driver was in the wrong because he fired before he was given the order to do so.

August 12 2008 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great episode....EXACTLY like how it was in the book.

Skarsgaard and Ransone deserve Emmy nods for their work.

August 11 2008 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Really bad episode in my mind.

First these soldiers never stop bitching and moaning.
It was cool in prior episodes since the orders were stupid and so on but no this stuff just gets old.
They have enough to eat, great equimpent and best rifles in the world. Yeah some of it doesn't work but when you comparit to that to enemies AK and a flanel shirt ... I hope you get the point. Nothing is perfect. And I get that point in previous episode when they don't have enough stuff to fix their humvees + no batteries for NVG's but they stilleven in this episode.
What I'm saying is that complaining doesn't get you anywhere so if you don't have it move on!

Second this bridge barrier look small enough that the Humvee could push it to the side by hitting it. Their should have made it bigger or something because it made Marines look like they stopped because of small barrier.
Also these points made in this episode like this is what we didn't want to happen when a guy from Syria comes and fights americans.
Whaw ... I know that this guy is against the war but this ... from now on expect more these anti war messages.

Also I can't believe that no one has utter a phrase like "This is a flat country, so air force will bomb the shit out of Jihads and we will come in and mop up the rest. I hope that we will see some action"
Because this is what has happened till now and this is happened in real war, the only action these guys have seen was when they got into cities.

Also showing how dumb the plp in charge are is great but after the 10TH + time it simply feels redundant and looks like the producers what to show how stupid the "management" of this war is. I got that after the second episode. No need to repeat that over and over. I'm not stupid. MOVE ON! Blowing up stuff in the school , not arresting Jihadis in the field. Way 2 many examples of how Marines screwed up this war.
I'm missing a tru interaction between the Marines.
They can all talk shit about plp above them all the time.


August 11 2008 at 3:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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