We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Gunner Palace of Lies

by 3rkl Friday, Mar. 25, 2005 at 8:30 PM

This review may be a bit belated but I didn't really figure out what was bugging me about the movie until yesterday. "Gunner Palace" bills itself as a neutral, objective, "no politics," documentary which lets the soldiers fighting the Iraq war speak for themselves.

Gunner Palace of Lie...
pool350.jpg, image/jpeg, 350x298

That's a crock and a 100% cop out. First of all, there is no "no politics" take on Iraq. This supposedly neutral "soldiers on the ground" reality TV view of the war in practice functions as the rankest U.S. propaganda. Neutrality as a response to an inherently evil occupation is at least acquiescence, if not outright collaboration.

It's no secret that American police love the right wing Fox/Murdoch TV show Cops, glorifying "the men and women of law enforcement." Otherwise why would police give the show access year after year for twenty years? Cops purports to show police work impartially from the cop on the street's perspective, but the show lies by omission and serves the purposes of the police state by glorifying police and police state tactics, pitting cops only against street lowlifes while overlooking the brutality, entrapment, perjury, and political racketeering routinely perpetrated by American police.

"Gunner Palace" is just "Cops: Baghdad." Why else would the military allow filmmaker Michael Tucker unrestricted access to sensitive police operations and occupation troops unless it served its purposes?

One of the biggest sacred cows of wartime America is the holy U.S. soldier, to whom we must always pledge unqualified support even if we oppose the war. Watch Gunner Palace, though, and you realize U.S. troops are the war, and any rational opposition to the war also requires opposing American soldiers directly.

The film shows the post invasion operations of the U.S. Army's 2/3 Field Artillery, which was hunting members of Hussein's deposed regime from their base in the bomb damaged former palace of Uday Hussein. The film covers from May 2003 through mid-2004, the period which saw the rise of today's hardcore insurgency.

Michael Tucker's concept is letting the soldiers tell their own war story. So what do they have to say for themselves? First, they whine like a bunch of babies. Nobody's paying attention to them. They don't get paid enough, and they don't get enough weapons or Humvee armor or whatever. (Where's the Iraqis' body armor, to protect them from our underclass heroes?)

Personally, I haven't spent 10 seconds with anyone like these soldiers since standardized testing sorted us out. In their mannerisms and speech the soldiers take after hip hop ghetto celebrities like Eminem and Tupac, especially the rural white boyz. They laugh hysterically at things that aren't remotely funny. They attempt little routines in front of Tucker's DV camera that bring to mind Harry Shearers' warnings against "amateurs and comedy." The bottom line is, the troops don't have anything particularly enlightening to say. It's what they do that speaks volumes.

By day, they rap and lay around Uday's pool, making inane Real World quips about Snapple to their documentary filmmaker. Lots of our "boys" appear to be pushing 40 and probably are cops in the rural southern backwaters they're from.

(BTW, how much of a hardship is it for these soldiers to live in a palace while wielding absolute, unchecked authority over Iraqis? The nearest any of these dudes will get to a palace in America is working security at the Bellagio.)

By night, the troops perpetrate systematic violations of the civil rights of Iraqis, executing house to house search and seizure raids so outrageous they would have made General Gage join the ACLU.

The troops are depicted perpetrating the most violent outrages and oppression against occupied civilians: warrant-less smash and grab raids, and mass arrests without charge or process. The worst of it is, they scream at their terrified Iraqi victims in English. Think I'm exaggerating? See the movie for yourself and behold what kind of moral idiot Tucker must be to attempt neutrality in light of what occurs right in front of his face. Obviously, the insurgency was at least partially provoked by the heavy handed tactics and U.S. arrogance on display in Gunner Palace.

The one truly compelling statement made by anyone in the movie is made not by a rapping, hip hop American high school graduate, but by an English speaking Iraqi detainee, captured during a nighttime arrest raid. The Americans are yelling, "Shut up! Shut up!" at their prisoners. A man is shown sitting quietly with his hands bound behind his back with plastic handcuffs. For Tucker's camera, he states that he is a journalist. "Shut up!" yell the soldiers.

"Yes I heard," he says. "Just shut up, in Iraq."

"How many people can say they're combat veterans?" crows a U.S. soldier at one point. Oh so that's what it's about. I've got news for you, schmuck. Being a "combat veteran" in high tech America doesn't mean squat, and hopefully, in future labor markets, will function similarly to a felony conviction. Everyone knows that in modern America only the dregs enlist. Recall that Fahrenheit 911's pair of US Marine Corps recruiters didn't go trolling for suckers in the AP calculus sections of Palo Alto. No, they went straight to the Flint mall.

In a spoken word autobiography, accompanied by a mime performance from his buddy, one of Tucker's featured soldiers confesses to pretty much exactly what we suspected all along about our brave boys. First he dropped out of high school in some fundamentalist backwater in Colorado. Then he hung out drinking and doing drugs. But then he pulled it together and finished high school, but he didn't know what to do then, so he enlisted. Then the military sent him to Germany, and he partied hard in Berlin for a year. But now the party's over cuz he's stuck in Baghdad.

What I said. In the U.S., only the dregs enlist.

There's plenty of not too bright and vulnerable people out there, but there's nothing particularly heroic or brave about them ending up as cannon fodder in the service of Wolfowitz and Bechtel. It's merely sad and pathetic.

One soldier at the end of his tour calls Baghdad "trash." Uh, no. That would be Baghdad, ancient "hub of learning and commerce," historically one of "the largest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world," according to Wikipedia;however fallen, a city far more compelling and important than Fayetteville, North Carolina or whatever flatland American ghetto the soldier calls home.

I've seen the argument bandied about that the risk of the Iraq war is that a bunch of mentally deranged Timothy McVeighs will come home and start blowing stuff up. To me, that doesn't seem half as bad as the risk of these soldiers coming home satisfied that they didn't do anything wrong and that they are heroes for doing what they did. At least McVeigh wrestled with his conscience over the crimes he committed on behalf of the U.S.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
M1A1 Gunner SSG.KISSMYASS Friday, Apr. 08, 2005 at 1:33 AM
Oh FMR Infantry Friday, Apr. 08, 2005 at 1:53 AM

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

A Mistake: Jesse Jackson-Toyota deal-in Lexington -Ky is .8 billion over 10 years 2018 J20 1:17AM

If Trump Declares a AantionalEmergency, He'll Be Breaking the Law J20 12:47AM

Jesse Jackson's Sneak Attck on Toyota Lexington Ky and it's workers 2018 J19 9:12PM

Video: Chris Herdges in Eugene, 1 hr 24 min J19 5:37PM

FAKE NEWS J19 2:31PM

MACROTHSCHILD.2 J19 11:03AM

Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance J18 6:04PM

BATACLOWNS J18 9:28AM

FALSAS VICTIMAS J18 9:22AM

Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM

MACROTHSCHILD J17 9:38PM

FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM

DEAD MAN LIVING J17 10:46AM

DIARY OF A CON MAN J16 10:40PM

PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy