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Over There
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over there

I'd like to say some things.

Do you mind?

O.K.

Firstly.

This show is not as propagandistic as I thought it would be.

And that's coming from someone who thinks that The West Wing is propaganda.

How can a show that makes a left-leaning government look good be propaganda -- especially during the reign of a right-wing administration -- you ask?

Well, rather than focus on the ills and the deceits, it focuses on the triumphs, the good intentions, the optimism, the "well-meaningness" of the government; it makes us trust the government; it satisfies our desperate desire to believe that the government really is benign, is seeking good, is looking out for our best interests, is doing the best that it can, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles...

Sure, who hasn't said, on many occasions, "Goddamn, I just wish Martin Sheen were our President."

But the subconscious subtext to that is, I think, that "Martin Sheen is our president."

O.K., I'll admit it. I'm kind of a nut...

So, bear with me... And recognize, right from the start, that nothing I say has any merit whatsoever...

I'm a little bit radical when it comes to Iraq. O.K.?

I'm that person who honestly believes that if Iraqis can be shot for supporting the insurgency, then American soldiers occupying their country can be shot for ... well, for occupying their country.

And I'm also willing to go so far as to say...

that if Iraqis can be shot for supporting the insurgency...

then Americans can be shot for supporting the occupation...

(Yeah, I know. I'm a goddamned nut. What kind of logic is that, right? I mean, come on!)

If an American doesn't have a little flashy colored magnetic ribbon on their car saying "God Bless America" or "Support Our Troops" or "United We Stand," then he's not a "Patriot," right?

But if an Iraqi were to wave a flag that said "Support Our Troops," he'd have his body shot into a million pieces of flayed meat and no American would give a shit.

Am I wrong?

No. I am not.

And that's how it should be.

They're EVIL, damn it.

Yes, the people we're "liberating."

Evil.

Shut up. You're wrong.

Stop talking.

No, really. Just stop it.

Stop.

Evil.

Shut up. Really.

No, really. Just shut the fuck up for one goddamned second, fucker.

Let me have a word, here...

O.K.

Thank you.

* * *

I have seen three of the first four episodes of Over There.

So far, I have seen:

troops being shot; troops fighting each other; troops disagreeing with each other, and with their commanders; troops acknowledging that they cannot speak the native language; troops screaming in pain because a member of their unit had his leg blown off; troops seeing their lives flash before their eyes because they don't know whether the car accelerating toward them contains a car bomb or a couple of kids; troops screaming in pain because their unit killed innocent civilians; troops screaming in pain because he was determined not to rely on morphine; troops' wives fucking around; troops ragging on other troops because of ethnicity (Arab); troops debating whether or not they have just killed innocent civilians unnecessarily; troops desperately trying to protect a prisoner whom they clearly want to mercilessly kill except that said prisoner might have crucial information...

So let's pretend we all agree that this Iraq War thing is a vast crock of Shit based on unforgivable Lies.

O.K.? You with me? (No, just prentend, you asshole.)

O.K.

So, nevertheless, we all love and revere our "troops" who have a shitty-ass fucking miserable potentially-short scary fucking unenviable horrible fucking life right now.

Agreed?

No?

Fine, then you go over there, you urine-brained bastard.

O.K.

So.

We think the war is bullshit, and yet we want to honor and support "our troops" (unlike during Vietnam), right?

Right.

Good.

To what extent?

Do we support "our troops" when they torture people?

Sure, why not. If it's good for morale.

When they kill civilians?

Oh, Come on! Who's a "civilian"?? Are you a "civilian" when you place that magnetic ribbon on the back of your Ford Explorer??

O.K., then. Like I said, there are no civilians. Only "Good People" and "Evil-Doers."

Let's not complicate things.

Now.

"Our Troops" are fine folks. They might make mistakes, sure. But when they do, it is not the fault of their superior officers giving them orders to do certain things. That is moral relativism, and is thus unconstitutional.

No, "Our Troops" are responsible for their own actions. God will judge them according to their consciences. (And also what He has said about Right and Wrong and stuff like that.)

So, with that in mind...

What are we to make of this new "entertainment viewing television program," of the Infidel, Over There?

Does it show enough killing of Evil-Doers?

In my opinion not.

Does it sufficiently demonstrate the validity of Our Mission There?

No!!

Does it reveal the Evilness of the Enemy?

Niet!!

Well, yes, to some extent.

But not sufficiently!

Does it show the requisite Halo over the head of each American Soldier?

It does not!

Does it clearly demonstrate the fashion in which God blesses America above all other nations?

No!

No Halos can be seen!!

So.

Is this, as critics have suggested, a "Terrorist TV Show"??

Answer: Yes!

Why?

Well, because it frightens me.

I don't like to talk about this, but ... well, I ... peed myself.

I'm sorry, but I was -- yes, exactly, I was terrified! What would you do?!

Thank you. Yes. You would, yes, you would pee yourself.

And that's precisely what I did.

Like a good American.

And, as I have done for many years, I will continue to blame this inappropriate urination on the "terrorist evil-doers."

For who else could possibly be to blame?

* * *

To be every-so-slightly more serious...

The most "liberal" question you can ask in the mainstream media right now is," Are we winning or losing the 'War on Terror?'"

(You mustn't, of course, even question the soundness of the question.)

But if any publication were to pose the question, "Are we winning or losing The War Against The Iinfidel Invaders?"

What, do you think, might happen to them?

Oh?

Really?

Ouch!

Owww!

Uhhhgh!!!

Ahhh!, Stop! Stop! Owww! Ouch! Ahh! Ugh! Ugghhhghhghh! That's horrifying!

(Thank you for stopping. I appreciate it.)

(This is not much of a review of that T.V. show. Sorry. I'm pretty fucking stupid, for an American. No, really. Most Americans are pretty fucking smart. And chaste. But I'm sort of Evil... Sorry. I do keep my face covered at all times, even though I am a male, out of sympathy, if that makes it any better...)

O.K.

So, does "Over There" glorify the U.S. Military?

Yes and No.

Does it attempt to explain and/or glorify our "mission" there?

Yes and No.

Does it advocate a particular position regarding the justification or future of the War?

Not really.

Does it make us give a shit, one way or the other?

I sincerely hope so.

And I suppose that is all one can hope for, at this point.

...

Hey, I'd rather people are watching this than "Survivor" or "American Idol," or re-runs of "Hollywood Squares."

Right?

Right.

Do I think it's "good"?'

Yes.

Do I think it's "unbiased," or, "fair and balanced"?

No.

Do I think every American should watch it?

Yes.

Do I think it will alter U.S. Foreign Policy?

I don't know...

end of essay
Dustin Hansen Portrait Dustin has been a successful Washington Lobbyist for over thirty years. In 1982 he sold three of his houses in order to found the non-profit group Evangelicals for Vigilance, Integrity, and Liberty. He has served as ambassador to Uzbekistan (under Ronald Reagan), Chief Public Affairs Correspondent for Souls Anchored to Divinity TV, Senior Vice President of Christians United for our Nation's Takeback, and is the founder and CEO of Gun Owners for Dominionism. A frequent guest on many A.M. radio talk shows, his work has appeared in such prestigious publications as the Foundation for American Christian Education (face.net), the Washington Times, the New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal. | more essays by Dustin
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