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Land of Confusion

March 18, 2009 by Heather

After watching the conclusion to Jeremy’s film, I’ve been very upset.  I absolutely disagree with watching weekend warriors complain about their experience.

I don’t believe this film was intended for a military audience, but rather the susceptible American public.  It seemed to want you to feel pity for these soldiers who had no hot water, washing machines, or gear as the prepared to go to war.  However, active duty personnel go through this on a daily basis.  Furthermore, what do you think the people standing in their shoes two hundred years ago had?

As I watched the film, I became even more enraged by soldiers who openly questioned why they were in Iraq and disrespected their commander in chief.  This only gives more ammo to the American public and their call to end the war.  If the armed forces don’t believe we should be there, then we definitely shouldn’t be in Iraq.  Right?

Wrong!  The President and other appointed officials felt the need for us to be there and so we are there.  Therefore, the American public should stand behind its elected officials—and its troops.  Furthermore, the troops should be standing behind the President.  Yet somewhere, the soldiers in the film forgot this and their oath.  They enlisted, affirming to serve their country and in doing so, swore to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and “obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over [them], according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”  Therefore, what these soldiers said was in violation of the what they SWORE to do, not to mention the UCMJ.  What’s worse is they did it in uniform.

As for Jeremy’s answer that a film does not always dictate the opinions of the producer, if he didn’t feel the same way, why didn’t he make any attempt to tell both sides?  I’m sure there were soldiers proud to serve there country and believed in the cause, even in the National Guard.


As for the actual film, I believe Jeremy could have told the story better by omitting the soldiers complaining in Iraq and the section on KBR.  I think it would have been better, if he just told what life was like.  It would have been okay to leave the footage about the conditions at Fort Dix, but then interview soldiers about their expectations of Iraq, followed by actual life in Iraq.  However, I don’t think he told the story this way because he was trying for a very specific arc in the story.  He wanted to show the soldiers going through all different conditions (lack of gear and commodities; homesickness; jealously of what others (KBR) had; death of comrades) and how this transformed them to now say what they were saying.

The part of the film I thought was especially good was when Jeremy showed soldiers watching their kids in Iraq.  You could almost feel the pain the individual was feeling as he showed video of the child, then switched to the face of the soldier.

The last technique I noticed Jeremy using was his voice over.  He used this as exposition, since many scenes did not give the viewer enough information.



March 20, 2009

While I too was shocked about what was said by the soldiers, I felt it had a very good place in the film (as you mentioned) by showing why they felt the way they did by the end of the film. It is hard to say whether or not there was much of an opposing point of view (as it was never shown) by the soldiers.

I too had my complaints and thought some of my upper echelon leaders (especially Bush) were idiots. And I would say things at times… though I doubt I would have said them on film other than “not a fan of Bush”. But still I did my job. And like it or not nothing was going to change that. Actions speak louder than words and I guess I’d have let them complain as long as it didn’t get out of hand and they DID THEIR JOB TO ITS FULLEST.

But then again, the National Guard is a different beast than active duty.

Michael Moore
Cairnbrook, PA
November 12, 2009

I, too, am a veteran of Iraq. I spent a year in Ramadi at it’s worst time. I was with the 876th Combat Engineer Battalion, what you term “weekend warriors.” Not all “weekend warriors” complained while over there. We didn’t. I spent 9 years in the active army before getting out. When we arrived, I was appalled by the attitude of the unit we replaced, the 2nd Infantry Division. They were an active duty unit, and they didn’t seem to care about anything. While there, we made our 12 mile section of the MSR the safest in the area, despite countless IED and mortar attacks while doing this. Our replacements were also active duty, the 2nd Armored Division, and when I saw how they were actng while we were trying to show them what we did, I told them they had better wise up or the enemy would make them pay. My squad leader, a staff sergeant, ordered one of their sergeants out of the AO for falling asleep on his first day at guard. They tore down a critical OP that we had established, and we had advised them very strongly against doing so. Sad to say, 16 hours after they tore down that OP, an IED was placed there, and the day after we left three of their soldiers were killed there by an IED. They didn’t want to hear what we had to teach them because we were “weekend warriors.” I don’t know how it was in the Marines, but the Stars and Stripes commented that the National Guard was doing a far superior job than the active duty Army. In our case, I could see that this was true.

Michael Moore
Cairnbrook, PA
November 12, 2009

Oh, and I forgot to add that I would go back there or to Afghanistan in a heartbeat.

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