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IRAQ: Marines laugh, hoot, then go silent at HBO's 'Generation Kill'


The upcoming HBO miniseries "Generation Kill" may have faced its toughest, certainly its most knowledgeable, audience at its premiere Wednesday night at Camp Pendleton.

Several hundred Marines and several dozen spouses watched the first two episodes of the seven-part series, taken from Evan Wright's bestselling book about the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion during the six-week assault on Baghdad in 2003.

The Marines laughed and hooted in appreciation at the profanity, the hard-edged joking and the blatant disrespect shown toward certain officers (other officers are shown as figures worthy of admiration).

The episodes got high marks for realism, right down to details like the pizzas that were delivered from Kuwait as Marines waited for the invasion to begin, and the persistent rumor that Jennifer Lopez was dead. Chronic problems with communication gear and the lack of basic supplies (like batteries and lubricants) are also captured.

It was a young, enlisted, interactive crowd as the Marines saw things they knew to be true.

But there were moments when the audience fell silent: as Marines killed two guerrilla fighters and later as the Marines shot their way through a small town with gunfire raining down from all sides. For these scenes there was no laughing, no cheering, just heads nodding. This is a base that has suffered nearly 350 killed in Iraq and tenfold that many wounded.

"This is the real story about the real guys," former Staff Sgt. Eric Kocher, who is portrayed in the series and served as technical advisor, warned the audience before the lights went down.

— Tony Perry at Camp Pendleton

Photo: Reporter Evan Wright (played by Lee Tergesen) interviews Lt. Nathaniel Fick (Stark Sands) in a scene from the HBO miniseries "Generation Kill."

P.S. The Los Angeles Times issues a free daily newsletter with the latest headlines from the Middle East. You can subscribe by registering at the website here.

Comments () | Archives (3)

Perhaps one day they will present a series that shows the "other side" (Iraqi) of these events. As someone who has traveled throughout Iraq in a civilian capacity, I know there's much more to tell. The perspective from inside the homes of Iraqis, visiting with the parents of the dead, etc. brings another viewpoint.

P.S. I was there two months BEFORE this film takes place and have continued to travel there since.

Oohrah, I can't wait to see this. For anyone interested in this story, the character being interviewed in the picture is supposed to be Lt. Nathaniel Fick. He's actually written a book on his experiences from Officer Candidate's School, through The Basic School and into combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. I would personally highly reccommend it.

God bless the Marines.

No better friend, no worse enemy

Semper Fi

Finally. A real glimpse of the life of Marines in combat in Iraq. Most other young people havn't a clue. No sacrafise on their part demanded by our elitists govt figures, and no connection to the sacrafise these young men and women and their families suffered through. I wish those who decide to go to war would have to send their kids first. I guarantee you there would be no more wars fought like this one where we are nothing more then policemen. Shame on our govt. dems and reps alike for sending our best into combat without the full sacrafise and support of the nation that sent them. To those elitist who are responsible for this war I wish you ill will.


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