"Were not evil, just misunderstood!"
How a fictional show shot in La La Land could make anything about Iraq policy "obvious" is hard to fathom. But the series does tout its realism, as have some reviewers whove never gotten closer to Iraq than filling their gas tanks. Further, Bochco claims its politically neutral. Unfortunately, "Over There" puts reality in a body bag and is as unbiased as if scripted by a guy named Allen Qaeda.
If "Over There" has a true military advisor, he deserves the firing squad. In the first episode a squad is pinned down while besieging a terrorist-filled mosque. The unit remains for about 36 hours with no air support, because "Air is dedicated to another area." Never mind that planes or choppers are always available within minutes. They request artillery, again to no avail. Theres no armor.
In order to include women, two females from a transportation unit just happen to join the siege. In fact, they just happen to tag along for the rest of the series! Reality is sacrificed to the God of Diversity. Why didnt Bochco also include a Klingon?
Towards the end of the show a troop transport pulls off to the side of the road, an idiot thing to do since thats where improvised explosive devices are almost always buried. Naturally they roll over a powerful IED, even though the bombers have kindly marked it with little white flags. A horribly wounded soldier is then evacuated in a type of chopper not used in Iraq.
Clearly this is a military that cant even tie its bootlaces and in the immortal words of Pogo: We have met the enemy and he is us.
The terrorists are downright chummy compared to U.S. commanders. The besieging squad repeatedly suffers because of the idiotic orders of a general 75 miles away. Another off-site officer orders the troops to move forward from a relatively safe ridgeline to a completely open area. In another scene, a GI declares hed rather risk being blown to bits than tell a sergeant hes wrong.
Explosives Ordnance Disposal, incredible professionals portrayed in "Over There" as total slackers. (Photo by Michael Fumento)
The GIs ARE depicted as both brave and dedicated, as they must be in order to be proper pawns. Conversely theyre also hot-headed; they constantly bark at each other like obnoxious poodles and theres a knife fight by the second episode. Do the soldiers beat and torture prisoners? Do you have to ask?
Meanwhile the terrorists, who in reality favor "soft" civilian targets, are braver and tougher still. They make the Viet Cong look like pansies. One literally has his torso blown off and yet his legs incredibly keep marching forward. A metaphor, perhaps, for the invincibility of the terrorist Jihad?
As for American policy, thats depicted in a dream sequence in which a capture GI is given a litany of reasons for why were over there such as wanting to steal Iraqi oil, and then asked, "Your masters are liars and thieves, and yet you obey them. Why?" He doesnt deny it, rather providing the pawn answer of "Because Im a soldier!"
There have got to be a thousand true inspiring stories of courage and kindness by coalition troops during the war, but dont expect to see them on "Over There." The wealthy Mr. Bochco certainly had the resources to tour Iraq before slandering our military and turning FX into the Al Jazeera Channel. But he didnt. Perhaps he was afraid of seeing what the real truth is over there.