Chapter 5

Gettysburg-on-the-Gulf

Major Gates: I don’t even know what we did here. … Just tell me what we did here, Ron.

Col. Horn: What do you want to do—occupy Iraq and do Vietnam all over … again? Is that what you want? Is that your brilliant idea?

Three Kings1

Savage, despicable evil. That’s what we were fighting in Iraq.

—Chris Kyle2

The Blue, the Gray, and the Difference

“What we did here.” It’s a little phrase, four one-syllable words of no extraordinary nature. When Archie Gates, a disaffected Special Forces officer, says it early in David O. Russell’s film Three Kings, he probably doesn’t deliberately echo one of the great American speeches made in time of war, Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” (1863): “The world will little note, ...

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