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Ear to the Ground

Mike Farrell: HBO’s ‘Baghdad ER’ an ‘Excruciating’ Must-See

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Posted on May 24, 2006
Baghdad E.R.
From HBO

The HBO documentary mini-series “Baghdad ER” premiered May 21.

The actor best known for portraying an Army doctor on the TV show “M*A*S*H” writes that the HBO documentary series “Baghdad ER,” about an Army emergency hospital in Iraq, made him want to scream in rage and frustration at the people who created this war.


Mike Farrell—excerpted at Crooks and Liars:

I saw “Baghdad ER” on HBO last night (Sunday, May 21). I’d heard that the Defense Dept. had issued warnings urging servicemen and women back from Iraq to be wary of watching as it might trigger PTSD symptoms.  Perhaps they hoped those about to go wouldn’t watch as well, for fear they might not show up.

“Baghdad ER” is a documentary about a “CASH,” a Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad. I recommend it for every American, but the queasy be warned: it is excruciating. I cringed at the gore, was sickened by the death, wept at the frustration and resignation of the medics, at the faith of the chaplain, at the simple, shocked, blank expressions on the faces of kids younger than my son ? victims of this fool’s war.  Listening to the bravado of some, aching to comfort those who came in knowing they were hurt but not how badly, made me want to scream. Watching this horrifying, endless process, the tears on my face kept drying from the heat of my anger. Glorious, generous, talented, dedicated human beings forced to be part of this circus of carnage made me so furious I couldn’t speak at the end.

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