Surreal New Marines Ad: ‘Toward the Sound of Chaos’

As the 10-year anniversary of the Iraq War sparks somber reflection among Americans, the Marines pimp good, old-fashioned American interventionism with a troubling new recruitment video. Ominously titled “Toward the Sound of Chaos”, the ad plays like the trailer to an awesome Roland Emmerich movie, with marines rushing bravely toward some unknown danger in treacherous foreign lands. Check out these screenshots:

Don’t worry, the Marines are coming!

We even brought helicopters.

And we got these…fucking boat-tank things

Wait, those boxes say “Aid” on them. For a second there I totally thought we were invading someone. Carry on.

The video is punctuated by a haunting voice over:

“Marines move toward the sounds of tyranny, injustice and despair — with the courage and resolve to silence them. By ending conflict, instilling order and helping those who can’t help themselves, Marines face down the threats of our time.”

If you believe the ad, the US Marines are a militarized police force with global jurisdiction. It also conflates the deliverance of foreign aid with military invasion, as though the former should have anything to do with the latter. Admittedly, the “boxes o’ Aid” are my favorite part of this ad. They remind me of bags with big dollar signs on them or the energon cubes from Transformers — they perfectly emphasize the child-like perception of war at the heart of the belief in the superheroism of the US armed forces. The ad also reminds me a little of this Nazi propaganda video cheering on the Russian invasion. Let’s take a closer look:

The Marines video (left) and a Nazi propaganda film for the war with Russia (right).
You can see both videos fetishize their nation’s military might and make spectacle of massive weapons of war.

Both videos attempt to depict their invasionary forces as emissaries of peace, freedom and goodwill (the gunner on the left has a box of “Aid” behind him; an odd juxtaposition)

Maybe the video is trying to renew faith in the US armed services as a global force for good at a time when Americans are collectively reflecting on the horrible aftermath of the Iraq War, an effort the majority of Americans believe was a mistake. It’s now obvious to all but the most self-deluded that the invasion of Iraq has left both countries worse off and in need of serious healing. Hopefully, coming to terms with the abject realities of our recent foreign policy will separate Americans from the fairy-tale version of our armed services depicted in videos like this one.

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