Where is the Law in ‘Unlawful Combatant’?: Resisting the Refrain of the Right-eous

Melissa Gregg
Glen Fuller


The rhythms of war and popular culture intermingle, amplify each other and become expressive. At the leading edge of the US military’s war machine assemblage, as the nation of Iraq is deterritorialised from the despotic signifier ‘Saddam Hussein’, the soldiers’ music consolidates a milieu of the battlefield. It also consolidates a space-time of the here-now with something less horrific. The popular music refrain produces a home away from home. In their patriotism, many of these singer–soldiers see a religious act. When someone is saying ‘God is on our side’ they are no longer talking about the nation-based context for which, whatever the rules of war might be, such rules are relevant. They’re talking about a Holy War. It has different rules. How to hold them to any actual account is the difficulty we seek to explore here.


music; war; holy war; Iraq; patriotism; popular culture; soldiers; battlefield; US military; Saddam Hussein

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/csr.v11i2.3664