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

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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.

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Author Biographies

Melissa Gregg, University of Queensland

Melissa Gregg is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies at the University of Queensland. Her forthcoming book, Voices of Intervention in Cultural Studies, will be published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2006.

Glen Fuller, University of Western Sydney

Glen Fuller works as a freelance journalist, cultural consultant on films and is finishing his PhD ‘Modified: Cars and Culture’ at the Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney. His thesis critically engages with contemporary Australian modified-car culture.