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Big Daddy O'Reilly

Posted:
10/17/2016 5:22:05 PM

M*A*S*H is Anti-American?

We all know that M*A*S*H's humor was mostly anti-war satire, particularly in the earlier seasons, when Larry Gelbart drew parallels from the then-raging Vietnam War. But I was recently reading about how M*A*S*H and HOGAN'S HEROES differ from each other, and among the obvious things that we already know, I read somebody had mentioned that one of the biggest differences between the two is that HOGAN'S HEROES was always "pro-American," while M*A*S*H was always "anti-American." It was said HOGAN'S HEROES was "pro-American" because the series always depicted Hogan and his men at the all-American heroes (well, LeBeau was French and Newkirk was British) doing their duties not just as servicemen, but as patriots with their continued espionage to foul things up for the Nazi war effort, and always succeeded at it; but apparently, M*A*S*H was "anti-American" because of the doctors and nurses mentality about their situation of being in a war and always making a mockery of the American military in general.

I don't know about you guys, but I don't really see M*A*S*H as being "anti-American" in that respect. I'd agree with some who complain that the show is "liberal," because war-mongering is more a trait that conservatives observe, and if there's one thing we've seen from this show, it's that the ONLY one in camp who felt they were doing their duty and a service to their country by contributing to the war effort was the staunch, uptight, dyed-in-the-wool, uber-conservative Frank Burns. Margaret to a lesser extent, because we see as the series progresses that even she comes to hold contempt for the war in many cases as well.

phantomeagle

Posted:
10/18/2016 10:02:46 PM

Agreed.

M*A*S*H isn't Anti-American.

What it is, hoever, is Anti-gungho American. It' anti those who are pro-war, anti alien, and racists.

FinestKindinTN

Posted:
10/19/2016 1:45:46 AM

MASH was not anti-American. I never really got how questioning or criticizing government actions or policies is considered "anti-American." The United States was largely formed because of disagreements with government. Trying to shut down legitimate criticism is much more "anti-American" to me.

Big Daddy O'Reilly

Posted:
10/19/2016 7:55:15 PM

phantomeagle wrote:
M*A*S*H isn't Anti-American.

What it is, hoever, is Anti-gungho American. It' anti those who are pro-war, anti alien, and racists.

And THAT is probably why some say the show is "anti-American," because are far as conservatives go, all of that IS American.

BeccaLeo1972

Posted:
10/22/2016 4:08:27 PM

Big Daddy O'Reilly wrote:
And THAT is probably why some say the show is "anti-American," because are far as conservatives go, all of that IS American.

Mash is anti war and pro diplomacy/peaceful resolution to conflict.

Big Daddy O'Reilly

Posted:
10/24/2016 6:12:49 PM

BeccaLeo1972 wrote:
Mash is anti war and pro diplomacy/peaceful resolution to conflict.

Ah yes, once again, the exact opposite of conservatism.

prc1966

Posted:
10/25/2016 8:00:56 PM

I think when MASH made political statements, it was mostly against the type of "patriotism" that Winston Churchill described as "the conviction some people have that THEIR country is best country for the simple reason that THEY were born there." Richard Hornberger himself always asserted that his book was "anti-army" - that is against the types of attitudes and rigidity he found among career army officers. Most of the time I see MASH the television show trying to make a point that the US foreign policy is not infallible, that violence solves nothing, that "war is hell" and that there are always some people who still think of war as a manly display of courage and honor. My own opinion of the Korean War is that the US and the UN was right to go to the defense of South Korea and that North Korea was an obvious aggressor state. However, it was also true that had certain errors not been made in US policy prior to 1950, the partition of Korea could have been avoided, or the invasion of the South could have been averted. So US soldiers who were there doing the fighting obviously might have felt that the war could have been avoided and the lives being lost around them could have been saved.

FinestKindinTN

Posted:
10/30/2016 6:21:57 PM

It seemed like many of the anti-war criticisms in MASH were directed at the US or the army. At least in the context of the Korean War, these seem unfair - North Korea was the one that invaded. I'm no expert on how US policy impacted the start of the war; however, it seems that the United States is commonly blamed for many of the world's ills, deserved or not.
Conversely, criticisms on how the army operates were most likely well-deserved - I'd say most folks that have worked for any sort of organization have similar criticisms.
Back to the original question, I do not consider these criticisms "anti-American," regardless of whether they are fair or deserved or correct.

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