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Arrogance of Power
September 20, 2003 11:25 AM   Subscribe

US soldier kills rare tiger in Iraq zoo
...during a drunken night of revelry involving - you guessed it - feeding the animals. Geez, this occupation gets better every day.
posted by mapalm (100 comments total)

 
While I think the situation was avoidable and reprehensible, the tiger did maul the guy's arm and tear off his finger. What were the other soldiers supposed to do, stand there and do nothing and let the tiger rip him apart?
posted by MegoSteve at 11:36 AM on September 20, 2003


The point is that a bunch of drunk guys were tormenting a wild, caged animal, and the animal understandably acted to protect itself and its territory. Stupidity, plain and simple.
posted by mapalm at 11:39 AM on September 20, 2003


Wow, you mean drunk guys do stupid stuff? Even soldiers on a night off? Whatta revelation!

But hey, it also allows us to rehash the same unending argument we've been having for months, where no one is ever convinced of anything and pointless invective gets hurled, resulting in stupid shitfights. Whoopee!
posted by jonmc at 11:44 AM on September 20, 2003


Not saying what they did was right. But if you put a few hundred thousand men and women in the middle of a shitty situation away from their family and friends you're going to have some random acts of stupidity. Nobody is at blame here other than the soldiers who did the deed and human nature it's self. (Well, that, and the guys who put them there in first place, but let's not open that flamewar.)

On preview, what jonmc said.
posted by klaruz at 11:49 AM on September 20, 2003


Hmmm. MeTa might be a better place for this, but this is really turning into a worry trend. I think maybe you would be better off posting stories about good things about Democrats, than all of this bile about Republicans, and the war they started, and who killed what tiger.

It's like Michael Moore at the Oscars. I for one did not say, "there is a screaming, aimless, sweaty fat man that I can really relate to."
posted by jon_kill at 11:51 AM on September 20, 2003


Worry trend, worrying trend... I'm sure somewhere they mean the same thing.
posted by jon_kill at 11:51 AM on September 20, 2003


can I just feel sad about the tiger? thanks.
posted by muckster at 11:52 AM on September 20, 2003


muckster- sure, but to paraphrase Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now getting indignant about this incident in the midst the insanity that is the war is like getting irked about reckless driving during a demolition derby.

I also suppose that if the tiger had killed the soldier, that would have been a hilarious "Darwin Award" chuckle for some of y'all. Which others would have found as offensive as the behavior of the drunk soldiers. And they'd both be right and full of crap and hypocritical, too. This is precisely the type of discussion that makes me despair of the twains ever meeting as they say.
posted by jonmc at 12:00 PM on September 20, 2003


What were the other soldiers supposed to do, stand there and do nothing and let the tiger rip him apart?

Well, they never would do such a thing, but since you're asking, Yes, I would prefer they just let the guy get torn apart. When the choice is between a drunk, armed idiot and an endangered species, I'll chose the endangered species.
posted by dobbs at 12:05 PM on September 20, 2003


When the lion of Kabul, who bore permanent injury from a grenade thrown at him from a Taliban soldier after the lion defended himself from tormenting soldiers looking to show off, the reaction wasn't exactly "what do you expect, they're just men out for a night of fun, shit happens".

I guess the Americans who did this are our sons of bitches, so they get treated differently.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:06 PM on September 20, 2003


I guess the Americans who did this are our sons of bitches, so they get treated differently.

Yeah, let's get real. I'd like to see any of you prosecute an illegal war and an unplanned occupation being policed by infantry without having to kill a couple of tigers. We get it: War kills tigers. Everyone knows that.

Anti-tiger-killingfilter.

*yawn*
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:15 PM on September 20, 2003


I'm sure that there'll be a nice sign up in the zoo now saying: 'Sorry kids, we know you wanted to see the tiger, but a bunch of drunken US soldiers shot it.' Yeah, that'll go down well with the Muslim population.

Hearts and minds won every day.
posted by riviera at 12:16 PM on September 20, 2003


You got it space coyote, our men did it in fun. The taliban did it out of oppression.
I feel bad about the tiger, (though surprised and impressed it was still alive) but I feel worse for the Iraqis. I fall into the same trap as most people, who hear about animal casualties and feel more pity for them than other humans.
I do want to know if that makes him eligible for the purple heart, though.
posted by Busithoth at 12:16 PM on September 20, 2003


When the choice is between a drunk, armed idiot and an endangered species, I'll chose the endangered species

Wow, more typical environmentalist claptrap, i.e. the lives of animals trump the lives of humans. Do you think its ok to let people die (or to kill people) in order to save the lives of animals? I've met people like that, people with doctorates who should probably be locked away in institutions.

Any soldiers in their shoes would have done the same thing, its human nature.

Tormenting this animal was not justified, but what the hell did you expect to happen during an occupation? It's like being served shit on a plate at a fancy French restaurant and complaining that it wasn't warm.

I disagreed with this war from the start, and I still do, and the problem of occupation is just one of the reasons I'm against it. If anything, I'm not surprised.

What about the Iraqis that died? Or the ones that will probably die in the coming months? Has the whole world gone crazy? Does anyone give a shit about them. What the hell is wrong with you people? People are dying (Afghanistan) and all I see is whining about a fuzzy critter getting mowed down. I guess that's liberal guilt for you.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:20 PM on September 20, 2003


personally i agree with Martin Sheen, but Space Coyote makes a good point.

choice quote from this thread:
Regular Afghan folk seem to not have the same reverence for animal life that a lot of people have here.
posted by carfilhiot at 12:26 PM on September 20, 2003


You got it space coyote, our men did it in fun. The taliban did it out of oppression.


O.K. to torment endangered species as long as I am having fun. Good to know.
posted by jester69 at 12:35 PM on September 20, 2003


Poor tiger...
posted by Space Coyote at 12:37 PM on September 20, 2003


i don't agree with the occupation, i feel extremely bad that an endangered species has been killed, but i have to wonder if this would have even made the news if it was an iraqi citizen who committed the deed.

seems like more ammo for the naysayers than anything else.
posted by poopy at 12:43 PM on September 20, 2003


"One of the soldiers, who the Iraqi police said had drunk a lot, went into the cage against the advice of his colleagues and tried to feed the animal, who severely hurt his arm," he explained to AFP.


This is "tormenting" the animal? More like the soldier was stupid and drunk -- an easy target -- and the tiger very naturally decided to try to eat him.
posted by odin53 at 12:47 PM on September 20, 2003


The incident shouldn't have occurred at all. US soldiers need to preform with a modicum of self-control in any public situation. The Occupation of Iraq is to be won or lost not through military might alone, but through public relations. This incident is significant in that it will not be viewed fondly on the Iraqi streets - it only feeds the image of US soldiers as oppressors.

Many here, however, have jumped a little too quickly to assume this incident will go unpunished. I would assume that a number of soldiers and their immediate superiors are going to be in serious hot water over this. I hope the appropriate parties are punished quickly and publicly.

On preview: What poopy said
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:47 PM on September 20, 2003


Too bad the tiger didn't take more off of the soldier when he had the chance. The soldier was a complete dumbass to have wanted to feed the tiger.

Unless Osama and/or Saddam were in the tiger's cage, that soldier had no business in there.

Score one for the undercat.
posted by birdherder at 1:00 PM on September 20, 2003


I've known a number of people in the armed forces and this sort of dumb-ass behavior does not appear to be rare.

Of course, maybe I just know a lot of dumb-asses.

Oh, and insomnyuk: yeah, we're all feeling sorry for the tiger because we're weak-kneed liberals who hate humans. You really hit the nail on the head with that one.
posted by bshort at 1:10 PM on September 20, 2003


This is "tormenting" the animal? More like the soldier was stupid and drunk -- an easy target -- and the tiger very naturally decided to try to eat him.

It's far more likely the tiger was just defending its territory against this invader. The tiger could have killed the soldier instantly but didn't. I think it was a warning swipe.

and what elwood said.
posted by amberglow at 1:11 PM on September 20, 2003


Any soldiers in their shoes would have done the same thing, its human nature.

It's human nature to get drunk and think 'I know -- I'll go and feed the tiger in the zoo'? I think you're mistaking 'human nature' with 'fratboy impulse'.
posted by riviera at 1:22 PM on September 20, 2003


This incident is significant in that it will not be viewed fondly on the Iraqi streets - it only feeds the image of US soldiers as oppressors.

How dare they oppress animals by trying to feed them. Fascists!
posted by dhoyt at 1:27 PM on September 20, 2003


As a member of a fraternity I take exception to that remark riviera! We much prefer feeding beer to freshman women.
posted by insomnyuk at 1:29 PM on September 20, 2003


What kind of fucked up people elevate the interests of an overgrown cat above an actual human being? Answer? Furries.
posted by paleocon at 1:29 PM on September 20, 2003


If ever there was a case for abortion, paleocon, you just gave the best one I've heard.
posted by insomnyuk at 1:41 PM on September 20, 2003


but i have to wonder if this would have even made the news if it was an iraqi citizen who committed the deed.

If it was an iraqi solder and it happened before the invasion it probably would have been on Bush's list of reasons Iraq was in desparate need of liberation.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:41 PM on September 20, 2003


Oh this is rich! Gotta love the entertainment value of this so called war.

MegoSteve: "What were the other soldiers supposed to do, stand there and do nothing and let the tiger rip him apart?"

Hey. They warned the idiot not to get into the cage to feed the animal. Good God has this creep never been to an American zoo? Just cuz the sign saying "please don't feed the animals" is not in english, that's no reason to assume it's suddenly okay. I mean if I'm driving down a street and I wanna U-turn, I look around for a No U-turn sign and if I see one I don't U. If I don't see one I do U. However I am aware that a U Turn can still be dangerous so I take precautions. It's not quite the same if you're looking in the cage at a bengal tiger and there's not a "please don't feed the animals" sign. You just don't feed the damn animals, whether there's a sign or not. Whether you're armed to the teeth and drunk on Red Dog Twenty Twenty or not. There's also usually not a sign reading "please don't unlock the cage and climb in with the tiger holding an AK47" because the people who make these signs assume that most people are smart enough to know that on their own.

Jonmc: "...it also allows us to rehash the same unending argument we've been having for months..."

Just months? Where you been? There were similar arguments back in the late 60s and early 70s. Make love not war. Please don't feed the animals. Keep off the grass. I mean this is a very old argument.

Jonmc: "This is precisely the type of discussion that makes me despair of the twains ever meeting as they say."

Not me! If the twains ever met, we'd have nothing to argue about, and people like George Carlin would be outta work. I say keep the twains apart. Never shall they meet, and you and I shall just sit here and watch the stars go out. It'll be fun!

Dobbs: When the choice is between a drunk, armed idiot and an endangered species, I'll chose the endangered species
Insomnyuk: Wow, more typical environmentalist claptrap

Actually it's math.

You can't sell tickets to see a drunk soldier peeing in his pants. You can sell a lot of tickets to see a rare breed of animal trapped in a cage. Drunk soldiers are more plentiful than bengal tigers, which don't exactly come a dime a dozen. Drunk soldiers are easier to replace than engangered tigers, so they're more expendable. Rare tigers make more money. ..Or is that too much typical conservative claptrap for you? Simple economics, really.

Busithoth: "I do want to know if that makes him eligible for the purple heart, though."

Me too! I mean we are at war, after all. A war on terror. That drunk was terrorizing the bengal tiger. The tiger terrorized the drunk back. The drunk peed in his pants. What's not to love? I say give all the boys in that group purple hearts. They deserved it. It's Miller Time.

Insomnyuk: "...all I see is whining about a fuzzy critter getting mowed down. I guess that's liberal guilt for you."

Well you ain't lookin' too hard. I don't see liberal guilt. I see human compassion for those who have died on all fronts of this "war on no one in particular." I see shock at the audacity that the American government is getting away with a lot of crap, and this "minor incident" with the tiger is just indicative of how much America's getting away with. I see frustration at public impotence to stop the momentum. I see apathy on the part of the American people who may or may not agree Shrub's people are doing the right thing but we sure aren't doing jack shit to stop him now are we? Why? Well the frustration of our impotence comes back into play. We're powerless to stop him, yet we (less than half of us) voted the bastard in.

I mean you may find it perilously wrong of people to make any stink about this tiger incident, Insomnyuk, but we're all just commenting on the whole affair and every little itty bit of it like a bunch of armchair quarterbacks lined up. Sitting in our easy chairs throwing popcorn at the screen. FOUL BALL we cry, but damn if we're gonna git up off our asses and change the channel, or write to our congressmen. Like that'd do any good. So we just sit there and get fatter and yell at the screen, because even if we don't like The Occupation, we also know we don't like any of the alternatives. It's a kobayashi maru. America's damned no matter what we do.

But in the meantime, it'd be nice if our brave men and women of the armed forces would show a little restraint and stop FEEDING THE GODDAMNED ANIMALS THEN SHOOTING THEIR HEADS OFF. That would make both the efforts of war and the efforts of peace all that much easier if we didn't have to also contend with our intoxicated and dehydrated militia putting salt in the wound and inventing or complicating problems.

But then as I said, this "so called war," a war on nothing in particular, wouldn't be as entertaining if things like this didn't happen. I say we should send more alcohol to Iraq. And more bullets. And Bronson Pinchot. And Italian diplomats for target practice.

Hell! Let's just nuke Tikrit! I bet that'll look good on Good Morning America, huh? Sure! Good for a couple ratings points. They'd have to time it right to make sure all the cameras are positioned. We wanna get multiple angles of the carnage and destruction, so we can play the footage over and over again for the next two years.

Oh by the way, did any of the army guys happen to have a camera when that idiot went into the cage? We need to see that after this next commercial break. Is "Current Affair" still on the air? If the footage exists I'm sure they could get it.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:53 PM on September 20, 2003


This is very symbolic and that is why it gets news and discussed endlessly. A bound animal lashes out at American soldier when it feels threatened by the unfamiliar and misunderstood encroachment of the soldier, who was playing "look at the dumb purty animal." After it lashes out, soldier's brother in arms react swiftly and decisively to end the situation. And tensions and resentments rise. This is a metaphor for some of the typical problems of occupation, with occupiers acting condescendingly to the locals who misunderstand heavy handed but naively good hearted actions as a threat and lash out, only to find themselves on the working end of an M16 when things get out of hand. The fact that this was an endangered animal born in the zoo who couldn't get out of Iraq or the war zone no matter how much he wanted merely adds another nice layer to the metaphor.

Most of these cats were Uday's. He probably liked the feeling of power granted to him by his big deadly pets, sort of like the guy who must own a pit bull in the states. How different were the motivations of the soldiers wanting to drink and party in the presence of the rare Bengal Tiger? Knowing how the military views such blunders of decorum that get made hopelessly public, I bet the fellas will truly be sorry this ever happened.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 1:54 PM on September 20, 2003


The AP reports: "A U.S. soldier shot and killed a tiger at the Baghdad zoo after it bit another soldier who had reached through the bars of its cage to feed it, a zoo security guard said Saturday."

This makes it sound like the soldier wasn't actually in the cage with the tiger, in which case there was absolutely no need to shoot it.
posted by homunculus at 2:08 PM on September 20, 2003


After googling for more reports I found this at Reuters:

At the tiger's now-empty cage, pools of blood showed that the soldier passed through a first cage intended only for keepers and was standing right up against the inner cage's narrow bars.

So the soldier wasn't actually in the cage with the tiger, but putting his arm through the bars. In many ways that makes the killing of the tiger more tragic since it seems unnecessary. Like I said above, this is the kind of PR that fuels anti-American feelings through out Iraq.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:19 PM on September 20, 2003


*chugchugchug*
Pvt: "Lookit over there there's a kitten."
Sgt: "Uh, private?"
Pvt: "Huh whuzzat?"
Sgt: "That's not a kitten."
Pvt: "Shore it iz."
*glubglubglub*
Sgt: "Private where you going?"
Pvt: "I wanna see the kitten."
Maj: "Sargeant? What's the private doing?"
Sgt: "Uh, private?"
*clang!*
Maj: "Private don't go in there!"
Cap: "It's okay major, there's two doors."
Maj: "Huh?"
Cap: "There's two doors. That's how they feed the tiger."
Pvt: "Here kitty kitty kitty."
Cap: "There's the outer cage door then a place to put food and then a second cage door that they open remotely after the first one's been closed."
Pvt: "There's a good kitty kitty kitty."
Sgt: "Private! Get back here!"
Cap: "Really major it's okay."
Maj: "Obviously captain, we have differing opinions on the definition of the word okay."
Pvt: "Oooh c'mere kitty kitty kitty."
Maj: "Sargeant!?"
Sgt: "Yes sir?"
Maj: "Get your private away from that pussy before I demote you both to latrine duty until we find Osama!"
Pvt: "I wanna pet you yes I do! Yes I do!"
Sgt: "Private! Step away from the cage!"
Pvt: "Whooze a good kitten? Whooze a good kitten? Yes you are yes you are---"
*CHOMP*
Sgt: "BAD KITTEN!"
BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM!!


Am I the only one who finds this whole thing Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off funny? Come on! Who's with me here?
posted by ZachsMind at 2:42 PM on September 20, 2003


I usually try to resist commenting in these IraqWar threads, for the simple reason that jonmc mentioned: nothing ever gets resolved, and nobody's mind gets changed. Even a really interesting item about the war (that could potentially engender a worthwhile debate) becomes a stick to beat the other guy with.

However, in this case I think I'll make an exception.

All of you who support the war, or disagree with the war but support "the troops" need to understand one thing:

Anything bad that happens in Iraq is America's fault.

I know this may not make a lot of sense to a lot of you, and it certainly isn't fair, but that's the deal. The USA is calling the shots now, and guess who takes the rap when things go bad?

Whether its the unreliable water and electricity supply, or the killing of Iraqi protestors, or friendly-fire incidents, or terrorist attacks, or the drunken killing of Baathist tigers, it doesn't matter. People in Iraq will blame America.

You break it, you bought it.
posted by pooligan at 3:07 PM on September 20, 2003


"You break it, you bought it."

Yes. And the beauty of it is, it was broken before we bought it, and we're blamed for that too. Cuz we helped put Saddam in there in the first place. So there's just no fixing this, no matter how you look at it. There's no spin that's gonna iron out the wrinkles. There's no industrial strength cleaner to get the blood off our hands. "Out out damn spot!" Maybe Lady Macbeth was the only sane one.

America has become the bad guy. Or rather we've BEEN the bad guy since before Kennedy got assassinated, but it just took us a few decades or so to realize it. We're just corrupt hypocrites pretending to be the savior of the world. That "anti-christ" those annoying tele-evangelists have been blabbing about for years, pointing fingers everywhere BUT the American government, claiming they know who it's gonna be? Claiming everyone from the Ayatollah to Michael Jackson is the anti-christ? Heh. We are it. It's really kinda funny when you stop to think about it.

So. Who's for getting mauled by a tiger? *raises hand*
posted by ZachsMind at 3:54 PM on September 20, 2003


Ladies, gentlemen; its just a f@%king tiger! Why such an uproar? (Sorry for the pun, I had to.)
posted by bwinnard at 4:02 PM on September 20, 2003


What about the Iraqis that died? Or the ones that will probably die in the coming months? Has the whole world gone crazy? Does anyone give a shit about them. What the hell is wrong with you people? People are dying (Afghanistan) and all I see is whining about a fuzzy critter getting mowed down. I guess that's liberal guilt for you.

insomnyuk, if memory serves me, you were never banned from reading metafilter - just posting to it. so, you really don't have any excuse for having missed the umpteen threads decrying the killing of innocent Iraqis - and American soldiers who shouldn't have been sent there. I know you get worked up easily, but really... you need some practice determining whether your emotions match up with the reality you shriek against when you post here.
posted by stonerose at 4:05 PM on September 20, 2003


Excuse me, but I didn't see any mention that there would be charges of "Conduct Unbecoming." In civilian life, you can't be prosecuted for stupidity. Not so in the military. So where are the charges?

I feel for the tiger; I really do. But what's done is done. The real shame isn't that it happened or that America is at fault; its that there are those who would excuse it without looking for due process. A military crime was commited. I want to see the charges leveled against the moron who instigated this incedent. If this occupation is to have any efficacy left, then due process has to be followed. Charge that asshole. (And just so no one misunderstands, I'm talkin' about "lefty", not the one who shot the tiger.)
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:12 PM on September 20, 2003


you need some practice determining whether your emotions match up with the reality you shriek against when you post here.

oh, put a sock in it.
posted by clavdivs at 4:17 PM on September 20, 2003


Enough of "these things happen" posts. Where do you draw the line? Civilian casualties? Rape? Theft? War crimes?

> Excuse me, but I didn't see any mention that there would be charges of "Conduct Unbecoming."

Exactly. Justice should be the more powerful part of the "anything goes in war" equation. Frankly, many soldiers regardless of their excuses (lousy war, long time away, etc) require strict discipline to keep them in line. They're the ones holding the machine guns and driving the tanks, ya know. These guys simply don't deserve to serve or the very least are in need of some serious punishment.

The worst part here is that the anti-American sentiment in Iraq probably went up 4 or 5 notches because of this. Meanwhile Bush is on his hands and knees (or maybe just on his knees :) ) convincing the more responsible world powers to help with his arguably illegal adventurism in Iraq. Yeah, I'm sure they want to side with a shooting gallery military who's been ordered to best protect the oil ministries, ignore everything else if need be, and when on off time killing animals in the zoo.

The above is not a real concrete and objective picture of what the US military is doing in Iraq but it will stick in the heads of many people, some influencial. Some building roadside bombs as I type this.
posted by skallas at 4:39 PM on September 20, 2003


insomnyuk:What the hell is wrong with you people? People are dying (Afghanistan) and all I see is whining about a fuzzy critter getting mowed down. I guess that's liberal guilt for you.

There have been endless threads regarding civilian casualties, military casualities, etc. You inability to remember them or choose to ignore them to make a pathetic stab at so-called "liberals" shows there's most likely a problem with you.

Not to mention your flying off the handle nonsense you tend to pull here.

stonerose: you need some practice determining whether your emotions match up with the reality you shriek against when you post here.

Exactly. This guy is a troll.
posted by skallas at 4:42 PM on September 20, 2003


There have been endless threads regarding civilian casualties, military casualities, etc

and it's such a nice change to have one about a tiger instead.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:29 PM on September 20, 2003


Excuse me, but I didn't see any mention that there would be charges of "Conduct Unbecoming."

Are you referring to the UCMJ article addressed as 'Conduct Unbecoming an Officer? I'm not sure of their rank status, but if they are enlisted, they don't fall under that. The one might be prosecuted under Art. 134, or General Article, which you can throw in anything that makes the Armed Services look bad or there isn't a technical rule against.

Doubtfully will the dummy have a bright career ahead of him. Anyway how many people have been mauled and had their finger bitten off? I would rather take some prison time.

Easy on the outrage. It just happened and you shouldn't expect instant results. Justice must take its time to ensure it covers the whole picture, eh?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 6:45 PM on September 20, 2003


Is "Current Affair" still on the air? If the footage exists I'm sure they could get it.
C'mon, Zach, you know Fox would do a special edition of When Animals Attack just for this footage... (And turn down the sarcasm level below 11, I like you and don't want to accuse you of trolling).

When the choice is between a drunk, armed idiot and an endangered species, I'll chose the endangered species

Wow, more typical environmentalist claptrap, i.e. the lives of animals trump the lives of humans.


There is just something special about tigers. I'll leave further comment to suggesting you re-read the links in this old MetaFilter post.
posted by wendell at 6:51 PM on September 20, 2003


(1) after 911 and afghanistan, we were arrogant and america was the driving force behind invading iraq. having dissolved all 'exhaustive measures' to handle the iraqi situation peacefully, america decided to thumb it's big fat honker of a nose at the rest of the world, wave a huge 'fuck you' flag at the protesters, and then proceeded to 'liberate' those who were living under an oppressive regime.

(2) during an *obviously assurred* military victory, the US brains began to realize that it wasn't about military conquest at all. slowly - very slowly - the 'powers that be' began to see that there's a whole other world out there with real people, not just the patriotic americans who supported the 'freedom fries' coalition against france because, well, they 'hurt our lil feelings'.

(3) after an easy military victory, we now find ourselves in a sort of diplomatic quagmire; every little mistake is captured on cameras and newspapers around the world. the 'quick fix' wasn't so kindly. wow! how surprising.

(4) an isolated incident involving a drunk and obviously stupid US soldier ends in the death of an endangered species. the 'enemies' of the occupation will use this as further evidence to support their position of US warmongering when in all probability this was just a drunken soldier and his comrades who made a very very stupid mistake.

this story isn't about an endagered specious that was needlessly killed due to some drunken people; it's about ammunition for the 'i told you so' kind of bullshit.

(5) any argument suggesting otherwise (at least here on mefi) will be shot down almost immediately as 'troll', 'strawman', 'whatever'.
posted by poopy at 8:21 PM on September 20, 2003


hey, poopy--the vast majority of the world was against our going into Iraq...you can be damn sure they're watching our every move there (we're all watching too). You would rather we and they didn't hear of all the things going on there (both pro- and anti-us)?

Mistake or not, isn't the task there hard enough without giving Iraqis more reason to hate us? (especially through drunken stupidity.)
posted by amberglow at 8:31 PM on September 20, 2003


The drunk peed in his pants.....It's Miller Time.

Amazingly Miller is just like Pee.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:34 PM on September 20, 2003


poopy:
It did happen, right? Did a bunch of war opponents stage the whole incident? It seems a bit odd to write off the importance of an incident because it is likely to bolster a certain point of view. Not to compare tigers to humans, but was My Lai a "stupid mistake" or something that never would have happened in the first place without the US starting an elective war about ideas?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:36 PM on September 20, 2003


"It's like Michael Moore at the Oscars. I for one did not say, "there is a screaming, aimless, sweaty fat man that I can really relate to.""

If that's all you can say about Michael Moore (to paint him in a negative light) then... ok, I don't think your a complete idiot.... Abraham Lincoln was a pretty tall guy, even a little freakishly tall. Time to throw everything else out and focus on his genetic makeup. Right? Wrong.
posted by Keyser Soze at 8:38 PM on September 20, 2003


...and those ears
posted by clavdivs at 8:44 PM on September 20, 2003


yes amberglow: i would prefer it if all the critics/fans would just shut the fuck up. yeah, that's it.

Ignatius J. Reilly: first of all, whoever said anything about staging? secondly, i'll keep your opinion in mind the next time an american soldier defecates in the woods, potentially disturbing iraqi soil.

how could this mefi response be predicted? let me count the ways.
posted by poopy at 9:02 PM on September 20, 2003


but what would you prefer poopy? you haven't given any options. should this not be reported? should it be reported only outside of Iraq? should it be reported only inside Iraq?
what?

and Ignatius and I are asking you questions, not calling you names. What are the options for news from Iraq? I think it's better that we hear all of it--the good and the bad.
posted by amberglow at 9:14 PM on September 20, 2003


Enough of "these things happen" posts. Where do you draw the line? Civilian casualties? Rape? Theft? War crimes?

Corporate white-collar crime? (but they solved that, right?) Government's falsifying information to further foreign policy agendas?

I agree with Skallas. Growing disinterested in something terrible simply because so many other terrible things happen is inevitably going to happen--at least on occasion--but is precisely the thing one should attempt to fight, lest you end up doing the same, encouraged by adolescent everyone-else-was-doing-it reasoning.

Unless, you know, it's just cool to be oh so jaded. Although if that was the case, I would suggest you wouldn't be so up-in-arms about people who actually do care about something like this. Maybe when you're confronted with your own apathy it makes you a little uncomfortable.
posted by The God Complex at 9:27 PM on September 20, 2003


oh dear, dear amberglow ( 'dear, dear' meaning i'm trying to belittle your argument and make you look like a complete fool, see:) ) , when have i or anyone else said that this shouldn't have been reported?

as far as options goes, well, i would have to agree with you: we shouldn't have gotten ourselves in this mess in the first place and as pooligan said, 'we break it, we bought it'

but to suggest that an isolated incident involving american troops and the death of an endangered species is more 'evidence' of why we shouldn't have invaded is just hogwash. there's plenty of reasons out there to support your argument, but this just makes you (and me) look desperate.

and as far as humans vs. tigers goes, well, i'd happily slit my wrists if that meant our kind would cease to exist.
posted by poopy at 9:37 PM on September 20, 2003


There's been not one person suggesting anything of the kind in this thread, poopy (except you).
posted by amberglow at 9:51 PM on September 20, 2003


who is this 'The God Complex' and why does he say exactly what i wanted to say?
posted by goneill at 9:55 PM on September 20, 2003


˜ zing! ˜

you got me there amberglow. whoa.

now tell me: considering our current situation in iraq and the fact that i (or anyone else for that matter) haven't proposed any options... what would you advise?

if there are other options i would love to hear them. however, if your just going to play the blamegame, then you have a wiiiiide audience right here who are more than willing to cheer you on.
posted by poopy at 10:10 PM on September 20, 2003


Unless, you know, it's just cool to be oh so jaded.

Oh, if only that were so. Believe me I wish I still had any ideals left that haven't been shattered by human nature and just growing up and realizing that the world dosen't match up to my expectations for it and that's just tough shit.

I dunno about everybody else, but trust me cynicism is not something I wish I had, but there it is.
posted by jonmc at 10:11 PM on September 20, 2003


The Clavdivs Plan for getting combat troops out of Iraq

1.0 have them form an effective police force and interim government

1.1 have, wait, give them an army.

1.2 have them form a secret police. (refer to 1.0)

1.3 sell them what they need at cost. (this is subject to what the need is.)

1.4 dispel any cultural epistemological naivety.

1.5 Leave.

((this means keep your smart ass comments like they need a Wal-mart in the comedy pocket, they need the means to produce what they can, not the building in which to sell it))
posted by clavdivs at 10:29 PM on September 20, 2003


if there are other options i would love to hear them.

One major option would be to police Iraq with troops trained for policing. Seeing as how the current occupation force was trained and deployed by an administration with an outspoken beef against "nation-building," it would probably be wise if those MP-type troops came from elsewhere. So that's one option.

Another option would be to flesh out exactly what went wrong--instutionally and structurally--in order to avoid similar uninformed rushes to war in the future.

Yet another would be for the US to be frank and concilliatory in admitting their mistakes. You may see the tiger thing as some random incident, but I see such mishaps as being endemic to a military occupation being performed by soldiers trained in war and not in peacekeeping (or zookeeping, for that matter).

There are numerous options at this point, and while it would be dishonest to claim that any one of them is perfectly obvious or without pitfall, it is just blind to pretend that there are no choices to be made, or that they should be made without the benefit of all the information that can be marshalled.

poopy:
I know we're supposed to be arguing here, but I sort of lost track and have found myself wholly agreeing with you about the futility of the blame game--at least as such. Here are my thoughts (self-link) on the matter, which I won't paste here.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:34 PM on September 20, 2003


Speaking of the "blame game:" this story isn't about an endagered specious that was needlessly killed due to some drunken people; it's about ammunition for the 'i told you so' kind of bullshit.
(5) any argument suggesting otherwise (at least here on mefi) will be shot down almost immediately as 'troll', 'strawman', 'whatever'.


Your words occasioned my (and Ignatius's) questions...You stated this story was ammunition, not about an endangered tiger that was killed by soldiers. If the fact that this story was reported widely is seen by you as ammunition, what are the options?

As for iraq in general, there have been plenty of threads about it on mefi, including options for getting us out. They tend to pop up everyday or so.
posted by amberglow at 10:52 PM on September 20, 2003


Oh, if only that were so. Believe me I wish I still had any ideals left that haven't been shattered by human nature and just growing up and realizing that the world dosen't match up to my expectations for it and that's just tough shit.

I dunno about everybody else, but trust me cynicism is not something I wish I had, but there it is.


I guess my point would be that your cynicism is common, and quite likely warranted (I certainly have my fair share of it), but that giving into it completely so that all you can muster in such situations is a beleaguered shrug and a few sharp jabs at those who happen to care is probably something worth resisting, if at all possible.

Of course, if you're anything like me, there will be times when this seems to be all but impossible, so take it for what you will.
posted by The God Complex at 11:01 PM on September 20, 2003


As for iraq in general, there have been plenty of threads about it on mefi, including options for getting us out.

As they should. The whiners against the anti-war sentiment expressed here ought to stop for a minute and think about what has changed. This isn't an issue of whether or not someone had sex with someone else--which can sustain months of heated discussion--this is about an organized mass killing paid for and supported by us. jonmc et al, perhaps you could join us in meditating on how that killing happened and what it means.
posted by squirrel at 11:12 PM on September 20, 2003


thanks Ignatius J. Reilly. i read what you have to say and it was honest and sincere. and yeah, i wholeheartedly agree.

amberglow: read the title of the post: 'Arrogance of Power'. the FPP (like so many others here) was constructed for one reason: to entice those who have a similar opinion. end of story. i would imagine that mapalm isn't losing any sleep over an endangered animal, but it does make a great story for those oppossed to the bush administrations' tactics.

i'm thinking about composing a similar thread of how the clinton administration brought us here in the first place and the dreadful consequences of the clinton policy. who's with me!? anyone?!
posted by poopy at 11:25 PM on September 20, 2003


...but it does make a great story for those oppossed to the bush administrations' tactics.

Which makes it a great story for most of us. Which it is. Your point?
posted by squirrel at 11:33 PM on September 20, 2003


1.5 Leave.

1.6 String GWB up by the goolies, then pelt him with rocks and garbage and Dick Cheney's internal organs (harvested earlier).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:48 AM on September 21, 2003


1.7 Sing a rousing chorus of 'Beasts of England' before returning to 'voluntary' work on Napoleon's windmill.
posted by Fezboy! at 8:35 AM on September 21, 2003


btw - that was a non-sequitor. It just popped into my head as I was reading.
posted by Fezboy! at 8:43 AM on September 21, 2003


I also suppose that if the tiger had killed the soldier, that would have been a hilarious "Darwin Award" chuckle for some of y'all.

I don't think it would have been hilarious, but I wish it would have happened. Fuck those assholes, clear and simple.
posted by tr33hggr at 9:01 AM on September 21, 2003


someones been into the comedy pocket...
posted by clavdivs at 10:04 AM on September 21, 2003


tr33hugger- you were on the Welcome home Committe for Vietnam Vets, weren't you? Good to see you carrying on the tradition.
posted by jonmc at 10:07 AM on September 21, 2003


I don't think it would have been hilarious, but I wish it would have happened. Fuck those assholes, clear and simple.

Yeah, well, I like humans, even stupid humans and hope no of them die from maulings.

I mean, some guys on death row have done much worse but still we try to save them, eh?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:15 AM on September 21, 2003


Of course, if I had more attention to detail, that 'no' should have been 'none'.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:16 AM on September 21, 2003


So, because Vietnam vets weren't welcomed home with parades, we must support everything today's military does, jonmc? That line of thinking is idiotic.
posted by squirrel at 11:11 AM on September 21, 2003


Nice conflation, squirrel, way to shove words in peoples mouths. But people making assholic statements like tr33huggers, remind me of the attitudes taht made Vietnam Vet's feel unwelcome.

You see, I hate the fucking war, but I still respect the soldiers fighting it. Or is that too much for you to follow. And it get's me a bit irked watching a bunch of geeks making snap judgements about battle field behavior from the comfort of their dorm rooms.

I've never been in combat either, but I at least know that I have no comprehension.

Yes the soldier was an idiot for screwing with the animal, but once he was getting mauled what were they supposed to do, let him die. I'm sorry but the life of an American Soldier is worth more than the life of a fucking tiger.

Speciesist? Perhaps, but like all other animals, I'm rather fond of my species and I'd like to see it continue.
posted by jonmc at 11:29 AM on September 21, 2003


I don't have any problem with an endangered animal being shot to save a human being. But if the story is accurate, the stupid human being that put himself into that position is responsible for the death of the endangered animal and of course should be punished. I think dishonorable discharge from the military would be one option.

Hell, forget the fact that it was an endangered animal for a moment and think of it as any other valuable piece of Iraqi property. Even taking out the "precious animal" part of the argument, it was still grossly irresponsible. It makes the military look bad, and it makes the country look bad.
posted by bargle at 11:44 AM on September 21, 2003


tr33hugger, squirrel- that was a bit harsh. I'm sorry.

But the shit he said was offensive, too.
posted by jonmc at 11:44 AM on September 21, 2003


So jonmc, if a drunk American soldier starts hassling a woman, and she thinks she's about to be raped so she pulls a knife and starts swinging at him with it, his equally drunken buddies should mow her down with automatic weapons, right?
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:56 PM on September 21, 2003


so you're comparing women to zoo animals, George? Awful sexist of you. Nice try , though.

There's a big difference, the soldier here was merely being extremely stupid, not malicious. It's also nice to know that my prediction in the third comment came true. I just wish you'd all surprise me for once.
posted by jonmc at 1:10 PM on September 21, 2003


No, just seeing where you draw the line. Your position was that the life of an American soldier is "worth more" than that of a tiger, so I wondered who or else you thought it was worth more than.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:49 PM on September 21, 2003


What if tigers took over a country of bats? Would it then be OK to kill an ocelot just for lookin' at ya funny?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:01 PM on September 21, 2003


jonmc, no sweat about the harshness. You're the one who made the Vietnam comparison... if I mistook your meaning, what did you mean to imply?

My brother is a soldier who served in Kosovo and who may be recalled to duty in Iraq. I don't paint all soldiers with the same brush, nor do I see all wars as the same. I have trouble understanding the reasoning of those who say, as you do, that they're against the war but for the soldiers. As I see it, if the war is wrong, then those who are executing the war are wrong, even if every single one of them is a super great guy with the best intentions like my brother.

Being against the war doesn't mean that I want to see our soldiers eaten by tigers, but I would like to see them come home.
posted by squirrel at 2:29 PM on September 21, 2003


I have trouble understanding the reasoning of those who say, as you do, that they're against the war but for the soldiers....

Being against the war doesn't mean that I want to see our soldiers eaten by tigers, but I would like to see them come home.

I think your second sentence sums up exactly what we mean when we say that. That were against this war primarily because we dont think the aims of the war are worth them coming to harm. When I say i respect them, it's just my way of acknowledging that as someone who's never seen combat, there's aspects of war that I'm not really fit to comment on or judge.

It's the comments like "Fuck those assholes..I wish they'd been eaten," from tr33hugger, (who would probably weep if a sequioa was cut down, ironically) that got my blood boiling.
posted by jonmc at 2:47 PM on September 21, 2003


What only a few posting here seem to understand is that as the most powerful nation in the world, the US scares us. When we see your soldiers being stupid, with guns, that scares us. Therefore trying to feed a tiger, when drunk and then your "buddy" shooting it, scares us.

I think the tiger thing might piss Iraqi people off, but I'm sure they'd rather have water again, electricity, safety, etc.

BTW I don't remember 84 posts about the Iraqi policeman that were killed. Indeed, the last thing I remember was US govt. denials it had ever happened.
posted by lerrup at 3:39 PM on September 21, 2003


Perhaps the lesson learned from this is that soldiers should get drunk at the base and not outside it. Fewer accidents will happen, and as it is a muslim country, I would expect the tolerance of "a drunken night of revelry" is less than it would be elsewhere.
posted by cx at 4:21 PM on September 21, 2003


Don't you get it, cx? That's part of our campaign to westernize these savages. If they want democracy, (and even if they don't) they gotta get ready for more booze flowing, more titties shaking, more tigers dying and more bibles thumping. We are the cultural equivalent to the Hummer, baby. Let's roll!
posted by squirrel at 6:50 PM on September 21, 2003


I couldn't care less about the "war discussion" for this story - the point is, these chuckleheads decided to get drunk, climb a fence, and screw with a tiger. I laugh my ass off watching the apologists going "well, they were drunk and drunk guys do dumb things - sorry. Shame about the tiger, I guess."

If they were here, they:
- (Probably) wouldn't be armed
- Probably wouldn't have made it into the zoo, because it would most likely have been guarded or at least patrolled
- Would be arrested if they had made it in
- If they'd actually killed the tiger, would have been jailed
- Would make a funny story ("Moron gets mauled by man-eater") on somebody's blog, and we'd be laughing and shaking our heads about it. It'd been a sad tragedy, but people would've been saying "well, he did stick his arm in there, I guess it's just applied Darwinism" or some such.

But no - these morons are American soldiers, and the zoo is in Iraq, so suddenly it's the tiger's fault (or "nobody's fault", as more than one person has mentioned on this thread), so the rare tiger should be shot and the American soldiers noogied and sent on their way, the rascals. Then, everyone retreats behind their battlelines and starts the whole "left vs. right" screaming fit again.

Trespassing is still a crime - here. Visitors shooting zoo animals is still a crime - here. We're supposed to be representing the rule of law in Iraq, and we can't keep our own military from wandering a dangerous area while drunk and blowing away the attractions? No wonder no one takes us seriously - I'm sad to say, it's stuff like this that confirms to the rest of the world that we are trigger-happy, drunk morons.
posted by FormlessOne at 7:37 PM on September 21, 2003


Lots of boiling blood on this thread.

jonmc - ("tr33hugger- you were on the Welcome home committee for Vietnam Vets, weren't you? Good to see you carrying on the tradition.") - Are you trying to resurrect the "spitting on returning Vietnam Vets" story here? Evidence for this seems scarce. And I guess you have forgotten the thousands of Vietnam of Vietnam Vets who returned to protest against the war. Not surprising that you have forgotten the Vietnam Vet population - America has too.

A lot of them are homeless and on the streets - and getting spit on every day. If you want to carry the flag for US veterans, Why don't you go and protest for their benefit? Or better yet, just do something directly for them, something more useful than political recrimination.


Meanwhile... "Intoxicated 180 lb. Human, driven mad by human culture and by human warfare, attempts to play with 1000 lb individual of predator species (on verge of extinction) , gets mauled in process. Companions kill said predator with automatic weapons. Incident provokes heated discussion among other humans."
posted by troutfishing at 8:52 PM on September 21, 2003


Applied Darwinism seems to be the correct answer here. I dont care if it happens in Iraq, America, or the moon. You do something that puts your life in danger and by chance God or mathematics makes you pay for it, then it is either called one of 4 things:

Karma.
Darwinism.
Idiocy.
Fun for other people to laugh about.

I leave it up to you to make the call. But as far as the Tiger goes, its sad he got shot. I would have shot the tiger if he ripped my friends arm off, even if my friend deserved it. My friend is human, the tiger is an animal.
posted by Keyser Soze at 9:42 PM on September 21, 2003


Not to mention the people involved need to be flown out of Iraq and dishonorably discharged.
posted by Keyser Soze at 9:43 PM on September 21, 2003


Not to mention the people involved need to be flown out of Iraq and dishonorably discharged.

They should make them ride tigers home.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:38 AM on September 22, 2003


Nah, we should replace their tiger with one of ours and call it a day.
posted by Keyser Soze at 4:16 AM on September 22, 2003


jonmc - this has nothing to do with the war, or soldiers. It wouldn't make a difference to me if the offenders were hippies, communists, frat boys, or supermodels. The drunken idiot got what was coming to him, and rather than acknowledge that his buddies killed the tiger. The uniforms are not the issue.
posted by tr33hggr at 4:46 AM on September 22, 2003


Had it been my friend getting his arm, well lets be honest here, finger bitten off, I would not have shot the tiger, rather I'd tell him to step away from the damn cage.

Shooting a caged Bengali tiger? Few things sound so utterly wanky.
posted by dabitch at 4:51 AM on September 22, 2003


poopy sez:
i would imagine that mapalm isn't losing any sleep over an endangered animal.
You would be wrong. And kinda silly, too.
posted by mapalm at 7:16 AM on September 22, 2003


tr33hugger and troutfishing: you're right. I owe you a public apology. I was in bad pain yesterday, which put me in a foul mood. This morning that pain became agonizing and I had to go in for an emergency root canal.

Even though we've disagreed on things, you two seem like decent guys, so I'm sorry for blowing my top. Blame dental agony.
posted by jonmc at 9:31 AM on September 22, 2003


jonmc - thanks, although I wasn't actually offended. Sorry about the dental troubles. Root canals suck.

But you're wrong about one thing - I'm actually a bastard. My comment was sort of comparable to shooting a caged Bengal tiger. Not sporting at all.
posted by troutfishing at 8:34 PM on September 22, 2003


jonmc - hey, no problem man, and hope the tooth is feeling better. I also could have been more clear in my original post.

Friends? Friends.
/raises glass in honor of jonmc
posted by tr33hggr at 8:55 AM on September 23, 2003


"Just another flavor of meat"
posted by homunculus at 8:57 PM on September 23, 2003


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