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Norwegian peacekeepers make better music videos.
May 23, 2005 12:42 PM   Subscribe

A clever satirical video (Windows media) made by Norwegian peacekeepers in Kosovo triggers an international incident.
"Somalia, Grenada, or rescuing Kuwait-a... We screwed ya, Rwanda. Wish we coulda helped ya... Iraqi embargo. That's where we got hustled... Down in Kosovo, we'll kick some ass and then we'll see how it goes. And then we really don't know... Good luck to Kosovo"
posted by insomnia_lj (28 comments total)

 
Hilarious video! Would U.S. troops ever dare cook up something like this? I think the only vaguely "creative" video I've seen come out of Iraq (can't seem to find it anymore) involved four of our guys tipping over an occupied Port-o-John.
posted by MaxVonCretin at 12:58 PM on May 23, 2005


Glad to see that Al Jazeera is still as impartial as ever.
posted by jsavimbi at 1:08 PM on May 23, 2005


I can barely notice the Norwegian accent.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:17 PM on May 23, 2005


Your "hilarious" bar seems a bit low to me Max. These music videos coming out of a British unit in the middle east and now this one by Norwegian peacekeepers seems harmless at first blush, but I wonder...

I hope I don't see one coming out of US soldiers in Iraq. We are losing the battle of hearts and minds badly enough. I doubt looking like we are funning it up will play very well with those still forming opinions about us (if there are any in that category). Can we get the electricity back on before we start lip-synching?
posted by mania at 1:23 PM on May 23, 2005


These guys can really sing.
posted by originalname37 at 1:32 PM on May 23, 2005


Can't we all just get a song?
posted by Balisong at 1:33 PM on May 23, 2005


Think they'll get a moon-man award?
posted by oddman at 1:42 PM on May 23, 2005


I personally think that the British video was great PR.
(The Norwegian one was clearly not... but it was excellent social criticism.)

I even hear that the British soldiers donated the video to Comic Relief, in order to help raise funds for charity. Very spiffy!
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:52 PM on May 23, 2005


Just as insensitive to the local culture as the "New Testament" tank in Iraq!
posted by ericb at 2:04 PM on May 23, 2005


According to a friend of mine (who was down in Kosovo as a peace keeper, and is in fact Norwegian) these videoes were made in good fun after live performances of the song, on the base.

There are more videoes, but this is the only one that has been leaked so far.

They mean nothing by it, though it's easy to see how it could offend.
posted by flippant at 2:12 PM on May 23, 2005


Statement by the Ambassador of Norway, Hans Ola Urstad
"The Norwegian Ministry of Defence has stated that the matter is being urgently looked into to verify that the soldiers in the video-clip really are Norwegian, and if so to establish their identities. Disciplinary measures will then have to be considered.

As Ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro, I should like to state the following,

If Norwegian KFOR-soldiers, who were in Kosovo on a peace mission to i.a. protect all minorities really have done this, I apologise deeply to all offended by it.

I see this most unfortunate episode as highly regrettable, and sincerely hope that such a lamentable incident may not do serious harm to the long standing and deep friendship between Serbia and Montenegro and Norway."
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on May 23, 2005


di·plo·ma·cy (di-plo'm?-se) n.
The art or practice of conducting international relations, as in negotiating alliances, treaties, and agreements.

Tact and skill in dealing with people. See synonyms at tact.
posted by ericb at 2:14 PM on May 23, 2005


Just as insensitive to the local culture as the "New Testament" tank in Iraq!

While Belgrade fumed and Nato squirmed, Kosovo Albanians seemed to share the Norwegians' irreverent take on the situation.

"The clip shows that international soldiers in Kosovo are not machines but humans with feelings and opinions about reality. I don't find the clip offensive but instructive," Kosovo Albanian art editor Arif Muharremi said

posted by thomcatspike at 2:26 PM on May 23, 2005


Step lively you religiously condemned person of unmarried parentage. We have enemy non-combatents to engage in tactful diplomatic relations with.
posted by srboisvert at 4:08 PM on May 23, 2005


Am shocked by the "New Testament" tank barrel. When in Iraq, my tank barrel had the message "Cultural Relativity" proudly emblazoned upon it...
posted by runkelfinker at 4:24 PM on May 23, 2005


^ fucking funny. don't care who ya are.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 4:43 PM on May 23, 2005


I thought it was pretty funny, and anyone who gets their panties in bunch over this needs to reexamine their priorities.
posted by CCK at 5:14 PM on May 23, 2005


Hilarious!
Could these videos be the seeds of a future military eurovision contest? Imagine, now that they all have the same might more or less, it's time for world militaries to excel in song and dance! :D

(As usual, the Russians are a step ahead.. )
posted by ruelle at 10:38 PM on May 23, 2005


mania:

Your "hilarious" bar seems a bit low to me Max.

Ahahahahahha. Maybe you're just an uptight prude. I found it absolutely hilarous and one of the best amateur music videos I've seen.

I hope I don't see one coming out of US soldiers in Iraq. We are losing the battle of hearts and minds badly enough.

Ah, the "let's not do anything fun because there's so much important stuff to do" argument. What crock. Why are you wasting your time posting on MetaFilter when you could be volunteering at a soup kitchen? Huh? Huh?

These soldiers have it bad enough as it is and I'm glad they have still have the creative energy to do fun things like that. I certainly hope the Americans can top this with one of their own.
posted by aerify at 3:29 AM on May 24, 2005


I split my time between the soup kitchen and MetaFilter...

You are mistaken about the argument. It's not about choosing fun over important stuff -- I realize duty can't be all work and no play (why I don't spend 100 percent of my time at the soup kitchen) -- it's about perception in the Muslim world and, as ericb points out, the art of international relations.

I would submit the chances of provoking people go up rather than down if you start doing, say, Ray Stevens parodies in the Green Zone.

As far as your sense of humor goes... that's what makes horse racing...
posted by mania at 5:37 AM on May 24, 2005


The tragedy is that we really need a volunteer military who definately aren't stupid enough to do Abu Ghaib but definately aren't clever enough to do fantastic political satire videos. That's getting niche.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:05 AM on May 24, 2005


From the AP this morning:

"BAGHDAD, Iraq - A car bomb exploded Tuesday near a Baghdad junior high school for girls, killing six people, and seven American soldiers were killed in two days of bombings in and around Baghdad, the military said.

The U.S. deaths raised the total to 12 Americans killed since Sunday. Those reports came as insurgents carried out a string of explosions, suicide attacks and drive-by shootings around the country that killed 49 Iraqis."

Hey, let's do a fun video!
posted by mania at 6:32 AM on May 24, 2005


mania, if you feel that strongly about the horror of the world today you should probably stay out of all humor threads for your own peace of mind. I can only imagine how much you're tormented by people wasting time and effort on flash sites, parody videos, and god knows what all when they could be bringing about world peace.

Me, I loved it.
posted by languagehat at 9:16 AM on May 24, 2005


So you see no distinction between a kid in Cleveland doing a parody video or a flash site and a unit in Iraq doing one that could inflame fence-sitters?

As far as bringing about world peace, I guess it's not anyone's real responsibility -- I would just ask that people in places of high tension take care not to make things worse.

Oh, and thanks for kind advice and overstating my position, languagehat. After reading the "international incident" portion of the FPP, I just blew through "humor thread" signal.
posted by mania at 11:25 AM on May 24, 2005


If i was an insurgent I'd much rather see music videos than the Koran being flushed down a toilet.
posted by mek at 8:57 PM on May 24, 2005


For all we know, you may get to see both.
posted by mania at 6:06 AM on May 25, 2005


Squaddies don't do diplomacy. Which is one reason why it's rather difficult to export democracy on the end of a bayonet.

Anyway, I blame it all on television.
posted by TimothyMason at 7:18 AM on May 25, 2005


"Can anyone tell me the story behind this? UPDATE: Nevermind, I found it. The fine folks at Metafilter appear to be the catalyst for this spreading. It looks like something that gets put together for someone's retirement party. All I can say is thank God they're Norwegian peacekeepers and not Americans or we'd never hear the end of it." [MSNBC Clicked | May 25, 2005]
posted by ericb at 10:47 AM on May 25, 2005


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