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November 6, 2005 9:47 AM   Subscribe

Animated video broadcast on Iran's IRIB state television, apparently aimed at children, seemingly promotes the virtues of becoming a suicide bomber. Coralized wmv link, transcript.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (57 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
found at GeenStijl (Dutch), subtitled and transcribed by MEMRI
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:48 AM on November 6, 2005


I am shocked, simply shocked. Iran is the Third Reich for the 21st Century.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:55 AM on November 6, 2005


Could someone post a nonstreaming version? (buffering... ... ... ...)
posted by anthill at 9:56 AM on November 6, 2005


A Godwin record?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:56 AM on November 6, 2005


It doesn't count if you don't mean it.
posted by anthill at 9:58 AM on November 6, 2005


anthill, if you go directly to the MEMRI-tv site, the news item is still on the front page. You can see the clip there (also streaming, I guess), or you can, to my understanding, email them for a download link. I'm not sure how it works, but you can try. Let us know whether it works.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:59 AM on November 6, 2005


The images tell the story pretty well, but how do we know the translation is accurate?

This box contains both death and Zionism, you must protect our land from both with your life.
posted by 517 at 10:15 AM on November 6, 2005


517 - in fairness, it must be noted that MEMRI's translation are sometimes subject of criticism. Thanks for raising that issue.

Although, indeed, the gist of it can be gleaned from the pictures alone. Perhaps someone with a decent understanding of Persian could shine some light upon this?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:19 AM on November 6, 2005


The news item appears to be gone now. I'm really curious about this thing. Was it really broadcast? When was it shown? I also noticed that there seem to be a lot of cuts in the movie. Was this part of a longer program that got hacked up to make the linked video?
posted by maryh at 10:20 AM on November 6, 2005


Permalink to MEMRI-TV item for future use.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:23 AM on November 6, 2005


maryh - I didn't mean "news item" as a tv news segment, just as an item on MEMRI's front page. Sorry about the confusion.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:25 AM on November 6, 2005


Warning, spoilers...


This is a complex little piece of propaganda. It's interesting how the kid's actions are portrayed as, to a large part, retaliation for what the solider did to his family, not necessarily as part of a greater effort of civilian-directed terror. Also interesting how they show the kid making his own decision to die in the process of the attack, rather than just throwing the grenades (as he was ordered).

That said, I'm not trying to defend the video nor its creators and broadcasters. The Israeli soldiers are portrayed as one-sided stereotypes of evil, the "resistance fighters" paragons of justice -- pure propaganda. It would be interesting to see the program in its entirety, rather than just this edited vignette.

Oh, and...

Metafilter: You illegitimate atheist.
posted by greatgefilte at 10:33 AM on November 6, 2005


This is like a caricature of a Shakespearean play, where there's nothing but tragedy on both sides. The kid doesn't seem too happy about martyrdom, and they don't really show the supposed afterlife benefits of such. There's family dying, hiding in terror, resolve to punish the family's killers, then doing so in a terrible, pyrrhic fashion. No resolution either way.
posted by boo_radley at 11:00 AM on November 6, 2005


Seems to me we're hypocrites if we find this offensive. As Americans, we prefer our violent cartoons straight, without a confusing moral justification. Even if you don't agree with their premise, this vidio compares favorably to Grand Theft Auto in one respect - it argues violence can be justified when it's retributive.
posted by weepingsore at 11:11 AM on November 6, 2005


his vidio compares favorably to Grand Theft Auto in one respect

Oh, Grand Theft Auto was produced by the US government as an extension of policy?
posted by loquax at 11:14 AM on November 6, 2005


Oh, Grand Theft Auto was produced by the US government as an extension of policy?

No, no, you have it backwards. Look for GTA: US Government in stores for the holidays.
posted by voltairemodern at 11:34 AM on November 6, 2005


this vidio compares favorably to Grand Theft Auto in one respect - it argues violence can be justified when it's retributive.
This comparison is a little obtuse -- but think about those WWII cartoons from Disney and Warner, and I think you'll find a closer comparison in terms of cartoons as propaganda material.
posted by boo_radley at 11:34 AM on November 6, 2005


but think about those WWII cartoons from Disney and Warner, and I think you'll find a closer comparison in terms of cartoons as propaganda material.

I didn't see the one where Donald Duck showed the kids how to rig their grenade belts with a shoelace so they could pull all the pins at once. Good tip, that. How brave the Iranian government is in delegating their responsibility to fight against the immorally atheist Zionist oppressors to palestinian children. How do Iranians even stomach this tripe? (Assuming, of course, that anyone watches state television anyways).
posted by loquax at 11:46 AM on November 6, 2005


I dunno. Not having been able to watch the clip (workplace firewall), I'm going off the transcript alone, but it just seems like an adaptation of the "noble son dies in war to defend freedom and family" stuff we have in the States, but with grenades used instead of machine guns.
posted by Bugbread at 11:49 AM on November 6, 2005


(Sorry, obviously the grenades vs. guns isn't the only difference; that was poor phrasing on my part. I should have said "lots of changed details, but general gist being pretty much the same")
posted by Bugbread at 11:50 AM on November 6, 2005


Have any of you seen the Battle of Algiers? Or, um, Rambo 3?
posted by Freen at 12:05 PM on November 6, 2005


Target audience might be another one of those details...
posted by gwint at 12:06 PM on November 6, 2005


gwint : "Target audience might be another one of those details..."

Exactly. The target audience of a major military power would probably show young hero/martyrs dying as part of the national armed forces. The target audience of a minor military power or non-military power would probably show young hero/martyrs dying as part of individual action. The audience changes the details, but the overall theme is the same.
posted by Bugbread at 12:26 PM on November 6, 2005


Here's the full, ripped version (bittorrent). You're welcome.

I hereby declare a fatwa on embedded video.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:27 PM on November 6, 2005


but the overall theme is the same.

Except that it's not showing young Iranians blowing themselves up, it's showing young Palestinians blowing themselves up.
posted by loquax at 12:29 PM on November 6, 2005




loquax : "Except that it's not showing young Iranians blowing themselves up, it's showing young Palestinians blowing themselves up."

Ok, fair point. Maybe it's the equivalent of Speedy Gonzalez or Dudley Do-right? But maybe not. I think my initial assessment of similarity may have been off.
posted by Bugbread at 12:55 PM on November 6, 2005


Kudos to civil_disobedient's BT version, but for future reference, is there any easy way of saving streaming clips like these to disk?
posted by rolypolyman at 1:16 PM on November 6, 2005


Doesn't that kid know that after your parents and brother are killed by a bloodthirsty tyrant, the thing to do is to wait until the next election so he can vote in the bloodthirsty tyrant on HIS side?
posted by Balisong at 1:18 PM on November 6, 2005


Why is the suicide bomber only blowing up a military convoy headed by a sadistic general? Was a Tel Aviv café full of innocent strangers too cliche for him?

And bravo on the animation skills there, guys. That's one thing we know the North Koreans do better - perhaps the axis-of-evilians should learn to delegate.
posted by fungible at 1:38 PM on November 6, 2005


I think it's important to draw a distinction between acts of violence against military targets and those against civilian targets, whether the violence is by a "suicide bomber" or a B-1. It's the difference between warfare and war crimes, between geurillas and terrorists.

Saying this video "glorifies suicide bombings against Israelis" (from the Telegraph article) is technically accurate but blurs that important distinction. It's maybe as accurate as saying that Red Dawn glorified violence against Russian people.

Except of course unlike Red Dawn, the Israeli domination of Palestine isn't a fantasy, and real suicide bombing against civilians is terrible stuff. So the directness of this video is very creepy, and although I think what is portrayed in the video isn't really all that shocking and outrageous, it seems like a recruitment video for people who intend much worse things.

So yuck, but no props to MEMRI. MEMRI's job is to go "boo!" and I don't feel it's my duty to then jump up and salute.
posted by fleacircus at 1:44 PM on November 6, 2005


rolypolyman: Video stream recording tools.

fungible: I did find the politics of the piece quite interesting. They seemed unwilling to show civilian terrorism, rather focusing on the bluntly obvious role of the IDF as occupation enforcers, and confining the plot to revenge against a specific unit headed by a "notorious" officer (who just coincidentally, I'm sure, was named Ariel). The guerrilla approach is typified by Fatah (Arafat's secular revolutionary group), whereas suicide attacks have primarily been a tactic favored by Hamas and Hezbollah (Islamist groups). Iran has historically assisted Hezbollah especially, although its influence inside the PA is limited.

Naturally it also portrayed the suicide bombing as a spontaneous action by an aggrieved individual, although in reality most of them are heavily planned military operations coordinated with perhaps dozens of confederates, and many of the bombers themselves are chosen more for their disaffected nature than personal investment.

Strangely, the Mexican-standoff-gone-bad nature of the ending was much more pessimistic than I would have expected. The lesson of suicide bombing is that everyone dies?
posted by dhartung at 2:05 PM on November 6, 2005


the guardian's take on MEMRI TV.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:41 PM on November 6, 2005


And the rebuttal, from Carmon, also published by the Guardian, accusing Whitaker of selective journalism.
posted by loquax at 2:55 PM on November 6, 2005


is there any easy way of saving streaming clips like these to disk?

Yes.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:56 PM on November 6, 2005


"Selective journalism", my ass. Israeli television co-produced a bilingual Sesame Street (Rechov Sumsum in Hebrew and Shara'a Simsim in Arabic) with a half Palestinian, half Israeli cast of characters who play together and help each other out, in cooperation with HOP TV in Tel-Aviv, Al Quds University in Ramallah and Jordan Pioneers in Amman.

Oh, and the Israeli state television?
from http://www.israel-mfa.gov.il/mfa/mfaarchive/2000_2009/2003/1/israel%20broadcasting%20authority

"Arabic TV broadcasts 20 hours a week to an audience of Arabic speakers in Israel and the neighboring countries. Its news and current affairs broadcasts included two daily news shows, discussions of topical interest, weekly news and sports magazines and direct broadcasts of sporting events.

The Programs Division produces magazines on the arts, literature, agriculture, medicine and family related matters, as well as guest shows and specials for the Christian, Moslem and Druze festivals.

Audience surveys in 1994 show that Israel Television in Arabic is the station most preferred by the country's Arab community, with some ratings as high as 80%."
posted by ori at 3:26 PM on November 6, 2005


Thanks, C_D. I'll send 40 virgins right away.

I think my take-home message from this cartoon is: The new guy always gets the worst job.
posted by anthill at 3:55 PM on November 6, 2005


You know, what I don't get is why people seem to think that suicide bombing is somehow less moral then straight-up-ordinary bombing.

It's pretty weird.
posted by delmoi at 4:08 PM on November 6, 2005


Man im still reeling from the Smurf bombing...
posted by Dreamghost at 4:43 PM on November 6, 2005


Meh. Replace the Israelis with Decepticons, Hamas with Autobots, and make the "holy land" Cybertron and it's really not different than anything I grew up watching.
posted by wfrgms at 5:09 PM on November 6, 2005


Oh, as sort of a followup, but not really... I was interested in recording the stream (since Civil_Disobedient doesn't seem to be seeding his torrent) so I started poking around trying to find out more about "CastUP" - since I was unfamiliar with the streaming technology.

Turns out CastUP is used almost exclusively in Israel - even by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs which has itself been used as a case study by Microsoft.

I don't know (or care) if this is indirect evidence of a relationship between MEMRI TV (which is hosting the video) and the Israeli government... maybe everyone in the Middle East uses CastUP to stream their content.
posted by wfrgms at 5:29 PM on November 6, 2005


And bravo on the animation skills there, guys. That's one thing we know the North Koreans do better - perhaps the axis-of-evilians should learn to delegate.
posted by fungible at 1:38 PM PST on November 6 [!]


South Koreans are responsible for the often fine animation work regularly contracted out by American & Japanese studios.
posted by maryh at 5:58 PM on November 6, 2005


Hmm, as wfrgms says, the torrent's not moving. Gimme my 40 virgins back!
posted by anthill at 6:39 PM on November 6, 2005


Meh. Replace the Israelis with Decepticons, Hamas with Autobots, and make the "holy land" Cybertron and it's really not different than anything I grew up watching.

Let's replace the Israelis with cuddly bears and Hamas with pretty flowers and suicide bombing with love and hugs, and it's just like an episode of Care Bears. Which proves what, exactly?
posted by Krrrlson at 7:15 PM on November 6, 2005


since Civil_Disobedient doesn't seem to be seeding his torrent

Huh? I've got almost 50 people d/ling it, with almost 19 seeds. So you know, I take it as a matter of personal honor that I always seed a torrent to fruitition, particularly links I post on Metafilter.

Upon further examination, it appears that TPB tracker isn't registering my u/l, and the mongo56 tracker had a problem so I had to switch ports. Anyway, see if this works for you, and my sincere apologies for the inconvenience.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:12 PM on November 6, 2005


MetaFilter: Defining the terms of resistence for oppressed peoples.
posted by dsword at 8:50 PM on November 6, 2005


A late update on Civil_Disobedient's torrent - I was able to download it eventually. Thanks for seeding, Civil_Disobedient. Me seed you long time.
posted by wfrgms at 11:46 PM on November 6, 2005


Meanwhile, of course, Israeli soldiers are still routinely killing Palestinian civilians, and hardly any of these killings ever make Western news sources. Infact, fewer than 5% of the killings are ever investigated at all.

According to the Israeli (i.e. not Palestinian) human rights organization B'Tselem, between the beginning of the intifada and the end of November 2004, 3,040 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces, including 606 children, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. According to their investigations, over half of those killed were not involved in hostilities when they were killed. That's at least 1,661 people, including 531 children under the age of 18. B'Tselem has not been able to determine whether an additional 550 Palestinians (including 31 children) participated in hostilities.

Can anyone honestly say that if this happened to Americans on the same level relative to our population, some of our cartoons wouldn't look like something out of Red Dawn? You can bet that GI Joe would be pissed. I'd bet that Goliath would be encouraging Davey not to be such a wuss and would encourage him to learn how to fire an M-16 myself.

I am shocked, simply shocked. Iran Israel is the Third Reich for the 21st Century.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:41 AM on November 7, 2005


Here is a link to B'Tselem's English website, btw. They report human rights violations by both Israelis and Palestinians, and are arguably the most definitive, impartial source of information regarding the Intifada.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:52 AM on November 7, 2005


Can anyone honestly say that if this happened to Americans on the same level relative to our population, some of our cartoons wouldn't look like something out of Red Dawn?
Except Iran isn't occupied by Israel now is it?
posted by PenDevil at 1:58 AM on November 7, 2005


I am continuously amazed at people's ability to plug their ears and LA-LA-LA away anything that might threaten their political persona. insomnia_lj, the statistics you link to are very familiar to me, and are appalling. I and many other Israelis hope (and vote) for an end to the occupation and to collective military reprisals. At the same time, I am astonished by your apologia for this TV segment. There is a most curious belief among the American new left that aggression, fanaticism, and antisemitism in the Muslim world are always implied and needn't (mustn't) be made explicit in the discussion at all, whereas Israel's human rights record must be scrutinized at every opportunity.

This thread is not about Israel, really, since I -- and so do many others on this thread -- see a children's cartoon that caricaturizes a people and practically instructs kids in religious fanaticism and suicide bombing as a universal evil, regardless of political context. It is all the more disgusting since this content is being created by a state totally extraneous to the conflict, and whose "solidarity" with the Palestinians only goes so far as funding and training terrorist groups, but rarely if ever to funding schools or hospitals or public welfare campaigns.

You choose to acknowledge none of this, no problematic aspect of this cartoon, not even in passing--no, instead, you defend it as a natural reaction to the political situation and you quickly move to the "meat" of the discussion, which is (it seems) Israel's human rights record, as if there have been no other topics on the blue that raise the issue.

Part of me suspects that the Vietnam war is so inextricably linked to the political awakening of the left in America that most young radicals -- even those born after the war -- have turned Vietnam into a template (i.e. Massive, Economically-Motivated Imperialist Force vs. Poor And Desparate Indigenous Population) through which they will understand every subsequent political and military conflict, much in the way that WWII has crystalized in the minds of the right (cf. ParisParamus) as their quintessential template (i.e. Good Guys vs The Nazis) for understanding conflict in the 21st century. It's an excuse not to think, and it accounts for your criminal gloss (which PenDevil pointed out) over the fact that Iran is not occupied by Israel.

Also, a final note on sensitivity: be careful who you call the Third Reich. Something tells me you wouldn't have said it to my grandparents' face, for example.
posted by ori at 8:59 AM on November 7, 2005


OK: how about proto-Third Reich? Their leader vows to destroy Israel. And is nearing acquisition of nuclear weapons. Not close enough for ya? How about Hilter circa 1930?
posted by ParisParamus at 2:24 PM on November 7, 2005


Paris, I'm as apalled by this video as you are; I just don't think Third Reich references are useful. Godwin's Law is so reliable that, at least in net debate, Nazi accusations are, well, downright cartoonish.
posted by ori at 2:54 PM on November 7, 2005


"I -- and so do many others on this thread -- see a children's cartoon that caricaturizes a people and practically instructs kids in religious fanaticism and suicide bombing as a universal evil..."

Of course it is. And yet, there are plenty of Jewish Americans who routinely advocate war against followers of Islam. Why? It's not their fight any more than it's the Iranians?

It's a sad state of affairs when we have to see Iranian propaganda redistributed by Israeli propagandists as anti-Iranian propaganda, and then parroted by Jewish American propagandists.

Sad, but typical.
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:40 PM on November 7, 2005


Of course it is. And yet, there are plenty of Jewish Americans who routinely advocate war against followers of Islam.

What?
posted by loquax at 9:11 PM on November 7, 2005


Of course it is. And yet, there are plenty of Jewish Americans who routinely advocate war against followers of Islam. Why?

Eh? Any Jew, hell any Zionist or supporter of Israel, knows that the only definite outcome of some "war on Isam" is the total annihalation of Israel and the death of it's 6 million inhabitants.
posted by PenDevil at 11:21 PM on November 7, 2005


It's a sad state of affairs when we have to see Iranian propaganda redistributed by Israeli propagandists as anti-Iranian propaganda, and then parroted by Jewish American propagandists.

Right, right... the Jewish Americans are behind this.

Pretty transparent of you.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:31 PM on November 8, 2005


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