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January 9, 2007 4:51 AM   Subscribe

Added January 8, 2007: The US Navy has a message for you(Tube) concerning the Navy Seals: "They are warrior diplomats and trusted teammates in the war against terrorism. They understand the political and cultural sensitivities of the countries in which they operate." Added October 22, 2006: This former Marine commander has a message for you(Tube) as well, concerning "cultural sensitivities". Speaking of his part in the assault on Fallujah: "I started to cry... the woman seeing my reaction... put her hand on my cheek and said Insha'Allah... cause these people over there can accept it as God's will... but no, it wasn't God's will, it was my fucking order. I gave the order to fire those rockets into the building, and I killed her family. I have to live with that..."
posted by flapjax at midnite (29 comments total)

 
This, plus on the drive in to work this morning, I heard on NPR about airstrikes in Somalia. I tried belting out a lusty chorus of Lee Greewood's hit song of yore, but for some reason I was singing a little flatter than usual.

My SEAL joke:

Q. SEALs don't like Jehovah's Witnesses. Why is that?
A. SEALs don't like any witnesses.
posted by pax digita at 5:10 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


The US Navy also has this message for you (Tube)
posted by Flashman at 5:12 AM on January 9, 2007


I have no idea what any of it mean, but it forced a good belly laugh, flashman.
posted by IronLizard at 5:32 AM on January 9, 2007


Err, meant.
posted by IronLizard at 5:32 AM on January 9, 2007


I have no idea what any of it mean, but it forced a good belly laugh, flashman

I'd say forced is the operative word here. I guess I'm missing something there, Flashman. Would I get it if I spoke German?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:47 AM on January 9, 2007


Flashman, was hat diese Link mit den US Navy zu tun?

Maybe this is a marginally more relevant US Navy-ish YouTube link?
posted by pax digita at 5:53 AM on January 9, 2007


YVAN EHT NIOJ.

I got you, Flashman. I got you.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 6:13 AM on January 9, 2007


Aha.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:23 AM on January 9, 2007


He ain't the only one.

Back-masking. The Deutsch threw me.
posted by pax digita at 6:43 AM on January 9, 2007


Wow, the German Lisa is pretty good. The German Homer sounds really, really wrong though.
posted by Talanvor at 7:46 AM on January 9, 2007


A Marine corporal isn't what you'd call a "commander". He's an E-4, which is way down the org chart.
posted by Nahum Tate at 8:34 AM on January 9, 2007


Well, I don't want to moderate this thread, I certainly think that's not a very cool thing to do, but I would like to just say, before I turn in for the night, that I hope there are a few MeFites out there who'll do that Marine and his heartbreaking tales of bitter wartime experience a little more justice than links to (and subsequent comments on) Simpsons and Village People clips.

But if not, hey, whatever. I know a lot of folks have perhaps reached some kind of saturation point with Iraq war stuff. And I happen to be a Simpsons fan myself, but... time and place, man, time and place.

G'night!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:36 AM on January 9, 2007


A Marine corporal isn't what you'd call a "commander". He's an E-4, which is way down the org chart.

Forgive my ignorance. He said in his speech that he "gave the order", so I just figured anyone who gives an order must be some kind of "commander". Anyway, now I know he's way down the org chart. Doesn't change what he had to say, for me, one iota, however.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:40 AM on January 9, 2007


Sorry flapjax - you are quite right: 1. time and place; 2. should've actually listened to the clip; 3. shouldn't have assumed that the clip would be so obscure as to puzzle people; 4. time and place
posted by Flashman at 8:53 AM on January 9, 2007


No sweat Flashman, you're cool to say sorry! And now I really am going to bed.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:58 AM on January 9, 2007


... I put her hand on my cheek and said Insha'Allah... cause these people over there can accept it as God's will... but no, it wasn't God's will, it was my fucking order. I gave the order to fire those rockets into the building, and I killed her family. I have to live with that..."

No. God isn't getting off so easy here.

It wasn't this Marine's order that got those people dead. It was the order that his commander in chief issued which sent him there in the first place. That order, as we understand, came from the "higher father."

It's fucking insha'Allah all the way down.
posted by three blind mice at 9:20 AM on January 9, 2007


I remember when warriors and diplomats had, you know, different occupations.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:43 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, WGP, warriors always had to be at least partially diplomatic, so they don't destroy or kill the wrong people, or even to prevent the need for the absolute force they represent. I mean, an officer of the armed forces needs to be incredibly attuned to culture, history, philosophy, and war to be able to do their job well. If all they know how to do is fight, they'll fight a lot more people than they have to.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:54 AM on January 9, 2007


warrior diplomats

The very definition of doublespeak.
posted by bardic at 10:36 AM on January 9, 2007


While you're busy stage-managing your FPP's thread, flapjax, consider that some of us are already pretty overwhelmed by all of this and have been for quite awhile now, at least as far back as we've had friends' kids get stop-lossed and even when we were praying in vain that we wouldn't see echoes of My Lai and Fort Pillow -- which we did anyway, in names like Haditha and Abu Gharib. Please excuse us our unseemly and temporary departure into irrelevant levity while we re-don our sackcloth and freshen the coating of ashes, mmmkay?
posted by pax digita at 11:00 AM on January 9, 2007


I think the voice over on the first clip may have been Major Dad
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:43 PM on January 9, 2007


Please excuse us our unseemly and temporary departure into irrelevant levity while we re-don our sackcloth and freshen the coating of ashes, mmmkay?

mmmsure, pax digita, like I said upthread: "hey whatever". I don't think the tone of my comment was heavy handed at all, and it certainly didn't constitute being "busy stage-managing" the thread. Perhaps you should go back and read it. While you're at it, you might also go back and read Flashman's comment, and get yourself a lesson in showing a little class.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:51 PM on January 9, 2007


Israel field-tests effective anti-RPG weapon. So why isn’t the U.S. Army doing the same?
posted by homunculus at 5:28 PM on January 9, 2007


warrior diplomats

The very definition of doublespeak.


No, as I said before, not really. Not unless you want to think of them as two seperate roles certain people have. Think about when the US Navy pulls into port and some enlisted sailor does something stupid and causes an incident. Many times, it's up to the Command Officer or the like to use his or her cultural finesse, knowledge, and ability to get the sailor out of trouble and maybe even smooth things over with the local authorities. Or when a potentially threatening situation is diffused by a keen religious and cultural proficiency. The military must continuously strive to perfect the diplomatic else they will fail. Even many of the failures of our current occupation are lack of diplomatic skill and command. We do pretty okay with the warrior stuff usually.

"The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools."
-Thucydides
posted by Lord Chancellor at 6:16 PM on January 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


As a lowly sailor in the US Navy, I was taught that I was, even my lowly self, a diplomat, representing the United States to all people I met. This is logical.

You can claim, if you like, that this was so much hyperbole, but I think that is mistaken. It would be more correct to say that while I was an American sailor, fact is, my misdeads would be as likely ascribed to the fact I was a sailor as to the fact I was American.

Of course, the Navy can afford this kind of thought in general, as sailors, unlike soldiers, rarely have to look into the eyes of their enemy/victims. Soldiers are too trained to dehumanize the 'enemy'.
posted by Goofyy at 1:07 AM on January 10, 2007


I don't know about that. I have met main a marine, SEAL, or soldier that strandle the fence well.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:09 AM on January 10, 2007


*many as opposed to main
posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:10 AM on January 10, 2007


flapjax, I reread comments as directed -- now you reread mine and ponder a bit that when people overload on anguish, some bitter humor is a defense mechanism. Possibly a new concept to you.

Admonishing other posters while at the same time saying you don't mean to is the worst kind of stage-managing, a perfect example of hypocrisy. And complaining that you don't like others' comments is a good check on whether you need to get your own blog -- here in the blue, there's a bit more give-and-take than you're evidently comfortable with. (Or I suppose you could go over to MeTa and whine there -- I'm sure it would be well received.)

A cheery "hey whatever" to you as well.
posted by pax digita at 5:01 AM on January 10, 2007


a perfect example of hypocrisy.

Happy I could serve as such a perfect example for you there, pd.

My original comment was very light, very non-aggressive. Flashman obviously understood that and replied in kind, with a considerate and gentlemanly apology. Some people are big enough to do that, some aren't. You decided to get snide and sarcastic with your next comment. So now I'm not terribly surprised that my suggestion that you show a little class went unheeded. That's too bad, but hey, I ain't gonna lose any sleep over it. You'd have to do something a lot stupider than post a Village People YouTube clip (and a couple of stupid and condescending followup comments) on this thread for me to take you to MeTa. You actually flatter yourself by suggesting that I might consider your boorish (but ultimately just boring) behavior worthy of the effort it would take to do a MeTa callout.

And don't give me that "here in the blue" business, as if you speak for everyone here, or that you're privy to some ultimate code of MeFi conduct that I'm unaware of. That's really tiresome.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:32 AM on January 10, 2007


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