The War Will Be Televised
November 17, 2007 9:49 PM   Subscribe

Like a YouTube for soldiers in the Middle East, this site boasts lots of large explosions, night vision footage, dawn raids, night-time firefights, desert shootouts, and convoy ambushes. There is one film of a failed IED that is breathtaking. Astonishing movies, whether you're for or against the war.

Some of the films made me think of some First Person Shooters I've played, namely the latest Call of Duty, which in all likelihood took inspiration from these films, the way a game like Kane & Lynch took inspiration from Michael Mann's Heat.
posted by Sully (35 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think the site is called WarPorn

[sorry for the snark, but this site is pretty awful considering the number of Iraqi civilian casualities]
posted by KokuRyu at 10:07 PM on November 17, 2007


This is just like Call of Duty! Except for all those people that are dead now. Other than that, totally!
posted by puke & cry at 10:20 PM on November 17, 2007


[sorry for the snark, but this site war is pretty awful considering the number of Iraqi civilian casualities]

To imply that a site which is showing actual war footage is inherently bad is dishonest. These videos, edited or not show actual events, and therefore add to the journalism we have been sorely lacking since this war began. I think what you meant to say was that the war is bad because of Iraqi civilian casualties not because we get to see them.
posted by Jeff_Larson at 10:35 PM on November 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Would it be appropriate to show videos of people jumping to their death from the World Trade Center, because it shows actual events?

There are a lot of "actual events" that I don't particularly feel the need to see, and an innocent life being taken, or, for god's sake, a guilty life being taken, I just can't watch.

And yes, I know I mentioned the World Trade Center in reference to the Iraq war. That doesn't mean I am implying a connection.
posted by newfers at 10:39 PM on November 17, 2007


After a long day of avoiding being killed by explosives, there's probably nothing a soldier would like less than to watch videos of people getting killed--or nearly killed--by explosions. Then again, I could be wrong. Americans love sitting around the TV (or computer) and watching shit get blown up or people get tasered. But sex? Heavens, no! We can't have any of that corrupting our dear children.
posted by HotPatatta at 10:44 PM on November 17, 2007


After a long day of avoiding being killed by explosives, there's probably nothing a soldier would like less than to watch videos of people getting killed--or nearly killed--by explosions.

OTOH, there was a thoughtful article recently linked again on the blue on divorce and the war in Iraq, written by an ex-spouse of a soldier who returned home. One of the comments that stuck out for me was that her husband watched videos of action in order to ease the withdrawal from the adrenaline hits he was used to. Take that as you will.
posted by dreamsign at 10:47 PM on November 17, 2007


Like a YouTube for soldiers in the Middle East

When I saw that, what first went through my head was that this would be some kind of Arabic site, maybe a branch of al-Jazeera or something like that, with content uploaded by, say, "insurgents", or soldiers from the armies of middle east countries.

I was wrong.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:58 PM on November 17, 2007


We practice selective annihilation of mayors
And government officials
For example to create a vacuum
Then we fill that vacuum
As popular war advances
Peace is closer.
posted by dhammond at 11:05 PM on November 17, 2007


I watched quite a bit of that site content.

The footage of professional Canadian and Australian soldiers doing their damned scary jobs was quite engrossing. Sobering even.

The hootin' and a hollerin' US Marines and Blackwater MTV music vids? Not so much.

Thanks for the link.
posted by brautigan at 11:06 PM on November 17, 2007


These are all very unsettling. And necessary.
posted by zerolives at 11:48 PM on November 17, 2007


These videos, edited or not show actual events, and therefore add to the journalism we have been sorely lacking since this war began.

Say what? Videos of the guys on the ground calling in 500 lbs. bombs were a dime a dozen around 2003-2004, on every news channel around the world. They don't show it now cos it's old news.

And for the nitty-gritty stuff (eg, not the oddly "clean" hoo-rah crap on that militaryvideos site), there's always LiveLeak
posted by slater at 11:51 PM on November 17, 2007


To imply that a site which is showing actual war footage is inherently bad is dishonest.

I resent being called dishonest. In fact, to imply I am being dishonest for stating an objective opinion makes you an asshole.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's see some more mutilated children. Or how about mothers and fathers crying over lost sons and daughters. Or perhaps smell the stench of sewage.

But this "YouTube for soldiers" site or "gee cool, looks like an FPP" site, or whatever, doesn't do that. It shows military hardware, firefights, people in uniforms, all that good stuff. You know, war porn.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:58 PM on November 17, 2007


Way too much time on their hands...
posted by pravit at 12:20 AM on November 18, 2007


It's propaganda video, clean as a whistle, bangs with no consequences, no before and after. All the Trotsky heads have been carefully removed. There's almost nothing there the army recruiters wouldn't use. The main viewers will be the vile sort of folk who enjoy war a game of tactics and gadgets and golly-gee stuff, a spectator sport with one side they wear a "We Are #1!" hand for, and not, of course, as something they have to live in.
posted by pracowity at 12:31 AM on November 18, 2007


pracowity, you fukkin mouth-breathing troll-on-a-stick!

/joke
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:00 AM on November 18, 2007


By no stretch of the imagination could this be considered "journalism". What "news" is being conveyed here? How am I better informed after seeing these? Surely there isn't even a pretense of objectivity in this clips?

This site that shows war footage is inherently bad. It gives a glamourous picture of American soldiers causing death and destruction in a place that they have no business in, killing people who would never have offered Americans any harm if they hadn't invaded -- and it uses this to sell advertising.

Disgusting, morally vile, profiting off the misery of others. If you think it's journalism, I'm embarrassed for you. Here's a journalist.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:03 AM on November 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


oh dear.

this guy had his like whole arm blown off and it was totally like this video game it was sooooooo coool. and then they bombed the peasant village and it was like that scene in the movie and i was like fuck yeah! burn it to the ground!
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 1:07 AM on November 18, 2007


To all the people saying "needs more dead babies!" and "this oughtn't to be allowed as an FPP, by golly!" why do you feel the need to try and prevent other people from being exposed to this sort of media? It's obviously not an unbiased view of war, it doesn't pretend to be, and I think people realize that. You obviously had a negative reaction to it and saw it for what it was, so why do you suppose that others lack the intelligence and insight to do so themselves? It's rather patronizing.

Speaking for myself, I thought the "Blackwater in Najaf" video was very disturbing despite the lack of any gore, with the Blackwater employee casually mowing down scores of Iraqis and quipping "it's like a turkey shoot!". "Blackwater" is a term for untreated sewage by the way.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 1:56 AM on November 18, 2007


L.P. Hatecraft: I dont think anyone said it shouldnt be allowed as an FPP, they just called it warporn.
"so why do you suppose that others lack the intelligence and insight to do so themselves?" well, just look at Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America or the original poster even.
posted by Iax at 2:36 AM on November 18, 2007


Some of this stuff is hosted on Live Leak.
Some of the films made me think of some First Person Shooters I've played, namely the latest Call of Duty, which in all likelihood took inspiration from these films, the way a game like Kane & Lynch took inspiration from Michael Mann's Heat. "
Fiction taking inspiration from real life... imagine that.
posted by Jahaza at 3:42 AM on November 18, 2007


Where's the footage of the tank squashing a guy's taxi? Seems to be missing from MILITARY VIDEOS NET.

You should see it, stupid fucking asshole Iraqi taxi driver is just standing with a dumb fucking look on his face while he gets taught a valuable lesson.

Here it is. Makes me cringe.
posted by mattoxic at 4:17 AM on November 18, 2007


Where's the footage of the tank squashing a guy's taxi?

Wow! now repeat after me - hearts and minds, hearts and minds, hearts and minds.....
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 5:32 AM on November 18, 2007


this site is pretty awful considering the number of Iraqi civilian casualities

we are all duly impressed with your bleeding heart liberal cred now. you may now return to your video games and branded bottled water.
posted by quonsar at 5:45 AM on November 18, 2007


I think people are a little hard on the "that's what you get when you loot" soldier. From Wiki:

In many countries, even in Western democracies that otherwise ban the death penalty, extraordinary measures may be taken against looters, during times of crisis. Looters may be summarily shot by the police, army, or property owners. Extraordinary measures, combined with an impressive show of force, help to discourage looting and to disperse crowds that would otherwise find a normal show of force non-threatening. This is also common police practice in discouraging potential riots – which are often associated with looting – from escalating.

The Iraqi taxi driver got off lightly it would seem, as did Iraqi looters in general.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 7:11 AM on November 18, 2007


Would it be appropriate to show videos of people jumping to their death from the World Trade Center, because it shows actual events?

Don't see why not.

There are a lot of "actual events" that I don't particularly feel the need to see, and an innocent life being taken, or, for god's sake, a guilty life being taken, I just can't watch.

Good thing nobody is tying you down and making you watch it. What other people watch or don't watch is none of your fucking business.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:12 AM on November 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


Hey, if America were invaded tomorrow, I'd expect videos of the invasion to be wildly popular. Did somebody say turkey shoot? If you don't like people filming the destruction of your town and showing it as entertainment, it's really none of your fucking business. Smile for the camera.
posted by dreamsign at 7:23 AM on November 18, 2007


L.P Hatecraft, they were stealing wood. Probably to boil water so they could drink it and not die. Fuck your equivocating.
posted by odinsdream at 7:37 AM on November 18, 2007


Calls for censorship here would be disturbing if I thought anybody had any idea what they were talking about.
posted by pokermonk at 7:51 AM on November 18, 2007


Would it be too obvious to posit that no one knows the exact context of any of the vignettes videoed and that given that the war is most likely filled with a mix of tragic and heroic events that the most appropriate opinion or position to take would be something a little less judgmental?

For my money, I am glad that troops exist (given that we do not live in an ideal world) and that they are trained to do what they are told. I'm sad that sometimes they are too young or otherwise show bad judgment or are evil. I'm sad their leadership doesn't show more thoughtfulness. I'm sad that the citizenry doesn't show less apathy. I'm glad that sometimes the bright light of reality gets shown by people who document stuff like this. I think history will judge us all.
posted by sfts2 at 8:03 AM on November 18, 2007


we are all duly impressed with your bleeding heart liberal cred now. you may now return to your video games and branded bottled water.

Actually, there was already a vidgame reference on this page, and it wasn't from that "bleeding heart liberal." It was from the linker to this warporn, which really put it all together for me.

Sully, some of these films made you think of FPS's? You go on to say as much, but I really think it's supposed to be the other way around. You throw around words like "inspiration" and "movies" and reference Michael Mann's Heat like what the site depicts isn't tragic and, most importantly, real. Even mentioning CoD in reference to these videos without providing more context or elaboration other than their mere similarities (which was the entire point of the game in the first place, obviously, and I would hope most of us didn't need to see these videos to put that together) strikes me as rather distasteful.

Longtime gamer myself, but games are games and life is life, and I prefer playing those that do not attempt to blur the line between fiction and reality. It prevents finding videos like these simply "astonishing."
posted by dgbellak at 9:05 AM on November 18, 2007


When these soldiers are taking enemy fire and seeing RPG explosions a few feet away, why is there always a genius with them whose main thought seems to be, "Cool! I have to get this on film!" I figured that in the heat of battle, the tourist mentality of "I have to get this on film" would fall by the wayside. Apparently not.
posted by jayder at 9:40 AM on November 18, 2007


When these soldiers are taking enemy fire and seeing RPG explosions a few feet away, why is there always a genius with them whose main thought seems to be, "Cool! I have to get this on film!" I figured that in the heat of battle, the tourist mentality of "I have to get this on film" would fall by the wayside. Apparently not.

I take it you think journalists who venture into war zones to film battles while dodging bullets are equally crazy?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 10:51 AM on November 18, 2007


IMO it's a lame FPP. There a plenty of Iraq war video collections out there, just searching on "Iraq" in youtube reveals a huge collection of these videos.

So what's the big deal with this FPP? Are these videos better for some reason?

I pointed out in an earlier FPP how many times that one "Failed IED" video was linked to. It's warporn.

Ironically the "Failed IED" may not be such a failure after all, as millions of people around the world see the power of one of these things going off.
posted by mattoxic at 4:01 PM on November 18, 2007


Some Americans dont like the islamic songs in our movies so we mix rock music with Operations, hopfully they will like it.

This is a boring post because the linked site revolves around sanitized kill cam porn from the side that has the money and the hardware.

It's always more interesting to see the underdog scrap it out, which is why I'd imagine LiveLeak and this site don't exactly have a large cross section of membership. "Let's see if any boot 'n rally mentality can circle around that little fuckin' image."
posted by prostyle at 8:05 AM on November 19, 2007


“There are a lot of "actual events" that I don't particularly feel the need to see, and an innocent life being taken, or, for god's sake, a guilty life being taken, I just can't watch.”

Someone please take the gun from newfers head.
I do sympathize tho with the distaste here for the sanitized glorified version of war. Real war though, I think, should be seen. Preferably felt. Not sure how to do that.
There are people who - while they might not want to see actual footage - do need to see it. I’d like our legislators to see it. In fact I’d really prefer that most of them - anyone who is going to approve going to war - have some experiance in a war zone. Kinda get an idea of what real explosions are like, having real blood all over you, without the video gamey aspect to it. That, I think, would be healthy.
Precisely because it is horrible. The downside is some idiots will get off on it because they have absolutely no empathy. I think that is fostered by the restriction on showing the honored dead and their caskets, the obfuscation of the numbers of killed and wounded, and myriad other methods to blunt the sting of battle and keep us from remembering (while we’re shoveling off the guts of the dead) their names. The anonymity here gets me.
It’s always some young nameless guys, often wearing Oakleys (I used to wear Gargoyles) doing anonymous carnage in synch to some popular music. It is propaganda. But it’s not porn exactly. Because the revelation is in what you do not see. The form is slightly different - there’s no porn stardom or singled out fetish - there can’t be because this soldier or that marine might die tomorrow. Neither are there heroes. Just that anonymous hoarde who never dies, has no name and just rocks on in false bravado.
Meanwhile real people with real wounds or who lose real lives are never seen, nor is the mourning of their familes.
That’s the hell of it. Whether you’re for or against the war, that remains the same - the all this - the troops, everyone, are reduced to mere objects of contention either way. Nameless bits of political flotsam reduced from a full life and background to a simplifed villification or deification. No connection to them other than some abstract political ideal.
And those vagaries matter more to most people because they haven’t seen it, or been there, and know what it is they’re talking about. And so, really, they don’t care. No, they care about the ideal, the abstract Iraqi civilian abstractly killed by the abstractly evil American troops or the abstract terrorist abstractly vanquished by the heroic American troops. And all the ‘we should’s
With no one realizing that there is damn little else that matters as much as that immediacy of death because they haven’t looked death in the face and they can just keep pushing people into it.

That’s the horror. That we don’t know them. As long as we don’t know any of them, and haven’t seen it for ourselves how little anything else matters in the face of that, it will keep getting recorded, and they will all keep dying.

Hell, that’s why they built the Vietnam wall, with all those names. But the people who need to see don’t go and look at that either.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:22 PM on November 19, 2007


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