Dog day in Iraq.
January 18, 2005 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Dog day in Iraq. PFC Connor, a Marine mascot previously mentioned in this post, was hunted down and killed just 24 hours before his planned departure from Iraq. "We found you at six weeks old. Not much more than five pounds, you lived on potted meat and long life milk. It was all we had. You grew into a little puppy, an Iraqi dog with an Irish name from Boon Dock Saints. For all the times you ran away . . . you ran to me as fast as you could when I whistled for you. It was those times that I loved you the most."
"I'm wondering why they created this policy. Were dogs barking and attracting insurgents? Were they playing fetch and accidentally bringing home IEDs instead of their stick? Does Rumsfeld just hate puppies?
"No, no, and possibly."
posted by insomnia_lj (41 comments total)
Ok, I'm totally depressed now. :’(
posted by miss lynnster at 9:21 AM on January 18, 2005

I'm guessing that this policy is just another "bitch-slap" of the military. Rumsfeld: "We're in charge here, and this policy is designed to make sure that you know your place."

From the Bush administration to the soldiers in Iraq with much love...
posted by ensign_ricky at 9:30 AM on January 18, 2005

Humanity among the troops will make them soft?
posted by arse_hat at 10:20 AM on January 18, 2005

This just makes me ill -- physically ill. I hope the money raised for Connor will be able to help another group, at least. I would hate for all that effort to have been in vain. I really feel for the soldiers who cared for the dog -- as a pet's pet myself, I can't imagine my world if one of them were taken from me in this way.
posted by Medieval Maven at 10:21 AM on January 18, 2005

I thought the Bush administration was supposed to value loyalty above all else...
posted by R. Mutt at 10:26 AM on January 18, 2005

Is this really that surprising?
posted by agregoli at 10:31 AM on January 18, 2005

I have tears in my eyes after reading that. I know I'd be devastated if that happened to my dog. I can't imagine if I'm already in a situation like the soldiers, and one of my major sources of comfort is taken away. My heart really goes out to them.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:33 AM on January 18, 2005

R. Mutt, loyalty that can vote, the four legged kind barely counts.

This is a bummer and just another sign of just much this administration doesn't "get it".
posted by fenriq at 10:34 AM on January 18, 2005

Just more evidence of the 'culture of death' in the Pentagon. The people there have no respect for life, and see killing as a tool to be used to solve any perceived problem, whether it be real or imaginary.
posted by wadefranklin at 10:39 AM on January 18, 2005

So its official. Rumsfeld is actually a puppy-killer.
posted by thirdparty at 10:46 AM on January 18, 2005

Once again anticipated by the Daily Show (around two years ago). I won't get the quote exactly right, but it was along the lines of "This meeting of Bush, Cheney, and Powell was the first since 2001 in which they did not strangle a puppy."
posted by Aknaton at 10:52 AM on January 18, 2005

It's right there in the FPP; the puppy was Iraqi for gods sake.
posted by biffa at 11:17 AM on January 18, 2005

In the 1/17/05 issue of The New Yorker is an article by Dan Baum called "Battle Lessons" that very nicely describes the changing culture of the military, in the sense that more than ever, soldiers are discarding didactic, rigid training in favor of what they instictively find to be effective. He goes on to discuss the free dissemination of information between company commanders via the web, and leads off with an account of an early crowd control incident, a near-diaster averted by a quick thinking officer ordering his troops to point their guns at the ground and "take a knee" (kneel). When he was asked where he learned such a tactic, he simply stated it was essentially common sense.

As off-topic as that may seem, I was reminded of the article because more tha anything, it seems there are thousands of very bright, resourceful, and above all, thoughtful individuals over there who thrive in an environment of flexibility, in a situation that cannot be managed autocratically. It's too bad that a dog isn't something that escaped scrutiny.
posted by docpops at 11:21 AM on January 18, 2005

The saddest/sickest part of this to me is that someone in the military hierarchy has to know that these mascots exist (since they seem to know where to come and get them when the time comes) and yet they let the soldiers keep them until the very end of their tours. So, you've been in Iraq for a year. It's probably sucked pretty hard. Maybe you've seen your friends hurt or killed; Maybe you've hurt or killed other people. Then, right before you've made it through and you're about to go home, they kill your dog. Talk about a kick in the balls.
posted by Cyrano at 11:27 AM on January 18, 2005

Jesus Christ, life really does imitate satire. Next thing you know, Bush will be stabbing small children on live television.
posted by borkingchikapa at 11:42 AM on January 18, 2005

This is just more evidence that this Rummy could really ive a rats a$$ about the troops that he put into harms way. As far as he's concerned they're cannon fodder. I hope and pray that those that pushed this war burn in hell. I really mean it. I hope that the God that they pray to judges them as the murders and war mongerers that they are. They have condoned the mass killing of tens of thousands of Iraqis and now how many innocent animals. I shudder to think of how far back our society has back slided to accept this behavior form our elected officials. This is sick!
posted by wonway at 12:05 PM on January 18, 2005

I'm not sure what I find my disturbing/depressing: the fact that it happened at all, or the fact that it doesn't surprise me in the least.
posted by chickygrrl at 12:15 PM on January 18, 2005

Makes me want to vomit.
posted by absalom at 12:21 PM on January 18, 2005

Did they fly Bill Frist in to do the job? It seems he has experience in this kind of thing, you know.
posted by fungible at 12:23 PM on January 18, 2005

If you want control over the disposition of your pets, don't join the military.
posted by rushmc at 12:36 PM on January 18, 2005

Wow... Rush is a fucking dickhead.... I mean, I know dickhead, being one myself, but jeez man, you are a ginormous ass...

My comments from the earlier post... still rings true a bit, don'tyaknow....
posted by Debaser626 at 12:45 PM on January 18, 2005

The only consolation I take is knowing that this animal was well treated and cared for during its time and hopefully humanely put down.

This is absurdity of the highest order. It shows that our military and the nutjob civilians that man the controls in DC as completely and totally dysfunctional.

If the greatest military in the world cannot figure out a way to effectively and efficiently insure the safety and survival of a few dozen puppy dogs then I am truly frightened.

Hell of an incentive to re-up huh? Sign back up so we can have total can complete disregard for every aspect of your humanity and individuality.

And before some neocon spouts off about how we should be spending money on troops and not dogs, you cannot convince me that there was not a transport plane returning sometime in the near future that did not have room for a 5 lb dog.

And, its not about the dog, its about the soldiers. The dog is not suffering here. The soldiers are.
posted by Ynoxas at 12:53 PM on January 18, 2005

The dog is not suffering here. The soldiers are.

Newsflash: War IS suffering.
posted by rushmc at 1:36 PM on January 18, 2005

WTH? Was this dog an undercover insurgent or something?
posted by kaemaril at 1:53 PM on January 18, 2005

Newsflash: War IS suffering.
posted by rushmc at 4:36 PM EST on January 18

Please go tell this to the family members of the wounded and dead soldiers from this conflict. Please? Especially when there's a lot of them around. Armed.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 2:08 PM on January 18, 2005

The previous mention on mefi might make things a little clearer. It appears that the military while abroad has little in the way of proper vetinary care for strays and adopted dogs (and apparently cats), presenting a potential health risk for the troops. Thence the animals get a certain "vermin" status and get put down by under a command that does not cater much to a sense of community or warm-heartedness. These people are after all on a mission, one that doesn't involve Hallmark moments.

The good news: Not all stories end this way.

Before we decry the heartless acts of the brass on this count, we should remember that somewhere on the order of 4-6 million dogs are put to death stateside annually. (Statistics vary wildly, but in the time you've read this several non-beloved-by-troop dogs will have been similarly "hunted down and killed")
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:14 PM on January 18, 2005

cyrus: I didn't take rushmc's statement that way.

I assumed he meant "war is hell" or "war is terrible".

I don't think he was implying the soldiers deserved to suffer just because there was a war going on.

Surely not.

Ogre: that too is clearly awful, but in this case it appears to be punitive, even if unintentionally so.

What you mention is exactly why I don't make fun of Bob Barker for encouraging pet sterilization. I'm proud of him for using daytime television airtime every weekday for what, 30 years or more(?), to promote this idea.
posted by Ynoxas at 2:42 PM on January 18, 2005

Please go tell this to the family members of the wounded and dead soldiers from this conflict.

That would seem rather redundant, wouldn't it? Rather, it's those who only see war on tv and in gung-ho action flicks that need the reminder.

I don't think he was implying the soldiers deserved to suffer just because there was a war going on.

Obviously not.
posted by rushmc at 4:37 PM on January 18, 2005

If you want control over the disposition of your pets, don't join the military.

Rushmc having found myself overwhelmed at first with an emotional response at your words earlier this evening I sat down and paused to consider: what would be a reasoned appropriate response to your statement.
I must of course stress brevity in the response, I do not wish to explore the entire breadth and depth of the ways in which your statement can be shown to be impractical as a matter of course in an all volunteer military from a free society or in poor taste concerning the humanity of our soldiers (they are and must be men, not machines, a country does not want a killing machine - a souless man with feeling burned from him - to return home so their suffering must be carefully handled) or even out of touch with the realities faced by military families which your statement - broad as it is - addresses.
I also must address it purely for this thread. I don't wish you to think I hold you in contempt for other ideas you've expressed, I have served my country - hence my initial response and desire to retort - but I don't know whether you have served or in what capacity you may have and I certainly don't wish to disparage any life choices you have made or not made only point out that my background and experiance causes me to respond as I do - and of course how I would respond in that situation in Iraq myself - so the context must be limited and I must express to you that I am making a single shot statement only as a response to your statement with no futher implication intended.

This is then, in essense, and only for this particular instance, my response:

Go fuck yourself.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:29 PM on January 18, 2005

Man, over the patronizing, self-congratualating top.
posted by y2karl at 8:24 PM on January 18, 2005

I have to tell this. My friends and I found and, for about a week, adopted a stray dog that wondered up to our camp just south of Baghdad during that last war in Iraq. We didn't name her, but we fed her well. She would race with me as I patrolled the desert in a Humvee. She stayed with me up to 65 mph. I love dogs and war will break everything including your heart. BTW, I'm pretty sure she was a pure-bred greyhound.

I know, but it just reminded me.
posted by snsranch at 8:30 PM on January 18, 2005

Take heart that in an alternate string universe, today this dog is happily playing fetch with an iraqi boy, both of whom are very much happy, healthy and alive - on a day where there is no Saddam Hussien, there is no George W Bush, and there is no useless internet arguement about the futility of humanity's frailties...

Because everyone is outside enjoying the sun, the water, the air and their lives.
posted by JGreyNemo at 9:25 PM on January 18, 2005

What odinsdream said.

And what exactly does "hunted down" mean?

ps: I read on her jounal that this dude has been killed in Iraq. I checked out his journal. One of his most recent posts said, "hi everyone. i'm alive. yay"

His last post read, "i need a day off

that is all...

missing you

and all of you too"

RIP, wolfmoon98.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:38 PM on January 18, 2005

"RIP, wolfmoon98"

I posted to MeFi about Wolfmoon98 here, as he was an online friend of mine.

There's a memorial for Mike tomorrow, and on Friday he's going to be buried at Arlington.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:33 AM on January 19, 2005

The soldier who I linked to has responded to this post, and to the original post in question. Here's an exerpt.

My world consists of my friends and co-workers, my job, bad food, isolation, receiving care-packages from friends and strangers back home, LiveJournal, and just trying to get through the day-to-day in this dusty wasteland, this basin of human history. Until recently, a large part of that world was Connor, a wonderful bundle of dusty fur with sharp little puppy teeth and a tail that'll make your day when it wags at the sight of you.

For those who think that trying to get an animal home or the noble work of is a frivolous or even useless venture, I ask you to think about your life. Take the most important thing you have right now, and destroy it. No, have it ripped from you. Let it be taken from the place of security you tried to create for it. Let strangers take it away under cover of darkness, give it a Final Injection. Let them put it in a plastic bag, and throw it in a burn pit before you even know what happened so you don't even get to say goodbye.

Do this, and then see if the Worries Of The World outweigh your grief. Then step down off your self-righteous soapbox quietly, before someone gets hurt. Again

posted by insomnia_lj at 2:07 AM on January 19, 2005

I love dogs and war will break everything including your heart. BTW, I'm pretty sure she was a pure-bred greyhound.

As if the FPP wasn't heartbreaking enough, I had to see this. *sigh* My own greyhound (an adopted retired racer) had to be sent across the Rainbow Bridge earlier this year. He was 12 1/2, which I'm told is old for a large dog, much less one that used to race for a living. But his health was in serious decline, and it was time to let go. But I ask you, snsranch, is there anything more heart-melting than a greyhound smile?

And, as has been mentioned, this sort of thing doesn't only happen in Iraq.
posted by Oriole Adams at 7:31 AM on January 19, 2005

Dude, that video was scary, I remember that footage. And that situation is in no way comparable to this one.
posted by agregoli at 8:02 AM on January 19, 2005

Thanks for posting his response, insomnia_lj. I think a lot of people don't realize that soldiers in a combat zone don't much give a shit about geopolitics. They just want to survive and come home with as many of their buddies as possible.
posted by Cyrano at 8:33 AM on January 19, 2005

Too much ya think? Sry.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:44 PM on January 19, 2005

Sorry, insomnia_lj. I feel like a goose. Totally missed your post.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:10 PM on January 19, 2005

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