And he never stopped ‘targeting’ the Americans.
July 5, 2005 7:58 PM   Subscribe

Meet Sharara ("Spark" in English)
posted by amberglow (34 comments total)
Sharara was apparently a character fit for Dickens or Twain.

Wow, amberglow. I don't really know what to think. But as sad as it is, it is still somehow beautiful. Reminds me of "Empire of the Sun", which happens to be my favorite movie of all time.

I hope sparky is OK.
posted by snsranch at 8:09 PM on July 5, 2005

Damn interesting, and very powerfully written blog throughout. What a tragic, ugly, brutal mess this war has become. Think of all the Shaharas there must be. And be afraid. And very sad.
posted by realcountrymusic at 8:20 PM on July 5, 2005

That little bomb-faking scamp! My favorite part was where Roberto Benigni convinces him that they're only a few points away from winning a tank.
posted by ColdChef at 8:22 PM on July 5, 2005

Sorry. I just buried a kid that I knew who was killed by one of the non-fakers. But that's not really as funny.
posted by ColdChef at 8:24 PM on July 5, 2005

It's not meant to be funny, i don't think, except as a "either laugh or cry" thing.

Why should a little kid even be put into that kind of position? What did he do that we're occupying his country and killing his neighbors? What did his family do? What did those other people mentioned do? This kid could have been the ones abused at Abu Ghraib or worse. What are we doing to all the kids there?

He's just a kid--i toast his intelligence and perseverance, and pray he lives to be an adult.
posted by amberglow at 8:30 PM on July 5, 2005

...even if he does grow up to attack us. Let him and all the kids there survive.
posted by amberglow at 8:32 PM on July 5, 2005

Reminds me of "Empire of the Sun"

Yes ... a powerful film ... and Christian Bale's early start.

Scenes in that film (such as "...hanging next to Jim's makeshift prison bed is a Norman Rockwell painting torn out of the pages of LIFE Magazine. The painting is of a Mother and Father looking fondly at a child in bed. It is the exact same image from earlier in the film.") were homages to Norman Rockwell's paintings - to which Steven Spielberg has often made reference in his movies. He "

Spielberg is a primary benefactor of the Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge, MA).
posted by ericb at 8:40 PM on July 5, 2005

I guess what bothers me about this kid (if he really exists and, you know, does the things that are claimed here) is, that I wonder about how hard it is for soldiers to do their job and, you know, stay alive in such a hostile territory and NOT resent the people they're there to "help." (I'm not going to argue whether they should be there or not, fact is, they are there and the less of them I have to bury, the better). And when every "fake bomb" makes them a little less cautious about the next real one, I wonder how this can help.

At the funeral, I talked to a lot of soldiers who are serving over there. And a lot of them talked about how they really wanted to do good and help the people there, but when you have literally no idea if the kid walking up to you wants to shake hands or detonate the bomb under his coat, you err on the side of "put your fucking hands up and lay on the ground."
posted by ColdChef at 8:48 PM on July 5, 2005

...even if he does grow up to attack us. Let him and all the kids there survive.

And you claim to support our troops?
posted by Carbolic at 8:50 PM on July 5, 2005

I was reading an article earlier about how Iraq was one of the most westernized countries in the region. (Meaning, the only country sypathetic with the west.) What things we could have done there. Now, instead of checking out Sesame Street, kids are making fake bombs.
posted by snsranch at 8:52 PM on July 5, 2005

ericb: thank you for that nugget. I love the film even more now.

ColdChef, I'm sorry for the loss of your particular kid. And I don't mean to infer anything about you or your relation to that kid, but it's sad, once again, that anyone is taking losses for a mission that is not clear.
posted by snsranch at 9:00 PM on July 5, 2005

It used to be, sns--no more, thanks to us. “Iraq used to have one of the finest school systems in the Middle East."
posted by amberglow at 9:02 PM on July 5, 2005

And when every "fake bomb" makes them a little less cautious about the next real one, I wonder how this can help.

Why do you think he's trying to "help" your side? He's trying to stop you guys.
More power to him.
posted by signal at 9:04 PM on July 5, 2005

I wasn't suggesting that he stop because it helped "my side", I was trying to suggest that in order for him to live long enough to see the wrongs done by our government righted, he might consider not antagonizing soldiers who, let's face it, aren't known to show restraint.

But, you know, if you think that getting shot trying to plant a Nike full of wadded paper and a wick is a good way for him to try to stop the war, then far be it for me to disagree.
posted by ColdChef at 9:11 PM on July 5, 2005

Why do you think he's trying to "help" your side? He's trying to stop you guys.
More power to him.
posted by signal at 9:04 PM PST on July 5 [!]

More power to him? christ
posted by jikel_morten at 9:20 PM on July 5, 2005

So, did anyone else catch last week's episode? Much funnier than the one with this "spark" kid (what kind of name is that anyways... probably changed it from something lame like Bertrand...) Anyways, that part with the guy from Baghdad who dressed like a flasher, when he opened his jacket in front of the soldiers he was wearing that silly exploding underwear... and it didn't explode, so they shot him... that was so fucking funny!

Man, war is like the best thing on TV these days. I can hardly wait until the finale. And then, with ratings like these, there'll have to be War II... sweet!
posted by C.Batt at 9:25 PM on July 5, 2005

How hard do you think it is for a 10 year old kid to have to live as though his whole country is a prison, and practically none of the prison guards speak your language?
posted by clevershark at 9:30 PM on July 5, 2005

er, speak his language of course.
posted by clevershark at 9:30 PM on July 5, 2005

I struggle with the issues that have been brought up (by implication) in this thread. I very much believe this is an immoral war. If I then "support the troops", how can I jusity that, morally speaking? Certainly we can all agree that the "good Germans" in WWII were morally reprehensible. Just as clearly, the US is not anything close to Nazi Germany. But how do I decide on which side of the line we lie, morally, between "support the troops" and "its an immoral war to be opposed at all costs no matter what that means for the troops."

I don't know. I'm sure there is a line. People who say there is no line scare me.
posted by Justinian at 9:37 PM on July 5, 2005

Since this thread is on its way downhill, I'd encourage future posters to consider this: There's a subtle idea being conveyed in the linked story.

There are children growing up in the midst of the chaos in Iraq right now. There's a particular child who, in the midst of his entire world being turned upside down, has caused trouble, gotten jailed, and still seemed to maintain his spirit as a child.

Is he an insurgent? Was he making fake IEDs to rebel against the Western opressors? Does he realize that his actions may get him killed, US soldiers killed, or otherwise make it tougher for everyone involved? The answer to all of those is probably "no."

He is a child. It seems his fake IEDs are as much a game as hiding during the prison counts. What would any of us do if we were children in Iraq right now?
posted by VulcanMike at 9:38 PM on July 5, 2005

Sharara would climb into a small ventilation duct and hide there.

No better way to the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people than by familiarizing them with the works of Bob Crane and Werner Klemperer!

I call bullshit.
posted by swell at 9:59 PM on July 5, 2005

When you are the foreign occupying force you are going to be hated by most of the locals no matter what the reason you are there. If someone invaded my home I would want them out even if I knew they were right to be there. As a child I would have been more likely to fight them than I am now as a comfortable middle-aged dude. War is a playground for the young.. This may well be a bullshit blog but it does contain some truth.
posted by arse_hat at 10:36 PM on July 5, 2005

You know what would be funny? A show like Reno 911, but set in Iraq, with some marines or something.

Just throwing that out there.
posted by delmoi at 10:44 PM on July 5, 2005

Also, do I "support the troups"? No. They are like victims of a crime, especialy since most of them signed up before the Iraq war.

And you can't cram democracy down someone's throat. What a stupid waste of human life.
posted by delmoi at 10:57 PM on July 5, 2005

I need to find a ribbon magnet that reads "Pity the Troops" for my truck.
posted by alumshubby at 3:32 AM on July 6, 2005

How can anyone with firing neurons claim that what is happening in Iraq is not creating more future terrah-ists?
posted by Enron Hubbard at 5:44 AM on July 6, 2005

oh, so this is how the US is training the Iraqi people to protect themselves
posted by eustatic at 7:50 AM on July 6, 2005

Locking ten year olds in prision is fucked up.We have lost our little moral compass some where ...
posted by hortense at 9:39 AM on July 6, 2005

I think I empathise with both sides here. The kid is being a pain in the neck for the troops, but from his perspective, it's mutual. I really wish he wouldn't have done it, since he put himself at risk, and he's now stuck in detention. Much as I wish that the American soldiers weren't seen in a negative light, but with the circumstances involved things are tense and complicated.

...even if he does grow up to attack us. Let him and all the kids there survive.
And you claim to support our troops?

This has nothing to do with troops. Assuming that this kid is going to grow up to set real bombs is an assumption I'm not prepared to make. I think all kids should be given a chance to learn, grow up, and then make their own decisions with knowledge of the consequences involved. What's the alternative here, shoot kids we think will grow up to attack American soldiers? Of course we want kids to survive, think about it.
posted by mikeh at 11:07 AM on July 6, 2005

The whole story sounds like propaganda. In other words, made up out of whole cloth. Saddam was a tyrannical megalomaniac torture-murderer if his own people, including children.
posted by longsleeves at 5:25 PM on July 6, 2005

There's a great article in the June05 Harper's called "40 Years in the Sand", which outlines the current situation as well as anything else I've read. It might even go some way towards explaining why a kid like Spark would behave as he did.

Link to some quotes and a bit of discussion, as the article's not available online yet.
posted by sneebler at 5:33 PM on July 6, 2005

Nice evening for a troll eh longsleeves? hee hee.
posted by arse_hat at 5:46 PM on July 6, 2005

The whole story sounds like historical fact. In other words, made up of God's Honest Truth. Bush is a tyrannical megalomaniac torture-murdered of the Iraqi people, including children.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:56 PM on July 6, 2005

Baby_Balrog, you want to be careful with that equivalence argument, some people have trouble following it. Many years ago a prominent Metafilter pundit stated that he thought there could not be any civilian casualties in Afghanstan as any of the population might shoot at US troops if they were given an AK47. I pointed out that this kind of thinking might lead one to the conclusion that there were no civilian casualties during the attack on the World Trade Center towers as all those inside were part of the military-industrial dominance machine which oppresses the world. Funnily enough, I got called troll on the basis of that comment.
But I am over it now ; )
Shows you how the atmosphere here has changed in the past 4 years.
posted by asok at 8:47 AM on July 7, 2005

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