Come and get it!
November 21, 2006 3:10 PM   Subscribe

 
I don't know why that just made me so very sad, like way out of proportion with the admittedly cruel antics of the soldiers. Something about taunting kids just adds a layer of fucked up.
posted by jonson at 3:12 PM on November 21, 2006


"You may have all the oil, but any day now, we'll be running our cars on THIS stuff!"
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:13 PM on November 21, 2006


Me too man.

Me too.

Sad is just the only way to describe the feeling I have now, just having seen this video. I can't even be outraged.

Just sad.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:13 PM on November 21, 2006


Half of America is laughing their asses off over this.

"Yeah, fuck 'em, that'll teach them! Haha!"
posted by setanor at 3:17 PM on November 21, 2006


I dunno, it shows poor taste, but I'd probably be inclined to find ways to get locals' kids to follow me around in an urban combat situation too. Smart soldiers. Bad situation.
posted by litfit at 3:18 PM on November 21, 2006


*
posted by The White Hat at 3:19 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


Fisher Price Waterboarding
posted by matteo at 3:19 PM on November 21, 2006


I honestly thought they weren't even going to give them it at the end. In the grand scheme of things, though, it's not up there with this shit.
posted by imperium at 3:20 PM on November 21, 2006


I dunno, it shows poor taste, but I'd probably be inclined to find ways to get locals' kids to follow me around in an urban combat situation too. Smart soldiers. Bad situation.


I'm thinking you may be trolling, but would you care to elaborate on two things?

One, why you would want local children to follow you around in urban combat.

Two, what exactly in this video gives you the impression that the soldiers are "smart"?
posted by lazaruslong at 3:20 PM on November 21, 2006


It's the last couple of seconds when it's thrown from the lorry and the other kids get it. Sad alright. I find it real hard to get angry/outraged at the minute. There's nothing even to get really angry/outraged about. Pricks are everywhere. Some of them happen to be soldiers.
posted by twistedonion at 3:20 PM on November 21, 2006


If instant karma had kicked in for child-taunting joker, at the very end of the clip the video camera lens would've gone splattery red with the blood from this jerk's head as a sniper from a nearby roof took him out.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:21 PM on November 21, 2006 [3 favorites]


Oh, the humanity!!

This must be the first documented case of children being taunted by soldiers. With bottled water, nonetheless.

Geneva Convention reference to the humane treatment of civilians coming up in 3...2...1...
posted by jsavimbi at 3:21 PM on November 21, 2006


So I guess they're not even trying with the hearts and minds thing any more?
posted by afx237vi at 3:22 PM on November 21, 2006


lazaruslong writes "One, why you would want local children to follow you around in urban combat."

So that the bad guys don't blow you up. He's suggesting that the children are being used as human shields.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:22 PM on November 21, 2006


Mr_Roboto:

That's what I thought he was suggesting.



Call me naive, but I was not aware that using children as human shields in urban combat was considered "smart tactics".
posted by lazaruslong at 3:23 PM on November 21, 2006


Or effective, for that matter.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:24 PM on November 21, 2006


If instant karma had kicked in for child-taunting joker, at the very end of the clip the video camera lens would've gone splattery red with the blood from this jerk's head as a sniper from a nearby roof took him out.

Are you seriously suggesting that a soldier who teases an Iraqi kid over a water bottle deserves to have his head blown off? You need to get a grip.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 3:24 PM on November 21, 2006


Unfortunately the US soldiers killed tonight or tomorrow probably won't be these dickheads.
posted by dobbs at 3:24 PM on November 21, 2006


I don't know... obviously this doesn't compare to a lot of stuff we've done in the past few years, but then again Michael Richards didn't really say anything all that shocking. The fact that both events are on youTube, however, makes a huge difference.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 3:26 PM on November 21, 2006




That is just sick.

That plus this and this make me think that these guys obviously have too much time on their hands.

It's time to bring these guys home.
posted by wfrgms at 3:27 PM on November 21, 2006


I will say in their defense that one could say it's a way for them to try to deal with the stress of their situation, especially if the soldiers in question are reservists or National Guard members; people who weren't really trained to be occupying a country and fighting an insurgency.

That said, that's all the more reason why they need to be out of there.
posted by Target Practice at 3:35 PM on November 21, 2006


lazaruslong writes "Or effective, for that matter."

Well, it's certainly not ethical (or legal), but I could see how it might be perceived as effective. I have no clue as to its actual effectiveness.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:37 PM on November 21, 2006


A friend who was in the military told me about some guys in his unit who had been in Somalia. They would proudly tell stories of dragging bags of "food" behind their vehicles while the locals chased after them. Once they had made the Somalis run long enough, they cut the cord releasing the "food". When the Somalis got to it, they found the bags were filled with trash.

Sick.
posted by mzanatta at 3:42 PM on November 21, 2006


I have no clue as to its actual effectiveness.

I do
posted by TBoneMcCool at 3:42 PM on November 21, 2006


Pretty straight forward bullying.. The extraordinary wealth imbalance adds some nuance to the idea of coercion though. What state do these kids live in that a small bottle of water is worth so much to them - wow!

Did that murder/rape conviction ever make it to a FPP?
posted by Chuckles at 3:42 PM on November 21, 2006


Hired killers acting cruelly? Who'da thunk it?
posted by Optamystic at 3:44 PM on November 21, 2006


Michael Richards didn't really say anything all that shocking.

"Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a fucking fork up your ass."

Not to derail, but are you kidding me? Both situations, the subject of this post and the Mchael Richards thing, are so obviously awful. Why are people so quick to come to the defense of idiots?
posted by eunoia at 3:48 PM on November 21, 2006


This would probably be considerably less disturbing if the kids were running all that way because the soldiers were dangling candy, or money, or a toy or something...rather than a bottle of drinkable water -- you know, that stuff you can't get in Iraq anymore since our genius little war got underway.
posted by uosuaq at 3:49 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


Let's imagine a bunch of oil-rich Saudi kids driving a BMW convertible through Appalachia taunting the dirt-poor children with dangling bottles of Coca-cola.
posted by orthogonality at 3:49 PM on November 21, 2006


Also, here's a nice video to counter the douchebaggery of this one:

Soldier kicking around soccer ball with some Iraqi kids
posted by Target Practice at 3:50 PM on November 21, 2006


Well that's fucking stupid.

They ought to be court martialed for aiding the enemy.
posted by Artw at 3:50 PM on November 21, 2006


I'm thinking you may be trolling, but would you care to elaborate on two things?

One, why you would want local children to follow you around in urban combat.

Two, what exactly in this video gives you the impression that the soldiers are "smart"?


I'll bite :)

A1. I wouldn't want to die.
A2. I suspect they don't either.

Remember all of the stories about GIs giving chocolate to the children of occupied Japan and Germany? You don't think that was entirely about goodwill, do you?
posted by litfit at 3:52 PM on November 21, 2006


Giving children chocolate and getting them to run after a bottle of water are two far different things.
posted by Target Practice at 3:55 PM on November 21, 2006


There's never an IED around when you need one.
posted by Optamystic at 3:58 PM on November 21, 2006


Wait a minute -- the video cuts out before the Rumsfeldian part where the little kids blanket the soldiers in flowers, throw kisses, and sing a charming chorus of "Welcome, Beloved Gracious Saviors." Dang liberal media.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:59 PM on November 21, 2006


Remember all of the stories about GIs giving chocolate to the children of occupied Japan and Germany? You don't think that was entirely about goodwill, do you?

Yeah it was you sick fuck.

If he'd thrown it a lot earlier it would have just been cool, but he was obviously making the kids run for nothing.
posted by xammerboy at 4:02 PM on November 21, 2006


I initially assumed litfit meant "keeping kids near your armored vehicle might discourage RPGs". I'm less sure about that after his/her second post. And in the long run, being assholes to children in the country you're occupying seems unlikely to pay off...
posted by uosuaq at 4:02 PM on November 21, 2006


Well, this thread is already bringing out the people that want those soldiers to die for taunting children like that. I pretty much have outrage fatigue about the whole thing - at least they actually dumped the water off at the end even if some other kids ended up with it.

But anyway, this is pretty minor. What I'm wondering is if they still execute people in the military by firing squad.
posted by bob sarabia at 4:03 PM on November 21, 2006


One thing that Americans keep forgetting wrt Iraq is that you need to win the hearts and minds of the people over there to win the war. It's simply not enough to carpet-bomb the place and call it a democracy.

Sure, what the video shows isn't exactly outrageous, but it isn't very helpful either.
posted by sour cream at 4:04 PM on November 21, 2006


I guess the 'open arms' that the Iraqi's were supposed to have with the conquering of Iraq were the one of people pleading and reaching for clean water.

Fucking assholes. Nice way to raise a generation of people who further hate the west.
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:06 PM on November 21, 2006


I used to chase the ice cream truck when i was kid, just to see if he'd stop... kids are bored and chase a truck.... youtube at it's finest...

The real outrage why didn't the other kids give the more deserving kid the water?
posted by matimer at 4:07 PM on November 21, 2006


I initially assumed litfit meant "keeping kids near your armored vehicle might discourage RPGs".

That's pretty much it. Or sniper fire. I heard that every household in Iraq is entitled to own one semiautomatic weapon for personal defense. I saw the video and thought, "wow, that's a pretty empty city. Wow, those kids are keeping up. Wow, I don't hear gunfire."

I honestly don't know what I'd do in that sort of situation. It might be the least of the ugly things that happen in war - I've seen video of a lot of the others.
posted by litfit at 4:10 PM on November 21, 2006


That's probably one of the dumbest things I've heard in some time, litfit.
posted by bob sarabia at 4:12 PM on November 21, 2006


Remember all of the stories about GIs giving chocolate to the children of occupied Japan and Germany? You don't think that was entirely about goodwill, do you?

How many soldiers were killed in Japan by resistance fighters after that little ceremony on the Missouri?

And, cuz it's cool, what my grandfather was doing on VJ day:
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:14 PM on November 21, 2006


Posted on fark.com:
whats the big deal? The kid was given water, his buddies ripped him off, not the soldier. a buddy of mine was sent to bosnia. He would throw all the pork MRE's to the Muslim kids and watch them beat the holy buddha out of all the kids as they fought for it. and "some" of the guys would urinate in pepsi bottles so that it "looked" like apple juice. and throw that out to the kids. and these kids duked it out forever, till there was one neighborhood kid left, who had just beat all his freinds senseless, who unscrewed the cap, and took a big frothy swig of golden goodness. he said he had a great time in bosnia. atleast it was water in the water bottle.
posted by orthogonality at 4:19 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


The people we're fighting suicide bomb innocent civilians every fucking day.

Why on earth does anyone here think US troops keeping civilian children near them is in any way a deterrent against the kind of enemy they are fighting?? Are you people brain-dead?
posted by dopamine at 4:20 PM on November 21, 2006


How many soldiers were killed in Japan by resistance fighters after that little ceremony on the Missouri?

Well, I'm not going to belabor the point, but I'm talking about tactics rather than historical justification for them.

The Missouri link is cool, Grandpa was flying retired aircraft home through the Pacific theatre at the time, he finished his combat flights a few months after D-Day.
posted by litfit at 4:21 PM on November 21, 2006


I dunno, it shows poor taste, but I'd probably be inclined to find ways to get locals' kids to follow me around in an urban combat situation too. Smart soldiers. Bad situation.

Actually, troups used to give out candy and stuff, but they stopped when insurgents started blowing them up.

Anyway, this poor kid. After he outlasted all the others, the people next to him ran up and grabbed the water!
posted by delmoi at 4:29 PM on November 21, 2006


Disturbing... and I agree with those that have already stated that this type of documentation screams that these guys need to come home.

The second tragedy is when the fine young people that we've put in that situation come home with a mind set that will make it difficult for them to be part of this society.

We'll be paying the price for this for a very, very long time.
posted by HuronBob at 4:33 PM on November 21, 2006


“A friend who was in the military told me about some guys in his unit who had been in Somalia.”
Some of the U.N. guys did that. Italians. Lots worse too. I can’t speak to your secondhand experiance tho (no slight intended, I dunno what guy in what unit that is and I have no reason to doubt you, so...)

Speaking of which, are we sure these aren’t French mercs? It is a bottle of mineral water.

“Are you seriously suggesting that a soldier who teases an Iraqi kid over a water bottle deserves to have his head blown off?”

Deserves got nothing to do with it.

And it’s not about the water really, it’s about getting something from one of the soliders. I mean, they have water. They’re not dehydrated. (manifestly so)

But yeah. If I’m over there and I’m his C.O. I put his balls on my desk for making a poor impression and tarnishing the image. That kind of thing lends sypathy to the kind of opposition that gets soldiers shot at. Oh, there’s no direct correlation. But it could reinforce the idea for the people shooting at American soldiers that they’re doing the right thing.

Not that it would, really, yeah, it’s just this guy being a dufus with something the kids want. But, y’know, I’m a hard bastard to work for. You take small matters and details very seriously and relax on the very large ones. Be nice to the kids, smile, do your duty, keep your weapon clean, etc. and let the war take care of itself.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:33 PM on November 21, 2006


Are you seriously suggesting that a soldier who teases an Iraqi kid over a water bottle deserves to have his head blown off?

No, give him a fucking medal. But when another 9-11 happens, don't be asking why in the world would anyone hate America.
posted by c13 at 4:41 PM on November 21, 2006 [2 favorites]


Speaking of which, are we sure these aren’t French mercs?

Well, they speak English...
posted by c13 at 4:43 PM on November 21, 2006


c13

I think you're exaggerating things just a tad. While stunts like this certainly won't endear us to the Iraqi people, I seriously doubt some kid is going to fly a plane into a skyscraper because some jackass soldier taunted him with a water bottle.
posted by Target Practice at 4:44 PM on November 21, 2006


A few quick points:
1. These fine young soldiers are US Army. They are wearing the brand-new Advanced Combat Uniform (ACU) which replaced the old BDU's.

2. The soldier taunting the children is refered to as Sergeant during the video. This means that an NCO, who should be setting a good example for his younger soldiers, is way out of line.

3. I'm grateful that it wasn't a video of an American soldier killing a civilian.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 4:47 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


No, Target Practice, one kid will not fly an airplane into a skyscraper over one bottle of water. But as bad as we fucked up there, we need all the good will we can possibly get. This small incident just adds to the incredibly huge pile of things to hate us over.
posted by c13 at 4:49 PM on November 21, 2006


Fisher Price Waterboarding

Wow! Just in time for Christmas!

Posted on fark.com:

Also posted to Fark.com:

*picture of admiral ackbar*
caption: it's a tap!

Really, what do you expect from Fark, sensitivity? The troops, maybe I do expect more, though really why should we? Our government hasn't really shown them any respect so they probably have just an eensie bit of pent up rage.

It was a disgusting video for the most part. I did think the background images of a typical, random Baghdad street were interesting once I turned the sound off and tried my damnedest not to cry/vomit.

How many soldiers were killed in Japan by resistance fighters after that little ceremony on the Missouri?

What does that have to do with anything? We didn't dismantle their entire governmental, military and social structure like we did in Iraq. I think the lack of resistance fighters may have more to do with that and less to do with a few Hershey bars. (though the nylons in the K-rats did seem to pacify the French, British and Italian women pretty effectively)
posted by Pollomacho at 4:51 PM on November 21, 2006


imperium writes "I honestly thought they weren't even going to give them it at the end. In the grand scheme of things, though, it's not up there with this shit."

It's really disappointing that the soldiers in imperium's link aren't going to see justice done. They should be handed over to the Iraqi legal system and dealt with the way Iraqis would deal with murdering rapists. On the other hand, this is what happens when you mix trained killers with the innocent and it should come as no surprise.

This "war" is fucked. It's a fucking imperialist occupation, call it what it is. Those overseeing this mess have no intention of fixing it, if they did they wouldn't be using soldiers to keep peace. The purpose of this exercise is to maintain a permanent military presence in Iraq. Mark my words, US military bases will exist on Iraqi soil for the rest of our lives. Dubya wanted his own West Bank, and he got it.

/rant
posted by mullingitover at 4:55 PM on November 21, 2006


I laughed a lot.
posted by Captaintripps at 4:57 PM on November 21, 2006


Crossposting comments from Fark, on MeFi and the overall quality of the discussion actually goes up. <sigh> Let's replace their brains with Folger's Crystals and see if anybody notices.
posted by spock at 4:59 PM on November 21, 2006 [2 favorites]


Half of America is laughing their asses off over this.

"Yeah, fuck 'em, that'll teach them! Haha!"


But not you, you're special.

C'mon don't assume so much. It's insulting.
posted by jonmc at 5:25 PM on November 21, 2006


When we were high up in our turrets and a platoon of infantry would march by in the dust sometimes we'd make a display of taking a big gulp from our gatorade before pretending that it was too warm and pouring the rest over the side of turret. As jaws dropped buddy would hand another one from the ice box. Such was life between the haves and the have nots.

Not exactly the same thing as taunting children, but it may give you a sense of where these incidents come from. What people often don't realize is that it is not just the kid on the ground who's suffering. That guy in the back of the truck, that trooper in the turret, they're all suffering too, just in different ways. Is teasing a kid something to be proud of? No. Is it harmless? Not entirely. Does it distract you from the crappy situation you happen to be in? You bet, and when you're in the middle of buttfuck reeking of diesel you take what you can get.
posted by Null Pointer and the Exceptions at 5:26 PM on November 21, 2006


^reeking of dust and diesel...
posted by Null Pointer and the Exceptions at 5:27 PM on November 21, 2006


They won't fly planes into skyscrapers.

They'll drive carbombs into their local police stations.

Way to go, troops. I support you.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:28 PM on November 21, 2006


Remember all of the stories about GIs giving chocolate to the children of occupied Japan and Germany?

shows you how far we've come in 60 years, doesn't it?

but you know there's something awfully symbolic about that ... there's uncle sam, so to speak, in that truck waving around a bottle of water ... now, the first thing we need to understand about that bottle of water is that basically, you know, it's water ... you don't HAVE to buy water at a buck a bottle to get a drink of water, you know? ... you can go to the tap and get it ... (hey, even a lot of people in the 3rd world can do that ... not everyone, but a lot)

so you don't NEED that bottle of water that uncle sam's waving from that back of the truck, mr 3rd world guy, but it's so attractive and cool looking and appeals to desire so well, that you're going to chase after it for blocks ... and when uncle sam finally gets around to throwing it off the truck for you, it lands in front of a bunch of big kids ... you know, industrialists, tin horn generals, businessmen, dictators, corrupt landholders and politicians ... and THEY get the water and YOU get SQUAT

that's not just a video of a soldier and a kid

it's our whole fucking relationship with the poor of the world ... waving shit around in front of people's faces that they don't need, getting them all worked up about it and then throwing it to someone else while they stare out of breath and frustrated ...

hell, we even do it to our own people now
posted by pyramid termite at 5:29 PM on November 21, 2006


yeah, support the troops. Pfft.
posted by newfers at 5:29 PM on November 21, 2006


waving shit around in front of people's faces that they don't need

Um, they don't have running water in the Baghdad slums, the water pumps have been looted or blown up and the power plant to operate them was bombed during Shock and Awe. So yeah, the kid does need the water.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:35 PM on November 21, 2006


One thing that Americans keep forgetting wrt Iraq is that you need to win the hearts and minds of the people over there to win the war.

Actually, I think many Americans are beginning to realize that's never going to happen, which is a big part of the reason why support is dropping like a brick.
posted by pardonyou? at 5:35 PM on November 21, 2006


So yeah, the kid does need the water.

which makes it even worse, doesn't it? ... (although, they've got to be getting water from somewhere, don't they? ... dehydrated kids aren't going to be able to run like that, you know ...)
posted by pyramid termite at 5:37 PM on November 21, 2006


I'll be really sad if any of these soldiers were my age, but you know, put 19-year-olds in uniforms that represent the country and this is what you get. I mean, that's what this is: soldiers behaving like a lot of 19-year-olds would in the States... they should be aware of the power differentials and the needs of the Iraqis, and how it's going to look, etc., but, not necessarily gonna happen. It sucks, but it's also the kind of goofing you could expect out of young men. I think what I'm getting at is, this video is emblematic (what pyramid termite just said) of how fucked-up the Iraqi occupation is, but it's also something that could easily happen in a well-run occupation in a country where everybody welcomed the US Army with ponies and no Abu Ghraibs or midnight house raids or shooting cars up at checkpoints or anything. It's a problem with military occupations in general, and a good reason to try to avoid these political scenarios as much as you can. You know?
posted by furiousthought at 5:38 PM on November 21, 2006


#pyramid termite: you don't NEED that bottle of water that uncle sam's waving from that back of the truck, mr 3rd world guy

Last I heard much of Baghdad still has a potable water problem. You can drink water mixed with sewage, or if you have fuel you can boil it first so you don't get sick. Yum, the taste of boiled shit.

So, a bottle of pure water is very attractive.

Teasing with pure water is saying "Ha ha, you have to drink shit".
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 5:39 PM on November 21, 2006


The soldiers trying to get approval to use deadly force against children throwing stones at their (armored) vehicles is an order of magnitude more depressing.
posted by tehloki at 5:42 PM on November 21, 2006


You can drink water mixed with sewage, or if you have fuel you can boil it first so you don't get sick. Yum, the taste of boiled shit.


we all know that one of the symptoms of dysentery AND dehydration is the ability to run 200 yards after military vehicles ...

now, if you want to argue that it was COLD water, you might have a point there ...
posted by pyramid termite at 5:49 PM on November 21, 2006




we all know that one of the symptoms of dysentery AND dehydration is the ability to run 200 yards after military vehicles ...

No, but we know how to use fucking Google


Ignorant dickhead...
posted by c13 at 5:58 PM on November 21, 2006


"Keep the troops there!"
posted by ColdChef at 6:00 PM on November 21, 2006




No, but we know how to use fucking Google

which proves that this kid, in fact, lives in a baghdad slum, doesn't it?

no, wait, it doesn't ... in fact, we don't even know what town in iraq this was taken in, do we?

Ignorant dickhead...

at least i don't assume things that i don't know, philistine ... (you're not even arguing about the point i was actually trying to make, but some nit-picky trollesque bullshit that you have nothing better to do than waste your time with)

get a life and something worth talking about, will you?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:10 PM on November 21, 2006


you don't NEED that bottle of water that uncle sam's waving from that back of the truck, mr 3rd world guy

Does it make it easier if you don't admit that fresh water is not readily available by any definition in Baghdad?
posted by odinsdream at 6:15 PM on November 21, 2006


a small detail, the brand is a Turkish brand ("Hayat" means life in Turkish)
posted by caelumluna at 6:18 PM on November 21, 2006


One of the guys on Fark made a pretty good point. If this kid lives in an area with a fair number of patrols, he's probably gotten supplies from soldiers before (which is especially likely since he chased after these guys; he assumed they would help.) As such, he probably doesn't permanently hate all American soldiers or anything, he probably just thinks these particular ones were assholes.
posted by Mitrovarr at 6:28 PM on November 21, 2006


The point is this is the first time americans seing things people all over the world know!! A lot of you are sad, yeah for a reason but you are far far away from the hate that feel a LOT of arab and muslim people feel.

I can assure you, that, even without this videos the stories about those kind of things and worse, are known all over arab and muslim world.

just sad, and what's the saddest thing, is that those soldiers will get back (if not killed) home without learning a damn thing about arab world.
posted by zouhair at 6:51 PM on November 21, 2006


Water is pretty important for kids everywhere, especially in the third world, or worlds ravaged by war.
posted by dopamine at 7:01 PM on November 21, 2006




just sad, and what's the saddest thing, is that those soldiers will get back (if not killed) home without learning a damn thing about arab world.

I think a lot of people in the US are at least learning that they don't understand much about Iraq. The level of public discourse is pretty base, arguments between people who think they know something and people who know enough to doubt. Ad hominem attacks are a giveaway. I have a couple of extended family members who live in Baghdad. I study with some phenomenal people who were with the Army during the invasion.

Metafilter may not reflect much knowledge, our leaders' actions may not reflect much knowledge, most pundits in our popular media are ridiculous. But there is some learning taking place.
posted by litfit at 7:08 PM on November 21, 2006


"Education -- if you make the most of it and you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
posted by pwb503 at 7:12 PM on November 21, 2006


which proves that this kid, in fact, lives in a baghdad slum, doesn't it?

no, wait, it doesn't ... in fact, we don't even know what town in iraq this was taken in, do we?


And where exactly did I mention Baghdad? I see that my assessment of you is somewhat misplaced. It's not so much ignorance as general stupidity.
You're not assuming things you don't know about? Really?

you don't have to buy water at a buck a bottle to get a drink of water, you know? ... you can go to the tap and get it

In a desert country who's infrastructure is being systematically destroyed since the 90's one can just go and get clean water any time he wants out of the tap? Riiiight. Those pesky brand obsessed materialistic kids!
posted by c13 at 7:20 PM on November 21, 2006


Metafilter may not reflect much knowledge, our leaders' actions may not reflect much knowledge, most pundits in our popular media are ridiculous. But there is some learning taking place.

This from the guy that thought the soldiers were "smart" to have kids follow them around to avoid attack. *rolls eyes*
posted by bob sarabia at 7:22 PM on November 21, 2006


This shit has to stop--bring them home now.

Meanwhile, apparently we're already negotiating the breakup of the country, amnesty for all militias, and a coup against Al-Maliki
posted by amberglow at 7:41 PM on November 21, 2006


"Are you seriously suggesting that a soldier who teases an Iraqi kid over a water bottle deserves to have his head blown off?

Yeah - that about sums it up.
posted by rougy at 8:10 PM on November 21, 2006


Also, looking at the bottle of water, i would say that the video is at least 6 months old, if it is indeed taking place in Baghdad.
posted by Dagobert at 8:12 PM on November 21, 2006


"One of the guys on Fark made a pretty good point....

Oh, yeah, fucking Fark, the fucking Harvard - no, Oxford of the internet bulletin board world.

Did he remind you that Duke sucked and hilarity ensued?
posted by rougy at 8:15 PM on November 21, 2006


Yeah. Amberglow is right. When troops start doing that kind of shit so casually, and with such cruelty, it's a symptom of a larger problem. They don believe any more. They don't believe they can win. They don't believe they are there to help. They really ARE just occupiers going from boredom to payback resenting every mother fucker that isn't one of them. Empathy has evaporated. And remember most of these guys are barely grown-ups themselves.

Usually the average soldier will go WAY out of his way for a kid. To the point of risking their own safety. My old man got wounded in Vietnam because part of his un-official routine was dropping of food and money to an orphanage. Most of the guys in his unit would help out. Each of them saw the faces of their OWN kids - that they missed - when they looked at those orphaned Vietnamese.

That this NCO is being so cruel is not a good portent. Bring these guys home.
posted by tkchrist at 8:23 PM on November 21, 2006


It would be interesting to see a study that compares goodwill toward soldiers in volunteer and drafted armies. I'd imagine it would be higher in a drafted army.
posted by matkline at 9:38 PM on November 21, 2006


Usually the average soldier will go WAY out of his way for a kid.

I agree... I was in the U.S. military, and the closest I came to third-world deployment was in Kenya about ten years ago. Some of our guys used to have bags of spare MREs/candy and tossed quite a bit of it out the bus windows to the kids when going through the poor parts of the city. It sounds like what's going on in Iraq, and the Somalia example, is not only disillusionment but poorly trained kids and a completely shitty, fucked up chain of command with sorry excuses for NCOs. Basic training makes the troops malleable, and for quite a few years they're only as good as those who lead them.
posted by zek at 9:53 PM on November 21, 2006


It would be interesting to see a study that compares goodwill toward soldiers in volunteer and drafted armies. I'd imagine it would be higher in a drafted army.

Sure! The goodwill toward our boys in 'Nam was just overflowing!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:56 PM on November 21, 2006


Hey Kid. Would you like a Hershey Bar?
So would I kid. You got one?
posted by Deathalicious at 10:18 PM on November 21, 2006


Target Practice: Hypothetical situation, you're 16, maybe 17. There is an occupying force patrolling your country. Your older brother has been killed by that occupying force, in a raid on a neighbor. What do you do?

I think I know what I would do. And moreover, I think I know what most of red blooded republicans and conservatives would do. The fact that they don't get it astonishes me, day in and day out.

Now, this one event surely won't breed the next generation of stateless fanatical terrorists. But i have a feeling that it might be indicative of, well, the kind of events that might.
posted by Freen at 11:32 PM on November 21, 2006


So 650 thousand (and counting) dead bodies, torture and growing sectarian violence barely rates a mention anymore, but taunting a kid is noteworthy?

I usually consider myself a jaded and cynical about humans - but every once in a while you really out-do yourself.

Bravo.
posted by spazzm at 1:48 AM on November 22, 2006


I'd say the death, torture and sectarian violence still rate plenty of mention, and get plenty of mention. But what are you arguing for? That instead of this post there should have been a link to, say, a news article about the latest 20 deaths in Iraq? Or a new flareup of sectarian violence? An attack on a police station? Well, those are in the news every day, and there's no need to link to such articles. This post, on the other hand, was a link to a rather unique piece of video. It's an admittedly "minor" occurence in the broader scheme of things, but it has its own story to tell, and, I'd argue, one that is worth telling. I don't see that the posting of this link is some sort of indication (on the part of the poster or any of the commenters) that all other aspects of this tragically stupid war are of less importance. I'd say your sarcastic "bravo" is a seriously misplaced snark.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:08 AM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Iraq Scenario 1:
Shock and Awe! Blast the sand-niggers into the stone age. Create chaos, commit torture, foment civil war, all a smoke screen to hide steeling oil robbing the US Treasury. Who cares what the ayrabs think when you can rob the US of billions?

Scenario 2:
Take out the military as quickly as possible. Secure hospitals then critical infrastructure. Fly in medicines and repair parts. Assist civilians getting safely to hospitals. High priority to restore power and water. Win hearts and minds, oust Sadam, look good!

Who expected something more like scenario 2? Who thought that was the general idea in the first place, or, at least, the idea that was sold to the American public?

OR, is scenario 2 the product of watching too many films of romanticized ww2 fantasies?

It was in my mind that part of the reason Sadam had to be taken out was so Iraqis could get back to normal lives, without the clearly excessive burden of sanctions.
posted by Goofyy at 2:15 AM on November 22, 2006


Whether it was water or a candy bar or food. Kids chase trucks because they are kids. The subtle taunting is merely an amusement at the fact that kids will do the darndest things. Watch a WWII movie for chrissakes. Kids like to interact with soldiers. Sure some soldiers are Aholes, and I'll bet you so are some Mefites...That doesn'tmean that this was a vicious taunting or Fisher Price Waterboarding (actually that should be G.I. Joe).
posted by Gungho at 4:24 AM on November 22, 2006


Having seen Gunner's Palace and some other coverage, it initially looked like the standard "run behind car" deal that I've seen other places. Though taunting children with a water bottle is insensitive, I'm open to the possibility that the solider was surprised by the fact that the child was running for it and -- at the time at least -- didn't understand that the child might legitimately need the water. However, we don't even know if that's true. As Gungho says, sometimes kids want things for no reason at all. We don't know the reasons in this case, so it's hard to judge. I could imagine any number of items in the bottle's place having the same reaction.
posted by VulcanMike at 5:23 AM on November 22, 2006


Sure some soldiers are Aholes, and I'll bet you so are some Mefites..

Indeed, after all, who among us hasn't taunted thirsty children in an occupied war zone with bottles of mineral water?

I do that every weekend just for a laugh!
posted by pleeker at 6:14 AM on November 22, 2006


THE KID LIVES IN THE FUCKING DESERT AND THE NCO KNOWS IT IS HOT AS SATAN"S NUTS IN JULY AND THAT FRESH WATER IS THE MOST VALUABLE THING IN THE WORLD TO THAT KID
posted by Mister_A at 8:09 AM on November 22, 2006


But not you, you're special.

C'mon don't assume so much. It's insulting.


jonmc: always at the ready to make sure no-one gets too indignant!
posted by grubi at 8:23 AM on November 22, 2006


TBoneMcCool: Are you seriously suggesting that a soldier who teases an Iraqi kid over a water bottle deserves to have his head blown off?

rougy: Yeah - that about sums it up.

Please commence joining flapjax at midnite in the getting of the grip. Thank you.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:24 AM on November 22, 2006


How many soldiers were killed in Japan by resistance fighters after that little ceremony on the Missouri?

What does that have to do with anything?


You kind of go on to make my point Pollomacho - in Japan and Germany we went in and did our level best to create a stable nation. In Iraq we dismantled anything that looked like a government and ordered our soldiers to stand by and let anarchy reign. Senior officers and state department types had the attitude that "boys will be boys" or that "they need to let off some stress now that the Saddam is gone".

I have no idea how much better things could be today, but I can't imagine that a policy that was serious about winning over hearts and minds would have left us in a worse situation.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:11 AM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Maybe this is indicative of a larger problem, but I'd be leery of generalizing to that degree. It's one video of one truck with a few soldiers being dicks.

That's all.

What strikes me is that the internet and cheap/easy video are taking the blinders off of conflict and occupation.
posted by Merlyn at 9:44 AM on November 22, 2006


#pyramid termite: another iraq video from the same you tube user

It shows another example of some soldier being an a-hole - using a sledge hammer on the rear end a car parked in a presumably Iraqi's gararge.

posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 11:44 AM on November 22, 2006


a reminder of kids and our soldiers in Iraq, from 04: Insurgents Kill Dozens Of Kids As Soldiers Hand Out Candy

You'd think they would have learned or be told not to gather or attract kids near them, knowing they're targets all the time.
posted by amberglow at 12:20 PM on November 22, 2006


"Please commence joining flapjax at midnite in the getting of the grip. Thank you."

Getting a grip?

Please rent out the movie "Grave of the Fireflies" and watch that video of the soldier teasing the kids with a bottle of water one more time.

Think about it: a kid runs his ass off in chase of an occupying army's jeep for a bottle of water. A bottle of water.

Does that sound like fun to you? Would you see children in America doing the same thing, for fun?

We spent the 90's destroying their water infrastructure and we haven't done shit to fix it since our occupation.

I wish like hell you were thirsty and I could do the same to you.
posted by rougy at 12:50 PM on November 22, 2006


The French merc thing - just joking.
Yeah, lots of assumptions here. The basic reality is, yeah the guy is a jerk. I’m surprised he’s an NCO, but then, maybe not so surprised considering the drain on personnel. He should be gigged for it. And yes, it’s not something that can be blown up as indicative of all sorts of things. But it is a sign of poor leadership. Like water, sewage runs downhill.

WWII:
“We’ve got to dismantle the German government and remove all the Nazis.”
Patton: “What!? What about the Goddam Soviets?”
Ike: “And who’s going to keep the infrastructure going? We’ll have a lot of people with nothing to do. They could become guerrillas. ”
“Ok, well...keep enough men in place to keep things going. But get rid of the real hardliners and anyone who had knowlege of the holocaust”
CIA: “What about the intelligence network?”
“Oh, yeah, ok, co-opt who you can.”
NASA: “We could sure use some rocketry experts.”“Yeah, good point. And they’re just engineers, not political. Ok, take ‘em.”
Etc.

Iraq:
“We’ve got to dismantle the Iraqi government and remove all the Ba’athists.”
Conway: “What!? What about Iran?”
Franks: “Who’s going to keep the infrastructure going? We’ll have a lot of ex-military people out of work with ties to Syria. They could become insurgents. ”

*crickets*

--
There’s no substitute for good leadership. Even if they’re wrong in substance, at least there’s a structure of good discipline and uniform action in place. Just what the hell is the officer corp doing over there? Or are they a bunch of political plants like the idiots who chucked out all the bureaucrats?
posted by Smedleyman at 12:52 PM on November 22, 2006


"It's one video of one truck with a few soldiers being dicks."

Right.

So if I showed you a video of a whitetail deer walking through the forest, you would claim that it was the only deer in the forest.

If I showed you a video of once cockroach crawling across your kitchen floor, you would claim that it was the only cockroach in your house.

Striking.
posted by rougy at 12:53 PM on November 22, 2006


So, if you make one dumb comment, all your comments are dumb?
posted by Snyder at 1:23 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yeah?
Well, If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, is each atom in your fingernail a tiny world unto itself?

*hits the buddha*

Wait...what was I talking about?
posted by Smedleyman at 3:09 PM on November 22, 2006


Does that sound like fun to you? Would you see children in America doing the same thing, for fun?

No, not at all. I just don't think the soldier deserves to have his head blown off for it. You and flapjax at midnite apparently disagree. Which leads to me, once again, urging you to get a grip. There are other things I would like to urge you to do, but I'm trying to exercise restraint.
posted by pardonyou? at 3:23 PM on November 22, 2006


So if I showed you a video of a whitetail deer walking through the forest, you would claim that it was the only deer in the forest
What? No.

Nor would I generalize that all deer in the forest(??) are like that one.
posted by Merlyn at 3:28 PM on November 22, 2006


You need to get a grip.

Please commence joining flapjax at midnite in the getting of the grip.


This "grip", it vibrates?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:34 PM on November 22, 2006


Absolutely cruel.

And very disappointing.
posted by pwedza at 11:32 PM on November 22, 2006


"No, not at all. I just don't think the soldier deserves to have his head blown off for it. "

Literalist.

Look at that shit, that video, and tell me we're winning.

You - Merlyn, padonyou, Snyder - you watch that sitting on your fat asses with your beer bellies telling me it's no big deal.

Water. The kid chased them for fucking water.
posted by rougy at 1:33 AM on November 23, 2006


You know, Smedly, sometimes...if you would just take the time and energy to write the three or four hundred thousand words it would take to completely describe your point of view - I might understand you a little better.
posted by rougy at 1:37 AM on November 23, 2006


... There's a lot of talk about the mounting toll in Iraq: in blood , in treasure , in the lives of innocent Iraqis. But one of war's darkest legacies is the moral corrosion it inflicts on those who wage it. The longer we stay in Iraq, the worse it will get.

Next time that little boy will be wielding a rock. Later, a bomb.

posted by amberglow at 3:29 AM on November 23, 2006


rougy, that's not at all what I'm doing.

I'm telling you that video is a sad snapshot of a shitty war, and that's it.
posted by Merlyn at 8:52 AM on November 23, 2006


"it would take to completely describe your point of view - I might understand you a little better." posted by rougy

Humor is central.
That and I accept suffering, and the causation of suffering as inseperable from living. Not that I like it, but once you accept death and hate and torture (having seen/been through some m'self) as a matter of course, you can work against it without attachment. And laugh at it. Even while you despise it. Hitler was human. The Jews he killed were human. I'm human. You are. The kids are. The flatheads taunting the kids are. It's only a matter of ego that separates us. A flimsy mask. And yet we'll kill for that. To me, that's pretty silly. Even while I'm knee deep in it.

This particular act was wrong and cruel. And he should be punished. And it sucks and we can all agree on that. And there are worse things. And if he were my subordinate I'd have a hard time finding my boot it'd be planted so far up his ass. Is it indicative of the war effort? Sorta. Is it an isolated incident. Yep, that too.

Part of the reason I hang out here is the diversity of perspective. But several perspectives can be true at the same time. Many things can be true and false together.

As a f'rinstance, while I'm taking time to check out mefi a guy here today ate so much he shit his pants.
That is funny. And sad. And indicative of the state of our society. We helped him clean up. One laughed, one was sad, one neutral.
What you focus on isn't necessarially the final truth of it.
Lots of mixing mechanics (like what will happen from this scenario) with ideals (what should - or should have occured).
And that's fine for purposes of discussion.

But while I'm wiping some guys ass and putting food on some families, and we're discussing this dufus soldier with the water, women in Africa are getting horrifically raped because people think they're a different enough kind of human to warrent it.

The point there is not there's horrible tragedies in the world and there's nothing we can do about them so we just gotta laugh. The point is you do what you can, whatever your philosophy, and don't treat someone as an 'other' because they don't hold it - and you laugh because it might just as well be you on either side.

You take those things lightly to dispel the power of it. To carry on. Because when I read about those African women getting raped I my first thought is that I would like to eradicate all of those rapist bastards. Personally. With my bloody hands.
And we forget that - that is how all this starts. We forget the beast is within ourselves as well.
It could well be YOU taunting the kid with water. Or me.
And I've done worse. And it could be YOU being taunted. Or me. And I've had worse.
So I accept it - acts like this - without condoning them. And I can forgive them. But that doesn't mean justice shouldn't be done.
And as we have the beast within us (just a metaphor there - not any religious connection) we have ego - or whatever. We get bogged down by details because we're all monkeys - and monkey smart in terms of figuring out clever things to do with language and what not, and maybe we're right or wrong but that doesn't change it from being a monkey-thought.

And I make light of it and laugh for the same reason I laugh at a homeless man who shits his pants and is humiliated because he once had dignity and has enough shreds of it left to hate himself for it. Even though, especially though, there's no disgrace in it but for what society has imposed. What we've chosen to make our world.
I laugh because there but for the grace of God (or random fortune - grace either way) go I. Or any of us. On either side.
And the only thing we can really choose is to not be part of that ourselves. Not be a taunter or accept being taunted.

I could go on about how desire drives suffering, but that gets a bit mystical. Still, it holds true at the banal base. It takes two to tango.

I hear the 'non-servium' rap from several anti-soldier types on mefi. That if soldiers didn't serve the people at the top, there'd be no wars. And that is true - within a certain perspective. But how did those people get to 'the top' in the first place? Someone elected them or allowed them into power. It's the masses that allow that and drive that and foster the illusion. And wish to not relieve all exploitation, but avoid being exploited and if possible, become the exploiter.
You gotta quit the whole program to do that. Or neutralize that part within yourself that cares. Go inward or outward.

Don't like cruelty? Don't be cruel. Don't accept cruelty or allow for it in your life. (Yeah, it sounds hard, but if you don't want ego based junk, self-aggrandizement, etc. and stick to the practical, it's not that hard) Don't chase those foolish monkey desires that tell you if you're smart enough you can be king of the world. And accept the hits, the suffering, your death and the death of others - because it's inevitable.

Hell, we all know this stuff. Everyone wants what is right and true. We're just debating over the parts we like. The stuff we focus on.
And maybe we get a little lost sometimes and delve too far into detail. (Hence my parody of juvenile philosophy)
Most of us are just here because we like talking and this is a path to (re)learning it. Or a distraction.
But hey, I'm just here to clean up the shit, man.
Whether I'm off base myself, or I'm harsh or whatever, don't make the mistake of thinking I don't love you all.
Happy thanksgiving.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:12 PM on November 23, 2006 [4 favorites]


You - Merlyn, padonyou, Snyder - you watch that sitting on your fat asses with your beer bellies telling me it's no big deal.

rougy, I'm sorry -- you're an idiot. Not one of us said "it's no big deal." Stop setting up strawmen. I objected only to flapjax at midnite (and you) who seemed to imply that you'd be perfectly happy if the soldier took a bullet in his head. I know that now you scream "literalist," but I'm sorry that the exaggeration didn't come across in your original post (which, if you recall, was "Yeah, that about sums it up.") I'm appalled by the soldier's behavior, so please go use someone else as your strawman.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:09 AM on November 24, 2006


rougy, if you think that because I say you made a dumb comment, I therefore think this is "no big deal," you need to deal with your ego as much as you need to get a grip.
posted by Snyder at 10:53 AM on November 27, 2006


(case in point - no derision, I've chosen to do that as well. The key is what Gandhi said - be the change you wish to see. Don't like cruelty? First - don't be cruel yourself. And it's thus the world turns. )
posted by Smedleyman at 11:26 AM on November 27, 2006


Worse than that story is this video of soldiers shooting up then crushing (with a tank) an Iraqi taxi drivers' car for stealing some wood.
posted by gsteff at 3:35 PM on November 29, 2006


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