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How We Treat Our "Allies"

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posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 11:19 AM
During a trawling mission, I came across a video which, given the nature of the peacekeeping/re-building mission in Iraq, I found to be quite disturbing.

The video in question cannot be posted, as it contains profanity of a sexual nature.

What it showed, was US soldiers verbally abusing Iraqi allies, in an insulting, homophobic/homosexual tirade.

First they would offer sweets (of some description), then in a "friendly" tone would abuse the Iraqi's, quite severely, with sexual, homosexual and homophobic language - which the soldiers seemed to find hilarious, but which could be damaging to the US image in Iraq.

This behaviour may seem acceptable to those with armed service experience, but any connotations regarding homosexuality is regarded as an extreme insult in the Iraqi culture, indeed many middle eastern countries would be equally offended.

It didn't seem to occur to any of the personnel in question that the Iraqi's might understand English, but not let on.

If this was the case, and someone did understand what was being said, what kind of impression does this behaviour make on our allies?

Part of the continuing process in Iraq is the "Winning of Hearts and Minds" military doctrine - so how exactly does this incident help do that?

I would suggest that it has completely the opposite effect, and that those insulted could quite easily "turn", if they ever found out or understood just what their supposed allies thought of them.

Under ATS T&C, I can't post a link to the video, but it can be found on youtube or on googlevideo using the search "US Soldiers Insulting Iraqi Police Allies". If you choose to view the video, please be aware that it contains profanity of a sexual nature with frequent homosexual and homophobic references.

posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 08:30 PM
I've seen the video, and I'd say that if one is able to handle harsh, suggestive language and feels that the moral conduct of American troops is an important issue in terms of morale and/or international relations, it's definately worth a look.

The scorn that the video depicts our troops heaping upon seemingly oblivious Iraqi police reminds me of the suggestion voiced in this thread that US troops have begun to see all Iraqi males as insurgents.

According to, a member of a squad of Marines which dragged an Iraqi from his home at random, executed him, and planted an AK-47 on the body in frustration over failing to find their actual target has testified as follows at the trial:

"I don't see it as an execution, sir," he told the judge, according to the newspaper. "I see it as killing the enemy."

He said Marines consider all Iraqi men part of the insurgency.

"Because of the way they live, the clans, they're all in it together," he said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

The video that the Budski has presented here seems to suggest that this mentality applies even to the Iraqi police, who bear more casualties than our own forces in the cooperative effort to stabilize their country.

IF the two incidents both speak to the same principle, namely that all Iraqis are seen as the enemy, the question of allies deepens considerably. How can Iraq possibly be helped by America, if the agents of American policy on the ground think that they are there to fight the Iraqis?

posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 08:58 PM
Budski, I loved the way you discribed your experience. i am reading it over and over again. Stunned.

posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 07:00 AM
The problem is that it doesn't appear to be an isolated incident, and that their appears to be problems regarding discipline.

Soldiers are hardly known for their delicate sensibilities, but for me, this (and other incidents) is beyond the pale.

I've seen news reports of troops, seemingly overcome with excitement at what their weapons can do - one example was of a tank gunner, whose description of what he did on the road to baghdad, reminded me of a 5 year old discussing a new toy.

I think the key here is disciplne - in europe there is a perception of US troops being unbelievably trigger happy - and this shows in some of the clips you can find.
However, I think this may be a bit of a false perception - you can find examples of over eager troops in pretty much any army - but examples like the one in the OP and in the link The Vagabond provided can colour perception in a negative way, and as we all know - the actions of the few can cast a bad light on the many - assuming there is a difference.

So this is the question - are these soldiers examples of the prevailing attitude of US forces in Iraq?

[edit on 17/7/2007 by budski]

posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 07:08 PM
well so much for these guys being our "ambassadors" while in-country. I guess they were desperate enough to just yes them to death because one of those guys caught on to what they were doing. Then they are wondering why those guys are turning on them and renting out their uniforms to the insurgents. I guess they think that these guys who may have been teachers, or professors before the war may be so stupid that they will never turn on a computer and see how they have been belittled by people they are supposed to be friendly with. As if these guys have the upper hand. An Iraqi could be doing the same to them as well. I wonder how they would feel if they saw themselves looking like that on Youtube and some guy saying nasty stuff to them while smiling in their face.

posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 06:26 AM
It's a common misconception particular to english speaking countries, that an inability to speak our language (whether real or imagined) diminishes a person.

You can see examples of this every day.

The real problem as I see it, is word of mouth in Iraq, about how US soldiers treat people - we've all heard of chinese whispers - by the time this filters down to "the man in the street" it will be portrayed as even worse than the original incident. Even more so in a culture where US presence is hated at worst, and tolerated at best.

Winning hearts and minds is an admirable tactic, but only if it is done by everyone involved - news from Iraq would suggest that many US soldiers are not on board with this, and (if other reports are correct) the top brass are merely playing lip service to it.

Interestingly, I have been unable to find any similar examples of UK soldiers abusing allies.
I don't know if this is because it doesn't happen, or if it's just that they haven't been stupid enough to film themselves doing it, and so haven't been caught.

If anyone can find an example of this kind of abuse by UK soldiers, can you let me know pls.

posted on Jul, 19 2007 @ 10:34 AM
Well, having served in the United States Army myself, I can't say that I am overly surprised. I didn't see the video, but I can just about imagine some of the things that were being said.

The United States has gotten itself into a position where the military is accepting quantity over quality. While I was still in the Army, the government lowered the ASVAB score requirement from a 31 to a 27.... Now, I scored a 78 on the ASVAB test, which, at least according to my recruiter, was in the top 20 percentile... Anyone that can't score a 31 or above on the ASVAB shouldn't,in all honesty, be allowed to joining any branch of the military.

The point I am making is that there are many immature and, yes, ignorant people that are allowed to join our military forces. What you described, Budski, in your original post is a good indication of that.

Part of the continuing process in Iraq is the "Winning of Hearts and Minds" military doctrine - so how exactly does this incident help do that?

It won't happen if such occurrences as this one continue. I for one do not think that anyone should be subjected to the type of language that you claim that these military personnel used. Is it a reflection on America? I don't think it should be, but, realistically, I don't think anyone should expect it not to be a stain on the image of America as far as the rest of the world is concerned.

[edit on 19-7-2007 by SpeakerofTruth]

[edit on 19-7-2007 by SpeakerofTruth]

posted on Jul, 19 2007 @ 08:05 PM
I really don't know what to say. It's disgusting that someone who represents my country is acting like this. I'm terribly ashamed.

And people wonder why some have anti-American attitudes? :shk:

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