Thursday, July 19, 2007

I wear my sunglasses at night

Former Spook says:

The blogosphere is abuzz about "Shock Troops" a combat "dispatch," published in the current edition of The New Republic. Supposedly the work of a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq, the article details alleged, atrocious behavior by American troops, ranging from running over dogs with Bradley fighting vehicles, to mocking a victim of an IED attack. Michael Goldfarb at the (and others) have been doing yeoman's work in debunking these claims.

Power Line has more on how Michael Goldbarb is passing these stories through a sieve to catch any fibs made up by writers to advance a narrative. One possible fib concerns the "brutal" Bradley driver who twitches his vehicle to the right to run over dogs except the cooling grill makes it hard to see the right side of the vehicle ...

Just a few posts ago in the Empire of the Mind, researchers from Radio Free Europe noted how the telling of tales -- or narratives if you prefer -- had become a weapon of war. The stories did not in fact have to be true. They could be entirely bogus for as long as they fit the narrative. Whether or not there's a Bradley driver out there who runs over dogs, he can only be glimpsed through the haze of a widening information battlefield. The Internet age has ironically debased the authority of casually published information. Once upon a time something was true if it "was written in a book" or "published in the newspaper" or "I saw it on TV". "Pictures didn't lie". No more. The greater the bandwidth that comes to our door the more uncertain we are of the truth. Did the Jews plot 9/11? Did America make war on Saddam for oil? Does steel melt in a flame? Didn't a missile hit the Pentagon? Wasn't a secret American nuclear test behind the tsunami which struck Indonesia? Weren't the Moon Landings faked? Didn't Al Gore win the 2000 Presidential elections?

Does the Bradley driver really exist?


Blogger TJIC said...

I don't find it impossible that a psychopath like this could wear a uniform.

What I do find implausible is that in a unit full of men, there wouldn't be one dog-lover who would straighten this guy out, either with a report up the chain of command, or, if that failed, a sucker punch behind a tent.

The idea that someone would do this, and then brag about it, and never encounter any negative feedback is incredible and implausible.

7/19/2007 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

TNR has succumbed to fantasy journalists in the past, and this is not the only recent article that makes me think they have gone soft again.

7/19/2007 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

tjic, has it right. There are a number of things that can be done to square him away. for one thing a new driver could be found. Point was sometimes a wake up call in Vietnam.

7/19/2007 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

That the story will probably turn out to have been fabricated is beside the point. The damage will have already been done. Ask the Haditha Marines. And this one is, in most ways, easier to believe. Especially for those who choose/want to believe the worst wrt the military anyway.

It fit the Jenjis Khan narrative that the left has adopted as gospel and the veracity of the story is secondary to advancing the narrative. The boulder slips a couple of more yards down the mountain and it is up to those who value accuracy to advance it back to where it was. That may take months. In the meantime, a new story of atrocity emerges and takes longer to counter due to so many being preoccupied with rolling the puppy-murderers boulder back up the mountain to the original point prior to the latest erroneous/hack reporting.

Would it be too callous to call this assymetrical information warfare? Or would that be to malign or question the patriotism of some?

If one accepts that we're killing off polar bears due to our misguided lifestyle choices, it isn't much of a stretch to imagine that our military is running down puppies in Iraq. Part and parcel of the narrative espoused by the left. Only bigger (better) government can save us, and the furry creatures, from ourselves.

7/19/2007 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

The military is just another slice of society. In any city of 160,000 is there a guy who intentionally runs over dogs? laughs at other's misery? beats his wife? rapes his daughter? shoots someone for no apparent reason? And our random guy isn't under the stress of having someone try to kill him everyday AND he is control of his situation. Soldiers ain't. I'm surprised that that there isn't more of this behavior.

It's all just random chaos and death in Iraq. No reason, no goal, no purpose. It don't mean nothin.

We send those guys over there to get shot at and watch their buddies get blown up and roasted by IEDs while we live our lives of luxury and bitch about the war from the safety of our den. Who the hell are we to judge them?

7/20/2007 12:43:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

at Bradley borne canidicidal
chimera, they return
to their genocidal indolence
...preparing killing fields
for their spiritual kin,
as their minions cot up
against rational concern.

7/20/2007 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger West said...

Well, Lugh, the fact that you are not suprised thet there is not more of this behavior says volumes both about your internal thought processes and your knowledge of our military. On the latter subject, if there were essentially a cop for every 20-30 citizens, you'd see a lot less crime, wouldn't you? That is why military command structure is built the way it is - to retain control and accountability under stressful situations.

Enough of that.

Now about the information wars, it seems to me that humans are not evolved to filter high volumes information for content - for millions of years, if you saw a lion running towards you, there actually was a lion running towards you. Now, on the Internets, there can be a million 'lions running towards you', and any one or all of them can be fictitious. We do not even have the natural incentive to discount information by default, instead we believe it, especially, as has been noted elsewhere, if it supports your preconceptions.

I firmly believe that critical thinking skills and information validation ought to be a subject taught in our schools, from the earliest grades through higher education, yet instead, the way we teach is essentially authoritarian, "Believe what I tell you", regardless of the information's intrinsic consistency or validity.

Kids are not even exposed to the vast flood of disinformation that the Internets provide until long after these mental patterns of believing whatever is presented to them is well ingrained.

The problem is going to get worse, too.

7/20/2007 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger j willie said...

Given Senator Byrd's recent Senate tirade against the barbaric activity of dogfighting, perhaps he could be prevailed upon to investigate the equally barbaric behavior of the Bradley driver (or, discover if such existed). On the other hand, as the video demonstrates, he is apt to get lost between thoughts.

7/20/2007 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger j willie said...

Sorry, here's the link to video of Byrd's Senate performance.

7/20/2007 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

west, for all the control and accountability, our government and military hasn't won a war in 62 years. And our snickering, dog murdering grunts never lost a battle.

Our civilian and military leaders may have fine looking MBA and PhD diplomas hanging on their wall but they have have no common sense.

Ya'll go ahead and advocate teaching against human nature mr. west. Be sure and come back and tell us how it worked out.

7/20/2007 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger West said...

Hey, Lugh, teaching toilet training is 'against human nature" - and I can see why you find that concept difficult to understand.

7/20/2007 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

aw, west, take great care up there on your lofty perch. The world needs your powerful intellect and easy-going civil discourse to see us through these dark times. T'would be a great loss to humankind if you fell to earth (where the untrained by nature soil themselves still).

7/20/2007 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"...our government and military hasn't won a war in 62 years."

Hey...if you could get that message to aQ, maybe they would come out of hiding. What is there for them to fear?

7/21/2007 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Well, of course the story is made up, like so many others put out there by the anti-war, anti-soldier, anti-American media.

What fascinates me every time, though, is who does this? We know there are journalists who cheerfully sit down to their laptops, crack their knuckles and then leap into a hearty session of making shit up. We also know there are loser moonbats who like to pull together mismatched uniforms and then go before their credulous fellow-moonbats and weave stories of their own moral superiority in the face of overwhelming quandries of war.

But who would be responsible for making up a story like this? It's like it came right out of the keyboard of a Hollywood screenwriter rewriting "Apocalypse Now". Somewhere circling the globe hidden behind the moon, perhaps, is an alien mothership that is responsible for starting all the urban legends about hitch-hikers with hook hands. The same aliens are responsible for putting the inevitable jokes about the latest catastrophe on the internet within hours of that catastrophe happening. Are those same aliens anti-war and responsible for making up all the bullshit stories reported by AP and Reuters, so that this latest story about dog-running-over drivers is being reported by the same fictitious Iraqi policeman that's also brought us myriad beheaded bodies that never happened and blown-up mosques that are still standing?

7/22/2007 10:40:00 AM  

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