Squashed by Tank

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This video of a seemingly innocent taxi getting demolished by a tank in Iraq has awakened in me all of the reasons we must withdraw from that country.
American soldiers are too distant from the fate of Iraqis and on a systems basis can’t ever act in their interests. Acting in their own interests — and America’s in a perverse way — means lots of taxis will be squashed and many innocent Iraqis killed.
And this leads to blowback, just as it would if it happened in the U.S.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

33 comments on “Squashed by Tank

  1. HUMAN says:

    YOU ARE NOT HUMAN …. THIS IS (taxi car) MAYBE THERE IS FAMILY LIVE FROM ITS INCOME……

    Reply

  2. juan Alaya says:

    There sure seems to be a lot of “new age” overly sensitive ladies around here. Get a life.
    do any of you “self haters” know the true circumstances surrounding this video? it’s nice that everyone assumes what they wish to be true.
    I mean, do we KNOW these guys didnt have as reason for crushing the taxi? Did the taxi even work? Where the iraqis themselves going to bring it to the junk-yard before the Americans crushed it? I dont know this, and neither do you.
    What a futile world / country we live in, when we have a make a big deal over something so small. But that’s what this country has came to. Like a said, a bunch of “new age, overly sensitive” people, might I say “ladies” ? (if you know what i mean”

    Reply

  3. Ford Alphonse says:

    The American trained Iraqis not to do such inhumane to their own people.if the taxi where to be identified with some explosive then they have right to demolised it.How will the Army of Iraq manage the living of their own citizen if the coalition forces withraw from Iraq?
    This act of inhumane will not let me sleep at night.
    Apajo

    Reply

  4. An American says:

    Incredible. This represents the attitude of Americans in Iraq. If you look in the background you see some children watching the destruction of a person’s livelihood.
    It is no wonder that our military is making us the most hated nation in the world.

    Reply

  5. Iraqi & Proud says:

    Epic failed. Proves to you all that America is just playing in Iraq.. They didn’t go there to free us from Saddam yet Saddam was their Agent in first place!
    They gave him the President’s place and told him exactly what to do; Iran & Kuwait war. Etc..
    Now when he became useless to them.. They used him as a REASON to invade Iraq or maybe it was his duty to be a REASON in first place.. Only god, America &/Or Saddam know..
    Now.. WTF did that taxi driver do? Was he carrying a bomb? Wearing T.N.T Belt? No.. But who cares.. Isn’t it? Who cares about 1 more innocent Iraqi?
    Now if you’ll excuse me, I shall end my small paragraph of known truth with a request or you may call it a, GTFO OUT OF IRAQ NOW! Order/Request.

    Reply

  6. Iraqi & Proud says:

    Epic failed. Proves to you all that America is just playing in Iraq.. They didn’t go there to free us from Saddam yet Saddam was their Agent in first place!
    They gave him the President’s place and told him exactly what to do; Iran & Kuwait war. Etc..
    Now when he became useless to them.. They used him as a REASON to invade Iraq or maybe it was his duty to be a REASON in first place.. Only god, America &/Or Saddam know..
    Now.. WTF did that taxi driver do? Was he carrying a bomb? Wearing T.N.T Belt? No.. But who cares.. Isn’t it? Who cares about 1 more innocent Iraqi?
    Now if you’ll excuse me, I shall end my small paragraph of known truth with a request or you may call it a, GTFO OUT OF IRAQ NOW! Order/Request.

    Reply

  7. Iraqi & Proud says:

    Epic failed. Proves to you all that America is just playing in Iraq.. They didn’t go there to free us from Saddam yet Saddam was their Agent in first place!
    They gave him the President’s place and told him exactly what to do; Iran & Kuwait war. Etc..
    Now when he became useless to them.. They used him as a REASON to invade Iraq or maybe it was his duty to be a REASON in first place.. Only god, America &/Or Saddam know..
    Now.. WTF did that taxi driver do? Was he carrying a bomb? Wearing T.N.T Belt? No.. But who cares.. Isn’t it? Who cares about 1 more innocent Iraqi?
    Now if you’ll excuse me, I shall end my small paragraph of known truth with a request or you may call it a, GTFO OUT OF IRAQ NOW! Order/Request.

    Reply

  8. Mandi says:

    I haven’t seen the video because I have a very slow connection but read the comments and those lead me to say the following: it definitely is not right that the soldiers are laughing, maybe out of stress, but it reflects that something needs to be done and fast. I wish everybody both on the Iraqi and American side would not hasten to jump to conclusions. It is, as one of the comments said, I guess on part of “Active Duty” irresponsible to take things out of context. Because, at the end of the day, why are were talking about things? If it’s to help improve the lives of the Iraqis and the Americans then we absolutely need to know much more. But how do we do that when it’s extremely dangerous to see it first hand? All those acts of violence are preventing anyone from knowing what really is going on there. So, what do we do to get to the truth and find out how we can help? I also definitely agree both the soldiers and the Iraqi people need the mental and psychological equivalent of “decompression”. I personally feel very frustrated that I can’t go there myself because of the people who would have Iraq just like that: isolated, so they can keep doing what they want and get the blame on the rest of us.

    Reply

  9. Josh SN says:

    We’d you say “seemingly,” Steve?

    Reply

  10. MaddiBee says:

    THAT IS SO SICK. And the LAUGHING is unconscionable. What the heck is the matter with those military mental midgets? If what goes around comes around, they will get THEIRS. And how sad is that for young men who don’t seem to know any better. How dumb is that!

    Reply

  11. al-baghdady says:

    Till when these devil adults will kill and destro Iraq. I’m sure they fill with hate to the land of civilization that from it they learned to write thier names.
    Future is comming and all those bugs will leave.

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “You’re again jumping to conclusions thinking that ActiveDuty is an active service member, and not just using a screen name”
    So its your wise opinion that “ActiveDuty” is simply lying to us? I had the same thought, actually. Hell of a note, when one has to lie to advance an argument, ain’t it?
    And I guess we’ll just agree to disagree on the lowered standards thing. I tend to think the standards employed (prior to Bush’s disastrous efforts to strain our military to its breaking point) were in place for a reason. And really, to be blunt, I don’t understand the logic of teaching gangbangers the fine art of urban warfare.

    Reply

  13. jonst says:

    Doofus,
    “Steve, you ought to see if you can get this distributed to the networks.”
    Get it on the networks? The MSM? ROTFLMAO……you HAVE to kidding, right? This is 2008 dude.

    Reply

  14. PatrickVA says:

    First, we have a video that we know nothing about. It could be footage taken during a film shoot in California for all we know, or a controlled display done with the full cooperation of the local government in Iraq.
    To jump to the wost possible conclusion is to watch the video with biased eyes. That’s fine, but be honest with yourself about that.
    As far as lowerng recruiting standards leading to embarrasing behavior, I don’t agree. Four 19 year olds with less than average intelligence aren’t just armed, thrown in a tank and told to drive around. At the minimum, they would have a more senior person with, and in charge, of them. Even if that person came in under some reduced standard, he wouldn’t be in charge of a tank if he hadn’t earned the responsibility progressively over time.
    You’re again jumping to conclusions thinking that ActiveDuty is an active service member, and not just using a screen name. I’m sure limbaugh’s pilonidal cyst isn’t really a cyst.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Patrick…..
    Without purposely denigrating our troops, which is something I have no desire to do, I must ask if you do not see the folly in lowering the recruiting standards to their current levels?
    Isn’t it highly likely that we are inviting “embarrassing” behaviour from our troops by substantially lowering the standards one must meet for enlistment?
    Perhaps, “Activeduty”, whose post appears above, can attribute his disobedience of standing orders to such a lowering of standards, eh?

    Reply

  16. PatrickVA says:

    To be vocally against the war in Iraq is admirable and understandable. To show such ignorance distracts greatly from your arguments.
    To take a video clip from an unknown source, unknown location and unknown date made under unknown circumstances and use it as a rallying point for leaving Iraq is ignorant. Even more ignorant are the comments that use the video to suggest our troops are the bottom 20 percent.
    And to say “American soldiers are too distant from the fate of Iraqis” show so much ignorance. Tens of thousands of our troops have taken their boots off as guests in Iraqi homes. They interact daily with Iraqis in the streets and in their villages, and patrol regularly alongside Iraqi military and police forces. Many of these twenty-somethings are on their third or fourth deployment, meaning a great deal of their adult lives have been spent in daily contact with Iraqis. How many politicians, journalists, policy makers or board commenters can say this?

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Obama is only a rock star because the media has made him one. That should scare the shit out of any American that has paid careful attention to the media’s behaviour these last eight years.
    Why would a media that has been complicit,(and abetting), to the criminal machinations of the Bush Administration create this media sensation Barack Obama?

    Reply

  18. Paul Norheim says:

    “Sadr is no fool.
    (…)
    All he need do is bide his time.
    So too, the Bush strategy. The inevitable bloodbath will be
    blamed on the Democrats.” (POA)
    I think you`re right. From now on, not only Sadr, but also Bush
    has time on his side. A few months from now, he`s enjoying
    retirement on his ranch. And why should the insurgents spend
    their energy fighting hard during the “surge” – when they had
    reasons to believe that the Americans would reduce their troops
    if a Democrat was elected?
    If Obama removes troops to Afghanistan, he may be the one
    blamed for both future bloodbaths in Iraq as well as a quagmire
    in Afghanistan. Mission impossible. Add other parts of the Bush
    heritage: the economy and Iran.
    I wonder how long Obama remains a rock star.

    Reply

  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Sadr is no fool.
    Erasing the Sunnis cannot be accomplished while there is an overwhelming American military presence.
    All he need do is bide his time.
    So too, the Bush strategy. The inevitable bloodbath will be blamed on the Democrats.

    Reply

  20. Mr. Forward says:

    “Yet if anything, the cease-fire and the recent actions taken by the American and Iraqi governments have strengthened, not weakened, as-Sadr and his Mahdi Army.”
    Steve Clemons
    Washington Note
    July 8, 2008
    “Moqtada Packs It In
    August 6, 2008; Page A14
    Good news out of Iraq is becoming almost a daily event: In just the past week, we learned that U.S. combat fatalities (five) dropped in July to a low for the war, that key leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq have fled to the Pakistani hinterland, that troop deployments will soon be cut to 12 months from 15, and that Washington and Baghdad are close to concluding a status-of-forces agreement.
    Now this: Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr plans to announce Friday that he will disarm his Mahdi Army, which was raining mortars on Baghdad’s Green Zone as recently as April. Coupled with the near-total defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq, this means the U.S. no longer faces any significant organized military foe in the country. It also marks a major setback for Iran, which had used the Mahdi Army as one of its primary vehicles for extending its influence in Iraq.”
    Wall Street Journal
    “Dearest Mahdi, Dearest Sadr,
    Here I am at Camp Muqtada
    Iran is very entertaining
    And they say we’ll have some fun when we start training.
    You remember General Petraeus?
    He took Baghdad and didn’t pay us.
    All the Shi-ites hate the Sunnis
    and the Kurds are from the boonies
    Wait a minute
    They’ve stopped shooting
    No more killing
    No more looting
    People voting, gee that’s better
    Mahdi, Sadr, kindly disregard this letter.”

    Reply

  21. David says:

    We really must end our occupation of Iraq. We had no business invading in the first place, we utterly botched the occupation, and stunts like this erase all of the good will any of the decent professional American service people in Iraq might have engendered by their individual acts of decency and kindness. And god only knows how much hatred and desire for revenge we have created by destroying the infrastructure, failing in our obligations to Iraq as an occupier, and maiming and killing god only knows how many innocent Iraqis, or as they are euphemistically known, collateral damage, and as they are treated, expendables. Any honest look at Iraq can only make one want to vomit, and then send those responsible for this war to the farthest reaches of hell. It is neither understandable nor excusable.

    Reply

  22. Alex says:

    OTOH, that windshield is not pierced by bullet holes and saying it is based on the context of what we see here is irresponsible of Mr. Duty. That is not “support-the-troops”-worthy behavior.

    Reply

  23. serge says:

    I can’t know the exact circumstances around this event. I find it deplorable in any case. What if fifteen of the taxi driver’s cousins had appeared suddenly and hit the tank with several shoulder-launched grenades, especially as they decided it would be funnier still to back up and run over it again?
    That would especially suck for the US soldiers; it would truly suck longer-term for their relatives and friends.
    While it appears no life was harmed, coming on the heels of so many avoidable and unnecessary true atrocities, this may be, for me, an ironic last straw. Given the new work from Ron Suskind today, I damn Bush, Cheney, et alii to a life in sheer hell.

    Reply

  24. barrisj says:

    I’ve seen too many videos of US military doing moronic or murderous acts in Iraq, and what is common to all of them is the “Beavis and Butthead” laughter from the perps as the action unfolds. How many people in uniform over there are in the “bottom-20th percentile” group that now seems to be the recruiters’ target?

    Reply

  25. la.politique says:

    Shocking and not justified under any circumstance. What were they thinking? These are 18-20 year old soldiers!!!!!! Must bring them home.

    Reply

  26. Loyd says:

    We must remember the larger context in which these soldiers did this act. They have been inserted into a situation in Iraq where there is basically no law or order. Yes, the military has their own code of conduct and rules of engagement. However, since little or no accountability has been evident for most of the conflict, especially at the highest levels of the command structure, it is with little surprise that actions of this kind occur and probably occur with alarming frequency. This one just happened to leak out. I don’t imagine Generals Petraeus and Odierno like seeing these things, but I’m sure they are not surprised by them.
    Remember the videos of security contractors driving down the roads of Iraq and just wantonly opening fire on innocent civilian vehicles that they would pass seemingly for the sport of it? Disgusting, but we don’t see these things in our sanitized media these days.
    What’s happening in Iraq is a big secret to the vast majority of Americans and our “leaders” are trying their hardest to keep it that way. There will be no “victory” in this war, only a strategic re-deployment out of Iraq, the sooner the better.

    Reply

  27. limbaugh's pilonidal cyst says:

    Wonder if it occured to any of those gomers to check that taxi to see if there might be a honking big mine hidden in it? If they did and there wasn’t one they should have just pushed it aside, if they didn’t they’re idiots. You can bet that it’s going to be a possibility now that that tape is public.

    Reply

  28. Spunkmeyer says:

    You know what scares me the most? The idea that many of our
    soldiers will come home and likely receive substandard care for
    their adjustment to civilian life. This clip obviously took place in a
    far different world and set of circumstances to our own. Perhaps
    this is considered “everyday life” to our soldiers… what does that
    say?
    Like deepsea divers require a decompression chamber, soldiers
    require the mental equivalent. I fear “the bends” you get
    otherwise.

    Reply

  29. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gee, “Active Duty”, correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you disobeying a direct order by commenting on a political blog?
    Uhm, if so, your lack of a respect for orders would seem to call to question your credibility.

    Reply

  30. ActiveDuty says:

    Steve, I wonder if you see the closeup on the taxi with multiple bullet center windshield. This was not a seemingly innocent taxi. There was obvioulsy an event and the taxi driver most likely was involved in an attack on US soliders or Innocent Iraqis. Taking this video out of context it truly irresponsible of you.

    Reply

  31. Doofus says:

    Wow. Steve, you ought to see if you can get this distributed to the networks. This is some sick stuff. People need to realize just how perverse this occupation has become. This is a very visual (and with the audible laughing, sickening) piece of evidence that Americans need to see.

    Reply

  32. Sweetness says:

    What can one say, Steve…it’s disgusting.

    Reply

  33. FranckJ says:

    A comment on your comment: this was in no one’s interest. You can hear the soldiers laugh and yell “yeah, do it again.” I agree that the interests of American soldiers and of the US are not (always) those of Iraq, but they were just being plain assholes, and they should be disciplined.

    Reply

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