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-   -   How to drive a Hummer in Iraq (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=18488)

bcampbell 19 October 2007 02:53 PM

How to drive a Hummer in Iraq
 
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu...deoID=18434771

Saw this video on Myspace. Anyone have any clue as to the origin, and any idea of what's going on? I have to assume this isn't standard procedure, so is there something going on that isn't immediately obvious?

I'm watching this without sound, so if that provides some context I'm missing I apologize.

Robigus 19 October 2007 03:13 PM

Without any further information available right now, I would hazard the guess that the driver does not want to become a fixed target for a RPG round. Speaking to people who have returned from Iraq, a not uncommon practice is to try to box a military vehicle in in traffic, then hit them with heavy weapons fire. Best defense, keep moving, no matter what.:eek:

Spamamander 19 October 2007 03:41 PM

Only thing I know about driving Hummers in the desert is that if you run over a camel spider in an armored vehicle twice in the sand, the NFBSKer will survive.

At least, according to my husband after his stint in Saudi. Oh, and the local lizards are called "Dub-dubs" because that's the sound they make when one accidentally runs them down with the Hummer.

TuFurg 19 October 2007 06:48 PM

There is a constant horn honking and several people pull over without having to be bumped so it's probably some kind of response unit with something alerting (at least some of) the drivers. Other there they simply can get away with bumping cars. I think it would be great if emergency vehicles could do that over here. :cool:

I have a hard time believe all the military hummers in Iraq and the like are going to drive like that just to avoid becoming a fixed target. Even so I'd think it wouldn't do much good anyway.

bcampbell 19 October 2007 07:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TuFurg (Post 367904)
There is a constant horn honking and several people pull over without having to be bumped so it's probably some kind of response unit with something alerting (at least some of) the drivers. Other there they simply can get away with bumping cars. I think it would be great if emergency vehicles could do that over here. :cool:

I have a hard time believe all the military hummers in Iraq and the like are going to drive like that just to avoid becoming a fixed target. Even so I'd think it wouldn't do much good anyway.

This is what I was assuming. Thanks.

If anyone can dig up any specific info on this clip's origin, that would be great.

CannonFodder 19 October 2007 07:19 PM

Nothing out of the ordinary at all. We literally had to beat on our drivers until they learned to drive like this. And I hated hated HATED driving in towns. Speed is life, you never know where that RPG or IED is going to come from.

It's not a special response vehicle, although I noticed that alot of the hardware we would have on the front of our scout trucks (the lead vehicle in a patrol is always called a scout truck)isn't there. But they're driving in Baghdad during the day. Just a crap situation to be in, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Diabolus Ex Deus 19 October 2007 07:27 PM

The fixed target comment is a very likely reason why they won't stop. It's not just that they'll catch an RPG round, but boxing in a car in traffic is a good way to lay down a hail of bullets or set off a car bomb.

Now, I'd probably venture a guess that another possible reason they're driving like that is urgency. Either they're getting away from a potentially dangerous situation, or they're responding to a situation that they have to get to quickly and safely.

That's my two cents.

Electrotiger 20 October 2007 06:09 AM

Is it just me, or does that Hummer seem to have a fairly wimpy horn?

I don't expect <i>"bee, bee, beeeeee"</i> from a Hummer, I expect <i>"WHAAAAAAH, WHAAAAAAAH, WAAAAAAAAAAH!"</i>

Troberg 20 October 2007 07:39 AM

Driving that way, I would applaud if those effers got an RPG round up their butts.

I counted to at least six cases of assault on innocent civilians (bumping a car on purpose is an assault), several severe traffic violations (such as ignoring right of way and driving on the wrong side) which would result in immediate loss of driver's license. There were also a whole bunch of minor offenses, such as not yielding to pedestrians, driving on parts of the road not intended for driving and misuse of the signal horn. Not to mention the damage to innocent peoples' property.

If the US is at least pretending to want to uphold the law, they can't behave this way. Sure, it would make them an easier target, but any sane person in the neighbourhood who see someone driving like this should be reaching for a gun. They are making themselves a target by this idiot behaviour. Act like soldiers, not bandits.

It's videos like this that needs to be shown on news media, and preferably in the UN as well.

Seburiel 20 October 2007 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Troberg (Post 368620)
Driving that way, I would applaud if those effers got an RPG round up their butts.

Nice.:rolleyes:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Troberg (Post 368620)
I counted to at least six cases of assault on innocent civilians (bumping a car on purpose is an assault)

Perhaps - where is it that this is against the law?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Troberg (Post 368620)
, several severe traffic violations (such as ignoring right of way and driving on the wrong side) which would result in immediate loss of driver's license. There were also a whole bunch of minor offenses, such as not yielding to pedestrians, driving on parts of the road not intended for driving and misuse of the signal horn. Not to mention the damage to innocent peoples' property.

Yes, and in quite a bit of the US Police and emergency responders are allowed to violate the law in performance of their duties to a degree - how much is open to speculation by those respective jurisdictions.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Troberg (Post 368620)
If the US is at least pretending to want to uphold the law, they can't behave this way.

See above - what is right there, isn't necessarily what's right here, or in Iraq

Quote:

Originally Posted by Troberg (Post 368620)
Sure, it would make them an easier target, but any sane person in the neighbourhood who see someone driving like this should be reaching for a gun. They are making themselves a target by this idiot behaviour. Act like soldiers, not bandits.

It's videos like this that needs to be shown on news media, and preferably in the UN as well.

I agree - and perhaps there was something untoward going on, perhaps not, but in an environment where anyone may be an enemy combatant, you can bet your sweet bippy that I will be driving evasively, even offensively, as well.

Dreams of Thinking Machines 20 October 2007 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Troberg (Post 368620)
Driving that way, I would applaud if those effers got an RPG round up their butts.

First off, that's a shockingly callous statement. Where's the moral equivalence between driving offensively in a war zone and deserving to die for it?

Secondly, IEDs, RPGs, and bands of militants with guns don't care about collateral damage. If the hummer were to wait patiently in traffic, it would also put all the innocent civilians in the cars around it at great risk. Honestly, if you're driving your little compact car and you see a big old Hummer frantically beeping its horn and tailing you, you should give way immediately. If you don't then you shouldn't be surprised when they give your car a tap to show how serious they are.

If the people in this neighborhood cannot understand why soldiers caught in heavy traffic would make a mad dash through their town, they'd have to be insane.

ica171 20 October 2007 06:47 PM

I forwarded it to my brother who's currently stationed in Iraq to see if he has anything to add. Oddly enough, he just got a speeding ticket over there.

faceless007 20 October 2007 11:27 PM

I can't comment on the video itself, but the comments afterward make me think Internet access should be an earned privilege.

CannonFodder 20 October 2007 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Troberg (Post 368620)
Driving that way, I would applaud if those effers got an RPG round up their butts.

I probably shouldn't say this, but what the hell. Next time I'm over there on patrol, and we're driving like this, why don't YOU come try and give us an RPG 'up our butts'. Don't make threatening statements you're not willing to back up. You've never been there, you've never been scared for your life every time your vehicle was moving slower than 50mph.

How do you know they're innocent civilians? I don't know that, and neither do you. Everyone is a potential hostile until you're out of range.

Driving in Iraq, especially combat driving in Iraq, is nothing like driving in the US or western Europe. Don't try to make the comparison.

UEL 21 October 2007 12:16 AM

CannonFodder beat me to the punch, but I've got a slightly different perspective on what I saw.

The past couple of days I've been attending a professional/academic seminar on rebuilding failed states. One of the things that came out was security for the average Afghani, and by my extension, Iraqi. Security in Afghanistan/Iraq cannot ever achieve the same meaning as security in Ottawa or Baltimore. By driving in the manner that those in the Humvee are doing, they are keeping themselves safe. There is no doubting that. But they are also keeping the Iraqis on the road safe as well.

An open source fact cited at today's seminar: in Afghanistan, for every soldier killed in a Taliban action, there are about 15 civilians killed in the same action. One suicide bomber or IED powerful enough to destroy a LAV, armoured Humvee, or Nyala will shred anyone nearby. Likewise, enough ammunition fired at soldiers wearing their body armour will make its way into crowds, houses, schools etc once fired.

So, by driving so the soldiers do not become targets, the soldiers are, by extension, keeping Iraqis safe. We would not tolerate that type of driving in Ottawa or Baltimore, but we don't have the security situation in our cities that Baghdad and Kandahar have.

Troberg, you may not support the mission, but don't wish violence upon the troops trying to get their asses home.

Insensible Crier 21 October 2007 12:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Troberg (Post 368620)
Driving that way, I would applaud if those effers got an RPG round up their butts.

I counted to at least six cases of assault on innocent civilians (bumping a car on purpose is an assault), several severe traffic violations (such as ignoring right of way and driving on the wrong side) which would result in immediate loss of driver's license. There were also a whole bunch of minor offenses, such as not yielding to pedestrians, driving on parts of the road not intended for driving and misuse of the signal horn. Not to mention the damage to innocent peoples' property.

If the US is at least pretending to want to uphold the law, they can't behave this way. Sure, it would make them an easier target, but any sane person in the neighbourhood who see someone driving like this should be reaching for a gun. They are making themselves a target by this idiot behaviour. Act like soldiers, not bandits.

It's videos like this that needs to be shown on news media, and preferably in the UN as well.

Okay, next time I see an ambulance or fire truck fail to yield or run a red light, I'll blow them up with a missile. :rolleyes:

These are soldiers trying to stay alive in a combat zone, not a bunch of yuppies trying to get to Starbucks.

ETA: Spanked a bunch of times and by people who know a hell of a lot more than the rest of do about things like this.

ganzfeld 21 October 2007 01:09 AM

I think Troberg's goal in life is to try to make the French look better than the Swedish.

Seburiel 21 October 2007 01:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ganzfeld (Post 369139)
I think Troberg's goal in life is to try to make the French look better than the Swedish.

Well, he's doing a darn fine job.
Troberg, please, if you will, I am genuinely interested in your responses to the responses to your comments.

Delta-V 21 October 2007 03:31 AM

Oddly enough, I just watched that video as part of an official PTSD training thing. It was supposed to demonstrate the stress of driving in-theater, I think. Considering that any one of those drivers could potentially be trying to block to convoy for an ambush, I don't blame them. They have legal right-of-way, anyway. Nice to know that the Swedish insurgents are willing to open up on a road crowded with civilian traffic, tho.

Not as good as the Jalabad highway video, either.

Mr. Furious 21 October 2007 03:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Delta-V (Post 369249)
Not as good as the Jalabad highway video, either.

That is ten shades of awesome.


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