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Old 04 September 2009, 10:35 PM
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Jenn Jenn is offline
 
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United States American Bravery

Comment: Is this story true?

Look at the 82nd Airborne soldier standing upright and alert while everyone else runs.

Adding to the chaos of the bombing, which killed at least 21 people and injured at least 66, was a shooter targeting people in the crowd.

Amid all the Iraqis who are running from the gunfire was a U.S. soldier, standing tall and looking in the direction of the gunshots, not looking for cover.

This next picture shows it all. The kid's face shows he is scared to death, and he's running to the safest spot he can find: this American soldier who stands between him and danger. It would be difficult to stage a picture that provides a more potent metaphor for the role played by the United States in this wretched world.

That kid just did a virtual essay on "What America Means to Me."

The boy knows who will save him, not kill him.


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  #2  
Old 04 September 2009, 11:13 PM
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Not_Done_Living Not_Done_Living is offline
 
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If the story IS accurate, that soldier is not that bright. I didn't think they allowed that close of contact with residents in action zones. Who knows that the child's intentions are. (Not saying the child WOULD or DOES HAVE poor intentions, but thats very risky and i would think he would use better judgment.
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  #3  
Old 04 September 2009, 11:20 PM
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Logoboros Logoboros is offline
 
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The thing that bugs me about the description is that is it implies a kind of moral contrast between the soldier and the Iraqis. The solider is walking (not standing, BTW) alert and purposefully, and the civilians are running from danger.

Well, what do you expect? The well-armed and at least partially armored soldier is doing his job in pursuing the threat, and the civilians are, quite reasonably, getting the heck out of the danger zone.

The point made in the longer paragraph towards the end seems to set aside the "American superiority" angle; but it still floats a "these people can't take care of themselves" message.

--Logoboros
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  #4  
Old 04 September 2009, 11:43 PM
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JoeBentley JoeBentley is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logoboros View Post
Well, what do you expect? The well-armed and at least partially armored soldier is doing his job in pursuing the threat, and the civilians are, quite reasonably, getting the heck out of the danger zone.
I have to agree. The well armed, armored and trained soldier is identifying and engaging the threat, the unarmed, unarmored civilians are avoiding it. It's that pretty much what's supposed to happen?
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  #5  
Old 05 September 2009, 02:06 AM
TuFurg TuFurg is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not_Done_Living View Post
If the story IS accurate, that soldier is not that bright. I didn't think they allowed that close of contact with residents in action zones. Who knows that the child's intentions are. (Not saying the child WOULD or DOES HAVE poor intentions, but thats very risky and i would think he would use better judgment.
Not sure what he could do in such mass confusion. Focus on the child and insist he stay away with what could be perceived as a threat while ignoring a know threat? I don't think they can afford that luxury with so many unknowns surrounding them.
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  #6  
Old 05 September 2009, 04:08 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Not to belittle the actions of the soldier, but if you are under fire and stand still without running for cover, chances are that you just haven't grasped what's going on yet and are just confused. It's not bravery, just plain human confusion.

Also, as for the kid, it's not very smart to hide behind the most likely target either.
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  #7  
Old 05 September 2009, 05:15 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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The soldier is doing his job, and probably doing it well.

I'm sure you can find hundreds of similar photos taken on 9/11. Civilians fleeing the twin towers while cops and firefighters move towards the towers. So whatever point the prose is trying to make is true of Americans as well.
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  #8  
Old 07 September 2009, 04:42 PM
RayPV RayPV is offline
 
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Fight

If you really look at the picture, you will see people running, but compared to the amount of people that are shown in the picture, there are only about 4 or 5 people running and many are just standing around looking at what appears to be the aftermath of a car bomb. As an ex army soldier and gulf war vet I can assure you that it doesn't matter how much armor you have on a well trained sniper can take you out with a well place round to the head, so if that soldier is just watching and walking calmly is because the situation has been assessed and the danger has passed. Also, I think the fact that the OP says there was a sniper may not be the case... real picture, inaccurate description is my opinion.

RayInPv
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  #9  
Old 07 September 2009, 04:52 PM
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Mickey Blue Mickey Blue is offline
 
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I'm no soldier but if people were shooting wouldn't you at least sorta duck down or something? Make yourself a smaller target while still being able to assess and fight back? I know I've seen the police do it, they don't walk into gunfights standing fully up (in my limited experience).

Clearly, assuming its not staged which I see no evidence of, something scary has happened, but I suspect it has either just happened and not everybody (possibly even the soldier) have caught on completely yet, or the actual threat is over (a bomb went off) but people are running out of fear anyway.

But then, I'm not a soldier, so I don't really know what they do, but he looks too calm to be involved in an attack thats using explosives and gunfire.

-MB
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  #10  
Old 07 September 2009, 05:06 PM
Insensible Crier Insensible Crier is offline
 
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Maybe all the people are leaving because the soldier is telling them to. He is looking in that direction.
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  #11  
Old 07 September 2009, 10:15 PM
Gayle Gayle is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey Blue View Post
I'm no soldier but if people were shooting wouldn't you at least sorta duck down or something? Make yourself a smaller target while still being able to assess and fight back? I know I've seen the police do it, they don't walk into gunfights standing fully up (in my limited experience).

Clearly, assuming its not staged which I see no evidence of, something scary has happened, but I suspect it has either just happened and not everybody (possibly even the soldier) have caught on completely yet, or the actual threat is over (a bomb went off) but people are running out of fear anyway.

But then, I'm not a soldier, so I don't really know what they do, but he looks too calm to be involved in an attack thats using explosives and gunfire.

-MB
And he may well not be.

For one thing, he's NOT the only one not running. Look at the people in the back: they're looking the same way he is. In the second picture, some of them are headed toward where we assume the problem is. I see people running away; I also see people heading toward. What I don't see is anyone with hands over their ears or head. So I'm guessing no explosion.

My guess is a fight or disagreement which could potentially turn quite nasty and dangerous. What I see is a bunch of kids and people who don't want to get mixed up in it. And I see a soldier and several other men headed toward it.


What is this obsession with cowards and heroes?

(I just finished Generation Kill, and it only reinforced my dislike of people acting like going through boot camp makes you come out the other side with a cape and a big S on your shirt. they're not gods; they're humans. Which makes it much more impressive to me that they're doing it.)
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  #12  
Old 08 September 2009, 06:36 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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I think you all are making the mistake of assuming rational reactions to a threat. Despite training, it's not uncommon for people to behave strangely under fire, freezing, diving for cover then freezing, just running in a random direction or any other unsuitable behavior. That goes for the soldier as well as the civilians.

Even well trained, combat experienced troops may occasionally just stand there dumbfounded, without grasping what's going on. A friend of mine once told me about an incident in former Yugoslavia, where he came under fire and correctly squeezed off a few rounds in the general direction of the attacker while diving for cover. He moved to another position behind cover. Then, after getting a fix on the location of the attacker, he popped up and began returning fire. His first shot missed (he was pretty pumped on adrenalin by then), then his gun jammed. The opponents opened up on his position, and he just kept pulling the trigger, trying to fire, until a friend pulled him down into cover again. He said that he knew perfectly well how to clear a jam and that he should take cover again first, but at that moment, his brain was just going "Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit!" and his hands just kept pulling the trigger. He'd been in combat many times before, he knew what to do, but still, he froze in a panic behavior.

Even soldiers are human.
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  #13  
Old 08 September 2009, 02:49 PM
BenPenguin
 
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It looks to me as if a fight or something similar is going on in the street at the back of the picture, as many people are also looking out of doorways at what is happening. The soldier seems to be looking at the crowd, not what the crowd is looking at. Those running away probably do not want to get involved. The second picture was possibly cropped to hide what was actually going on. The people could be moving to avoid a vahicle coming down the road or something similar. I would say that this is the aftermath of a bomb blast, most people are looking at something in the background and some are still scared. Real picture, inacurate discription.
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  #14  
Old 08 September 2009, 03:46 PM
Salamander Salamander is offline
 
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I'm looking at the kid in the first picture with the striped blue & white t-shirt and he looks like he is about to throw something... the apparent weight distribution in his legs and arm positioning appears (to me) to be winding up to hurl something at someone. I'd also agree that the 2nd photo has been cropped to, most likely, hide what is really going on in the photos.

I'll also echo the sentiments being expressed in regards to "Why the big deal about heroes and cowards all of a sudden?"
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