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  #21  
Old 21 October 2007, 06:25 AM
Venus Venus is offline
 
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What happens if a humvee driving like that takes out a pedestrian? That's all well and good huh? What if there were small children in the cars they were bumping? Who cares about a little collateral damage?
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  #22  
Old 21 October 2007, 07:07 AM
Zachary Fizz Zachary Fizz is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Venus View Post
What happens if a humvee driving like that takes out a pedestrian? That's all well and good huh? What if there were small children in the cars they were bumping? Who cares about a little collateral damage?
Huh? I'm not seeing anyone on these boards being callous about civilians. Whose viewpoint are you challenging?

ETA: Did you even read UEL's post?

ETA2: Driving in the middle east is not quite the same as driving in the west, and I'm a little surprised that Troberg (who has lived in the middle east in the past) hasn't kept this in mind. You get a lot of folk driving along in a state of blissful ignorance of what is behind or beside them; mirrors aren't always used as often as they should be, and hooting horns are frequently disregarded. Given the danger that going slowly, or stopping, poses to the Hummer driver and all nearby civilians I don't have a problem with his approach.

Last edited by Zachary Fizz; 21 October 2007 at 07:33 AM.
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  #23  
Old 21 October 2007, 07:09 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Perhaps - where is it that this is against the law?
In just about every country that has traffic laws.

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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.
In an emergency, yes. It's not an emergency until there is a clear identification of a threat, not just a general feeling of unease. I also doubt that military units are classified as police and given those allowances.

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See above - what is right there, isn't necessarily what's right here, or in Iraq
Yeah, and put the prisoners in torture camps in Cuba where it's not under your law.

If you intend to be welcomed as liberators, don't behave as if the lives of the local civilians means nothing to you. Respect is paramount if anything like this is going to succeed.

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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.
And that's why soldiers need to be properly trained to respect local laws. Remember, a conflict is not won ba saving individual soldiers, it's won by winning the battle. Not killing civilians (and this kind of driving will end up killing someone) will reduce losses in the long run, even if some soldiers get killed in the process.

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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?
Do you understand that there is a difference between civilians and military? Civilians is to be kept out of harms way, if necessary at the expense of the military personell.

When the military acts offensively against civilians, they have lost their status as a legitimate army, and become simple bandits. If there is a response against that, the responders are well within their rights to do so.

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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.
And? Let's get this clear. It's not the responsibility of the US to decide who rules Iraq. Let the Iraqi people sort it out themselves, instead of treating them as second rate human beings who don't know how to rule themselves.

It's the US who puts people at risk by their very presence. Pull out, and there would be no civilians close to US troops that might become collateral damage.

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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.
Well, you obviously don't drive a small car. There are rulse for right of way, and they don't include size.

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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.
Oh, I can understand why the soldiers do it, but that does not make it right. Soldiers have shot prisoners because it would be unpractical to hold them. That was not right either. Soldiers have leveled villages on the mere suspicion that there were an enemy presence. That's not right.

Just because a soldier does something that's practical for him does not make it right.

Try to see this from an Iraqi viewpoint. They are occupied by a foreign force who has killed their leader and replaced him with a puppet regime. OK, he was not the best leader, but at least he was on their side. Then they daily see the occupation force plaing GTA in the streets. Do you understand why they are not happy about that?

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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.
Invade Sweden and behave like that and I'll back it up, and I'll not be the only one.

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You've never been there, you've never been scared for your life every time your vehicle was moving slower than 50mph.
Sure, it's scary. That doesn't allow you to behave like the laws don't apply to you. I find our current prime minister scary, that does not give me the right to shoot him.

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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.
That's the thinking that ends in war crimes.

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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.
Sorry, I can't condone the callous killing of civilians (which is where this kind of driving will end up, otherwise there wouldn't be any need for traffic regulations at all) just because you are in another country where people might shoot at you.

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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.
By that reasoning, the best way of keeping them safe would be to not be there at all. Why are you so afraid to follow the conclusion to it's logical end point.

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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.
You still don't understand the division of responsibility. Let the Talibans bear the responsibility for their actions. If you just keep out of the way, that responsibility will weigh even heavier on them.

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Troberg, you may not support the mission, but don't wish violence upon the troops trying to get their asses home.
Don't get me wrong, I have no problems with the troops caught up in this conflict (on both sides), as long as they fight a clean war. The responsibility for the overall situation goes higher in their respective organisations. I do, however, have a problem with the soldiers who don't behave like soldiers, and thus put civilians at risk.

It's part of the job for a soldier to accept a certain risk in order to protect civilians (and, to a lesser degree, other soldiers and even opposing soldiers). It's tough, but that's why it's a job not everybody is suited for.

I read a very nice definition of military efficiency used by the Swedish defence (quoted from memory, bolding mine): "To enforce our will upon the opponent with a minimum of damage in the forms of casualties, injuries, property damage, environmental damage, infrastructure damage and civilian losses on both sides.". This means that a Swedish soldier knows and accepts that he might take certain risks in order to reduce unnecessary damage even to the enemy.

This is also why the Swedish UN forces behaves differently, and thereby also becomes less of a target.

I talked to a friend who has been in the Swedish UN force in Afghanistan, and he was very clear about this. He told me about an incident where some local rivalry between to villages had resulted in some shots being fired. The US did the standard solution: "Send in the marines". The end result: the villages were still feuding, but now they were also angry at the US. The Swedish forces had to step in and put out the fire, so they did it in a less offensive way. They sent in a negotiator, with a small detachment for security. Not a large enough force to pose a threat, just strong enough to not make it worth the trouble attacking them. Then they talked to them and solved the problem. My friend said that there was a completely different mindset between US troops and Swedish troops, and that he found cooperation very difficult.

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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.
Hyperbole. A civilian emergency vehicle not part of an occupation force is hardly comparable to an armed military vehicle part that's part of an occupation force.

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These are soldiers trying to stay alive in a combat zone
Sure, but that does not justify everything. As I've said earlier, that's the most common reason mentioned for atrocities.

If the soldiers were under fire, I would not have complained, but the mere possibility of a hostile situation is not enough justification.

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Nice to know that the Swedish insurgents are willing to open up on a road crowded with civilian traffic, tho.
One can pick a better timing or choice of weapon.

Still, the same basic thinking applies. If someone invaded Sweden, killed our leader (even though he's an a**hole of monumental proportions), replaced him with a puppet regime, sent our citizens to internment camps outside any jurisdiction and then risked the lives of our civilians by pigging around like this, they should expect a military response.

I'm pretty sure the US would react the same way if they were the ones under occupation.

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Troberg, please, if you will, I am genuinely interested in your responses to the responses to your comments.
Youv'e got them. Sorry for the late response, I've been upgrading my Linux machines to Gutsy Gibbon.
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  #24  
Old 21 October 2007, 07:10 AM
Fanatic Fanatic is offline
 
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Audio tracks NFBSK:

Here's some context.

Some more.

And more.
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  #25  
Old 21 October 2007, 07:11 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Huh? I'm not seeing anyone on these boards being callous about civilians.
That's the unescapable consequence of condoning taking these risks with their lives.
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  #26  
Old 21 October 2007, 07:22 AM
Zachary Fizz Zachary Fizz is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
That's the unescapable consequence of condoning taking these risks with their lives.
But what you are apparently failing to recognise, Troberg, is that there is a necessary balancing of risk. As Cannonfodder and UEL have observed, to present an easy target to insurgents is to place the surrounding civilians in jeopardy; to nudge civilian cars until they move over is to protect their occupants. From the video in the OP, the impact of the Hummer on the civilian vehicles was hardly violent or reckless, but measured and appropriate to the circumstances.

As I hope you know, I may not always agree with you but I hold you in some esteem. In this case, though, I believe that your judgement is seriously off - driving which would certainly be out of place in Borlange or Dubai is not universally inappropriate, and in the centre of a war zone, the driving shown in the OP seems (IMHO) to be sensible and reasonable.
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  #27  
Old 21 October 2007, 07:29 AM
Venus Venus is offline
 
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I can't help but wonder what the soldiers' liability would be if they did actually kill someone while driving this way. I wonder if the 'i bumped them to protect them' argument would fly.
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  #28  
Old 21 October 2007, 07:50 AM
Zachary Fizz Zachary Fizz is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Venus View Post
I can't help but wonder what the soldiers' liability would be if they did actually kill someone while driving this way. I wonder if the 'i bumped them to protect them' argument would fly.
You and Troberg seem to be seeing a far greater level of danger in the driving than appears from the OP. AFAIK nobody has died or been injured as a result of that driving. And yet a very large number of Iraqis have died as a result of IEDs.
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  #29  
Old 21 October 2007, 08:23 AM
Venus Venus is offline
 
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There were pedestrians on that street. And when they jumped the median to drive the wrong way down the road i thought they were gonna hit one. And one of the cars they hit kinda jerked to the side instead of just jerking straight forward and for a second there i thought it was gonna spin off onto the sidewalk.
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  #30  
Old 21 October 2007, 09:24 AM
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Seburiel Seburiel is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venus View Post
...i thought they were gonna hit one...
Yet, they didn't
I may be reading too much into this (but at this point, it's not important), but I get the idea that no amount of proper rationalization will help at this point, there are those whom will be critical of the US's actions abroad, at home, in public, or in private, regardless of what is actually going on.
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  #31  
Old 21 October 2007, 09:28 AM
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Seburiel Seburiel is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanatic View Post
Yep, here are the sort of things that Troberg would have happen, not because our troops are driving 'recklessly', but because we are over there, period.
here's the proof:

Quote:
Originally Posted by troberg
And? Let's get this clear. It's not the responsibility of the US to decide who rules Iraq. Let the Iraqi people sort it out themselves, instead of treating them as second rate human beings who don't know how to rule themselves.

It's the US who puts people at risk by their very presence. Pull out, and there would be no civilians close to US troops that might become collateral damage
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  #32  
Old 21 October 2007, 10:06 AM
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Mickey Blue Mickey Blue is offline
 
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Other there they simply can get away with bumping cars. I think it would be great if emergency vehicles could do that over here.
You and me both

Though I've always thought the best method for cars that wont get out of the ambulance/firetrucks way would be some kind of sonic weapon that would force them off of the road to wreck, then the responding unit to their accident would come with its own slow driving person to stay in front of it the entire way to the hosptial, sorta give them a first hand view how much it sucks to have your life saving treatment put on hold for some asshole in a car.


At first glance I'll admit the soldiers seemed like assholes, but given what several actual soldiers have said on this site I understand the logic behind their actions and it makes sense (I wouldn't wanna get shot either).

I do have to say most of the comments under it are just terrifying though.. Generally they range from "Yea, get those people out of your way! Semper Fi!" to "Too bad they didn't crush some of those Sand-Ni**ers under their truck".

Of course to make it accurate I'd have had to incert numerous spelling and puntuation errors into the above quotes, but you get the idea.. Scary..

-MB
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  #33  
Old 21 October 2007, 01:08 PM
Zachary Fizz Zachary Fizz is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venus View Post
There were pedestrians on that street. And when they jumped the median to drive the wrong way down the road i thought they were gonna hit one. And one of the cars they hit kinda jerked to the side instead of just jerking straight forward and for a second there i thought it was gonna spin off onto the sidewalk.
I think Seburiel's answer speaks for me too, Venus. The driving in the OP might be shocking if seen on an American street, but in truth it is still a long way from a demolition derby. And nobody got hurt.
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  #34  
Old 21 October 2007, 02:43 PM
Venus Venus is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Zachary Fizz View Post
And nobody got hurt.
This time. Nobody got hurt this time. And if someone did get hurt i doubt those soldiers would have posted the video. Mowing someone down isn't something you would want on youtube.
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  #35  
Old 21 October 2007, 02:56 PM
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UEL UEL is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Delta-V View Post
Not as good as the Jalabad highway video, either.
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Originally Posted by Mr. Furious View Post
That is ten shades of awesome.
Thanks for that. My camp was along the Jalalbad Road. In fact, where the two vehicle convoy turned off the road was just across from my camp. And for the record, the two SUVs and the one black Volkswagen that they point out as driving erratically were other westerners. But the jingle trucks, kids, donkey carts etc are everywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Venus View Post
What happens if a humvee driving like that takes out a pedestrian? That's all well and good huh? What if there were small children in the cars they were bumping? Who cares about a little collateral damage?
About the bumping the cars, please note that the bumps were not devastating crunches but mere nudging. If a pedestrian is hit, then the pedestrian gets the best medical treatment in Iraq. However, it is interesting to note that very few pedestrians get hit over there. It is likely because everyone drives like those in the Humvee.

Venus, good question about the collateral damage. Collateral damage is always on a soldier's mind over there. It is to be avoided. However, as a soldier I am a manager of risk and violence. I need to manage the risk of not achieving my mission and keeping my soldiers safe against the risk of others. Granted, if I demolish a lot of vehicles or kill a lot of pedestrians, I will fail in my mission. However, keeping myself and the population safe (by not being involved in a fight in a city) I have a much better chance of achieving my mission, and bringing the troops home.
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  #36  
Old 21 October 2007, 03:22 PM
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Beachlife! Beachlife! is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Venus View Post
This time. Nobody got hurt this time. And if someone did get hurt i doubt those soldiers would have posted the video. Mowing someone down isn't something you would want on youtube.
You don't understand what it's like to be pedestrian in countries like this either. They're a lot more aware of what's happening around them and a lot less likely to get hit by any moving vehicle.
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  #37  
Old 21 October 2007, 04:47 PM
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CannonFodder CannonFodder is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Venus View Post
This time. Nobody got hurt this time. And if someone did get hurt i doubt those soldiers would have posted the video. Mowing someone down isn't something you would want on youtube.
Pedestrians are dodgy, they're actually kinda hard to hit. I know when I'm driving a Scorpion and trying to run down Grunts the little NFBSKers always manage to dive and roll out of the way.

Yes, pedestrians get run over sometimes. Even killed. But it's very infrequent. The only one I saw was when a crowd of little kids had gathered at the main gate as convoys were rolling out. The big semi trucks are accelerating to a safe convoy speed, but the kids would be trying to beg stuff from the drivers and gun truck crews and running in and out between the trucks. One little boy, I'd guess him to be about eight, even his father couldn't tell us how old he was, misjudged his run and was crushed under the wheels of a fully loaded trailer truck.

We had to go get him, take him to the base hospital, and then take his body to his family. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but not at us. I expected an armed ambush on the drive to deliver the body, but it was just a very sad family who seemed to understand that it was an accident.

Oh, and for those who believe we're breaking traffic laws in Iraq? One, there ARE no traffic laws in Iraq. Two, if there WERE traffic laws in Iraq they would not apply to coalition vehicles.
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  #38  
Old 21 October 2007, 05:13 PM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Delta-V View Post
Nice to know that the Swedish insurgents are willing to open up on a road crowded with civilian traffic, tho.
Don't hold your breath. They've been lobbying to "retake Norway" for years but haven't lifted a finger.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
[...] I still hate him enough to start lobbying for Sweden to take Norway back and correct this mess. Sadly, the Swedish government usually don't listen to me in such issues.
(I guess Swedish insurgents only clear the way for foreign armies. In that case, it's "Out of the way! Coming through!") Okay, I deserve it:
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  #39  
Old 21 October 2007, 06:07 PM
Insensible Crier Insensible Crier is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Hyperbole. A civilian emergency vehicle not part of an occupation force is hardly comparable to an armed military vehicle part that's part of an occupation force.
It's not hyperbole, it's a direct comparison. These troops are assuming the role that civilian police and other emergency vehicles would normally provide. This means their vehicle has right of way and can ignore traffic laws. They would have flashing lights and a siren too except that would just be putting a giant bullseye on their vehicle. Now whether or not they were responding to and emergency, I can't say and neither can you.

When an ambulance runs a red light with its lights and siren on, do you think they should be punished, as harshly as being killed and possibly those around them? For all you know they are going for pizza or didn't want to wait in traffic. Since we don't know, we must assume they are responding to an emergency and give right of way. If we don't, then we are the ones breaking the law, not them.
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  #40  
Old 21 October 2007, 06:24 PM
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callee callee is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Dreams of Thinking Machines View Post
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?
Excellently well put. And what's more, he hasn't answered it yet. He's defended why he thinks the driver was in the wrong, and defended why the troops shouldn't be acting that way, but he has yet to successfully justify the notion that they deserve death for bad driving.
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