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Nation Building

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 18 years ago, in 2006, on the World Wide Web.

Incorrigible warhawks and hand-wringing sensible liberals both routinely dismiss calls for immediate withdrawal from Iraq with a wave of the hand and a grumble or two about the need for constructive suggestions. If pressed on the topic they will point out that after American soldiers withdraw things may get very, very bad in Iraq. The problem with this line of argument is that while that is true that things may get very, very bad, that could only support prolonging the occupation (whether indefinitely or for the duration of some elaborately orchestrated exit strategy) if not withdrawing would somehow make things less bad. If the presence of American soldiers is usually making things actively worse — the delusion of control notwithstanding — then the appeal is simply foolish.

But maybe the hand-wringers and the mouth-foamers have a point. If American soldiers weren’t in Iraq, then who would make sure that things like this get done?

Here is video of a tank rolling up beside a group of Iraqi men sitting on the ground.

There was still some looting going on when we arrived.

And when we came across soldiers, they didn’t seem sure of their role.

The American soldiers are milling about and eventually move over to talk to the Iraqi men. One of them points to a young boy sitting with the men, and says, in English:

That child don’t need to be here. You know where the school is? O.K., that what he need to be doing, not following you.

Here are the faces of several soldiers, waiting for something to happen.

We filmed these G.I.s after they caught a group of Iraqis stealing wood.

One young soldier says,

We trying to stop them from looting, and they don’t understand, so we’ll take that car and we’ll crush it, the United States Army tankers.

Two soldiers draw their handguns and open fire on the empty car, shooting out the windows and the tires. When they finish, the tank rolls up to the front of the car and then over it, smashing the car under its treads. After it finishes, a soldier waves for it to come back, and the tank completely destroys the car as it crushes it in reverse. The horn honks briefly and a broken shell is left behind. The soldiers wave at each other and laugh. The same soldier who explained that they were going to smash the car says,

That’s what you get when you loot.

The narrator returns to say,

Later, the car’s owner told us, I’m a taxi driver. The car was my livelihood.

(Via The Disillusioned Kid 2006-12-01.)

1 reply to Nation Building Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. Sergio Méndez

    Hey Charles…i was just looking for this video..ane ehem..i find it dissapeared from youtube (wonder how and why…)….wonder if it can be found elswhere…

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