About that war

We pause from our usual Friday activities (pretty much a combination of staring out the window and staring at the clock) to announce that there’s still a war in Afghanistan going on.

And this video, uploaded this week, is a startling look at what it’s like. (Language warning)

According to a description attached to the upload …


” I got a hit a total of 4 times. My helmet cam died and i made it down the mountain on my own. I was also hit in the side of my helmet and my eye pro was shot off of my face. We were doing overwatch on the village to recon and gather intel. I was point heading down the face of the hill with the LT. when we got hit. the rest of the squad was pinned down by machine gun fire. I didn’t start the video until a few mins into the firefight for obvious reasons. I came out into the open to draw fire so my squad could get to safety.”

“A round struck the tube by my hand of the 203 grenade launcher which knocked it out of my hands. When I picked the rifle back up it was still functional but the grenade launcher tube had a nice sized 7.62 cal bullet hole in it and was rendered useless. ”

The video also leads us to this question: When the last time you saw war footage on TV news?

  • Kassie

    The video also leads us to this question: When the last time you saw war footage on TV news?//

    Which lead me to wonder when the last time I watched TV news was? Probably not in 2012. 2011? Maybe. Unless The Daily Show counts. This is of course a public radio blog.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Bob – “When the last time you saw war footage on TV news?”

    Don’t watch TV news. (Unless you include Frontline.) That said, it was probably the rah rah video game-like reports of shock and awe.

    The war department may be crazy, but they ain’t stupid.

    Wait a minute, Often they ARE stupid. Stupid And Crazy KillersR’Us. What a wonderful organization to pour so much of our country’s resources into :- )

  • Tyler

    Caveat: I’m not in the military. I don’t know anything about squad tactics, with the exception of playing paintball twice.

    That being said, this guy looks like he’s trying to get shot.

  • MikeB

    The nation is too disconnected from what is happening in Afghanistan and Iraq. TV, newspapers have pulled up stakes and come home.

    But I do see coverage of the scripted “reality” TV shows

  • Kat S

    Tyler,

    From the piece of the interview that Bob linked, that’s exactly what he was doing:

    “I came out into the open to draw fire so my squad could get to safety.”

    Jim,

    It’s interesting that you mentioned video games, since that’s exactly what this clip reminded me of– and it kind of upped my respect for the realism of a lot of the games but made me wonder if it’s harder to shock a generation used to that kind of realism. And then he got shot, and the resemblance ended.

  • Christi

    Tyler: why don’t you take a trip to Afghanistan and make the same comment after you return? Just sayin…

  • Robert Moffitt

    Tyler: He did seem rather exposed to fire, but keep in mind that the locals he’s up against likely know every inch of that rocky hellhole. I could see him using suppressing fire, but could not see/hear if his buddies were doing the same. He really needed some more firepower to keep the bad guy’s heads down while he made a run for it.

  • Kevin Watterson

    What do you think generates more clicks and shares, a story about a war or a story about who said what about whose gaffe? There’s your answer.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Anyone who has ever been in a firefight knows that it’s primarily about staying alive and helping your buddies. Not necessarily in that order.

    Also regarding “trying to get hit”. Sometimes there’s a more selfish primordial motivation:

    “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” -Winston Churchill

    For some among us, no truer statement was ever spoken.

    But I weep for those who find themselves at war who aren’t adrenalin junkies.

    It must be hell.

  • nt

    All of you should have a brother over there. It will change your perspective. How many intelligent debate questions will we have on this topic? My prediction, zero.

  • David

    All of us should have a brother over there?

    No.

    All of the politicians that vote for war should have a child over there, that’d change their perspective.

  • nt

    All of the politicians should have a kid over there? Yeah and the air force should hold a bake sale… Give me a break. So long as there is evil, here and abroad, wars will need to be fought. My comment referred to the complete and utter ignorance of most people that US citizens die regularly over there, and that Pakastani citizens live in fear of death from above. blissful blissful ignorance.