Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Soldiers at Dance

Apparently American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken to making videos of themselves dancing in all sorts of places. Here's an example:

And here's one with an American soldier manning a roadblock and asking a local driver to tell the insurgents to please come and fight within the next hour, before he has his shower

Here's some more, and there's lots more where that came from

So you'll appreciate why I'm not deeply anguished, mortified, or even mildly peeved by this clip of six Israeli troops doing the same in Hebron, which has lots of folks all agog these past few days:

It's not that they're only kids: they aren't. A troop of six IDF infantry soldiers, at least one of whom must be a non-commissioned officer, are not a group of adolescents. They're adults; they and their friends bear the responsibility for our lives on their shoulders; they repeatedly prove they're willing to put their own lives on the line to protect us - and they're far more mature, as a general statement, than most civilian young adults in the rich world. So this isn't an act of childishness.

It's good-natured goofiness. No one was harmed by it, no-one was humiliated, no harm was done at all. Yes, I can see why their CO probably got worked up about it, and I expect they'll pay some minor price for that, but that's all it is. Anyone who insists this is some callous expression of a brutal occupation etc etc needs to have their head examined. Then again, irrational hatred probably doesn't show in most head examinations. Alas.

PS. My son the soldier is home for the week. We watched this together, laughed heartily (it is quite funny), and he told me that the 50th Battalion - that's what it is - is known for being goofy.


Anonymous said...

We used to have fun in Shati, Jabalya and Hebron - it was a tension release, not an act of malice.

Anonymous said...

it was the first of its kind for me and it impressed me more than any serious piece of reportage could have done with how encumbered by armour these guys must operate these days.

The world is a weird place
only when you adore death you may wear light clothing


Paul M said...

The Americans have catchier music, better quality video work, and more and better dancing soldiers. So much for the US giving the IDF the latest and greatest of everything.

Saul Lieberman said...

i guess when you are close to it, you react differently.
i would assume that something similar happens in surgical operating rooms. and yet if you saw a dance routine video in the operating room between surgeries, you might find it jarring.

Geoff said...

They should be disciplined for choosing a Ke$ha song. Other than that, what's the big deal?

NormanF said...

I don't see the big deal. Its not like they shot Arabs or committed a war crime. If the worst infraction IDF troops do is dance on patrol, the army is in good shape. The IDF should not even punish them. For kids, they are remarkably well behaved and mature given what patrolling is like in Hebron Casbah.

Bryan said...

I've so disappointed in them. They should be disciplined with the harshest punishments available.

Honestly, I can't believe they would use a song that Marines already did a dance to. We expect better, Tzahal. Maybe if you were more original, you wouldn't be punished.

Avi said...

My son, who was in this unit a couple of years ago and had a lousy time when he was in Hebron, had a laugh.
My daughter, who has just finished the army as the education officer in Hebron, was not amused.

As you say Yaacov, they are mature adults, having some off-the-wall fun, in a creative way, in a totally loony environment. I reckon 30 days confined to barracks is what they deserve. And an award for excellent hasbara.

AKUS said...

Look - if Hamas wants to prevent Arabs in Gaza from dancing, that's there business. But to get upset over young Israeli soldiers dancing is just sour grapes, and very negative.In the clip from Iraq, watching the young Iraqis gradually joining in was the best part. Maybe one day n Hebron ...

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard anyone seriously complaining about this. I think the Israelis are overreacting, thinking it's going to be more bad publicity. Most American pieces I've seen on this have taken it in good humor.

Relax, Yaacov. Before someone takes your hypersensitivity for weakness and starts demanding that Netanyahu issue an apology.

RK said...

I think it's terrible! What are they thinking, listening to music during the three weeks!

Just kidding; it's pretty funny. In fact, my fellow yefei nefesh whom I've showed it to agree.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the Brigade commander has decided to be creative in his punishment:,7340,L-3916739,00.html

Anonymous said...

Please change the video to this one...

The one you are linked to is hosted by an anti-Israel guy who has tagged it to other anti-Israel vids.

peterthehungarian said...

If you want to get a picture about the challenges these soldiers must face every day and their ashtonishing selfdiscipline see this:

Anonymous said...

Anon at 3:13
your new link leads to a nowhere

I saw fotos of Americans in Iraq who were friendly to kids the way I have always found them to be friendly to me and the kids sneered (those who chose the pictures to demonstrate good relations seemed not to have noticed the sneers btw). It's not as bad as this video but it seems to me that if that's how "they" teach their kids to behave to friendly strangers what can you expect from them after they have grown up.

Via my experience of decades of American "occupation" I'd say a kid that can resist the smile of a GI has probably been brain-washed for life.

- if it is that bad in Iraq how much worse must be what they do to their kids in "Palestine" - also notice how they make their youngest walk in front - are they really so stupid to believe that none of the soldiers will ever snap under the harrassment? Human Nature being what it is I wouldn't put a kid in such harm's way - what'll happen if one of their own snipes at the patrol?
That's not how parents should behave, anywhere, anytime