June 14, 2006


So every day I open up a bunch of stories from my newsreader (NetNewsWire Lite from Ranchero for what its worth), and read, in a bit more depth, the stories that caught my eye.

Today, by the time I was done, two stories stuck out, and I hadn't closed their respective tabs in my browser. They seem related to me, not directly, but... well, just take a look.

US 'biggest global peace threat' - from the BBC

US Marines investigate singing squaddy - from The Register

The first is a BBC story on how the rest of the world (at least the European and Muslim countries) feels that our government's policy is a bigger threat than Iran's nuclear program.

The second is another British piece (it seems I get all my real news from the Brits) on The Register about this video that was recorded of a supposed Marine singing a song about... well, as the Register article puts it:

[quote]Called "Hadji Girl" the lyrics are more or less what you'd expect. It's not the most culturally-aware composition you've ever heard but presumably the squaddy wasn't recruited for his singing ability.[/quote]

And the audience (again, supposed Marines - the Marine Corps is looking into it) cheers him on.

I guess the first story simply confirms for me that the rest of the world thinks we're fucking this situation up as much as I think we are. And the second points me at a video that seems to me to be indicitive of the attitude that some people in the United States have. This is the face we're showing the world, and then people wonder why we are disliked in the best situations and hated in the worst.

I understand that going to Iraq and dealing with what those folks see every day isn't easy (the man who would have been my brother-in-law died there before I ever got to meet him), and isn't going to likely foster good will towards the Iraqis who attack US soldiers, but this is ridiculous. There has to be something better. Mocking the language and culture of these people, and then making jokes about using children as a shield against gunfire is inexcusably wrong, and kind of makes my stomach turn.

This is not what America is like. I sincerely hope the rest of the world doesn't think that this moron represents the majority of people in this country, because he is nothing like any of the people I know and love here.

If you want to see the video, its on YouTube right now. You have to be a YouTube member to watch it, but I guess I'll embed it. Sorry that its offensive, but its easier than people having to go register for YouTube.

EDIT: The video has been removed from YouTube, and the Marine (Cpl Joshua Belile) apologized. How he "never intended to cause offense" by writing trash like that is beyond me.

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