The above photo from the front page of today’s New York Times tells more than just the story of, as the caption reads, “An Iraqi man” who “comforted his mother, who collapsed yesterday after he was questioned by American soldiers under a new security plan for Baghdad.”

“Questioned”? Note the plastic handcuff still on his left wrist, obviously cut to allow him to tend to his mother.

I couldn’t help notice the fact that these asshole soldiers are wearing their boots inside this Iraqi house. We’ve occupied Afghanistan for six years, Iraq for four, and our troops still think it’s OK to wear shoes inside? It’s not just Muslim Culture 101–taking your shoes off at the door is standard in most countries. Is there actually not one single Army officer who pays attention to local sensibilities and teaches local mores to their men?

Look at this guy’s face. If I was pro-American before, I’d sign up for the local insurgency the second these automatic weapon-toting shitkickers violated my home and terrorized my mother.

28 Responses to “”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    “asshole soldiers are wearing their boots inside this Iraqi house”

    Way to pick a nit.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    It is unfortunate our boys are forced into this type of police action once again. I was wondering, in WWII didn’t G.I.’s do it all? Weren’t they responsible for cooking their own meals. Building their own compounds. Moving all their supplies. Why are we paying so many private contractors in Iraq?

  3. Swayze Says:

    I don’t doubt that the soldiers used excessive roughness with this guy, but do you honestly believe it’s feasible to have each and every soldier take off his boots when he enters a house? They’re not sandals, and he can’t slip them on and off with a flick of the ankle, not to mention the tactical issues that would arise if he had to move quickly to, say, be part of an ongoing occupation.

    It’s absurd that these Americans would give up their custom of wearing footwear indoors, just as it would be absurd to ask a Muslim in America to drink Bud and masturbate to pictures of Eva Longoria

  4. Ted Rall Says:

    I wouldn’t call it picking a nit. In Muslim countries, entering someone’s home without being invited is a huge violation. Walking around with your boots on is like taking a shit on your bed. And making yourself at home, as one soldier in the photo is doing, is disgusting beyond belief. The fact that some Americans consider other people’s cultural beliefs to be less worthy of respect than their own is at the root of our problems in Iraq and around the world.

  5. Ted Rall Says:

    I don’t care if it’s “feasible” for US troops to take off their boots or not when they enter an Iraqi home. Either we respect local culture or we might as well give up any hope of winning over hearts and minds.

    Memo to US occupation troops: Take off your fucking boots at the door. And knock first. Don’t break down the door.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    unrelated to this post: Your article on uExpress.com this week lacks a Headline!

  7. osisbs Says:

    The USDA is run by Republicans and they allow fecal matter to contaminate beef, pork, and chicken. Why should they care at all about dirt on an Iraqi carpet. The country just can’t afford clean food. Nor can we afford to give Marines sanitary wipes to put over their shoes before they enter a home. Come on, we cannot be luxurious.

  8. Matt P Says:

    Disgraceful. This (and much worse as we’ve seen with the gang-rape/murder case) sort of thing is no doubt going on all the time over there. The American economy and international reputation are heavily damaged while the Iraqis are terrorized. All so a small group of industrialists can rake in billions. What a racket.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Boots on in the house is not good. Boot covers would be a big improvement. However does it really matter to a Muslim when a) They want us out of Saudi Arabia. The holiest site of all Islam and B) they want us out of Iraq. The second holiest site in all Islam. So it’s not an issue of wearing or not wearing boots. It is an issue of Bush getting us into a very bad spot. He needs to be removed from office. maybe we could send him to Iraq to run their government?

  10. Anonymous Says:

    While it may be culturally disrespectful (but isn’t the whole Iraq affair?), I must say I can’t imagine soldiers ever taking their boots off in someone’s home. Perhaps if they were guests, but going into a strange situation not knowing what they’ll encounter, it’s probably much safer to keep their boots on. As to kicking the doors down, I would imagine it would be much more useful in getting information out of people. Though even with beating/torturing info out of locals, they don’t seem to be making much headway.

  11. Joe Says:

    Everything else aside, look at the look on the guy’s face. Nothing the soldiers could say or do is going to make up for their first impression. The whole concept of winning hearts and minds is a joke. It’s a military occupation, there’s nothing to win.

    And yeah, the dude relaxing on the couch is too much. Wow.

  12. Rusty Shackelford Says:

    It is disgusting to see what we have become. The insurgents are truly freedom fighters, fighting both an occupying force of thugs, and a colaborationist puppet government.

    Even more disgusting is the corrupt Republicans and the pathetic Democrats will continue to allow the murder of innocent men women and children.

  13. Ryan Says:

    I have to say Ted, as a BS detector, please look at this photo a little closer. I don’t know if you’re doing it on purpose or not, but it’s so horriblly obvious that this picture is a staged propoganda photo, it’s absurd. I’m surprised that anyone would be fooled by it. It reminds me of the fake Reuters photos from last summer, desperately trying to villify the Israelies. What do you take us for?? Next time, throw in a naked woman and some guy eating pork. That’ll really incite anger against the troops.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Ted – why do you hate the troops so much?

  15. Anonymous Says:

    ^ maybe because they are all volunteers yet follow criminal, illegal actions overseas that any one with an ounce of morals would object to? Besides if you read Rall’s writings, he doesnt hate anyone, except for the administration, but that doesnt mean US troops should be immune to critism when it is valid.

    That said, this image, staged or not (yes Ryan, there is SO MUCH propaganda against the US in the mainstream media, I dont know how we will ever stem the tide of communism…/sarcasm), is nothing compared to what they have done in Iraq on a daily basis.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    eh, Ryan or anyone who agrees with him, can you explain what details in particular about this photo lead you to believe it is not authentic?

  17. Anonymous Says:

    There are zipper attachments for millitary boots, btw. They just usually get in trouble with the “Spit and Polish “Nazis” that tend to have petty authority. And, frankly, it would be humane to let them wear sandals (perhaps heavy with a padded plate over the toe) on pure urban duty.

    But, yes, unless they were dead sure this was a violent insurgent hotbed, they should have indeed knocked on his door, asked permission to come in, taken off their boots and been VERY polite.

  18. Charles Watkins Says:

    Hey, Ted. Isn’t it about time for another round of your hate mail?

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Pulling combat boots on and off is a pain in the ass. I’ve never done it wearing full battle rattle either, that would easily be a 5 minute ordeal. I can see it now “Hey, hold my rifle while I take my boots off, and I’ll do the same for you.”

    Or would the troops pull security and trade spots while they take their boots off? And I can see the fun it would be to have to run out of the house for some reason and leave them behind. Hot pavement on sweaty socks, anyone?

    Those guys would rather be home. They don’t give a damn about shoes. They want to finish their mission for the day, get back safe, and get a little bit of sleep. Then do it all over. When it’s life or death, footwear is a pretty moot point.

    But that guy shouldn’t be sitting down. It isn’t very professional. But it does make me think that situation cannot be all that tense, considering him sitting and the fellow with the helmet off. Also, no rifles are pointed at anyone.

    Stick to politics, stay out of soldiering. You show your intelligence when you speak politics, and you show your lack when you attack soldiers.

  20. Ryan Says:

    I’ll admit, I certainly have no proof that the photo is staged (or, just as much proof that our soldiers are “all” volunteers who carry out criminal, illegal actions overseas). I just look at the photo and it seems incredibly obvious. A barefooted, cowering man embracing his grief-stricken mother, perfectly framed in the center of the evil thugs. No one is moving. Nothing is dim or blurry, not even the hand of the soldier as he gestures. The lighting is perfect. The faces of the soldiers are mostly hidden. The victim’s faces are anguised. It looks like it was taken on a tripod, not a spur of the moment snap shot. Who took this picture? Do the soldiers bring photographers along just to record their dispicable activities? I’d like to say that since it’s in the Times that it’s authentic. But those doctored Reuters photos from last summer make me take a closer look, and this looks like a crock to me.

  21. Ryan Says:

    Something I should clarify. I didn’t mean to suggest that the NYT staged an anit-US propoganda photo. I reread my 1st email and I can see why someone might get that idea. If this is a staged shot, I’d assume it was made by a jihadist group, trying to drum up support. This is common practice in the middle east and not at all unordinary.

  22. Ranja Says:

    Ted, you jackass, why do you automatically assume that the soldiers have entered the house under some type of cruel pretense? Perhaps there’s more to this story than you’ve put on your blog, but from what I see there is no reason to think that this Iraqi civilian isn’t one of your oh-so-noble “freedom fighters” who may have just blown up a funeral or a market somewhere, and that the soldiers have kicked down his door and engaged in an interrogation of him.

    Of course, you’re one of the few left-wingers who truly does have an absolute hatred for our troops, and so you just automatically assume that they are in the wrong, and the angry Iraqi is in the right.

    But, yes, they should have stopped to take off their combat boots before entering a house, thereby making themselves highly vulnerable to enemy fire. You jackass.

  23. Ted Rall Says:

    If this dude just blew up a funeral, as you say, I doubt the soldier would be sitting on the sofa or that they would have cut loose his plastic handcuffs.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    I like to know Ryan, exactly why you question whether all of those soldiers are volunteers. There is no draft, yet, and while you could argue that certain poor people who signed up for the cash are essentially drafted economically, the reality is simple: US soldiers voluntarily carry out the orders of the US administration despite what has now become a rediculous amount of evidence that the US presence is wrong/illegal and for corrupt reasons. I know the soldier mentality and they will claim immunity due to “just doing their jobs under difficult situations”, but if that isnt just a re-write of “I was just following orders” I dont know what is. They are free citizens, they have a responsibility to assess thier orders and the war they are in and refuse to participate in an occupation that has no legitimacy.

    Easily done? No, but I never said being a soldier, especially a soldier in a democratic country, was easy. A real soldier doesnt hide behind their “job” to justify criminal actions, they take responsbility regardless of the consequences. Some have and I am very impressed with their courage.

    Oh an Ranja, maybe Rall, and most of the planet for that matter, wouldnt assume such bad things if incidents such as Abu Ghraib, the massacre at Haditha, Guantanamo and other similar events didnt keep popping up all the time.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    For those of you who think that the soldiers are doing such a wonderful job over there, I have a question for you:

    How come you’re not over there helping them?

    You see, I’m not really anti-war per se, I just believe that those who believe in a war should be the ones who have to fight it. They should be the ones who have to risk coming home in a body bag, or coming home in a wheelchair and having to piss and shit in a bag for the rest of their lives. Now doesn’t that sound appealing? Because that’s what war is really like, stripped of all it’s glory and propaganda.

  26. Ryan Says:

    I wasn’t questioning whether or not the soldiers are volunteers, I was challenging your claim that they are ALL committing “criminal, illegal actions” overseas. I assumed you meant they are ALL torturing/robbing/murdering, etc. I understand now that you’re saying, “the war is illegal, therefore the soldiers fighting the war are committing a crime” (right?).
    I’m a conservative person trying to better understand the other side. THough I’ve come to believe going into this war was wrong, I don’t understand why it’s considered “illegal” by many on the Left. Please explain this line of thinking to me. It certainly isn’t illegal according to US law. If the president and congress believed there’s a threat, they have the obligation to defend the country, no matter what other nations think. Considering the conditions of Saddam’s surrender established by the UN after the Gulf War, and the 12 years of UN resolutions, I don’t see how it’s illegal according international law either.

  27. osisbs Says:

    What are you talking about? There aren’t any dead or wounded in this war. I’ve been watching Fox for a solid 5 years and have yet to see a maimed soldier or body bag. Keep your anti-war propaganda to yourself. If there really were people “dying” or being “maimed” don’t you think I’d see it on Fox? This Mission was Accomplished a long time ago and good things are happening in Iraq.

  28. Hedel Says:

    Darn right…
    I would definitely agree with you on pro-American Iraqis turning to the insurgency after having their lives interupted, rights and family violated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: