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Rex Sorgatz

The Grey Album is less great in retrospect

mar 3
2008

Puppy Torture

When I saw the puppy torture video this morning, I had to consciously not link to it. The "this is going viral" bells went off immediately, and through some twisted sense of ethics, I decided (for two hours!) that I wasn't participating. What makes the video so effective (i.e., so linkable) is its interplay between logic and emotion. Logically, we know this soldier has possibly killed people in Iraq, so it feels misplaced to vent about a puppy in a war zone; emotionally, we deem hurting a helpless puppy as reprehensible. If the video weren't shot in Iraq (if it were, say, some tweens torturing a dog in a backyard -- you'll find plenty of this on YouTube), the tension wouldn't be there, and it wouldn't be today's viral hit. The contradiction -- people vs. puppies; war vs. peace-keeping -- will probably catapult this thing to network nightly news. By the end of the week, this video could paradoxically become the symbol of what's wrong with the war in Iraq. Poor puppy. (UPDATE: Lindsay, who says she watched it 10 times, thereby proving she's a sicko, is convinced this is fake.)

24 comments

I refuse to watch but knowing it exists just ruined my fucking day.

posted by Ang at 2:48 PM on March 3, 2008

Will I get stones thrown in my direction if I question the authenticity of the audio from the video?

posted by taulpaul at 3:11 PM on March 3, 2008

Yeah, I noticed that too. It's real though.

posted by Rex at 3:14 PM on March 3, 2008

It's just human psychology. Like in movies, you know the villain is truly inhuman when he kills the protagonist's pet. Or in M*A*S*H, when Hotlips hears about a puppy that was killed, and just loses it, knowing in the meanwhile that it is the least horrible thing she has heard about in Korea.

posted by Max "Bunny" Sparber at 3:17 PM on March 3, 2008

another aspect here is that it is very straightforward evidence that your countrymen are not always the good guys.

strangely, for some people, this will bring that point home in a way that the photos from abu ghraib, or the kevin sites shoot-the-unarmed-guy-in-the-head video, and the haditha rape/murder did not.

so we'll see if "we" care more about puppies than 14-y-o iraqi girls.

posted by am at 3:23 PM on March 3, 2008

Until someone gets their hands on the actual hard copy of the video, it's almost impossible to tell if the audio was added in or not. In the Radar story, they mention they don't even know for sure yet.

posted by taulpaul at 3:28 PM on March 3, 2008

Yeah, I think you're right - it's the two things, the video and the vitriolic reaction, that will symbolize the war and its place in the public imagination. The abuse of the puppy is, after all, 'needless', 'without justification', 'barbarically violent' etc. Regardless of one's perspective on the war, the contrast is impossible to ignore. And so, even though it's possible my brain is just stuck in this gear, I think it's a fair question to ask: would people care as much about this puppy if it were white people who were dying?

posted by Nav at 3:34 PM on March 3, 2008

i watched 3 seconds of it and feel like crying.

posted by william at 3:46 PM on March 3, 2008

I did not watch the video, not for the lack of wanting to see just how inhumane this guy is and lack of human decency. I'm sure that this will make it to network news and I'll see it there. And Nav's comment is completely on the mark. Sadly, if it takes a puppy that to make people think about "other" horrors happening in Iraq that involve our military...so be it. We are not all created equal and I truly believe bad people can be found anywhere, but unfortunately I also believe that they tend to gravitate to careers and positions in life where they can harm others. This is a prime example.

posted by Christoper at 4:42 PM on March 3, 2008

I won't watch it..

posted by kingblind at 5:45 PM on March 3, 2008

Gawd. Do I have to be the one that rips the video and analyzes the doppler effect. Shit, this is going to be like "Loose Change 2".

posted by taulpaul at 8:56 PM on March 3, 2008

Really...since this soldier may have or has killed enemy combatants, this is OK...really?!...Killing the puppy is "entertainment" for the soldier...then he goes back to the business of killing...What was the point of killing the puppy? Self defense, enemy attack, protecting the innocent? That's the difference between the business of war and what is simply a sick and cruel act. No justification for it. Period.

posted by GRA at 9:48 PM on March 3, 2008

1) Sure, but we are still talking about the difference between a puppy and a human. 2) When you say "no justification" and "sick and cruel act," it's unclear which act we're talking about. I guess that's my point.

posted by Rex at 10:06 PM on March 3, 2008

After reading thousands of comments on the puppy killing in Iraq, no one has made the following constructive suggestion: thousands of unwanted dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies are euthanized (killed) very single day here in the USA. While it won't bring back the unfortunate puppy in Iraq, consider adopting an unwanted animal from your local shelter. And please, be sure to spay or neuter your dog or cat. Hopefully, the marines responsible for this puppy killing will be neutered as well.

Now if only Amerikans could muster such outrage to the holocaust Israel is inflicting on Gaza...

Butt seriously, the overwhelming outrage over the puppy killing video is both justified and encouraging, and hopefully will be extended to sympathy for the victims of the USA's immoral war and
occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Honolulu Advertiser: Marine base here investigating puppy abuse video
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080303/BREAKING01/80303059/1001/BREAKING01

posted by Adopt at 10:19 PM on March 3, 2008

The incorrect phrase "beyond reproach" is really bugging me in your essay. Less than the puppy torture, but still... thought you might want it brought to your attention.

posted by BGrey at 9:14 AM on March 4, 2008

Good criticism! That is completely the wrong idiom! Rephrased.

posted by Rex at 9:23 AM on March 4, 2008

It's not about killing people vs killing a puppy. It's about killing a helpless and innocent life. Whether it's a person or an animal, it's sick and wrong.

Studies have shown that people that harm animals have a tendency to harm humans. What else is he capable of?

posted by H.S. at 12:37 PM on March 4, 2008

Dude, that's awesome. I think it's hilarious that he tossed it over the cliff. Definitely would have done the same. Animals are disgusting and uncivilized, you can't apply human moral prinicples to them. This man did nothing wrong.

posted by Chris at 1:09 AM on March 5, 2008

To Chris who posted at 1:09 AM(probably whacking off to rape videos of small children.....) said he would do the same...you sound pretty discusting and uncivilized yourself....I bet you would change your mind if we zip tie you and toss you over a cliff into your own hell of "why was I such an uncivilized dick when I WAS alive.....?"Hope you were posting from prison and get held down by the biggest guy there and gang raped without lube!Bet you will be made to whimper like a dying puppy sometime during your miserable existence just like the creep that did the deed to this little dog.

posted by Deb at 1:20 PM on March 5, 2008

Poor marine, I am sure he could have given the puppy away, it's good he was over there, over here, the puppy has more rights than he does....and as far as it ending the war, it'll never happen, it'll never end until we become anti-whore, instead of pro-whore, dog gone it, I hope my spelling is good, in America, I tell people constantly, that there is no E in Darius, but , well, I guess we all know now that their puppies are not
superior to ours, if only we could get some one sailing a cat, will their cats land on their feet like our's do?

posted by virgil at 2:31 PM on March 5, 2008

I love animals and absolutely abhor any and all cruelty to these innocents! Any abuse to any living creature is dispicable!

I don't wish bad on anyone but I hope each of these three Marines get torturted themselves and thrown off the cliff!

The families for raising such fucking monsters - cliffs for them too is the easy way out!

posted by Animal Lover at 6:37 PM on March 5, 2008

http://www.david-motari.com/

posted by SD at 8:07 PM on March 5, 2008

The puppy probably sought food and protection from the soldier. And he does this. The puppy looks relatively healthy. Was the mom nearby or other puppies? An American soldier? I don't think so. This man must be removed at once and then deal with all of us. This man has some serious problems. Joke or not, this is demented.

posted by Erika at 10:39 PM on March 5, 2008

Hey Deb, thanks for writing back! I'm you think i'm so horrible for not caring about animals when you just wished that I would get gang raped in prison, and Animal lover thinks the soldiers should get thrown to their deaths. What hypocrisy!! To compare a human life to an animal's is an absolute lack of reason. I suppose you cry the same way whenever you kill a mosquito that bytes you. Oh, and since all innocent life should be spared, what about the plants and animals you eat? Do those lives not count? You are using only your emotions to judge this case. It is not so different from things you do to "innocent" life every day.

posted by Chris at 1:52 AM on March 6, 2008




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