Helmetcam video of US soldier under fire in Afghanistan

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118 Responses to “Helmetcam video of US soldier under fire in Afghanistan”

  1. bcsizemo says:

    I’m curious where the enemy fire is coming from, it’s really hard to tell in the video.  It looks like he is shooting toward the other hill side, which I’d think would be pretty damn hard to hit a person at that distance without a much more precise weapon.

    (Of course the perspective of the camera might be skewing things here.)

    • oldtaku says:

      That M4 is pretty much worthless at that distance (certainly handheld like that) unless you get real lucky – I think he’s just doing to it to draw attention. I can’t tell where the fire’s coming from either, but it’s probably some distance away if he took 4 hits from a 7.62, even with body armor.

      Also: Worst. FPS. Ever.

    • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

       Possibly just area fire to suppress a target that isn’t clearly spotted

  2. BWJones says:

    Reserving judgement because I was not there… and I say this with all recognition and gratefulness for his service, but what the Hell was that soldier doing out in the open like that? Changing magazines while *standing* in the open?  Where was his covering fire while maneuvering?  I’ve watched it four or five times in a row now and I can’t figure out what the goal of that maneuvering was.

    The terrain is obviously steeper than the wide angle lens makes it out to be, so it was difficult to be sure.  But that was actually some heavy fire…  You can see rounds hitting the ground around him as he moved down terrain.

    Those words… “I’m hit!”… “Help Me!”… do stick with you…

    • Kimmo says:

      nelc said this in reply to you, but it ended up at the bottom of the page.

      I don’t think the guy was standing while he changed his magazines. It looks to me like he was lying back on the slope, trying to minimise his exposure, there being no good cover.

      As to what he was doing on a slope with no cover, on the YouTube page he mentions that he was taking point, presumably for a patrol into the valley, when they were attacked. So the patrol was on the slope moving from A to B, he was on point, and the Afghans attacked them there because that’s where they were vulnerable.

      Edit: Goddamn Disqus! This was meant as a reply to BWJones way up top of the thread.

      I’m only one game of laser tag more experienced than a bunch of single-player campaigns, but I found that sheer lack of cover scary as hell.

      Good ambush by those scumbags.

  3. i’m guessing the fire was coming from across the valley, if it was anywhere closer it sure seems like this guy would have had some serious problems. (as if getting hit 4 times isn’t “serious problems”..)

    he’s got some fucking balls, that’s for sure.

  4. unfocused says:

    I won’t judge the rest of his squad because I have no idea what they were doing.  But I see two major problems with his actions.  First, he doesn’t appear to be aiming much.  Suppressive fire works best if it’s actually hitting near the enemy, even if he’s deliberately out there to draw fire as the video’s description indicates.  Maybe he is aiming and the camera’s perspective makes it difficult to determine.  Second, once he’s hit, he hunkers down in poor cover as if he expects them to stop shooting at him.  Being stationary only makes him an easier target to finish off.  Gotta move, move, move, move, and move some more. 

    • look at where he can move to though, to the right looks like a rock face with no cover, and to the left is back up the hill, which wasn’t exactly working out..

      plus, he’s just been shot several times.

    • ImmutableMichael says:

      It’s definitely a really wide lens – the spherical distortion is pretty extreme. I found myself trying to work out what it might have looked like being there, but other than “closer and fucking scarier”, I’m struggling.

  5. Scott Daris says:

    He looks rather dumb to me on many levels. And don’t glorify this shit – it’s useless pseudo-war and a waste of money.

    • AwesomeRobot says:

      I disagree with the war, but how is watching a solider almost get killed by someone they can’t even see considered glorification? If anything we need to see more of this stuff to come to terms with the futility of it all.

      • Scott Daris says:

        Any media coverage of any war is war-glorification. I’d like to see the fucking things replaced with…um, non-war videos. And the “blaming the grunts” thing. Take responsibility for your own life and don’t join the military-industrial complex. My gaaawd is the human mind weak with bullshit.

        • WhatDoYouMean says:

          So you don’t think there can be anti-war publicity? Media showing the atrocities or war, or the futility of war… that can’t ever be a force for good?

        • “Any media coverage of any war is war-glorification.”

          no. we can’t hide from what we do as a country. try again.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Ar. We withdrew from Vietnam largely because the gore was on the news every night and people had to face what we were doing. Sweeping it under the rug only feeds into the idea that it’s a video game.

          • Brad Bell says:

            I think what Scott’s saying is we haven’t strapped GoPro cameras to Afghanistan’s children. No matter what we see, we see it from the point of the invaders and victors. We see it from the POV of soldiers when most of the deaths and violence is wrecked on civilians, ie. families. We can not prosecute wars against families, so we don’t let ourselves see it. Thus, we glamourise war.

        • rattypilgrim says:

           Not true. Most people are so disassociated with the horrors of war they can’t tell the difference between a video game and themselves lying bleeding on the ground in a country foreign to them. People who have no knowledge or sense of history have to have their noses rubbed in the mess of war to wake them up from their uninformed stupor. Show the truth. On the contrary, it will never glorify war, it will disgust every one who has a child who may be cannon fodder to future wars.

        • Itsumishi says:

          Bull… f…. sh…

          I’d like it if there weren’t wars to discuss at all, but there are, and if they’re happening, the people that vote governments in that support the wars, those people need to know exactly what is happening. 

          As for the blaming the grunts, no actually I don’t blame the grunts. Sure some soldiers are bad people that deserve blame, but there are a lot of good people that see the army as the fastest way out of a really shitty life and that is something you always need to consider. There is a reason US armies run around poor and disadvantaged schools and neighbourhoods recruiting. There are also plenty of people that join realistically thinking they are going to make the world a better place, and then they just get drawn in and churned into the system. What’s the average age for a new recruit these days? 19? How many stupid decisions did you make at 19?

          • petertrepan says:

            Absolutely. At the time I graduated from high school, I didn’t think my parents were going to help pay for college. (In retrospect, that was probably a feint by them to get me to take more responsibility for it.) But I started talking to recruiters.

            There were no wars at the time, and the recruiters made a two-year tour of duty seem like a great deal. Serve Uncle Sam and get help with your education! Earn college credits while making money! I was eighteen and profoundly naive. I thought it sounded like a win-win situation: Help protect America for a couple of years (how can that be bad, right?) and come sailing out of it with a leg up on the civilian world. If my parents hadn’t recanted, I’d have enlisted myself.

            So I’m with you, Itsumishi. In no way do I think of the grunts as willing stormtroopers of the military-industrial complex. It’s only luck that I myself am not across the ocean right now trying to shoot someone before they shoot me.

        • teapot says:

          I presume you also think the PBS Newshour honour roll of US servicepeople killed in action is glorification? Yeah… complete silence with still photos of young men sent to die in a war that started when they were just teenagers.. that’s totally glorification.

          • Ito Kagehisa says:

            It is, actually.  That’s one of the ways to recruit suicide bombers!  You encourage society to show enormous respect for those who die for the cause.  Remember how Saddam used to send money to the families of dead Palestinians?  Have you seen the memorials for terrorists and gang bangers? 

            The “honor roll” (note the significance of the first word) is part of the same system of persuasion; you might die there, you might die at home, but if you die there you’re a hero who defended freedom and if you die here you’re just a corpse who flipped burgers.

            I’m about Antinous’s age, though, I remember watching the Viet Nam war on TV, including atrocities committed both against and by US soldiers, and that childhood experience deeply shaped me.  I say show the terror and boredom, gore and filth, and essential futility of foreign invasions if you’re going to show anything at all.

        • bklynchris says:

          I agree with you Scott.  Except for the, “take responsibility for your own life and don’t join the military industrial complex”.  I even agree with that, partly, but reality suggests otherwise.

          Although most military recruitment advertising would have us believe its all about adventure, brotherhood, and video games; most people enlist because it is a job.  A job with real benefits I might add.  So many young men and women are attracted to the GI Bill and payment for college education (which has become its own fruitless academic industrial complex, but I digress), an education they would be completely unable to afford otherwise.  But mainly most join because it puts food on the table, or in their belly, or worst case scenario bc the judge gave it as an option to jail time.

          Many of my family members joined the military and it was for the reasons listed above only.  Patriotism was merely personal psychological propaganda.

          So, for you to suggest they are not taking responsibility for their own lives, I would have to argue that they are and that was the only option available to them.  For you to suggest otherwise kind of reeks of entitlement and for some reason I do not think that’s who you are.

        • blueprairie says:

          Yes.  By all means, let’s impose a total media blackout on all US military operations.  That will accomplish a whole helluva lot.

        • copperwatt says:

          Yeah, this makes zero sense. Try replacing “war” with any other sort of human horror: “Any media coverage of rape is rape-glorifcation.” 

      • EH says:

        I’ve already come to terms with its futility.

      • rattypilgrim says:

         True. All the networks showed films of the horrors of the Viet Nam war at 6 o’clock. The American people witnessed it all just as they were sitting around their dinner tables. That and the protests brought the end to that war. The Bush administration “embedded” journalists with the army in Afghanistan as a way to get them so emotionally involved with the soldiers they would lose their objectivity with reporting on any war crimes or how civilians were being murdered by at least a hundred thousand, not to mention the 1 million+ refugees..

      • It’s glorification. It makes the war seem exciting, challenging, heroic. The next step once you get bored of Call of Duty.

      • wysinwyg says:

         Have you listened to people talking about it or what’s being said about it in news media?  In this case, it’s definitely glorification.  People are going on and on about how brave this guy is.  And I’m not arguing with that but it’s definitely glorifying war.

    • Jem Sweeney says:

      He’s a soldier. He doesn’t get to decide whether his missions are morally justified or not. I thinks it’s a bullshit war as well, but blaming the grunts is reprehensible.

      Also, unless you’ve  got experience in live fire, your opinion of his tactical decisions are pretty much worthless.

      • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

        “blaming the grunts is reprehensible”

        Everyone is responsible at all levels.  “I was just following orders!”

        • ocker3 says:

           Exactly, as voters we should directly contact our elected representatives and make our feelings known on when, where, how and why we are willing to send troops into harms way.

      • totally agree that it’s a bullshit war; history should have taught us something about afghanistan..  but i have to disagree with your second point. anyone with any sort of military education should be capable of critiquing tactics. 

        finding fault with a soldier under fire not living up to your version of tactical perfection, however, is absolutely reprehensible.

        posting a snarky non-critique of a soldier in harm’s way, no matter the legitimacy of the war, with the sole intention of playing antagonist? that’s what i would call non-constructive flamethrowing.

        • Jem Sweeney says:

          True. He looks  to me like he’s firing wildly and presenting way too much of a target profile by standing, which to me looks reckless. But I’m not ready to condemn him. Maybe he’s totally green? It’s live fire, and we have no other details. I was assuming that Scott above doesn’t have any military training because that would have been the first thing he said “I did a tour/was enlisted/whatever and this guy is doing it all wrong.”

      • EH says:

        The grunts aren’t worth blaming, and nobody is blaming them. They’re just cogs. Sure, the idea is to make the other poor bastard die for his country, but die he may do and it comes as no surprise. The first thing boot camp does is dehumanize the recruit, so by the very intent of the military itself it’s like mourning the cans of oil required to lubricate one’s car.

      • “He doesn’t get to decide whether his missions are morally justified or not.”

        So we’re assuming he didn’t join the military within the past decade then?  Else he knew exactly what he was signing up for.

      • wysinwyg says:

         Like George Carlin says, I blame the soldiers.  Sure, they don’t start the wars but they keep showing up.  If they didn’t show up the wars wouldn’t happen.  How is pointing this out reprehensible?

        • EH says:

          History tells us that if they didn’t show up, there would be a draft.

          • Nagurski says:

            If there were a draft, the public wouldn’t put up with these open-ended, pointless wars. That’s another huge difference with the American war of aggression in Vietnam. Large numbers of people’s kids were being conscripted against their will and getting carved up and killed. Public pressure put an end to it.

          • EH says:

            You’re assuming that the PR surrounding such an eventuality has not evolved in response to the history you describe. Would you go so far as to believe that there is no currently-updated contingency plan for a draft maintained by the US Government?

          • Nagurski says:

            Of course there is a draft mechanism in place. Men still have to register for it. What are you talking about? I’m not assuming anything about PR. The point is, when random people start getting dragged into wars that go on for years with no clear goal and no threat to the U.S. against their will, they, and their families, will resist.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Under the law, virtually all male U.S. citizens, and male aliens living in the U.S., who are ages 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service.  Since there is no draft currently in effect, and men are not being classified for service, disabled men, clergymen, and men who believe themselves to be conscientiously opposed to war must also register…

            Penalties for Failure to Register for the Draft

            Men who do not register could be prosecuted and, if convicted, fined up to $250,000 and/or serve up to five years in prison. In addition, men who fail to register with Selective Service before turning age 26, even if not prosecuted, will become ineligible for:

            ○ Student Financial Aid – including Pell Grants, College Work Study, Guaranteed Student/Plus Loans, and National Direct Student Loans.
            ○ U.S. Citizenship – if the man first arrived in the U.S. before his 26th birthday.
            ○ Federal Job Training – The Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) offers programs that can train young men for jobs in auto mechanics and other skills. This program is only open to those men who register with Selective Service.
            ○ Federal Jobs – men born after December 31, 1959 must be registered to be eligible for jobs in the Executive Branch of the Federal government and the U.S. Postal Service.

        • IntotheNightSky says:

          I blame the taxpayers myself.  Sure, they didn’t start the war but they keep funding it.  If they just refused to pay their taxes, wars wouldn’t happen.  Guns and bullets don’t buy themselves.

      • rtresco says:

        Where does the line get drawn, regarding grunts and orders? What if you are given orders to guard a gate, and on the other side of that gate genocide is being committed, and years later as a 90yr old man you are hunted down for justice. “Yeah, but those were the Nazis – the bad guys!” In your guard duties – was there something you were supposed to say or do to magically stop it all? What if the dude in the video is being shot at by villagers, afraid for all their kids? Is he a good guy or bad guy? Are his actions maintaining America’s freedom? If the guys doing the shooting are killed – is America safer from the threat of land-locked Afghan peasants? If the guys doing the shooting get away – is America less safe from land-locked Afghan peasants?

        • EH says:

          It’s a matter of opinion, but I believe in the adage that war is defined as the failure of diplomacy, so they’re all bad guys to me. Note that in this day and age most of the public effort behind military action goes toward ensuring that who is the aggressor is defined properly. For Iraq, this involved some number of hoops being jumped through.

    • robotmonkeys says:

      I’m pretty sure Afghanistan isn’t a “pseudo-war.”

      • wysinwyg says:

        Who’s the sovereign nation we’re fighting then?

        Oh, no sovereign nation?  We’re just occupying a country that isn’t actively trying to fight us?  Then “pseudo-war” probably fits.

    • teapot says:

      I’m one of the most fervent critics of American military imperialism and glorification of war but c’mon bro… Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Having a go at this guy’s intelligence is kinda just being a douche for no reason and to no end. He didn’t get himself killed and there’s a good chance he saved the lives of the soldiers he was trying to protect, is that really so dumb? He did sign up for the military which means getting shot at occasionally is, believe it or not, part of the job.

  6. AwesomeRobot says:

    Man, the armchair forces are always so quick to respond. 

  7. Being a veteran I can tell you he was not where he should be. He is out in the open, exposed, and with out the rest of his squad. He is lucky to be alive.

  8. Glad the guy survived.  Scary shit man.

  9. ocker3 says:

    This might give some context

    http://www.news.com.au/world/hellish-battle-footage-takes-you-into-the-combat-zone/story-fndir2ev-1226482756930

    He was intentionally drawing fire from his squad who were pinned down, that’s why he’s alone and spends so much time exposed.

  10. mcheshire says:

    Yeah, let’s spit on him at the airport. He deserved everything he got. Baby killing, trigger happy war criminals.

    • eldritch says:

      Interesting reference to make. I assume you realize those particular insults come from the era of the Vietnam War, yes?

      It’s strange – back then, there was something to be said against those sorts of insults, as very large numbers of the soldiers involved in the publically unpopular war were draftees and conscripts. So when overly zealous hippies abused the poor bastards coming home who had never even wanted to go to war in the first place, it was pretty much an asinine sort of thing for them to do and betrayed their own hypocrisy and lack of understanding of the war.

      But the draft is long dead these days. No one in America HAS to go to war anymore. They all willingly choose to take up a gun, willingly choose to be part of the violence. And when they choose to make war on another nation under false pretenses, when they choose to take part in a mass act that is not only immoral and unnecessary, but in fact directly counter productive, they should expect not only criticism, but condemnation from those who oppose such immorality and senseless conflict.

      But I suppose that’s not directly concerned with the point you’re trying to make or the criticism you’re trying to levy aga… wait, hang on. Who, exactly, are you deriding, again? Your message is written as if in response to someone… but I can’t imagine who. What, precisely, is your comment supposed to be doing? You’re criticizing a non existant person for something they didn’t say or do. What?

      • mcheshire says:

        That was actually intended to be a snarky reply on one of the above threads. I have no idea why it ended up down here and it seems I completely overplayed my hand because it was taken seriously. My father was a Vietnam vet and my brother in law did three tours in the Middle East, I myself a vet. I need to just shut up.

      • Navin_Johnson says:

        No one in America HAS to go to war anymore.

        No many don’t, and if we want to talk in absolutes then you’re probably right, but I think there’s more to it then that.

        For all those people who have a lot of options there are many that have few.  In a country where poor young men and women aren’t really guaranteed school, health care, or a job apart from McDonalds, the service can be attractive as a possible means out of that rut, and at the very least you get meals, a roof over your head and healthcare…

        Also, there are people who just are in such bad situations that they see no other options, and then of course you have situations where immigrants can earn their citizenship. I’ve seen this first hand growing up from friends who came from tough homes without the guidance or resources to help prevent them from painting themselves into a corner at an early age.

        Basically, the service is a massive jobs program for a country that has no jobs and no foreseeable prospects.  It’s frightening to think about what happens to all these young people if the wars finally (hopefully) come to an end. Unfortunately the political will to put them to work on good peaceful projects, ala a massive WPA type plan at home is almost non-existent.

        Just saying that moral choices are easier for some than others.

    • Mantissa128 says:

      What if they gave a war and nobody came? This entire conflict has been prosecuted with nothing but individuals like this guy. He is more responsible than generals and politicians.

  11. kiergsmith says:

    I’m with SovereignEntity on this one.  The video is only part of the situation, but…  While my time on a two-way range was limited, serving during peacetime with only peacekeeping experience, the whole thing is seriously uncomfortable to watch.

    You only bound to attract attention when you can’t find the enemy who’s engaging you.
    You only move short bounds from cover to cover. 
    You NEVER go to ground on the front slope of an engaged hill. 
    If you know here the bad guy is, supress that f****r, with whatever you’ve got. That means aimed shots.
    If you can’t reach, get on the horn and call for support.
    Mortars, arty, fast air, naval gunfire if you’ve got it. 
    But you don’t try to outrun the incoming, and if you can’t move without get pegged, don’t move for now.
    WIN THE D**N FIREFIGHT BEFORE TRYING TO CLOSE WITH HOSTILES.

    Thank you. /rant off

  12. eldritch says:

    Daily life for the grunts consists of three states. 1) Long periods of boring, exhausting, unpleasant monotony – things like patrolling through arid mountains on foot all day carrying tons of gear, with nothing really to do except slog along. 2) Short periods of high danger, high confusion, high stress, violence – suddenly coming under fire from concealed and/or distant ambushers who employ hit and run tactics and are chiefly concerned with causing attrition. 3) Downtime at base – trying to make sense of why you just spent an entire week hiking through worthless crags of rock and sand, only to watch the guy next to you take a bullet today out of the blue and then spend the next half hour throwing lead at a hillside and trying not to get shot, and questioning whether each new lull in the shooting just might be the last.

    A lot of people have died because of these most recent wars. Civilians, soldiers, victims on both sides of the conflict… and for what? A new, corrupt local puppet government? A revitalized opium trade, stronger than ever before? Ruined local infrastructure, squandered domestic resources, money taken away from healthcare and safety and education and the arts and put into more guns and bombs and body bags? Traumatized, dehumanized young men and women serving multiple tours, coming home to try desperately to live normal lives despite what they’ve been a part of and what they’ve done? Families and loved ones left behind by those who weren’t so lucky?

    It’s senseless. It’s all for nothing. No one is safer because of this. It’s just made so many things so much worse than before. And all because of some warped sense of duty, some strange need to do something, ANYTHING retaliatory to make up for the societal wounds we suffer from (and which are now slowly scarring over) even if that something doesn’t work, even if it has no basis in logic or reality, even if we have to pay for it with our own blood and hope and prosperity, because damnit, that white whale isn’t going to hunt itself, now is it?

  13. HDN says:

    I’m glad he’s unhurt. And while I never served, it seems like stupidity to me. Why give up high ground?  There’s little to no cover on the front of that hill.  Why is creating a distraction so critical?  Where’s the support? Supporting fire from his squad, mortar fire from his Heavy Weps or Mortar company, his arty fire from his battalion or his air cover?  It’s been my understanding that when you’re pinned down you move up the supporting chain.  Can’t shoot him? Mortar him. Can’t mortar him, arty him.  Can’t arty him, bomb him.  Seems like what they really needed was a sniper.

    • bcsizemo says:

      But that’s kind of the problem with the modern form of “war”.  The American military is built around destroying a target, be it a building or a group of people.  It isn’t designed for this one on one gorilla warfare in the middle of innocent civilians.  Obviously the military is getting on board with things like remote drones, but in this case calling in air support would have certainly ended the enemy fire…at the same time I’m thinking there is a high likely hood that a good amount of innocent people might have died as well.

      In all honesty I don’t really support any of the wars we have been involved in over the last 20 years.  I think “war” should be the absolute last resort, because once we declare it on a country I also believe we should use the full power of our military forces.

      • Jonathan Roberts says:

        It seems to be more of an ethical rather than a technological problem, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Unlike in other times and places, it just isn’t palatable to kill innocent civilians for harboring terrorists in their community or to send in as many soldiers to their deaths as it takes to capture a target.

      • Nagurski says:

         Gorillas are pretty easy to kill, since their tactical training and weaponry is severely behind the times. It’s the guerrillas that are a bitch to find and kill. 

        • bcsizemo says:

          I could see how that could be a problem.  Hand to hand combat might be out of the question.

          (Thanks, been a long week without a lot of sleep.)

  14. Frank Diekman says:

    Can’t decide which is more disturbing:

    That it’s apparently OK to watch one of our soldiers be fired upon and wounded from his POV, but we aren’t allowed to hear the F word.

    -or-

    The degree to which America is making video games and actual warfare resemble each other.

    • len says:

      “We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won’t allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!”

  15. Stephen M says:

    He made a decision to draw fire form his squad…well done mission succeeded - you have made the enemy shower you with bullets….oh now you’re whinging about that situation?   I jest.

  16. SedanChair says:

    Those people on the other side of the valley seem to want him to leave the area.

  17. redesigned says:

    “Leeeroy Jennnkins!”

  18. NelC says:

    I don’t think the guy was standing while he changed his magazines. It looks to me like he was lying back on the slope, trying to minimise his exposure, there being no good cover.

    As to what he was doing on a slope with no cover, on the YouTube page he mentions that he was taking point, presumably for a patrol into the valley, when they were attacked. So the patrol was on the slope moving from A to B, he was on point, and the Afghans attacked them there because that’s where they were vulnerable.

    Edit: Goddamn Disqus! This was meant as a reply to BWJones way up top of the thread.

  19. Useless wars are useless.

  20. I started watching out of curiosity, and closed it shortly afterwards when I found myself thinking ‘… and that’s how you make war look like a first-person shooter video games’. 

    The effect is probably unintended but if this type of footage takes hold, where is the line between fiction and fantasy… and wanting to live up that fantasy? Younger kids will start thinking how much ‘real war’ resembles their videogames – and not the other way around. Blur that line, make guns accessible and you’ll end up with a few more shootings in your hands.

    • Mister44 says:

      re:”how much ‘real war’ resembles their videogames – and not the other way around. Blur that line, make guns accessible and you’ll end up with a few more shootings in your hands.”

      So because video games are so realistic, it makes one prone to real world violence?

      • retepslluerb says:

        No, but they might sign up for the military under wrong impressions. 

        • Anarcissie says:

           Well, we have to sucker somebody into the military, because we have to control the world and kill all the people who don’t worship our Great Leaders.

          • petertrepan says:

            I can’t help noticing our international treaties are okay with war as long as it follows certain rules of engagement, but explicitly forbid the assassination of leaders, like the kind who might show up to draft an international treaty.

      • Marco Antonio Morales says:

        “So because video games are so realistic, it makes one prone to real world violence?”

        I knew you’d go there. *NO*.

        I would refer back to Marylin Manson’s essay in response to the Columbine shooting http://www.antilife.org/files/marilyn.html , and to a more recent article on anti-semitic cybertrolling in which the victim found a 15 year old behind the attacks who considered the life-threatening, terrifying stalk ‘just a game’. http://boingboing.net/2012/09/24/confronting-a-troll-in-real-li.html

        Most young kids don’t have the same grip on reality as older people. Neither do psychopaths.

        If we reach a point where the visual reference of imagined (video games, movies) and real (helmet cam, war footage) are virtually identical, to an unbalanced (or immature) individual who has only killed from the comfort of his sofa, it won’t seem like a big leap to do the real thing. IF THERE IS A TRIGGER.

        So if one of those kids (or basement-dwelling psychopaths) happen to go postal, and have access to guns (ie, the US) then you’ll have a lot more shootings taking place.

        Yes, there are a few ‘if’s there. But when we talk about population percentages, it will start showing up on the news more and more.

    • Do you play video games?

      As a long-time gamer I saw absolutely no parallel with this video and a game – except for maybe the aesthetics.

      Maybe it’s just me, but this whole ‘desensitisation’ argument just doesn’t aline with my personal experience, not in the slightest.

      I can run people over all day in GTA, but if it happened once in real life I’m not sure I could live with myself – and watching this video evokes a tension and slew of other emotions that game designers could only dream of bringing to an FPS.  The gunshot is dull and unexciting, the movement is clumsy and he’s firing at nothing – and yet it’s easily 1000 times more terrifying than any game I’ve played.

      • DMStone says:

        From my extensive experience I know it is not a video game. You can’t trip in a videogames and you’ll never see your feet.

        • redesigned says:

          …and as he was hit the screen didn’t turn red around the edges and a health meter didn’t go from green to yellow to red…

          @Nathan Hornby, this isn’t like all video games, surely not pong or pac man or farmville, but have you’ve played any of the uber-realistic war simulation games lately?  They are intentionally making themselves as close to the real thing as they can…you can’t draw analogies across all genera of games…or all peoples experiences.

  21. Mister44 says:

    I hope all those mystified by his actions (and I was among them at first) eventually scrolled down to read the explanation of what was going on. Glad he’s ok. Give ‘em hell, boys.

  22. zotlerg says:

    You can take a helmet cam off a corpse, but yeah it does say he made it. He should have checked where he was hit before crying out in fear like that. How horrendous.

  23. John Smith says:

    Taliban survives U.S. soldier’s machine gun fire.

  24. Emo Pinata says:

    Good God people, he has a cam mounting on his helmet, the entire perspective is skewed. The guy is quite clearly laying on the down slope of a hillside (judging by the fact you see his feet whenever he’s not moving), and is lying against rocky outcrops most the video. He’s actually doing everything he can do while he is literally being struck with machine gun fire hoping his armor holds enough to just leave bruises.

  25. Michael McTague says:

    I feel for those guys over there being shot at, blown up for nothing. Like the 55,000 that died in ‘Nam, these boys are working for the 1% and nothing more.

  26. donovan acree says:

    I feel much safer since we began killing people we don’t know and giving them the opportunity to kill our young people in the desolate mountains of Afghanistan.
    We have the worlds largest military. I suppose we have to justify the trillions of our dollars being spent on devices and systems designed to kill dirt farmers in far flung countries by sending people to go die in the name of.. wait.. what are we killing them for again?

  27. awjt says:

    If many people are exposed on a hillside and there’s no place good for everyone to go, you decide who’s going to be the distraction, and then send him towards the danger waving his arms and being an idiot.  It’s all you can do.  Unless you’re selfish bastards and everyone just scatters in different directions.

  28. DMStone says:

    It seems like all the armchair combatants should lay off.

    I’d like to see a snippet of helmet cam from your day jobs. 

    I am sure the comment section would be full of scathing suggestions about short-cut keys, optimal ergonomics, and condemnations of your complicit support of the economic machinations of the 1%.

  29. DewiMorgan says:

    Where the hell are all the waist high walls!?!

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