Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

iPods at War

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the what-are-you-listening-to-soldier dept.

364

phaedo00 writes "Ars Technica has put together an outstanding piece of journalism about the use of personal technology in America's military and how these devices along with blatant piracy is causing new problems in the face of war: "While soldiers once deployed with little more than a backpack and a rifle, today's crop of infantry troops pack along MP3 players, digital cameras, DVD players, video games, movie collections, and computers of their own. The personal electronics have made modern American warfare the most comfortable it has ever been, but they've also brought a new set of problems onto the battlefield.""

cancel ×

364 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Unfounded Criticism (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950132)

I'm all for the criticism of the United States military. Or even the government. But it really angries up my blood when someone (who's probably never been in a war) criticizes a soldier who's trying to enjoy what may be the last months of his or her life.

I haven't heard any anecdotal stories about "so and so would still be alive if he hadn't been listening to his iPod." Or people's personal devices interfering with a mission. I think the number one weapon against the United States military is the IED (Improvised Explosive Devices). And these things blow up without warning. If you're super alert or playing a DS Lite in your vehicle, it's not going to make a difference when one of those things go off.

The loss of USB drives with sensitive data happens here at home, is it a surprise it happens at war?

Furthermore, if a soldier wants to play Counter Strike during his or her off-time in his or her tent, why not? If there's a surprise attack, there's not going to be much difference whether they were playing football, reading a book or playing counter strike. Human beings are distracted naturally and this is necessary, you can't ask someone to concentrate on war 100% of the time.

Our troops aren't just fighting for Democracy, they're also fighting for stable economies & developed infrastructures. I don't think it looks bad if they have gadgets and bells and whistles along with them while they're at war. These are some of the things they're fighting for them and their children to keep.

I would speculate that if you took away these devices that reminded them of home and society, their performance and morale would probably drop. I believe the USO show was designed to distract soldiers from the horrors of the war they fought, let them have an iPod if it does just that even better.

Ars Technica has put together an outstanding piece of journalism about the use of personal technology in America's military...
"Outstanding"?! It's an interesting piece but I'd hardly call it 'outstanding' or even credible journalism. Just an interesting thing to consider.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15950167)

Let them have their toys. Games, and other things give soldiers better hand-eye coordination. Just so long as they are doing that stuff off duty, all is well. If they do it on duty, while they are suppossed to be doing something else, well, that's another matter altogether.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (5, Insightful)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950234)

So, what is this about again? You, as a subscriber, obviously had a head start on the article, but I'm not sure you actually read it. Where does it (the article) criticize the soldiers? It does mention a few people who do mention a few downsides to the whole gadget situation, but that's about it. Otherwise it simply describes the situation in the Iraq/Afghanistan bases.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15950264)

The article states a few times that certain people aren't blaiming the soldiers. But if you read the article, it seems a lot of people are saying the soldiers shouldn't be enjoying themselves.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (5, Insightful)

SEAL (88488) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950431)

Soldiers are going to entertain themselves one way or another. Everyone needs an escape for at least a little while when they are in such a stressful environment. Let them play their video games. If there's an attack on the base, guys who were playing some games will be much more alert than if they were smoking weed or drinking heavily.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (4, Insightful)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950450)

GP wasn't out of line - but neither was ARS. ARS is basically reporting that "piracy" which is touted as a crime worse than murder these days by the RIAA/MPAA is actually one of the few comforts that soldiers putting their lives on the line for us (for who knows what, but still, for us) have - sometimes in their last minutes of their lives.

ARS has always been a pretty heavy critic of the RIAA/MPAA and their anti-piracy rants (they recently ran an article about how the RIAA is moving on from online piracy to "playground piracy" - kids sharing their CDs with eachother - as the number one threat to the industry) and I believe this particular article is showing that if every copyright law paid for by the RIAA were followed, the soldiers may have a modicum less of the comforts of home to enjoy while on the front lines.

For me, a little piracy for our men and women in uniform is just fine, and any person attempting to crack down on a soldier for playing their IPOD over the loudspeaker for the enjoyment of their fellow soldiers as an illegal peformance under US copyright law is a traitor to this country and the men and women defending it.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (-1, Troll)

rockytriton (896444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950244)

yea, they totally deserve to be able to steal anything they want, cause they are better than us. Hell, let's let them rape all they want too.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950318)

Yeah, because rape = copyright infringement.

This is ridiculous. If you are willing to put yourself in harms way for your nation, you should probably be cut some slack on your behavior when your in a war zone. Letting soldiers share mp3 files amongs themselves and purchasing bootleg DVD's is nowhere close to rape.

Way to kneejerk.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (0, Troll)

rockytriton (896444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950355)

yea, like I said, they are better than us. They shouldn't be subject to the same penalties that we are when they commit crimes. They are risking their lives to secure Iraq so that we can keep our freedom!.... ? ? Our children are supposed to look up to men like them as role models right? So where does the RIAA get off sueing our kids if they are learning from the best america has to offer????

Re:Unfounded Criticism (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950430)

Small scale copyright infringement isn't a crime, it's a tort (IANAL, but I think that's correct). Criminal Infringement is of a much larger scale and generally for the purpose of financial gain. That would be the people selling the 3 dollar DVD's.

That and my Cynicism detector is broken.

let's take that further (2, Insightful)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950438)

A lot of those soldiers are under 21. I say let's give them the right to drink.

Re:let's take that further (0)

kalirion (728907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950463)

They already do have that right.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (5, Funny)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950519)

"Letting soldiers share mp3 files amongs themselves and purchasing bootleg DVD's"

You're forgetting one thing...

Copying music and movies FUNDS TERRORISM!!! Therefore anyone who does it is the enemy, and shouldn't be allowed into the military!

Re:Unfounded Criticism (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950259)

I have no military experience, but just from my experience being mugged and pick-pocketed, it seems really out of touch to think that a person who is patrolling a war zone doesn't have enough concentration or survival instinct to be running at 110% attention, regardless of gameboys and ipods.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950290)

I can agree with that, having been mugged myself I'm always on the lookout for any sort of scumbag who might want to do it again. You cannot trust anyone these days so you are always on the lookout incase you are somebodies next victim.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950378)

"You cannot trust anyone these days"

When were the days when you didn't have to watch your back?

Re:Unfounded Criticism (3, Funny)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950436)

Before I got mugged ;)

Re:Unfounded Criticism (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950333)

Yea, but the article does state that these devices seem to be exclusivly for off time. Sure there is always the threat of attack, but you can't be expected to be completly alert 24-7 anyways.

Off on a tangent (0, Offtopic)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950287)

but why, at 18, are our kids old enough to fight and die for our country, yet they are not old enough to drink?

Just wondering, since this is a thread about soldiers' diversions and such.

Re:Off on a tangent (2, Interesting)

ohearn (969704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950322)

Technically if you are an active member of the military (active duty, or guard or reserve that has been called up), you can legally drink at 18 with your military ID.

Re:Off on a tangent (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15950409)

Thats simply not true. You are not legally allowed to drink at the age of 18 with a military ID, people just overlook it and allow you to enjoy yourself. In countries where the drinking age is lower than that of the United States, the chain of command will deem the age limit as they see fit.

Where i am stationed the drinking age is 18 for the local nationals and as such the command has stated that it will follow the laws of our host nation.

So no, it is not true. I am all for those of us who risk our lives for our nation to be allowed to enjoy ourselves(This includes drinking at the ages of 18-21). Too many of my friends have died before they were able to enjoy many of the things that life has to offer.

Re:Off on a tangent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15950473)

Technically if you are an active member of the military (active duty, or guard or reserve that has been called up), you can legally drink at 18 with your military ID.

Unless things have changed recently, you're way off. One, there is no difference anymore (at least in the Army) between active and reserve/guard ID's...they did away with that recently due the insane cost of replacing 20K+ ID's twice every rotation (one on the way over, one on the way back). So, no bartender or liquor store would be able to tell whether you were active, reserves, or called up reserves.

Two, when I was on active duty a few years back we were most certainly not allowed to drink, on or off post, until we were 21. This has not, to my knowledge, changed lately. There are a select few installations that still allow drinking on post at 18 by soldiers...Fort Bliss is one that I know of, and I believe there are a few others near the Mexican border. The only reason they do this is to keep Joes from running across the border to drink, then getting in trouble with the local authorities.

Once upon a time military personnel were allowed to drink at 18...but this changed quite some time ago. I have noticed that in out-of-the-way places (small town bars, for instance) nobody will bother to check the age on a military ID if you show it...however, if the soldier drinking is under 18 it is still illegal.

Re:Off on a tangent (-1, Offtopic)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950407)

The theory behind it is quite sad. It ranks up there with needle exchange for drug addicts. Basically, they want you driving a few years sober so when you inevitably drive drunk, you have skill to compensate for your inebriation. Makes me as angry as getting a parking ticker in the incorporated village of Valley Stream (Nassau County, NY) for parking on the street between 4:30am and 5:30 am. Of course being its an incorporated town they don't care if I mow down someone on the expressday on my way home, as long as my car isn't parked in front of there houe in the am.

bzzt (1)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950560)

One of the primary reasons for a 21 year old drinking age is to make it harder for teenagers to get alcohol, thereby reducing the risk of teenage drunk drivers. And it works - not too many 21 year olds go to high school.

Also - needle exchanges for drug addicts are a workable program that have succeeded in what they're designed to do - prevent the spread of blood borne diseases.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950311)

"trying to enjoy what may be the last months of his or her life"

you have to watch out with that comment.. as more active duty soilders die durring peace time than war do to things like drunk driving and the so forth..

take at look at the stats for the gulf war.. beeing at war was safer than being at home..

Re:Unfounded Criticism (1)

teslar (706653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950376)

Our troops aren't just fighting for Democracy, they're also fighting for stable economies & developed infrastructures.
I think there are entire essays that could be written in response to this so very American comment, a lot of them centering on the words 'oil' and 'selfish interests', but that would be quite offtopic.

Instead, I agree with you, naturally, that soldiers should have comfort, but FFS, there are limits. Take your ipod, your DVD player, your game consoles, that's all fine. Have good food, have good drinks, that's fine too. But Christ, a frigging complete DJ studio just so you can mix new beats while you should be catching up on some sleep? Sure, they should have television, I would consider that essential with the news being compulsory viewing for everyone - but does it have to be a $3000 Plasma Screen TV??? A Kingsize bed - what for? All those Iraqi women you're anticipating?? None of those provide what you might consider essential comfort, that's just pure, unneccesary indulgence.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (1, Flamebait)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950397)

I think Improvised Explosive Dells are a more serious concern for both the military and the general public.

It's a sad comment on the condition of humanity when we see youths describing how they turned up their MP3 player while "killing the enemy" in Iraq. There's a horrible scene in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" when a solider starts singing "The roof is on fire... we don't need no water let the [mellonfarmer] burn, burn [mellonfarmer].. burn!" to describe his work from the past days. But as he or a comrade said, it's important to get fired up and "get in the mood". It's not the iPod's fault how it's used, but the military might want to reconsider its missions if it needs to lure people in with the "comfort" of their music players to get the job done at all.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950480)

It's not the iPod's fault how it's used, but the military might want to reconsider its missions if it needs to lure people in with the "comfort" of their music players to get the job done at all.

It's war people, not Boy Scout Jamboree, there's no campfire sing along just dying and killing. Would you rather the soldiers smoked some hashish, or perhaps a strong hit of sake before going into battle?

You can say fuck on slashdot (5, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950543)

Especially when you are quoting source material that actually uses the word, like so:

"Fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck. What's the big fuckin' deal?"

Other things you probably shouldn't say. Like Donkey raping shit-eater. You definitely shouldn't say donkey raping shit-eater on slashdot. People could get offended if you mentioned donkey raping shit-eaters.

Mellonfarmer? Come on. What's the point of shit like that? What are you, some kinda smegma licking pussy? Everyone knows what you mean, it's not like people don't make the fucking mental translation instantly, you haven't sheilded their tender, innocent brains from having to process and comprehend "that word."

Sorry, sorry, that was kind of a rangent (that's a rant off on a tangent...) But if you learned anything from all this, it's that you shouldn't mention donkey raping shit-eaters on slashdot.

"fighting for democracy"? Are you joking? (2, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950403)

Our troops aren't just fighting for Democracy, they're also fighting for stable economies & developed infrastructures.

Have you picked up a newspaper lately? Half a million Iraqi citizens dead, infrastructure (that we destroyed) still massively broken despite billions upon billions of dollars being forked over to government contractors, and currently the country is essentially in the midst of civil war; you've got your warlords, and now there are Iraqi police departments turning into gangs. The country is in complete, total, utter chaos.

The party line is "fighting for freedom", by the way.

No, I'm not joking! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15950423)

Have you picked up a newspaper lately? Half a million Iraqi citizens dead, infrastructure (that we destroyed) still massively broken despite billions upon billions of dollars being forked over to government contractors, and currently the country is essentially in the midst of civil war; you've got your warlords, and now there are Iraqi police departments turning into gangs. The country is in complete, total, utter chaos.
I didn't say who's economy, democracy or infrastructure they were fighting for :)

eldavojohn

Re:"fighting for democracy"? Are you joking? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15950492)

Thanks for all the FUD.

And if it was up to you, Saddam would still be in power.

Thanks, but I'm for fixing things, not leaving people in the hands of Saddam, or now, the Islamic Facists that are trying to keep democracy from occurring in Iraq. I don't know how people like you can live with yourselves....

Oh, yeah, I remember. Rwanda. Ignore it, and maybe it'll go away. That makes me puke. "Progressives". Yeah, right.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (0, Offtopic)

hhawk (26580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950414)

My only concern would be what type of Signal Intelligence an opponent would be able to get from Electro Magnetic "leaks."

* Get an idea of the size of a group/troop by the # of iPod detected
* Reading what people are typing, etc. into their laptops..

Re:Unfounded Criticism (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950427)

Parent brings up many good points. I don't think someone has a right to criticize the military unless they've been a part of it, even for a little bit. The only way to really know something is to experience it first hand. Otherwise you run the risk of the straw-man fallacy.

Blackwatch Found Same Criticism (1, Insightful)

woodsrunner (746751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950442)

My uncle was in the Blackwatch before Viet Nam and participated in wargames with the US soldiers. He said he wasn't suprised the US lost vietnam because it was so easy to take out yanks because you could hear em for miles with their transistor radios. They were easy to track and they never heard you coming.

I think if there is a possibility it's going to be your last days on earth if you fsck up, well you'd better put down the toys and face it head on like a man and maybe survive. The enemy sure ain't playing games... they want to kill you just so they can get your boots instead of the crap they have on their feet.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (1)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950444)

Did you read the article? If it had any bias, it is PRO leasure devices in iraq. You basically just repeated his key points in a more angry tone.. Infact the last line of the article pretty much sums up the neutrality the author was going for:

"Like so many tech stories, the equipment here is morally neutral--it's the way its used that makes the difference."

The only thing I read as a negative was how the iraqies *MAY* be jealous as they can't even operate cooking stoves -or whatever- while these soldiers get all the shiney. This is to be expected, isn't it?

stupid, nuts or naieve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15950455)

My guess is all three. You have no idea what's going on. Those brainwashed troops (they are TOLD they are avenging 9-11 for instance,even though Iraq had ZERO to do with it) are fighting "for" israel and the whackjob notion of "greater zion", which was insane to start with, some "end times" fundamentalist armageddon bullshit(the great decider said twice that god told him to invade. Oh really??), oil and defense contracts that will *never end* as long as they keep saying there's a war on "tarrer", and to keep globalist billionaires and their stooges in fascist power and to perpetuate and extend the domestic police state.

Really, it's in all the papers, here's a dime, buy a CLUE.

As to what junk they tote, who cares? WW2 it was a deck of cards if they were lucky and a crystal radio. They can have what they want, no one cares, none, it's their stuff.

Re:Unfounded Criticism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15950555)

Our troops aren't just fighting for Democracy, they're also fighting for stable economies & developed infrastructures.

To be completely accurate, they are fighting to get home alive and because George W. Bush told them to go fight. Maybe someday we'll find out the truth as to why he sent them to war, but it wasn't for democracy (at least that's not one of his ever-changing excuses so far).

an interesting tidbit: (4, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950140)

From the fine article, first page, a paragraph:

The entertainment industry has yet to sue soldiers in Iraq for copyright infringement, but perhaps it should if it's serious about stopping piracy. An MP in Afghanistan, who goes by the forum handle SirEverlast, tells Ars, "Every country I've been to has disregarded the MPAA and sold bootleg DVDs that soldiers buy for next to nothing."

First, please let this be tongue in cheek on the author's part (I'm assuming it is).

That aside, it's an interesting notion. Yeah, let the MPAA and RIAA go after the piracy of media by soldiers afield. The stipulation would be that the RIAA and MPAA must confront the accused personally, i.e., make them go the active front... after all, they've claimed they themselves are engaged in a war. What better way to experience that reality?

Anyway, if you've read Joseph Heller's Catch 22, soldiers' ingenuity to make their insane world a little more liveable is Milo Minderbinder redux. More power to them for making it through.

Re:an interesting tidbit: (1)

phatvw (996438) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950281)

Interesting you mention Catch 22. I was thinking more along the lines of Slaghterhouse Five [wikipedia.org] where Billy survives the hardships of war by travelling back and forth through time. Now thats a much better fantasy world than Brittney Spears and Stained.
While we're talking about time travel, remember that the Iraqi's just started getting 1990's pop last week, so our troops are doing a great service by bringing all those MP3's over...

Re:an interesting tidbit: (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950366)

Yes, those Iraqi teenagers really need that anti-authority punk rock and metal right now... :'C

Re:an interesting tidbit: (4, Informative)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950304)

When I was in the military, prior to the days of bit-torrents, we had tons of "pirated" audio/video. On one network we had a server that reached 750 gigs of mp3s. It became almost competetive to see who could add the most music to it. The whole thing got wiped shortly before my EAS, for use in a new data storage system.

The thing about the military is that you have a large number of young men with a disposable income (ie: food, housing, medical care, and transportation are all provided). Sure, it's not much of an income, but when you don't have to spend money on rent, you cand stretch $14,400 a year pretty far on entertainment goodies(that was my salary as an E4 in 2001).

-Rick

Another good paragraph, more Catch 22 (4, Insightful)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950324)

Another thing about Catch 22 is that it showed how the first contention of the article, that soldiers used to go to battle with nothing more than a rifle and a backpack isn't true. Remember Orr, Yossarian's tent-mate? He was always adding stuff to the tent. Basically everytime he came into a scene, he was either being shot down or trying to get the gas stove working better. Or consider the show MASH. Hawkeye's tent was full of "luxury" items. Ok these are fictional accounts, but based on non-fiction accounts I've read, I'd be willing to bet they were pretty close the real case in terms of personal possessions...at least for units that stayed in one place for any significant amount of time.

Here's another good paragraph

Ana Marie Cox argued that soldiers' expectations of war are now so shaped by movies and video games that they are unable to experience a conflict in any other way. They want to see battle as pure action, devoid of context, full of simple goals and explosions, and so when they put together music videos of their time in Iraq (and most home videos do feature music), they tend to unconsciously echo the movies and games they've seen and played.

I'm more inclined to think it goes the other way: movies and video games are unable to depict conflict any other way than by focusing on the action, only filling in the context sufficiently to give the viewer/gamer a plausible plot. Except for fans of the movie Jarhead, nobody is very much fascinated by the mundane elements of war: cleaning your rifle, trying to stay awake through guard duty, cleaning your rifle, doing PT, cleaning your rifle, cleaning the latrines, cleaning your rifle. Audiences expect 5 minutes of that, then a lot of shooting and heroism.

Consider amatuer movies at home. For example, the obligatory end-of-the-season high school football team music video recap. It's all clips of tackles, touchdowns, passes, field goals, pranks during scrimmage, etc. Nobody's interested in the time spent running around the track, doing calistenics, sitting on the bench, and especially not sitting in class trying to maintain acedemic elegibility.

Furthermore, we really are talking about amatuer's here, putting together simple recaps. They're not master storytellers. They don't have the time or luxury of putting together complex narratives, and since they're only sharing this with friends and family, they don't need complex expositions making it clear to the viewer that this is so-and-so's involvement in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Yeah, let the MPAA and RIAA go after the piracy of media by soldiers afield.

Actually, let them go after the parties offering the goods for sale. As I understand, the lawyers interest is not as much in the receivers as the providers. Please, go confront Abdul about his copying CD's to sell to the GI's. A flak jacket might be a good a better idea than a briefcase, though.

Re:Another good paragraph, more Catch 22 (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950550)

Even though I doubt the **AA would ever knowingly go after a member of the Armed Forces (because of the bad press), if they did, that soldier would be fscked.

Generally speaking, the punishment is worse for a soldier commiting just about any crime than if (s)he were a civilian. Now take that same soldier & put them in an active theater of operations and that punishment is even harsher.

I'd really hate to be the first soldier that gets accidentally pinged by the **AA, because someone up your chaing of command might decide to make an example of you.

If I'm out on the front line... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15950142)

The last thing that I want is to be distracted by some electronic gizmo. Of course, it would be nice to take my mind off of what's going on in down time.

Iraq (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15950149)

I'm in Iraq and having no problems surfing Slashdot while under fire.

In fact, bullets aren't even coming clo...^C^C^C^C^C No route to host.

Soldier ComfortOther Issues (1)

Devv (992734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950154)

If a soldier can carry entertainment with him/her without hindering the task that the soldier is ordered to complete I think it should be priorized that the soldier can relax and be comforable since living in a foreign country for some months at diffrent locations shouldn't be that much fun. Really, think about it. Still: ComputerDeck of cards when being with your friends.

Let's see if the RIAA really has any balls... (5, Funny)

sugapablo (600023) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950156)

...and see them sue some soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan. :)

Somehow I think Orrin Hatch [wikipedia.org] would shit a brick of confusion over how to react

Music Mix (1)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950171)

Good. No more Perry Como forced down our soldier's throats (ala Good Morning Vietnam).. they get to hear the music they bring, and they share in what other soldiers bring too.

So that is where Perry went. (5, Funny)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950193)

"No more Perry Como forced down our soldier's throats"

Ah. Soylent Green day at the mess tent. I bet he went down smooooooth too.

Problem? (4, Insightful)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950175)

I would never deny a little bit of humanizing recreation to our troops. Maybe it is being so de-humanized in a very high stress life or death situation lead to things like PTSD and prisoner abuse scandals.

If you are willing to get shot at, I am willing to let you play playstation and listen to music on you off hours without any objection from me.

Re:Problem? (5, Insightful)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950242)

I get a little miffed at these puff pieces trying to paint the picture of our troops living in the lap of luxury in air conditioning and a barrack full of geek toys that rivals an aisle at Best Buy. Many troops out on the lines sweat their balls/ovaries off in tents in the sweltering heat, fight the fine sand that gets into their gameboys and damn near everywhere else, and face the looming threat of being splattered by a homemade bomb.

I'm glad that our troops can be entertained in this fashion and that some can get stationed in places with all kinds of creature comforts, but trying to paint a picture (paraphrasing Dave Barry) of the place as a glorified college dormatory is disingenious at best.

Re:Problem? (2, Insightful)

gibbsjoh (186795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950388)

I get a little miffed when your soldiers invade another country. Forgive me if I don't get too upset when they get "splattered by a homemade bomb." Your troops still have it a hell of a lot better than the people who they've invaded, and who can blame the "insurgents" for turning to violence to repel the people who've taken over their country? If I recall, the Americans waged a guerilla war against the British too.

There was a time when serving your country meant defending it against threat (ie NOT IRAQ!)... now it's just colonialism by another name. Don't want to die fighting in a shit war? Don't join up!

(Yes, I am aware that many people in the US are given no other option economically than to enlist.. that's a failure of the system and while I won't wish the enlistees well, I will be saddened by their death.)

Flame away, i guess.

Re:Problem? (4, Insightful)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950461)

I get a little miffed when your soldiers invade another country. Forgive me if I don't get too upset when they get "splattered by a homemade bomb." Your troops still have it a hell of a lot better than the people who they've invaded, and who can blame the "insurgents" for turning to violence to repel the people who've taken over their country? If I recall, the Americans waged a guerilla war against the British too.

While I agree that the US invasion was sold on lies and serves the interests of the rich and powerful while making the US no more safe, the troops don't get any say in where they're sent and do. They didn't get up one day and decide to take over Iraq, "secure" the oil, and install a puppet government. Those decisions were made by people who are so far insulated from the costs and horrors of the war that they might as well be on another planet.

If you're going to take issue with somebody, point the finger at the assholes who sent them there, not the poor schmucks who are bound to do their dirty work if they have any hope of going to college.

It's still war. (4, Interesting)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950177)

The personal electronics have made modern American warfare the most comfortable it has ever been
That's rather like saying we've invented a form of molten lead that's more comfortable to have poured onto you than normal common or garden variety molten lead. These soldiers aren't exactly enjoying an evening at Chuck E. Cheese, for pity's sake!

Chuck E Cheez - our robot elvis man-dog overlords. (5, Funny)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950211)

"These soldiers aren't exactly enjoying an evening at Chuck E. Cheese, for pity's sake!"

Did you ever go to any of the last of the "old style" Chuck E Cheez's before they closed down? You know, the ones where you'd walk down a hall and look off to the side and there would be a huge auditorium, empty of humans, and on a stage was a band made of giant Elvis man-dog robots that shook and gyrated, with their crude mechanics making so much noise that the songs in the speakers couldn't even be heard? If this scene (and it was real) isn't as close as you can come to the future war with the robots, then nothing is.

Re:Chuck E Cheez - our robot elvis man-dog overlor (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950283)

> Did you ever go to any of the last of the "old style" Chuck E Cheez's before they closed down? You know, the ones where you'd walk down a hall and look off to the side and there would be a huge auditorium, empty of humans, and on a stage was a band made of giant Elvis man-dog robots that shook and gyrated, with their crude mechanics making so much noise that the songs in the speakers couldn't even be heard? If this scene (and it was real) isn't as close as you can come to the future war with the robots, then nothing is.

Pah! I'll see your animatronic mice and raise you Survival Research Laboratories [srl.org] !

Re:Chuck E Cheez - our robot elvis man-dog overlor (4, Funny)

jeffy210 (214759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950303)

a band made of giant Elvis man-dog robots that shook and gyrated,


You just brought back a very very bad childhood memory.

Re:Chuck E Cheez - our robot elvis man-dog overlor (1)

Faylone (880739) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950552)

Indeed, those damn things still show up in my nightmares from time to time.

Re:Chuck E Cheez - our robot elvis man-dog overlor (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950325)

Hah, I used to work on a generic version of those beastly robots for a Chuck E. Cheese competitor. One time we had the furry coverings stripped off the whole set for maintainance. I still consider watching a band of animal-shaped Terminator endoskeletons sing happy kiddie songs on a loop for half an hour to be one of the best concerts I've ever been to.

Re:Chuck E Cheez - our robot elvis man-dog overlor (1)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950402)

"Hah, I used to work on a generic version of those beastly robots for a Chuck E. Cheese competitor."

I wonder where these things all went when the pizza-joints got rid of them. Who bought them all? I bet there's an entire generation of kids afraid of robots like kids used to be afraid of clowns. Anyway, keep watching Drudge and Google for news stories of rusty fur-covered animal robots lurching from North Korea into the DMZ as part of an attack. Of course, they'll move at 1 mile every 2 hours, fall over if you blow on them, and trip over dandelions and fall into 600 pieces, but they'll scare the beejebers out of everyone for at least a few minutes.

Re:It's still war. (1)

Kris_B_04 (883011) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950225)

Actually, there may be some who would prefer warfare over Chuck E. Cheese....

"Pirated" Music (0, Redundant)

AugustZephyr (989775) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950208)

If a soldier is willing on the front lines fighting for their country they should be entitled to some good tunes. If the **AA goes after them I think they should declare war on DRM. Whose the real pirates anway?

Re:"Pirated" Music (1)

ChronosWS (706209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950272)

One does not become entitled to breaking the law (no matter how insane/stupid the law is) just because they are fighting for our country. Rather they are entitled, along with the rest of us, to live in a free country because they are fighting for it.

I'm reminded of what Colnel Kurtz said (5, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950213)

in Apocalypse now, " As long as our officers and troups (sic) perform tours of duty limited to one year, they will remain dilletantes in war and tourists in Vietnam. As long as cold beer, hot food, rock and roll and all the other amenities remain the expected norm, our conduct of the war will gain only impotence. (In the document, but not read aloud - The wholesale and indiscriminate use of firepower will only increase the effectiveness of the enemy and strengthen their resolve to prove the superiority of an agrarian culture against the world's greatest technocracy...The central tragedy of our effort in this conflict has been the confusion of a sophisticated technology with human commitment. Our bombs may in time destroy the geography, but they will never win the war...)...We need fewer men, and better; if they were committed, this war could be won with a fourth of our present force..."

While I have been against the Iraq war from the begining, I wonder how much truth there is to this. Are short stints and relatively comfortable surroundings really not motivating the troops to do their job? A quote from Captain Willard: "Charlie didn't get much USO. He was dug in too deep or moving too fast. His idea of great R and R was cold rice and a little rat meat. He had only two ways home: death or victory."

Just take the above quotes and replace "Vietnam" with "Iraq" and "Charlie" with the insurgency and you have quotes that apply as much to this war as it did 'Nam....

Sun Tzu and Machiavelli offer the opposite view (5, Insightful)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950257)

As the length of a war increases, the length of tours of duty increase and the likelihood that the war can be won decreases. The most effective fighting force is one of fresh troops who know that they will not be staying long. These troops have relatively high moral. The longer they stay in the theatre, the more demoralized they become and the less they care about the end of the war.

Re:I'm reminded of what Colnel Kurtz said (1)

JBHarris (890771) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950271)

I was thinking along these lines. I wonder if fewer, more professional soldiers is the way to go. Nothing like the Kurt Russel movie, but maybe 100,000 troops that train for maybe 3-5 years. They would be professionals, not dentists or college kids or the guy from the Grease Monkey. Having 4 years stints in the army means they are training for more than 1/2 the time they are enlisted. This may be great for those seeking college tuition, but is it really that great for building an effective army? I know the powers-that-be may be more interested in making sure we have the LARGEST possible army, but is that really the best thing? We have some super-wonderful guys out there...I know many rangers personally (I live near Ft. Benning, GA). Those guys are crazy....which is a good thing during war, but having 400,000 troops serve a little time in battle each...they are all going to come back with nightmares and PTSD. Food for thought.

Brad

Re:I'm reminded of what Colnel Kurtz said (2, Insightful)

ChronosWS (706209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950323)

The real trouble here isn't figuring out how to win these wars more quickly, it's about figuring out how to avoid getting into them in the first place, especially ones where we end up occupying foreign territory. Such situations always end poorly, especially when it's not crystal clear to our soldiers who the bad guys are and why they need to die. I have nothing but sympathy for our soldiers and the horrid situation they are in, and nothing but contempt for the leadership who put them in that situation.

Besides, I'd rather have them flying back with nightmares that haunt them for the rest of their lives. It's a reminder to them and to the rest of us who speak with them of the horrors of war, and should serve as an object lesson in why it must be avoided.

Re:I'm reminded of what Colnel Kurtz said (2, Insightful)

JBHarris (890771) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950489)

Besides, I'd rather have them flying back with nightmares that haunt them for the rest of their lives. It's a reminder to them and to the rest of us who speak with them of the horrors of war, and should serve as an object lesson in why it must be avoided.
This has to be one of the sickest things I've ever heard. You WANT humans to suffer just to further your anti-war agenda. Worst.Idea.Ever.

Re:I'm reminded of what Colnel Kurtz said (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950299)

Nice dissection of a quote and idea from a movie, but I don't see how that works at all. How successful a war is or how long it takes isn't really up to the soldiers but to the commanders planning things out. Look up the chain of command if you have a problem. A soldier or squad is sent out to do a task. For example: protect location A, or go to location B and kill any faction C you find. They accomplish their task and get sent out on another one. Maybe they should have stayed longer and setup a presence in location B and killing the enemy. Maybe another squad should come in and lock that place down before they left. Maybe this task would have been better off with Marines than Army. Etc

Think of it like project management on a big project (let's say a system for a large company). Your team could be comprised of the most talented and devoted programmers, DBA's, and network guys ever conceived. They could fly through each of their tasks in their sleep. But if you have a poor manager over-seeing everything (scheduling, delegating responsiblities, planning, gathering requirements, etc) then the project is going to tank. The team will get their tasks done but everything will be a disorganized mess.

Today's wars are more complicated than "2 parties on opposite sides of the field ready to have a water gun fight." Sure, in that scenario if the other side is winning you can complain "man, our guys are lazy or aren't nearly as good enough." It's more like a game of chess (only the pieces can think and a pawn might be more "powerful" than a rook). Command has to send the right pieces to the right locations and keep their eyes on the goal. If they cannot plan well then it all goes to hell.

Whether or not a soldier is relaxing back at camp listening to some iTunes won't improve command's strategic skills.

Kurtz was wrong. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950340)

I'm not sure the point is relevant here.

You can't make troops more committed to the battle by taking away amenities; all that's going to do is make them less committed, less trusting of their command structure, and less eager to risk their lives. It's the "we'll stop beating you when morale improves" school of leadership, and it only works when you're trying to get people to do mindless manual labor, under close supervision. In short, you can't make good soldiers through force or coercion.

A more general form of your (and Kurtz's) point is that the motivation which drives a force is supremely important in warfare, and there is a certain question in my mind today as to what that motivation is supposed to be, for our troops. It's not exactly clear what the purpose of the war was or is, and frankly I don't think that many Americans can get all that wound up over bringing democracy to a bunch of people who aren't that interested anyway. I think that if you really asked the right questions, you'd probably figure out that most soldiers' motivation is a lot less big-picture and a lot more personal; they're in Iraq because they're career military and want the combat time, or because they want the respect that it'll garner them back home, or just because they thought it would be more interesting than whatever job they would have been doing Stateside. Maybe they think it gives them some personal insight. Everyone has his or her own.

You'd do better to try and find what actually does drive our troops, and encourage that, rather than trying to create a motivation out of fear and misery where there really isn't one now. Where Kurtz was wrong was in likening U.S. troops to Charlie too closely: you can't motivate them in the same way to fight, because they're each there for such totally different reasons, the same things won't work.

Re:I'm reminded of what Colnel Kurtz said (2, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950392)

"Just take the above quotes and replace "Vietnam" with "Iraq" and "Charlie" with the insurgency and you have quotes that apply as much to this war as it did 'Nam"

Hardly. And if you only care about dead soldiers and not dead anybody else, or if you only care about US killed civilians and not terrorist killed civillians or .....

The conflict in Iraq is NOTHING like 'Nam, unless you are a peace and surrender at any cost type. You remember Chamberlain? ("I have a piece of paper")

The people we are fighting against, the Islamofacists don't care about anything the Cindy Sheehans of the world care about. They will kill her just as soon as she is done being useful to them.

They don't care about about political correctness or rights or anything of value to most of us. I think the war has already been lost, and making "nice" with them doesn't get anyone anywhere.

Re:I'm reminded of what Colnel Kurtz said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15950523)

Hardly. And if you only care about dead soldiers and not dead anybody else, or if you only care about US killed civilians and not communist killed civillians or .....

The conflict in Viet Nam is NOTHING like WWI, unless you are a peace and surrender at any cost type. You remember Chamberlain? ("I have a piece of paper")

The people we are fighting against, the Communists don't care about anything the Jane Fondas of the world care about. They will kill her just as soon as she is done being useful to them.

They don't care about about political correctness or rights or anything of value to most of us. I think the war has already been lost, and making "nice" with them doesn't get anyone anywhere.

Re:I'm reminded of what Colnel Kurtz said (1)

dr_canak (593415) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950393)

I speak with returning vets on an almost daily basis,

"While I have been against the Iraq war from the begining, I wonder how much truth there is to this. Are short stints and relatively comfortable surroundings really not motivating the troops to do their job?"

While the conditions may be more tolerable than, say a WWI trench, I don't think US soldiers consider their conditions "comfortable" by any stretch of the word. The word "comfortable" may come up in casual conversation, but would not be a word most would use to describe their conditions.

And as far as motivation goes, assuming there is evidence for a lack of motivation (and I don't know that there is good evidence for a true lack of motivation), I suspect it has a lot to do with some real bad day-to-day experiences. There is a lot of death and dieing (civilian and military, ally and enemy) and I suspect it gets difficult to hold on to a greater sense of purpose as to why they (US and Allied soldiers) are there in the first place. I suspect that, more than anything, could compromise a person's motivation to a *much* greater extent than any sort of creature comfort.

just my .02
jeff

I'm reminded of what Lois Lane said (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950406)

in the animated Superman to two supervillians that seemed to dispatch Superman.

To paraphrase: If the **AA starts suing soldiers on the front, I will *persoanlly* lead the mob that takes down the **AA offices wherever they may stand.

Re:I'm reminded of what Colnel Kurtz said (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950422)

if they were committed, this war could be won with a fourth of our present force...
You: "therefore we should ban all iPods and XBoxes for US troops!"

Me: "therefore we should not enter wars which neither the troops or the nation at large have any real reason to sacrifice for."

Re:I'm reminded of what Colnel Kurtz said (1)

TED Vinson (576153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950439)

COL Kurtz and CPT Willard are fictional characters. You are drawing lessons for military policy from that great war leader and military thinker: Francis Ford Coppola.

If you think staying there for the long haul is a good idea, go join the Iraqi Army.

Also, we DO have a professional army. Not everyone wants to make a life of it. The troop who serves four years and moves on deserves our appreciation. The NCOs and Officers (SF, Ranger or 'regulars') who make a life of it are every bit as professional in their fields as any doctor, lawyer or IT expert you may know. These folks do have your 3-5+ years of training, make those new troops into effective soldiers and make our Army the best in the world.

Saftey. (1)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950224)

Who needs body armor when you're carrying around all those gadgets? Everyone knows that bullets only hit small things in your pockets or under your shirt anyway and that they always get stopped by it just in the nick of time. The more stuff our soldiers carry, the better!

Rambo IV (1)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950240)

"Who needs body armor when you're carrying around all those gadgets?"

And then you get some guy who goes all Rambo and takes out a few villages after he finds out that his iPod Mini got scratched somehow.

Re:Rambo IV (1)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950276)

"And then you get some guy who goes all Rambo and takes out a few villages after he finds out that his iPod Mini got scratched somehow."

Well, I suppose there's some risk in everything...

Outstanding piece of journalism? (1)

slapyslapslap (995769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950235)

Really? This is such a non-issue.

Back-seat drivers: discipline (4, Informative)

redelm (54142) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950261)

The RIAA & MPAA going after soldiers is a farce: I seriously doubt the US military command would tolerate any such attack against them. It's actually easy enough to render legal: the US govt has the power and authority to use any patents, copyrights and trademarks however it wishes with impunity. An argument could be made they already have by failing to block ports/sites.

People who've never been deployed and only seen movies don't realize that soldiering is 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror. It is just as important (maybe more) to handle the boredom as the terror.

Re:Back-seat drivers: discipline (1)

lelitsch (31136) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950358)

You know, the image of some RIAA invetigators going to a firebase in Baghdad, Mossul or anywhere else in Iraq to try and take iPod with pirated songs from a bunch of armed and pissed off Marines almost makes having the RIAA tax worthwhile.

I'd even pay for Cary Sherman to fly there, get into a Land Rover and try take the iPod directly from the MTTs.

Re:Back-seat drivers: discipline (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15950367)

I was deployed to LSA Anaconda last year. We used to have a huge "morale drive." Basically, anyone with a portable drive would hook it up to the network and upload and download songs. About the time I was getting ready to leave they took the morale drive down and reminded us that copyright infringement is illegal.

Talk about a Battle of the Bands (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950292)

Just hook up those iPods to some speakers, and if you pick the right music, you can add psychological warfare to the physical weapons.

Though the question is, will playing "Who Let the Dogs Out?" at high volume cause the insurgency to run away in terror, or try harder to destroy the iPod?

Re:Talk about a Battle of the Bands (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15950396)

Though the question is, will playing "Who Let the Dogs Out?" at high volume cause the insurgency to run away in terror, or try harder to destroy the iPod?

This is the second time I've seen this, shouldn't that be "insurgents"? Unless you are talking about the movement as a whole, how loud exactly are these speakers?

Ok here's a nice war post template for /. (-1, Troll)

Rotten168 (104565) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950341)

Blah blah W is evil blah blah blah Abu Ghraib blah blah Halliburton blah blah blah Incurious blah blah blah WMD's blah blah blah

Re:Ok here's a nice war post template for /. (1)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950384)

Or "I heard that George Bush, he married Exxon/They had half-human, half-oil babies/They named them Chevron and Halliburon/These oil babies, they look really strange."

Re:Ok here's a nice war post template for /. (1)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950477)

Gee, thanx !
It's obvious that W is evil and has no respect for human rights as the Abu Ghraib scandal has shown, and he loves to help his corrupt cronies like Halliburton get the big contracts, it just shows that he's just trying to make the most money he can while he's still in power since the US citizens have been totally incurious about the moral precepts guiding this loon, I mean, it's not like we found any WMD's in Iraq even though he swore on his mother's grave that Iraq was chockfull of it.
Quick, and easy :)

Sounds like ripe targets for virus attacks (2)

MadHungarian (166146) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950347)

If the solders are picking up "cheap" cd's/dvd's, what are the chances they are also picking up "cheap" software? Wouldn't this software be a good way for the enemy to deliver viruses? Are command/control systems isolated enough from the solders personal electronics to prevent virus infections?

Re:Sounds like ripe targets for virus attacks (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950487)

I know what you mean. God forbid there's a Sony CD in there maskerading as a bootleg!

I liked this little bit... (2, Interesting)

JD-1027 (726234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950354)

"There's a fairly robust grey market run by the locals wherein a person can pick up movies which are still in theaters for a paltry $3.00," he says. "They aren't the best quality, usually, but things like series which have already been released (Sopranos, Buffy, FireFly) are also available at the $3.00/disk pricepoint and are ripped from the actual DVD sets. The quality of those items is right up there with the legitimate stuff, and all the stupid warnings and previews are usually done away with."


God Bless America

You hear that, Sony? (4, Funny)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950382)

"Raised on Nintendo and Arnold Schwarzenegger movies," Cox writes
DiePilot, for one, isn't convinced by the argument. "[...] I don't act in real life like I do in a virtual world, because 1up mushrooms are scarce resources out here."
You hear that, Sony? Our soldiers are trained by Nintendo!

And the Wii will only make them even better shots. The smallest of the consoles, it will be the easiest to pack up and ship out. Using the Wiimote on a low sensitivity will help to better train hand-eye cordination, as well. (It will also server a double purpose with the DVD functionality.)

So you better watch your back, or the console wars may become real wars...

CALL THE RIAA (2, Funny)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950405)

They're pirating music! Call in the RIAA!

Note: I'm not so much in favor of soldiers getting sued as I am in favor of soldiers with a grudge and souvenir rpg's visiting the riaa to rebut their arguments...

$5 is all you need - RIAA stops at the border (2, Interesting)

speedlaw (878924) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950440)

anyone who has been to ANY third world country, or anyplace where the USA is not the govt, will have noticed that $5 is all you need for any software...Windows XP Pro, Photoshop, or any game you can imagine. $5 is all you need for anything at all. Computer sellers outside the us make the money only on hardware, not software. So our Troops, stationed in a third world country, with hard currency, have access to this...so what ? I'm an American, but I know that the USA is not the world, and outside our borders, things are different...not better, not worse, just different. Even tho' they should NOT be there, if any of the poor bastards sent forth by the chickenhawk asshat cabal (mis)"running" our country finds some fun or escape in a bootleg copy of "Buckaroo Bonzai" or a recording of some rock,rap or country, I'm all for it. There are bits of the USA in Iraq, protected zones. That's because they didn't welcome us with open arms, as we were lied to by Cheney and Rumsfeld. Really, the RIAA is as laugable as our War on Drugs. Sure, some people get hurt by it, but mostly it is ignored or used as a payoff to the local warlords, who use it to deliever up a local who is out of favor with the ruling junta.

Nothing new... (1)

AGC(AW) (791814) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950441)

I bet soldiers from all the different wars/conflicts have stories about items being brought along with them. Military personnel are genuises when it comes to that kind of thing. Where there's a will there's a way. Just like when civilians build something indestructible, soldiers will find a way to break it.

trtoll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15950445)

antibacterial soap. where it 3elongs,

Posters Missed the Point (3, Insightful)

Calso (838106) | more than 8 years ago | (#15950470)

Many of the above entries have been quick to criticize the article as negatively portraying troops as tech-addicted consumer whores or even implying that we should deprive soldiers of morale boosting comforts. The author painted these perhaps unflattering portraits of American soldiers enjoying Counterstrike and porn to illustrate that these are aspects of the American lifestyle that we aggressively defend. The amount of posters who have apparently ignored this main argument to defend the after hours activities of troops shows just how much we hold our gadgets dear to us. I love playing an online FPS, watching porn, and listening to my iPod as much as my fellow countrymen, but it seems crass to have these icons rise to the forefront of American ideals and Democracy. It creates a bit of dissonance with those commericals featuring Marines single-handedly slaying lava monsters (unless most Marines are really into WoW or something). Anyway, the author made the point that we need to re-examine our global image, especially as manifested through our fighting forces.

Yeah, and I sent 'em some (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15950504)

We had a drive at my dojo collecting whatever we could to send off to Irag, I sent MP3 players, clean undies and toothbrushes. Are toothbrushes and undies next on the "they should'nt have" list, because they may be too distracting?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>