December 3, 2007

Iraqi jumping jacks

Remember back in the 2004 Presidential election, when everybody was talking about how all we needed to do was to train the Iraqi forces and then everything would be swell?

Well, a reader sent in links to Youtube videos showing what training our "allies" actually looks like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbK76okexVk&feature=related

And just in case you suspected the first one was rigged, here's the Afghans:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdggP7rw0mg&feature=related

That's right. Our newly trained local peace-keeping force is the stuff Special Ed PE is made of.

The Afghans' trouble with the symmetrical nature of jumping jacks may be related to the asymmetrical nature of South Asian choreography, as seen in all those Bollywood movies, where the main dance step is, as the American fellow in "Bride and Prejudice" complains: "You screw in the light bulb with one hand and pat the dog on the head with the other."

It reminds me of the first scene in "The Man Who Would Be King," where Sean Connery and Michael Caine try to teach military drill to the inept Kafiristani villagers:

Daniel Dravot: You are going to become soldiers. A soldier does not think. He only obeys. Do you really think that if a soldier thought twice he'd give his life for queen and country? Not bloody likely.

We're always hearing about how "They hate us for our freedom," but, perhaps, one reason why we enjoy more freedom than Middle Easterners do is because we're more cooperative, less individualistic, less prone to do our own thing than Iraqis and Afghans?

UPDATE: Here are Afghan trainees doing pushups:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=8ThUxg1hrrU

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

26 comments:

Ned said...

"The Man Who Would be King" should be required reading for anyone who would like to get involved in the East. If Bush II had read it, we might not be in Iraq. The film version with Sean Connery and Michael Caine is outstanding.

chrysoperil said...

We're always hearing about how "They hate us for our freedom," but, perhaps, one reason why we enjoy more freedom than Middle Easterners do is because we're more cooperative, less individualistic, less prone to do our own thing than Iraqis and Afghans?

Or we're more individualistic, i.e. less tied to family, clan and race. Which makes us easy to infiltrate and exploit: in the US and UK there are ethnic lobbies for everyone except the ethnos who built the countries and still form the majority. Can you imagine that happening in China or India or Israel?

Anonymous said...

"In the US and UK there are ethnic lobbies for everyone except the ethnos who built the countries and still form the majority. Can you imagine that happening in China or India or Israel?"

It's been happening in Israel. Israel has lobbies and political parties to advocate for Arabs, as well as Jews of Ethiopian background, Russian background, etc.

Anonymous said...

Wow, and I thought the white man was genetically/culturally challenged regarding rhythm or soul.

These videos explain why strict muslims prohibit music and dance. It has nothing to do with the Koran or Mohammed, peace be upon him.

Evil Neocon said...

A couple of points.

1. Training has to break down the tribal allegiances and Big Man habits that non-Westerners, particularly ME people, have in spades. Actual trainers blog about their experiences at Blackfive, Longwarjournal, Mudville Gazette, etc. They reported early on that they preferred those with minimal military experience because they had less bad habits to unlearn.

[I also recall reading an account from an Iraqi Soldier who had served in Saddam's army and now in the new one, how much different the new one was in that men did not have their pay and food stolen, were not treated as slaves, etc.]

De Atkine's "Why Arabs Lose Wars" covers the same problems the US military trainers face, i.e. armies constructed NOT to win wars (unit cohesion, high levels of training, coordination etc.) with such basic flaws as the same level authority in a US Army Sergeant as a Saudi Col, army men just abandoned during exercises, etc.

Keeping in Time is a basic Western Military mode designed to promote coordination. Lewis covers Turkish and Arab failure to manage that task over and over again in his books.

2. Ned is flat wrong, in thinking that simply watching the movie would have changed much.

People forget (because they want a simple fairy tale instead of reality) that Saddam bluffed he had nukes, threw the inspectors out (violating the agreement Clinton had to bomb him to sign after he threw the inspectors out before, Desert Fox 98-99) and had bought-bribed Russia, China, France, Germany, and the UN. Our choices all sucked:

Let Saddam roll us, surrender to him, sanctions end (Powell did not think they could be sustained), or go to war.

That sucked, but those were our choices. After 9/11 get rolled by a common thug and look weak again, inviting attack, or have the nagging ugliness of Iraq. [Saudis said they would not continue the support for the No-Fly zone and constant combat air patrols, so status-quo was not going to happen].

Steve is correct though, we do cooperate across high-trust networks far more than Arabs and Muslims in Central Asia.

Anonymous said...

one reason why we enjoy more freedom than Middle Easterners do is because we're more cooperative, less individualistic, less prone to do our own thing than Iraqis and Afghans?

It is not mutually exclusive for Westerners to be more cooperative and more individualistic than Middle Easterners.

My guess is that tribal norms are much more reinforced squashing any real individualism amongst the Arabs and Persians.

-Varangy

chrysoperil said...

It's been happening in Israel. Israel has lobbies and political parties to advocate for Arabs, as well as Jews of Ethiopian background, Russian background, etc.

Is that an example of "everybody allowed to lobby but the majority"? Obviously not. Is Israel (or China or India) going to start acting against the interests of its majority, e.g. by allowing mass immigration by unrelated races? Again, obviously not.

A black Jewish family from South London have been forced to delay their aliyah because of unexplained stonewalling by the Israeli authorities.

http://www.thejc.com/Home.aspx?ParentId=0&SecId=11

Anony-mouse said...

The Iraqi forces don't have to be good (do you really want them to be as good as the American forces?). They just have to be better than their opponents.

TabooTruth said...

{quote}
Is that an example of "everybody allowed to lobby but the majority"? Obviously not. Is Israel (or China or India) going to start acting against the interests of its majority, e.g. by allowing mass immigration by unrelated races? Again, obviously not.
{/quote}

Again another example of people preaching white nationalism on this blog, thereby giving Sailer and the entire HBD movement a bad name. It's an IQ issue, NOT a race issue.

steve wood said...

Leaving aside any deep, philosophical meaning behind the exercises, what is the problem with the Iraqis and Afghanis just basically keeping time with their instructor? I mean that literally. What are they lacking, physically or psychologically, that results in those comical spasms?

I was the most uncoordinated youth imaginable, utterly unskilled at every sport my poor father tried to interest me in ... and yet, I never had trouble doing jumping jacks, either alone or with an instructor. Neither did anyone - not even girls! - that I ever saw at any American school. Why can't even one of these otherwise fit, healthy young men master something so simple?

mrs anonymous said...

Why can't they master something so simple? Same reason a American women in a bellydance class look ridiculous the first time they try to shimmy. A lot of things you think are natural are in fact learned.

Anonymous said...

Varangy:

Present day Persians do not have tribal norms (for one thing most are decedents of long time settled villagers). Like the Arabs they have week communal ties, but in their case not at the expense of tribal allegiances.

Individualism and the ability to cooperate with strangers are separate axis:

Anglos: Individualistic, cooperative

Arabs: not individualistic, not cooperative

Persians: Individualistic, not cooperative

East Asians: not individualistic, cooperative

tommy said...

Good God! The one guy on the far right on the first video is particularly funny. I thought my jumping jacks in basic training were a bit off-time. Compared to these guys I look like I could be a dancer from a Michael Jackson video (or at least a Filipino convict dancing to Thriller). I'm a regular Kevin Federline compared to these Muslim fellows.

Anonymous said...

mrs anonymous said...

"Why can't they master something so simple? Same reason a American women in a bellydance class look ridiculous the first time they try to shimmy. A lot of things you think are natural are in fact learned."

If think that jumping jacks requires the skill equivalent to belly dancing, I'm going to have to not only disagree with you, I will also have to ask you to watch a video of Afghan trainees doing push-ups:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=8ThUxg1hrrU

That said, I think the Afghans will will end up having to further administrate their armed forces via a "Department of Silly Walks."

tommy said...

Yes, let us not forget belly-dancing. However, I doubt there is much of that in Afghanistan; such dancing requires a degree of liberalism you won't find in the most Islamicized countries like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan. Islam is antithetical to art. An exception might be poetry.

Steve Sailer said...

"Islam is antithetical to art."

How about the Taj Mahal?

I imagine you mean figurative art, which the far-reaching ban on idolatry prevents.

mrs anonymous said...

I didn't say *bellydancing,* I said *shimmying.* It's simple if you know how, almost impossible if you don't, and you look retarded while you learn.

tommy said...

I imagine you mean figurative art, which the far-reaching ban on idolatry prevents.

And music, which is severely curtailed in stricter interpretations of Islam.

Architecture would be an exception. I'm no expert, but it wouldn't surprise me if Mughal architecture has antecedents in Persian or Hindu designs. A great deal of western Islamic architecture (like the Dome of the Rock) was modeled heavily on Byzantine works. In the western Islamic world, notable works tend to stand out more for lavishness than creativity or technical innovation. Then again, maybe Muslims were more innovative further east.

Ali said...

Go to any museums or exhibitions featuring Islamic art and fine examples of architecture, pottery, calligraphy and metalwork are all present. Despite the ban on representations of living creatures, creating miniatures of animals and people was a long-standing tradition in Iranian and Indian courts.

Islamic architecture in South Asia has Central Asian, Persian and Hindu influences but evolved it's own distinct character as best illustrated by the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore and the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Devotional Islamic music has been around for centuries. The most popular singer known in the West was Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

chrysoperil said...

Again another example of people preaching white nationalism on this blog, thereby giving Sailer and the entire HBD movement a bad name.

Precisely: it's evil for whites to even recognize that they have racial interests, let alone try to defend them. Meanwhile, officialdom smiles on the black nationalism of the NAACP, the brown nationalism of La Raza, the Jewish nationalism of the ADL, etc, etc.

It's an IQ issue, NOT a race issue.

In fact, it's both, because race and IQ are intimately related. So are race and other psychological factors.

Anonymous said...

These videos explain why strict muslims prohibit music and dance. It has nothing to do with the Koran or Mohammed, peace be upon him.

Sir, you've made my day. :D I mean peace be upon you, or something. (For Al Gore, the latest etiquette requires we say "Peace Prize Be Upon Him." Just kidding, bad joke I know.)

BTW What's with this thing about Whitey not being good at music? Is it a move to say "ok, we'll take engineering, you take jazz" or something? I mean, has anyone listened to the opening 200 bars of the 1st of Brahms lately?

Steve: I know someone ;) who's been to a school for the "gifted" kids (IQ >= 125), and he says he saw kids acting exactly like these **balet dancers** in PE classes. I just don't know how to deal with this... if only I could stop from laughing :D

Jeez... and I thought ostriches looked funny when they run. You live and learn.


JD

Anonymous said...

Mrs Anonymous:

"I didn't say *bellydancing,* I said *shimmying.* It's simple if you know how, almost impossible if you don't, and you look retarded while you learn."

Actually, you said both. I don't know the difference, sorry. However, the difference between, I'm assuming, undulating your stomach muscles to perform a scintillating wave of female gut, and the act of taking your hands from your sides, raising them above your head, while at the same time, starting from your feet together, jumping up and spreading your feet beyond shoulder distance, require different levels of coordination, the gut waving taking a significant precedence in terms of motor difficulty.
If you accept my contention, then you may have to admit that your analogy is not spot on.

MQ said...

But isn't it pretty much undeniable that Afghans are among the best soldiers -- or at least warriors -- on the planet? I mean, it seems kind of ridiculous for a bunch of American desk jockeys to be sneering at the nation that fought both the British and the Soviets to a standstill. And haven't the Iraqis been fighting pretty well for the last four years or so?

Part of the issue may be that we aren't getting the good ones.

tommy said...

But isn't it pretty much undeniable that Afghans are among the best soldiers -- or at least warriors -- on the planet? I mean, it seems kind of ridiculous for a bunch of American desk jockeys to be sneering at the nation that fought both the British and the Soviets to a standstill.


Everything I've read suggests that the mujahadeen were getting their asses handed to them by the Soviets until the CIA intervened with Stingers and took the Soviet advantage of air power away. Still, there is no denying Afghan persistence in causing trouble for foreigners.

Annoyed American trainers report that the locals in Afghanistan enjoy fighting but don't have much stamina or discipline. They don't care to be out in the field for weeks at a time. Instead, they prefer to fight small, intense battles and then return home and fight again another day. They aren't into big campaigns or spending weeks in the wilderness searching out enemies and tend to get bored easily. Afghan tribesmen sound more like crazy, brave Iroquois warriors than hard, disciplined Prussian soldiers. I guess it all depends on your definition of a good soldier or warrior.

Anonymous said...

"Is it a move to say "ok, we'll take engineering, you take jazz" or something? I mean, has anyone listened to the opening 200 bars of the 1st of Brahms lately?"
or Lisa Gerrard and Cassidy performing "Abwoon" -- in Aramaic yet.
This is the "race realist" version of PC. Personally, I have never been that impressed with American black music, nor understand why they are supposed to be such geniuses at it. It doesn't often inspire or move me, not even the spirituals, but they are really Scottish and I prefer the originals, lugubrious though they may be. Jazz developed from blacks and mulattos trained in classical music, often in France. When they could no longer perform after New Orleans became more segregated, they developed it into jazz. But I don't care for jazz.
I did like Motown, and do agree that a lot of blacks have natural singing ability. Maybe it's just that it doesn't appeal to me that much and I am sick to death of that manifestation of audial ugliness--rap.
All that being said, some regions of Africa, espcially Mali, have extremely beautiful traditional music, which does not at all resemble American black music.

Anonymous said...

"But isn't it pretty much undeniable that Afghans are among the best soldiers -- or at least warriors -- on the planet? I mean, it seems kind of ridiculous for a bunch of American desk jockeys to be sneering at the nation that fought both the British and the Soviets to a standstill."

Read "the art of war."
Bitter terrain, and corresponding lack of resources can be an amazing ally to indiginous tribes.
The russians have used that to their advantage against superior forces converging on them for decided victories, despite their comparatively inferior armed forces.
If the afghans decided to take moscow, they wouldn't have gained a mile.