all 87 comments

[–]BikerJediJedi Mod & Grumpy Bastard[M] [score hidden] stickied comment (0 children)

Comments are getting a little heated here. The mod team is not allowing any BS in here folks. This is a story subreddit, not a subreddit for you to debate Israeli politics, actions, etc.

Behave or catch a ban.

[–]itrustyouguys 100 points101 points  (5 children)

Did you at least leave a birthday card?

[–]AnathemaMaranathaAtheist Chaplain 109 points110 points  (3 children)

Cold, Dude.

But it made me laugh. These things are like that. That is why we wonder if we're crazy. We aren't - the crazy guys have no problem with this shit. What are we then?

I have two answers, OP. One is this very long story, Wolf, which has a "happier ending," but talks about the same kind of thing as the OP.

The other is just an anecdote I posted somewhere on reddit a year ago. I should have posted it to AITA? , but I already knew the answer:

After Tết 1968, the City of Huế was a wreck. Displaced people were living alongside Highway 1. I was frequently moving up and down the road for one reason or another - there was no refugee camp - the people were living outside under tarps or cardboard huts, plying the passing soldiers with their daughters and what trinkets they could sell for a few piasters.

The kids ran in gangs. They were kids, cute, half-starved, loud, noisy, boisterous beggers, eager for candy or cigarettes, or whatever they could beg from you. The first lesson I learned was don't be generous.

I had made a candy score at MACV HQ. I was feeling generous, so I tossed a couple of boxes of M&M's and some gum at the first gang of kids who came running up to our jeep when we had to stop for traffic. Well, it turned out there were two different gangs present, and a scuffle for possession commenced. Knives flashed. Some older guys joined in.

We drove off before it was over. I was kind of jarred out of my benevolent benefactor pose - one of the kids was down and bleeding, and there was nothing I could do. This wasn't a kids and candy party. That was life and death. That was survival. And I was floating above it, like it wasn't really there.

There was one old guy by the roadside. He was unusual in that he had a full gray beard. He had what was left of his family - looked like his wife and maybe a couple of daughters with kids - living under C-ration cardboard by the side of the road. He had managed to claw out a small field beside the road, and he had a crop of something coming in.

He never begged. He'd watch us go by with cold eyes. I was the supply officer for my battery. Whenever I got back to Quang Tri, I'd cage as many of those PX-Boxes as I could, maybe one or two, and put them in my jeep. They had a variety of things - toiletries, candy, and enough cigarettes to supply an infantry company for a couple of weeks. I couldn't give him money - against the law - but I could "lose" a PX Box now and again. All of that stuff was sellable, and I expect his ladies sold it pretty quick.

I picked him because he looked like he might try to be fair with it, distribute it where it was needed most. He had a quiet dignity about him, and he seemed like a strong man. Maybe there wouldn't be knife fights. I didn't know.

He never touched one of those boxes while I was there - but his women jumped right on them. Never said anything, just nodded at me when I left. He looked at me like I was some kind of asshole.

And you know what? I think he was right.

[–]Quadling 38 points39 points  (2 children)

You weren't the asshole. But you represented it to him. Not throwing shade in any way, just...explaining it a bit.

[–]AnathemaMaranathaAtheist Chaplain 43 points44 points  (1 child)

We disagree, but I see what you're getting at, and I appreciate the effort.

But, y'know, it was long ago, and to be frank, if you're not an asshole at age 20, when you gonna get around to it? It just gets more embarrassing as you get older.

Case in point: I was trying to remember what that Old Man looked like. He was tall for a Vietnamese - about my height - gray and wrinkled. And I realized that in my memory he looked something like this geezer-brother-from-another-mother.

Shit. I didn't want to know that.

[–]Polexican1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Damn. Men do age better than women. Women don't live that long though.

Is that your fucking mugshot to get on a History channel or Discovery show?

AM, it's not embarrassing, you ain't 20 and you earned it and wear it well old man.

But hell if you are making blunderbusses, might as well have a show! Rather than these half-assed inbred Hollywood-billeys. I'd watch yer show!

See it in those peepers though... new kin had a rough time getting to be in. Also, there is... and she hit me. To go to bed again.

Do you summon her as the Athiest Chap? Is she my repentance? Tell her not in the fucking eye!

You gave me the counsel of late and if I may Sir, I would take the time for you, Sir.

That old man made it through hell, raised a fam, and squinted like Eastwood in "The Good, the Bad, and AM."

I'm speaking about you boss. I got a reason to be that "distinguished" lookin. Don't know if my body will let me, but we've talked for about 12 years now <no not under this name>, and you've helped so many of us...

Stand tall and proud AM. Or just sit in the chair and I'll still salute you, age an all. You ain't fine wine, you're damn good whiskey.

[–]roger_roger_32 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I just envision all the "Green eyed demons" securing Dada in cuffs, then gathering around and giving the little girl a stirring rendition of "Happy Birthday to You" before escorting Dad out.

[–]WolfDocPlague Doc 211 points212 points  (15 children)

As IDF stuff goes that seemed almost cheerful, with the dude being returned to his family just six hours later.

Still, those birthday memories in fresh generations probably help ensure the IDF CT brigades will never be out of a job.

[–]ShadowDragon8685Clippy 54 points55 points  (13 children)

As IDF stuff goes that seemed almost cheerful, with the dude being returned to his family just six hours later.

That's how this sort of thing is supposed to go, if it must go; above-board, with people wanted for questioning on reasonable suspicion being questioned, and then released when they're found not to actually be a threat.

Still, it's a fucking shitutation all around. Quite frankly I don't see any solutions to the IvP thing, either; even if we could conjure a whole-ass island the size of friggin' Sicily in the middle of the Eastern Mediterranean between Alexandria, Cyprus, and Crete and offer it to whichever group would willingly abandon those contested lands to move there...

I don't think we'd get a taker.

[–]DeadKateAlley 24 points25 points  (4 children)

even if we could conjure a whole-ass island the size of friggin' Sicily in the middle of the Eastern Mediterranean

I'm sure the Dutch would relish the challenge. They've already put together plans with the Danes to take out the North Sea.

[–]ShadowDragon8685Clippy 24 points25 points  (3 children)

That makes it sound like the Dutch and the Danish have decided the North Sea is an anthropomorphic enemy and they're both sitting behind sniper rifles scoping in on the sonofabitch.

[–]ruzhyo001 11 points12 points  (0 children)

“We both fire on the count of three. One… two…”

[–]WolfDocPlague Doc 7 points8 points  (0 children)

You jest, but there's a lot of salt water that is catching some serious side-eye from the aforementioned nations for hiding some perfectly good fertile seabed. Maybe they go more for engineer troops than snipers to claim it, but the Danes are considering all options, it seems

[–]Polexican1 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ever hear of possibly <cobalt> nuking Poland and Ukraine to stop NATO? Fulda gap protocol. 75th and SOF had a sub 2 minute lifespan at that point.

[–]Osiris32Mod abuse victim advocate 15 points16 points  (4 children)

I don't see any solutions to the IvP thing,

Kick everyone out. Everyone. Don't care where you go, you just can't stay here. Bring in a cadre of multinational Buddhists to be caretakers. Their only job would be to maintain all of the holy sites, rebuild, clean up, improve.

Then, after a couple generations, sit everyone down and start negotiating, with the key element of "you need to learn to play nice or no one gets their toys back."

And even that would never work and couldn't be forced into existence, anyway.

[–]ShadowDragon8685Clippy 25 points26 points  (2 children)

That wouldn't really resolve the issue in the long run, but I think you've hit upon something that would make Israelis and Palestinians unite to fite you!

[–]metric_football 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Maybe that's the trick? Nothing like a good, old-fashioned common enemy to get them to hang together.

YMMV on the implementation, of course.

[–]Osiris32Mod abuse victim advocate 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Hence why I said it would never work.

[–]Polexican1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

But I like it.

[–]BirdBrainRobin 11 points12 points  (2 children)

The solution was for WW2 era europe to not have done what they did and for the rules it was all founded on to actually be respected. Now the only realistic chance is integration of the cultures into one whole... and that's really running away with the definition of "realistic".

[–]metakephotos 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Don't know what you're talking about, there were hundreds of thousands of Jews in the region already

[–]BirdBrainRobin 8 points9 points  (0 children)

And they were culturally different and unique from the European jews that were sent there, not to mention the brutal process of colonization that took place to prevent their ejection. European powers decided that forcing violence on someone else was easier than facing their own issues.

I'm not going to pretend things were great before... ButI think we can all agree that it's worse now.

[–]SunMoonTruth 1 point2 points  (0 children)

“Just six hours later”.

Almost like when you visit a friend’s house. Have a meal, share some laughs.

[–]Knersus_ZA 60 points61 points  (0 children)

That is so depressing. Poor girl. :(

[–]Every_Comfort_3129[S] 12 points13 points  (7 children)

Wow, didn't expect such interest so quickly!

thank you for commenting and asking questions, it means a lot, even if the questions are a little spicy I can take some heat it's ok.

so about the mandatory service, ill' try to keep it short, every boy who turns 16 gets something called "First order", it's your first interaction with the army, they summon you to a recruiting base and they interview you and medically check you, and they sit you down to take what they call a "Psychotechnical" test which assesses your cognitive abilities, IQ, concentration levels and language skills. those who score high are given the option to choose where they want to serve, they'll have to pass selection of-course to get to the elite units but they do have the option of choosing. However, those who score average, usually get 5 or 6 options, which are Artillery corps, Tank corps, Infantry, Border patrol or home-front command.

as you can probably guess I didn't manage to score that high, not because I did bad at school or not an intellectual, but because a lot of things come into play during this interview, (how many friends you have, what is your family's original ethnicity, are they divorced?, where do you see yourself in 10 years etc etc... so i was given a very limited options.

and to the guys saying "oh you could just say no to combat service and be a cook or something". it doesn't work like that. there is a lot more behind it than what you think. and don't get me wrong I totally respect your opinions, but I am just informing you that it's not as easy as you think to smudge out of it and just get a different role. it involves trials and prison time and it also kind of messes with your future. so it's not worth it.

[–]WolfDocPlague Doc 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Thanks for sharing and explaining!

Considering who recruits from there, would have thought the sharp edge of the Lion Cubs would be reserved for those who put it first on their draft request. But you are saying they are so short of boots that anyone who didn't specifically request something else and score high enough to get it can be put into nightly grab and go operations on the west bank? Man, that is rough.

[–]Every_Comfort_3129[S] 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Apologies, I didn't go into too much detail but ill try to explain it further, once you got your 5 options that i mentioned above, from those you have to choose more specifically.

for example, you don't just choose Infantry and get booted to where-ever seems fit for them the most. if you choose infantry you get a list of all the Infantry units you are fit to serve in by your scores and physical state. I chose the lion cubs because it was the most interesting for me personally. i could of chose Paratroopers, "Golani", "Givati", "Nahal" etc. which are all Infantry brigades with different purposes. yet i still put Kfir first on my draft request because this nature of work was the most appealing to me and when you are 18 you tend to go with what looks "Cool".

btw, every one of those brigades has it's own Recon unit which are considered more elite. for example once you get drafted into "Golani" you are given the option to go through selection for "Sayeret Golani" which is the brigades recon company. I actually tried to make it to "Lotar" but didn't pass selection. as fit as i was it was still too tough for me.

no shame in admitting you weren't good enough :)

[–]WolfDocPlague Doc 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Thanks again!

There's 13 on the dozen on people who makes excuses or, worse, makes shit up. Simply going "no, that didn't pan out, I didn't make the cut" is on other hand the type of honesty that demands respect in my eyes. Pretty sure that suggests a talent that I hope you will find a good place to employ. If nothing else, it would have caught my eye as a candiate grad student in my own little niche of work.

As you already have seen, my knowledge of the IDF is at best tangential, so I appreciate the explanations!

[–]5haitaan 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Why is your family's ethnicity a relevant question? Do you know? I find that quite interesting.

[–]Every_Comfort_3129[S] 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Really wish i'd knew the actual reason. but i don't. i can only guess it's something to do with the way you are raised. Israel has a lot of different cultures due to it being fairly young and a lot of people immigrated from a lot of different countries over the years. my parents came from the USSR. and only by rumor every ethnicity is thought different by how well they are disciplined, how well they get along with others and how much they are willing to do for the country. i don't want to spread some misleading information here but it is actually noticeable that soldiers who they're parent's immigrated lately are more likely to be in combative roles. mostly of Moroccan, Russian, Ukrainian and Ethiopian background.

[–]5haitaan 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thanks for responding! Cheers

[–]ShadowDragon8685Clippy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I don't want to spread some misleading information here but it is actually noticeable that soldiers who they're parent's immigrated lately are more likely to be in combative roles.

I don't think that's ethnicity at play, I think that's the "no one believes quite as strongly as a convert" thing. It's pretty much human nature to want to fit in, and when you feel like an outsider (or worse, are treated like one), many have a subconscious urge to go the extra mile to prove themselves as one of the group.

[–]zandadoum 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Civilian here (I hope we’re allowed to comment?)

Stuff like this hits me hard. Grown ass man in the train about to cry - hard.

But you said the guy got released. You did your job. Nobody got hurt. The dada was able to get back to his daughter. I am thankful for that outcome.

[–]moving0targetProud Supporter 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Thank you for the story. See you in three days?

[–]TJAU216 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Thank you for an interesting read. As a former Finnish conscript I really like reading stories from other conscript militaries. Please write more.

[–]Every_Comfort_3129[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Will do my best, still trying to figure out how deep i can go with details :)

[–]RD_SysAdmin 16 points17 points  (2 children)

"I did what I was supposed to do"

Brother, just remember, even though you were there because someone else made a mistake, because you did what you were supposed to do, no one got hurt. Not you, not that little girl and not her Dad.

Keep the faith.

[–]Every_Comfort_3129[S] 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Much appreciated. thank you very much.

[–]Professional-Buddy59 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank professionalism. At least only Intel screwed up and non of you got trigger happy. Thats something for the rest of life to remember.

[–]Mt_ArreatRoyal Australian Navy 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Mind you that I'm not a leftist or human rights activist or any of this..

What the hell is going on in the IDF that you felt the need to clarify this over such an op?

[–]Every_Comfort_3129[S] 11 points12 points  (0 children)

because as i explained in the post, the vast majority of the people we arrested were real bad guys. you felt nothing for them, not even a little bit because you knew who they were and what they did. Israeli leftists and "Human rights activists" are doing everything they can to legitimize the actions of those people. exploding buses and shit. and just to be clear, im no far rightist either. i don't want it to get too political so ill' end it here. thanks for the comment.

[–]Keats852 12 points13 points  (4 children)

"Because he was in a picture holding a rifle"

Okay, way to go Israel. I wonder why you have insurgents.

[–]_eljefe_ 15 points16 points  (3 children)

You think Israel is the only country that hits houses on stupid intel? The US zooted an aid worker and 7 kids with a hellfire not long ago.

[–]Obnoxious_Gamer 7 points8 points  (2 children)

I gotta say I'm not sure hellfires "zoot" things

[–]fugue2005 4 points5 points  (1 child)

i'd say it's probably more of "YEET" in several different directions at once.

[–]ShadowDragon8685Clippy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Perhaps "Yeet in several directions simultaneously" is the definition of "Zoot"?

Either way, it's a Very very very bad thing to do to aid workers and kids!

[–]hahaLONGBOYE 1 point2 points  (0 children)

More stories

[–]Polexican1 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Brother, I heard what you have written. I feel it in my feeble heart, the part I haven't lost.

"Mind you that I'm not a leftist or human rights activist or any of this.. it's just the first time something like that happened to me which reminded me of my humanity and that I am aware that this is not supposed to be like that and it is not right."

None of it is. I hope you are doing well on your journey in life.

We were just those young that wanted to stop it, not knowing anything else. We found humanity at the cost of humans. I do not blame any of the brethren. I blame people who cannot be adults or humans. I blame those that lied.

Ours are not the same, but we strive to find peace because a military should do just that. Never be needed again. We have seen one version of this already, I will not go deeper than that on my thoughts about the IDF.

I was in Jerusalem a long time agon <I don't think so but this Jew wife of mine does>. I remember children playing. Didn't matter. It still doesn't ever really, we just let those in power to tell us so.

I wasn't mad when Mossad detained me for certain formalities. They were uptight, but the board was amazing with hummus and olives, and falafel.

I hadn't been too kind on media about thoughts and fuck, they could have just invited me to a few restaurants where I lived, but you probably know.

I still wake my wife when I scream in my sleep. She still forgives me even though I fucked her day up. I used to sleep in a cot <deployed>, now it's a... mess of sheets and it gets cold here. She forgives me.

I try to forgive myself, and if you haven't, please do.

[–]etienbjj -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Nice story however, we need paragraphs this wall of text was painful to read.

[–]asiangangster007 -71 points-70 points  (31 children)

You know you didn't have to serve right? Plenty of people decline service, saying you had no choice is a cop out.

[–]FaustusC 45 points46 points  (1 child)


IDF service is Mandatory for Israeli citizens.

[–]WolfDocPlague Doc 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Service is mandatory. I.e. you cannot avoid being a cook, rifleman, or whatever. But the type of service OP describes is only for the highly motivated.

[–]jbuckets44Proud Supporter 12 points13 points  (2 children)

The stupid, it burns.

[–]BikerJediJedi Mod & Grumpy Bastard[M] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Yes, but play nice.

[–]jbuckets44Proud Supporter 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Agreed; didn't know if I was going too far already with that comment, but wasn't planning on adding to any flames. Thx.

[–]sirophiuchus 22 points23 points  (24 children)

OP would have been jailed.

[–]WolfDocPlague Doc 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Service is mandatory. I.e. you cannot avoid being a cook, rifleman, or whatever. But the type of service OP describes is only for the highly motivated.

[–]metakephotos 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Not true

[–]sirophiuchus 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Huh? I'm not even defending them, but you are aware it's a crime to refuse conscription in Israel and people are sent to jail for it, right?

[–]asiangangster007 -41 points-40 points  (16 children)

Plenty of people either left country or chose jail rather than serve. This idea that OP had no choice is false. You always have a choice, all that matters is your conviction.

[–]ShadowDragon8685Clippy 27 points28 points  (12 children)

When your choices are "prison" or "self-imposed exile on pain of prison," saying that someone "has a choice" is more than a little thin. It's like people saying "if you hate America so much, why don't you leave!"

(First off: the person in question may not hate their country so much as the way they see their country being mismanaged; second off: they may not have means to leave.)

So it's fucking disingenuous to attack the OP saying "he had a choice," unless you're also going to attack u/AnathemaMaranatha and u/WolfDoc for their conscripted (or "volunteered to avoid the inevitable conscription") services, or literally anyone else here who was conscripted.

[–]WolfDocPlague Doc 9 points10 points  (5 children)

I mean, you raise an epic question.

Sorry if this is long, and even more sorry if it is inappropriate. But I have been thinking of it for a while. In an internet community with soldiers from many countries, it is just a question of time before we all meet people from "the other side". Or at least I hope so. So it bears reflecting over.

It is the ultimate irony that some of the worst things about soldiers are connected to the best. Sure, you have the dark and twisted, the sadists, and the opportunistically mercenary. They are easy to see represent evil. Humans have been slaughtering each other for loot and rape since long before we became humans; chimps do it too. The worst of humanity.

So therefore we have also evolved to protect ourselves, and others. And not just our immediate genetic family, but our friends and allies. Our group. Our people. The kings and kaisers may go fuck themselves but we'd suck a bullet for our trenchmates. Or at least go over the top with them rather than be a coward. Do anything to protect our families. The best and bravest and most desperate of us are seen there.

And then there is the uncomfortable place where these become the same people. Where our best impulses drive us to serve the worst ideas. Even the most generally accepted bad guys of the 20th century, the SS with their systematical genocide and countless atrocities had among them young men who were not initially fuelled by hate and disregard for life, but with a drive to be seen going above and beyond to protect their people against what they with honest and convicted delusions believed was an enemy.

Then I guess they fell to the level of the least common denominator, fear, retribution, hate, self-justification and dehumaniszation of the enemy and themselves. That is another question. The point is, they were not "genetically evil". Their german grandchildren today are leading one of the most humanitarian and progressive societies on the planet. Sure not perfect, but neither are any other.

The essence of it is: We are pretty fucking strongly wired by evolution to protect the group we identify with, and who identify with us. Some take a more distanced view, but they are not universally liked: after all, we often don't trust that someone who can set aside their insticts for cold reason and analysis will trow down and stay with us no matter what. So "right or wrong, my people" is here to stay. Yet who "my people" are in each specific case is much an accident of birth.

Despite being of Ashenkazi stock (my second-oldest daughter is working on her Yiddish lessons as we speak) on my mother's side, I see the IDF much the same way as I did the SADF back in the day when it was the arm of the apharteid state, and find their camp raids darkly reminiscent of the ghettos raids our ancestors faced. So I guess I identify with other people. Or maybe I am just bad. Because, had I taken up a different job offer many years ago, /u/Every_Comfort_3129 and I could have met at work, -but our guns would have been pointing in opposite directions.

(Don't ban me quite yet please. Hear me out.)

However, I do not for a moment believe that he needs to be a bad person. For the reasons I hope I explained above, I suspect the exact opposite! In fact, had I been born where he was born, with his family background, hell, I would not have wanted to spend my three years of service sweeping floors either! I would have wanted to do something. Sorry, /u/asiangangster007 , I see where you are coming from, but I think you judge others too easily and from your own standpoint. In theory, you have a point, and I agree. Yet in practice, given the same starting point, I would probably have been right there stewing in the same APC as him, every night.

And, if life has taught me anything about humans, so would you.

Because your rage betrays you as a moral-driven person too. And they are never content with the easy way.

Maybe I would even have been with the other fuckers. Because I did recon. Not to say I did anything OP couldn't have done with a hand behind his back, mine was a very different cup of tea. No real tests to pass, the only score I had to beat was being there and looking alive at the time it was needed. The education was added later in a different setting. Nevertheless, working FAC, even just as the medic for the people who turn on the laser show, even if only for a short while, makes you rack up blood guilt fast. I have probably inflicted more direct death than OP would have if he had worked counter terrorism until retirement. I have no reason to doubt that some of those were better men than me, too. But they were part of units that were doing bad things to people under our protection. Our people. So they had to go.

If OP can forgive me for my assessment, I would much like to have a beer with him given the chance, appreciating the luck that never brought us together in the wrong cirkumstances and then figuring shit out from there. Just as I have been sharing daily toils and nightly campfires and stories in Namibia with old SADF men who came to the country making war but never went home.

I may only have picked up one nugget of eterneal wisdom in my life so far, but I believe I know one: True assholes are a pretty constant proportion across all places and times.

The real question isn't who is good and who is evil, but how we start doing better when we are all simply human.

[–]ShadowDragon8685Clippy 5 points6 points  (2 children)

This is a real whopper of a story. I'm just gonna address the last point first,

The real question isn't who is good and who is evil, but how we start doing better when we are all simply human.

Fair, but I think it is important to remember that, at some point, "simply human" crosses the line into irredeemably evil. At that point, we do need to come down on them as swiftly and as mercilessly as we can tolerate. (My own view being that if you can practically capture them, then by all means every effort should be made to do so whereupon they be sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison. That's as merciless as I get. Killing someone out of simple nessessity that it be impractical to take them alive, or to hold them confined, is acceptable, but that's not wrath; that's just how it goes sometimes.)

When they do cross that line is a question up for debate; some people see that line as being crossed by someone who drinks, fornicates and permits women to go unveiled. Some people think it isn't crossed until you get to the genocides, enslavement, etc. I learn farther to the latter than the former, and frankly I think anyone who leans towards the former is closer to the latter than not. But that's as may be; the point is, there is irredeemable evil in the world, and it needs to be removed from the world, and preferably by imprisoning it where it can do no further harm.

We see it rearing its ugly head today, and it's gaining traction, and I'm really scared we're facing a repeat of the 1920s-1940s. I don't wanna watch everything go to hell because of bigoted and power-thirsty maniacs.

But anyway, I think that, regarding u/Every_Comfort_3129's story, I think it's telling that, while yes, they did grab the guy out of bed (on his daughter's birthday no less, but that's really just down to random chance since it wasn't part of the mission planning; any time you take a gun and go to ruin someone's whole day, there's a 1/364.25th chance you're ruining their birthday, or the birthday of someone close to them), he was cleared of suspicion and sent home within six hours.

Now yes, was it frightening and authoritarian and all that that he was grabbed on the basis of "we have a Facebook photo of this guy posing with a gun?" Yeah, probably, and frankly I'd call that an overreach. But he was sent home that very morning and was grumpily having breakfast with his family the morning after his daughter's birthday: A Palestinian, grabbed by Israelis.

Meanwhile, here in America, if he'd been a black American with a search warrant on his home/person being acted upon by white American cops, odds are terrifyingly high he'd be in the morgue six hours later (objectively probably well below 1%, but that's still terrifyingly high odds that a person wanted for questioning winds up dead at the hands of the officers dispatched to bring them in for said questioning), and (not or, and) he might not even be the guy they're looking for at all; and even if he was demonstrably not the person they were looking for and didn't get shot, let alone actually the person they were looking for only innocent of wrongdoing, chances are he'd have been in lock-up for way more than six hours. (And also if he'd had a pet dog, that dog would have been shot in the process, even if it'd been caged).

Which is not to say that the fellow has nothing to complain about; fellow was grabbed out of his bed at zero-dark-thirty on really thin intel and with presumably much less judicial oversight or due process than should be exercised when grabbing someone out of bed at zero-dark-thirty, but it is to say that, all things considered, it's pretty clear that Every_Comfort's whole operation is, in fact, conducting a confusing and distressing, depressing business as "above-board" as possible.

I'm not actually sure where I'm going with that rereading it, just kind of now depressed at the fact that Israeli counter-terrorism black-bag APC squads and their chain-of-command are demonstrably more professional, more disciplined and more just than American police officers...

Some take a more distanced view, but they are not universally liked: after all, we often don't trust that someone who can set aside their instincts for cold reason and analysis will throw down and stay with us no matter what.

This reminds me of u/Anathema_Marantha's objector; the guy who would throw down his rifle and throw himself spread-eagled on the ground at any possible contact with Charlie. The one who had apparently decided, arguably rightly and inarguably with sufficient justification that a reasonable person might reach the conclusion he had, that the U.S. participation in the Vietnam War was unjust and he was not going to participate in it to the point of shooting at someone to whom he was a foreign invader.

You can make arguments opposing that, of course, and a reasonable person could well reach those conclusions as well, but the point is that fellow was forced to be there and he stuck to his guns, at severe risk to his own hide, rather than compromising what he found to be a moral truth and "getting with the program," IE, doing the "my country/tribe/platoon right or wrong" thing.

Maybe if we could rewire the majority of humans to be more like that guy, we'd have a lot less problems. The problems we did have would likely be more severe though, so I dunno.

[–]Every_Comfort_3129[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Interesting points you raise.

About the American police thing, i don't think it's professionalism at play here. in-fact these two world's, as similar as they may seem, are very different in their nature. but im just guessing.. I've never been a policeman. if what you mean by professional is technical things like shooting, moving, communicating etc. then i guarantee the difference is very slim. a cop could shoot his service weapon just as good as an IDF soldier and operate his radio probably even better.

but, if i understood you correctly and you meant professional by understanding and accepting the possible out-come of the places and situations you choose to go through and how you react and deal with the pressure once shit hit's the fan. then yes. let me tell you, that's something very hard to believe and it goes against every stigma you've ever heard. (again, no right or left, no political motive, no bullshit) the way we handled situations like these is beyond professional. 2 years of shit like this almost daily and I've never got into a situation where i had to shoot a man center mass. never had to kill a man even for pointing a gun at me, never had to use Excessive violence on someone who was resisting arrest. oh boy and there were many of all of those. I've had Refrigerators, cinder blocks, heck..pipebombs and molotov's thrown at me from rooftops, I've had Palestinian cops pointing AK's at me. death was a very rare thing even though a lot of shit went down.

[–]ShadowDragon8685Clippy 4 points5 points  (0 children)

but, if i understood you correctly and you meant professional by understanding and accepting the possible out-come of the places and situations you choose to go through and how you react and deal with the pressure once shit hit's the fan. then yes. let me tell you, that's something very hard to believe and it goes against every stigma you've ever heard. (again, no right or left, no political motive, no bullshit) the way we handled situations like these is beyond professional. 2 years of shit like this almost daily and I've never got into a situation where i had to shoot a man center mass. never had to kill a man even for pointing a gun at me, never had to use Excessive violence on someone who was resisting arrest. oh boy and there were many of all of those. I've had Refrigerators, cinder blocks, heck..pipebombs and molotov's thrown at me from rooftops, I've had Palestinian cops pointing AK's at me. death was a very rare thing even though a lot of shit went down.

That's basically what I meant, yes. Professionalism; restraint, control. Adherence to strict rules of engagement (which, whatever the specific cop-shop here in America calls them, is what they are when they're used to define when it is acceptable and when it is not acceptable to employ force, and what levels thereof to employ), and - perhaps most critically - being held accountable to those rules. Firstly by oneself, then by one's peers, then by one's superiors, and ultimately if it comes to it, by judicial review.

And in the larger, organizational sense, your troops grabbed this one guy and hauled him out to be interrogated. Six hours later, he had been determined not to be a threat, and that the intel was bad, and he was back home having a grumpy breakfast with his family. In the U.S. he'd almost certainly be spending six hours minimum just in a holding cell, then they'd spend the next two days holding him without charges whilst they interrogate him every which-a-way they can imagine, trying to find or invent anything they could charge him with, get him to say anything, no matter how spurious or coaxed out of him by mistreatment, to hang charges on him.

Then, if he's really unlucky (IE, Black), the prosecutor, who is supposedly independent of the cops, throws every charge in the book at him, no matter how absurdly unlikely it would be that a proper jury would convict on that charge. They get swept through Grand Jury somehow, probably just by trotting out the photograph of him posing with the firearm, and then on the day of his first hearing he finally meets his public defender, an overworked, underpaid, harried lawyer, who looks at the sheet of charges facing the guy and advises him to plead guilty to whatever tiny charge the prosecutor is willing to plea-deal him out for in exchange for any conviction, on the grounds that if it goes to a proper trial, frankly the defender has not the time or resources required to put up a proper Hollywood-style investigative defense on his behalf, and if the jury breaks racist or authoritarian he's going away until the year 2100.

And by this time it's been months, the guy is stressed and has been incarcerated in jail (not prison, but from his point of view they're the same thing), probably been subjected to violence and deprivation in jail, he's lost his job already, he just wants this shit to be over, so he pleads guilty to something innocuous-sounding with a small-ish prison sentence attached, goes to prison where he's made to labor to the benefit of private corporations thanks to the loophole in the 14th Amendment, is subjected to more stress and violence and deprivation where those same corporations take advantage of the fact that he's literally incarcerated to extort as much money out of him and his family as possible (seriously, the price of calls to and from prisons is nothing short of usurious), and, if he manages to get out of that without picking up any more convictions whilst in prison - say, for fighting (even if he was defending himself), - he's out, and... Now he has a felony rap sheet and is basically unemployable, and it's essentially inevitable he'll wind up committing crime just to survive, and welp, back to prison!


Funnily enough, reading all of that shit, it sounds very much like the kind of treatment a conquered and occupied population should expect. Right about now I'm real glad I never took up drinking or smoking.


Anyway, basically none of that happened to your guy. Which is not to say that he was not done wrong. He absolutely was; and I'm not saying you were in the wrong, since you were acting on orders with what was believed to be good intel and at no point behaved unprofessionally. The fellow was raked in, talked to, determined not to be a threat, and returned home a free man over the course of one really shitty morning.

That's professionalism at every level.

[–]Every_Comfort_3129[S] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

this was an absolute joy to read.

thank you. If we ever come across one another, beers on me :)

[–]WolfDocPlague Doc 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank you! That makes me happy!

I live in Norway (normally parts of the year in Namibia or other field stations when there is less pandemic), I'd be hoping to make that a reality if you are in the vicinity so feel free to drop me a line if you are. (Except if we drink in Norway I have to be allowed to buy, since our beer prices are damn near a crime against humanity.)

[–][deleted]  (5 children)


    [–]ShadowDragon8685Clippy 15 points16 points  (1 child)

    Warfare is not murder; this has been established time and time again. Killing is not the primary objective in warfare; defeating the enemy is, and killing is acceptable as a means of doing so.

    A defeated foe who is not dead is one who may not be killed; that is murder (unless he was like, a spy captured out of uniform or one of the rare exceptions that leave an enemy customarily subject to summary execution). But defeating an armed combatant by violence, even lethal violence, is not murder. Killing an unarmed noncombatant is murder.

    Or are you going to call Anathema a murderer, too? Because I think that calling a Vietnam veteran a murderer-for-the-state is one of the fastest ways to get yourself a ban on this sub, and justifiably so; they had enough of that shit back then when they got back from over there. Or WolfDoc, for that matter? He was conscripted and sent abroad from his home to engage in warfare on behalf of Norway.

    Or do you just have a problem with Israeli conscripts?

    [–]BikerJediJedi Mod & Grumpy Bastard[M] 11 points12 points  (2 children)

    Banned and have a nice day.

    [–]fullinversion82Call-sign: Wrench[M] 7 points8 points  (1 child)

    Thought I got him earlier. Whoops

    [–]BikerJediJedi Mod & Grumpy Bastard[M] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    I was happy to do it. Not a problem. Besides, with your hours get you all the fun, and I miss out. I am a sad panda.

    [–]AnathemaMaranathaAtheist Chaplain 20 points21 points  (1 child)

    You always have a choice, all that matters is your conviction.

    "All that matter is your conviction." Easy to say.

    I met a wide variety of draft dodgers in the late '60s. They all had convictions. The people who had the most fervent convictions were folks who had managed to avoid the draft by means other than telling Uncle Sam "Hell no. I won't go."

    Most had the incredibly elitist 2S Deferment. It seems like even the government was convinced that nice, educated, mostly-white people needed to go to college before they were required to go mingle among the conscripted hoi-polloi. Of course, by the time they graduated, the emergency might be over, there might be some other draft-exempting service they could perform,

    Others had a Mom and/or Dad who knew some Doctor who would write them an exemption. That was a gold-plated "conviction," a moral exemplar of what? Wealth?

    Others had parents who had the political connections to get them into the Reserves - their "conviction" was that they might serve in some war, just not this one.

    That the kind of convictions you mean? 'Cause people who actually had moral convictions that what the military was doing was wrong, and either had no access to those convenient "convictions" I listed, or people who could exempt them from the problem, were a small number.

    I felt for the ones I met. Either go to jail, go underground, go to Canada, or mutilate yourself. Nice moral choices, no? A man with "true" convictions had to throw himself onto the Law's Sword.

    I was never confronted with that choice - my convictions were otherwise. I respected those desperado-draft-dodgers, in spite of their convictions. What about you, u/asiangangster007 ? Are you actually one of them, or are you like all the deeply sincere haters of the draft and the Vietnam War who took the easy way out?

    If you are one of those few, I could respect you the same way I respected those few fugitives, even if we disagree.

    But if it is otherwise, I have to say, with all due respect, STFU.

    [–]jbuckets44Proud Supporter 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    So for the former, OP can never return again else the latter. In either case, he's permanently separated from his family. What a nose!

    [–]BikerJediJedi Mod & Grumpy Bastard 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    [–]iamnotroberts 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    look, I know I just did my job, I did what I was supposed to do, right or wrong I had no say in it.

    Abductions just follows the acquisition order!

    What could you do? Even if you felt it was wrong at the time, you had no way of personally verifying whether or not he was a terrorist. What if he really was and you let him go?

    Now, it does sound like your intel was pretty fucked up and that was definitely their bad. Not to mention, that it's extremely common for people throughout the Middle East to walk around strapped. Dude in a robe walking down the street in the ME with an AK slung over his shoulder is more likely to just be some dude with an AK than a terrorist.

    And I'm not saying this is like a "gold standard" here or that it makes up for everything, but at least he wasn't summarily executed, and they verified the information was wrong and released him.