Tal Afar Comes to YouTube

6:00 PM -- Melbourne's The Age is reporting the U.S. military's launch of a channel on YouTube. The stated goal is to provide a " 'boots on the ground' perspective of Operation Iraqi Freedom from those who are fighting it." The military's clips are edited for grisly content and obviously are not going to show our boys overseas doing anything remotely controversial.

It's not that tough to find footage from battles in Iraq as it is, and indeed, the footage from the soldiers themselves can be much more dramatic. The military's videos -- like so much of the YouTube canon -- can be a little dull, almost carrying a "you had to be there" quality. But maybe that's the point. Putting these clips on YouTube, alongside marginally entertaining homemade television and shots of suburban white kids pretending to be 50 Cent, contextualizes fire fights in Baghdad as another slice of middle-American life.

Whether that makes you proud or angry depends on your politics.

— A.L. Friedman, Editor at Large, Light Reading

Scott Raynovich 12/5/2012 | 3:09:03 PM
re: Tal Afar Comes to YouTube I recently read about the forthcoming 'Young Americans' film. Pretty interesting. Shot by a drug-addled ex-Hollywood agent guy who decided that instead of going to rehab he should drop himself into Iraq and make a film from the perspective of the troops. He's got a heavy political agenda, but the film works. You can find many clips by searching YouTube like this:


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