There is a minor scandal brewing about an article in the New Republic: Shock Troops.

Obviously I haven’t read it (It requires a subscription, and I have a very limited budget).

But essentially it is a “Jarhead” type smear of American troops in Iraq as crass ignoramuses.
Personally, I agree with Powerline who notes that if the story was true, then why did the editor allow a poorly written article that paints all the soldiers in Iraq as acting like the schmuk that wrote the article, but ignoring the thousands who serve honorably?

But some of the items in the story seem either exaggerated, or maybe even fictional.  If this is proven would be another black mark on the journal who became infamous in the movie “Broken Glass”, where a writer made up articles that were printed as true.
If you want the details and the blogosphere’s reaction, go to Powerline or the Weekly Standard’s article on it.

But one of the stories has a small detail that sounds very suspicious to me: that the soldiers speeding down the street in their Bradley fighting vehicles would aim it at sleeping dogs to run over them and kill them.

Not a big crime, just destructive juvenile behavior, if true.

But as a doctor, I have to question the story.

One of my jobs as a lowly Captain in the National Guard involved preventing and diagnosing hearing damage in Army National Guard personnel who worked with tracked vehicles. Most of the vehicles were tanks, but they included various types of APC (armoured personnel carriers). Did it include the Bradley? I don’t think so, but the Bradley is similar to other APC’s.  And like tanks and the older APC’s, they are NOISY.bradley

LINK is the page for the hearing prevention program. If you scroll down you read this:

At idling, noise level in the vehicle is 75 decibels

At  10 mph the decibel level goes up to 110.

At 20 mph or higher (top speed 38 mph) the level is 115 db.

What does this mean?
When I shout at Lolo, who is profoundly deaf without his hearing aid, the level is 70 decibels.

75 db is the same as a noisy vacuum cleaner.

100 db is the same as a rock concert.

110 db is the noise of a jet engine.

120 db will cause physical pain.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if you came down the street with a vehicle making all that noise, my dog Puti would be long gone with his tail between his legs.

My dog Blacky wouldn’t keep sleeping with all that noise either. She would probably start barking and chase it down the street, but even Blacky isn’t so dumb she’d sit there quietly and let it run over her.
So unless the dogs in Baghdad are as dumb as Blacky and as deaf as Lolo, the story is false.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket

Her son in law is serving in Iraq.

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