Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Idaho Vet Makes News In Britain

Because of the revelation that the airmen involved in a friendly fire incident in Iraq in 2003 were from the Idaho Air National Guard, a bunch of Brit journalists came to Boise and were hanging out in the pilot's neighborhood. This upset one of the man's neighbors, who decided to tell the Brits what he thought of them:

For those who didn't watch, here's some of what the neighbor said:
Eldon Anderson is a Vietnam War veteran and neighbor of an Idaho Air National Guard A-10 pilot thought to be involved in a 2003 friendly-fire incident in Iraq that left a British soldier dead. Anderson, interviewed in front of his West Boise home, told ITN television that his neighbor-pilot is a "hero and it's a damn good thing we have heroes like him in the United States to do the fighting that we've got to do against terrorists around the world. And you guys better get on board and that whole damn country of yours along with the rest of Europe.
"You are going to go merrily sucking your thumb like you did in World War II," Anderson continued. "We don't need your damn help. We need your cooperation, that's all we need out of you guys. It's hard even to get that. We know you can't shoot, move and communicate, but we'd sure as hell like to have your cooperation anyway."
Needless to say, the Brits were somewhat perturbed by the comments (as was Idaho blogger Adam). Now, Idahoans are starting to apologize to the British (as I would if I saw one, given that the Brits did a lot of Nazi-killing and no thumb-sucking in WWII) -- but this could end up causing more problems, given the stereotypical provincialism of some Idahoans. Here's what a Boise city councilman had to say:
"As a Boise City resident and elected official, I want to personally apologize to the English people for the inane and insensitive remarks given to the British press by Mr. Eldon Anderson regarding the ‘friendly fire' incident in Iraq. ... I can promise you that the people of this fine city are embarrassed by his tirade."
There's no word if the city councilman would also personally apologize to the Scottish, Welsh, or Northern Irish people who are also British who may have been offended.

Bell-ringer 2343 13 February: Here's a video of the follow-up story that has an explanation and apology from Mr. Anderson.


Blogger NCdt(II) Genest said...

I hate to say it, but from the outside looking in, it looks like every time one of your pilots screws up and goes blue-on-blue, at least some people jump in to defend them and proceed to crap all over the people who got shot at.

There seems to be a lack of knowledge--mostly on the part of civilians--of what other countries are doing in the WOT and have done in previous conflicts, and that will eventually grind down on the alliances with friendly countries. Most Canadian servicemen I know like working with Americans, but it's a drag when American citizens criticize what we (and the Brits, and everyone else) are doing. It just makes our servicemen ask "why do I bother trying to work with the Americans? They'll just crap all over me anyway."

I know it's not all Americans who are bad, especially those in the military (though some are arrogant pricks), but someone needs to step in and balance the naysayers out, or the allies' "cooperation" will eventually start to wane.

2/13/2007 12:36 PM

Blogger NCdt(II) Genest said...

Bubbleheads, you might want to update with the video of Mr. Anderson's apology. ( I'm not quite sure how much of an apology it is, but it's a gesture of somewhat good will, I guess.

2/13/2007 1:47 PM

Blogger Stuart said...

I'm a Brit living in the US and could easily dismiss Mr. Anderson's comments as an uninformed rant.

Sadly for America Anderson's understanding of the contribution of foriegn allies appears typical.

Even more crass was Senator Obama's comments belittling Australia's contribution to Iraq - "only" 1,400 [plus 500 in Afgahnistan]. He may have needed to respond to their PMs comments that Iraqi insurgents would welcome his election, but misses the point that for the small population size, Australia's 2/3 battalions aren't a small contribution.

Comments like Anderson's, and even more so, Obama's make it far harder for pro US Governments to sustain support for the WOT and other operations of joint interest.

Canada, Australia, Britian and other European countries are providing significant support. Many US Civilians don't appreciate that while America 'might' be able to go it alone this would require a major mobilization on America's part.

Worse, many American's don't appear to grasp the position their own military is in.

2/13/2007 10:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stuart- We Americans have been on the receiving end of alot of unflattering and sometimes downright rude comments by government officials, media and plain citizenry from many countries
including Britain. If you are that offended by the comments of one elderly man, I suggest that you are a bit thin skinned and need to develop a different outlook on life. As far as politicians, you have George Galloway (total prat)
who is much more offensive than Obama. Grow up and get over it.

2/13/2007 11:02 PM

Blogger Zoe Brain said...

Apology not accepted. He's a twit.

Every country has twits in, an I don't blame the USA for one idiot's uninformed bigotry. You'll find just as bad everywhere.

Ignore his initial remarks, and his words afterwards, unlike those fighting in Iraq, he's irrelevant.

2/14/2007 3:05 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Right now I think he's just a poor scared uninformed guy who wonders how the heck he got himself made into an international story. His 15 minutes are about up.

2/14/2007 6:31 AM

Blogger Stuart said...

Anon. Galloway is as far from becoming Prime Minister of the UK as you are. Your analogy is flawed...... As someone who is pro American it would be a great change from Bush if the US elected someone (Democrat or Republican)who can build relationships with other countries. Both the Australian Conservative and British Labour Governments have lost significant domestic support from backing the US. It will be harder to follow any US lead in the future.

Bubblehead your comments concering Anderson are probably spot on and it's easy to have some empathy for him.

2/14/2007 2:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

jejxcsgmStuart you are really an thinned skinned person. Obama does not have a chance of becomming President. You need to find something better to do with your life than trying to be offended.
Get a girlfriend and quit your crying.

2/14/2007 5:17 PM

Blogger Stuart said...

Anon. I Had a fun evening with my wife. Are you divorced or never married? The way you write I'd guess your getting up there in age.

I am not thin skinned (I don't give a hoot if you refer to the Queen of England as an inbred automaton or Blair as a poodle of the Bush family retard. I don't mind risking offence by reminding you of your presidential issues: elzeihmers patient guided by his horoscope - Ronald Reagan - at his best in good night to Bonzo, Nixon's unusual take on ethics or the sense of humor Clinton showed in defining a sexual act.

I tend to view politicians as probably the one group who could take lessons in ethics from used car salesman.

What's really important is that the US is being marganilized in the middle east, having it's military ground down, building a huge trade deficit with China and reducing its ifluence throughout the globe.

Obama is symptomatic - perhaps Hillary will fit the bill. I'd love to see the US turn aound it's issues. Your congress and senate provide no meaningful check on Presedential performance.

Whatever; there will be money to be made. Degraded American strength will allow other nations to fill the gap.

I have done well out of the US; globalization allows profits to be quickly moved and chances readily seized elsewhere.

The US has created anarchy in Iraq and debacles at home. Your electorate and politicians have one hell of a job to dig out of the current mess.

I am watching the current debacle with more of a hand on the wallet than wiping s tear from my eye!

2/14/2007 10:15 PM


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