Yesterday, the Department of Defense announced a new initiative in a press release on how "Coalition Service Members Reach Out to America Via YouTube." The Multi-National Force - Iraq YouTube Channel promises subscribers delivery of content of the following kinds:
What you will see on this channel in the coming months:
- Combat action
- Interesting, eye-catching footage
- Interaction between Coalition troops and the Iraqi populace.
- Teamwork between Coalition and Iraqi troops in the fight against terror.
They also specify what will be prohibited to viewers.
What we will NOT post on this channel:
- Sexual content
- Overly graphic, disturbing or offensive material
- Footage that mocks Coalition Forces, Iraqi Security Forces or the citizens of Iraq.
So you can forget about seeing footage from award-winning documentaries with soldiers' hand-held footage, such as The War Tapes, in which soldiers curse Halliburton for assigning them to guard a truck full of cheesecakes. You also apparently won't see YouTube clips of military personnel watching people having sex or taunting children with bottles of water.
My favorite online video from the troops has to be this one, which really humanizes soldiers (and shows that they know how to dance). Like many soldier-directed videos, of course, it takes certain liberties with the intellectual property of the recording industry.