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Dirtbike Vanguard Deployment

Keep on truckin', convoy!
  [vote for,

One major problem plaguing our convoys in Iraq is the use of children by insurgent forces to stand in the middle of the road, forcing the lead driver in the convoy to make a terrible decision: run the child down, or slow down and make the convoy an easy target for RPG attacks. Sadly, but understandably, the ploy almost always works, the convoy slows to avoid running down the child, and the insurgents hiding in ambush have an easy target to shoot at.

I think there's a solution to this problem.

In the midst of the convoy, dodging constantly between the trucks and combat vehicles in a dizzying weave to make a very difficult target for snipers, an elite cadre of motorcycle troopers ride, on military dirtbikes. When a child is spotted in the road ahead, a Cycle Knght sprints out ahead of the convoy, and leans over and grabs the child, ala Indiana Jones, spiriting the child to safety and getting him/her out of the way so the convoy needn't slow and be exposed to attack.

21 Quest, Sep 30 2007


       If it can be done with motor vehicles, they've tried it. You should know this, veteran.
normzone, Sep 30 2007

       You'd think so... but I've never heard of this being attempted. Any reason it couldn't work?
21 Quest, Oct 01 2007

       Yeah. If the bike's moving slow enough for it's rider to safely grab a child, it's also moving slowly enough for the child to dodge it. YOU try grabbing with an outstretched arm something that weighs 60/70lbs when you're travelling at speed. Not good, especially for the child, i'd imagine.
Murdoch, Oct 01 2007

       A little taken aback by the 'almost' in there, but sounds good otherwise. Would the rider then not become the first target of snipers though?
the dog's breakfast, Oct 01 2007

       They could always employ cowboy and Indian stunt people on horseback.
skinflaps, Oct 01 2007

       What about a Nerf-based cow-catcher?

       *That* sounds like a half-baked idea!

       <dammit> From Wikipedia: Homer, on a The Simpsons episode, described a car of his design as "powerful like a gorilla, yet soft and yielding like a NERF ball"</dammit>
Jinbish, Oct 01 2007

       All this "insurgents" stuff is crap. I suppose an illegal occupying army's okay, is it?
Murdoch, Oct 01 2007

       <wingnut> It's ok if it is ours. USA! USA! USA!</wingnut>

       Sigh. I love my country, I despise my leadership, I am ashamed of our actions.
Galbinus_Caeli, Oct 01 2007

       How about a large, sponge, tapered wedge at the front of the vehicle? Any children would fall onto the sponge and roll forwards. No great velocity problem as they're only being rolled up the wedge. Add sufficient amounts of velcro to secure child should that be suitable.
vincevincevince, Oct 01 2007

       I thought about the wedge...

       //I suppose an illegal occupying army's okay, is it?//

       Define illegal. We officially declared war and won. Declaring war, however immoral it might be, isn't illegal. Also, in case you hadn't noticed, we're not fighting soldiers in uniform, the Iraqi military is on our side. What we're fighting is Iraq's version of America's stubborn hillbilly populaion, armed to the teeth, not very bright, and damned if they'll go down without a fight, to Hell with right or wrong.

       Seriously Murdoch, how can you defend people who force a child to walk in front of a moving vehicle?
21 Quest, Oct 01 2007

       Pain gun. Sorry, but it's supposedly harmless and irresistable.
GutPunchLullabies, Oct 01 2007

       //America's stubborn hillbilly population, armed to the teeth, not very bright//

       It's a nice day here in the Ozarks, thanks. :)
baconbrain, Oct 01 2007

       //Seriously Murdoch, how can you defend people who force a child to walk in front of a moving vehicle?//
I don't suppose he can [21], but why don't you have a go at defending (morally, not legally) a war begun on a false premise intended to chase oil and direct attention away from Bush and co's bungling of Afghanistan, Al Quaeda etc, fought at cost of ignoring serious security threats elsewhere (Islamic terror, N.Korea etc), executed without a plan for the post-war reconstruction and inciting terrorism elsewhere (UK, 7/7 attacks notably).

Back on topic, elite motorcycle troops sound very cool indeed, but I share the concerns re. difficulties with scooping a kid up at speed. How about adding a sidecar with a wide, padded opening at the front? If it's designed correctly, it might be possible to hit the kid with enough speed to make it impossible for them to dodge and scoop them into the sidecar without major injury.
DocBrown, Oct 01 2007

       I'm not defending the war at all! I never have! I'm defending the soldiers who are stationed there and have no choice in the matter except desert and face a life on the run or go to prison for defying orders. Soldiers who signed up to defend their home and instead found themselves forced into invading someone else's. But just because we went there for the wrong reasons doesn't justify what the insurgent forces have done and are continuing to do today. Using children in a war CANNOT be justified, explained, pardoned, or condoned, and every time it is done they give us another reason to wipe them off the face of the planet. They're no better than the VietCong.

       Back on topic, suffering slight injury from being grabbed at speed is a better fate than being ground under the wheels of a convoy truck or hit by flying shrapnel from the ambush, I think. Although a specially-designed sidecar might work... not a bad idea, Doc!

       And GutPunch, by "pain gun" were you referring to the Active Denial System, which uses a focused energy beam to make your skin feel like it's on fire? 500 yard range, very practical for this application. I've thought about those, but they've been banned from use in Iraq because of fears that they'll be used for torture. That was actually my first choice for solutions to this problem, but they're not allowed.... stupid, I know. Those things would save so many lives...
21 Quest, Oct 01 2007

       I just don't understand how people can be so condemning of guerilla fighting. I've put some thought into it and I really can't see how I'd react differently in a similar situation. If Indonesia were to invade here for whatever reason, you can bet your sweet bippy I'd be the first bugger out there ambushing convoys, slitting officers throats, making IED's, the lot.

       If my country's army wasn't sufficient, or whatever, I wouldn't just fold up and accept defeat. The attitude seems to be that if America or whoever decide it's ok to roll in, and if they sign some form to say they've declared war, well then the civilians are supposed to go along with it and be grateful to boot.

       I'm not defending anyone's political agenda here, far from it. Most of these groups are pretty horrendous by my standards. But it's simply not cool to declare someone's agenda invalid just because it doesn't align with yours. People seem to think that if you are involved with the fighting, then unless you're in an official military uniform then you're a terrorist. I just don't buy it.

       In these circumstances, a terrorist isn't, if they're operating on their own soil, attacking an invading army. Their motives might not be okay with our ideals, but that doesn't make them any less valid.

       sorry, bad day here. rant, rant, blah blah.
Custardguts, Oct 01 2007

       Custard, I've nothing against guerilla warfare, ambush tactics, etc. It's how we beat the Brits (sorry to bring up a sore subject) and won our independence. What I object, vehemently, to is the use of children as psychological weapons. You can't use children to stop convoys, then object and throw a hissy fit on international television and use it as justification for your actions when the soldiers in the convoys choose to live and run the child down. If you don't want the child killed in the war, keep them out of it. Accidents from misdirected ordinance are one thing, and I'm not defending that. Deliberately placing your child in the targeting reticule is quite another, and you've nobody to blame but yourself.

       And sorry 'bout your bad day, mate. I've had quite a few of those lately. Would've called out sick all last week if I wasn't so far behind on bills and needed the money.
21 Quest, Oct 01 2007


       <faint, whining voice of reason>

       Listen, bakers, let's keep this in perspective: we may or may not think it was a really bad idea to send the coalition armies to Iraq in the first place, but none of us is keen to see them dying there, right?

       This idea is clearly intended to be a non-cruel way of having fewer soldiers die. I'm not bunning it, because I don't think it would work, but it's not really an occasion for us to vent on the wider issues of the war, is it? I mean, the people this idea is trying to protect are not responsible for the dubious legal status of their mission.

       </faint, whining voice of reason>
pertinax, Oct 01 2007

       <nursing sore wrist after having it smacked>

       cool, cool.

Custardguts, Oct 01 2007

       See what I started. The USA has gone to war (and lost) for less.

       Should I just shut up?
Murdoch, Oct 02 2007

       //Why is everyone taking this out of context?//
I think it might be because of the bit where you said:

"Define illegal. We officially declared war and won...how can you defend people who force a child to walk in front of a moving vehicle"

It's just really hard not to get swept up in a discussion of how gigantically fucked-up the situation is. I'm bunning this because the intentions are good and with a tweak or two (scoop, sidecar, whatever) I think it would be worth a try - certainly better than squishing kids or condemning convoys to death.
DocBrown, Oct 02 2007

       Murdoch, give it a rest already. Keep stiring up shit and I'll delete your annos.
21 Quest, Oct 02 2007

       Whatever, this idea isn't about politics, it's about protecting children and soldiers. Give the political crap a fucking rest! This isn't the place for it. I'm deleting the next anno that mentions politics and/or has nothing to with the idea itself.
21 Quest, Oct 02 2007

       //Not really too hot on debate, are you 21?// Now that's just trollish, [Murdoch]. Of course the situation is //gigantically fucked-up//, but that is the fault neither of [21 Quest] nor of his idea. Furthermore, you are not going to un-fuck the situation by yelling at bakers.

       Take a trip to ARRRRRGH'S or the Anger Gym, and come back when you feel better.
pertinax, Oct 03 2007

       How about fleets of ice-cream vans to attract the children away?
I can see the unit idents - 21st Brigade Ben & Jerry's.
Problem is, the drivers would all be desserters.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Oct 08 2007

       //you are not going to un-fuck the situation by yelling at bakers//

       I pooped a little laughing at this

       As to the idea, what about a Nerf cow-catcher
evilpenguin, Oct 08 2007

       [evilpenguin], [jinbish] already did that one, up there ^^^
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Oct 08 2007

       He actually DID delete my annos.

       Twerp, he muttered indignantly.
Murdoch, Oct 23 2007


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