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Pet Peeve: Up in arms over a dog video

world Updated: Mar 09, 2008 01:24 IST
Sachin Kalbag

The wise statistician once said that you can prove anything with statistics. So, here’s a bit of trivia: In 2007, the world spent $45.12 billion of pet food. India’s defence spending allocation in this year’s Budget is $26 billion. Clearly, then, going by the wise statistician’s theory, the world loves dogs and cats more than guns and missiles.

That explains, perhaps, the global uproar over a US Marine Corps soldier’s totally heinous act of throwing an eight-week-old puppy down a cliff in Iraq. The video, shot over a year ago but posted last week on YouTube, shows the soldier — 23-year-old David Motari (now posted at the Hawaii military base) — holding the puppy by its neck at the edge of a cliff, posing for the camera, and then throwing it down a valley with the animal yelping.

Although there was some speculation over whether the video was authentic, Motari has confessed on his page that he is indeed sorry for what he has done, and that he did throw the dog to its death. The video has sparked off such adverse reaction from all over the world that Motari’s parents and girlfriend have received death threats on social networking sites under the soldier’s profile.

Consequently, Motari has had to disconnect their phones, and reportedly, the family is in a state of shock.

The US Marine Corps has launched an investigation, saying that it “is a shocking and deplorable video that is contrary to the high standards that we set for every Marine.” Many other videos surfaced soon after this one was put up claiming that the Motari video might be fake.

One video even suggested that the original video was edited to create the yelping sound and that the dog was dead when the video was shot.

“Why is the yelping sound so clear and consistent, when the video quality itself is so bad,” asked one YouTuber. Motari, or at least the man claiming to be Motari on his MySpace page, says that the horrible and difficult conditions during war make people do weird things. Perhaps, but does your list of “weird things” involve throwing a cute puppy down into a valley?