On Wednesday, Secretary of Defense, and all around bad-ass Jim Mattis got a rousing view of the toughness of Indonesian troops, observing them as they drank the blood of snakes, walked on fire, rolled around on glass and shattered bricks with their heads.
One hooded Indonesian soldier sightlessly cut a cucumber in another soldier’s mouth; another blindfolded soldier shot a balloon placed precariously between another soldier’s legs. There was some luck involved, apparently; Reuters reported that one shot missed the target but no injury was reported.
In a rather unusual display of toughness, soldiers dropped snakes, including a King Cobra, near Mattis, and immediately cut off the snakes’ heads and drank their blood. One soldier went so far as to bite the head off a snake that was still alive.
According to The Washington Examiner, other troops smashed and shattered concrete blocks with their heads and battered burning blocks with their bare hands.
Mattis later told journalists, “You could imagine how much training went into each individual there, that they were able to do that. When you watch a force do that, many small things, perfectly, you can imagine that they can also put the bigger things together.”
The last demonstration was conducted to the music of “Mission Impossible” while the soldiers demonstrated a hostage rescue operation.
As the Examiner reports, “The Indonesian military is hoping to grow its relationship with the Pentagon after human rights abuses in the 1990s prompted the U.S. to impose restrictions on their relationship.” The Council of Foreign Relations wrote in 2005, “ … human rights groups still view the Indonesian military as a serial abuser of human rights. That set up a dilemma for Washington, which during the 1990s curbed severely its military ties with Indonesia’s armed forces, only to ramp it up again after the events of September 11, 2001.”
Special forces in Indonesia demonstrates to Mattis their ability to eat snakes. pic.twitter.com/I24p5adzsG
— Paul D. Shinkman (@PDShinkman) January 24, 2018
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