Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fuck (some of) the troops.

It's too bad this video was released on the day Tiger Woods had a press conference because it got swallowed in the black hole of the news cycle.

This is a video of U.S. soldiers taking out what they think to be insurgents. As the video explains, what they think to be a gun turns out to be a camera held by a journalist.

I understand that it's very difficult to know what something is from a great distance. I understand that when a threat is posed during a war, that threat will be removed. I understand that there are probably twenty different things that happened right before this that led to the helicopters being in this position and the perceived necessity to fire. I have never been in any form of the military or in a situation like this, so I understand that there is a lot of things I don't understand.

That being said, this is fucked up. Listen to how eager the shooter is to shoot when the van pulls up. There is nothing that looks like a gun yet they can't wait to annihilate them. The celebration and light-hearted banter between the soldiers shows just how much they have been desensitized towards the Iraqis.

My main beef with branches of the military is this brainwashing and groupthink mindset. "Your enemies are not people. They are enemies." The van rolled up and the shooter only saw Iraqis, enemies. Even though they didn't have guns and were only helping wounded people, they were enemies. There was no thought to how the deaths of these people would affect family members, friends, or whatever. There was only the thought of, "enemy." Therefore, they were ripped apart by a giant gun in the sky.

A lot of people are stressing the fact that this video shows U.S. soldiers killing unarmed civilians. This is horrible, no doubt about it. But that is not the part that pissed me off the most. It's the dialogue. It's the blatant disregard for the people seen through the binoculars (or whatever they use these days).

"Let me engage. Can I shoot?" says one of the men while the van is being loaded with the wounded.

Does this not sound like a ten-year-old playing a video game? Is this what we get for giving young, immature men giant guns and telling them local, brown people are evil?

To be fair, I know not all soldiers are like the ones shown in the video. When the children are found at the end, two soldiers scoop them in their arms and literally run them to safety. Sure, they were eventually turned away, but it still doesn't dampen the compassion shown by these soldiers.

These are the soldiers that deserve those stupid, yellow magnets you see on the backs of minivans in suburbia. But to blindly support ALL troops means you also support the bratty kid with a fucking cannon unloading on a dude for trying to take pictures. And if you support that troop, you're a fucking asshole, too.


  1. I am not sure what the offical release from the Army is because the video is partial cut-off visually.

    The S.O.P. in the rules of engagement for this type of scenario are the use of minimum force and to interrogate the potential hostile. Rules that were COMPLETELY IGNORED; this was a below the belt strike.

    This SOP reflects the broader rules of war, namely proportionality.

    Imagine the logic of these troops on the scale of the nation-state. Most people will admit the world can be a dangerous place. When governments pose a threat to the U.S. we typically investigate via the CIA or UN inspectors.

    However, I think that anyone who supports the actions of these troops, supports disproportionality, which violates all notions of engaging in a 'just' war.

    They believe that if a country says "we don't like you", then the US has the right to turn their nation into a parking lot.

    It's like if a homeless guy looks at you wrong and, if you have AIDS, you poison him with your AIDS blood under the guise of offering him a meal.

    %100 insane.