Defending My Freedom to Write This Post

Here’s that WikiLeaks video, aptly titled “Collateral Murder,” that’s making the rounds.  I saw it on Scott Horton’s blog last night, and this morning NPR did a piece on it.  What’s striking about it, aside from the fact that it depicts several real people being mowed down by machine gun fire, is the casual, detached attitude of the soldiers doing the killing, the way they cheer each other on while they’re doing it and the way they talk about the actual human beings on the ground as if they were mere graphic images in a video game.

Of course, NPR, while acknowledging that the video is “troubling, riveting and sad,” did its best to downplay the sheer cold-bloodedness of it by portraying it as the regrettable kind of thing that happens in the “fog of war.”  The piece was also quick to point out, in the opening paragraph, that some weapons were found on the bodies, even though what the soldiers in the helicopter initially thought were guns turned out to be cameras (it’s hard to see when it’s so foggy, you know).

But the most despicable display of excuse-making comes from the soldiers themselves.  After the initial round of shooting, a van drives up to pick up one of the wounded men, and, after some back-and-forth on the radio to get permission to “engage” this deadly threat, the machine gun opens fire.  When ground soldiers arrive on the scene and discover two wounded children in the bullet-riddled van, one of the soldiers on the audio says, “Well, it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.”  To which another responds: “That’s right.”

So there you have it.  Bottomless self-justification.  What exactly constitutes a battle, you ask?  Why, it’s anytime we happen to start shooting, anywhere, for whatever reason.

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One thought on “Defending My Freedom to Write This Post

  1. i happen to agree wholeheartedly with this post. personally, i’m a lover not a fighter, and to take it a step further, i believe npr is a joke and their way of reporting these kinds of atrocities is somewhat passive, i.e.,they’re never critical of our government or talk about why the united states is really over in the middle east. i think chalmers johnson, daniel estulin, and john perkins(economic hitman) should be contributing commentators, thus expounding on topics such the military industrial complex and the petroleum industrial complex. keep up the good work joe!!!

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