Moral Outrage
Whew! God help us!

We’re murdering people in large numbers with high-tech savagery

What I thought of, straight off, as I watched that 17-minute WikiLeaks video of Iraqis – including a Reuters photographer and his driver – being strafed on a Baghdad street in 2007 by a U.S. helicopter:

For God’s sake, we’re killing people. We’re doing so in large numbers, with high-tech savagery. We aren’t even defending ourselves. We’ve invented an enemy out of whole cloth.

The war on terror was launched amid all its lies and cowardly righteousness in 2001. It didn’t matter then and it doesn’t matter now. Those who defend this war, or war in general have an endless supply of rationalizations that only make sense within a heavily fortified consciousness: a consciousness unable or afraid to cross the line demarking us and them, to ask, fleetingly, “What if those ‘dead bastards’ were my parents, my brothers, my children?”

Ask that and things start to change. It’s called empathy. Embrace it and you can no longer tolerate war –- not this kind of war, modern, impersonal, fought from above –- as a way to advance the interests of business and empire, or to make a geopolitical statement.

All the way up the chain of command, they’re “just doing their jobs”. And mainstream journalists will continue to describe those jobs unquestioningly within the parameters of the game.

[Even] the American Special Forces operation last February in Gardez, in which five civilians, including two pregnant women, were killed during a raid on what turned out to be a baby shower. The Americans, apparently realizing they’d screwed up, tried to give themselves deniability in the killings by digging their bullets out of some of the corpses, witnesses said.

[Excerpt of an article by Robert Koehler]


5 Responses to “We’re murdering people in large numbers with high-tech savagery”

  1. April 18, 2010 Update – Two former soldiers from the Army unit responsible for the Wikileaks “Collateral Murder” incident have written an open-letter of “Reconciliation and Responsibility” to those injured in the July 2007 attack, in which U.S. forces wounded two children and killed over a dozen people, including the father of those children and two Reuters employees.

    Ethan Mccord and Josh Stieber deployed to Baghdad with Bravo Company 2-16 in 2007. Ethan was on the ground at the scene of the shooting, and is seen on the video rushing one of the injured children to a U.S. Vehicle; “When I saw those kids, all I could picture was my kids back home”.

    Josh Stieber was not at the scene of the shooting but says similar incidents happened throughout his 14-month tour; “The acts depicted in this video are everyday occurrences of this war.”

    Ethan and Josh claim that though their unit was following the Rules of Engagement that day, they are taking responsibility for their role in the incident and initiating a dialogue around it; “Though we have acted with cold hearts far too many times, we have not forgotten our actions towards you. Our heavy hearts still hold hope that we can restore inside our country the acknowledgment of your humanity, that we were taught to deny.”

  2. A former US Army specialist, who was part of the same unit that killed Iraqi civilians from a helicopter in 2007, says dehumanization is part of basic US army training.

    Josh Steiber explained the three years he spent in the US Army before he asked to be released as a conscientious objector. Steiber said “the dehumanizing of people from other countries” was the main reason that he quit the Army.

    “As far back as basic training, we were singing songs as we were marching around, joking about killing women and children,” he told the Press TV correspondent in Washington.

  3. The Enemy has a Psychological way of making Us feel inferior, to The Human Loses. War Kills People. We have a Moral Right to Protect the People that are Being Killed, even if we do screw up once in a while. Where is Perfection in War? There is only one answer, Death. Either Us or them. Terrorists are making it so hard for Our Forces, to do the Intel work that is necessary, to keep Us from killing innocent Civilians, and then at the Same Time, Blow up the bazaars, as well as The Gatherings and Meeting Places, with Impunity. From The Media because the Terrorists have more rights than Our Soldiers, as well as the Innocent Muslim People, that are Truly the Victims of this War. How do The Masses feel the Public in America, or any Democracy would handle this? In Our Own Country? Yeah we have a Good reason To Protect and Save Our Allies from This Evil Regime, and We have succeeded in Turning the Muslim Population from The Lies of Islamic Terrorism, but we have to work on the Lies of astigmatism against the Blades of Truth. The Truth will set Us Free. 911 wasn’t a Conspiracy of American Origin, it was a Conspiracy of Islamic Jihad, that claimed The Kingdoms of Islam. The lie has no Power.

    • Please explain the mental linkage of your statement about the U.S. invading Iraq: “911 wasn’t a Conspiracy of American Origin, it was a Conspiracy of Islamic Jihad”.

      Are you saying that Iraq was responsible for 911? And that secular Iraq –at that time– was the center of conspiracy of this Islamic Jihad?

      And how watching the video in this post taking place in Iraq led to your rationale that “we have a moral right to protect the people being killed”? Further do you really believe that the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the subsequent handling of that country that “We have succeeded in Turning the Muslim Population from The Lies of Islamic Terrorism”??

      I agree that the Truth will make us free, but a prerequisite for that to take place is to start with some facts. And I for one have a hard time accepting yours.

  4. […] weeks ago, when he gave press interviews to promote the website’s release of an explosive 2007 video of an American helicopter attack in Baghdad that left 12 people dead, including two employees of the news agency […]

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