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Collateral Murder

I watched the video Collateral Murder, the release from Wikileaks that shows two journalists (and about eight others) being shot and killed by American soldiers in Apache helicopters. After being shot, a van arrives to help one of the surviving journalists, and the men helping are killed, and their children wounded.

The video is spaced with quotes from high end military, spinning the report at the time to say that their men had been caught in a military conflict, that no innocents--outside the children--were hurt, and it's clear, in the video, that the words are spin, lies, and so on and so forth. In fact, the whole video is really quite awful, since there's nothing in it that suggests that the men who are killed are a danger to anyone. The worse part, however, as I was watching it was my own reaction. Yes, it was awful, I thought, but I'd seen the like of it before. The video of a child being killed by Israeli soldiers in Palestine comes to mind immediately, but there are more. Videos and stories of innocent people being killed, the government lying about it, and the world slowly moving on, not phased by either. I struggled, as I watched this video to feel a sense of outrage, or even to be appalled. Instead, I felt it simply reinforcing the fact that I think innocent people are killed every day, that governments lie and cheat, that if you're a regular person you ought to just sit down, watch some TV, and try and not make waves or be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It's the wrong attitude to have, I know, and even if people think that it is alright to think it, I'd rather not. But it's an easy thing, I thought, after watching the video. Easy to think that this is the world, this is how it is, and this is why I'm going to tell you about the new Doctor Who.

Well, not me.

I hate that show on principle.



Apr. 6th, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC)
Clearly you simply don't understand the rules of engagement. If there's not a red cross or crescent on the relief vehicle, it's fair game. If you can't tell whether the relaxed, unthreatening gathering of people has weapons or not, it's your duty to assume they're armed and dangerous -- better safe than sorry. And if someone's been shot from on high and is attempting to crawl to safety, you'd better assume he's really trying to find a pistol with which to attack your helicopter in a last stand of defiance.
Apr. 7th, 2010 09:27 am (UTC)
yeah, i'm clearly not educated enough for this stuff.
Apr. 7th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah, those cameras really looked like weapons to me. Sigh. I'd really wanna check first before I had someone's death on my hands...but you know, I'm all soft and stuff.