Monday, April 5, 2010

In Our Name

If anyone wonders why print media is dead, and cable tv "news" a screamfest waste of time, that's because the real reporters and journalists are online. WikiLeaks has already established itself as one of the best, and the decryption of this video should be, as Glenn Greenwald has exhorted, required viewing for every American. It is a video of an attack in Baghdad a few years ago by American forces, in which on upwards of a dozen-plus civilians were murdered by our soldiers, including a Reuters reporter and his driver. It is harrowing, chilling, and utterly soul-wrenching--the side of war not shown in our video games but extolled as virtuous by the armchair phonies who care more about the lives of fetuses than the living souls in the recalcitrant foreign nations that they would just as soon turn into a permanent desert.

And yes, I am aware this is only one of many massacres we have committed, but there is something about this video that strikes at the heart of the vileness of this war. A particularly upsetting part for me personally, other than the sight of trained soldiers who cannot tell the difference between a camera and an RPG (as though they were looking for an excuse to slaughter people that day), is the callousness at purposely wounding children by blaming them for being there. It is true evil and that evil is us. And it should affect every American who watches this because it is being done in our name by our soldiers and on our tax dollar. This is the kind of so-called citizens we have produced, a collection of trained, dehumanized murderers, fed by the masturbatory kick of killing innocent people and loading bullets into children. And these young men were put there by us, our government, trained to commit these crimes (their patriotism twisted into this line of work), and then covered for by the officers who lied about the massacre as being a 'battle with insurgents,' knowing full and well it was not.

We rebelled against the British and threw them out of this country over much less than what we did in eastern Baghdad on the afternoon of July 12, 2007. By contrast, the Boston massacre seems tame. When we send the most violently reactionary elements of our country in uniform to these countries, and they commit these kinds of crimes, we cannot pretend by putting our heads in the sand or calling it some unfortunate mistake. We bear a responsibility for this crime by voting in the government who implemented the policy, and that to me is the part that angers and and grates at me. Those victims were murdered under my flag.

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