Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The "WikiLeaks" Video and "Jarhead"

A couple of days ago I posted a youtube link to Bobby McFerrin's song "Don't Worry, Be Happy" because it's been stuck in my head (for a week now!) after hearing it over and over as my partner watched the movie "Jarhead" over and over to critique the film for an English class.

Well, last night I saw the infamous "WikiLeaks" video of the cowardly murder of Iraqi civilians by some US-American morons in an "Apache Helicopter" which provided me with a vindication of the theme of "Jarhead."

A lot of people took "Jarhead" the wrong way. They got the impression that the movie is asking us to feel sorry for US-American soldiers who don't get to kill anybody. That wasn't the point of the film. The point of the film was that the US military (the Marines in the case of "Jarhead") trains young men (and now women!) to become killers. It teaches them to dehumanize their enemies and it pumps them up to want to kill them. The main character becomes obsessed with the desire to see "the pink mist" a pseudo-erotic description of the explosion of somebody's head when a sniper's bullet blasts their skull apart.

What I got from the film was that the political-economic system that produces these murderers and wannabe murderers is an elite-controlled, vapid, childish one. An enormously powerful one though, but vapid just the same. And the young people who are destroyed so that they can be turned into killers believe in an incoherent mish-mash of equally childish values and morals that really doesn't help them after they've been released back on the streets having either murdered in war or just been conditioned to want to kill people.

Well, recently, we all got to see the real deal, thanks to the group WikiLeaks, there's video from 2007 from a U.S. Apache helicopter showing them attacking a group of Iraqi men (some armed) that ended up killing two Reuters photojournalists. In the video, after blasting the group of men (all in civilian clothes) they then shoot again at the wounded, trying to crawl away. Then, when only one wounded man is still alive, a van shows up and the men inside, seeing a human being bleeding to death in the gutter, attempt to put him in the van obviously hoping to take him to a hospital. This action inspires the US-American shitheads to open fire on the van, killing the good samaritan, who turned out to have two of his children in the van. They were wounded. For reasons known only to that person's own withered soul, a base-commander tells the soldiers that the children cannot be taken to a US military hospital, but are to be handed over to the Iraqi police to take to an Iraqi hospital.

You can hear in the soundtrack of the video the comments of the US-Americans raining death from the sky, making moronic comments, similar to the drivel uttered by the characters in "Jarhead." The soldiers, who had been laughing and gloating during the slaughter become somewhat reticent upon seeing the wounded children, but then, like the moronic pieces-of-shit they are, babble: "That's what you get for bringing your kids to a battle."

A "battle"? The van showed up five minutes after the 20 seconds of sporadic 30 mm fire from the helicopter. It was probably blocks away when the "battle" occurred.

Glenn Greenwald and John Caruso both do a great job of explaining why this stuff isn't an "aberration" (as cowardly, hypocritical idiots always try to do) but quite common and an inevitable outcome of war. Which is just what "Jarhead" says.

I can't stress enough that you should read both the Greenwald and the Caruso links.

By the way, if I'm saying that the actions of those US-American soldiers was the inevitable byproduct of their conditioning, then why am I simultaneously trashing them as "morons," "cowards," "shit-heads" and etc.? Because that's what they are.

And I'd be more than prepared to tell them that to their faces. So long as I can have a crew of Iraqis, trained to fly and fire from Apache helicopters, a fully-armed and fuelled Apache helicopter, and full immunity for whatever happens. I'll speak to them through loudspeakers and they can shout their responses through a bull-horn, and maybe take pictures of the helicopter with the cameras that sort of look like weapons.

If that's "cowardly" of me, ... well, I already said that it was.

Edited to add: Some idiots are blithering that because some of those Iraqi men were armed, they were obviously terrorists who deserved to die. Let's remember, the bush II regime invaded Iraq on lies about weapons of mass destruction, while a lot of US-Americans are deluded into thinking that Iraq was behind 9-11. A part of the invasion has included the US-American Christian-fascist-racist "Blackwater" mercenaries who are alleged (and their actions seem to corroborate this) to be driven by a desire to kill as many Muslims as they possibly can. If anybody has a right to be walking around with weapons in Iraq, it's Iraqis. Aside from that though, maybe they were Al Qaeda. Maybe they were Sunni insurgents. Or maybe they were Shiite militias (the ones who were helping the US-American invaders fight the insurgency). Or maybe they were private bodyguards in that violent society. Who knows?


Alison said...

I don't see the relevance of whether any of the people on the street were armed. Even doctors in Iraq carry arms.

thwap said...

I certainly didn't see it as a justifiable cause for opening fire.

But, again, some of the numb-nuts are trying to use it as a justification for that mass slaughter. They go so far as to claim that US forces had come under small arms fire in another part of the town and therefore this helicopter gunship crew had cause to believe they'd found the insurgents.

It doesn't sound probable that insurgents would fire upon US forces and then re-group a few blocks away to saunter around in the middle of the street.

There needs to be a lot more investigation into what happened, but the US military has already claimed that shooting the wounded, shooting people helping the wounded, is within their rules of engagement.

Then they want everybody to cry because Omar Khadr allegedly threw a grenade that killed a medic.

By US logic, that helicopter gunship crew should be in a torture chamber right now, facing indefinite detention until such time as a farcical trial can convict them of something.

Alison said...

Wait. If shooting people milling about in the street, armed or not, was "justifiable cause", and shooting unarmed rescuers was within their ROE, then releasing the tape would have vindicated their actions. Why then did the US military refuse to release the tapes to Reuters under the FOI?
They can't have it both ways.

And yes I realize this is obviously not your position.

Btw, have you been following this?