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Dec 07, 2010 04:51 # 46969

Bunk *** posts about...

The stark reality of warfare

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U.S. military videos, courtesy of Wikileaks. (Warning: the videos show real people killing other people. I watched a lot of the short (17 min) one, and it is difficult to watch. I've haven't seen anything this brutally real in a while, if ever.)

The incident: U.S. soldiers, from a helicopter, start shooting a group of people who are walking down the street, believing them to be enemy combatants. One is carrying a camera because he is a photo journalist (they mistook it for a weapon). Later the soldiers shoot up a van that comes to pick up a second journalist, who had survived the initial shooting. In the video, they watch him crawl around for a while before the van showed up, saying on the radio "c'mon, pick up a weapon", because then they'd be cleared to "engage again".

The U.S. military reviewed the incident, in which the two journalists (and a number of other people) were killed and two children were injured (they were in the van). They determined that no one was at fault. The video was classified.

I'm not familiar with the rules of engagement that the U.S. military aims to follow, so I can't say one way or another if they were adhered to in this video. Their actions do make some sense when you consider them in context. I think it shows how difficult a soldier's job is, and how easily you can kill the wrong people when playing with fire of this magnitude. The video gives me the impression that things like this are probably happening all the time.

By sharing this I'm not aiming to provoke shock and outrage or to demonize anyone. I just feel that this video is important to see, because it is unique and relevant to our times. Rarely is the reality of the War in Iraq so nakedly displayed.

"History is more or less bunk." - Henry Ford

Feb 10, 2011 03:35 # 47002

harold_maude *** replies...

Re: The stark reality of warfare

I just watched the a couple of the videos. It makes me hurt.

I know durring a declared war time terrible things happen that shouldn't. Seeing this and hearing the soilders testamony tells me that what is being done there is wrong.

This post was edited by harold_maude on Feb 10, 2011.

Feb 10, 2011 14:42 # 47005

harold_maude *** replies...

Re: The stark reality of warfare

I got into a discussion with someone last night about the videos. What was discussed was the nature of war. I'm not a huge fan of war. Because war is by it's very nature, about the darkest parts of human nature, hate, lust for power and the want to control someone else. Sometimes it's about exacting a pound of flesh (or as much as possible) because of the established tradition of an eye for an eye.

In war, the rules of polite society no longer apply. It's ok to kill another human, infact it's encouraged and rewarded.
This makes the way clear to do things like what was shown in the video. I'm sure that's one reason why war is compared to hell.

The only purpose of war is to win. The only reason to go to war that makes any sense at all, is when someone is making war on you first.
A different take on all of what war is, is this, that it's part of the process that normal for mankind as a kind of thinning the herds so to speak. I'm not fond of that view, but it would seem that mankind has no natural preditors to keep it in balance, so we've become the preditors of our own kind.

Feb 16, 2011 15:49 # 47011

Hawkeye *** replies...

Re: The stark reality of warfare

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It's the manifestation of "mob mentality" on a country level. How a peaceful protest can easily escalate into a full blown riot? Takes one taunt by the police to cause one protester to throw a rock to cause the police to retaliate with tear gas, etc. In other words, it's incredibly easy when tensions are high. In any ordinary situation, that policeman probably wouldn't have taunted anyone. The policeman probably has a wife and kids and wants only the well being of his country. The protester who threw the rock probably goes to church and tries to be a good christian. Yet in such a situation, people do not think with their own heads but rather with the head of the group.

War is declared and soldiers are sent to kill other human beings in a strange land. Why do they do it? Because everyone they know has told them that their country is great, and rather than put that in conflict, they decide it must be worth fighting for. However that puts them on the airplane to fight, that doesn't cause them to fight. What causes them to fight is the life or death situation in which again, tensions are high. At any moment, you half-way expect someone to peak around a corner and try to shoot you with a semi-automatic. So you naturally grip the trigger on your gun a little tighter, search for suspicious civilians with more attention, and interrogate the enemy with more ferocity. If it happens that a child runs around that corner rather than a soldier, your will to survive overrides any sense you would have had in a normal situation. So you shoot.

Not justifying war, but the soldiers who fight it are simply extensions of politicians who declared the war in their ignorance who will never have to know the names of people who died as a consequence to those decisions.

Like in all conflict, war is the result of a lack of understanding between two parties. If you want peace, you must educate the people.

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

Feb 17, 2011 17:37 # 47019

Disposable_Fishspastic *** replies...

Re: The stark reality of warfare

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A friend of mine served in the Afghan and Iraqi "war", although he said Iraq was not a war and a lot of horrible things happened there, he said they walked all over those people, i dread to think.

He also said before he was sent out they were "brainwashed" to a lesser degree to hate the enemy, this was through videos of terrorists and victims etc, they were trained to hate.

To relay a short account of some of his stories, his friend stood on a mine, lost both arms and legs and was cradeld in anothers arms during his last few minutes on earth, on another occasion he got mad at someone for shooting an innocent lady, only to discovery this lady had a bomb strapped to her.

You cant trust anyone in a war and it must really mess peoples minds up, even children may be in on an attack plan.

Some people can lose a conscience after war im sure, or at least during it, i have to say this video is appaling and its heartbraking see these guys murdered.

I did see another video very similiar a long time ago where the pilot was saying they wanted to engage and that a vechile had weapons, i was watching it thinking you bastard, these are innocent guys doing nothing wrong and your about to kill them, then, just as the helicopter started to shoot these guys grabbed RPG's of the back of their pick-up truck and tried to return fire, the helicopter crew got it right that time.

We will never know the real reason we "chose" to go to war?
I believe Iraq was a stepping stone to get closer to Iran and Pakistan.


Feb 18, 2011 16:14 # 47021

Hawkeye *** replies...

Re: The stark reality of warfare

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Yeah that's true. There are a lot of mind games which happen during war. It makes you want to blanket everything as hostile, because you've been given hundreds of reasons before to assume everything isn't as it seems. I can say I'm fortunate to not have been one of the soldiers sent to Iraq, because I can only imagine the type of things seen which cannot be unseen which take place in a war.

And as usual, the ones who made the decision to go to war are never the ones who fight that war. They ought to make a rule stating that politicians must be within at least 5 kilometers of the line of fire at all times. :)

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

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