Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The Aftermath of War

Kevin Drum's Political Animal has a post up about an Apache Helicopter video. The footage, months old now, has hit the tv airwaves in Europe and Canada. It's pretty barbaric - chunks of body flesh just flying into the Iraq desert like a waterfall - literally. It's like someone did a canonball (no pun intended) into a swimming pool, but instead of water splashing, it's human flesh and blood.

One of the comments was kind of striking:

The actual targets here are the vehicles, hence, "hit 'em, hit the truck and hit him." Does this give the pilot the right to shoot a blatantly critically wounded Iraqi? No.

Of course, with the calliber of weapon being used (most likely a 25mm chain gun, or someting to that affect) firing on him a second time most likely saved him a few hours of agony before a innevitable death.

This does not excuse these actions, but lets face it, these are kids on the ground, and college frat boys in the air. This sort of thing happens CONSTANTLY in wartime. We just now have the technology to see it.

I watched a 22 year old kid shoot a surrendering Iraqi in the chest once, because he was pissed that the guy had just been shooting at us. This kid was a great guy in garrison. Kind, helpfull, motivated... but in combat.... War fucks with your head, and makes you do things you regret.

I know he regreted his behavior in Iraq, because he shot himself this past January.

Posted by: loki on May 5, 2004 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

The whole 'soldier kills self after return from war' thing is pretty well-known in some circles, but it's usually not in your face like this. Half the country doesn't want to know anything about the real cost of this war - I guess either because they'll feel guilty, or they figure it'll hurt Bush's standing, or maybe just because it might force them to challenge their long-held beliefs about the glamourous nature of war - orrrrrrrr, maybe because they're afraid they might start to agree with those lilly-livered liberals about war being not-so-much-fun. This comment is powerful because it's a first-person account by a military person ('loki' has a '.mil' email address).

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