Welcome to the true face of war.
When you start something as nightmarish as war, you open up the inevitability of atrocities, dead on all sides, the murder of innocents and the death of the souls of the perpetrators.
Wikileaks has just released video of the massacre of a dozen Iraqi civilians that shows the US military shooting civilians as sport. It is truly horrific. What sort of people can carry out such an insane cowardly act from the safety of their little cockpit screens?
The murdered men in this case include two men working for Reuters: a talented young war photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40. Two children were injured when rescuers tried to help the victims.
The Apache pilot's excuse is that the group were carrying weapons and were shooting. Yet Namir's bag, identified as weaponry, was actually his camera kit. Besides, possessing weapons is legal in Iraq. If you shot up all Americans with weapons in their home country you'd decimate the population.
The Pentagon fought to suppress the video but Wikileaks have now spread this far and wide.
The real criminals, of course, are the politicians, the arms industry and the banks that set this illegal war in motion and have made their money. It's no wonder that former Prime Minister Tony Blair tried to keep secret the fact that he's taken Iraqi oil money, and that's on top of the £2 million a year he's been given by the bank organising the pillaging of Iraq, J P Morgan. For me, this far exceeds the expenses scandal. Look on your handiwork and despair, Tony and Dubya.
For the media cheerleaders who supported the Iraq war, I'll let George Orwell have the last word:
Bullets hurt, corpses stink, men under fire are often so frightened that they wet their trousers ... A louse is a louse and a bomb is a bomb, even though the cause you are fighting for happens to be just ... If there was one thing that the British intelligentsia were committed to, it was the debunking version of war; the theory that war is all corpses and latrines and never leads to any good result. Well, the same people who in 1933 sniggered pityingly if you said that in certain circumstances you would fight for your country, in 1937 were denouncing you as a Trotsky-Fascist if you suggested that the stories in New Masses about freshly wounded men clamouring to get hack into the fighting might he exaggerated. And the Left intelligentsia made their swing over from "War is hell" to "War is glorious" not only with no sense of incongruity but almost without any intervening stage.
More at the Guardian and Independent. Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com (hat tip Nevin for the Greenwald link).