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Upsetting footage - The Ex-Communicator

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April 6th, 2010


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07:39 pm - Upsetting footage
Yesterday I watched the video of Iraqi people being gunned down in the street, and I thought about posting it here, and then I didn't because I thought it would be too upsetting. When I watched it yesterday Youtube 'views' were less than 400, now they are nearly two million. I think that increasing the number of people who have seen it is a good idea. However, be aware you see real people being killed, and their bodies run over by tanks.

What you see at the end is a man who was driving past, taking his children to a language class (it turns out) in a van, when he sees the final survivor crawling in the gutter. He stops to lift the dying man into the back of his van, and the soldiers open fire on him, kill him and wound his children. They then say 'it's their fault for bringing their kids into a battle'.

bbc story here
metafilter discussion here
Crooked Timber here

Respect to Youtube for not taking it down, and to wikileaks for sourcing it.

(11 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:lamentables
Date:April 6th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
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The Online Photographer celebrates and Iraqi photographer, working for Reuters, who died in that incident.
[User Picture]
From:iainjcoleman
Date:April 6th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)
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The best article to read about this is this one by Glenn Greenwald.



But there's a serious danger when incidents like this Iraq slaughter are exposed in a piecemeal and unusual fashion: namely, the tendency to talk about it as though it is an aberration. It isn't. It's the opposite: it's par for the course, standard operating procedure, what we do in wars, invasions, and occupation. The only thing that's rare about the Apache helicopter killings is that we know about it and are seeing what happened on video. And we're seeing it on video not because it's rare, but because it just so happened (a) to result in the deaths of two Reuters employees, and thus received more attention than the thousands of other similar incidents where nameless Iraqi civilians are killed, and (b) to end up in the hands of WikiLeaks, which then published it. But what is shown is completely common.

[User Picture]
From:hawkeye7
Date:April 6th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
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Agreed. That's absolutely right.

They mistook the TV camera for an RPG. I might easily have made the same mistake myself. Moreover, I recall how Australian Army training used to emphasise the role of children as combatants, as this was common in Vietnam.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:April 6th, 2010 10:52 pm (UTC)
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I think the first mistake you (let us say - you or other person of basic decency) may have made. The rest, no, I don't think you would have so little humanity.

(ETA - citing the very long delay between firing and impact of the bullets, people are saying the helicopter was a mile from the targets, which means they were in no conceivable danger at any point from an RPG)

I agree though that this is standard procedure for an occupying army controlling a hostile population. The control is entirely through the use of force, the local population is entirely subject and demeaned.

Edited at 2010-04-06 11:24 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:hawkeye7
Date:April 7th, 2010 03:31 am (UTC)
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Armies have a large repertoire of means of controlling hostile populations. A major British criticism of the Americans was that, by training and doctrine, they were too inclined to use force. But many other ways have been employed, including civic, political and psychological means. Another common (but controversial) one in Iraq was economic, ie bribing the locals to behave themselves.
[User Picture]
From:hawkeye7
Date:April 7th, 2010 03:54 am (UTC)
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people are saying the helicopter was a mile from the targets, which means they were in no conceivable danger at any point from an RPG
Better be dead sure that it is not really one of these then, which have a range of over two miles.
[User Picture]
From:hafren
Date:April 7th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
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What's an RPG?
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:April 7th, 2010 01:47 pm (UTC)
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Rocket-propelled grenade. Like a bazooka thing. They are designed to take out tanks I think, but they could be used against helicopters. The argument is that the journalist's telephoto lens looked as if he were aiming an RPG at the helicopter.
[User Picture]
From:hawkeye7
Date:April 7th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)
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ручной противотанковый гранатомёт which translates as "handheld antitank grenade launcher", but normally rendered as "rocket propelled grenade" so the Russian abbreviation (рпг) matches the English one (RPG). They are an antitank weapon, but very effective against softer vehicles. The latest RPG-29 has successfully penetrated the Chobham armour of British tanks. Although they can and have shot down helicopters, they are not intended for this. However they are readily available, having been supplied in large numbers to armies around the world. There may be a confusion in this case with the SA-7, a heat seeking handheld antiaircraft missile, which is a major threat to helicopters and aircraft.
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From:tracey_jane
Date:April 7th, 2010 07:26 am (UTC)
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I won't watch it, your description is enough for me. It is good that this atrocity has been made public. How long ago did it happen?
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:April 7th, 2010 07:28 am (UTC)
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I think there's no need to watch it to know it's bad. Part of the reason I didn't post it when I first saw it was that I was upset myself. It was filmed three years ago.

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