Tuesday, April 06, 2010

WikiLeaks video of 2007 Baghdad Massacre

This is grim, but this kind of incident is going to happen in war time. If you watch the full video as presented here, you clearly see in the first minutes (3:40 to 4:25) two men carrying AK-47s and one carrying something that looks very much like an RPG. These are distinct from the cameras slung over the shoulders of the two Reuters newsmen, who were unarmed. What is not clear is who the men with the weapons were -- possibly security guards -- or if the men with the weapons were hit, since they disappear behind buildings as the chopper circles. They may or may not be waiting for an approaching American Bradley accompanied by Hum-Vs. What is clear is that when the Apache opened fire, none of those in its sights had actual weapons in their hands, only cameras, and the decisions to hit the van trying to take the wounded away, and the treatment of the two children wounded inside the van looks truly shabby. The callousness of the dialogue in the air is typical of war as well. It would have been good to hear and see the reaction of the troops on the ground -- the ones trying to rescue the children -- when they heard they were supposed to turn them over to Iraqi forces, if those forces ever arrived. I do not think we would hear that same cynical tone.

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