I’ve watched that video clip of the American Apache helicopter murdering civilians, two of whom were a journalist and her driver, in Baghdad a couple of times recently. Each time I watch it, it gets worse. There is something that is is such a contrast between the disciplined request “Permission to engage?” and the callous disregard for human life displayed by what I presume to be a very young soldier. No, calling him a soldier insults all soldiers. Soldiers face the enemy, and risk getting killed. This guy is just a technician. He’s sitting back about a quarter of a mile away, with technology doing all his work for him. All he has to do is push the button. I’m not going to call him a soldier. He’s like those drone operators in America, thousands of miles away from any danger, who kill people half way around the world. Somehow America has found a way to filter out humanity and create killers with no conscience who can be trained to hold back until unleashed, but who actively itch to be unleashed and allowed to kill.
The language use is also instructive. “Come on. Light ‘em all up.” Not “Kill them in cold blood.” but something that sounds more like setting off a Fourth of July fireworks display.
“We’ve just engaged with all eight individuals.” Is this kind of one sided slaughter really engagement?
And what is his comment when he learns that he’s murdered children? “Serves them right for bringing kids to a battle.” A battle? This was a battle? No, this was not a battle. This was a cold blooded massacre. Does this kid think he’s a glorious fighter for democracy?
So many questions flood my mind when I watch this clip: What kinds of filters does the military put on its training to get rid of people with any sense of humanity or compassion? How do they test their recruits, and find the ones who have no heart, the real killers, the sociopaths?
I imagine this murderer, this heartless, compassion free, monster going back to America. He finds a girlfriend. He gets married. He goes into business. He’s a hero, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. He gets respect. He’ll probably be very successful. How many people will recognize him as the monster that he is?
Since this clip has been released, and gone viral, will he be able to hide from his past, from what he’s revealed himself to be? Will he laugh it off. Will he strut and wear that T-shirt about loving to kill, loving to hear the wailing of the widows and children? Will he turn to alcohol and drugs? Or will he go to church every Sunday, and make sure the kids go too?
Well, who cares about him? My question is, how do we protect society from rapacious killers when we have an institution that filters them out of the population, trains them, rewards them, and then sends them home to blend in among the good people we see all around us.
If anybody thinks we don’t need Wikileaks, they should watch that video clip a few times. Then think about what we know, what we don’t know, and what we will never discover without organizations like Wikileaks shedding light on behavior that should sicken us all.