Sunday, January 18, 2004


I try to avoid posting about the Iraq war here since it's usually well covered but this showed up in the inbox in the last few days and does not seem to have been widely circulated.

Video download (WARNING: some viewers may find this material disturbing)

Heed the warning, I found the footage to be extremely disturbing indeed. It wasn't even so much watching the men being killed as it was the tone of the soldier's voices as they zeroed in on their targets. They may as well have been playing a video game for all the emotion they showed. If you only had the audio, you might think they were blowing up graphics into bytes, instead of human beings into bits. I found the last kill of the crawling wounded man to be especially chilling in its coldly calculated calibration.

Our men in the Apache had no fear for their lives in this situation. They were merely doing what they had been trained to do in their video war games. Trouble is, they didn't sound like it felt any different to them to kill actual people.

The accompanying article reports, "The MPEG format file has been posted to several right-wing US forums, where the effectiveness of the Apache's firepower has been celebrated."

For myself, I'm not putting on my party hat over the use of such unnecessary force, no matter how efficiently it's delivered. I'm not sure what leaves me more queasy, the footage itself or the fact that there is a whole subset of people on this planet that would find pleasure in its brutality.

Update: Broken video link now repaired.


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