The Wikileaks video protests of '10

Chris Floyd laments the lack of public outcry over a decade of American atrocities. He's right on point.

UPDATE: Via Glenn Greenwald, John Caruso detailing the thirst for atrocities on the part of certain government agents. Justify that, Randroids!

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They aren't atrocities if

They aren't atrocities if they aren't intentional. Maybe my mind is fucked up by the fact that my concept of "atrocity" is based on the Holocaust, where the innocent people killed were not killed accidentally by nervous soldiers who thought they might be carrying weapons. That's not how the Holocaust happened. Do I even need to describe how it happened to make it clear that the Holocaust was not a series of deadly checkpoint fuck-ups. It was completely deliberate. So sue me, that's a key element of my idea of what an "atrocity" is.


For what it's worth, I would assign more blame for the incident to

  1. The Commanders-in-Chief that each, in turn, decided to wage these wars without objectives,
  2. The command structure that led this specific mission, and who-knows-how-many similar ones that haven't got the press that this one did.

The soldiers in the video are employing a typical psychological crutch. They are being sent to kill people who are not a direct threat to them. This is difficult to do if you identify with your victim. So they need to invent reasons why their targets are less than human. They need to reinforce this attitude with each other. If they were to identify with their victims, they would psychologically self-destruct.

The soldiers' commanders cannot tell them clearly why they are targeting these people. Because they hate us for our freedom? Because they are Muslim and Americans are Christian? Because they resent domination? Because they are selfishly denying us resources? None of these reasons makes sense.

The "atrocity" isn't that a handful of soldiers on this one occasion de-humanized their targets. The atrocity is that we are destroying our economy, our military, and our culture in these wars and we can't even say clearly why.

What incident and video are

What incident and video are you referring to? Do you mean the helicopter video mentioned in a previous blog entry? I wasn't addressing that here, but what appears to be a series of "escalation of force" incidents at checkpoints. However, I suppose the same points apply to each. As it happens, I opposed the Iraq invasion, considering it absurd, but I favored the Afghanistan invasion, because the Taliban was harboring an enemy which had attacked the united states. However, I don't favor what is going on in afghanistan now. The original purpose of the invasion has been replaced by something new. Let that be a lesson to me and to everyone who favors government action: things that the government does tend to change over time. I shoulda seen it coming. Maybe next time I'll be more suspicious.

I think people who favor "net neutrality" should worry about how that could change over time, once it has been accepted that the government has the authority to tell comcast how much bandwidth can be used for what purpose.

What incident and video

What incident and video are you referring to? Do you mean the helicopter video mentioned in a previous blog entry?

Yep. I was talking about the "Wikileaks video" (helicopter attack on Reuters journalists) in the post title and at the beginning of the Chris Floyd article, and the list of dehumanizing language in the Tiny Revolution link.

What checkpoint incidents are you talking about?

I investigated what the

I investigated what the general was talking about in this passage from the first link:

We all recall the vast hue and cry that greeted this astounding admission by Afghan top gun General Stanley McChrystal, who was hand-picked by the Nobel Peace Laureate himself to lead America's noble crusade to stamp out Muslim extremism in Central Asia by killing innocent Muslims all over Central Asia. No less than the New York Times its own self reported prominently on McChrystal's chilling candor. To be exact, the "Good War" general told his troops, by videoconference:

“We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat."