This is a documentary I watched a while back about some of the things revealed through Wikileaks. It’s 50 minutes long, but I would like to focus on 24min 56sec to 33min 20sec. This was the part that I found most disturbing.
It literally sent a chill down my spine to see firsthand the value given to these human lives. At the beginning, the crew of an American attack helicopter patrolling Baghdad, asked for permission to kill a group of men on the street, two of whom worked for an International news agency. The claim was that they had weapons, which obviously wasn’t the case. People might say that the cameras they were holding could have been mistaken as weapons, but if that’s the case, so could anything. If they couldn’t truly tell that they had weapons, was it right to shoot? Plus, there were a bunch of other civilians everywhere who became causalities in this attack.
The worse part was when the helicopter crew saw the van stop to pick up “bodies and weapons.” The man in the van was only trying to help an injured person wrongfully shot and it cost him his life. It’s a miracle that his kids survived.
I think the language of the helicopter crew made this even more appalling. When they saw the van, you could hear one of the helicopter crewmen impatiently saying things like, “Come on, let us shot!” Then when it was all done, one of them said, “Oh yeah, look at that, right through the windshield,” and laughed. Someone even said, “Look at those dead bastards.”
When they realized there were children in the car, someone said, “It’s their fault for bringing their kids to a battle.” What battlefield? That was never meant to be a battlefield at all! He was taking his kids to “tutorial.”
I’ve never been naive to the fact that there’s a lot of things we don’t know or see regarding the U.S. government. That’s why seeing this lack of human life isn’t necessarily surprising to me (though that doesn’t make it any less disturbing).
War has an interesting affect on people. The people who are directly involved have to desensitize themselves so they can do their job (you’d probably go insane if you didn’t and saw that much bloodshed). Then there are the people at home who ignorantly hold the mentality of “them vs. us” and label an entire race as terrorist/evil when only a small group actually are. These are the types of mentalities that bring us this video of innocent lives being taken. To them, I’m sure we looked like the terrorist.
Below is a video of a U.S. soldier’s account of this incident: