This is the site that Wikileaks has set aside to publish the video that they’ve been working on for a while now. If you’re any kind of follower of the internet, than you should be well aware of the fact that Wikileaks has been working on a project for the past week or so to get a video published to the web that apparently the Pentagon and several other organizations within the US government weren’t all to happy about losing this particular piece of footage.
The video they are actually showing is from an AH-64 Apache Aircraft, It films a pair of Apaches which spotted a group of 8-10 people gathering in a square somewhere in the New Baghdad section of Baghdad. The video proceeds to demonstrate as the Apache aircraft and I assume their command center believe the group to be a threat, and choose to open fire on the group of men in the courtyard. There was a claim that one of the individuals had an RPG type weapon. After they proceeded to eliminate the group of individuals, a van comes along and tries to pick up those that had been injured. The pair of Apaches request permission to engage the van [I’m not familiar with Rules of Engagement in this case], they are given permission to engage, and proceed to destroy the van.
It would later be revealed that those killed included 2 members of the Reuters staff and along with them, there were 2 children in the van that comes into the video. Wikileaks also states that the US Government had not released to Reuters what had happened, and in fact had been saying that the reporters were killed in a fight between insurgents and Coalition forces.
Now the interesting thing here is, I thought that Reuters was unaware of what had happened, but by a press release they have done today here, it becomes clear that they may actually have been aware of the original footage from the beginning, or at the very least someone on the Reuters staff had seen the footage taken from the Apache gunsight
Video of the incident from two U.S. Apache helicopters and photographs taken of the scene were shown to Reuters editors in Baghdad on July 25, 2007 in an off-the-record briefing.
I find that interesting for a few reasons, most of which having to do with the thought that no one other than the military had seen this footage, I do think it has somewhat of an impact when Reuters staff had actually seen the footage and then later pushed via the freedom of information act to have the footage turned over to them.
I’m honestly not sure what to say here, I mean we all have the luck of 20/20 hindsight of the video, and generally when you kill innocent civilians / reporters / or children you tend to strike a nerve with any group of people, because we as monkeys and our monkey sphere hold a special place for children and those who were not supposed to be in the fighting.
This is supposed to be something the US simply does not do, killing innocent civilians or getting people who are otherwise neutral parties in a conflict involved in the party. The problem with this logic of course is that the US Military has a track record of fucking up. Including blowing up an embassy in Belgrade, or perhaps that time they accidentally hit a house in North Iraq . I’m not saying this particular attack was justified, but the reason the American Public feels so distracted or doesn’t care about the war is for one of 2 reasons. The first being that the media kept its mouth shut during the first few months and didn’t show any live footage for fear of upsetting the children, [You know, what they did in Vietnam], and the second is while at the same time they weren’t showing any footage of people actually getting killed in war, they managed to report on it 24/7 making citizens within the US pretty much deaf to the issue at hand.
And really that’s the issue the Wikileaks is getting at, and I think why the footage is so damming, is people will get to see how war truly is conducted. It’s not some magical checkerboard where unites are simply plastic representations, it’s a matter of people actually getting killed on a pretty regular basis in a pretty brutal manner. And that is something the public in the US just isn’t seeing is the actual brutality of the war that is going on out there, innocent or combatant. We train our troops to dehumanize the enemy, to see them as nothing less than an opponent to their cause. Because if the enemy becomes human, than suddenly you have the chance to get out of that trench and realize there are very few differences between you and the man you are trying to kill.
It’s a trick of the monkey sphere that has been finely honed by Military organizations for a long time now, and I honestly expect that this video will do very little but get put back to the minds of folks within the US. As tragic as it is, most US citizens simply don’t care what the US Military does out there on the field, in the interest that we give them a mandatory hero-worship. I mean let’s think about this, the second you step into the Military you are seen as a higher class of citizen for putting your life on the line. You are given benefits that are otherwise not available to the common man. It is because of this mentality, that videos such as this can’t really have an impact on the world, because ultimately while it is sad this week, it is a statistic the next.