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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Vicious Videos, Stop the War.

Video footage has been released, showing British troops battering four young Iraqi men. It is really awful, as is the glee in the voice of the man who filmed the attacks.

Tony Blair has said,
"we take seriously any allegations of mistreatment, and those will be investigated very fully indeed."

He also said that the "overwhelming majority" of British troops stationed in Iraq behave properly, doing "a great job for our country and the wider world."

But what does that mean? When we train people to kill and maim other people, to aim bombs and guns at the Other (colour, race, religion, sex...), how can we ever be surprised when things like this happen?

Why is it ok for these soldiers to point a gun and shoot on one occasion, and not ok for them to to kick on another? Why is it ok for them to drop a bomb on a house, and not ok for them to film it and laugh?

The government needs to see that when you have an army following their orders and attacking a country, you can't then have any kind of moral superiority when events like this happen.

What these soldiers did on this video was appalling, absolutely reprehensible. But what right has Tony Blair to criticise them when he's sanctioned and ordered that they commit mass, mass murder in the same country, against the same people?

Riverbend gives a harrowing report of a raid she experienced in Baghdad a few days ago, in her relatives' house. It is terrifying, and an example of the government-approved army actions.

When you train men to kill, they may well kill. When you train them to be vicious, they may well be vicious. You can't draw some kind of imaginary line in the sand, separating the OK killings and the NOT-OK killings, or the OK acts of vicious violence and the NOT-OK acts of vicious violence.

Stop the war now!

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thermalsatsuma said...

I think that those soldiers showed remarkable restraint in not shooting at that mob attacking the base - can you imagine what the Americans or Iraqi militia would have done in the same situation. I agree that they shouldn't have been there in the first place, but will an immediate pull out of armed forces do anything other than plunge that benighted country into a bloody civil war?