I see something like this and I find myself remembering Bruce Cockburn:
"Here comes the helicopter - second time todayWikileaks, who found, decoded and released the video, calls it ‘collateral murder.’ And they are dead right.
Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
How many kids they’ve murdered, only God can say
If I had a rocket launcher...I’d make somebody pay.”
As it happens, this particular video identifies the quality of ‘heroes’ ... and the worshipful status of homeland soldiers ... from the United States. The origin of these soldiers is the least significant thing about the video - except that, to be these soldiers, they need to be from a qualitatively technological war state, one that can afford billion dollar helicopters capable of delivering instant death to anyone walking the streets with a shoulder strap. If you walk the streets in an occupied country (and what country isn't?), don’t carry anything - particularly anything that might have the shape of a tube or a black box. To do this is to award any soldier high in the air a warrant for justifiable homicide.
The youtube copy of this video (which may not be there tomorrow, because seriously, who expects youtube to keep it on their site?) includes a comment from just that sort of person who watches this and smugly confirms the justice in it:
"... As far as the crew was concerned they was (sic) part of an armed group that had a rocket launcher and Kalishnikovs and was shadowing a US unit in contact from the right flank. War is war ... I’m sure plenty would have done it better, in hind sight and not having to deal with the fog of war.”Yes, fog. Can anyone remember how it happens that sometimes a cop will kill a young child who is carrying around a toy pistol? I can’t recall any cop who afterwards will shrug, and mutter, “fog of street crime. What could I do?”
The video demonstrates that it took less than sixty seconds for these airmen to observe, interpret and ultimately confirm for themselves that what they had guessed at was precisely what they wanted to see. Men, in a street, who were easy targets. It is particularly telling that, when the men are concealed by the building early on - through no action of their own, but merely because the air vehicle was turning in a circle - the airmen grew furious and anxious, hating that they had to wait seconds for the targets to again come into view. It is evident when the targets do come into view again, that they are clearly paying no attention to this war machine making its rounds above them. Where then does this anxiousness come from? From itchy fingers and itchy souls, clearly.
Naturally, when they gain the confirmation they need to open fire - from commanders who see no more than the airmen can see - the butchery is accomplished in rather short order. It is nice to have the sort of tool that can lay down this level of groundfire, to do it from a comfortable place high above the screaming and the smoke, where the blood and the pain need not be quite so evident ... after all, backslapping is all the better accomplished without the distraction that would make someone question their motivations, or reconsider the higher value of what’s being done here.
Although, as it happens, someone has reconsidered those things.
Would that in creating the machine, we could create the responsibility necessary to use the machine ... something which in this case has been the product of typical military thinking: “this is my helicopter, this is my cock ... and I use them for the same fucking thing.”
If you are reading this, and you are or have been in the military, please do not write a comment to defend the position of war, or of the importance of killing the enemy before the enemy kills you. Watching this, I wanted the cool, comforting sight of a rocket trail to rise out of the clouds and blast these fucking airmen into another state of existence. If there had been an enemy, I wish sincerely that they had brought along a Strela 2, to aid them in carrying their wounded from the battlefield ... a long held consideration granted in war by civilized persons. For those people who would fight a total war, or for those people who would answer on this blog condoning a total war, I will hold tightly to my wishes for rocket launchers to be standard equipment for mastering you.
If, on the other hand, you are or have been in the military, and you have the heart of many of those I have met, you are hanging your head in abject and unmitigated shame, for what your profession has become, for what your service is now tainted by, and for what failures you and your fellow participants in previous wars have brought about in making this a military practice condoned by any trained officer anywhere in the world.
Do not promote to me the sacrifices soldiers make for my country.