The Other Victims of War

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I’m sure most of you remember public enemy number 1, Bradley Manning.  He was found to be a traitor who set out to harm the US.  All the conservative talk show hosts agree, this guy is a bad dude.  He was trashed in the media, and it seems like most people agreed without even knowing what he released.  I’m posting three videos.  The first is a video released by Manning.  It is a video every human being should watch.  It currently has 14 million views on YouTube, so I know everyone hasn’t seen it yet.  The second is an interview with Ethan McCord, the soldier who carried the children from what remained of a van. The third is a short speech from McCord where he recalls the mission.

 

These videos are incredibly sad/disturbing and have some rough language, there’s your warning.

 

 

There’s a lot to say about these videos, and I think they do plenty of talking on their own. However, I do want to touch on a few points.  First, Major Brent Cummings said no innocent civilians were killed deliberately.  Well, after looking at the video that we were never supposed to see, that seems hard to believe.  This is one example of why we should never trust a word they say.  Why would they ever be truthful?  If this video was never released we’d have to take his word for it and go on thinking we’re fighting a just war.  These are technically not war crimes.  The rules of engagement were followed. According to Ethan McCord, this was nothing out of the ordinary in Iraq.

Secondly, if these soldiers are apparently defending American ideals, why are they allowed to shoot because they feel threatened?  Threatened can literally mean that someone is looking at you funny.  Shouldn’t civilians be allowed to carry weapons when they are living in a war zone?  Isn’t that actually written in our constitution?  I guess the right to defend yourself in your own neighborhood doesn’t count if there is a terrorist group somewhere in your town.

Third, the obvious victims are the guys who were in no way a threat to anyone.  They were people simply talking to reporters.  Reporters are popular in Iraq.  It is a chance for the civilians to get their story out to the public.  It is a chance to ask for food, clothes, oil, etc.  My heart breaks for the family of the man driving his kids to school and saw a wounded man on the side of the road.  He stopped to help then him and his children get lit up from a helicopter a mile and a half away.  Now he never gets to see his kids grow up and his kids grow up without a father.  Do you think those kids are going to be thankful for USA?  Do you think they’ll grow up thinking the United States is doing good work and bringing them freedom?  How about the owners of the houses our troops are raiding?  I’ll bet they’re pro-USA!

The reason I posted all those videos is because we often forget about the unseen victims: the men and women committing these atrocities.  These are mostly men who bought into the propaganda.  They believed the United States is always right and just trying to spread democracy and freedom with their guns.  They find out they were wrong and have no escape.  In this article dated March 29, 2014, they say nearly 1,900 American troops have committed suicide in 2014 alone.  That is astounding.  That is scary.  That is sad.  These men are our relatives, they’re fathers and husbands, and their lives and their families’ lives are all ruined because of this senseless war.

Please show these videos to anyone willing to watch.  Make sure they know that whistle blowers are not traitors.  Letting us know what is really happening is so important.  After all, it’s our money paying for this.  If you know any young men or women considering the military, make sure they see this.  They need to know what they are getting themselves into.  The uniforms look sharp and the commercials look cool, but the reality is atrocious.