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Cold-blooded killing: the reality of war

Comments

  • #2


    From Warblog
    Apache gunship engages, kills, wounds and kills again

    War is undoubtedly hell. Much of war is what we're seeing and hearing about in Iraq — soldiers walking through cities while getting sniped at and assaulted by improvised explosive devices. That's how inferior forces fight superior forces. They get up close and personal. They blend into the scenery, meld with civilians.

    They make the superior force's weapons next to useless: British cannons in the Revolutionary War were of little use to minute men scattered in the forrest. Similarly American Apache helicopter gunships are of little use against Iraqi resisters sniping from rooftops or planting improvised explosive devices.

    Every once in a while, however, British cannons or American helicopters become truly useful. We now have video of at least one such occasion. The video shows an AH-64 Apache helicopter gunship engaging a group of several Iraqis at a considerable distance. The video, taken from the Apache's forward looking infrared gun camera, shows the Apache engaging the group of Iraqis with multiple bursts of 30mm chain cannon fire.

    The video is in MPEG format and should be viewable by anyone using Real Player, Windows Media Player or QuickTime. You can see it on Warblogging. It should be noted that Warblogging has not verified the providence of this video — the video may in fact be of an Apache engaging Afghans. The video file is 7 megabytes.

    I originally received the Apache gunship video from a friend, but it has been posted publicly by Ernie's House of Whoopass. UPDATE: Before posting this story I did a Google News search to try to find any news articles mentioning the video. While that search didn't find anything, it turns out that an ABCNews story from January 9 does carry the video.

    At no point in the video can we see any weapons in the hands of the Iraqis. They walk around a bit, get out of a truck, and walk over to some kind of structure. It's possible that they're planting an explosive device of some kind, but I can't make one out in the video. With that said, however, I'm not used to viewing thermal video and I don't know how weapons or IEDs would appear in infrared.

    At one point the Apache has killed all but one member of the Iraqi group. The gun crew then looks around to see if there's any more movement. There's one man lying down next to the truck. The crew fires the 30mm cannon, wounding him. The video shows the man writhing around on the ground, clearly in serious pain. At this point they look for more movement. The conversation that follows is telling.

    Gunner: Want me to take the other truck out?
    Commander: Roger . Wait for movement by the truck.
    Gunner: Movement right there.
    Commander: Roger. He's wounded. Hit him!
    Gunner: Alright. Hitting the truck.
    Commander: Hit the truck. Hit the truck and him. Go forward of it and hit him.
    Gunner: Roger.

    We have no context for this video. We don't know who these men are or why the Apache is killing them. What we do know, however, is that there don't appear to be any people around the group of Iraqis. The Iraqis aren't shooting anyone. They don't appear to be an imminent threat to anyone.

    It's never clear why the Apache crew and their commander don't send ground forces to engage and possibly capture these Iraqis. It's never clear why, once all but one Iraqi is dead and the last one is writhing on the ground wounded — and clearly not a threat to anyone anymore — they don't send ground forces to capture, treat and interrogate the wounded Iraqi.

    At the same time, however, we don't know who these people are. They could well be planting an IED or even preparing to shell American forces with a mortar. I'm not willing to sit here and second guess the initial actions of the helicopter crew. At the same time, however, I'm not sure that it's proper to shoot and kill a wounded man. It feels wrong to me. In fact I'm rather sure that the shooting of the wounded man is a violation of, at the very least, the spirit of one or more Geneva conventions.

    War is hell.


  • #2


    the US try to pain a picture that they are very careful over who they attack and they only attack fighters etc etc, but the fact of the matter is that the US have killed a lot of civillians in Iraq, bu they will never be brought to justice for their crimes, as this kind of evidence is rare to come out... and no one is intersted in what the Iraqi people themselves have to say about all this


  • #2


    was posted a few months back. it was taken from something shown on CNN if i remember rightly. still not good though, but they were just doing their jobs. it's not like they were going to land and ask the guy if he was alright is it? much more humane to put him down for good under the circumstances.


  • #2


    America!

    Creating a Martyr every day.

    And they wonder why they are hated in almost every corner of the earth.

    Yay freedom[TM]!


  • #2


    The trouble is can you create a killing machine with a conscience ? In a war or an occupation you need footsoldiers that will kill without question, to do that you need to remove any sense of right or wrong and with this you'll get people who will kill innocents.


  • #2


    A longer clip of that video was posted by... sparks?.. a few months ago. There was a largish thread about it. Sparks and I disagreed over what we actually saw in the longer vid, but that's nothing unusual in itself I guess. Your best bet may be to go search for that thread and drag that back up so that previous points that have already been made about this vid are easily available to everyone again.
    Originally posted by yellum
    The trouble is can you create a killing machine with a conscience ?

    All (at least, I can't think of any that haven't..) modern-day professional armys in western democracys have a 'conscience'.
    Originally posted by yellum
    In a war or an occupation you need footsoldiers that will kill without question, to do that you need to remove any sense of right or wrong and with this you'll get people who will kill innocents.

    Wrong. In a war or an occupation you need soldiers that think on their feet. Soldiers that kill randomly and/or without question are a liability to the armed forces and the country they serve, as any profesional soldier will tell you.


  • #2


    Originally posted by vibe666
    was posted a few months back. it was taken from something shown on CNN if i remember rightly. still not good though, but they were just doing their jobs. it's not like they were going to land and ask the guy if he was alright is it? much more humane to put him down for good under the circumstances.
    Here here.


  • #2


    Originally posted by vibe666
    much more humane to put him down for good under the circumstances.

    That's sickening. I'm really shocked by that. I hope this is not an attitude shared by many people in this world as it will mean the end of humanity if it is.

    Nick


  • #2


    Originally posted by vibe666
    they were just doing their jobs.
    Zey vere obeyink ze orders, ja?
    much more humane to put him down for good under the circumstances.
    I hope, for your sake, you're never hit by a bus and hear those words shortly afterwards.


  • #2


    One may argue that this is a compelling argument against war, and I’d like to thank them for pointing out the blindingly obvious - “war is bad because it kills people”.

    Well I’m glad someone worked that out that little gem for me :rolleyes:

    Soldiers kill people. It’s what they do. In a combat scenario where you need to approach a wounded enemy, the training is ‘when in doubt, shoot’. And the reason for this training is that all too often a wounded enemy will either simply be feigning an injury or will want to take you with him. Were I in a similar position and had even a shadow of a doubt about the conditions and intentions of an enemy soldier in a combat situation that I had to approach; I’d empty a clip into the poor bastard. Better him than me. No contest.

    That’s how war is fought. It’s not a game of Counter-Strike played with your mates over the net. And no amount of middle-class armchair moralistic intellectualism will change that - who sends the soldier out to war, who issues the principle order, that’s who you should consider (or blame if it makes you feel any better), not the soldier doing the job he was trained to do.


  • #2


    Corrinthian, Very nice post. I feel it is a bit pointless to point out to some people the realities of war. When someone is totally anti-war that is it. They do not care what goes through a soldiers mind when he approaches an enemy who may or may not be dead or seriously injured. They do not know or care about the fear or even terror that these guys can feel. They do not seem to realise it but, no matter how distasteful you may find it, the soldier is just doing his job. All he wants is to do is his job and get home.

    It is all very well for people to sit and home and call these people savages for the work they do but whether you like it or not they are needed. It would be better it they were not needed but they are so get used to it. It is completely unrealistic to think that we can just say “right lads that’s it, no more war.” It ain’t gonna happen. For the foreseeable future there will be war. And we need guys to go and fight them. I certainly prefer my guys to know what they are doing and be better at it than the other side.

    This view of mine should be in no way taken as an endorsement of the current “war” against the “axis of evil.” I am talking in general terms about war in general terms. Something you need to realise is these guys aren’t fighting for their country or their president. You go to war for your country but you fight for your life.

    PS Corrinthian, I hate to be a pedant but you would be more likely to empty a magazine into him not a clip. Very few modern weapon use clips for anything other than a quick way to load magazines.
    :)


  • #2


    Originally posted by MeatProduct
    That's sickening. I'm really shocked by that. I hope this is not an attitude shared by many people in this world as it will mean the end of humanity if it is.
    It's *a* reality. If you have 1,000 seriously wounded (i.e. they will die in the next hour) and no hope of giving them all medical aid what does one do? Does one do what one does with cancer patients and minimise their suffering?

    Why do you think officers are issued with pistols?


  • #2


    that video could be game fottage

    at least the enemy guys went quickly

    speaking of horrific war footage, i watched the panorama on the tutsi masacres, omg i nearly cryed it was so bad


  • #2


    I had footage somewhere of one of the american spectre gunships (large cargo aircraft converted to blow the shit out of people with an artillery piece and lots of large calibre machine guns) attacking afgans ...they blew up everyone and everything except the mosque that was there ... anyone who got to it was safe, everyone else was killed .....


  • #2


    "The objective in a war is not to die for your country but to make the other son-of-a-bitch die for his country"

    These people wanted martyrdom, the Americans kindly arranged that for them. What's the problem? They are in paradise now enjoying their 50 virgins or whatever :rolleyes: .


  • #2


    British cannons in the Revolutionary War were of little use to minute men scattered in the forrest.

    This is a bit of a myth. By the end of the War of Independence the United States Continental army was almost a carbon copy of the British army trained in standard European tactics by a Prussian officer, Baron von Stueben.

    Also in hand-to-hand "up close and personal" fights the British had the advantage early in the war because the "Brown Bess" musket carried a bayonet and the non-standard calibre rifles of the American militias generaly did not.

    (god I'm such a train-spotter it even disturbs me)


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