The last video in this series, “Why can’t we shoot these kids?” upset some people, in different ways, some against what they witnessed, and some trying to understand the troops, and some against me for what was perceived as unfair commentary on the troops. I am not aiming for a rerun, but I do think these actions need to be seen — so when one dispassionately and accurately speaks of cluster bombing, depleted uranium, torture at Abu Ghraib, and laying siege to civilian population centres, the response is not that it is just “rhetoric.” If it is rhetoric, then please do look at the “rhetoric” below. For those of us who are not, and have not been in Iraq, this is one of the few ways we have of “seeing” events on the ground.
This is a group of British soldiers — when and where in Iraq is not specified — and it seems that they are responding to some protesters. A group of young boys is dragged into what appears to be a base, and then pummeled. A large group of fellow troops return from the streets and walk past, and nobody interferes. It may not meet some definitions of “savage brutality” (in which case, pardon me for saying this, but someone needs to get their nuts kicked by an army boot) but I doubt this will “win hearts and minds.” For a young boy, one can imagine that this experience will leave a lasting impression. We also do not know what happens after the video ends, whether the boys are released, or further detained, etc.
Unlike the last related post, I should not neglect to mention that there is little someone like myself can do to verify this video, to contextualize it, to interview the troops, and to figure out if the cruel narrative of a man who seems to be having an orgasm at the sight of vanquished boys was added after the video was made by someone who was not present. Personally, I have been given no reason to doubt its authenticity, but one can never be absolutely certain with materials posted on YouTube. Having said that, I thank RAIM for bringing my attention to this video.
And in Canada today, the release of the Guantanamo interrogation tapes of Omar Khadr, captured as a young boy in Afghanistan and abused. This is Canada’s continuing scandal of neglect and participation in the violation of the same international laws it claims to hold sacred.