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Collateral Murder: The aftermath in Baghdad

Two unembedded reporters for Big Noise Films were in Baghdad--coincidentally, the day after the notorious Collateral Murder shootings occurred (and were caught on camera by the helicopter gunships doing the firing.) They prove conclusively that everything the US government has said about the infamous video from the gunships is a bald-faced lie. It's quite clear in this video that the Iraqi journalist killed in the shooting is no "armed insurgent", but a Reuters reporter talking on a cellphone. It's also clear that the van full of wounded children was just that, and not a suicide bomber or other insurgent. It shows that the soldiers knew full well what they were firing on; there was no "fog of war". The gunship pilot has to request permission before opening fire each time, and describes in detail what is going on in the street; he GETS that permission, no problem, in spite of the fact. Meaning, both the pilot and his base commander knew they were committing a war crime. And they still went right ahead and did it. "Bushmaster" and "Crazyhorse" are war criminals. Any questions?

Even more stunning is what these two unembedded documentarists found the next day in that same neighborhood. Iraqis eager to talk, to show that what had happened was an atrocity. They led the reporters straight to the burnt-out van that had been about to carry wounded children to hospital. You can still see the bloodstains on the seats. A clearer confirmation would be impossible to get; the Iraqis' version and that of the gunship tally point for point. Right down to the assertion that the US tanks drove over a body; the Apache helo's video confirms that, too.

Now, the whole world knows that the US government lies constantly, pathologically, and shamelessly. It lies its people into war, and then it lies even more about what goes on during the wars. Only reporters who aren't required to be shameless "Support the Troops" boosters can tell the truth...only they, and military leakers. If not for Wikileaks and Bradley Manning, this crime would never have come to light, and the Big Noise crew's confirming video of the aftermath might have gotten lost in the shuffle.

And this crime, as yet, remains unpunished. Apparently, Hopey has yet to change the BushCo rules of engagement from "anything goes" to "not so fast, fellas". This is NOT change I can believe in, nor anyone who voted for Obama as a candidate for peace. It makes even more of a mockery out of that pre-emptive Nobel prize than it already was.

Comments

I totally agree and share your outrage. The way the pundits and intellectuals ignore or play this down indicates the broad support of the empire's terrorism.

But the silent are getting "paid" their share of the loot.

Too many times the so-called "progressives" lead the herd away from organizing against this non-stop terrorism.

Look at Huffington Post, for example, it fits the pattern of celebrity worship, and ignoring a whole lot of information/news that is embarrassing for the empire.

It was nice to watch Glenn Greenwald totally eviscerated Arianna Huffington on a cable program, when she was truing to promote Iran as a massive nuclear terror threat. She looked like a complete tool for imperial propaganda.

However, the liberal intelligensia totally eat this shit up.

I have to say Sabina, I think it will take a few more "Obamas" to clean up the bloody mess the last set of US administrations left behind. The last 50-60 years has been a series of sort of sowing the seeds of conflict in one region and coming round to punish the puppets and put things "right". one reason the US has been acting like it does (and you may say “no shit Sherlock”) is to create a situation where the host country isnt capable of developing socially and economically (and you know that of course better than most from your vast knowledge of South America!).It's as if nobody read any history from the 20s and 30s (well even if they did, no one actually learns). I dont know if you've read a 60s book called the game of nations by Miles Copeland (btb, the father of Stewart Copeland-the Police drummer). The book is a powerful illustration of the link between “intelligence” operations and foreign policy 50 years ago but is still relevant now i believe, and shows that short term gains actually create much more trouble and disaster in the long term. I might be mistaken, but thats how one currently views the situation.

Ah yes, I forgot to say, a belated Merry Christmas and a happy new year.cheerio!

Omar, that sounds very familiar--and indeed, no shit, Sherlock!

I hadn't heard of Miles Copeland's book, but I'm going to look it up and see if I can find a copy; my knowledge comes more from South American authors like Eduardo Galeano, whose Open Veins of Latin America lays it all out in great detail (highly recommended, BTW). In the case of LatAm, the empire was Spain, and currently the Yanks have largely taken up where the Spaniards left off. In the Middle East and India, it was mainly the Brits; in Africa, a motley assortment of continental Europeans, predominantly the French, and of course, again, the Brits. But the situation is the same wherever one looks: Colonial governments set in place by the empires to suppress the locals, impose foreign laws, keep them from becoming overly developed, self-sufficient, etc., and calling the abject and barbaric end result "civilized". Puppet dictatorships are actually favored under that system, and the imperial overlords will make loud noises about what great "friends of democracy" their toy tyrants are, turning a blind eye to even the most glaring abuses. It's only when the colonial underlings start to get uppity and try to choose their own leaders that we start to hear about "tyrannical dictators".

And this racket gets loudest when the "dictator" is, in fact, a progressive democrat--like Chávez in Venezuela, who didn't come from one of the two big US-approved parties or the traditional ruling oligarchies, but from poor folks who lived on the plains and whose only hope of educating their sons was to send them to military academy. His military background is being used against him by the media, who claim it's proof that he's an old-style military dictator. (Oddly, they don't make the same noises about ex-general Raúl Baduel, Chávez's former defence minister, who went to the same school and rose higher in the ranks than Chávez did. But then, Baduel was corruptible; he liked it that the gringos offered him the money to buy a big cattle ranch, and he obligingly turned against Chávez, his old friend, in order to earn it.) Where were they the last time Venezuela was under military dictatorship, back in the 1950s? Oh yeah: Praising the dictator, Marcos Pérez Jiménez, as a "great friend of democracy", even as the latter was turning his secret police against pro-democracy groups and torturing their leaders in a quasi-medieval dungeon. I shit you not. Of course, MPJ's greatest virtue was that he was friendly to gringo businesses, especially Texas oilmen, at least for a while. When he stopped being that, the gringos took advantage of the civilian/guerrilla rebellion that was brewing, elbowed aside the socialists who had actually toppled the régime, and set the newly formed AD and COPEI parties in its place, and called that "democracy"--complete with a pact written in, of all places, New York. And then, in 1998, it all came crashing down...

Of course, it goes without saying that they're now trying to do the same failed experiment in Iraq. And of course, they're still absolutely deaf to the various political strains among the locals. They starved Iraq with sanctions and blockades for over a decade, then tut-tutted about how it was all Saddam's fault. They also blamed the locals, denigrating them as backward camel drivers, when in fact Iraq was/is one of the most modern countries in the region, not many people use camels there anymore, and the locals are of the same intellectual calibre as anyone in the first world--little wonder, that, since Iraq is the cradle of western civilization. They babbled about how repressive Saddam was, conveniently forgetting who put him there to be just that. And now they're complaining about how the different religious factions are at war with each other and how "ungovernable" that has made Iraq. If they left, the situation might well sort itself out in time, and Iraq would become stable again. But instability is good for keeping oil prices high ("risk" justifies a multitude of sins), so of course that won't happen!

And yes, the intelligence services of the imperial nations are acting as de facto private armies for the corporations. Happened in Iran, Iraq, all over LatAm, you name it. The Shah of Iran was set in place by the CIA on behalf of British and US oil companies. The intel services supply spies, torturers, and a plausible rationale for wars, coups and all kinds of covert operations. They also finance various political factions, both existing and, where "necessary", invented. The best answer to the question "Who's really in charge around here?" is the one that Deep Throat gave to Woodward and Bernstein during the Watergate affair: FOLLOW THE MONEY.

The truly diabolical thing about this morass is that you can't decapitate it, because a single head is impossible to find; it's like a hydra. There is no discernible emperor that you can topple. Only long-term, concerted uprisings by the locals--and local laws aimed at excluding foreign influence--can ensure that the empires will die. That, and foreign support from the empires' places of origin. But for that, you need an informed populace, and of course, our media and "democratic" institutions are there to make that extremely difficult.

And thank you for the holiday wishes; I hope the same for you. And better for all the oppressed, too.