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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: About the Wikileaks Apache Video
I didn't have much to say when Wikileaks released the 2007 video of the apache attack on civilians in Iraq.  Too much of what happened was unknown, and the only thing I could really be sure of was that it made me very sad.  No matter how justified a war is, no matter if they had weapons or not, it was not fun watching people being obliterated like that.

Recently, Wired's Danger Room released a short interview with a soldier who was there, moments after the apache laid waste, and the last question seems to sum everything up better than all the other commentary I've seen:

DR: Do you support Wikileaks in releasing this video?

EM: When it was first released I don’t think it was done in the best manner that it could have been. They were stating that these people had no weapons whatsoever, that they were just carrying cameras. In the video you can clearly see that they did have weapons … to the trained eye. You can make out in the video [someone] carrying an AK-47, swinging it down by his legs [...]

And as far as the way that the soldiers are speaking in the video, which is pretty callous and joking about what’s happened … that’s a coping mechanism. I’m guilty of it, too, myself. You joke about the situations and what’s happened to push away your true feelings of the matter.

There’s no easy way to kill somebody. You don’t just take somebody’s life and then go on about your business for the rest of the day. That stays with you. And cracking jokes is a way of pushing that stuff down. That’s why so many soldiers come back home and they’re no longer in the situations where they have other things to think about [or other people to joke about what happened ... and they explode.

I don't say that Wikileaks did a bad thing, because they didn't. ... I think it is good that they're putting this stuff out there. I don't think that people really want to see this, though, because this is war . ... It's very disturbing.
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