Thursday, June 21, 2007

Video Evidence - American conduct in Iraq

I'm posting these two above videos as examples of why I believe we are failing in Iraq. It is not just the bad planning or the corruption or the Abu Ghraib and Haditha and Fallujha incidents alone that are wearing down the publics patience and building resentment. It is episodes like these and the hundreds of thousands of other similar incidents that kill us with lots of small cuts to our reputation as fair and reasonable people. They are like the mortar that holds the rest together and makes for a strong wall of hate. Arrogance breeds hatred and hatred multiplies hatred. The anger from every such incident reverberates through the family and friends of those involved like ripples in a pond. Why don't people get that? I guess because a lot of people seem comfortable with the idea that these people are beneath us and when we do things like this it is OK because individually they aren't that important and we, the important people, know what is good for the world in the big picture. Remember, we are making sure all this happens in their country so we don't have all that messy business over here where it can disrupt out precious way of life.

The first video is from PBS. It depicts what looks like a twenty year old kid with a tank explaining how he is going to teach these Iraqi men (and child) about law and order because they were "looting" scrap wood. His punishment is to use his tank to crush their car and leave them to walk home. Oh and oops. . . by the way. . the guy was a taxi driver and the car was his livelihood. I wonder if Blackwater shot anybody in New Orleans when they were "looting" for stuff to help them survive that ordeal. If you remember from New Orleans, the difference between looting and "finding supplies" depends on how much the the person defining the terms likes you.

The second video is one that has been floating around the web for a while that depicts a drivers view of unnamed soldiers driving their Humvee through traffic in Baghdad. I realize there is a safety issue here. If they stop too long they could get hit. I just wonder if their solution to that problem stops people from wanting to shoot them.


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