Archive for April, 2010

ON WAR – and the unfailing fallibility of soldiers

Posted in Politics Tirades with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2010 by helenparker1212

First off, watch this…

I think it was Thomas Aquinas who said that soldiers are murderers, but if the war is just then it’s ok and they won’t burn in eternal damnation, so long as they don’t kill too many civilians. Ok, those weren’t his exact words, but that is the most basic gist of the just war theory posited by, well, theorists, for centuries. It’s all very interesting and complicated and you really have to study it yourself to get to grips with the entire gamut of the justifications for atrocities in war, but really, at the core, it all boils down to one very simple, commonly accepted truth:

That soldiers are sent by the people and parliament, into warzones, and whatever activities ensue thereafter, are not the responsibility of the soldiers, but of the command, and the command are answerable to the parliament and therefore the people. The soldiers therefore become bystanders to their own actions, exempt. If the soldier behaves badly, say, wantonly killing and torturing and molesting, it is because he is untrained, thus the fault is on the commanders, who are answerable to the parliament who are answerable to the people.

Get it?

Basically it’s our fault if our soldiers behave like animals.

Ok, so you’re probably recovering right now and thinking things like, ‘wow that really reminded me of that level in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’, or ‘yeah, the camera looked like an RPG from that angle’, except that you don’t know what an RPG even looks like until you google it and realise it’s fuckin HUGE and looks nothing like a fuckin camera and that a simple pair of binoculars could have identified those men as noncombatants!

They were in the vicinity of a firefight?? Well, given that the majority of the population of central Iraq is in the vicinity of a war zone – in that they are in the middle of a foreign invasion – I guess the solution the US have come to is to kill everyone, everywhere. “Light ’em up”.

And that means anyone carrying a gun, looking at a gun, thinking about a gun, carrying a dying man to safety who might happen to be thinking about a gun, driving a van with his children into a warzone to help dying men who might also then maybe pick up a gun that might be carried by said dying man and so on and so on until every Iraqi in Iraq is either dead, or in total fucking awe of US helicopter gunmen’s target accuracy, which they most definitely honed playing Xbox.

Thankyou Microsoft. Without you we wouldn’t be able to get them “right through the windshield” and into the stomachs of little girls. Also, it must be far healthier for our poor traumatised boys on the front line to be able to view this destruction from a distance. To be able to laugh about it. Because heaven forbid they should wind up with PTSD, which is very expensive to treat on army health care. I mean, they only go where they’re sent, right? Poor, poor, traumatised pooches.

Actually I’m not attacking US grunt ground troops here –  they have their own crimes to answer for. No, it’s the gamers in the chopper who are the real animals in this horrific sequence of cockups. When you watch the footage of the ground troops arriving on the scene, you can hear the horror and panic in the soldier’s voice as he calls for a medical evacuation for the wounded children. Imagine the scene they’ve just stumbled into: fifteen bodies blown to bits and no weapons. Two mortally wounded kiddies, and no weapons. They have been, in military terms, clusterfucked by their own comrades. And now they have to clear up the mess.

Or drive over it.

Or send it to die in a local hospital.

Before the Germans started doodlebugging us, and gassing us, warfare used to be a very personal activity for soldiers. Waiting to see the whites of their enemies’ eyes was the general reality of warfare for most of human history.

Only in the twentieth and twenty first century has warfare become a case of the further away the better. Unfortunately, along with this leap in technological warfare comes the increased likleyhood of the further away the more likely you are to fuck up and kill a whole bunch of civilians.

And I’m not referring to the Blitz, or Dresden, or Hiroshima, because those were cases where we deliberately targeted civilians. I’m talking about inexcusable ‘collateral’ damage, connived, concealed, and ultimately unpunishable. Because, remember, a soldier only fucks up because his training fails, the fault of the commanders who are answerable to the parliament who are answerable to us. And we are to blame for all of it.