Photo Courtesy of Eli @ MultiMedium
I watched the video below several times. It is obviously disturbing on many levels, but what warranted my repeat viewing was my incredulity, not of the ghoulishness of the sniper, but the slow and clumsy reaction by the American soldiers. Why didn't they hit the deck after someone was shot? Why didn't they suppress fire? Why did they continue to cross again and again in the line of fire? Why did it take so long to take cover? Why do the soldiers trying to get the downed man move at a trot while staying nearly erect, making themselves better targets?
There have been a number of news articles about extended deployments, not enough down time between deployments, soldiers being sent without adequate training and equipment, soldiers being sent on return deployment who were deemed not combat-ready, injured soldiers being sent back, soldiers with PTSD being redeployed, and now we see in real time the effects. One look at this video and the inexperience of the soldiers and the inadequacy of training becomes apparent. Maybe they're shell-shocked and exhausted, but clearly this is not a situation that can be handled militarily as so many military authorities have repeated.
If you've read any one of the articles above, it's easy to be detached from the tragedy of it. But when you SEE, see with your own eyes, the stunning consequences on real life described by the stories, it's harder to be indifferent about the impact.
And still, I do not understand the haunting silence from the American public.
I understand about denial and about people not actually knowing anyone in Iraq, but these are pointless murders of Americans and Iraqis alike. This isn't a movie about a bygone war or a fight for goodness, truth, freedom, "the American Way", all the ideals we were taught to believe in. These are our people in another pointless Hamburger Hill scenario. But this is not Vietnam. It's Bagdad, Mosul, Fallujah and Ramadi, Tikrit and Sadr City. Our people in a meat grinder that spins ever out of control so BushCo can have it's bloody oil money and Chimpy can secure his 'legacy' and a bloody, broken country with his name on it. Sometimes you get the legacy you have and not the legacy you want Mr. Bush.
There is a reason you don't see this stuff on the news or read it in American newspapers. They don't want you to feel anything but the desire to shop and watch Dancing With The Stars. Hey, is Sanjaya still safe on American Idol?