Saturday, April 10, 2010

We all deserve to know what war is."

"Collateral Murder" Company Vet Speaks Out
by mcjoan
Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 01:18:04 PM PDT
Josh Steiber, an Iraq War vet who deployed to Baghdad with Bravo Company 2-16, the unit involved in the July 2007 incident that the WikiLeaks "Collateral Murder" video has revived, speaks out.

“A lot of my friends are in that video,” says Stieber. “After watching the video, I would definitely say that that is, nine times out of ten, the way things ended up. Killing was following military protocol. It was going along with the rules as they are.”

Stieber deployed to Baghdad with Bravo Company 2-16, whose members were involved in the incident captured in Wikileaks' “Collateral Murder” video, which has made international headlines by depicting a July 2007 shooting incident outside of Baghdad in which over a dozen people, including two Reuters employees, were killed. Although he was not present at the scene of the video, he knows those who were involved and is familiar with the environment. Stieber, who now works to promote peace and alternatives to war, is speaking publicly about his time in Iraq and the incident captured in this video.

“If these videos shock and revolt you, they show the reality of what war is like,” says Stieber. “If you don’t like what you see in them, it means we should be working harder towards alternatives to war.”

That's the point that can't be made frequently enough. Stieber followed up this statement with an interview with Glenn Greenwald.

I don't want to summarize what he said because he is quite articulate and has some very insightful and important observations about the nature of our war effort there, what U.S. soldiers are trained to do, and why those who claimed that this incident was unusual or a departure from normal operating procedures are either deeply ignorant about war and/or eager to avoid reality. He also discusses the lessons to be learned from this video.

By the attempt to cover up this case, and still continuing to block an investigation, the military is doing a disservice to the nation that is sending its sons and daughters to war. It's a disservice to the troops and to future enlistees. We all deserve to know what war is."
Gentlemen, War is Hell! William Tecumseh Sherman.

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