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Posted by Hissyspit in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Apr 07th 2010, 11:25 PM
Several people have requested that I put this reply comment up as a separate original post. I have modified the text of my original reply somewhat.

"We all make mistakes. We know we make mistakes. I don't know any military commander, who is honest, who would say he has not made a mistake. There's a wonderful phrase: 'the fog of war.' What "the fog of war" means is: war is so complex it's beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend all the variables. Our judgment, our understanding, are not adequate. And we kill people unnecessarily."
- Robert McNamara in 'The Fog of War'

"It may affront the military-minded person to suggest a regime that does not maintain any military secrets."
- Albert Einstein

"War does not determine who is right - only who is left."
- Bertrand Russell

WikiLeaks, an essentially internatonal and for all intents and purposes, non-partisan "sunshine" organization, skillfully handled the release of the whistleblower video as much as possible for maximum exposure and control of the message. Later in the day Monday, the day of the video release, the materialization of what could be said they perceived as misdirection and deflection tactics was commented upon by them on Twitter:

Lots of people avoiding talking murderous attack on the van/wounded; strawmanning camera/rpg confusion as the issue"
8:35 PM Apr 5th via

The focus on the Iraq massacre response should be the cover-up and the van/missile attack.
7:20 AM Apr 6th via

The main issues, the meanings and significance, of this video and this video release - which I have previously described as unprecedented (not meaning that the incident is unprecedented: It is not, and THAT is part of the meaning: too 'we see this, what have we NOT seen?') - the main issues are multiple beyond 'RPG or no,' and 'that's what happens in war, it always has.' The meanings are about whether wounded civilians were attacked, whether rules of engagement were followed, why the Pentagon continued to misrepresent what occurred, why the Pentagon would not release the footage to Reuters for two years, why we as the open society we are supposed to be have had footage like this kept from us.

The video and the release and the response are about what the rules of engagement were; whether the rules of engagement were followed or not, about the rights and moralities that those rules of engagement are based on. (Digital/computer-assisted aerial warfare is relatively new to human conflict.)

It's about why the rules of engagement were what they were.

It's about shooting persons trying to evacuate wounded, whether standard operating procedure or not.

It's about the ethics of shooting at barely identifiable images on a screen.

It's about who shoots first - thus, it's about preemptive war.

It's about trying to hide the truth of what we were doing there and about trying to cover up and keep hidden from public view the truth about what we were doing there.

It's about, as Glenn Greenwald wrote yesterday, "the value ... in realizing that these events are anything but unusual."

It's about why we didn't have that debate on these issues and theses truths in our media BEFORE the war.

It's about why some STILL don't want to have that debate.

It's about why we seem to have to learn our lessons all over again.

It's about why some Americans want those lessons forgotten.

It's about the mythology of "bravery" and "heroes."

It's about the power of and belief in American exceptionalism.

And frankly, it's about how many attempted to warn about these things before the war started and how we searched in vain for truth in our leaders and our media and were told to shut up.

The video is out there - almost four and half million views at its original source alone: It's about what we do with it now. And what THAT means.
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