Friday, January 13, 2012

Robert Fisk: This is not about 'bad apples'. This is the horror of war

How many other abuses took place off camera? How many Hadithas? How many My Lais?

By Robet Fisk

"So now it's snapshots of US Marines pissing on the Afghan dead. Better, I suppose, than the US soldiers pictured beside the innocent Afghan teenager they fragged back in March of last year. Or the female guard posing with the dead Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib. Not to mention Haditha or the murder videos taken by US troops in the field – the grenading of an old shepherd by an Iraqi highway comes to mind – or My Lai or the massacre of refugees by US forces in Korea or the murder of Malayan villagers by British troops. Or the Bloody Sunday massacre of 14 Catholics by British troops in Derry in 1972. And please note, I have not even mentioned the name of Baha Mousa.
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1 comment:

  1. "When the Gloucestershire Regiment went on a rampage near Divis flats, smashing every window in the street the day before they were due to leave Belfast, the line was changed. They had been under "enormous strain" – but weren't these the "Glorious Gloucesters" of Imjin River fame? And the killer Paras of Derry – weren't these the same Paras of Arnhem Bridge?"

    No they weren't, Mr. Fisk. The difference is that the paras of World War 2 and the "Glorious Gloucesters" of the Imjin River were, overwhelmingly, conscripts.
    The bully boys of the Divis Flats, and the murderers of Derry were professionals; they were, as we are constantly told of their dead peers, "doing the job they loved". The national servicemen of my era despised the army, its customs and its contingent of regular soldiers. They hated "playing Errol Flynn" as active service was described.
    There were a few psychopaths, or bad apples, as they are known. But, looking back, I think they tended to be regulars. Obviously the opportunity to sport firearms and kill defenceless people with impunity would appeal to certain types.