Remember the WikiLeaks video, "Collateral Murder"? This highly disturbing footage leaked from the US military's own flight videos shows a practice we have heard about time and again from war resisters. Pilots confirm that there are no allied troops in the area - but ask and receive no information whether the people are civilians or "combatants" - then fire away. In this instance, twelve people were killed, all civilians. They were women, children and civilian men, including two Reuters journalists.
When the video began to circulate, Army specialist Ethan McCord recognized himself in the footage. Anna Maria Tremonti had him on "The Current" yesterday. Earlier, he was interviewed by Wired.
McCord tried to save two Iraqi children's lives. He was ordered not to, and although he tried anyway, one grievously wounded boy died in his arms. When McCord was distraught and sick over the incident, he was mocked, harassed and threatened.
This is not unusual: it is typical. It is what happens.
McCord testifies to exactly what we hear from war resisters - those in Canada and those still hiding or in prison in the US - all the time.
McCord, who suffers from PTSD, also talks about his reaction to the release of the video, why many military people deny the reality it shows, and why we need to end this terrible war.
Please listen to The Current here (it's the third segment), or read the interview at Wired. I am not quoting and linking to it here because the material may be highly triggering. This is the buffer zone for people who may not want to click, or who need time to steel themselves, as I do.
[Related: soldiers describe the despair and isolation in medical trauma units: "It is just a dark place," said the soldier, who is waiting to be medically discharged from the Army. "Being in the W.T.U. is worse than being in Iraq."]