Definition of an insurgent

| April 5, 2010 | 6 Replies

Apparently, an “insurgent” is anyone the U.S. military deems to be hostile, this definition being illustrated by the military’s explanation for this horrific video taken from a military helicopter. It certainly makes you wonder how many other dead “insurgents” were, in any way, threatening American interests.  Consider also, this recent statement by General Stanley McChrystal:  “We’ve shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force.”

Then again, a person who is outspokenly interested in joining the Taliban is not an “insurgent” as long as that person is propped up by the U.S. government in order to rule over Afghanistan. See the latest on Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Will someone please tell me what the Afghanistan and Iraq “missions” are? It’s got to be about more than feeding the military industrial complex, right (and see here)?

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Category: Military, Orwellian

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (6)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Quote from Reddit: "The Pentagon says Wikileaks is a "threat to nat'l security". What kind of nation is the US when *the* *truth* about crimes supposedly threatens our country?"

    Here's the link.

    Recent events convinced me to make a donation to WikiLeaks. May they continue to exist and keep our country a bit more honest.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Here's another good reason to support WikiLeaks:

    "The U.S. military said Tuesday it can't find its copy of a video that shows two employees of the Reuters news agency being killed by Army helicopters in 2007, after a leaked version circulated the Internet and renewed questions about the attack."

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36203503/ns/us_news-m

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Glenn Greenwald's warning regarding the Apache helicopter video:

    "[T]here's a serious danger when incidents like this Iraq slaughter are exposed in a piecemeal and unusual fashion: namely, the tendency to talk about it as though it is an aberration. It isn't. It's the opposite: it's par for the course, standard operating procedure, what we do in wars, invasions, and occupation. The only thing that's rare about the Apache helicopter killings is that we know about it and are seeing what happened on video. And we're seeing it on video not because it's rare, but because it just so happened (a) to result in the deaths of two Reuters employees, and thus received more attention than the thousands of other similar incidents where nameless Iraqi civilians are killed, and (b) to end up in the hands of WikiLeaks, which then published it. But what is shown is completely common."

  4. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    My observations and opinions on the video:

    It seems to me the apache crew was trigger-happy. This is a condition often found in hunters who shoot each other or the vehicle they drove to the hunt site.

    They get excited, the adrenaline kicks in and affects their judgment by activating the fight or flight response.

    The video is very fuzzy and in the video the cameras and straps were easily mistaken as rifles on slings, since the straps are clearly visible, but the camera body appears as a dark object that could possibly be the butt of a rifle. And when one of the photographers knelt to adjust the camera, the zoom lens on the camera could easily be mistaken as the end of a small rocket launcher.

    All because the crew had prejudged the group of meant as insurgents. This show a considerable lack of training in target recognition.

    I also noticed the classical group-think. The problem in group-think in critical situations is that each group member assumes someone else has the responsibility.

    What the video portrays is a tragic mistake. Something that should be learned from. But by covering it up, all involved in the cover-up added to the problem by allowing such incidents to become commonplace.

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    Is this an isolated episode? Not at all. We would shut these "wars" down in a week if we knew what was really going on. Here are some stories out of the mouths of soldiers at Truthout: http://www.truthout.org/iraq-war-vet-we-were-told

  6. Erich Vieth says:

    At Reader Supported News, John Cory is not surprised by the reaction to this video. After all we are a warmonger nation. If that sounds harsh, consider this:

    We have been raised on war. We grew up playing war, strapping on canvas leggings, USMC web belts and maybe a helmet liner to go dig holes in the vacant field down the block and pretend we were landing at Guadalcanal or Normandy as we tossed dirt-clod grenades at one another.

    It was the television age and we rushed home to watch Combat or The Rat Patrol. We bought ten-cent comic books like Sgt. Rock and Captain America, or Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos.

    Hell, we spent Saturday afternoons at the movies: The Longest Day, The Great Escape, Bridge Over the River Kwai and Pork Chop Hill not to mention the TV broadcasts of every John Wayne war movie ever. And that doesn't even count the Cavalry and Indian movies.

    Long before computers – war was great entertainment.

    http://readersupportednews.com/opinion/32-war/146

    I would add that we are a nation with a strange conception of what it means to be a hero. We don't have heroes who think much about the big picture and the long-term picture and then plan accordingly. Are heroes are fearless athletes steeped in the tools of violence.

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