Monday :: May 22, 2006

Video Kills In The Cauldron Of Iraq

by pessimist

The other day, I alluded to violent video games being connected to certain recent incidents in Iraq. Some of you chose to take umbrage at that assertion. To you I ask: Did you know that your government actively encourages the creation and distribution of such games? Did you know the Pentagon has adapted some of thises games for use as official training tools? It's true! Read the entire story of which I excerpt here:

Subliminal Militarization
By Adam Elkus, WireTap.
May 5, 2006

The U.S. Army and video game producers are increasingly collaborating on war simulation games designed to attract a new generation of potential soldiers. In the last few years, war simulation video games have enjoyed a boom. Marketed primarily to teenage boys and twentysomethings but played by gamers of all ages and sexes, they offer the thrill of the age-old battle against evil.

Particularly popular are semirealistic action games like "Rainbow Six," "Counter-Strike," "Battlefield 1942" and "Medal of Honor," allowing players to become supersoldiers in historical American battles or fight against the current bogeymen, Al-Qaida terrorists. They are obsessively detailed in replicating the experience of battle, minus the more troubling moral aspects of killing that are inherent in warfare.

Unfortunately, they also fill the gamer's head with an idealized view of war.

And then you get incidents of murder most foul like this one:

US marines kill Iraqi civilians "in cold blood": lawmaker reports

Former U.S. colonel John Murtha acknowledged in his Pentagon report Wednesday on the Haditha incident in Iraq that the U.S. Marines 'killed innocent civilians in cold blood'. "I understand the investigation shows that in fact there was no firefight, there was no explosion that killed the civilians on a bus. There was no shrapnel.
"There was only bullet holes inside the house where the Marines had gone in."

But don't think that this incident in Haditha is just due to young and dangerous violent video game players having a flashback. It's official military policy that they kill cold-bloodedly like this.

Army Ranger's Testimony: war crimes in Iraq were ordered from higher up the chain of command.
by Randy Rowland
May 21, 2006

During the US invasion and occupation of Viet Nam, testimony of returning soldiers helped turn the tide of public opinion. The gory details of US misbehavior in Viet Nam did not fit the American self image and the more people learned about what was really going on over there, the less they supported the war effort. Jessie Macbeth's story has the same compelling quality to alert the American people and turn the tide of public opinion.

There is a current story in the US press about a squad of Marines that are being investigated for "war crimes" after they murdered a whole Iraqi family one night a few months back. US officials are approaching this story as if this wasn't standard procedure, and are focusing on holding the individual Marines accountable.

Jessie Macbeth blows the lid off that story. Macbeth is a former US Army Ranger, who served in Iraq for 16 months before being wounded and ultimately discharged. His squad did night raids, using the same techniques the Marines are accused of, 4 or 5 times a night for many months.
In this interview Jessie describes killing children to make the parents talk.

And the wrong-wingers don't understand why Iraqis all hate us and the 'insurgency' gets stronger!

He describes one episode where his squad responded to the much-reported incident in Falluja where 4 US mercenaries were killed and hung from a bridge. Shortly after Iraqis killed the mercenaries, according to Macbeth, his squad of Rangers gunned down Iraqis praying inside a mosque on a holy day, then hung some of the bodies from rafters, and defaced the mosque with graffiti.

Macbeth's hand held the smoking gun, and his testimony in this interview shows clearly that the Marines who are now in trouble for very similar actions are not the exception to US tactics in Iraq, but represent only one in many incidents of war crimes.

[Macbeth interview video]

It isn't just the thrill of the kill that draws men to war:

Utahn gets 'rush' as bodyguard
. . . brandishing assault rifle, riding in armored car in Iraq, Afghanistan
By Doug Robinson
Deseret Morning News

Dale McIntosh is one of a growing number of privately contracted bodyguards — many of them ex-soldiers — hired by the U.S. government to protect its officials in Baghdad and other Middle East hot spots. The work is highly dangerous. Four of McIntosh's comrades were killed last summer, two weeks after he returned to the states.
It's also highly lucrative. McIntosh can earn a lot of money quickly
— he has made as much as $25,000 a month.
These soldiers of fortune weigh the benefits — they can earn as much as $1,300 a day and $40,000 per month — against the risks — more than 300 private contractors have been killed, as they dodge exploding cars, road mines, rocket-propelled grenades, snipers, mortars, suicide bombers and military-grade assault rifles.

And the country is going broke paying for this!

"The majority of the guys over there have wives and kids," says McIntosh. "They had come out of the military without much to show for it. It is a way to improve their lives."
"In the military we weren't getting into the game. I was in five years and didn't real feel like my life was in danger, and I don't mean that the way it sounds. It's just kind of a rush, an appreciation of life when you've been in that situation, and I wanted to experience that. People were shooting at us, and we were shooting back. That was a rush you wouldn't come down from all day."
Notwithstanding, private contractors are controversial in the Middle East because they operate under virtually no law. They can and do shoot to kill anyone who is carrying a weapon, for instance, with impunity. "I can't tell you some of the things we did over there," he says. "When we got there, contractors were legally in a gray area. We didn't fall under military law or Iraqi law. To do our job, we can't afford to be diplomatic — if someone won't listen, we act."

The reputation of private contractors has suffered with the increased demand for security and the resulting decline in quality guards.

"Now it seems like the only requirement to get into the [Iraq security] contracting business
is you have to get past Level Six on the Delta Force video game."
There is another kind of subtler wound that Tony, the Vietnam vet, fears for his son, as well. "The things people see in a combat zone . . . sometimes it's hard to get over it," says Tony. "Sometimes they never get over it. A lot of these homeless people are vets. They just couldn't handle it mentally."

Too late, Pop. He's already hooked:

Dale McIntosh has seen those things already. He owns a collection of videotapes of the ambushes recorded by cameras mounted on the dashboard, as well as a collection of photos that chronicle the carnage.
There are photos of men with the tops of their heads shot off,
and photos of skeletons in the street that have been picked almost clean by packs of dogs.
Ultimately, the risk contributed to his decision to return to the United States last summer. "You feel like you have a deck of cards you throw out there, and if you keep throwing them out there eventually your card will come up. I had benefited enough. I didn't want to start a family with one arm."

That said, McIntosh recently began the paperwork process for more security work. He plans to return to Iraq soon.

And so it goes. It isn't going to get any better. King George is reportedly about to attack Iran, and the list isn't completed when that happens. As the US hasn't got the manpower or equipment to occupy a country by traditional means, the bully-boy SS approach appears to be the method by which a country will be forced to submit to the PNAC will.

Economic manipulation by means of massive immigration is going to force young American family men to choose a military 'career' in order to provide for their families, and if they are already 'trained' by means of realistic violent video games, all the better.

Tell me again about how the games are merely entertainment. Tell me again about how well respected our country is. Tell me again about how America has Christian moral values.

Maybe someday I'll believe you.

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pessimist :: 3:33 AM :: Comments (35) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!