Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 09:36:49 AM EST
John Young of cryptome.org posted a link to a video showing how a sniper shoots american soldiers in Baghdad. One of his readers sent him the comment which I quote below:
A writes 12 January 2006:
I just want to express my deep anger and sadness that you posted [a link to] that sniper video. It is filthy and disgusting to post a video showing the murder of US soldiers. It's Islamist porn... nothing more. It adds to nobody's knowledge of Iraq, its people or its problems. I would ask you consider more thoughtfully before posting links to such things.
Yours sincerely and respectfully,
First, the video. It goes on for about 15 minutes and shows from the snipers view how he shoots many american soldiers idling around. You see civilians running away when the realize what happened, you see other soldiers reacting in ways ranging from running for cover to trying to make out the sniper for retribution to not even realizing that another soldier is lying dead before their tank right next to them.
The quality of the video is bad and the music is awful, but there are two other aspects which are important to me: first, ALL the people shot are soldiers, not civilians. this contrasts with the widely reported mass killings of civilians since the invasion and during the 12 years of indiscriminate bombings by US/UK airforces which took place before the invasion. second, there is some technical prowess involved in this because the video camera is obviously mounted on the rifle of the sniper, in one scene the video seems to have been taken thru the rifle scope itself. The video itself is here. It is a 24MB .WMV file.
Second in my consideration is the comment quoted above. I doubt that killing soldiers from an invading army in an illegal war constitutes murder as "A" states above. As an american he is of course partisan to his own people "right or wrong", and he is wrong as I see things. I see the actions of the sniper not different from what, say, the french resistance did to the invading nazi troops, namely harassing them as possible and shooting as many of them as as they could.
I think that this conduct is even legal under international law and qualifying these shootings as "murder" has no standing under any legal tradition. Given the reported atrocities commited by the americans these shootings seem to be even necessary in order to prevent more hardships to the iraqi civilians and to make the americans desist and leave Iraq ASAP. But I realize that other people see this different.
I submit to your consideration two relevant documents:
http://tinyurl.com/bp294 - A paper written for the US Marine Corps which essentially decries that soldiers are subject to laws and guerillas not
http://tinyurl.com/8mkp8 - FM 27-10, the "Law of Land Warfare" under which all US forces purport to operate.
How do you see it ? How would you see things if the americans invaded your country like they did to Iraq ? What would a Parisian think if his city was subject to the chaos brought upon Baghdad by the invading forces ?
Update [2006-1-13 3:5:33 by name]: 13 Jan 2006 - Another reader comments over at Cryptome:
A2 writes 12 January 2006:
In reply to A, the "Baghdad Sniper" certainly did add to my knowledge of Iraq and the human costs of our unprovoked invasion of that country. The video shows in graphic detail the horror of war. Watch closely! Any supporter of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq should be able to watch this video from beginning to end and then explain for what noble cause these men died.
For the benefit of those who don't read Arabic, at the end of the video the "Baghdad Sniper" claims between Ramadan 1425 and Ramadan 1426 (October 2004 - October 2005) to have:
Killed 143 American soldiers
Wounded 54 American soldiers
Killed 5 American officers
Killed 6 American snipers