This is what I thought was so strange about the reaction to the Wikileaks video. That wasn’t unusual, that’s what war is. They don’t stop to think about whether they’re following the rules of engagement. That kind of emotional disconnect is why we don’t send people to war unless we have to – and we didn’t have to. From one of the company members:
WASHINGTON – April 9 – Josh Stieber, who is a former soldier of the “Collateral Murder” Company, says that the acts of brutality caught on film and recently released via Wikileaks are not isolated instances, but were commonplace during his tour of duty.
“A lot of my friends are in that video,” says Stieber. “After watching the video, I would definitely say that that is, nine times out of ten, the way things ended up. Killing was following military protocol. It was going along with the rules as they are.”
Stieber deployed to Baghdad with Bravo Company 2-16, whose members were involved in the incident captured in Wikileaks’ “Collateral Murder” video, which has made international headlines by depicting a July 2007 shooting incident outside of Baghdad in which over a dozen people, including two Reuters employees, were killed. Although he was not present at the scene of the video, he knows those who were involved and is familiar with the environment. Stieber, who now works to promote peace and alternatives to war, is speaking publicly about his time in Iraq and the incident captured in this video.
“If these videos shock and revolt you, they show the reality of what war is like,” says Stieber. “If you don’t like what you see in them, it means we should be working harder towards alternatives to war.”