Posts Tagged ‘Wikileaks’

Collateral Murder: Two Points

07/04/2010

The lately leaked videotape by Wikileaks that showed a war crime executed by soldiers of the US army in Iraq back in 2007 will generate lots of discussion and point fingering to the US Army and before that foreign policies and practices. I will not doubt that it is worth to highlight the cold blood execution everyone saw in the tape and I personally believe that it is not that only incident when innocent Iraqis, and in other places innocents human beings, were killed in a similar brutal manner. However, what strikes me is that many around the world and more specifically in the Arab and Islamic countries receive such tapes with shock and strong condemnation of what happened, while such attitude is not strongly shown when the criminals are either Arabs, Muslims or not Westerns.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, many innocent people died because of attacks carried out by either Al-Qaeda or Taliban or any other “Islamic” group. Always there are voices that condemn such unjustified killings but such voices are neither widely heard nor well accepted.  I do not doubt the right of Iraqis and Afghans to defend their country against the American occupation but I clearly see a difference between liberating a country and killing innocent people in the markets, buses and around religious shrines. Killing an innocent person is a crime regardless of who is behind it.

In Saudi Arabia, Al-Qaeda attacks caused many causalities yet I can claim that the tone of condemnation is rarely as strong as when the media leaks some of the wrong doings of the US either army or investigators. I personally hate the unjust practiced by the US in many places around the globe, yet I do find it unfair to look to the mistakes of others while we are not dealing with our own mistakes.

On the other hand, I was listening last night to the BBC program “Have your say” and one of the guests was an American journalist who kept saying “it is war, what do you expect?”. Honestly what I heard him saying was “They are damn Arabs, why shall we care!”. Why? Because I cannot imagine the same attitude and unemotional tone if the victims were Americans. Overall, the tape shows a real disrespect to human life represented by: 1)Firing on unarmed individuals who were trying to help an injured person who cannot be a source of any threat, 2)The eagerness to fire at the van and 3)the laugh. It is war but even then I don’t think human should turn to be inhuman.

Such incident shows how the importance of media and its role in exposing things that many would like to keep under the carpet. In my country, I wish we can clean up so many things and keep nothing under the carpet.