Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Shooting The Injured

Generally a Bad Thing. Although it's not unknown for soldiers to shoot those (including their own comrades) who are in agony and so severely injured that they will die anyway.

There are many examples from the First and Second World Wars of such behaviour - John Keegan's book "The Face Of Battle" describes some.

Max Hasings wrote in his book 'Overlord' "among scores of Allied witnesses interviewed ... almost every one had direct knowledge or even experience of the shooting of German prisoners during the campaign .. many British and American units shot SS prisoners routinely."

On the Eastern Front prisoners were rarely taken. It was German policy to shoot them, and the Russians responded in kind.

But if every instance is sent round the world by the US and British media, it'll make the war harder to win both in Iraq and at home. As you can't fight a war without such things happening, perhaps we should have stayed at home in 1940. Thank God Robert Fisk wasn't reporting from the Ruhr when my parents were helping to flatten it.

"our Baghdad correspondent says most Iraqis will not be surprised.

After the scandal of US abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib facility in Baghdad, Iraqis do not expect Americans to act with a high standard in combat"

If that's the BBC, what will the Indie have on its front page ?

UPDATE - news of Margaret Hassan's murder. It was a couple of weeks ago, during the voting in the US, that news came of a video in which she fainted while pleading for her life. Her captors threw water over her and taunted her as she staggered to her feet, sobbing. Even Al-Jazeera wouldn't show it.

I know which of these two images will be on the Independent's front page tomorrow.

UPDATE - blimey - I'm wrong. Well done Indie, though I wish you'd get the editorial off the front page. News and comment are so inextricably linked it's more of a current affairs mag than a paper.

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