In his discussions of civilian casualties and atrocities in the combat zone, McCord insists on placing the lion's share of the blame on the systematic training implemented by the Army, which teaches soldiers to "dehumanize" the enemy, which easily extends to entire civilian populations.
"Instead of people being upset at a few soldiers in a video who were doing what they were trained to do, I think people need to be more upset at the system that trained these soldiers. They are doing exactly what the Army wants them to do."
McCord notes in the radio interview that in the Apache helicopter attack, upon hearing that children had been hit, a crew member first says "Oh damn," but quickly recovers bravado, as perhaps trained to do so, with the remark "that's what they get for bringing kids into battle." McCord relates a cadence taught in basic training, a song soldiers sing to keep time as they run or march:
We went to the market where all the hadji shop,
pulled out our machetes and we began to chop, We went to the playground where all the hadji play,
pulled out our machine guns and we began to spray,- Advertisement -
We went to the mosque where all the hadji pray,
threw in a hand grenade, and blew them all away.
Although the focus of controversy over the Wikileaks video has been almost exclusively on the legality of the initial attack on the group of men, it is the second attack on three Good Samaritans who attempt to evacuate a wounded man which has been put forth by many experts as a clear war crime.
McCord said that although he relives his experiences in Iraq, as do many veterans, every day, part of his healing process has come from speaking out, and letting people know about the atrocities which take place in war so that people might "open their eyes." McCord said the kinds of events depicted in the video happen "almost every day" and that the only thing unusual about the events in the video is that "America got to see what happened."
The Army has charged Private Bradley Manning with leaking the classified video to Wikileaks. Manning is now being held in the military prison at Quantico, VA, awaiting charges of leaking classified information.
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