By Grant Lawrence
Ethan McCord, was one
of the US soldiers that arrived upon the now famous July 2007 slaughter
by Apache Attack Helicopters' on Iraqi civilians, including children
and journalists. The incident is famous because WikiLeaks got a hold of
the leaked army video and the rest is media history.
McCord being involved in the gruesome business of war has left a
terrible mark on his psyche. McCord would have been just another soldier
suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder were it not for the
WikiLeaks classified video.
He says that he was getting better
but the classified video has brought it all up again.
What really seems to trouble McCord is remembering seeing the kids wounded and killed.".....I've lived with seeing the children that way since the incident happened. I've had nightmares. I was diagnosed with chronic, severe PTSD. [But] I was actually starting to get kind of better," McCord says....She had a stomach wound and she had glass in her eyes and in her hair. She was crying. In fact, that's one of the reasons I went to the van immediately, because I could hear her crying. It wasn't like a cry of pain really. It was more of a child who was frightened out of her mind. And the next thing I saw was the boy". He was kind of sitting on the floorboard of the van, but with his head laying on the bench seat in the front. And then the father, who I'm assuming was the father, in the driver's seat slumped over on his side. Just from looking into the van, and the amount of blood that was on the boy and the father, I immediately figured they were dead.
So, the first thing I did was grab the girl. I grabbed the medic and we went into the back. There's houses behind where the van was. We took her in there and we're checking to see if there were any other wounds. You can hear the medic saying on the video, "There's nothing I can do here, she needs to be evac'd." He runs the girl to the Bradley. I went back outside to the van, and that's when the boy took, like, a labored, breath. That's when I started screaming, "The boy's alive! The boy's alive!" And I picked him up and started running with him over to the Bradley. He opened his eyes when I was carrying him. I just kept telling him, "Don't die; don't die." He looked at me, then his eyes rolled back into this head.
Then I got yelled at by my platoon leader that I needed to stop trying to save these mf'n kids and go pull security". I was told to go pull security on a rooftop. When we were on that roof, we were still taking fire. There were some people taking pot shots, sniper shots, at us on the rooftop. We were probably there on the roof for another four to five hours.... "(source Wired.com)
He says, "There's no easy way to kill somebody. You don't just take somebody's life and then go on about your business for the rest of the day. That stays with you. And cracking jokes is a way of pushing that stuff down. That's why so many soldiers come back home and they're no longer in the situations where they have other things to think about or other people to joke about what happened " and they explode."
As far as another soldier's remarks on the video about it being the Iraqi's fault for bringing kids to a battle. McCord responds, "Well in all actuality, we brought the battle to your kids. There's no front lines here. This is urban combat and we're taking the war to children and women and innocents."
Ethan McCord says that people don't want to know what war is all about. It is in fact "disturbing".
But Ethan McCord like most soldiers has a conscious and he is troubled because of it. He and another soldier at the scene of the July 2007 massacre, Josh Stieber, have written an apology to the Iraqi people.
"....There is no bringing back all that was lost. What we seek is to learn from our mistakes and do everything we can to tell others of our experiences and how the people of the United States need to realize we have done and are doing to you and the people of your country. We humbly ask you what we can do to begin to repair the damage we caused....."(source: Democracy In Action.org)
Like every other war, soldiers, like McCord, pay for the wars with their lives and limbs, and their psyches. While they suffer for the atrocities that they had to commit, the psychopaths that profit from it will not lose an ounce of sleep. In fact, they will continue to amass ungodly wealth for their ungodly actions.
But this is the business of war. It really is a business of mass murder for resources, strategic control, and the maximizing of power and profit.
The little Iraqi murdered ones were just pawns in their gruesome game. They have no justice but hopefully they now have peace. Someday it might be that the ones that engineered their deaths, and a million or so more, will find it hard to rest comfortably.
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