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WARNING: Graphic and disturbing photos between 38:47 and 40:00. U.S. Army Ranger John Needham, who was awarded two purple hearts and three medals for heroism, wrote to military authorities in 2007 reporting war crimes that he witnessed being committed...
Nnomy Peace This film (http://vimeo.com/33755968) presents by far the most articulate of the various cases I have heard about concerning the supposed "rules of engagement" out of Iraq or Afghanistan and the way commanders can override medical declarations to order heavily damaged soldiers back into combat. But it is by no means unique in its depiction of our throw-away enlisted soldiers (where today only about 25% of whom are "allowed" to enlist - i.e., the cream of the crop to be used and discarded). The only "unique" part of this narration is that John's father was a willing and apparently quite able advocate to step in to speak up for his damaged son, which commanding officers DO NOT want to see... very few suffering the same kind of treatment that John suffered have such an advocate.
War-fueled atrocities have occurred as far back as there are any written records and many individuals of our armed forces have been literally forced to engage in them. Those that object to these actions are destined to either suffer the same type of suicide assignment that John and the Lt. were assigned, or potentially not return from an engagement because of (baring all else) "friendly fire."
Although the DD Form 4 (the Contract that every enlistee has to sign) has been weakened in this regard in the last version, there is still a provision "As a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, I will be: (1) Required to obey all lawful orders..." The problem is that, in practice, the term "lawful" becomes subverted to the shifting "rules of engagement," which are supposed to appropriately reflect what is "lawful," but...
In talking with a local psychologist, who claimed to be able to treat veteran PTSD, I mentioned this aspect of that problem and her eyes simply grew quite wide... it was obvious she hadn't considered this psychological condition, or that those suffering from this form of PTSD couldn't really relate to someone that hadn't experienced such an aspect of the war environment.
As the Vietnam-era song goes, "When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?" - Don Chapin
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