An American soldier by the name of Spc. Robert A. Rodriguez posted a video on his personal Facebook account where he taunted a pair of young Iraqi boys by saying in English “”Are you going to grow up to be a terrorist? Yeah! All right! Cool! Yeah, terrorists! Woo!” In addition to this, he also taunted them with homophobic slurs.
The reason, according to Rodriguez, was boredom. “I was bored in Iraq. So I kept myself entertained.”
Awwww really? May I recommend conscientious objection … or suicide?
He has since made his account private and he was ordered to remove the video by the Army, while U.S. Army Maj. Bill Coppernoll told ABC News that Rodriguez’s actions were “”not representative of our soldiers.”
It’s the standard line given whenever a soldier, or Marine, or sailer, or whoever does something bad and the military goes into damage control.
Which begs the question; if these few (and many other few) men’s actions aren’t representative of the whole, how come there’s a whole of violence goin on?
Maybe it’s the way they’re trained. Remember that video of the Baghdad massacre in 2007? That was not only evidence of the American military engaging in a crime against humanity, it was also evidence of how the military trains its killers, or said Army vet Josh Stieber:
“Obviously the way the people in the helicopter were talking was very callous, but compared to things that I was being taught in basic training, from training videos that we had to watch, to cadences that we sang, the language in the helicopter was relatively mild.”
But if it wasn’t for Washington, there’d be no occupation in the first place. It’s Washington that not only trained those troops through the Pentagon, but put them there as well; the consequences of their 2003 invasion of Iraq were the deaths of over 100,000 Iraqis by 2004, according to Lancet, while Johns Hopkins updated to over 600,000 by 2006.
In other words, imagine the videotaped incident multiplied thousands of times over. Thousands of individual soldiers trained the same way and under the same orders under officers that are under the same orders.
And they’re still following those orders. It wasn’t the Bush administration trying to cover up the vid – it was the Obama administration. You know, the one about change and all that? And it’s that same administration that’s expanded the occupation of Afghanistan, which has led to high numbers of civilian deaths from unmanned drones and soldiers.
Which is why some kids like the ones Rodriguez taunted may grow up to plant IEDs? If he can’t learn that from his own experiences, then let’s hope we can at least bring him and others like him home so that they can find something more constructive to do with their time.