Saturday, November 25, 2006

Just another day in the empire



Winning the hearts and minds is hard work:
From the London Metro:

A video showing US soldiers in Iraq taunting thirsty children with a bottle of water has caused outrage. The footage shows a group of children desperately chasing a truck so they can get a drink.

Today the US Department of Defense confirmed the video showed US soldiers and said the images were 'unfortunate'. The faces of the two men in the vehicle are not revealed but they can be heard saying in American sounding accents: 'You want some water? Keep running.'
"Unfortunate." That's one way of putting it. Let's call it the cruelty inherent in the mindset required to bear what Kipling would call "the white man's burden." No doubt the "support the troops" crowd would have us believe that "we" are over there to "civilize" these "savage Others" out in a remote corner of the Third World. Such a view is one easily devoid of empathy, and one that easily leads to acts of cruelty, be they the torture at Abu Ghraib or taunting children for kicks.

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