Saturday, October 09, 2004

F-16 Cockpit Camera

It is perhaps a testimony to the degree of control the Pentagon has exercised over the news coverage of the Iraq War, but we've seen very few of the cockpit camera videos that were so common during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Here (via Matthew Gross), however, is a video that was shown recently on Channel 4 in the U.K. It shows a missile strike from an American F-16 on a group of people on the street in Fallujah back in April.

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman devotes considerable attention in his book entitled On Killing to the psychological significance of killing at a distance. He writes (p. 108), "In years of research and reading on the subject of killing in combat I have not found one single instance of individuals who have refused to kill the enemy under these circumstances [of killing from a distance], nor have I found a single instance of psychiatric trauma associated with this type of killing." The video suggests why this is the case. One must force oneself to remember that the dots moving ant-like on the street below are human beings.