Apocalypse Dissonance Now
It should be fun to see how they handle this one:
A former American soldier who served in Iraq and filed for conscientious objector status has given an extraordinary insight into the war’s dehumanising effects Â an insight that helps explain why the British and American public has turned sharply against the occupation.
On the eve of large anti-war demonstrations in Washington and London, Hart Viges has told how indiscriminate fire from US troops is likely to have killed an untold number of Iraqi civilians. Mr Viges, 29, said he was still haunted by the memories of what he experienced and urged President George Bush to withdraw US troops from Iraq.
“I don’t know how many innocents I killed with my mortar rounds,” Mr Viges, who served with the 82nd Airborne Division, said during a presentation this week at American University in Washington. “In Baghdad, I had days that I don’t want to remember. I try to forget,” he added
The rare insight into the chaos of the combat Â including an order to open fire on all taxis in the city of Samawa because it was believed Iraqi forces were using them for transport Â comes as US support for the war in Iraq slumps to an all-time low. Polls suggest that 60 per cent now believe the war was wrong. Mr Bush’s personal approval ratings are also at a record low.
Hart Viges’ own journey into the chaos and violence of Iraq started on 11 September 2001. The day after he watched al- Qa’ida terrorists fly airliners into targets in New York and Washington he quit his job as a waiter in Seattle and signed up for the US Army.
Deployed to the Middle East in early 2003, he saw action in Baghdad and Fallujah, among other hot spots.
Despite his growing horror with what he was experiencing, it was only when he watched Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ, that he decided to file for conscientious objector status. “I consider myself a Christian and I thought Jesus wasn’t talking smack,” he told the American-Statesman newspaper, in his current home of Austin, Texas.
Let the swiftboating of Hart Viges commence…now.