Antikriegs-Veteranen: Folge 2

Der ehe­ma­li­ge US-Marineinfanterist Ross Caputi reflek­tiert in die­sem kur­zen Video die Ereignisse im Zusammenhang mit der Belagerung und Zerstörung der ira­ki­schen Stadt Falludscha im zwei­ten Golfkrieg, an der er direkt betei­ligt war. Dabei kamen im Jahr 2004 tau­sen­de von Menschen bei der Verteidigung ihrer Heimat ums Leben und hun­dert­tau­sen­de wei­te­re wur­den dabei ver­trie­ben oder mit che­mi­schen Kampfstoffen vergiftet.

Caputi ver­sucht von einem mög­lichst objek­ti­ven Standpunkt her­aus die Aggressionen zu reflek­tie­ren und erklärt dabei auch die Denkweise der US-Soldaten , wel­che den Irakis jeg­li­ches Mensch-Sein abspra­chen. Heute fra­gen sich die Veteranen selbst, wofür und für wen sie dort eigent­lich das eige­ne Leben ris­kiert hat­ten und ob das Feiern ihres Heldentums in ihrer Heimat wirk­lich gerecht­fer­tigt ist.



Download: hier oder Irak - Marineinfanterist ueber die Zerstoerung Falludschas


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„It has been seven years sin­ce the end of the second sie­ge of Fallujah – the US ass­ault that left the city in ruins, kil­led thousands of civi­li­ans, and dis­pla­ced hund­reds of thousands more; the ass­ault that poi­son­ed a genera­ti­on, pla­guing the peop­le who live the­re with can­cers and their child­ren with birth defects.

It has been seven years and the lies that jus­ti­fied the ass­ault still per­pe­tua­te fal­se beliefs about what we did.

The US vete­rans who fought the­re still do not under­stand who they fought against, or what they were figh­t­ing for.

I know, becau­se I am one of tho­se American vete­rans. In the eyes of many of the peop­le I „ser­ved” with, the peop­le of Fallujah remain dehu­ma­nis­ed and their resis­tance figh­ters are still belie­ved to be ter­ro­rists. But unli­ke most of my coun­ter­parts, I under­stand that I was the aggres­sor, and that the resis­tance figh­ters in Fallujah were defen­ding their city.

It is also the seventh anni­ver­s­a­ry of the deaths of two clo­se friends of mine, Travis Desiato and Bradley Faircloth, who were kil­led in the sie­ge. Their deaths were not heroic or glo­rious. Their deaths were tra­gic, but not unjust.

How can I begrudge the resis­tance in Fallujah for kil­ling my friends, when I know that I would have done the same thing if I were in their place? How can I bla­me them when we were the aggressors?

It could have been me ins­tead of Travis or Brad. I car­ri­ed a radio on my back that drop­ped the bombs that kil­led civi­li­ans and redu­ced Fallujah to rub­ble. If I were a Fallujan, I would have kil­led anyo­ne like me. I would have had no choice. The fate of my city and my fami­ly would have depen­ded on it. I would have kil­led the for­eign invaders.

Travis and Brad are both vic­tims and per­pe­tra­tors. They were kil­led and they kil­led others becau­se of a poli­ti­cal agen­da in which they were just pawns. They were the iron fist of American empi­re, and an expen­da­ble loss in the eyes of their leaders.

I do not see any con­tra­dic­tion in fee­ling sym­pa­thy for the dead US Marines and sol­di­ers and at the same time fee­ling sym­pa­thy for the Fallujans who fell to their guns. The con­tra­dic­tion lies in belie­ving that we were libe­ra­tors, when in fact we oppres­sed the free­doms and wis­hes of Fallujans. The con­tra­dic­tion lies in belie­ving that we were heroes, when the defi­ni­ti­on of „hero” bares no rela­ti­on to our actions in Fallujah.

What we did to Fallujah can­not be undo­ne, and I see no point in attacking the peop­le in my for­mer unit. What I want to attack are the lies and fal­se beliefs. I want to des­troy the pre­ju­di­ces that pre­ven­ted us from put­ting our­sel­ves in the other’s shoes and asking our­sel­ves what we would have done if a for­eign army inva­ded our coun­try and laid sie­ge to our city.

I under­stand the psy­cho­lo­gy that cau­ses the aggres­sors to bla­me their vic­tims. I under­stand the jus­ti­fi­ca­ti­ons and defence mecha­nisms. I under­stand the emo­tio­nal urge to want to hate the peop­le who kil­led someo­ne dear to you. But to descri­be the psy­cho­lo­gy that pre­ser­ves such fal­se beliefs is not to igno­re the objec­ti­ve moral truth that no atta­cker can ever jus­t­ly bla­me their vic­tims for defen­ding themselves.

The same dis­tor­ted mora­li­ty has been used to jus­ti­fy attacks against the nati­ve Americans, the Vietnamese, El Salvadorans, and the Afghans. It is the same sto­ry over and over again. These peop­le have been dehu­ma­nis­ed, their God-given right to self-defence has been dele­gi­ti­mi­sed, their resis­tance has been reframed as ter­ro­rism, and US sol­di­ers have been sent to kill them.

History has pre­ser­ved the­se lies, nor­ma­li­sed them, and socia­li­sed them into our cul­tu­re: so much so that legi­ti­ma­te resis­tance against US aggres­si­on is incom­pre­hen­si­ble to most, and to even rai­se this ques­ti­on is seen as un-American.

History has defi­ned the US vete­ran as a hero, and in doing so it has auto­ma­ti­cal­ly defi­ned anyo­ne who fights against him as the bad guy. It has rever­sed the roles of aggres­sor and defen­der, mora­li­sed the immo­ral, and shaped our socie­ties’ pre­sent under­stan­ding of war.

I can­not ima­gi­ne a more necessa­ry step towards jus­ti­ce than to put an end to the­se lies, and achie­ve some moral cla­ri­ty on this issue. I see no issue more important than to clear­ly under­stand the dif­fe­rence bet­ween aggres­si­on and self-defence, and to sup­port legi­ti­ma­te strug­gles. I can­not hate, bla­me, begrudge, or resent Fallujans for figh­t­ing back against us. I am sin­ce­rely sor­ry for the role I play­ed in the second sie­ge of Fallujah, and I hope that some day not just Fallujans but all Iraqis will win their struggle.”


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