The only remotely amusing feature of the video of the assault by British soldiers on Iraqi teenagers is the way the media are studiously referring to it as an “alleged” attack. I’d love to hear what else the journalists think might be happening. It was always possible to see how the earlier photographs of British “abuse” of Iraqi prisoners might have been faked, as in fact they were proved to be, but the brutish and life-threatening battering of Iraqi protestors I saw on BBC this morning could not have been doctored.
Even more disgusting was the soldier who filmed this spectacle (from a nearby rooftop presumably). Unable to retrain his excitement—which seems to verge on sexual ecstasy at times—we hear the cameraman going "Oh yes! Oh yes! You're gonna get it. Yes, naughty little boys. You little fuckers, you little fuckers. Die. Ha Ha." and then mimicking the teenagers as they cry for mercy “oh don’t hit me”.
One common feature of the atrocities at Abu Ghraib and Basra is that if it had been left up to the authorities, these incidents would never have come to light at all. The only reason both crimes were discovered is that technology has given moronic thugs the chance to film their own crimes and thus to expose themselves. For that small mercy we should, I suppose, be grateful. In fact the British video only came to light because it was being shown to other soldiers, presumably in a spirit of bravado, at an army camp in Germany. That’s nauseating in itself.
For more on the darker side of the British army in Iraq, see here.