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Breaker Morant and the subjugation of Iraq by soldiers

by Dave Riley

I watched Breaker Morant this week on DVD. I've seen it many times before of course as it is one of the best Australian movies to come out of the new wave.

But it struck me that Bruce Beresford's 1980 feature was extremely relevant to the present day.

If you don't know the story -- the film is about a court marshal of three Australian soldiers during the Second Boer War, who are charged with -- and two were subsequently executed in February 1902 for -- the murder of Boer prisoners.

And it seems that it was true: that the 'diggers' did shoot the Boers. The question is whether they were following orders when they did so.

Breaker Morant does an excellent job exposing the duplicity of the military brass in the murder such that it is apparent that Lord Kitchener is keen to use the soldiers as scapegoats for a policy that was a standard, albeit one not in the form of written orders.

Something like protocol at Abu Ghraib...

So while the soldiers -- Breaker Morant and Leutenant Hancock -- are murderers they are nonetheless victims of the way the war against the Boers was being fought.

So check out Breaker Morant if you can with today's wars in mind because there's a parallel worth exploring.

Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations

Then listen to this: Free Speech Radio News coverage of the Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan. It is grueling testimony.

In March 2008, hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans gathered outside Washington, DC to talk about what they saw and did in combat. In this FSRN documentary, "Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations", produced by Aaron Glantz and Esther Manilla and presented by Aaron Glantz, we bring you the voices of soldiers that share their experiences during occupation, and the obstacles they face when the return home.

Click here for 13 Meg Version
Click here for Dial-up Version

Original audio source

And for more, watch the video...

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