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Bradley Manning is a 24 year old US soldier who is in detention in the US charged in connection 'with the leaking of a video of a helicopter attack in Iraq' by the US army. The video can be seen below and is quite graphic. A particularly shocking aspect of the incident was the shooting by the US helicopter of a van which came to assist the injured (the van appears at 6mins 26secs in the video). Two children were sitting in the front seat of the van. Although they were seriously injured they survived the attack. The whole incident is an example of the appalling lack of respect for human life which pertains in the Iraq conflict.

 

 

Bradley Manning is to be congratulated for his bravery in exposing this appalling illustration of how the destruction of human life has become so routine in Iraq. His efforts on behalf of innocent victims of violence should be applauded and his continued incarceration is a serious injustice against him and the memory of all those killed in this attack and indeed all such attacks in Iraq.

 

The central symbol of Christianity, the crucifixion, has endured down the centuries as an unambiguous reminder that Jesus Christ took his place firmly alongside all innocent victims of violence. In so doing he unearthed the deep seated structures of violence that remain rooted in human culture right up to our own day. The silence around these ongoing acts of violence in Iraq, as illustrated in this video, provides a telling comparison between the crucifixion 'outside the walls of Jerusalem' of the innocent Jesus with the ongoing slaughter of civilians which continues 'beyond the radar' of mainstream media today. Bradley Manning's exposure of this violent incident is firmly within the Christian tradition of uprooting such violence from human culture. He deserves our full support.{jcomments on}