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Tuesday, January 15, 2008 

Scum-watch: Friendly fire and America.

The Scum is thoroughly disgusted by the latest "friendly fire incident":

ONCE again, our troops come under fire — not from the enemy, but from our friends, the Americans.

Once again, we cannot blame the Fog of War. Battlefield calls for help were answered by both British and US helicopters.

Our Apache went straight for the Taliban position flashed to them by squaddies on the ground — and gave them hell. The US crew inexplicably ignored the co-ordinates and opened fire on Our Boys.

Guardsman Matthew Lyne-Pirkis was lucky to survive shrapnel wounds inches from a major artery.

And, once again, the newspaper is not prepared to face up to the reality on the ground that its incessant warmongering will deliver whatever the situation. It was most likely a tragic mistake, and such things unfortunately happen, especially when forces under completely separate chains of command are working in the same area. You could understand the paper's mock outrage if it really cared either about the troops or about bringing those responsible to some sort of account, but the paper's slavish allegiance to America and especially to the so-called "war on terror", or whatever it's being called now is clearly what more concerns the paper. The more of these incidents that happen and the more that it looks as if what our forces are being asked to do is little more than supplying back-up to an American foreign policy, the more likely it is that the average Sun reader will question both the paper's positioning and our stance in general towards the "special relationship".

Hence this:

America is our greatest friend and ally. And we are loathe (sic) to accuse them of being trigger-happy.

But this latest shocking incident must be fully investigated by the US and lessons learned so no more British troops are maimed. Or killed.

About as weak as a demand as the paper could possibly make. This is the same newspaper remember that recently proposed bringing back of a form of hard labour for prisoners, and that informed its readers that the only thing worse than another war was Iran obtaining nukes, then when the American intelligence agencies made public their belief that Iran had stopped its weapons programme in 2003, it didn't bother to print so much as a word on the subject.

This has always been the cliched elephant in the room in the Sun's offices. As someone on Question Time recently observed, it's shrilly nationalistic on almost everything other than on the subject of media ownership. Around the only arena in which the United States can ever do anything wrong in its eyes is when it accidentally kills British troops, and even then as we've seen it's more worried about the implications for the relations between the two than it is about the lives that needn't have been lost. It demands that we never surrender to diktat from Brussels while the subject of our attachment to America is most certainly not open to discussion. To their credit, most of those who advocate our withdrawal from Europe are more concerned about complete independence, rather than wanting to our attach ourselves ever more ardently to America, as the Sun and Murdoch so dream of. We can't be reminded enough that Murdoch himself, as if he needed any prompting, was most effusive about the Iraq war not because it would mean the overthrow of a vicious, tyrannical dictator, and the establishment of a beacon of democracy in the Middle East, or whatever other pipe dreams that the neo-cons had about achieving at the back of their minds after getting their hands on Iraq's natural resources, he rather said that its biggest benefit would be oil at $20 a barrel. It's recently hit five times that figure, and the disaster that Iraq has become doesn't need to be gone over once again.

Just what would Murdoch or Wade say to those who have lost loved ones in Iraq if they were ever faced them, knowing that their propaganda and constant support has been a major factor in our involvement in the war? I sometimes wonder whether the sycophancy towards "Our Boys", who mostly loathe the paper, if ARRSE is anything to go by, is their way of apologising; then I realise it's just the paper's way of trying to outdo all its rivals on the phony patriotism front.

It'd also be nice to think that the paper's declining circulation, which has finally fell below the 3 million mark, despite selling it some areas for 20p, is a sign that the public is falling out of love with the publication after so long. Rather, I imagine it's more to do with the effects of the internet and the rise of the "free" papers; it really must hurt to be losing sales to such awful, cobbled together crap as Metro and London Lite, or indeed, News International's own TheLondonPaper. One day the Sun's bluff will be called, but it hasn't happened yet.

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And of course "friendly fire" is an American created term, as I doubt those who who were shot at considered it friendly; amicicide is the preferred term.

Anyway it's the old WW2 refrain

"when the German bombers came the Allies ducked, when British bombers came the Germans ducked and when American bombers came we all ducked"

"amicicide"; first time I've heard it. "Fratricide" is the US term.

"Fratricide" was the original term, until the media-spin 'just mates letting off a few rounds' term "friendly fire" came into being amicicide is an amusing way to keep the playfulness while getting back to the hardcore Latin.

Besides fratricide sounds like something online gamers would do "Oh yeah total fratricided your a**". It's also way harsh and sounds almost like it's a bad thing.

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