Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Ethan McCord

Ethan McCord is a former member of Bravo Company 2-16, the ground troops involved in the now infamous “Collateral murder” video released by Wikileaks in April of this year.

October 12th, 2010 6:16 PM

360 Degrees of Rotational Fire

When we deployed we were told that the only way for us to effectively maintain control over our AO (area of operation) was to, in a sense, out-terrorize the terrorists. We were to make the people of Iraq fear us and the repercussions from us more so than the insurgents. We were getting hit with IEDs sometimes daily. The fear of losing your life on a daily basis was wearing the soldiers down. It was in June that our Battalion Commander came to our COP (combat out post) where my platoon was. He walked past us into the office where the 1st Sgt. and company commander were. After about 20 minutes the Battalion commander walked into the weight room where 3rd platoon was at, yelled out “Listen up, new battalion SOP (standard operating procedure) from now on: Anytime your convoy gets hit by an IED, I want 360 degree rotational fire. You kill every motherfucker in the street!” Some of the soldiers were happy to hear this, they were tired of having their hands tied behind their backs. Others like myself couldn’t believe what we had just been told to do. The words I heard were kill them all, fuck em, they don’t deserve to live! I knew that there was no way I could kill women and children or even unarmed men.

This policy was placed into effect immediately. Soldiers who wouldn’t fire their weapons were chastised and ridiculed by NCOs who took it upon themselves to enforce this policy. I witnessed soldiers being smoked for hours because they wouldn’t fire their weapons into unarmed civilians in the street. After seeing the way the soldiers who didn’t fire were treated as a result I chose to fire my weapon, but like other soldiers we fired our weapons into rooftops or abandoned vehicles to escape the wrath of trigger happy NCOs.

As far as the policy went, and soldiers following them, we weren't trained to know an unlawful order. We watched other units carrying the same thing out, so to us the word was that of law. Nobody in a leadership position was stepping up to say, 'hey, this is wrong, we shouldn’t do this.' But those of us who knew it was morally wrong spoke between ourselves and figured a way of escaping the shooting of innocents and the enforcement from the NCOs: By firing our weapons, but not at people, giving the effect that we were following procedure.

I speak out about this because I want the American people to know whats happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, in their names. The WikiLeaks video “collateral murder,” as I've stated before, only begins to depict the suffering that we have caused in the name of freedom and democracy.

So what happens from here? Many soldiers, including myself, have been attempting to be heard by congress. Unfortunately it seems that congress is not concerned with the Wars anymore, placing most of its concern on domestic or personal issues. Many veterans are at the point of feeling that speaking out about the atrocities they’ve witnessed is falling on deaf ears. I have not yet reached that point, however I sometimes feel that in general I am being ignored. “Just another veteran, blah, blah.” But I refuse to fall away into the shadows. As long as I still have a voice, I will continue to speak out. There are so many veterans that it's going to become impossible to ignore us for much longer. I say instead of listening to the talking head “war analysts” that have never seen war first-hand, listen to the soldiers who lived it, who know the tragedies, and the horrible costs of war.

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

If you have a moment today, I hope you can read the obituary for my father Francis (Frank) Moore, who died this past Saturday at the age of 92: Francis...

Apr 22nd
6:33 PM
Read More

My father, Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I...

Apr 20th
2:58 AM
Read More

Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
Read More

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... www.theonion.com President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States www.theonion.com WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles