A destruição

Homs, Siria, Janeiro de 2016.

Estaremos a viver a época mais pacífica da história? Provavelmente sim.

Guerra civil na Síria e no Iraque. Conflito armado na Ucrânia. Combate ao tráfico de droga no México. Guerra civil na República Centro Africana. Bombardeamentos com drones no Paquistão, Afeganistão e Iémen. Caos na Líbia e no Egipto. Conflitos insanáveis no Sudão. Ataques terroristas na Nigéria. Intervenções no Mali. Parece que vivemos numa época de guerra. Certo? Errado. Na realidade, ao contrário do que parece, esta é a época mais pacífica da história da humanidade – onde morrem cada vez menos pessoas em conflitos armados. Não é possível? É. Vejam o vídeo.

A barbárie dos tempos modernos

Foto:Jonathan Pedneault / freejamesfoley.org

Foto:Jonathan Pedneault / freejamesfoley.org

Em 2011, quando estava a cobrir o conflito na Líbia, o fotojornalista James Foley foi raptado pela primeira vez. Depois de ser libertado, deu uma entrevista ao Boston Globe em que explicava os motivos pelos quais ia para a guerra: “Acredito que o jornalismo da frente é importante. Sem esses vídeos, fotos e experiências em primeira mão, não se consegue contar ao mundo realmente o quão mau a guerra pode ser”.

Pouco tempo depois, o repórter freelancer voltou ao terreno. Desta vez a um local ainda mais perigoso: a Síria. Ao todo, já morreram 69 jornalistas desde que o conflito começou. Mais de 80 foram raptados. Entre duas e três dezenas estão ainda desaparecidos. Muitos, como Foley, são freelancers: jovens repórteres que se arriscam a ir para o terreno sem meios, rede de segurança ou um simples seguro de saúde. Tudo para contar uma história, muitas vezes mal paga. E estão em perigo.

Em Novembro de 2012, James Foley foi raptado no norte da Síria. O auto-intitulado Estado Islâmico do Iraque e do Levante (ISIL) ainda não existia. O jornalista terá andado de grupo em grupo até ir parar às mãos do ISIL na primavera do ano passado. A sua história e a de outros repórteres sequestrados foi contada neste artigo da Vanity Fair, em Maio. Ao contrário do que sucede com a maioria dos jornalistas raptados, a sua família tornou público o desaparecimento. O Global Post, jornal para o qual trabalhava contratou especialistas em sequestros e pagamentos de resgate. Sem sucesso. Ontem, a sua morte foi exibida num vídeo macabro posto a circular na internet. Tal como Daniel Pearl, em 2002, James Foley foi decapitado. Mostrado como um exemplo do que poderá acontecer a outros ocidentais sequestrados pela organização. No entanto, se para consumo interno a mensagem poderá funcionar, no resto do mundo esta imagem só pode causar repugna. E torna os membros do ISIL representantes da barbárie dos tempos modernos.

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“Vou para a guerra!” Os motivos de uma jornalista

Como é ser jornalista numa guerra? Porque é que alguém decide colocar-se em perigo para contar uma história? É viciante? Estas são algumas das questões respondidas pela jornalista do Sunday Times, Christina Lamb, na curta-metragem “Bringing the world to Britain.” O filme faz parte de uma série de trabalhos em homenagem ao jornalismo do Sunday Times, chamada “unquiet film”. Vale a pena ver.

“Sou um pai que quer o filho de volta”

Bowe Bergdahl foi o último soldado americano aprisionado pelos Talibã a ser libertado. Na vespera da libertação do militar, o The Guardian conseguiu uma entrevista exclusiva com o seu pai, Bob Bergdahl.

Querem perceber a oposição síria? Vejam isto

Lutam contra Bashar Al Assad, mas também entre eles. Quem são os grupos de oposição na guerra na Síria – explicado pelo The New York Times.

Leitura para o fim-de-semana: uma viagem ao inferno da República Centro Africana

Enquanto o mundo está distraído com a crise económica, o campeonato do mundo de futebol ou a instabilidade na Ucrânia, há dois locais no planeta onde a população está a ser massacrada. Um é a Síria. O outro é a República Centro Africana, um pequeno país que começou a ter problemas no final de 2011 e que desde então já perdeu a conta aos milhares de mortos provocados por uma guerra civil que escalou para tensões entre muçulmanos e cristãos. Esta reportagem da The New Republic mostra um pouco do que por lá se passa.

Fotografia: Michael Christopher Brown

Fotografia: Michael Christopher Brown

Hell Is an Understatement

A report from the bloody, crumbling Central African Republic

BY GRAEME WOOD

Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), has never been known for the reliability of its public utilities. Most trash is picked through by scavengers, and the remaining mango pits, scraps of plastic, and rusty bottlecaps pile up on dirt roads or get blown into fetid open sewers. But since December, along a desolate stretch of the Avenue de France, the Red Cross has operated an on-demand, white-gloved sanitation service that, within an hour of being called, will show up to collect human bodies, whether chopped up or left intact.

The Avenue de France marks a divide between two neighborhoods, and the human remains belong to those who have, for one reason or another, strayed too far in the wrong direction. The road itself is devoid of foot traffica no-man’s-land where both sides can deposit their victims, so they don’t have to bury them or let them rot within smelling distance in the African sun. North of the line is the Fifth Arrondissement, a neighborhood inhabited almost exclusively by Christians now that its Muslim residents have either been killed or forced into exile. The Muslims who haven’t fled the country live primarily in the Third Arrondissement, just south of the Avenue de France. There, being a Christian is a condition nearly as fatal as being a Muslim is to the north, south, east, or west.

About 15 percent of Central Africans are Muslims, and for much of the country’s 54-year history, they lived in relative harmony with the Christian majority. But in the last year, CAR has collapsedfirst in a spasm of political violence and now in a grisly carnival of factional and religious slaughter that has left it one of the very worst places on Earth. It is a country the size of Texas, with as many people as Boston, and an economy less than a tenth the size of Chattanooga’s. Reliable data doesn’t exist for the number dead, but from December until March, street lynchings became so common that they ceased to be news. The danger is unequaled anywhere in present-day Africa except, perhaps, Nigeria on a bad day. Bangui competes with Damascus for the title of world’s grimmest capital city.

After a visit last month, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the BBC that “desperate is an understatement.” And Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, made a special stop in Bangui in early April, as part of her effort to deploy blue-helmet peacekeepers as quickly as possible (which, given the lightning reflexes of the United Nations, means no earlier than September). Power’s interest in CAR dates to the beginning of the crisis, and one presumes it has to do with her wish to avoid adding a self-indicting chapter to a revised edition of her 2002 Pulitzer Prize–winning A Problem from Hell, about U.S. inaction in the face of genocide.

Anyone who walks the streets of Bangui for a day knows why she might be alarmed. The last year of fighting has traumatized the population, and now nearly everyone is nursing a lethal grudge. It is a city of overlapping vendettas. Roadblocks are staffed by gun-toting, battle-hardened children, and even an interaction as simple as complaining about a broken cell phone can turn into a spray of indiscriminate machine-gun fire on a crowded city street. During my week there, I learned to stand silently, hands cupped behind my ears, to discern the direction of distant gunfire and figure out where to go, and where not to.

And if you go in search of trouble, Bangui will rapidly oblige. On March 24, my photographer and I took a car to Boy Rabe, a neighborhood known as a stronghold of the Anti-Balaka, the Christian militia that is currently the most feared group in Bangui. It takes its name from its young fighters’ ritual initiations, which supposedly confer resistance to AK-47 rounds (in French, balles-AK, or “ah-kah”) and machetes (balaka in Sango, the national language of CAR). The Anti-Balaka arose from self-defense forces in the countryside and from Christian populations in Bangui, and now that they have the advantage over the Muslims, they are demanding payment and spoils from frightened civilians of all races and creeds.

To meet the Anti-Balaka on their own turf is to throw oneself at the mercy of well-armed adolescents, often drunk, with delusions of invulnerability. Our taxi driver slowed to a walking pace as we came close to Boy Rabe, saying roadblocks might be concealed ahead. We searched for signs that the Anti-Balaka might emerge from behind buildings to rob us, or worse. As we drove on, the road grew quiet, and the commotion of shared taxis and wobbly motorbikes gave way to pedestrians, and finally to the ominous emptiness of no one at all.

Then we hit a roadblock. The half-dozen children who surrounded us when we exited the car all wore threadbare, dirty clothes, and around their necks they strapped anti-sorcery charms, mostly amulets and leather pouches of herbs. Their weapons were dirty and battered, as if used in harsh conditions. The youngest was about ten, the oldest no more than 16. In their hands, I counted three AK-47s, two pistols, two swords, and a crooked, blunt scythe, before I realized I should stop counting and start figuring out a way to leave as soon as possible.

They must have scared our driver, because by the time we took stock of the situation, his vehicle had disappeared back down the road. To each other the children spoke Sango, but when I whipped out my notebook and started asking questions in halting French, they snapped to attention and at least for the moment looked receptive. “We’re journalists,” I said. “We want to know the story of the people of Boy Rabe and talk to the boss here.” The boys just blinked at us, until one said, “There’s no boss.” Those words relieved me slightly: As long as they were talking, they probably hadn’t decided to kill us. But while I spoke, the one with the scythe was scampering up the street with a look of excitement. The photographer, Michael Christopher Brown, shrewdly refrained from taking pictures and said, in his dopiest American English, “I’m American! I live in New York City!”in hopes of showing that we were harmless, and not spies.

About 20 yards uphill, a grown-up emerged from behind a fence. He looked like he was in his thirties, and he wore a clean navy t-shirt over a beefy torso. He was clearly in charge: the boss the boys claimed not to have. As soon as he appeared, he screamed, and the kids reacted like a string of lit firecrackers, yelling and raising their weapons. The first words I could make out from the man were “Get out of here,” and Michael and I both raised our hands to show we carried nothing more dangerous than the tools of journalism. I blurted out some words about wanting an interview, and he yelled, “No interview,” then, “Get out of here,” again. He stormed close enough to shove Michael and take away his camera while shooing us down the road at full scream.

We didn’t dare run or look back, in case he or his soldiers would interpret a glance over the shoulder or a panicked sprint as a sign of aggression or guilt. By then anything might have provoked them. With each slow step I wondered whether Kalashnikov rounds might shred my back or legs. In my imagination, I felt a phantom finger pressing firmly on the base of my skull, where one of the kids might take me out with one lucky shot.

The dirt path to the main boulevard stretched out for another 200 yards but felt much longer, and when I noticed the total absence of traffic thereand therefore the total absence of witnessesit occurred to me that, if the man decided it was safest to kill us, no one would see what happened, and our corpses would appear that afternoon, the palest stack of limbs on Avenue de France.”

O artigo completo está aqui. 

Compreender a guerra na República Centro Africana em 5m22s

Em Portugal só temos ouvido falar da crise na República Centro Africana quando está em causa a caótica decisão do governo de ora enviar para lá, como integrante de uma missão de paz, uma força da GNR, ora de optar por uma equipa da Força Aérea. Mas há muito mais do que isso: há uma série de anos que o conflito provoca a morte a milhares de pessoas. Esta é uma explicação rápida mas detalhada (para aquilo a que estamos habituados) que permite compreender o conflito.

O jihadista americano na Síria

Eric Harroun é americano. Em Julho de 2013 viajou para a Siria para lutar contra o regime de Bashar Al-Assad. Tornou-se mais um dos muitos ocidentais – incluindo portugueses -que foram fazer a jihad. Mais tarde acabou por ser preso pelo FBI por suspeitas de terrorismo. Esta é a sua história, contada pelo próprio à Vice.

As vítimas da guerra na Síria, ano quatro

Syrian Refugees: The not so fun Facts

by infographicly.
Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Uma breve história do Afeganistão

Este ano os Estados Unidos pretendem sair definitivamente do Afeganistão. Esta é uma pequena história do país, feita para um documentário que deverá ser lançado em breve.

O general brasileiro que lidera a luta pela paz no Congo

Começou por ser uma força de manutenção de paz na Republica Democrática do Congo. E durante anos foi ineficaz. Agora, pela primeira vez na história da Organização das Nações Unidas, os capacetes azuis da Organização das Nações Unidas, tiveram autorização para passar à ofensiva. Liderados pelo general brasileiro Carlos Santos Cruz os militares querem instaurar a paz no país – à força. A Al Jazeera acompanhou-o.

O regresso a casa

Marc Dauphin é um médico australiano que passou uma longa temporada num dos hospitais mais atarefados do mundo: a base aérea de Kandahar, no Afeganistão. Pelas suas mãos passaram milhares de soldados feridos. No fim da sua comissão, regressou a casa. Voltou à chamada normalidade que, quatro anos depois, passou a ser tudo menos normal. Este documentário acompanha o seu dia-a-dia no hospital militar e o seu regresso a casa.

O único sobrevivente

O dia 28 de Junho de 2005 ficou na história dos SEAL norte-americanos como o do maior desastre da marinha desde a II Guerra Mundial: 19 homens morreram e um helicóptero foi abatido numa missão militar no Afeganistão. Houve apenas um sobrevivente: Marcus Luttrell. O sniper ficou sozinho durante horas, sem saber se o iriam buscar. Na semana passada contou a Anderson Cooper, do programa 60 Minutes, como a sua equipa foi surpreendida por um pastor de cabras e o seu rebanho – e como ele sobreviveu. A segunda parte da reportagem está aqui.

A luta em casa contra o stress pós-traumático

Nos últimos anos as vítimas de stress pós traumático não têm parado de aumentar. Partiram bem para cenários de guerra como o Iraque e o Afeganistão e voltaram com algo que não sabem bem explicar. Agora, uma terapia radical, inicialmente usada para tratar vítimas de violação, está a mudar as vidas dos veteranos de guerra norte-americanos. Ao longo de dois meses, uma equipa do 60 Minutes acompanhou as sessões em que os antigos soldados ouvem repetidamente a sua voz a relatar a experiência para enfrentar os próprios medos. E conta as histórias destes homens.

O outro lado dos bombardeamentos com drones

Um trabalho da jornalista independente Madiha R. Tahir.

O dia-a-dia de um jornalista capturado

Há quatro americanos detidos na Síria. Estão nas mãos de terroristas. Pouco se sabia do dia a dia deles. Até que Matthew Schrier, um fotojornalista que foi raptado quando estava a deixar o país, depois de acompanhar a luta dos rebeldes, conseguiu escapar. Para além de relatar o que viveu, nesta entrevista ao 60 minutes recorda a luta dos rebeldes contra a ditadura de Bashar al Assad.

A recuperação de um soldado

Bobby Henline sobreviveu à explosão de uma bomba no Iraque. Foi o único. Ficou com 38% do corpo queimado. De regresso aos EUA enfrentou inúmeras cirurgias. Agora tornou-se um comediante de stand up que recorre ao seu estado físico para fazer humor. O documentário Healing Bobby, de Peter van Agtmael, conta a sua história.

O ataque de um drone americano é assim

Depois do perfil de Brandon Bryant, achei interessante mostrar o que ele via em acção.

Leitura para o fim-de-semana: as confissões de um piloto de drones

Aos 21 anos, Brandon Bryant fazia parte do esquadrão da Força Aérea norte-americana que comandava os agora famosos drones dos Estados Unidos no espaço aéreo iraquiano e afegão. Estávamos em 2007 quando, a partir de uma caixa instalada numa base no Nevada ele levou a cabo a sua missão: atingir um grupo de homens armados. Não sabia quem eram. O que faziam. Para onde iam. Qual a sua história. Sabia apenas o que lhe disseram: o grupo era para abater. E foi isso que ele fez, em conjunto com outro militar que pilotava o aparelho. A ele cabia-lhe a tarefa de ser os “olhos” do predador. O operador de câmara e o responsável por garantir que o míssil atingia o alvo. Agora, tornou-se dos primeiros a dar um testemunho directo sobre um programa que tem sido mantido em segredo – apesar do seu uso cada vez mais intensivo. Fê-lo ao jornalista Matthew Power, da GQ americana.

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Confessions of a Drone Warrior

He was an experiment, really. One of the first recruits for a new kind of warfare in which men and machines merge. He flew multiple missions, but he never left his computer. He hunted top terrorists, saved lives, but always from afar. He stalked and killed countless people, but could not always tell you precisely what he was hitting. Meet the 21st-century American killing machine. who’s still utterly, terrifyingly human

PHOTOGRAPHS BY ETHAN LEVITAS

 

From the darkness of a box in the Nevada desert, he watched as three men trudged down a dirt road in Afghanistan. The box was kept cold—precisely sixty-eight degrees—and the only light inside came from the glow of monitors. The air smelled spectrally of stale sweat and cigarette smoke. On his console, the image showed the midwinter landscape of eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar Province—a palette of browns and grays, fields cut to stubble, dark forests climbing the rocky foothills of the Hindu Kush. He zoomed the camera in on the suspected insurgents, each dressed in traditional shalwar kameez,long shirts and baggy pants. He knew nothing else about them: not their names, not their thoughts, not the thousand mundane and profound details of their lives.

He was told that they were carrying rifles on their shoulders, but for all he knew, they were shepherd’s staffs. Still, the directive from somewhere above, a mysterious chain of command that led straight to his headset, was clear: confirmed weapons. He switched from the visible spectrum—the muted grays and browns of “day-TV”—to the sharp contrast of infrared, and the insurgents’ heat signatures stood out ghostly white against the cool black earth. A safety observer loomed behind him to make sure the “weapon release” was by the book. A long verbal checklist, his targeting laser locked on the two men walking in front. A countdown—three…two…one…—then the flat delivery of the phrase “missile off the rail.” Seventy-five hundred miles away, a Hellfire flared to life, detached from its mount, and reached supersonic speed in seconds.

It was quiet in the dark, cold box in the desert, except for the low hum of machines.

He kept the targeting laser trained on the two lead men and stared so intently that each individual pixel stood out, a glowing pointillist dot abstracted from the image it was meant to form. Time became almost ductile, the seconds stretched and slowed in a strange electronic limbo. As he watched the men walk, the one who had fallen behind seemed to hear something and broke into a run to catch up with the other two. Then, bright and silent as a camera flash, the screen lit up with white flame.

Airman First Class Brandon Bryant stared at the scene, unblinking in the white-hot clarity of infrared. He recalls it even now, years later, burned into his memory like a photo negative: “The smoke clears, and there’s pieces of the two guys around the crater. And there’s this guy over here, and he’s missing his right leg above his knee. He’s holding it, and he’s rolling around, and the blood is squirting out of his leg, and it’s hitting the ground, and it’s hot. His blood is hot. But when it hits the ground, it starts to cool off; the pool cools fast. It took him a long time to die. I just watched him. I watched him become the same color as the ground he was lying on.”

···That was Brandon Bryant’s first shot. It was early 2007, a few weeks after his twenty-first birthday, and Bryant was a remotely-piloted-aircraft sensor operator—a “sensor” for short—part of a U.S. Air Force squadron that flew Predator drones in the skies above Iraq and Afghanistan. Beginning in 2006, he worked in the windowless metal box of a Ground Control Station (GCS) at Nellis Air Force Base, a vast sprawl of tarmac and maintenance hangars at the edge of Las Vegas.

The airmen kept the control station dark so they could focus on controlling their MQ-1B Predators circling two miles above the Afghan countryside. Bryant sat in a padded cockpit chair. He had a wrestler’s compact build, a smooth-shaved head, and a piercing ice blue gaze frequently offset by a dimpled grin. As a sensor, his job was to work in tandem with the drone’s pilot, who sat in the chair next to him. While the pilot controlled the drone’s flight maneuvers, Bryant acted as the Predator’s eyes, focusing its array of cameras and aiming its targeting laser. When a Hellfire was launched, it was a joint operation: the pilot pulled a trigger, and Bryant was responsible for the missile’s “terminal guidance,” directing the high-explosive warhead by laser to its desired objective. Both men wore regulation green flight suits, an unironic Air Force nod to the continuity of military decorum in the age of drone warfare.

Since its inception, the drone program has been largely hidden, its operational details gathered piecemeal from heavily redacted classified reports or stage-managed media tours by military public-affairs flacks. Bryant is one of very few people with firsthand experience as an operator who has been willing to talk openly, to describe his experience from the inside. While Bryant considers leakers like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden heroes willing to sacrifice themselves for their principles, he’s cautious about discussing some of the details to which his top-secret clearance gave him access. Still, he is a curtain drawn back on the program that has killed thousands on our behalf.

Despite President Obama’s avowal earlier this year that he will curtail their use, drone strikes have continued apace in Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan. With enormous potential growth and expenditures, drones will be a center of our policy for the foreseeable future. (By 2025, drones will be an $82 billion business, employing an additional 100,000 workers.) Most Americans—61 percent in the latest Pew survey—support the idea of military drones, a projection of American power that won’t risk American lives.

And yet the very idea of drones unsettles. They’re too easy a placeholder or avatar for all of our technological anxieties—the creeping sense that screens and cameras have taken some piece of our souls, that we’ve slipped into a dystopia of disconnection. Maybe it’s too soon to know what drones mean, what unconsidered moral and ethical burdens they carry. Even their shape is sinister: the blunt and featureless nose cone, like some eyeless creature that has evolved in darkness.

For Bryant, talking about them has become a sort of confessional catharsis, a means of processing the things he saw and did during his six years in the Air Force as an experimental test subject in an utterly new form of warfare.

···Looking back, it was really little more than happenstance that had led him to that box in the desert. He’d been raised poor by his single mom, a public-school teacher in Missoula, Montana, and he struggled to afford tuition at the University of Montana. In the summer of 2005, after tagging along with a buddy to the Army recruiting office, he wandered into the Air Force office next door. His friend got a bad feeling and bailed at the last minute, but Bryant had already signed his papers. In short order he was running around at Lackland Air Force Base during Warrior Week in the swelter of a Texas summer. He wasn’t much for military hierarchy, but he scored high on his aptitude tests and was shunted into intelligence, training to be an imagery analyst. He was told he would be like “the guys that give James Bond all the information that he needs to get the mission done.”

Most of the airmen in his intel class were funneled into the drone program, training at Creech Air Force Base in the sagebrush desert an hour north of Las Vegas. Bryant was told it was the largest group ever inducted. His sensor-operator course took ten weeks and led into “green flag” exercises, during which airmen piloted Predators and launched dummy Hellfires at a cardboard town mocked up in the middle of the desert. The missiles, packed with concrete, would punch through the derelict tanks and wrecked cars placed around the set. “It’s like playing Dungeons & Dragons,” says Bryant. “Roll a d20 to see if you hit your target.” His training inspector, watching over his shoulder, would count down to impact and say, “Splash! You killed everyone.”

Within a few months he “went off” to war, flying missions over Iraq at the height of the conflict’s deadliest period, even though he never left Nevada.

His opening day on the job was also his worst. The drone took off from Balad Air Base, fifty miles outside Baghdad in the Sunni Triangle. Bryant’s orders, delivered during a pre-shift mission briefing, were straightforward: a force-protection mission, acting as a “guardian angel” over a convoy of Humvees. He would search out IEDs, insurgent activity, and other threats. It was night in the U.S. and already daylight in Iraq when the convoy rolled out.

From 10,000 feet, Bryant scanned the road with infrared. Traffic was quiet. Everything normal. Then he spotted a strange circle, glowing faintly on the surface of the road. A common insurgent’s technique for laying IEDs is to douse a tire with gasoline, set it afire on a roadway, and dig up the softened tar beneath. The technique leaves a telltale heat signature, visible in infrared. Bryant, a fan of The Lord of the Rings, joked that it looked like the glowing Eye of Sauron.

Bryant pointed the spot out to the pilot, who agreed it looked like trouble. But when they tried to warn the convoy, they realized they couldn’t. The Humvees had activated their radio jammers to disrupt the cell-phone signals used to remotely detonate IEDs. The drone crew’s attempts at radio contact were as useless as shouting at the monitor. Brandon and his pilot patched in their flight supervisor to brainstorm a new way to reach them. They typed frantically back and forth in a group chat, a string of messages that soon included a cast of superiors in the U.S. and Iraq. Minutes passed, and the convoy rolled slowly toward the glowing circle. Bryant stared at the screen, heart pounding, scarcely breathing. The lead Humvee rolled across the eye. “Nothing happens,” says Bryant. “And we’re kind of like, maybe it was a mistake. Everyone’s like Whew, good on you for spotting it, but we’re glad that it wasn’t what you thought it was.” He remembers exhaling, feeling the nervous tension flow out of him.

“And the second vehicle comes along and boom.…”

A white flash of flame blossomed on the screen. Bryant was zoomed in as close as he could get, toggling his view between infrared and day-TV, watching in unblinking horror as the shredded Humvee burned. His headset exploded with panicked chatter from the ground in Iraq: What the fuck happened? We’ve got guys down over here! Frantic soldiers milled around, trying to pull people out of the smoldering wreckage. The IED had been tripped by either a pressure plate or manual detonation; the radio jammers would have done nothing to prevent it. Three soldiers were severely wounded, and two were killed.

“I kind of finished the night numb,” Bryant says. “Then you just go home. No one talked about it. No one talked about how they felt after anything. It was like an unspoken agreement that you wouldn’t talk about your experiences.”

O artigo completo está aqui.