Afghan 'Snuff Films' Degrading British Troops

But military says films shown to inform troops and help morale
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2011 4:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's not exactly must-see TV. British troops in Afghanistan have been watching "Kill TV," featuring gruesome footage of helicopter attacks cutting down people, reports the Independent. The revelation comes from a documentary soon to air on British television. In one video, an Afghan woman is referred to as a "snake with tits"; in another a pilot says mockingly, "Goodnight princess," as a missile hits a woman. The military says the footage is shown to inform soldiers about what's happening and to improve morale. But anti-war activists say the videos are "snuff" films that degrade the troops and are a sign of the failure of the war in Afghanistan.

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"People look at it and say, you know, 'Young lads are laughing at the enemy being killed,'" said the warrant officer who narrates the films, defending them. "Well, I don't know if the Taliban do something similar, but I'm sure they rejoice when they kill one of us." But anti-Afghanistan war activists say the films reveal a dark desensitizing that the troops are undergoing. "The fact that British soldiers are reduced to watching what are effectively snuff movies shows the complete failure of the project in Afghanistan," said one activist. "It's a failure of war that is trickling down and resulting in a mental degradation among ground troops." (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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