British soldiers in Kabul, Afghanistan, used an image of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as target practice, drawing criticism from United Kingdom progressives and triggering an internal investigation.
Video of the soldiers firing weapons at a large picture of Corbyn went viral early Wednesday morning.
Video has emerged of soldiers on a shooting range in Kabul firing at a target of Jeremy Corbyn. MOD confirms it as legit: pic.twitter.com/qOr84Aiivj— Alistair Bunkall (@AliBunkallSKY) April 3, 2019
The video was propelled into the mainstream after journalist Ash Sarkar, in a thread on Twitter, cited images from the video posted by far right British writer Trevor Coult celebrating the behavior. In her comments on the video's reception, Sarkar drew a line between Coult's fascist rhetoric and the coverage of Corbyn in the British press.
A tweet from an account which approvingly reposted the video of soldiers using an image of Jeremy Corbyn for target practice.— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) April 3, 2019
The establishment press whipping up of nationalist hysteria about Corbyn is leading to some deeply disturbing stuff from supposedly respectable figures. pic.twitter.com/8lG5Te6ZDl
Sarkar also wondered why the story wasn't front page news.
"It's not just inappropriate," Sarkar said. "It's fascistic."
So, serving members of the armed forces filmed themselves using an image of Jeremy Corbyn’s face for target practice - and there’s not a peep out of the press?— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) April 3, 2019
It’s not just inappropriate. It’s fascistic. https://t.co/8WPGDBqlb2
British media jumped on the story shortly thereafter, and the images have since spread across the world.
The British military has begun an investigation of the soldiers' behavior.
"It's totally unacceptable behavior," said Brigadier Nick Perry.
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'It's totally unacceptable behaviour.'— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 3, 2019
Brigadier Nick Perry's reacted to a video of British soldiers using a picture of Jeremy Corbyn in shooting practice, saying the army is taking it "extremely seriously".
More on this story here: https://t.co/3XACBIrqH0 pic.twitter.com/NB4ECkCeLD
According to the New York Times, the video was taken "at a range in Kabul, Afghanistan, where soldiers carry out 'guardian-angel' drills, practicing to protect top officials. Pictures of other celebrities appeared at the range, but not for target practice."
Media and political personalities in Britain denounced the video and called for a more congenial politics in a fraught moment for the country.
The video is "terrifying," said Novara Media editor James Butler.
"Deeply, deeply dangerous in this political moment," Butler said.
This video is terrifying. It's been circulating on Twitter since last night, and shows what appear to be serving soldiers using a picture of Jeremy Corbyn for target practice. Deeply, deeply dangerous in this political moment. https://t.co/3vlhD6IcTK— James B (@piercepenniless) April 3, 2019
"Calling Jeremy Corbyn a 'terrorist sympathizer,' 'traitor,' and a 'Britain hater' is wrong and dangerous," said Labour Party activist George Aylett. "There are consequences."
Calling Jeremy Corbyn a ‘terrorist sympathiser’, ‘traitor’ and a ‘Britain hater’ is wrong and dangerous.— George Aylett (@GeorgeAylett) April 3, 2019
There are consequences.
The Finsbury Park attacker wanted to kill Corbyn, he was assaulted in a Mosque and now soldiers are using him as target practice.
This must stop. https://t.co/pKgbb4mhHR
"This disgraceful behavior is deeply troubling and has no place in the Army," said Nia Griffith, Corbyn's shadow minister for defense.
I was horrified to see the footage apparently showing soldiers firing at an image of @jeremycorbyn.— Nia Griffith MP (@NiaGriffithMP) April 3, 2019
This disgraceful behaviour is deeply troubling and has no place in the Army.
I have written to @GavinWilliamson about the investigation that is underway. pic.twitter.com/WcELyHLDPE
Corbyn is meeting this afternoon with Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss a possible compromise plan for Brexit.