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Old 04-07-2010, 07:38 AM   #1
jrrtoken
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Recklessness in Iraq

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I don't think that words can put this into perspective, so the video is good enough. Basically, two Reuters journalists stationed in Baghdad were fired upon by Apache helicopters a mile way, due to the fact that a few over-the-shoulder cameras were supposedly "RPGs" and "AK-47s". The group of Iraqis were fired upon by the helicopters, killing all 12 present within the group, including the reporters. Then, a van filled with unknown individuals began to retrieve the dead, only to be fired on again by the helicopters, injuring two children inside.

The indiscriminate and carelessness nature of the gunners is the most appalling aspect, taking a certain joy in their reckless precision (or lack thereof) and little concern for possible civilian deaths. While it is very possible for the gunners to misidentify the cameras from a mile away, the fact that the supposed group of insurgents did not fire upon the helicopters, nor were they preparing to fire upon them, is a ridiculous excuse for a wanton airstrike like this.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:58 AM   #2
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I heard about this on the radio yesterday, so promptly scooted off to WikiLeaks. I only watched the first five to six minutes of the video (without sound, it must be said, but I fear that would have made it worse), and I can't say I would want to watch anything like that again, but I will be watching it in its entirety when I get the opportunity.

As you say, the callousness of the gunners is shocking. It probably would have been worse had I been able to hear their voices, but the subtitles shocked me well enough.






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Old 04-07-2010, 09:10 AM   #3
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Anyone here who's known me knows I am the last to condemn the Military. I'm trying hard to see how they got RPG's and AK47's from the images. Heck people were walking with arms swinging away from their bodies. NO AK was visible. I want to be able to give them the benefit of the doubt. The only thing I can think is that they saw that group and began taking fire from elsewhere. Granted, we don't have the whole video, and MAYBE there was some creative editing... *sigh* Yeah, and maybe a unicorn will walk through my living room...

There are a lot of edits. but the reality is the gunner f4ed up. He missed rule ONE of engaging the enemy. CHECK YOUR F4ING TARGETS! Make sure you're engaging the ENEMY.

Watching this again, I could kind of see how it's slightly possible to think they were insurgents. If you pause at3:56 you see what appear to be AK's. At 4:09 you see a person appearing to be sneaking around a corner.

ps, you MIGHT want to just include a link to the youtube video. as the language is not PG13 nor is the violence depicted.


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Old 04-07-2010, 11:17 AM   #4
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For anyone interested, I found a forty-minute-long version of this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is9sxRfU-ik

As crude as the video is, none of us have the right to criticize the gunners for their callousness. They've been in the frying pan for who-knows-how-long, and killing people sure as hell isn't easy; if it takes them cracking jokes to keep them from going insane, go for it. If none of us have ever been fired upon before, ever feared for our lives the same way the guys on the ground there do, how can we judge the situation?

On the other hand, from what I understand the strike was called in by nearby ground forces, who believed they were under fire. From when I watched the video, I thought that I saw a weapon in the hands of some of the group; now, if that's enough to authorize killing them, I don't know. But **** like this tends to happen when we've got an army trying to control a civilian-populated area; it isn't right, nor should it go unpunished, but it shouldn't be a shock, either.

Towards the end of the link I just posted, you'll note that when the Apache opens fire with the Hellfire missiles, it takes an utter disregard for civilian presence around the target building. I clearly saw men and women walking by who were promptly engulfed in the flames of the rocket. On that account, putting not one, not two, but three missiles into one building is just plain reckless and contemptible, to make no note of the gunners firing on a van picking up the wounded!
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Litofsky View Post
For anyone interested, I found a forty-minute-long version of this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is9sxRfU-ik
Unfortunately, WikiLeaks opted to excise about 20 minutes of footage from even the "full" version you linked. I'll go into the specifics of what "went missing" later in this post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Litofsky View Post
if it takes them cracking jokes to keep them from going insane, go for it. If none of us have ever been fired upon before, ever feared for our lives the same way the guys on the ground there do, how can we judge the situation?
I have been on the ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and have been under fire. You're pretty much right with your assessment of what some people are calling "callousness". If the Apache crew hadn't blithely deflected their unintentional injury of a child in order to think about it more deeply back at base, and had instead got all emotional and guilty about it, they would have had a very hard time fulfilling their overwatch function, and US soldiers would likely have died. It's a coping mechanism, and it works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Litofsky View Post
On the other hand, from what I understand the strike was called in by nearby ground forces, who believed they were under fire. From when I watched the video, I thought that I saw a weapon in the hands of some of the group;
The soldiers on the ground had been under sporadic fire from small arms and RPGs since dawn of that morning. They were clearing their sector, with two Apaches as support. The WikiLeaks video neatly highlights the reporter's gear, but fails to indicate exactly how close the insurgents and reporters were to soldiers on the ground.

The insurgents (yes, they were insurgents, not civilians; fighting had been going on since morning, and any large group of people on the ground did not consist of civilians) were clearly armed, but WikiLeaks diverts attention away from this by highlighting the reporter's gear. Some proof, direct from the video:

That's an AK and an RPG right there, and the others in the group, excepting the reporters, were similarly armed. When coalition soldiers are only a block or so away, yes, that is cause to engage.

The reporter looking furtively from behind a building with his telephoto lens is clearly not holding an RPG when you see the video in a non-stressful situation, but a look at the image he took at that moment, and what he was aiming at, shows why it was imperative that a decision to fire be made quickly:

Unfortunately, the reporters chose to walk around with insurgents, near a firefight, and without wearing any identifying clothing. No, just cameras aren't enough, since the insurgents love to take pictures of dead soldiers for their propaganda.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Litofsky View Post
Towards the end of the link I just posted, you'll note that when the Apache opens fire with the Hellfire missiles, it takes an utter disregard for civilian presence around the target building. I clearly saw men and women walking by who were promptly engulfed in the flames of the rocket. On that account, putting not one, not two, but three missiles into one building is just plain reckless and contemptible, to make no note of the gunners firing on a van picking up the wounded!
I saw a couple of people engulfed in the sand smoke blown around by the missiles (no one harmed there), and one guy who may have caught the very edge of the blast (not rocket "flames", and most likely non-serious injury judging from where he was), though honestly, what is really reckless and contemptible is a civilian (assuming the man was a civilian) deciding that walking into the middle of a firefight is anything resembling a good idea.

Also, relating to the "utter disregard of civilian presence" (though I can't blame you for not knowing this), the video cuts out 20 minutes of footage before orders to fire the Hellfires come in. A summary from the sworn statement of one of the guys on the ground sheds some light on what happened during those 20 minutes (AIF= Anti-Iraqi Forces = insurgents):
"While team was providing security for H26 at the first engagement area H26 informed the team that they were recieving small arms fire from the S/SW and wanted to team to recon the area for AIF. CZ18 then located 5xAIF with AK-47's and 1xRPG. Team was given clearance to engage by H26. I then observed a child and some other noncombatants in the vicinity of the AIF so decided to hold off on the engagement until the non-combatants were clear. After the non-combatants were clear CZ18 the engaged the AIF with 20x30mm. There were 2 possible WIA and I observed the individuals run into a large multistory building. The team then searched the area for more AIF. CZ19 reported a red SUV that has possible AIF in it and team followed and observed the vehicle but could not get PID on any weapons. The team then returned to the engagement area. " (So they held fire when they observed children and other civilians, as well as a SUV that may have contained AIF)

As for the van, a van matching that description had been dropping off and picking up enemy personnel the entire day. When the van pulled up, and people jumped out, they attempted to extract weapons and insurgents from the area. Perhaps they were just good samaritans, but they were doing something that an insurgent vehicle had been doing the entire day, in a vehicle matching its description. It is tragic that children happened to be in the van, and I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that US troops hauled *** to get those wounded kids to a hospital, where they were treated.

And no, I wasn't part of the 2-16th or whatever unit the Apaches came from. Hell, I wasn't even in the same ASCC, so this isn't some misguided attempt to give some buddies a good name. I just hate seeing people's opinions colored by spin and lack of context.



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Old 04-28-2010, 01:19 AM   #6
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Surely Liverandbacon, you at least have some grounds to stand on ad say stuff b/c you have been there and lived it. You have also my gratitude for your service.

Generally I try to give benefit of the doubt to our military until there is undeniable proof and not just circumstantial that they acted maliciously.
I've taken M.A., had a bit of "spills" out and about so can relate to adrenaline and heat of moment incidents, but I never served. Mistakes can and do happen and I try not to pass judgment on military actions b/c I'm not in their place. I have a couple friends who were in the army, one who was in the navy, and probably some that went to the marines and the air force.
I remain objective to both the military and the reporting that goes on.

BTW I remember CNN posting video about these 13 bio lab trailers that were leaving Iraq and headed for Syria shortly after the war began. I still wonder about that and it's odd that has never come back up again.


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Old 04-28-2010, 01:53 AM   #7
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Just wondering...do insurgents not care if reporters photograph or report about them in person?

I just didn't know that insurgents would let people with cameras get anywhere near them.



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Old 05-04-2010, 10:31 AM   #8
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First off Liver: Thank you for your service.

Having more information, and the actual image from the reporter's camera, I can see why they needed to react quickly. With the insurgent attacks, being a threat, and clearly a LOS to the military vehicles, by a possible RPG, I can understand fully how they would make the mistake.

I don't fault them for the "callousness" because honestly, what do you expect them to do... cry because they accidentally hit a child. They have to stay sane somehow. If they let every little thing hit them and eat at their conscience, they would be eating a bullet. They have to keep their wits about them or more people will die. Worry about that stuff when you aren't in a hostile environment. But don't let it tear you up.


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Old 05-04-2010, 05:56 PM   #9
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Was somewhat nonplussed by self-congratulatory response guy was getting from shows on the media circuit, given that it was taken during the surge period and wiki still edited it to indict, however loosely, the American war effort. Thanks for pointing out that wiki edited out inconvenient info for their preferred response.


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Old 05-04-2010, 07:17 PM   #10
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Thanks to L&B for providing a different, and genuinely insightful, take on the subject. This goes to show that there are at least two sides to every story.


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Old 05-06-2010, 01:57 AM   #11
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Reminds me of the Acorn video. Video is released, clearly edited and skewed to mislead, and the media eats it up like no-ones business and don't even bother to get the unedited footage before making wild accusations.

Stay classy news. Stay Classy.
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True_Avery View Post
Reminds me of the Acorn video. Video is released, clearly edited and skewed to mislead, and the media eats it up like no-ones business and don't even bother to get the unedited footage before making wild accusations.

Stay classy news. Stay Classy.
Pffff the news is more "Shock Value" than anything. Has been for a long time. They gotta go for the ratings. "Serious journalism" has become an oxymoron. I just wish they were forced to post retractions as big as the false information they post. If it's headlines, then the retraction should be in headlines, not buried on A16 or hidden in the crawl at the bottom of the screen.


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Old 05-06-2010, 07:06 PM   #13
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Wow and here I though wiki was actually starting to pull its head out its arse, but this merely reaffirms that it's even less trustworthy than the media in the first place.

I thought, though, that the whole thing seemed a little too "anti US military" even for a non media source. Excuse me wile I go find a prostitute and a nice dumpster.


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Old 05-06-2010, 09:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity View Post
I thought, though, that the whole thing seemed a little too "anti US military" even for a non media source. Excuse me wile I go find a prostitute and a nice dumpster.
Yeah, and you'd still feel less unclean than you did after finding out too, eh. But yeah, if it bleeds, it leads.....usually w/o checking for "just the facts, ma'am". I agree w/TC that "mistakes" should be aired out on the front pages rather than buried deep w/in or not acknowledged. Regardless of whatever slant the source has.


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Old 06-29-2010, 08:39 PM   #15
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Well, "mistake" or not, it would just be better if the US army had never go to Irak... but too late.


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Old 07-01-2010, 11:15 AM   #16
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Well, "mistake" or not, it would just be better if the US army had never go to Irak... but too late.
The US Army is not the only force there. We just get the most press. If we're going to go on "if" it would have been better if Iraq had just continued to comply with UN resolutions. It would have been better if Iraq never invaded Kuwait. It would have been better if a lot of things had not happened, but they did. The "mistake" is in how the reporting portrayed this incident.


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Old 07-01-2010, 05:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
The US Army is not the only force there. We just get the most press. If we're going to go on "if" it would have been better if Iraq had just continued to comply with UN resolutions. It would have been better if Iraq never invaded Kuwait. It would have been better if a lot of things had not happened, but they did. The "mistake" is in how the reporting portrayed this incident.

Quote:
Quote:
On March 20, 2003, a United States-organized coalition invaded Iraq, with the stated reason that Iraq had failed to abandon its nuclear and chemical weapons development program in violation of U.N. Resolution 687. The United States asserted that because Iraq was in material breach of Resolution 687, the armed forces authorization of Resolution 678 was revived. The United States further justified the invasion by claiming that Iraq had or was developing weapons of mass destruction and stating a desire to remove an oppressive dictator from power and bring democracy to Iraq.
Is that the UN resolution you are talking about?
However, according to a comprehensive U.S. government report, no complete, fully functional weapons of mass destruction have been found since the invasion.[51] There are accounts of Polish troops obtaining antiquated warheads, dating from the 1980s, two of which contained trace amounts of the nerve gas cyclosarin, but U.S. military tests found that the rounds were so deteriorated that they would "have limited to no impact if used by insurgents against coalition forces." Iraq was also home to 1.8 tons of low-enriched uranium, miscellaneous other nuclear materials, and chemical weapons paraphernalia; the nuclear material was under the supervision of the IAEA until the beginning of the war.
They have completely stopped to comply With UN resolutions...


To that we can add that it's not the UN who send troops to Irak:*

Quote:
sans mandat de l'ONU
in English=

Quote:
without UN mandate
So even if they wasn't developing nuclear weapons, that was to the UN to act, not to the US. And even if it wasn't only the US it was mainly the US who start it. So maybe it would be better if the US stop acting by their selves all over the world, just because THEY think they have to "brought peace, freedom, justice, and security (to their (not) new empire)" to the world.

So even if I don't doubt the medias have disfigured this incident, it doesn't change the fact that maybe there shouldn't have been an US invasion at the beginning, only over suspicions.


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Old 07-02-2010, 04:15 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seikan View Post
....And even if it wasn't only the US it was mainly the US who start it. So maybe it would be better if the US stop acting by their selves all over the world, just because THEY think they have to "brought peace, freedom, justice, and security (to their (not) new empire)" to the world.

So even if I don't doubt the medias have disfigured this incident, it doesn't change the fact that maybe there shouldn't have been an US invasion at the beginning, only over suspicions.
Rhetorical Question: what's the difference between a cease fire agreement and a peace agreement? When a cease fire agreement is broached, the war reignites by default. It's not necessary to declare a new one (ie "start" one). Fact is, even N & S Korea are still at war (which better explains a lot of the N's behavior). The whole inspection regime from 1991-2003 was a joke. The Iraqis always knew when the IAEA was coming and where. We'll likely never really know what might have been found otherwise.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

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Old 07-02-2010, 01:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seikan View Post
They have completely stopped to comply With UN resolutions...


To that we can add that it's not the UN who send troops to Irak:*



in English=



So even if they wasn't developing nuclear weapons, that was to the UN to act, not to the US. And even if it wasn't only the US it was mainly the US who start it. So maybe it would be better if the US stop acting by their selves all over the world, just because THEY think they have to "brought peace, freedom, justice, and security (to their (not) new empire)" to the world.

So even if I don't doubt the medias have disfigured this incident, it doesn't change the fact that maybe there shouldn't have been an US invasion at the beginning, only over suspicions.
1 a NEW UN mandate was not necessary as the old cease fire was already breached
2 Quit calling us an empire. An empire would not give the country back to the people of that country along with a substantial amount of work and cash.
3 You are also forgetting the FACT that Iraq was also firing weapons at OUR aircraft that were enforcing the "no-fly" zones.
4 We are NOT acting by ourselves. nor are we enforcing anything that we were not already asked to enforce.
5 If the UN doesn't want the US to be a major part of anything then it needs to quit using our soldiers to do it's dirty work. Granted, then it would just be a big debate forum where it would effectively have the same clout as Lucasforums.

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