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Author Topic: This...this is just wrong. >_>  (Read 6353 times)

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Offline September

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #50 on: April 06, 2010, 06:35:54 AM »
There are plenty of things wrong with it. Rather clearly, there is no aggression at all, simply men walking down the streets. The soldiers shot at a perceived threat, not an actual one.

If that's what you believe I can see why you're unhappy about it, but your description is not accurate.  Those men were not walking down the streets, they were setting up an ambush with a rocket propelled grenade launcher.

Second, they shot someone already injured and out of commission again just to make sure he was dead,

No, they specifically didn't do that.  They held back from finishing him off because he didn't seem to be armed.  They were waiting for the ground team to capture him.

and they shot at medical personnel, which, shooting medical personnel is against the Geneva convention, something we're supposed to be upholding...

They weren't medical personnel, medical personnel wear uniforms.

Offline Schrödinger

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #51 on: April 06, 2010, 06:52:16 AM »
Aaaaaannnddd...the Media isn't covering this. At all. newspapers have covered it, and provide the story that the military tells them, nothing more, nothing less...No media form that I know off besides who posted this video is covering this story at all.

Took a moment, but most, if not all, major Western news outlets are all over this. Examples include Fox (refreshingly providing full factual details with as little of their own fair and balanced fluff), MSM, BBC and, of course, Reuters (who seems to note all involved victims besides their two reporters were hostile targets when the results clearly show civilian targets as well). Al Jazeera was about the first of the major news outlets (not suprisingly, given their Arabic demographic) to give the first reports. Some of the sites may currently block searches for 'wikileaks', however, but the fact remains that most major news outlets are well covering the footage.

Just... skip the user comments if you want to keep any faith in human dignity 

EDIT: Watch the 40-minute version as well. Have a highlight. See that white puff at the start of the looping .gif? That's the discharge of the Hellfire missile. One of three.

"You're clear."
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 06:56:08 AM by Schrödinger »

Offline Schrödinger

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #52 on: April 06, 2010, 07:05:46 AM »
Oh hey, have some articles. NYT first.
Quote
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/w.../06baghdad.html
On the day of the attack, United States military officials in Baghdad said that the helicopters had been called in to help American troops who had been exposed to small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades during a raid. “There is no question that coalition forces were clearly engaged in combat operations against a hostile force,” Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, a spokesman for the multinational forces in Baghdad, said at the time.

But the video does not show hostile action. Instead, it begins with a group of people milling around on a street, among them, according to WikiLeaks, Mr. Noor-Eldeen and Mr. Chmagh. The pilots believe them to be insurgents, and mistake Mr. Noor-Eldeen’s camera for a weapon. They aim and fire at the group, then revel in their kills.

Riddle me what happens when you include a small snippet? AP here:
Quote
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap...ZefmRQD9ET8GQG0
WASHINGTON — A gritty war video circulating on the Internet that shows U.S. troops firing repeatedly on a group of men — some of whom were unarmed — walking down a Baghdad street is authentic, a senior U.S. military official confirmed Monday. The official said the video posted at Wikileaks.org was of a July 12, 2007, firefight involving Army helicopters in the New Baghdad District of eastern Baghdad.

It spreads. CSM:
Quote
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Glob...aq/%28page%29/2
The video released today shows something quite different. A group of about 15-20 Iraqi men on a dusty street, chatting and walking along, apparently unaware of the helicopters watching them – or, at least, unconcerned. One of the Americans in the helicopter says "that's a weapon" while his cross-hairs focuses on a man WikiLeaks identifies as Mr. Noor-Eldeen, who has what appears to be a professional camera slung over his right shoulder.

Some of the other men in the group are carrying what could be assault rifles. After the helicopter circles the block, it comes on the same group again, who appear to be sharing cigarettes and chatting in front of a house in a tight cluster of about 11, with at least one man on his cell phone. A voice on one of the helicopters asks for permission to engage and also says he sees a man with an RPG, which cannot be confirmed by watching the video.

And Washington Post:
Quote
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy...0040503898.html
The helicopter gunsight video, with an audio track of conversation between the fliers, made public for the first time a stark view of one bloody incident in the seven-year war in Iraq.

It showed an aerial view of a group of men moving about a square in a Baghdad neighborhood. The fliers identified some of the men as armed.

WikiLeaks said the men in the square included Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and his assistant and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, who were killed in the incident.

"The gathering at the corner that is fired up on has about nine people in it," Julian Assange, a WikiLeaks spokesman, told reporters at the National Press Club.

The gunsight tracks two of the men, identified by WikiLeaks as the Reuters news staff, as the fliers identify their cameras as weapons. Military spokesman Turner said that during the engagement, the helicopter mistook a camera for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

The helicopter opened fire on the small group, killing several people and wounding others. Minutes later, when a van approached and began trying to assist the wounded, the fliers became concerned the vehicle was occupied by militants trying to collect weapons and help wounded comrades escape.

Funny how you can change a story around by that little ambiguous snippet added. Seems to dehumanize the victims.

Worse if you realize the guy in the van bringing his children to school only saw the devestation and did what any straight-thinking man would do seeing a bloodied person crawling on the street. Before getting shot. At least the children survived.

I need a drink.

Offline September

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #53 on: April 06, 2010, 08:11:49 AM »

Worse if you realize the guy in the van bringing his children to school only saw the devestation and did what any straight-thinking man would do seeing a bloodied person crawling on the street. Before getting shot. At least the children survived.


I seriously doubt that guy just happened to be a passing Good Samaritan.

Offline Schrödinger

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #54 on: April 06, 2010, 08:23:22 AM »
I seriously doubt that guy just happened to be a passing Good Samaritan.

Despite it being a Google Translation (sorry for the errors that arise), all signs seem to point to yes, yes he was.

So to correct myself: Saleh Matasher Tomal brought his kids from school, came across the disaster, and tried to bring one of the struggling men into his van. They were shot.

Offline September

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #55 on: April 06, 2010, 08:53:29 AM »
If that account is true it's very sad, as collateral damage always is.  This is the reason the Geneva Conventions don't protect combatants who disguise themselves as civilians.

Offline Schrödinger

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #56 on: April 06, 2010, 09:00:06 AM »
If that account is true it's very sad, as collateral damage always is.  This is the reason the Geneva Conventions don't protect combatants who disguise themselves as civilians.

Watch the links and videos then. It's not a matter of 'if'. There was collateral damage, one of the victims was Saleh Matasher Tomal, who did try to help a man who was bleeding to death, and the Apache gunmen did open fire on a civilian target without confirmed weapons. That is also covered in the Geneva Conventions as a warcrime.

EDIT: I hate quoting Collateral Murder, the slant is obvious as fuck, but have the medical records of the two children Doaha and Syad. They've survived the attack. They're 4 and 10 year old children. Take those accounts at face value.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 09:02:35 AM by Schrödinger »

Offline WolfyTopic starter

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #57 on: April 06, 2010, 09:56:37 AM »
Indeed..thanks to Schro, I've posted up a long to the resources that came from this video and led up to it, I believe.

Offline Vekseid

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #58 on: April 06, 2010, 10:19:17 AM »
Watch the links and videos then. It's not a matter of 'if'. There was collateral damage, one of the victims was Saleh Matasher Tomal, who did try to help a man who was bleeding to death, and the Apache gunmen did open fire on a civilian target without confirmed weapons. That is also covered in the Geneva Conventions as a warcrime.

The Geneva conventions were not written with guerrilla warfare in mind. No sane force on the planet has any intent of a direct engagement with the American military - to quote a Chinese general "It would be like throwing an egg against a rock."

Given that, it makes identifying civilians and combatants difficult, and in order to charge it a crime, you would need to prove that the operator reasonably believed that he was a civilian at the time.

Offline Schrödinger

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #59 on: April 06, 2010, 12:19:17 PM »
Given that, it makes identifying civilians and combatants difficult, and in order to charge it a crime, you would need to prove that the operator reasonably believed that he was a civilian at the time.

So the simple fact that these guys were in their 'hoohah killed another' mentality may well be a free pass to shoot at whatever, including someone just arriving at the scene after the smoke has settled trying to do the right thing?

Goddamn, that's depressing.

Offline Vekseid

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #60 on: April 06, 2010, 12:38:03 PM »
So the simple fact that these guys were in their 'hoohah killed another' mentality may well be a free pass to shoot at whatever, including someone just arriving at the scene after the smoke has settled trying to do the right thing?

Goddamn, that's depressing.

Maybe the next time someone wants to fight a war on dubious terms, you'll be somewhat more vocal about opposing it?

Offline Schrödinger

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #61 on: April 06, 2010, 12:44:37 PM »
Maybe the next time someone wants to fight a war on dubious terms, you'll be somewhat more vocal about opposing it?

Now what did I deserve that ad hominem for?

Offline September

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #62 on: April 06, 2010, 12:56:50 PM »
So the simple fact that these guys were in their 'hoohah killed another' mentality may well be a free pass to shoot at whatever, including someone just arriving at the scene after the smoke has settled trying to do the right thing?

Goddamn, that's depressing.

Wait, that's not it at all.  (You'll remember they had to get permission to engage the vehicle.)  The reason they engaged it is because they thought it was backup arriving to recover the weapons and bodies.

Offline Vekseid

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #63 on: April 06, 2010, 01:05:16 PM »
Now what did I deserve that ad hominem for?

It's not intended as one.

If you think a war should be fought, you must also accept that consequences are going to occur, and that those who prosecute it are deserving some level of immunity for honest mistakes - however horrible - unless you wish to paralyze your army. "But that could be you!" Well yes. The idea is that we really should not be so cavalier about it. War is a last resort - it means you have catastrophically failed at some earlier point. There are reasons for that notion, reasons for the phrase "War is hell." If you are going to be ready for it, you also need to be ready for what that means.

Offline Trieste

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Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #64 on: April 06, 2010, 01:12:44 PM »
Yes.

Think about it this way: the War Over There (Do most Americans even know where Afghanistan and Iraq are? Do they know the difference? Do they know why we're even there anymore?)  is so wildly unpopular that there are two options.

A. The anti-war voices are just not deafening enough for DC to take note.

B. Our government is doing this without our permission, while we get painted with the same brush because we share a nationality.

There is another option, too.

C. Americans are just not as opposed to The War as they say they are, and are willing to let it slide until it hits them at home.

Which one is more scary? :P

Offline Schrödinger

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #65 on: April 06, 2010, 01:13:08 PM »
Wait, that's not it at all.  (You'll remember they had to get permission to engage the vehicle.)  The reason they engaged it is because they thought it was backup arriving to recover the weapons and bodies.

You're absolutely right. Even checked the transcript. Thing is, there was no-one checking whether that really was the case, whether weapons and bodies were retrieved - only the bodies were picked up.

Quote
07:07   Yeah Bushmaster, we have a van that's approaching and picking up the bodies.
07:14   Where's that van at?
07:15   Right down there by the bodies.
07:16   Okay, yeah.
07:18   Bushmaster; Crazyhorse. We have individuals going to the scene, looks like possibly uh picking up bodies and weapons.
07:25   Let me engage.
07:28   Can I shoot?
07:31   Roger. Break. Uh Crazyhorse One-Eight request permission to uh engage.
07:36   Picking up the wounded?
07:38   Yeah, we're trying to get permission to engage.
07:41   Come on, let us shoot!
07:44   Bushmaster; Crazyhorse One-Eight.
07:49   They're taking him.
07:51   Bushmaster; Crazyhorse One-Eight.
07:56   This is Bushmaster Seven, go ahead.
07:59   Roger. We have a black SUV-uh Bongo truck [van] picking up the bodies. Request permission to engage.
08:02   Fuck.
08:06   This is Bushmaster Seven, roger. This is Bushmaster Seven, roger. Engage.
08:12   One-Eight, engage.
08:12   Clear.
08:13   Come on!
08:17   Clear.
08:20   Clear.
08:21   We're engaging. ...

Then there's still the whole Rules of Engagement that state (as per this NYT article disseminating the footage and its legal ramifications) that '[protections must be afforded to people who] collect and care for the wounded, whether friend or foe,' as well as that they must be positively identified as enemy combatants. From the transcripts, I cannot make this out :(

It's just made all the more horrifying by the fact the gunman was almost begging to shoot.


It's not intended as one.

It came over as one because you seemed to imply I could do anything to oppose a war following the Afghanistan invasion. I believe the Iraq war was under no single circumstance to be fought given its lackluster casi belli. But that's for another thread of discussion, too much of a derail on this matter - the 2007 attack by Hotel Bushmaster 2-6 and its legitimacy on that area. Let's drop this point :(

Offline September

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #66 on: April 06, 2010, 01:54:45 PM »
Quote
Then there's still the whole Rules of Engagement that state (as per this NYT article disseminating the footage and its legal ramifications) that '[protections must be afforded to people who] collect and care for the wounded, whether friend or foe,' as well as that they must be positively identified as enemy combatants. From the transcripts, I cannot make this out :(

Medics are protected so long as they're in uniform.  Just handling an injured person doesn't mean nobody's allowed to shoot at you, for obvious reasons.

Quote
It's just made all the more horrifying by the fact the gunman was almost begging to shoot.

I don't find it horrifying at all that a US soldier really wants to kill the enemy, but then like I said I have a loved one who gets a little bit safer every time a "militant" dies.

Offline Vekseid

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #67 on: April 06, 2010, 02:00:36 PM »
It came over as one because you seemed to imply I could do anything to oppose a war following the Afghanistan invasion. I believe the Iraq war was under no single circumstance to be fought given its lackluster casi belli. But that's for another thread of discussion, too much of a derail on this matter - the 2007 attack by Hotel Bushmaster 2-6 and its legitimacy on that area. Let's drop this point :(

Sorry. The intent was to present it as a genuine and genuinely unavoidable cost of war. It's good to have reasons to back up your positions, and to have situations like this clear in your head when you vote for your politicians, and where you can influence their decisions, make sure it is clear in theirs. You have more of a voice than you think you do - so much attention is given to various national scenes that the local scenes in the US and other countries do not get as much attention.

Offline Hemingway

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #68 on: April 09, 2010, 08:04:52 PM »
What really bothers me about this situation, after witnessing various discussions concerning it, is the belief some people seem to hold that just because they acted as any soldier would, or that because innocent bystanders being gunned down is unavoidable, that it's somehow morally acceptable. I think we need to separate the two entirely.

Offline WolfyTopic starter

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #69 on: April 09, 2010, 09:25:18 PM »
What really bothers me about this situation, after witnessing various discussions concerning it, is the belief some people seem to hold that just because they acted as any soldier would, or that because innocent bystanders being gunned down is unavoidable, that it's somehow morally acceptable. I think we need to separate the two entirely.

I think it has to do with the War Propaganda....we see them as "The Enemy" and that somehow makes them less than us, so it's OK that their civilians are slaughtered, and our citizens don't speak up about it.

But that's just me. >_>

Offline September

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #70 on: April 10, 2010, 03:32:15 AM »
What really bothers me about this situation, after witnessing various discussions concerning it, is the belief some people seem to hold that just because they acted as any soldier would, or that because innocent bystanders being gunned down is unavoidable, that it's somehow morally acceptable. I think we need to separate the two entirely.

Well civilians always die in wars so it sounds like you would like the west to find war itself morally unacceptable. Which would be music to the ears of tyrants and terrorists everywhere.

Offline September

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #71 on: April 10, 2010, 04:07:42 AM »
I think it has to do with the War Propaganda....we see them as "The Enemy" and that somehow makes them less than us, so it's OK that their civilians are slaughtered, and our citizens don't speak up about it.

But that's just me. >_>

That would be insulting if it weren't so funny.

Offline WolfyTopic starter

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #72 on: April 10, 2010, 09:15:54 AM »
That would be insulting if it weren't so funny.

It's not really that funny. The Military constantly tries to de-humanize "The Enemy" so that they seem less than human, and thus more able to be killed without regretting the loss of human life. Whether it works or not is an entirely different story.

This a well known psychological fact. >_> The Basic example is "They are different from us. They are bad, we are righteous." And can be seen rather obviously being used throughout wars in history.

Offline WolfyTopic starter

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #73 on: April 10, 2010, 09:21:07 AM »
Well civilians always die in wars so it sounds like you would like the west to find war itself morally unacceptable. Which would be music to the ears of tyrants and terrorists everywhere.

No, it sounds like he's saying we shouldn't take the death of a human life so dismissively.

For instance, 10 Innocent American Citizens get killed over there(By Insurgents, Terrorists, or just accident), it's front page news. 10 Innocent Iraqi Citizens get killed by American Troops (Accidentally or On Purpose), it doesn't even make the back page of the newspaper.

There's a dissonance in the value of human life here, isn't there?

Offline September

Re: This...this is just wrong. >_>
« Reply #74 on: April 10, 2010, 09:29:09 AM »
It's not really that funny. The Military constantly tries to de-humanize "The Enemy" so that they seem less than human, and thus more able to be killed without regretting the loss of human life. Whether it works or not is an entirely different story.

This a well known psychological fact. >_> The Basic example is "They are different from us. They are bad, we are righteous." And can be seen rather obviously being used throughout wars in history.

The funny bit is you thinking that I'd see things the same way you do, if only I were smart enough to see through The Man's propaganda.