1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

wikileaks' post of a video showing the murder of a journalist in iraq

Discussion in 'Serious' started by barndoor101, 5 Apr 2010.

  1. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    34,543
    Likes Received:
    1,972
    You're still rationalising. The German example is invalid: they were under immediate threat. The Apache gunship wasn't. Nor were any ground troops. Eight guys with a few hand weapons, remember?

    And a gunship covers a lot of territory, very fast. There might have been a reason for it to be in the neighbourhood, as I'm sure there is for the police helicopter that buzzes mine in occassion. But I don't expect to be suspect to the police just because I happen to be walking through my own neighbourhood at the same time as a crime is being committed a few miles away.

    Rationalise and apologise any way you want. If this was China at work in e.g. Tibet you'd all be outraged.
     
  2. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

    Joined:
    14 Jul 2004
    Posts:
    6,665
    Likes Received:
    911
    Or not, as the case may be. I recently learned that almost everyone I know couldn't give two ****s about Tibet and never will, much to my disgust.

    /tangent
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2010
  3. wst

    wst Minimodder

    Joined:
    30 Aug 2009
    Posts:
    822
    Likes Received:
    89
    I feel comfortable with it because they were doing their job exactly as they were commanded. Sure, they made a mistake, and it was a large mistake, but you don't hear of the times when they circle some guys walking along with guns, they shoot them, and they were heading to kill the hell out of some soldiers. Or the times they say 'naw, leave them', and they go on to kill the hell out of some soldiers. The threat was there, the soldiers in the helicopter did only what was in their power to neutralise it, and unfortunately that power was a 30mm cannon. But if they hadn't dealt with it there and then, it could have escalated into more deaths.

    And really, I know they love their kids as much as anyone else, but it's still stupid as fook to take them in a car right into a steaming pile of bodies. I mean, the helicopter was still there, there's no way he could miss it after it rained down so much lead, and if he knew the guys there, he'd know that they just misidentified one target and are likely to view any attempts to help them as hostile, and would shoot again.

    It's not rocket science.

    (cjm, being a fighter is not constant. They might have gone and shot 15 people the next day. They might have shot 15 people yesterday. They might have got annoyed at something they saw and shot some people on the day. Again, Mog - some of those guys were at home, they saw some family member get shot, and so they went and took their (until then, self defense) AK and went cyclic with it. Until then, they weren't killers or fighters. You can't look at someone there and say 'fighter / not a fighter'. They're all people, and they all have a breaking point where they will fight. And these guys were carrying weapons, so it wasn't like they weren't prepared to shoot if they had to... or if they felt the need. People are unpredictable and they could have gone from your nice peaceful dude to adrenaline/hate-fuelled fighter just like that. Carrying a weapon to a gunfight is reason enough to be a target.)

    And finally, as for 'not going out in a war zone.'
    Well, I think, perhaps, not going out unnecessarily while holding objects which make you a fair target would be a good idea. By all means, go and get some water if you have to, or food or something, but don't take some war reporters who are likely to get in the wrong place at the wrong time and compromise a mission (camera lenses can tell you where something interesting is happening... why are they pointing the camera there... oh, a sniper. Bang, the reporter just killed a guy. Or, idk, be taken hostage... etc. The possibilities go on.)

    Nexxo, please specify what part of my attitude to this event you find disturbing? I just analyse what was known then, I don't project hindsight, like so many people in this thread appear to be doing...


    (And tangentially, what will a tiny bit of rage and disgust against China accomplish? Sweet FA. The machine is corrupt, the cogs are just doing what they are told. As in many of the problems with the world. Anyway, tangent...)
     
  4. barndoor101

    barndoor101 Bring back the demote thread!

    Joined:
    25 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    1,694
    Likes Received:
    110
    werent the guys with AKs there as armed bodyguards?

    lets turn the tables. an oil contractor working in iraq will get an armed escort (PMCs usually). is it ok for a militant to blow up that convoy? the PMCs are carrying guns, protecting an innocent person. if this convoy gets blown up then we see news stories about how innocent people are being targetted - here we have innocent people being shot to hell and theres a coverup.
     
  5. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

    Joined:
    20 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    12,459
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    Out of interest, would you (Anyone reading) prefer that they shot down and killed the pilots before anyone engaged?

    Purely hypothetical, I'm not implying that was about to happen, just asking.

    I'm still sat in the "No I would not" camp, because militants looking for vengeance are not quite as scary as a pissed off American Marine squad.
     
  6. wst

    wst Minimodder

    Joined:
    30 Aug 2009
    Posts:
    822
    Likes Received:
    89
    They probably were, barndoor, but how was the helicopter meant to know? Did Reuters give them an itinerary? 'Don't shoot here from 1300 to 1305, John's having a pee, not reloading his pistol'

    As for the situation you suggest.... yeah, I think the convoy is kinda.... not meant to be there. Which I'd expand on, but I've already made clear my thoughts why we shouldn't even be there...

    And no, I wouldn't prefer that, as I think the vengeance that the US forces could lay down is far more costly to lives than the opposite.
     
  7. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

    Joined:
    9 Feb 2004
    Posts:
    2,553
    Likes Received:
    88
    I'd prefer it if they were shot at (by this particular group) before engaging. I don't particularly want any harm to come to the army guys, and I do want them to arrest or kill the militants - but I just don't want them to indiscriminately kill innocent people on the off chance they might have been militants.

    Why should the reporters detail everywhere they are going? Iraq is a (relatively) free country, so they are entitled to go where they please.

    But it is not the death of two reporters that is the scandal, it is the 9 other innocent people who were murdered... The army should be there to keep *everybody* safe, not just obedient and compliant friends in the press.
     
  8. wst

    wst Minimodder

    Joined:
    30 Aug 2009
    Posts:
    822
    Likes Received:
    89
    Because reporters are really not trained in military.... anything, and they could cause all sorts of problems by their actions, let alone getting themselves shot. If a camera is pointing at an otherwise uninteresting bush, just as some guys are recovering from the shock of getting sniped, say, well... it'd be an idea to put some lead in the general direction of the bush. Basically, they're a liability and a risk to themselves, and the news media often does not appreciate the full impact of their actions, as often they're just there to make a story and not actually to understand the situation. Think of how the media abuses video game publishers with their half-truths, often outright lies, and rampant scaremongering. They can do this to every profession. Such as that of the military. And the problem is, the spoonfed information is taken as gospel truth and people don't open their eyes and realise that there was not a lot of choice in certain situations, such as this.
     
  9. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

    Joined:
    20 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    12,459
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    It's not what they're entitled to or not, cjmUK, that's the issue for me.

    It's common knowledge that Iraq can be a dangerous place, why wouldn't you want the occupying forces to know where you are?

    It seems daft, to me, to tell the occupying force you're going to be in one place, and then go to another. Perhaps I'm just paranoid, but I'd want to be damn sure that they knew I was going to be in place A at time Z.

    If you're lying to them, or avoiding telling them something, then they're at no level responsible for what happens to you. Not that they should be regardless, unless they shoot you, but if you didn't tell them where you were going to be, how are they to know?
     
  10. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

    Joined:
    26 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    7,230
    Likes Received:
    219
    I think saying "innocent" there is a bit of a jump to conclusion.
    Let's not forget that a newspaper saying "civilian" does not necessarily make it so.
    They were standing around with guns. Just because they weren't being hostile towards the helo doesn't mean they wouldn't have been hostile towards ground troops. In much the same way that me driving all traffic law-obedient now doesn't mean i won't pull away tyres smoking at the next intersection.
     
  11. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    34,543
    Likes Received:
    1,972
    In answer to wst's question:

    He (and several others) are able to form fairly sophisticated ideas about what might have motivated the pilots to act as they did. They are able to consider their point of view, their feelings and thinking, their background. They have insight into their position. They can empathise.

    When it comes to the nine innocent victims however, their behaviour, thoughts, feelings, motivations and background are barely considered. They are reduced to NPC's in a first-person shooter, just as the pilots did. As if those Iraqi had no reason to arm themselves in self-defence. As if they had no valid reason to be out. As if the journalists would hang with bad guys just for a good story. As if insurgents would casually stroll to a shoot-out in progress and ignore the circling gunships like dumb NPC's will do. As if an inurgent would take his kids with him to a battle. As if an innocent man would rather let his neighbour, cousin, friend bleed to death than stop and try to help because hey, he has his kids with him. As if he would not assume that those men were the victim of insurgent action as happens all day, every day and the Allied gunships are there to help (as we keep telling them), not to shoot an innocent guy in a little van with two kids who just pulled over to try and help some badly hurt civilians. After all, not being a trained combat pilot he is likely to think even less clearly in the heat of the moment.

    But you see none of that. You can see it from the pilots' perspective, but not from the Iraqi civilians' point of view. They are NPC's, reduced to the basic mechanics of either scenery or targets. The pilots are people; Westerners like us who may have screwed up but basically are fighting on our behalf. They are of our tribe. The victims are foreigners: inscrutable Arabs with an alien culture and alien ways who do not think, feel, act or feel insecure or love their children or feel compassion for a hurt man lying in the street like us. Their behaviour is reduced to a single dimension of hostility. They are the other tribe.

    You are betraying your tribal thinking. You are demonstrating the prejudice that is spoon fed to us by the powers who went into Iraq to seize the other tribe's assets. The same prejudice that made the pilots see what they expected to see and pull the trigger.
     
  12. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

    Joined:
    9 Feb 2004
    Posts:
    2,553
    Likes Received:
    88
    They went to the weightlifting event... after that finished, they went on to do other things.

    But again, you miss the point. The loss of the journalists is no worse than the loss of the other civilians. Should each person on that street give the army an assurance that they are not militants and an itinerary of what they plan to do each day.

    The problem is that the pilots guessed (wrongly) that one or more of the group were militants. So sending a ground-based force to intercept them would have been OK. The guys on the ground could have made an assessment (and called in close air support if needed). But they didn't - they killed everyone on the street, and almost everyone in the van that arrived 5 minutes later to check for wounded.

    The had absolutely no concern for innocent civilians - they were prepared to kill any number of them in order to get the one or two guys they (wrongly) thought were militants.
     
  13. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    34,543
    Likes Received:
    1,972
    What, more of a jump to conclusion than just killing them on sight because they might be insurgents?

    Perhaps the police should pull you over and arrest you the next time they see you driving all traffic law-obedient down the road, because you just might run a red light and kill some pedestrians a few blocks further down.

    Please, you are sounding so apologist that you have left the land of reason. Stop grasping at straws. This was an epic screw-up and a massacre. War is full of them. Grow a pair and call a wrong when you see it.
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2010
  14. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

    Joined:
    26 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    7,230
    Likes Received:
    219
    Nexxo - First off:
    Classy.

    on to the subject at hand, I have considered the Iraqi perspective of this whole thing as well.

    I also know that I wouldn't exactly consider what the pilot/gunner did as "right". The points I am getting at are:
    a) The journalism on this story is warped. The reports all go "oh noes the journos - evil army". Like most reports of cases like this one.
    b) War is hell for all involved. For the pilot as much as for the kids in the van.
    c) the actions of the pilot were a reflection of his training. He's been drilled into shooting with extreme prejudice.
    d) This kind of thing happens every time. Back to the example with the Germans I made earlier - in hindsight, they were in immediate danger. Did they know that for sure? No. The chances were good that they were artillery barraging a van full of civilians.

    and again - the Iraqis might have been innocent. The fact of the matter is that we don't know. They COULD have been standing there discussing the next attack.

    The journalists have a right to be where they want. They also have the responsibility of their own well being. They got caught up in a shoot up. Sh*t happens. It happens to less prominent civilians (without cameras) all the time in those areas. It's not good or right, but it's an unfortunate side effect of war.

    The children and the Samaritan are a bad one. And the pilot showed remorse (as much as he could in that instant). I'm very sure of the fact that he didn't exactly sleep well that night, much as I am sure about the fact that they didn't go "oooh look. Civilians - let's go tear them to shreds", which seems to be stipulated a lot.
     
    Landy_Ed likes this.
  15. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    34,543
    Likes Received:
    1,972
    OK, and what about the seven civilians? Should they submit a plan of their daily movements with the occupying forces every morning before they leave their home? Should everyone else in Baghdad? Seven million people is going to create some paperwork.
     
  16. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    34,543
    Likes Received:
    1,972
    I'll have to take your word for it, because it doesn't show.

    a) Pilots kill a group of nine people on sight. Should the journos be a bit more sensitive about this one? Perhaps interview the pilots, do an expose on the personal and professional stresses of military personnel? OK, I agree. But let's also interview the families of the men that were killed; what it is like living in a war-torn country invaded by foreign powers because they thought you'd be better off without your dictator. You know, the one they levered in charge of your country back in the 70's. Why ordinary civilians might feel the need to carry a gun to feel safer now the big bad dictator is gone. How it feels to have your husband, father, brother, son killed by the occupiers that were supposed to be liberating you because they thought he looked a bit shady (hey, perhaps they could start up a support group with DeMenezes' family!).
    b) Except that for the pilot in his armoured, heavily armed gunship war is a slightly more comfortable, less risky hell then for a civilian negotiating a war-torn neighbourhood in a van.
    c) That makes it OK then.
    d) See c.
     
    mvagusta likes this.
  17. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

    Joined:
    24 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    4,639
    Likes Received:
    523
    I think it was very deceptive how the gunship was just circling the area, at a constant rate.
    Especially when you consider that about half of the gunship's course, put the gunship out of the sight of the 8 Iraq people, it would have really appeared that the gunship was just circling the area. NOT paying much attention to them.

    The military personel present in the gunship weren't stupid, they were doing this on purpose. That's why they didn't alter the gunships course, to avoid letting the suspects out of sight, as this would have ruined thier deceptive maneuver.

    This is a well known deception tactic, i'm sure at least most members are aware of when the Japanese used this same tactic, when they were holding peace talks with the us, while they were preparing to attack pearl harbour.

    To anyone that thinks the us weren't way out of line in the video posted in the op, was that attack on pearl harbour also ok?

    What's that? The Japanese had no business attacking the US?
    Does the US have any business attacking Iraq?
     
    stonedsurd likes this.
  18. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

    Joined:
    11 Mar 2009
    Posts:
    7,821
    Likes Received:
    357
    My first rep to MV outside the demots thread :thumb:
     
    mvagusta likes this.
  19. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

    Joined:
    16 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    3,152
    Likes Received:
    235
    The pilots are flying a holding pattern, as they are trained, because hovering they're vulnerable to RPGs, SAMs - even lucky small arms fire (12 brought down since the start of the war). Why would civilians suspect an Apache was circling them anyway? If they had nothing to hide - which they didn't - they're unlikely to scatter anyway because they 'know' (mistakenly) they aren't holding something which will invite 30mm chaingun fire. The pilots could have flown right up to them, and probably elicited not much response; what I'm saying is that it's hardly deception if the civilian is ignoring you.

    I also should point out that a lack of information combined with reckless stupidity killed these people. Guess what? If your devious reconnaissance pattern wasn't being flown day and day out, that lack of information would be even more crippling because the US Army relies upon surveillance such as that provided by these helicopters for almost everything. If the Apache was to do whatever you're suggesting they do to alert the civilians they were considered a potential threat - shouted at them over a bullhorn, thrown halfbricks, hovered menacingly - they'd present an even bigger target, not to mention alerting every RPG-toting dissident for miles that a big, expensive, American helicopter is at a convenient standstill just overhead.

    I am not saying that there is much to defend these pilots' actions. There isn't. But that doesn't mean that flying in circles is a big deception and conspiracy. Even the most dedicated of tinfoil-hatters understands the necessity of flying in circles so as to collect a full 360-degree picture and the maximum of information.

    This is one of the worst and most nonsensical lines of argument I have ever seen. What?! Serveral things come to mind;
    1. Two Apache helicopters conducting an unsanctioned massacre of 9 civilians ≠ 6 aircraft carriers with 414 aircraft, 2 battleships, 2 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 9 destroyers, 28 submarines and 8 tankers conducting a long-planned and Government sanctioned sneak-attack upon a military installation killing 2400 people. More than just 60 years separates these two attacks; you'd have to be a fool to consider these events comparable enough to suggest that support for one must equal support for the other.
    2. Even if these two COMPLETELY DIFFERENT events were to be equated, it is arguable that the attack on Pearl Harbor was a military force preemptively attacking another military force. If history wasn't written by the winners this would have been lauded as an audacious, well-planned and well-executed attack. For a similar assault with strikingly different historical analysis - i.e., the assaulters won - see Operation Focus. By complete and total contrast, this was a mistaken attack against civilian persons. Nobody in the US high command planned this débâcle, and they only affirmed it acting upon utterly wrong information supplied by frontline troops. No-one will ever call this mess a victory for anyone.
    3. In case I haven't said this enough times, Pearl Harbor was planned for months - years, even - prior to the carefully rehearsed assault. This, by contrast, was four men making a reckless and murderous mistake. I don't know who you're suggesting the brains of this operation was but I can't see any.
    4. Whether or not the Japanese had any business attacking the US is completely and utterly irrelevant to this war, which was planned and conducted in quite literally another age. The Japanese attacked the Americans to try and force them to back off territorial expansion that Japan planned in the Pacific. The Americans attacked the Iraqis for reasons of securing natural resources, for securing their national security, and because they'd taken a dislike to Saddam Hussein. Whether or not either was or can be justified is a question that applies equally to all wars and has precisely bugger all to do with anything except your diatribe. I might also point out that technically the Japanese attack can be framed as an attack on American imperialism; that is to say, exactly the same attack you are making in written form here.
    5. If you want to attack the war in Iraq, there are much firmer theoretical bases to do from than some half-arsed link with Pearl Harbor.

    Really, it wasn't necessary for you to put in anything except the last line, which was, Does the US have any business attacking Iraq? and completely encapsulates your entire argument. Circles are not deceiving and reckless gunship fire is not the same as a preemptive naval task-force strike. If you want to ask whether the Iraq war is justifiable, don't try and frame it in terms of Pearl Harbour and holding patterns.
     
    Last edited: 9 Apr 2010
  20. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

    Joined:
    24 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    4,639
    Likes Received:
    523
    And a constant, very predictable, close range holding pattern, isn't an easy target? Really :confused:

    I think like they were quite succesfull with keeping thier intentions unknown. How can you pretend that they were not deceptive :confused:

    I'm not pretending that trying to filter out every bad guy without harming any innocents is possible, but does that make it right, to have the attitude of "If in any doubt, just shoot, ask questions later" :confused:

    I didn't know that flying in circles is the way to obtain "the maximum of information"

    You don't see any similarity? The basic element of deceptively appearing inhostile?

    Are you sure that's what I said :confused:

    They were both deceptive attacks. It's not that hard is it to realise that was my point is it :confused:

    Um, they reason the gunship used to attack the Iraqis, was that they were a military threat/target/force. Did you miss that part :confused:

    Like I said, both were unjustifiable.

    The comparison was just regarding the deceptive technique used by the gunship. I wasn't actually comparing the two wars as a whole, but i'm guessing you know this... right :confused:

    I've explained how the circling was deceptive, the reckless gunfire was preemptive, and the war on Iraq is about as justifiable as Japan attacking pearl harbour - to state the blindingly obvious, this means neither niether attack is justifiable.
     

Share This Page