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

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

  1. aradreth

    aradreth What's a Dremel?

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    Can't be bothered to argue about the morals of it as most people wont change their minds but:
    Shooting a moving target is a lot harder then a stationary target and for something fast like a helicopter you need to aim in front of it as you have to shoot at where it is going to be rather then where it is.

    As for hovering in the hot conditions and heavy weapon/fuel loads the pilots are flying under in afghanistan and iraq you can't hover (or when you are light enough avoid it as it increases fuel burn), the engine/gearbox can't take the load required which is why they do a rolling/running take-off.
     
  2. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    a) Completely agree.
    b) That's probably true. As I stated earlier - the whole van incident is a major f-up. It is however a f*ckup that's circumstantially almost retraceable. A similar van was seen leaving the alleged combat area earlier. 20-odd minutes later, the same looking van pitches up where a bunch of suspected insurgents just got gunned down. I don't think any of the troops involved in the original gunfight stopped to take plate numbers. I can see how this happens. That doesn't make it right.
    c + d) No. It doesn't. What it does (or should, IMO) do, though is move the focus from the screwup of the individual(s) and more to the way they are trained. The way that intelligence lets them hang when push comes to shove. This whole thing could have been avoided had someone said "whoa... they're not hostile". Same with the "German Scenario". It would've been less speculative had someone confirmed before hand. Army Intel is at this point nowhere near where it should be.
     
  3. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    @Puresilver - pure gold, mate - saved me a lot of typing there.

    I think I'm about done with this thread. I've said all that needs to be said - some people remain unconvinced, but they're never going to change their minds on here anyway.

    The bottom line is that life is precious - but sadly the US military only regards US life as precious. In theory, they're keeping their own casualties down, but in reality they are not - this attitude is, as a minimum, extending the conflict and may well even make it unwinnable.

    The 'hearts and minds' idea isn't new, and it is essential for success - and the coalition is a million miles away from acceptance and cooperation by the indigenous population. It was the same problem in Afghanistan, in Oman, Vietnam, Borneo, Aden etc... The only time a occupying force can be successful is when it has the acceptance of the majority of the population.

    Trigger-happy cowboys shooting up civilians in the street ain't going to win you the support of the natives.

    See you on the next thread...
     
  4. Redkachina

    Redkachina Califragilistsic Expialidocious

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    I'm totally disgusted with the video..
    Why are they killing innocent people??..I wonder when this will end..
    as long as the US coalition remains in Iraq, we'll see no end to this..
     
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  5. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    :eyebrow: It's ok morally with you, to shoot every civilian you see, if any of them are carrying a gun? What if some Iraqi's visit the US or the UK, and follow your moral standards? would you like that?

    Was it flying fast was it? Maybe a bit fast for a civilian to accurately hit, who has never shot a moving target before, but if the suspects really were a threat, why circle so slowly?
    Read what I wrote about deception a couple of posts back.

    If saving some fuel is important, how about landing? Oh yeah right, easy target.

    They had heaps of heavy arnament, ammo & armour which was weighing them down, pretty safe target to be sitting in... but why risk one or two of the military getting shot, when they could just shoot every single civilian in the group.

    That's what the soldiers are there for, to kill every Iraqi they don't like the look of, correct?
    It's not like soldiers are there to protect the Iraqis, and ensure that they are safe when they walk down the street.

    Next you are going to tell me that the soldiers are in Iraq to liberate the country...

    @cjmUK I agree with everything you said, except for the obvious typo... maybe you meant to say pure bs.

    To anyone that thinks anything going on in Iraq is ok, how would you feel if the US military came over to your country?

    The war on terrorism must not stop untill every terrorist is found, and the US can inflict terror (or as the military describe it) liberate suspicious looking people, just the way they do in Iraq.
    Any problem with that?
     
  6. aradreth

    aradreth What's a Dremel?

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    I said I wasn't going to argue about the morals of it not what my views are so don't try and put words in my mouth.

    The camera makes it seem like they closer then they actually are. Judging by the delay between the sound of the cannon being fire and the impacts they are probably 1.5-2km away (800m/s muzzle velocity). Now an RPG's muzzle velocity is only 100-150m/s but they reach close to 300m/s so if they were flying at 30MPH, which is pretty slowly, it would take 5 seconds for it to reach them in that time they'd have moved 67m or 3.7 times its own length (it is about 18m long). So no that isn't an "easy" shot.

    If they really had to and could (ie they've become light enough due to burning of fuel) they'd hover the military doesn't really care about fuel burn. Although they may end up in the dead man's curve as they don't seem all that high.
     
  7. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    This deception argument is complete crap, sorry. No sane military force announces its intentions prior to carrying them out, for the simple reason that the suspected enemy then knows what you're going to do and can attempt to disrupt the action. Let's change the facts for a second - actually, the chopper pilots were right. The 9 people they see below are in fact battle-hardened mujehadeen, armed with light arms and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Do you see now how flying in a wide circle, so that the helicopters can observe the scene from all angles whilst still retaining a safe distance from the heavily-armed terrorists, makes sense? Do you think that loudhailing "You! Down there! We're watching you!" is going to invite surrender, or a hail of gunfire and ballistic explosives? Much like any other potentially dangerous situation, the chopper pilot MUST always act, until proven otherwise, as if the persons below intend and can cause him and his aircraft mortal damage. Since that means he is always under threat, he's always moving, which makes him - you guessed it - harder to hit with bullets and unguided rockets. Since he needs to prove otherwise, he moves in circles so he can see the scene from as many angles as possible. Hence: circling.

    So, let's go back to the real facts. They're not terrorists, they're civvies and a news crew. The chopper pilots might suspect that, but are quite obviously unwilling to bet their lives on it by getting within RPG range for a closer look. You don't even want them circling overhead trying to gather the information to ascertain that for sure. You want them to not deceive the group. What, exactly, are you suggesting? Written notice? Pointing and waving? Landing and giving them a good talking to? There is no reason to alert the group to the surveillance, EXCEPT to give them an opportunity not to be summarily executed by 30mm fire. Alerting them that they were about to be rained death from above. That's the missing link here and that's the reason this is controversial. To get permission, the pilots had to both either 'mis-see' or completely lie about seeing firearms, then declare they were being fired upon (an outright lie) and needed to shoot back in self-defense. That's not preemptive; that's responsive as demanded by the rules of engagement. American procedures do not allow for people to be executed by helicopters without warning; that's why it's not deception not to warn people they're about to be raked with explosive shells. As written in those rules, the only way to be killed by an Apache is to be shooting at or otherwise about to kill Coalition forces. A person who is standing up and blazing away with an AK doesn't need to be warned; he's already committed. To circumvent those procedures the pilots had to tell a pack of lies to their headquarters, which just goes to show that America neither condoned nor ordered such murderous behaviour.

    There is no connection between this and Pearl Harbor. In the latter, Japanese diplomats connived to continue peace negotiations to lull America into a false sense of security. That's deception. Here, two helicopters fly in circles, as they often do, before opening fire. That's not deception to the casualties; the deceiving was done by the pilots to their commander to get him to authorise an illegal attack upon people who had done nothing to provoke it.
     
    Last edited: 9 Apr 2010
  8. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

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    An RPG has a max range of about 1 click, so by your own calculations, nothing that the folks down there would have come close to scaring the Apache crew. So they were simply cruising for trouble in the right neighborhood, lied about seeing weapons (and their potential threat) and opened up with a 30 mil autocannon.

    Say what you will about RoEs and the job of the military, someone in the US/Coalition administration has got to realize that the armed forces must be more cautious with the use of force because otherwise, all they're doing is creating more hatred and opposition among the Iraqis.
     
  9. aradreth

    aradreth What's a Dremel?

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    Didn't know the max range of an RPG but if it is about 1km then yeah they should be out of range of that group.
     
  10. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    Yup, maximum range of 920m (c.1000yds), so a safety factor of 50% (1.5km) sounds about right. RPG7s are probably the number-one reason helicopters don't want to get up close and personal with any Iraqi. With that said, it doesn't change any of our interpretation of these facts; the Apache pilots were never at risk from these people, and they'd kept the stand-off distance to assure themselves of that. However, there's plenty of other people in any Iraqi city that do want to shoot down Apaches - probably after a similar incident to this one - so the chopper has to keep on the move in case there are any of those within a kilometre in any direction.

    That's what it looks like to me, too.
     
    Last edited: 9 Apr 2010
  11. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    I never accused you of anything, just asked a few questions.
    It would have used less words for you to just say "no" or "I actually think that what happened in the video was wrong" but instead you chose to argue. :eyebrow:

    Are you saying that they weren't being deceptive?

    Are you now saying that military forces should be deceptive?
    I think you might have just contradicted yourself :confused:

    Since we are changing facts... there are terrorists all over the world, not just Iraq, but even in countries like the US and the UK. Would it make sense for the US gunships to start circling towns in these two countries for example, and shoot anyone that looks suspicous? Or does this kind of activity only make sense in Iraq?

    That depends on wether they are terrorists, civilians that would stand up for themselves, or civilians that don't mind military forces invading thier country.

    I agree, since he's an invading force, trying to avoid being hit, and not trying to let anyone know that he's spotted them.

    That would be an improovement, but I'd prefer it if the US military got out of there already.

    Exactly, and they wanted to execute them, not liberate them.

    The gunship crew watched and it was discussed what was going to be done to the civilians, and then the civilians were shot, before they had a chance to do anything = preemptive.
    And who made these rules of engagement? Someone that owns Iraq and all of it's people?
    To get permission, they'd have to ask the people that they wanted to shoot, and i'm pretty sure they would have said no.

    America has condoned and ordered the behaviour, when the authorization was given to execute people, armed or not, in a country that they were invading.

    That was just an analogy. I could just as easily compared it to other famous deceptive methods used in war, such as the treatment of prisoners of war, but I just chose one that isn't used as often.

    The point of the comparison, was just to highlight that the Iraqi civilians are not insignificant targets, but they were humans, worth just as much as you or me, or anyone else.
     
  12. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    Yes. Deception is when you mislead someone by false appearance and statement. You are saying that circling in a helicopter without overtly displaying hostile intent to someone you are about to attack is deceiving. You are wrong; it is basic military common sense not to actively alert someone you are about to attack, because then they will attempt to evade or counter. The idea of warfare is not to have a fair fight, it's to attack with the element of surprise. Furthermore, to deceive someone, I'd say you have to mislead them. No representation was made to the people below about the helicopter at all - nobody said "The helicopter is targeting someone else" or "You are not being targeted." Before you suggest that flying in circles is a falsely peaceful appearance, remember that this is how helicopter gunships always look on patrol.

    Perhaps. It's not a contradiction to say that military forces can gain tactical advantage by deception - Pearl Harbor is a good example - and that they didn't do so in this particular case. The only person deceived by false actions and statement was the commander, who was lied to about incoming fire and therefore authorised 'returned' fire.

    In those countries, the rule of law and order allows for the police to perform counterterrorism. In Iraq, the failure to reestablish the iron grip of the Hussein leadership means that the police are usually the victims or accomplices of terror, not the effective combating force they are in the UK or US.

    Stop clouding the issue with your politics. You've already made your views on the US' occupation of Iraq quite clear. That has very little to do with this specific incident's facts.

    Agreed. They are murderers who lied to their commander to get permission to shoot civilians.

    You didn't read the facts, did you? The gunship crews lied about seeing weapons and then about incoming fire to satisfy RoE's about self-defense. Only then would HQ give them permission to fire "back." So; the RoEs do not allow for preemptive fire. Regardless of the mis-seeing of weapons, the pilots knew as well as we do that they weren't taking fire. What more do you want? They had to break the RoEs to get permission to fire. The US Army is quite plainly outlawing such activity, and these pilots had to connive and lie together in order to perform it. The RoEs, for the record, are written by military advisors who are just as eager to avoid bad press as everyone else.

    Are you even reading what I'm saying? No. America BANNED this behaviour. The authorization correctly extends only to armed people who are already directing attacks upon forces. Unarmed people are not executed except by a complicated deception of the US Army's own commanders.

    I'm not disputing that. They were brutally and illegally murdered. That doesn't de-legitimize the invasion of Iraq (there are much stronger points for that!) and it doesn't condemn US forces in general as murderers. These pilots were liars; that's not the end of it but it's a limitation compared to "the US is directly to blame for this."
     
    Last edited: 11 Apr 2010
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  13. AshT

    AshT Custom User Title

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    What battle?! You watching a different video to the rest of us?

    WTF kind of statement is that?!

    ---

    My anger comes from the fact that a load of innocent lives got shredded to pieces by molten hot fat ****ing bullets.

    I N N O C E N T.

    And as previously pointed out by a previous poster, one of the pilots is either 100% mistaken when he says he was fired upon or he's 100% a ****ing liar.

    I'm done in this thread.
     
    Last edited: 13 Apr 2010
  14. AshT

    AshT Custom User Title

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    [please delete]
     
  15. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    Wire.com has an interesting first hand account from one of the US soldiers that were on the ground, visible in the video.

    He goes on to give a very detailed and human view of what he saw. But he also states:

    This is after the excellent NYT article explaining the psychology and mindset of situations like this.

    Despite what most of you think about the US and what has happened in Iraq, there simply wasn't a cover up. Maybe not the openness one would want, but it's the military; that they even released an internal finding document to Reuters is saying a lot. War is ugly, but this is just another tragedy in a very long list of them.
     
  16. equity space

    equity space What's a Dremel?

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    This is nothing...I watched police officers gun down to girls ages 7 and 9 because their father was a wanted person. I was only 40 feet away hiding on the roof top of a house watching the FBI and police close in on this guy at a motel room. The girls had gun shot wounds to their heads. This caused me to have post traumatic stress syndrome for 11 years.
     

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