US gunship kills civilians/reuters journalists, then fires upon makeshift ambulance

Discussion in 'Politics' started by CptStern, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. Noodle

    Noodle Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually, methinks there is a slight difference between an execution and an ill-advised (and tragic) impulse. I seriously doubt the gunners would have fired had they not thought they were firing at an armed enemy. Inexcusable for sure, but looking at the footage, I can see how they thought they were weapons. The bias of being on the lookout for the enemy probably didn't help.

    Someone should be and will be discharged for this, but I don't see it as an act of pure murder.

    I also think we need a bit more training regarding the identification of enemy combatants, but it's still tricky in the middle east since the enemy has no actual uniform that points them out.
     
  2. 15357

    15357 Companion Cube

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    15,217
    Likes Received:
    15
    How is that disgusting? It seems to me that its fair; they're not shooting until they have visual confirmation that the targets are armed.

    First thing that popped into my mind.

    If you want to commit war crimes, do it right and cover them up. Jeez.



    Comments aside, I think they need better cameras on Apaches. If you're going to kill someone, I think you should at least be aware of how they actually ****ing look like.
     
  3. 15357

    15357 Companion Cube

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    15,217
    Likes Received:
    15
    Still, it's better than: "Look a guy! Shoot him!"
     
  4. DEATHMASTER

    DEATHMASTER The Freeman

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    12,759
    Likes Received:
    118
    Wait so these were unconfirmed targets? What the ****.
     
  5. Tyguy

    Tyguy Space Core

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Messages:
    7,991
    Likes Received:
    6
    This is nothing but a bunch of guys hoping to get a few kills under their belt. It's painfully obvious when you listen to the commentary and even more so when hearing the inflection in their voices. Their cavalier assumptions in detecting weapons were arbitrary the moment they saw an object in their hands. They saw weapons because they WANTED to see weapons. Not once did I hear "are you sure?" or "wait and get a psitive id" from them.

    There's no defense to be made for these soldiers...none.
     
  6. Acepilotf14

    Acepilotf14 Sucked so much dick for this title

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    13,013
    Likes Received:
    42
  7. Bob_Marley

    Bob_Marley Tank

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,101
    Likes Received:
    2
    From what I understand the crew were told there were no friendly forces in the area and thier Rules of Enguagement cleared them to enguage armed targets. The journalists and civilians were with a group of armed men. Sadly airpower is only so accurate and the crew can only confirm so much from the onboard systems - it did, however, very definetly appear that these people were armed and so as far as RoE goes its fine.

    The fellow on the left most certainly appears to be holding some kind of magazine fed rifle
    [​IMG]

    This either was, or could easily be confused with, an RPG-7
    [​IMG]

    Put yourself in the helicopter crew's situation - you're flying in an area with no friendly forces, so armed persons are definetly hostile. You see a group of armed men walking down the street - at least one of the appears to be packing an RPG - a serious threat to your helicopter.

    They did what they could to identify the targets - in the same situation I would probably have done the same and so would you.

    While it was a tragedy that these journalists and other civilians were killed in the attack, they were traveling with a group of armed men in an area where there were no US/Iraqi/Allied security forces on the ground - they knew the risks and they paid the price.

    However, the engaugement of the van is a different matter. There was, no doubt a serious mistake here and those responsible should be delt with in the correct way.

    It is far too easy to look back in hindsight and say "oh they were only carrying cameras" and write off the whole thing as utterly unforgiveable - in that situation this is a mistake that can easily be made. As someone mentioned earlier, the first engaugement is akin to a police officer killing a man with a fake gun. As far as the shooter knew they were armed.

    The second attack, however, seems indefensible.

    Counter Insurgency campagins are always extremely messy, doubly so when in urban areas - there are always alot of civilian casualties. To be honest, Iraq is one of the cleaner fought wars of this nature. Look at conflicts like Chechnya or the Zimbabwean campagin in Matebeleland in the late '80s and tell me the US arn't doing a comparitvly clean job - its not perfect and it never will be, that is a depressing fact of life, but it could be much much worse.

    To conclude I think the first attack to be justified under the RoE the crew were operating under at the time. The second attack however is indefensible and they should be brought up on the relevent charges.
     
  8. Raziaar

    Raziaar I Hate Custom Titles

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Messages:
    29,759
    Likes Received:
    132
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL1280681020070712

    This is the article they made in response to their guy getting killed.





    (Reuters) - An Iraqi photographer and driver working for Reuters in Iraq were killed in Baghdad on Thursday in what witnesses said was a U.S. helicopter attack but which the military described as a firefight with insurgents.


    I'm afraid to watch the video. I don't want to see people getting torn up by heavy weapons fire.
     
  9. Gunner

    Gunner Tank

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    Messages:
    7,753
    Likes Received:
    0
  10. Bob_Marley

    Bob_Marley Tank

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,101
    Likes Received:
    2
    You don't see alot - those 30mm High Explosive rounds kick up a hell of alot of dust.
     
  11. Maestro

    Maestro The Freeman

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    2,254
    Likes Received:
    111
    I'm gonna side with Marley and StarBob. I'd take the shot.

    Wikipedia captures it quite succinctly:

    Stingers are common in Iraq, just for reference. Stingers look identical to RPGS at that range and camera resolution.

    As Marley pointed out, there does appear to be an RPG in that man's hands.
     
  12. xcellerate

    xcellerate Tank

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    3,967
    Likes Received:
    1
    from what I understand the 2nd attack was because they believed the van was more insurgents coming to get the weapons. Then the insurgents would most likely take pictures of the dead insurgents, claim they were civilians, and then use the photos/story to make the US look bad. Which is why the helicopter fired upon them.

    I wonder how far away the helicopter was, I couldn't imagine just hanging out and then a wall of bullets comes down on me from nowhere.
     
  13. V-Man339

    V-Man339 Space Core

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,848
    Likes Received:
    10
    These people wouldn't get chewed out for or even acknowledged if not for the fact that this video were released. It's, quite frankly, nothing short of despicable.
     
  14. unozero

    unozero Tank

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,450
    Likes Received:
    4
    lol circle jerk.


    I love this thread it shows how some people have an undying hate for the U.S and this should be the last straw and all the U.S should pull out of the ME.
    When in fact mindless killing of innocent people will increase tenfold if the U.S and other western nations leave.Yes this is appalling and they should be court marshaled if they they did indeed shoot with knowledge that these people were non combatants.
    A big **** you to to those people that think what I mentioned above you know who you are.BTW it's only 2-3 people everyone has the right to be upset about this,it's really upsetting but yeah I'm loving the knee jerk reactions from some of you.


    OK i watched the video it seems like a misunderstanding of what what was going on on the ground albeit a very tragic one.
     
  15. Bob_Marley

    Bob_Marley Tank

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,101
    Likes Received:
    2
    Oh they always do - thats how NATO got roped into Kosovo - the KLA wern't worth a damn in a firefight - so they got thier asses kicked by a bunch of middle aged Serb malitia, were stripped of their weapons and then the survivors hid under a bush in Albania until NATO did thier job for them.

    The point I would make here is that they had eyes on the van and ground units enroute to the target area - they could have tracked it and then intercepted it.

    But, equally I do see you're point - it was not unreasonable of them to think in the way they did. Additionally the van had no markings as an Ambulance or Press Vehicle and they were cleared to fire by higher-ups.

    Maximum range on the M230 chaingun is listed at around 4000m, with the effective range being around 1500. They were probably even closer to that as they were operating over an urban area. Though they were probably operating at fairly high altitude.
     
  16. Tyguy

    Tyguy Space Core

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Messages:
    7,991
    Likes Received:
    6
    Or they are men who want to protect themselves...that's the problem with an insurgency, distinctions are hard to make. That doesn't absolve the gunners from properly identifying hostile targets.

    They didn't take more that 1 second to pass judgment on who these men were. Bad area plus object in hand = gun. These men were dead before they even picked up their cameras.

    No disagreement here, assuming they were actually armed.
     
  17. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    lolwut
     
  18. Gunner

    Gunner Tank

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    Messages:
    7,753
    Likes Received:
    0
    You commented before watching the video and you're talking about knee jerk reactions? good job.
     
  19. unozero

    unozero Tank

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,450
    Likes Received:
    4
    Only thing you got to add, mutt?

    Gunner,
    I watched the video while I was typing and I'm pretty much on the same page as Bob.
     
  20. Tyguy

    Tyguy Space Core

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Messages:
    7,991
    Likes Received:
    6
    this makes all the other apache rape videos look bad...which sucks cause some of them are ****ing awesome.

    there i said it.
     
  21. unozero

    unozero Tank

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,450
    Likes Received:
    4
    There is one person in the that is carrying AK for sure an another looks like to me is holding a RPD/RPK it's too short to be a armed RPG allthough it could be just the tube,all 3 have a similar carrying handle.
     
  22. organizedcrime

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_iraq_shooting
     
  23. unozero

    unozero Tank

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,450
    Likes Received:
    4
    imo it's too long to be a telephoto lens but yeah if they say so its most likely true but I can still see why the Pilots opened fire.
     
  24. MJ12

    MJ12 The Freeman

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    12,845
    Likes Received:
    16
    o hey unozero wat up
     
  25. unozero

    unozero Tank

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,450
    Likes Received:
    4
    I certainly make a better argument then:"Their such pricks buuhh."
     
  26. Wanted Bob

    Wanted Bob Companion Cube

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    5,209
    Likes Received:
    39
    A terrible event, whatever way you look at it...

    Its incredible how little press this sort of thing gets.
     
  27. Shyam

    Shyam Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    954
    Likes Received:
    0
    didn't the guys who were in the Haditha incident get off scot free ?

    Why our resident hardcore conservative F***tard is here.
     
  28. Shyam

    Shyam Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    954
    Likes Received:
    0
    post deleted.
     
  29. flamingdts

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    773
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just to clarify, the gunship was in a very safe distance.

    The camera we watched from was most likely a zoomed image, and even then the gunship appeared pretty far away.

    The RPGs aren't accurately enough to hit from that distance. Not to mention, they will be hesitant to fire since a gunship was right above their heads. If they were ready to sacrifice their lives to take down that gunship, they would have done so long ago. Did they not notice nobody has yet to fire a shot at them? They somehow came to the conclusion that they were all hostiles, yet none of them exhibited any hostility. Heck, the worse came when the van drove over. They somehow reached another conclusion that they were hostiles.
     
  30. Dynasty

    Dynasty Space Core

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,976
    Likes Received:
    12
    Telephoto lenses vary in size drastically.

    You can get one that is 50cm long, you can one that is 1 metre long. Im pretty sure the one my dad has is 1.5 metres long, and yes Im laughing too, no way of making that sound like it wasnt an inuendo.

    So its understandable WHY they opened fire, given that they were so far away and couldnt confirm anything. Rather be safe than sorry.

    Its just the attitude these guys had that infuriates me. The pilot controlling the gun was like a ***king kid;

    'Come on! Lets fire!'
    'Come on buddy, all you need to do is pick up a weapon'
    'Fire! ***k! Come on fire damn it'

    He sounded like he was there, towering over them as the guy tried to crawl away with his gun lined up with the back of his head, just begging him to make him pull the trigger.

    ***king psycopathic.

    I like to see and hear all sides of the argument, and I guess you could say that the troops stationed out there do lose their minds a bit. A combination of boredom of sitting around, and the fact that they could die every time they leave their camp everyday is a deadly combination.

    Fear corrodes the mind. To quote Shutter Island.

    A good friend of mine is a marine, and upon his return home from training in Iraq he told me some sick stories.

    Americans sat in their camps or at roadblocks etc, being so bored that they would just open up at civilians that were ***king walking past them! Not necessarily hitting them or trying to kill them, just along the lines of 'dance **tch!', or making them duck and run a few hundred metres away.

    Its THIS kind of thing that needs to be cracked down on.

    In other words, we need to get the ***k out of there before more civilians are killed out of boredom of western troops or 'accidents' like this one.
     
  31. MJ12

    MJ12 The Freeman

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    12,845
    Likes Received:
    16
    1. Creating argument before watching full video.

    2. Argument having nothing to do with the thread.

    3. Belittling others for being upset that innocent people were murdered due to the arrogance of sociopaths.

    4. Entirely False/assumed information.

    5. Making excuse after being proven wrong.


    Great argument bro.
     
  32. unozero

    unozero Tank

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,450
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can't you read?
    I said everyone has the right to be upset about,it is very upsetting but comments like OMG we should the ME etc are dumb.
    And you didn't bring anything to this other then the angsty "pricks" comment.
     
  33. MJ12

    MJ12 The Freeman

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    12,845
    Likes Received:
    16
    Unozero, normally I don't care what you have to say. Usually you say some dumb ass shit about politics, but I ignore it because I really don't care about politics.
    However, I feel rather strongly about this incident, and unrecorded incidents like it that probably occur every day; because it is so clearly black and white.

    However, your response to this thread really demonstrates what a hypocritical dumb shit you are.
    An unrelenting conservative ****** who would be first in line to justify or make a euphemism for most inhumane acts; so long as it was done by America.
     
  34. flamingdts

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    773
    Likes Received:
    0
    Didn't you also say there is nothing wrong with the term Chinaman? And that your father/grandfather used it all the time?

    This was from some other thread.
     
  35. Wanted Bob

    Wanted Bob Companion Cube

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    5,209
    Likes Received:
    39
  36. unozero

    unozero Tank

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,450
    Likes Received:
    4

    wtf does have to with anything?
    idiot are you implying i don't value human life because my grandpa uses a non PC term?

    lol now I'm a conservative...I think your the dumb **** ZT.Clearly you ignoring half of my post.
     
  37. 15357

    15357 Companion Cube

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    15,217
    Likes Received:
    15
    Information that the pilot/gunner of the Apache could not have verfied, and therefore assume the worst. Hell, those could be MANPADS or IPAAs for all they might have known, and I don't blame them for mistaking them. Of course, they might have tried to wait and verify them, but unsually in Iraq/Afgahnistan, if someone's holding something long it's likely a RPG. Yes, I agree that their attitude is disgusting, but that attitude comes with the training and the environment. Being gung-ho about war isn't something to be discouraged aong soldiers.

    Also, I dislike your attitude. I don't know why it is so, but you act like a liberal Fox News commentator. Someone like Glenn Beck, but on the other end of the political spectrum.

    *shifts uncomfortably*
     
  38. Warped

    Warped Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,547
    Likes Received:
    0
  39. Sparta

    Sparta Newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Messages:
    6,312
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can see how they would mistake it for an RPG, but for a Stinger missile launcher? They are almost 1.5 times larger and the man in that video that you're claiming is carrying what could be mistaken for a stinger missile (when it's not and isn't mistaken for one) is quite nonchalantly swinging it around by what appears to be either its strap or its handle. I don't think anyone handling such a weapon would do that, nor would that do that with an object of equivalent weight and size. Besides, its not an actual weapon anyway, it's a camera tripod and its bag that they're carrying. I know, i work around this shit everyday and people are commonly carrying that stuff like you see in the video or hoisted up over their shoulders, like you would an rpg.

    Regardless of that, I can understand where they would make the mistake of thinking they had an RPG on them, but the moment before they open fire you can quite plainly see the massive camera with the telescopic lens hanging from one of the reporters, so if they had taken a little more time to identify whether or not they actually had weapons (and given that it took the ground troops eight minutes to get there by vehicle, I'd say they could've spared another 30 seconds to verify it) they could have avoided it. But, shit happens and I can understand how this happened and it's a real ****ing shame it did.

    None of that excuses the pilots and gunner opening fire on the van and killing those 5-6 other civilians who were unarmed and trying to save the wounded. There is nothing that excuses that and under the Geneva Convention, they've committed a war crime by opening fire on unarmed civilians or even combatants(as they assumed they were at the time) that are tending to wounded. It's been defined in the Geneva Convention, you can not shoot enemy medics as they tend their wounded on the field. Either they shot unarmed civilians tending to wounded or they shot armed combatants tending to wounded, it doesn't matter, either way that's a war crime and they've been caught trying to cover this up, which is just as bad as having committed the crime in the first place.

    The worst part about this is that the officers who were responsible for this are going to get off scot-free. William Caley was the only person convicted of a war crime for the My Lai massacre that caused the deaths of between 350-500 Vietnamese civilians, and he was sentenced to life in prison for his war crimes only to have it commuted to three and a half years of house arrest by Nixon when he started an appeals and clemency process the day after sentencing. If a similar action were committed by the Nazi's or the Japanese in WW2, they officers responsible would have been put to death. William Caley got three and a half years of house arrest and he was the lowest rung on the prosecutions ladder. No one else was convicted over My Lai.

    If that's how the U.S. delivers justice to its worst war criminals, the men responsible for this will, at best, receive a dishonorable discharge.
     
  40. Gargantou

    Gargantou Companion Cube

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Messages:
    9,584
    Likes Received:
    8
    Sparta, your post is excellent and I agree with you, and I think it's shameful how easily war criminals in the US get away with shit, compared to the rest of the world.

    Not to mention the US has outright said that if any US citizen is ever put on trial via the ICC, they will use whatever means necessary to FREE said citizen.

    By the way, for those of you who missed it, there were at least two children in the make-shift ambulance but the US military investigation claims that they survived and were only injured.
     

Share This Page