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View Diary: US murders journalist and 11 other civilians on live TV (99 comments)

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  •  definitely (none)
    I'm certainly not condemning these guys ... they were stuck in the middle of a bad situation with a tough decision to make on a moment's notice. My nephew's over there right now; he's been up in the mountains but now he's moving further south.

    The guys in that helicopter were already in a lose-lose situation. Whatever the reason - if they were under orders to blow up the Bradley regardless of civilians, if they saw aggressors around it, if they mistook the camera for an RPG - they were stuck between two bad choices. Can't blame them for picking one, but I'm sure the choice will haunt them anyway.

    Here's the point that any story like this drives home for me. Those of us HERE, back home, we need to be doing OUR part. This shit happens because WE have allowed it to happen. Whether you voted or didn't vote, Bush got into office on our watch. Anyone else you can conceive of as President - including the last four (Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton) - either wouldn't have started the war in the first place, or wouldn't have run it so recklessly.

    Our part of the battle is to fight for accountability in our leaders, truth in our media, and sanity in our foreign relations. There's no excuse for anyone reading this... you HAVE to fight to fix the damn system when our guys are over there fighting for their lives and dealing with the consequences of the decisions being made stateside.

    •  Indefensible (none)
      the guys in the the helicopter committed a morally indefensible act by killing that journalist and the kids in the crowd. They acted out of anger...and likely racism.  

      Remember that scene in Apocalypse Now when the helicrew literally shoots the ass off the Vietnamese girl?  That's what's going on over there.

      •  Your powers of perception are truly amazing... (4.00)

        It is not my intention to provoke you, but I think your statement should be reconsidered.

        You are certain of the pilot/gunner's knowledge of who was in the crowd (journalists, kids, et. al?)?

        You knew the pilot/gunner as firing out of anger?

        You know the pilot/gunner to be racists?

        I do not believe that this war was one that the US should have engaged in, and certainly not in such a manner. That said, I will give a GREAT deal of leeway to the split-second decisions reached by our military forces in harm's way. This is not a film, this is reality.

        One would think that a better target for your anger and contempt would be the powers that put our troops in such a situation, as opposed to our troops who are trying to deal with a bad situation, and trying to make it back home NOT in a bag.

        The incident was tragic and regretable. One such instance among a great many. I do not mean to trivialize it, nor do I mean to condemn you. I only ask that you reflect on your post.

        If indeed you were in such a situation (forgoing the obvious and easy escape of denying you could ever be in such a situation), could you be certain of your actions? There are few of us who could have such certainty. Perhaps you are one, I regretably, am not.

        I only hope that some good that can come of this debacle, is that the rest of our great nation will be loathe to enter into another such conflict, and if we were to do so, we would remember with accurate memory and serious disposition the horror and true costs of such actions.

        "It is well that war is so terrible, lest we grow too fond of it." - Robert E. Lee

         - Zhirem

        "...daft as a bush..." - Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy

        by zhirem on Mon Sep 13, 2004 at 07:25:15 AM PDT

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        •  Y'Know, Z, When Yer Rite, Yer Rite (4.00)
          As Bob Sommerby often notes, we cannot know what somebody else is thinking.  But, in mitigation, I offer that PT's suggestion is going to become common wisdom among most of the few in the Arab world - that US soldiers and marines are anti-Muslim and anti-Arab, and that some of our troops blast civilians to kingdom come just for jollies.

          Oft times appearances are more powerful than the underlying reality. Western culture has a long history of heinous acts perpetrated on the innocent in the middle east. Lip service cannot possibly undo these perceptions.

          vote early - vote often

          by wystler on Mon Sep 13, 2004 at 11:08:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Don't accept your argument (none)
          read the Le Monde piece downthread.

          This incident occurred in the capital city, not in Fallujah. The US did not want to send in ground reinforcement and sent the attack helicopers.  Incredibly, military intelligence wasn't monitoring Al Arabiya, or they would have known the guerrillas had left the scene and that the crowd were onlookers.  Pitifully, they had no one the ground...not a battlefield, but a major thoroughfare in a metropolitan area.

          We know that the gunship crews are wired and that they are taking orders as they shoot, which they find pleasurable and stimulating. There is no doubt in my mind that what happened was beyond negligence--it was hatred, bloodlust and xenophobia.

      •  Untermenschen (none)
        I'm making broad generalizations here, but my observations have led to the thought that if there's one thing 'Murka does best it's train people to kill.

        Here is a perfect ex-neighbor is an ex-Marine and now an ex-deputy from the county I live in.  He enjoyed shot stray dogs in town and dragged them to the gravel pit.  Maybe his braggadacio and behaviors both were offensive to me, I don't know, but my friend who met him once said, "he really wants to kill someone, doesn't he?"  My friend was kidding on the square...

        A month later, Deputy X shot and killed a 17 year old native kid (links below).  Being part Indian I often wonder if a dark person is subhuman-"Untermenschen".  

        Talking to another deputy, he said, "I'm a college boy (like you) and I'm going to use my head instead of going for my gun.  Deputy X was pretty gung-ho...."  

        One might say this is an isolated incident...let's talk about the wives that were murdered by soldiers returning from Afghanistan or even....the DC sniper...the list goes on...

        That's one of the hardest things for me to balance.  I feel grief for every one of the 1000 plus soldiers killed, but also wonder how many innocent Iraqis are slain for each one of our guys.  20?  50?  ??? ...rambling on...   ...(profit)...follow the $$ trail....

        Americans seem to be more concerned with taking their own lifestyles from 10 to 11 than to help others bring theirs from 0 to 1.

        by quartzite on Mon Sep 13, 2004 at 12:10:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  typo and French (none)
          enjoyed shot should be enjoyed shooting...sorry.

          RE; french...why do they hate Jefferson so much???

          Americans seem to be more concerned with taking their own lifestyles from 10 to 11 than to help others bring theirs from 0 to 1.

          by quartzite on Mon Sep 13, 2004 at 12:18:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Indefensible (none)
        No. What's indefensible is that these guys were put into this position by the inevitable results of our government's policies, and that you and I and everyone reading this is responsible for those deaths.

        On an individual basis, our guys over there are pretty average. Just like the population of our country, some are thoughtful and intelligent, some are assholes, some are caring parents, some are racists, etc. Granted, the population is skewed a bit: I'm sure there are not very many pacifists. But please don't confuse fantasy with reality. Apocalypse Now was deliberately meant to show a fictional, explicitly cinematic account of the horrors of war. It shows reality to the same extent that "That 70's Show" shows what life was really like in the 70's.

        You don't know what the guys in the helicopter were thinking, what they had or didn't have. My nephew is a smart, thoughtful guy who is doing his best to do his job and come back alive while following his own moral code, and he's a genuinely good person. Other guys I know who've been in the service are the same way. You might think you know what they were supposed to have in terms of MI, but that's different from what they actually had.

        The tragedy is that they were put in that position by us in the first place, having to do these things for a supposed "greater good". If you don't believe in that "greater good", or if you don't think it's going to be worth the cost, or if you think that we need more accountability so that the real culprits for things like this are punished rather than given accolades for doing a "superb job" ... well, there's a chain of command that goes right up to the top that is your and my responsibility to fix. And that's all I have to say.

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