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Evilmav2
05-24-2004, 01:35 AM
I have seen the AP video, and read all of the initial accounts about this business, and it all smacks of malarky to me. These folks opened fire on us from their terrorist meeting ground/way point, and even if they employed a wedding to mask this "high level" meeting, I say dropping choice amounts of 500 lb ordinance on the miscreants was the appropriate way to deal with this murderous rabble.

No Wedding Party, Children's Deaths Indicated, Military Spokesman Says
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2004 – There are no indications a wedding party took place at a remote desert site in western Iraq near the Syrian border where U.S. forces are accused of killing about 20 people May 19, including women and children, a senior military spokesman said today.

"Contrary to media reports, there was no wedding tent and no nuptial tent in the area," Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy operations director for Multinational Force Iraq said during a Baghdad news conference.

"To the allegation that there was a wedding going on, there was no evidence of a wedding," Kimmitt reiterated. "There were no decorations, no musical instruments found, no large quantities of food or leftover servings one would expect from a wedding celebration and no gifts.

"The men were almost all military-aged, no family elders that one would expect to see at an event of this type," he said.

To help substantiate his comments, the general showed reporters slides of items found at the site, which included a significant number of weapons, battery packs used to power improvised explosive devices and a host of other non-wedding-related items.

"What was interesting is that the building seemed to be somewhat of a dormitory," Kimmitt pointed out. "There were more than 300 sets of bedding gear in it and about 100 sets of prepackaged clothing. It's suspected that when foreign fighters come in from other countries they change their clothes into typical Iraqi clothing sets.

"We also found a significant number of identity cards, ID-making machines, the capability to make exit visas for Iraq and a couple of passports," the general noted. "And we found a waist-high medical table for examination and treatment."

Highlighting some other intelligence found at the site, Kimmitt said, "There were a couple of other items we found to be quite interesting. None of the bodies had any identification of any kind – no ID cards, no wallets, no pictures. They had watches, and that was about the only way you could identify one person from another.

"We feel that that was an indicator that this was a high-risk meeting of high-level anti-coalition forces," he said. Kimmitt pointed out items found in the victims' pockets, "including a lot of telephone numbers to foreign countries -- Afghanistan, Sudan and a number of others."

He said the site was purported to be a ranch, but there was no indication of ranching activities. "Most homes in remote desert areas support sheep ranching operations," Kimmitt noted. "But there wasn't any evidence of livestock at that location. There were large farm trucks present, but no indication that they'd ever been used for ranching."

"There were also a number of terrorist training manuals (and) suspected forged Iraqi IDs," he said.

Kimmitt said there may have been some kind of celebration going on at the said, but not a wedding. "Bad people have celebrations too," he noted. "Bad people have parties too. It may have been that what was seen as some sort of celebration may have just been a meeting in the middle of the desert by some people that were conducting either criminal or terrorist activities. That's the conclusion we're continuing to draw the more we look at the material, intelligence, post-strike, and follow-up intelligence."

Kimmitt said the coalition believes "a handful of women" could have been present. "We believe six were killed, and we acknowledge that in all of our reports," he said. "But there are still not reports of any children being killed."

Kimmitt said a videotape distributed to the media showing at least a dozen bodies, including small children, wrapped in blankets for burial, being unloaded from a truck doesn't look like the video taken at the site of the attack.

"None of the geography in those videos match the geography of this open area," he noted. "But there are still some inconsistencies. We still remain opened-minded about this. We'll continue to look into everything that's provided to us in the way of evidence."

The general said the area was attacked based on significant multiple sources of intelligence that came in the night of May 18 and morning of May 19. "That caused us to launch a quick-reaction force to that area," he said.

Air and ground element were dispatched to the area. "We got into the area and our soldiers took fire and they responded," Kimmitt explained. "As soon as they finished sweeping the objective, they went back to their bases."

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/May2004/n05222004_200405221.html

http://www.americanpopularculture.com/assets/hamas-terrorists.jpg
Perhaps, pictures like this represent the AP's, Reuter's, and the NYT's idea of a traditional Iraqi wedding celebration...

Mavdog
05-24-2004, 08:41 AM
The story remains difficult to unravel and find the truth. The following contains several facts which contrast with what we are hearing from the military spokespeople.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Video shows Iraq wedding celebration

11:12 PM CDT on Sunday, May 23, 2004
By SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI / Associated Press
RAMADI, Iraq — A videotape obtained Sunday by Associated Press Television News captures a wedding party that survivors say was later attacked by U.S. planes early Wednesday, killing up to 45 people. The dead included the cameraman, Yasser Shawkat Abdullah, hired to record the festivities, which ended Tuesday night before the planes struck.

The U.S. military says it is investigating the attack, which took place in the village of Mogr el-Deeb about five miles from the Syrian border, but that all evidence so far indicates the target was a safehouse for foreign fighters.

"There was no evidence of a wedding: no decorations, no musical instruments found, no large quantities of food or leftover servings one would expect from a wedding celebration," Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said Saturday. "There may have been some kind of celebration. Bad people have celebrations, too."

But video that APTN shot a day after the attack shows fragments of musical instruments, pots and pans and brightly colored beddings used for celebrations, scattered around the bombed out tent.

The wedding videotape shows a dozen white pickup trucks speeding through the desert escorting the bridal car - decorated with colorful ribbons. The bride wears a Western-style white bridal dress and veil. The camera captures her stepping out of the car but does not show a close-up.

An AP reporter and photographer, who interviewed more than a dozen survivors a day after the bombing, were able to identify many of them on the wedding party video - which runs for several hours.

APTN also traveled to Mogr el-Deeb, 250 miles west of Ramadi, the day after the attack to film what the survivors said was the wedding site. A devastated building and remnants of the tent, pots and pans could be seen, along with bits of what appeared to be the remnants of ordnance, one of which bore the marking "ATU-35," similar to those on U.S. bombs.

A water tanker truck can be seen in both the video shot by APTN and the wedding tape obtained from a cousin of the groom.

The singing and dancing seems to go on forever at the all-male tent set up in the garden of the host, Rikad Nayef, for the wedding of his son, Azhad, and the bride Rutbah Sabah. The men later move to the porch when darkness falls, apparently taking advantage of the cool night weather. Children, mainly boys, sit on their fathers' laps; men smoke an Arab water pipe, finger worry beads and chat with one another. It looks like a typical, gender-segregated tribal desert wedding.

As expected, women are out of sight - but according to survivors, they danced to the music of Hussein al-Ali, a popular Baghdad wedding singer hired for the festivities. Al-Ali was buried in Baghdad on Thursday.

Prominently displayed on the videotape was a stocky man with close-cropped hair playing an electric organ. Another tape, filmed a day later in Ramadi and obtained by APTN, showed the musician lying dead in a burial shroud - his face clearly visible and wearing the same tan shirt as he wore when he performed.

As the musicians played, young men milled about, most dressed in traditional white robes. Young men swayed in tribal dances to the monotonous tones of traditional Arabic music. Two children - a boy and a girl - held hands, dancing and smiling. Women are rarely filmed at such occasions, and they appear only in distant glimpses.

Kimmitt said U.S. troops who swept through the area found rifles, machine guns, foreign passports, bedding, syringes and other items that suggested the site was used by foreigners infiltrating from Syria.

The videotape showed no weapons, although they are common among rural Iraqis.

Kimmitt has denied finding evidence that any children died in the raid although a "handful of women" - perhaps four to six - were "caught up in the engagement."

"They may have died from some of the fire that came from the aircraft," he told reporters Friday.

However, an AP reporter obtained names of at least 10 children who relatives said had died. Bodies of five of them were filmed by APTN when the survivors took them to Ramadi for burial Wednesday. Iraqi officials said at least 13 children were killed.

Four days after the attack, the memories of the survivors remain painful - as are their injuries.

Haleema Shihab, 32, one of the three wives of Rikad Nayef, said that as the first bombs fell, she grabbed her seven-month old son, Yousef, and clutching the hands of her five-year-old son, Hamza, started running. Her 15-year-old son, Ali, sprinted alongside her. They managed to run for several yards when she fell - her leg fractured.

"Hamza was yelling, 'mommy,'" Shihab, recalled. "Ali said he was hurt and that he was bleeding. That's the last time I heard him." Then another shell fell and injured Shihab's left arm.

"Hamza fell from my hand and was gone. Only Yousef stayed in my arms. Ali had been hit and was killed. I couldn't go back," she said from her hospital bed in Ramadi. Her arm was in a cast.

She and her stepdaughter, Iqbal - who had caught up with her - hid in a bomb crater. "We were bleeding from 3 a.m. until sunrise," Shihab said.

Soon American soldiers came. One of them kicked her to see if she was alive, she said.

"I pretended I was dead so he wouldn't kill me," said Shihab. She said the soldier was laughing. When Yousef cried, the soldier said: "'No, stop," said Shihab.

Fourteen-year-old Moza, Shihab's stepdaughter, lies on another bed of the hospital room. She was hurt in the leg and cries. Her relatives haven't told her yet that her mother, Sumaya, is dead.

"I fear she's dead," Moza said of her mother. "I'm worried about her."

Moza was sleeping on one side of the porch next to her sisters Siham, Subha and Zohra while her mother slept on the other end. There were many others on the porch, her cousins, stepmothers and other female relatives.

When the first shell fell, Moza and her sisters, Subha, Fatima and Siham ran off together. Moza was holding Subha's hand.

"I don't know where Fatima and my mom were. Siham got hit. She died. I saw Zohra's head gone. I lost consciousness," said Moza, covering her mouth with the end of her headscarf.

Her sister Iqbal, lay in pain on the bed next to her. Her other sister, Subha, was on the upper floor of the hospital, in the same room with two-year-Khoolood. Her small body was bandaged and a tube inserted in her side drained her liver.

Her ankle was bandaged. A red ribbon was tied to her curly hair. Only she and her older brother, Faisal, survived from their immediate family. Her parents and four sisters and brothers were all killed.

In all, 27 members of Rikad Nayef's extended family died - most of them children and women, the family said.

FishForLunch
05-24-2004, 09:22 AM
I am sure the AP reporter are objective, I dont see any reason why those AP guys should not trust the Arabs and distrust the US military.

Mavdog
05-24-2004, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by: FishForLunch
I am sure the AP reporter are objective, I dont see any reason why those AP guys should not trust the Arabs and distrust the US military.

The question is not one of 'trust" or "distrust", the question is was a mistake made, were innocent people killed by mistake, and how could this mistake be avoided in the future.

The inconsistentcies are troubling in light of the official statements. We all want to ascertain the truth, right?

LRB
05-24-2004, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by: Mavdog

Originally posted by: FishForLunch
I am sure the AP reporter are objective, I dont see any reason why those AP guys should not trust the Arabs and distrust the US military.

The question is not one of 'trust" or "distrust", the question is was a mistake made, were innocent people killed by mistake, and how could this mistake be avoided in the future.

The inconsistentcies are troubling in light of the official statements. We all want to ascertain the truth, right?

Was a mistake made? Was possibly this story printed and aired as pure propaganda without adequately researching the facts? Of course it is concievable that the US was part of a mistake that bombed innocents. It's also entirely concievable that this is a stage propaganda stunt to discredit the US. While we have nothing to gain from bombing an innoncent wedding, our enemies have a tremendous amount to gain by creating a situation purposefully to discredit the US. Any such incidents like this one should be viewed with a great deal of skepticismuntil an adequate investigation can be conducted. But the press refuses to adhere to skepticism unless it is direct against the US. Most everyone else is taken at face value.

Of couse if mistakes were made that cost innocents their lives we want to correct those. But we should also be equally interested in revealing any scams perpetuated in the press to discredit the US. I feel that the liberal agenda of most of the press precludes this latter point.

Simon2
05-24-2004, 11:26 AM
What's disheartening to me is that killing innocent people can just be labeled a "mistake". "Oh, we are sorry. We just killed most of your innocent family." Even if it was a mistake, it doesn't even sound like the people here are remorseful. Its just a mistake and needs to be corrected. Imagine if that was your wedding and the US won't even admit that it was a mistake. If its too difficult to imagine, maybe the truth hurts.

FullBurst41
05-24-2004, 12:03 PM
Here's something else. I'm not going to say which was the truth, but I do believe that there is something seriously smelly about this story..

The US military officials say that they were fired upon by militants and called in the flyboys, right? Now, how many did these bombs kill again? Forty-something? That's one hell of a tally for the army! Whoop-dee-whoop, forty militants down the drain, that's bound to fire you up. Only the question is, are the militants truly THAT stupid? I mean, they're obviously not very intelligent, but one might presume they know a thing or two about military tactics. One thing that has always had me perplexed in martyrdom, is that they're all so ready to die, but you'll have to catch them first before they're willing to point that gun at you and let you shoot them.

Of course, perhaps what people say here is true Perhaps the militants more or less orchestrated this whole thing. I cant say, I don't know the facts, all I can say is this: if this story is rue (as in, the wedding being bombed), I can't help but shake the feeling that if the soldiersin the field are not too familiar with the traditions in the country they're serving in, then whatmakes so many people on this forum qualified to downgrade the Iraqi people? The soldiers are the ones confronted with them every day, after all, they're the ones fighting and dying every day, trying to clean up this mess.

LRB
05-24-2004, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by: Simon2
What's disheartening to me is that killing innocent people can just be labeled a "mistake". "Oh, we are sorry. We just killed most of your innocent family." Even if it was a mistake, it doesn't even sound like the people here are remorseful. Its just a mistake and needs to be corrected. Imagine if that was your wedding and the US won't even admit that it was a mistake. If its too difficult to imagine, maybe the truth hurts.


1st of all it has not been established that the US killed any innocents at a wedding. So why display a great show of remorse over something that possibly never happened? 2nd there aren't even any claims that I've read that this incident was an intentional action by the US.

Next let's take a look at the work mistake that you complain so much about it's use.



mis·take ( P ) Pronunciation Key (m-stk)
n.
1. An error or fault resulting from defective judgment, deficient knowledge, or carelessness.



This is the meaning that is comingly being used. I do not see how it inaccurately displays what is claimed to have happened. Would you have the US lie and say it was an intentional random attack on a wedding for the sole purpose of killing a few Arabs just for the hell of it? What good would that do anyone? If an action was unintentional it was a mistake even if the action has horribly tragic consequences. And unlike the United States, Iraq is a country where an active shooting war is being fought. In Wars, mistakes happen and often result in deaths. This is very sad. We try to form procedures which will help prevent the same type of mistakes from taking place again. What we will never be able to do is form procedures which will allow us to be mistake free.

And the US hasn't ommitted that it was a mistake because they do not have any credible evidence that they have had sufficient time to review for accuracy that would defiinitely indicate that it was a mistake. How would you feel if I claimed that you killed my mother on the way to work and forced you to admit it solely on a picture of a woman who looks like my mother who was hit by a car that looks sort of like yours, then to find out the next day that my mom is alive and well and that the picture was taken thousands of miles from where you live?

Why are you so rash to judge others on partial and unverified evidence?

LRB
05-24-2004, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by: FullBurst41
Here's something else. I'm not going to say which was the truth, but I do believe that there is something seriously smelly about this story..

The US military officials say that they were fired upon by militants and called in the flyboys, right? Now, how many did these bombs kill again? Forty-something? That's one hell of a tally for the army! Whoop-dee-whoop, forty militants down the drain, that's bound to fire you up. Only the question is, are the militants truly THAT stupid? I mean, they're obviously not very intelligent, but one might presume they know a thing or two about military tactics. One thing that has always had me perplexed in martyrdom, is that they're all so ready to die, but you'll have to catch them first before they're willing to point that gun at you and let you shoot them.

Of course, perhaps what people say here is true Perhaps the militants more or less orchestrated this whole thing. I cant say, I don't know the facts, all I can say is this: if this story is rue (as in, the wedding being bombed), I can't help but shake the feeling that if the soldiersin the field are not too familiar with the traditions in the country they're serving in, then whatmakes so many people on this forum qualified to downgrade the Iraqi people? The soldiers are the ones confronted with them every day, after all, they're the ones fighting and dying every day, trying to clean up this mess.


I agree there is definitely something smelly about this strory. And the story of the US bombing a wedding with only the current facts would not pass mustard with any legitimate court nor even with Snoopes.com.

1. Why would Iraqi's have a wedding "at a remote desert site in western Iraq near the Syrian border"?
2. Why was there a dormitory at the site with "more than 300 sets of bedding gear in it and about 100 sets of prepackaged clothing"?
3. Why was there such a large set of weapons at the wedding?
4. Why was there explosive equipment at the wedding?
5. Why was it that "none of the bodies had any identification of any kind – no ID cards, no wallets, no pictures"?
6. Why was it that the US had muliple sources of intelligence that directed them to investigate the area in the 1st place?

FullBurst41
05-24-2004, 12:59 PM
As I said, I don't relaly like either side of the story. You don't just kill forty militants in one bombing run. The Iraqis sure must'v eknown what was coming if they were militants firing upon American soldiers. On the other side of things, you do raise some valid concerns, though one could question whether the army reports can be fully trusted, seeing how such a kill score is unlikely at best. There are obviously two totally different sides to this story, and I'm not going to go with either at this time, until it is independantly confirmed whether it was an army hiccup or a heck of an army victory.

LRB
05-24-2004, 01:19 PM
I quite frankly don't trust a lot of the facts without time to throughly investigate them. It takes time to get accurate and all inclusive facts. We haven't had the time to do so. While I don't feel that it is out of place to ask for a full explanation with detailed facts of what took place and investigate the stories from the alledged wedding survivors, I do feel that it is unfair to rush to a judgement that anything inappropriate was done by the US without a more complete investigation.

FullBurst41
05-24-2004, 01:32 PM
Without a doubt.

Drbio
05-24-2004, 01:37 PM
Originally posted by: FullBurst41
As I said, I don't relaly like either side of the story. You don't just kill forty militants in one bombing run. The Iraqis sure must'v eknown what was coming if they were militants firing upon American soldiers. On the other side of things, you do raise some valid concerns, though one could question whether the army reports can be fully trusted, seeing how such a kill score is unlikely at best. There are obviously two totally different sides to this story, and I'm not going to go with either at this time, until it is independantly confirmed whether it was an army hiccup or a heck of an army victory.

You are making a serious error if you are assuming that one bombing run can't take out 40 militants. It may not be the average, but it can be much much higher. You are standing on empty ground with that assumtion.

FullBurst41
05-24-2004, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by: Drbio

Originally posted by: FullBurst41
As I said, I don't relaly like either side of the story. You don't just kill forty militants in one bombing run. The Iraqis sure must'v eknown what was coming if they were militants firing upon American soldiers. On the other side of things, you do raise some valid concerns, though one could question whether the army reports can be fully trusted, seeing how such a kill score is unlikely at best. There are obviously two totally different sides to this story, and I'm not going to go with either at this time, until it is independantly confirmed whether it was an army hiccup or a heck of an army victory.

You are making a serious error if you are assuming that one bombing run can't take out 40 militants. It may not be the average, but it can be much much higher. You are standing on empty ground with that assumtion.

Technically ti can, it's just very unlikely to happen. These aren't the kind of guys that sit in fixed positions waiting to be bombed like an army inn defense might be. These guys know the dangers of airpower, and if you take American soldiers under fire, you know the birds are coming, or you've been badly trained. It's all possible, only very unlikely in my book. It also dependson what munitions were used. We don't know that for sure either (or do we?).

dalmations202
05-24-2004, 02:14 PM
Technically ti can, it's just very unlikely to happen. These aren't the kind of guys that sit in fixed positions waiting to be bombed like an army inn defense might be. These guys know the dangers of airpower, and if you take American soldiers under fire, you know the birds are coming, or you've been badly trained. It's all possible, only very unlikely in my book. It also dependson what munitions were used. We don't know that for sure either (or do we?).

Just as a dumb question? What makes people think that the 40 killed were killed by the aircraft bombing? I know that is what is said, and I know about ICM, and its effects. I'll bet there was a FO in the area (probably from SF), and that target was lased. That would account for the high death count. And if a SF group were operating in the area, it wouldn't be in print by the Army and the AP wouldn't get the story anyway. Believe about 1/2 of what you read from either side. Many things happen on the ground that don't come out that way when it hits the paper.

I am not saying that some innocent people didn't get killed, because the military does make mistakes. I am saying that I would be surprised if what was written by AP, and the Army piece, was even half correct.

Simon2
05-24-2004, 06:03 PM
How would you feel if I claimed that you killed my mother on the way to work and forced you to admit it solely on a picture of a woman who looks like my mother who was hit by a car that looks sort of like yours, then to find out the next day that my mom is alive and well and that the picture was taken thousands of miles from where you live?

Why are you so rash to judge others on partial and unverified evidence?

Your analogy makes it so simple. Let's say that it did happen (knock on wood). Let's say I laughed in your face and told you that you deserved it or let's say I said something like, "It was a mistake/accident (whatever you want to call it. Its just semantics). I will try to correct it next time." Would that give you any comfort? That I would make sure I don't hit your mother again?

What if I said, "I hit your mother because I thought she was a terrorist. I'm sorry." Would that make you less sad? Knowing that I just made a mistake?

I guess I'm just sad that too many innocent people are dying. Both American and Iraqi. Remind me again. Why is the US in Iraq? Where are the WMDs?

You can bet the relatives of those people are now hating the US. If they loved the US for liberating them, they are hating the US now.

dude1394
05-24-2004, 06:50 PM
I guess I'm just sad that too many innocent people are dying. Both American and Iraqi.

I agree.. If those terrorists wouldn't use women, children, mosques and plant roadside bombs it wouldn't be happening.


Remind me again. Why is the US in Iraq? Where are the WMDs?
Well we've only found the ones with sarin and mustard gas so far. We are in iraq for quite a few reasons.

1. To get rid of the regime that supported terrorism.
2. To get rid of a regime that had and was trying to develop wmds.
3. To remove a dictator who had murdered 300,000 of his own people.
4. To remove a dictator who had started two major wars in the middle-east obviously threatening the worlds oil supplies.
5. To install an arab democracy on the hope that it will help modernize the rest of the islamic culture so that they will halt supporting terrorism. And as a consequence hopefully quite trying to blow up anything not islamic.


You can bet the relatives of those people are now hating the US. If they loved the US for liberating them, they are hating the US now.
The people who are attacking the US never loved us, nor did/do they love the iraqi people. They were either the same sadaam henchmen who were busying brutalizing those people (sort of like the mafie), imported islamists or religious/tribal fanatics.

LRB
05-24-2004, 07:23 PM
Originally posted by: Simon2

How would you feel if I claimed that you killed my mother on the way to work and forced you to admit it solely on a picture of a woman who looks like my mother who was hit by a car that looks sort of like yours, then to find out the next day that my mom is alive and well and that the picture was taken thousands of miles from where you live?

Why are you so rash to judge others on partial and unverified evidence?

Your analogy makes it so simple. Let's say that it did happen (knock on wood). Let's say I laughed in your face and told you that you deserved it or let's say I said something like, "It was a mistake/accident (whatever you want to call it. Its just semantics). I will try to correct it next time." Would that give you any comfort? That I would make sure I don't hit your mother again?

What if I said, "I hit your mother because I thought she was a terrorist. I'm sorry." Would that make you less sad? Knowing that I just made a mistake?

I guess I'm just sad that too many innocent people are dying. Both American and Iraqi. Remind me again. Why is the US in Iraq? Where are the WMDs?

You can bet the relatives of those people are now hating the US. If they loved the US for liberating them, they are hating the US now.


1st of all we're hardly laughing in the face of the families who have loss. The message is that we are investigating an incident that happened only a few days ago and which we have only partial and incomplete information on. You are talking as this is a done deal. You are judging the hear and now. So the 1st part of your example is totally off base. All we are doing is not rushing to judgement.

2nd if my mom was killed it would be hard to console me. But it regardless of the situation where she died I would not appreciate someone rushing to give me incomplete and inaccurate facts because of some political agenda. You are judging the US guilty of killing innocents when there are no conclusive facts to indicate this is the case. Why are you doing this? Because you have some political axe to grind? You hate America? You're incredibly naive? It really doesn't matter, it does not help the families of any victims to jump to conclusions. We don't know exactly what happened and won't for some time yet.

Now how many innocents dieing is too many? I would agree with you in that one is too many. However we don't have a choice on no innocents dieing. That's just not an available option in the real world. Whatever actions we take or don't take, there will still be innocents who die. That's life. What we can do is all in our power to limit the overall loss of innocent life. IMO we're doing a pretty damn good job of that. Can we do better? I certainly think so. We're far from perfect, and therefore have room to improve.

Now whether you like it or not, Iraq is a war zone and will be for quite some time. It is not possible to make it anything less in any short amount of time. Now you can sit in your ivory tower and bitch about how unfair life is or you can accept the realities of life and try and make the best of it.

Pratically this means mistakes will be made. Some of those mistakes will cost the lives of innocents. That's just how things are. We can look at why those mistakes happened and do our best to see that they don't happen again. What we cannot do is bring back those who have been lost. That's beyond our power. There are no magical words that we can say to any family who have lost a loved one to make it all better. We can say we're sorry. We can say that we're taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again. We can even offer to compensate them for their loss. But that's about it. We just don't have power to do much else. We could give in to our enemies, but that does nothing for the families.

What is a shame is that many will shamelessly exploit the loss of innocents to further their own politcal agendas.

reeds
05-24-2004, 07:36 PM
"What's disheartening to me is that killing innocent people can just be labeled a "mistake". "Oh, we are sorry. We just killed most of your innocent family." Even if it was a mistake, it doesn't even sound like the people here are remorseful. Its just a mistake and needs to be corrected. Imagine if that was your wedding and the US won't even admit that it was a mistake. If its too difficult to imagine, maybe the truth hurts. "

Great point...we take for granted that we are the superpower and always will be...if the shoe was on the other foot- OMG, it would be terrible...

It wont be today, and problaby not even in our lifetime, but someday the US wont be the superpower..and this could happen on our soil, to our Americans...Our kids may have to deal with losing their children to the new superpower- during a bomb missing its target...laugh if you want, but NO one stays on top forever...

dude1394
05-24-2004, 07:51 PM
Well when (if) we aren't the superpower then we will begin whining about international law and soft-power just like the french. If you are sharing the forest with a bear and only have a knife the "safe" course may be to not rile the bear and hope he eats you last. However if you have a rifle the safe course is the confront the bear so he won't sneak up on you and eat you.

Simon2
05-24-2004, 08:31 PM
Now whether you like it or not, Iraq is a war zone and will be for quite some time. It is not possible to make it anything less in any short amount of time. Now you can sit in your ivory tower and bitch about how unfair life is or you can accept the realities of life and try and make the best of it.


I guess its easier for other people to judge that its just "bitching" if they are holding the big gun. Sort of like the Mavs, the Mavs were called whiners if they complained about the refs. The Mavs didn't have the refs yet. They still don't and if they complain, they are called whiners. Its too easy to just say that "you can accept the realities of life and try and make the best of it." when you're sitting pretty in the US. Imagine if you were in Iraq and US soldiers were barging into your home. Would it be so easy for you to just say that its just reality so you should accept it? Who's in his ivory tower now?

Simon2
05-24-2004, 08:34 PM
So we just kill what we are afraid of?


Originally posted by: dude1394
Well when (if) we aren't the superpower then we will begin whining about international law and soft-power just like the french. If you are sharing the forest with a bear and only have a knife the "safe" course may be to not rile the bear and hope he eats you last. However if you have a rifle the safe course is the confront the bear so he won't sneak up on you and eat you.

Simon2
05-24-2004, 08:37 PM
Exactly. Even the great Rome fell.


Originally posted by: reeds
"What's disheartening to me is that killing innocent people can just be labeled a "mistake". "Oh, we are sorry. We just killed most of your innocent family." Even if it was a mistake, it doesn't even sound like the people here are remorseful. Its just a mistake and needs to be corrected. Imagine if that was your wedding and the US won't even admit that it was a mistake. If its too difficult to imagine, maybe the truth hurts. "

Great point...we take for granted that we are the superpower and always will be...if the shoe was on the other foot- OMG, it would be terrible...

It wont be today, and problaby not even in our lifetime, but someday the US wont be the superpower..and this could happen on our soil, to our Americans...Our kids may have to deal with losing there children to the new superpower- during a bomb missing its target...laugh if you want, but NO one stays on top forever...

dude1394
05-24-2004, 08:52 PM
Originally posted by: Simon2
So we just kill what we are afraid of?


Originally posted by: dude1394
Well when (if) we aren't the superpower then we will begin whining about international law and soft-power just like the french. If you are sharing the forest with a bear and only have a knife the "safe" course may be to not rile the bear and hope he eats you last. However if you have a rifle the safe course is the confront the bear so he won't sneak up on you and eat you.

So either you are being obtuse on purpose or you are being a knucklehead.

No, the point is that you see the europeans and other countries who coudn't remove sadaam even if they tried not wanting us to do anything about terrorism. They believe that if they just leave it alone, they will be left alone. It's the cry of the weak and timid. Unfortunately the same cry was tried with hitler and it didn't work either.

But yea, if something can kill you and you believe it has every inclination to do so, you deal with it. Not cower from it. IF you can.

Murphy3
05-24-2004, 09:11 PM
Dude, do you remember my comment from a different thread concerning liberals? That definitely applies here.

LRB
05-24-2004, 11:22 PM
Originally posted by: Simon2


Now whether you like it or not, Iraq is a war zone and will be for quite some time. It is not possible to make it anything less in any short amount of time. Now you can sit in your ivory tower and bitch about how unfair life is or you can accept the realities of life and try and make the best of it.


I guess its easier for other people to judge that its just "bitching" if they are holding the big gun. Sort of like the Mavs, the Mavs were called whiners if they complained about the refs. The Mavs didn't have the refs yet. They still don't and if they complain, they are called whiners. Its too easy to just say that "you can accept the realities of life and try and make the best of it." when you're sitting pretty in the US. Imagine if you were in Iraq and US soldiers were barging into your home. Would it be so easy for you to just say that its just reality so you should accept it? Who's in his ivory tower now?

you know it's a hell of a lot eaier for me when the sun comes up sitting in my air conditioned home or office than some poor smuck out in the middle of the sahara desert also. But if you sit around and bitch about the sun coming up every day until you're blue in the face won't make it stop either. You make about as much since with your pointless complaints. It's unrealistic to expect the sun not to come up every day. It's just as unrealistic not to expect accidental deaths of innocents in a war zone. Unfortunately shit happens. And life is unfair. You complain but you offer no realistic solution. It's a hell of a lot easier to sit around and do nothing but bitch than it is to come up with a realistic solution. Complaining doesn't help the people over in Iraq who are having US soldiers barging into their homes. Maybe you'd like the US to leave Iraq in the next 36 hours and let some local thugs goons barge into the house instead. That way they can have their men killed, their women and children raped, and all their property stolen in one stop. So maybe instead of 40 innocents getting killed we can up that to 4000. After all you really don't give a hoot about the Iraqi's do you? Just get you digs in at the good old US, their soldier, and GW Bush. If it costs several thousand Iraqi lives its worth it to make your political point isn't it? Well if it isn't come up with a better plan or support the one in place.

The US soldiers in Iraq are doing the best job that they know how to, and I can't imagine anyone who could do it anywhere near as well. We don't get to see the thousands of Iraqi's that they've saved. That just isn't news worthy.

twelli
05-25-2004, 04:38 AM
I think the US does a good job of not killing civilians, simply because they have the most sophisticated "clinical" weapons and the soldiers have the right mindset and training. If your country is under attack by a foreign force, which army would you rather have doing the operations?

However, it would be interesting to compare the numbers of civilians killed by US soldiers vs. US civilians killed by a foreign army...

When was the last time a foreign army fought on the US mainland (excluding 911 and Pearl Harbor of course)?

Evilmav2
05-25-2004, 06:57 AM
What's disheartening to me is that killing innocent people can just be labeled a "mistake". "Oh, we are sorry. We just killed most of your innocent family."
-reeds

It sure as heck doesn't look like this action was a "mistake" to me, and I have yet to see a DOD or State Department release apologizing for such said action.

All coherent accounts seem to point to the reality that we did NOT bomb a wedding, and that the 20 or so miscreants that we did send to an immolated judgement were armed, Mohammedan Jihadists.

If the AP or Al Jazeera or the New York Times want to pretend that this evidently efficient engagement was some kind of gross American massacre, more power to them, but I say that anyone who believes in the magic fabrication of the crap footage that has been airing is a fool.

In my experience, the DOD has yet to release anything but the most contemporaneously factual statements regarding American armed engagements in Afghanistan or Iraq. And because of that, I would be absolutely amazed if the strident Defense department denials of this wedding-fable garbage, and the similarly fierce DOD condemnations of the currently airing footage of dead "wedding party" women and children as being falsified, are not based in a reality that in this engagement US special forces and the air force did an extremely well done job in putting paid to a gang of murderous, Jihadist scum at one of their terrorist watering-holes- a justified action that was certainly not the "massacre" of "innocent civilians" that many simpering, craven, and mercenary fools in the media (Americans and foreigners) have been recently claiming.

FullBurst41
05-25-2004, 11:19 AM
Uh-huh. The Europeans couldn't whip Saddam's arse if they wanted to? Think again. You obviously know squat about European countries and their armies. The British sure could, the French could do it, the Germans could do it, the Italians and Spaniards could do it, and for one thing, if the European Union made a concentrated effort to remove Sadddam by force, he wouldn't even have the slimmest of hopes. Don't make such baseless assumptions. It's just that European Union did not, and would not unless facd with a situation it was forced into, invade Iraq.

LRB
05-25-2004, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by: FullBurst41
Uh-huh. The Europeans couldn't whip Saddam's arse if they wanted to? Think again. You obviously know squat about European countries and their armies. The British sure could, the French could do it, the Germans could do it, the Italians and Spaniards could do it, and for one thing, if the European Union made a concentrated effort to remove Sadddam by force, he wouldn't even have the slimmest of hopes. Don't make such baseless assumptions. It's just that European Union did not, and would not unless facd with a situation it was forced into, invade Iraq.


First of all Great Britan and Poland were two countries who sent forces to remove Saddam. But the accusation of Europeans, applies more specifically to those countries like France, Germany, etc. Who don't have the backbone to pick a daisy by themselves much less remove someone with as large a military as Saddam. Sure they collectively have the manpower, the weapons, and the capital to do so. But lake of a significant backbone is not some trivial issue to be discarded. Most European countries would be hard pressed to fight their way out of a paper bag, but there are some notable exceptions. However the exceptions don't begin with an "F" and end with "rance" nor do they begin with a "G" and end with "ermany".

dude1394
05-25-2004, 07:51 PM
I don't know fullburst. I seem to remember reading that the eu have no capabiilities to project power outside of europe without US help. Not sure and I'll see if I can find it, but I'm pretty sure that was the gist of it.

FullBurst41
05-26-2004, 06:59 AM
It all depends how you see "projection of power." We cannot throw weight around like the United States can, which mostly has to do with the fact that our naval forces are by and large not capable to sustain long combat operations in far away territories, except for some notable exceptions (France and Germany, actually). That said, Iraq had no navy to speak of. It has no air force after the wonderful job the United States and her allies did in the early '90s. Iraq has no modern armor, large European countries like Germany have more than enough of that. Iraq has no sophisticated artillery. Europe does.

While what you say has substance, it would only apply to say, a war with a far more capable military, like for example the Chinese army.

and LRB, what makes you say that Europe an countries have no backbone (or rather, France and Germany not having enough backbone) to complete such an operation? Do you happen to know a lot of soldiers and commanding officers in the French and German armies, navies and air forces? This is about political backing, I am talking about their military. The fact that you doubt the German military's backbone is quite ironic.

LRB
05-26-2004, 01:14 PM
you happen to know a lot of soldiers and commanding officers in the French and German armies, navies and air forces?

Actually most of the European soldiers and commanding officers, I feel are competent. It's not the armies, but the political climate in the countries themselves which have no backbone. Ask why America didn't win in Vietnam. It's not because of our military. We won every major battle and the incredibly large majority of engagements. We didn't win because our resolve slipped at home. Still we were in it for 10+ years in some shape or fashion. I'm not particularly proud of how my country behaved. Nor am I proud of how we did not demand more reforms from the South Vietnamese. If we'd had the will to do it right, I've no doubt that we would have won. We didn't have the backbone to do it. It hurt us as a country and we've learned from our mistakes. However, I've seen the political climate go to millions of screaming chicken littles in Europe if a couple of drops of blood are shed and the whole affair is not wrapped up neatly in a short amount of time. Most of the militaries could do a decent job if supported by their governments, I just doubt that most would get that support.


The fact that you doubt the German military's backbone is quite ironic.


Not really. Germans probably suffered more than any country in WWII or at the least were one of the top ones. Their culture change considerably because of this. I actually respect the capabilities of the German military, but doubt the backbone of it's government. The appeasement mentality that led to Hilter's rise to power is alive and well in Europe today. What's changed is that not all countries follow this, but still far too many do. And it's funny how you still cling to supporting Saddam. Not funny ha ha, but funny in an incredibly sick and sad sort of way.

LRB
05-26-2004, 01:39 PM
BTW, not one of the European nations has the military force and logisitcs to back it up to accomplish what the US forces did. Maybe collectively or in large groups you might. However the cooperation to have that work very effectively would be extremely difficult. If Iraq was located nearer to Europe it might work without too much difficulty, but in it's current location it would be extremely difficult for Europe to achieve without the US.

FullBurst41
05-26-2004, 04:21 PM
What makes you say that? The only requirement a single European country would have is the ability to use nearby air fields and a country to stage the assault from, just like the United States had. An amphibious assault, while possible, would be far moe risky. I don't really see why you think for example the German army would not have the forces and logistical support necessary to crush Saddam, since Saddam had a largely incapable fighting force except for the areas around Baghdad, where contrary to many reports, there was indeed some very stiff resistance.

LRB, I really do not understand what makes you think that I support Saddam. How could you possibly say that? What brings you to that conclusion? That said, I think comparing him, or the situation, to HItler and the Third Reich is premature. He did have the same views as Hitler did in that he one, strong Pan-Arab state, just like Hitler was trying to create his super race. However, the "appeasement" policy, as you call it, is not comparable. What did the League of Nations do in the '30s? Well, quite simply, it just sat there and said, "Oh, well if we will have peace, then... sure." the United Nations, or the European Union for that matter, has not just sat there and said "Go ahead Saddam, as long as you keep the peace, we're all fat and happy here." That is not to say that what the UN did was necessarilly correct, however your constant hammering on their policy and trying to make comparisons between today and back then are rather troubling.