BBC's Iranian cameraman, Kaveh Golestan's last moments by Jim Muir
April 5, 2003 12:26 PM   Subscribe

BBC's Jim Muir explains how Kaveh Golestan, Pulitzer-winner BBC's Iranian cameraman, was killed last week in Northern Iraq: "But the extent of Kaveh's injuries was far greater than could have been inflicted by two anti-personnel mines. I believe the Iraqis had done what they apparently often do, which is to plant an anti-personnel mine on top of an anti-tank mine so that the one detonates the other." More about Golestan on Google.
posted by hoder (13 comments total)
 
believe the Iraqis had done what they apparently often do, which is to plant an anti-personnel mine on top of an anti-tank mine so that the one detonates the other.


Seems like a waste of an anti-tank mine to me. I mean, if you take off someone's leg, they arn't going to be doing much fighting, from then on.
posted by delmoi at 1:08 PM on April 5, 2003


By the way, does it seem to anyone else that the ratio of reporter deaths is higher then that of troup deaths?
posted by delmoi at 1:14 PM on April 5, 2003


I believe this is a fairly common practice in any country's military. An anti-tank mine is easy to detect and difficult to set off. By placing an anti-personnel mine on top of it or near it then you take care of the problem of a small group of minesweepers taking away all your mines.

On a related note: The countries who have NOT signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty here.
posted by skallas at 1:50 PM on April 5, 2003


last night, at a rally in Portland, I met a friend of Golestan's. He saw me taking pictures with my digital camera, and asked me to email him a few pictures of a rasther tastefully decorated coffin being carried in his honor. The guy i met was also an Iranian journalist, and it was odd to see him practicing such a specific kind of mourning, due to his being a war journalist, not because he is Iranian. He was certainly sad, but he completely lacked the "oh why him" aspect of most mourning of untimely deaths.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:20 PM on April 5, 2003


skallas : interesting link. Has the USA signed anything recently?
posted by twine42 at 3:36 PM on April 5, 2003


twine42: checks to Turkey.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:19 PM on April 5, 2003


Treaties are signed by the President or an executive representative, but are not legal in the US until ratified by a 2/3 majority of the Senate. You may search recent treaty documents. Mainly technical bilateral treaties affecting fishing, taxation, extradition, and nuclear weapons (the Moscow Treaty). There aren't actually that many big new multilateral treaties to sign, though: the Convention on Safety of UN Personnel (signed, ratified); the Protocol to the Agreement of the IAEA (signed, ratified); the Partial Revision of Radio Regulations (signed, ratified); the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism (signed, ratified); the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (signed, ratified); and for the treehuggers, the Stockholm Convention Against Certain Pollutants (signed, ratified). It's not like we've developed some aversion to any kind of treaty whatsoever, just those that are signicantly not in our interests.

And skallas is correct. Anti-personnel mines (activated by tripwires, body weight, etc.) are a standard addition to an anti-tank minefield (activated by vehicle weight, magnetism, etc.), otherwise all your anti-tank mines get stolen. Yes, stolen -- a real problem in guerrilla warfare, where if you don't have money for your own mines you may as well steal some the enemy left behind. Putting one on top of the other for a bigger kick is possible, though most would consider it a waste of the more powerful mine. As it happens, Iraqi minefield doctrine is well-documented, and probably remains true at least for the regulars and the RG. (The Fedayeen may well be more creative, though probably any mine engineers they have received initial training in the military.) What can also happen is that a casualty can be thrown, and activate a second mine.

One hesitates to criticize the dead: these guys were doing their job. But by approaching a recently-vacated military position they took a tremendous risk.
posted by dhartung at 5:11 PM on April 5, 2003


I'd like to say R.I.P Mr. Cameraman, thanks for showing us pictures of something we probably would have never seen without you. You knew your life was at risk, no money, imho, can compensate this.
posted by elpapacito at 5:13 PM on April 5, 2003


Poetry and prose.
posted by psychomedia at 7:34 PM on April 5, 2003


war brings out the best in people.
posted by kv at 8:10 PM on April 5, 2003


War brings out extremes in people.
posted by Guy Smiley at 11:49 PM on April 5, 2003


"fighting bravely to keep his right foot." How do you do that?
posted by Joeforking at 2:36 PM on April 6, 2003


Thanks for the links, dhartung, but your post raised one question for me. Can you explain why the International Criminal Court is "significantly not" in the U.S. interest? If you don't feel that way, my apologies; it wasn't clear from your post.
posted by mediareport at 3:48 PM on April 6, 2003


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