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Iraqi official shot dead over parking violation.
November 11, 2003 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Iraqi official shot dead over parking violation. U.S. military officials said Tuesday that U.S. soldiers shot to death the chairman of Sadr City's governing council during a heated argument this week.... Officials said the quarrel got under way Monday when the chairman, Mohannad Ghazi al Kaabi, tried to park his car near the District Advisory Council building in an area closed to traffic.

Do you suppose this might have a negative impact on public opinion in Iraq?
posted by ilsa (56 comments total)

 
Another PR victory. But for whom?......
posted by troutfishing at 9:32 AM on November 11, 2003


Assholes are alwas parking where they shouldn't around here. Good to see someome take a stand about this sort of thing.
posted by xmutex at 9:35 AM on November 11, 2003


I'm sure it will have a negative impact, but the dead Iraqi appears to bear at least some responsibility for his own death. Here's more of the story:

When U.S. troops tried to stop him, military officials said, he became agitated, got out of his car and began arguing with a soldier guarding the offices.

Al Kaabi wrestled the soldier to the ground and grabbed his gun, according to the officials. Another soldier shot al Kaabi in the upper thigh, they said.


Of course....I give this post about ten minutes before someone accuses the military officials of "lying."
posted by Durwood at 9:36 AM on November 11, 2003


Of course....I give this post about ten minutes before someone accuses the military officials of "lying."

yeah, we hate the military here.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:37 AM on November 11, 2003


Sounds like a Darwin candidate to me. Because wrestling with a scared 19 year old soldier who doesn't speak your language isn't such a great idea. But this poor fellow's stupidity must, somehow be Bush's fault because, as we know, non Westerners aren't responsible for their actions.
posted by ednopantz at 9:41 AM on November 11, 2003


I'm not sure about Iraq, but this post does give me a "negative feeling" about MetaFilter's front page today...
posted by JollyWanker at 9:42 AM on November 11, 2003


oh yeah, we also hate america, on account of the fact that we diss the president so much.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:42 AM on November 11, 2003


all those scared 19 year olds with guns just kinda wandered over there on accident I guess. couldn't possibly be anybody's fault. maybe we should send some planes over and pick them up?
posted by badstone at 9:47 AM on November 11, 2003


Under Patriot II, parking violations in the US will also be dealt with by instant execution.
posted by Outlawyr at 9:49 AM on November 11, 2003


I give this post about ten minutes before someone accuses the military officials of "lying."

no, they never lie, nor does their commander in chief.
they never try to cover their own asses after screwing up,
Iraqis love you, it's been a cakewalk.
now go back to sleep
posted by matteo at 9:50 AM on November 11, 2003


I am a bleeding heart liberal, but even I know that when you try and wrestle the officer's gun away, bad things will happen.

With so much that's really wrong, do we need to focus on this?

Oh, and NewsOfIraqFilter.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:52 AM on November 11, 2003


What this highlights, most of all, is the ineffectiveness of soldiers as policemen. Any decent beat cop could have handled this without killing the guy. In their defense, it sounds like they tried NOT to kill him (shot in the leg, quick action by medics), but nevertheless. Language barriers aside, putting soldiers (trained to destroy and kill) in positions where cops (trained to keep the peace and maintain order) are needed is historically a numbass idea.

It gives rise to the question of who is more effective at handling terrorism - soldiers, or cops? Perhaps cops. In which case, Bush would be well served to consider providing basic langauge training to and then airlifting about 5000 veteran policemen to Baghdad, while moving the soldiers out.
posted by UncleFes at 9:57 AM on November 11, 2003


Of course....I give this post about ten minutes before someone accuses the military officials of "lying."

There, there. Not at all. Why would they lie?

But now, if you've got a few minutes, Durwood, I'd like to discuss with you some exciting opportunities in the real estate market in which I know you'll be interested.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 10:01 AM on November 11, 2003


With so much that's really wrong, do we need to focus on this?
About 200 to 300 demonstrators walked to the Sadr City council afterward to protest the killing and began chanting anti-American slogans.

Carrying Shiite banners mourning the death, demonstrators called for a thorough investigation. They demanded that American troops leave Sadr City and give security duties to Iraqi police.
Apparently, the Iraqis are focusing on it. Hence, it's important.

And no one is saying that Al Kaabi didn't, apparently, escalate the situation and put himself in a position to get shot. So will people please put that straw man down?
posted by jpoulos at 10:02 AM on November 11, 2003


makes one wonder: what do they hand out for moving violations?
posted by muppetboy at 10:04 AM on November 11, 2003


Do you suppose this might have a negative impact on public opinion in Iraq?

I'd say spin it. Have the soldiers explain the Darwin award to the locals and you wil have them laughing at the corpse in no time.
posted by magullo at 10:05 AM on November 11, 2003


Any decent beat cop could have handled this without killing the guy.

Tell that to Amadu Dialo . But I still do agree with UncleFes on his point
posted by ElvisJesus at 10:07 AM on November 11, 2003


I agree whole-heartedly with your first paragraph, Fes. But this "It gives rise to the question of who is more effective at handling terrorism - soldiers, or cops?" seems a bit off to me. We've got no real reasons as yet to call him a "terrorist". He's a guy that freaked out and did something stupid. I see that three or four times a day, but that doesn't make them terrorists.

Separating my feelings about the war/occupation, I'll say this. The military is probably more adept at handling terrorists, but a trained veteran police force is likely more adept at, well, policing the streets. A combination force with specialized tasks would probably be most effective towards putting an end to this situation.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:11 AM on November 11, 2003


Key word: "decent."
posted by nickmark at 10:11 AM on November 11, 2003


One thing that doesn't sit right with me, however, is the cause of death. He had a gunshot to the thigh, yes, but such minor trauma isn't likely to kill someone. What, specifically, did he die of? Unless he lost a lot of blood, my first inclination is to read that as somebody covering their ass.
posted by travis at 10:11 AM on November 11, 2003


Travis: there is a HUGE artery in the upper thigh. I don't know what it's called, but my impression is that if it gets severed, your ass is pretty much grass.

Ufez: My intention was not to imply this guy was as terrorist. The environment was not one of a terrorist hunt - these guys were on parking detail, after all. A cop job, best handled by cops, thereby freeing up soldiers to go after the terrorists.
posted by UncleFes at 10:16 AM on November 11, 2003


Assholes are alwas parking where they shouldn't around here. Good to see someome take a stand about this sort of thing.

Yeah I feel the same way if you change parking to posting, xmutex. Of course, I mean you.

But if parking will get you shot, anti-coalition statements will get you tied up and your mouth taped shut. Let freedom ring! These people are SO much better off now.
posted by holycola at 10:19 AM on November 11, 2003


Durwood: Of course....I give this post about ten minutes before someone accuses the military officials of "lying."

mcsweetie: oh yeah, we also hate america, on account of the fact that we diss the president so much.

matteo: now go back to sleep

Oh goody. Were in for another round of "I know you are but what am I?" Get new writers, the three of you. And try not to poop in the sandbox.
posted by jonmc at 10:20 AM on November 11, 2003


there is a HUGE artery in the upper thigh. I don't know what it's called,

Femoral. As in femur, if that makes it easier to remember.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:21 AM on November 11, 2003


And no one is saying that Al Kaabi didn't, apparently, escalate the situation and put himself in a position to get shot. So will people please put that straw man down?

You mean no one except the person who posted this in the first place, right? I seem to recall something about "Iraqi official shot dead over parking violation."

(on preview, let me add Holycola -- "If parking will get you shot...")
posted by pardonyou? at 10:24 AM on November 11, 2003


> Another PR victory. But for whom?.....

For metafilter, obviously, for spinning this as a guy getting shot for yellow-curb parking instead of getting shot for jumping on a soldier and trying to take his gun. I so love this place, just can't get enough.
posted by jfuller at 10:25 AM on November 11, 2003


I think we pretty much agree here, Fes. It was just the wording of your previous statement that gave me pause.

That said, though, logistically, the military are certainly better trained to live/work in the Middle East than your average Midwestern downtown beat cop, so shipping over the 14th Precinct probably isn't the best idea. The sentiment is right though.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:25 AM on November 11, 2003


One thing this CNN report is missing is this quote from yesterday morning's Washington Post article on the killing (I believe they were the first major American news source to report on it):
Local witnesses said there was indeed a warning shot but reported no attempt by the leader to seize a weapon from the soldier.
And this is elaborated in today's Post article on the killing:
Iraqi guards who patrol the entrance with U.S. forces denied that Kaabi reached for the soldier's gun or tackled him. Several guards who said they witnessed the incident said Kaabi -- known even to them for his temper -- yelled in English at the soldiers as they tried to search his car. One of the soldiers bumped him with his chest, then pushed him and a shoving match ensued.

The fight lasted a couple of minutes, the guards said, and another soldier fired a warning shot into the air. Seconds later, they said, the same soldier fired another shot that struck the slightly built Kaabi, who died a few hours later at a military hospital.

"They fired the second bullet deliberately, 100 percent," said Jassem Kadhim Abboud, 40, a city hall employee, who said he witnessed the incident. "It was killing for the sake of killing. It was not self-defense."
That's a major development CNN did not report on. So, it could be a he said/she said thing. Who knows who to believe, but it may not be as black and white as some people make it out to be. Either way it's bad for the U.S., misunderstanding or no.
posted by tittergrrl at 10:26 AM on November 11, 2003


I know a group who has experience with this sort of thing.
posted by the fire you left me at 10:26 AM on November 11, 2003


"See! We ARE succeeding! Iraq is becoming more and more like America every day!" said the Boy King.
posted by quonsar at 10:27 AM on November 11, 2003


there is a HUGE artery in the upper thigh. I don't know what it's called,

Femoral. As in femur, if that makes it easier to remember.


Okay, so we did learn something today after all. Job well done.
posted by yhbc at 10:31 AM on November 11, 2003


The environment was not one of a terrorist hunt - these guys were on parking detail, after all. A cop job, best handled by cops, thereby freeing up soldiers to go after the terrorists.

Unless, of course, he was parking his car bomb.
posted by cinderful at 10:34 AM on November 11, 2003




As stated it's the femoral artery. An aquaintance of mine was stabbed in a bar fight, his femoral artery was cut. He died. Apparently even if a doctor was in the bar he still wouldn't have had much of a chance.
posted by substrate at 10:51 AM on November 11, 2003


Any decent beat cop could have handled this without killing the guy.

I'm not sure about that. Try to grab an officer's gun, and you are in deep feces, buddy. The last guy I saw in my ER who tried to do that lived, but got a cerebral contusion for his trouble: a bruise/blood clot on the brain, from having his head slammed on something hard by another cop. Cops everywhere take this kind of thing very seriously, for obvious reasons.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 11:10 AM on November 11, 2003


"Unless, of course, he was parking his car bomb."

That was my thought as well, cinderful, especially given the news this morning that "Several explosions were heard in Baghdad Tuesday night and smoke was rising from within the coalition's heavily secured Green Zone...".
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:10 AM on November 11, 2003


If you get hit in the femoral you'd better be in the emergency-room hallway when it happens, or you can pretty much forget it. I know an instance of a guy who accidentally got his legs amputated at the upper thigh and managed to stay conscious while plugging the arteries with his fingers. He lived.

Now, to Monday-morning quarterback this a little, if this guy had such a fucking temper, aren't the troops trained in hand-to-hand combat anymore? I realize the M-16A1 is a lightweight made-by-Mattel piece of shit compared to an M-1 or an M-14, which had those nice heavy walnut stocks, but I think they still teach how to use the rifle butt as a weapon during bayonet training anyway, right? Couldn't they buttstroke this guy senseless?
posted by alumshubby at 11:12 AM on November 11, 2003


...wrestling with a scared 19 year old soldier who doesn't speak your language isn't such a great idea....


I read somewhere (can't find now) that he spoke English fluently.


From the Washpost story: Several guards who said they witnessed the incident said Kaabi -- known even to them for his temper -- yelled in English at the soldiers as they tried to search his car.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:32 AM on November 11, 2003


Welcome to AllThingsAntiBushFilter.
posted by soulhuntre at 11:42 AM on November 11, 2003


This is just another example of why it really isn't a good idea to use soldiers to do police work.

But I don't have any better suggestions for maintaining order in Iraq right now.
posted by orange swan at 11:47 AM on November 11, 2003


I don't know why I even bother coming to Metafilter anymore.

Posts like these, that purposefully spin the headline to incite a flame war / fight don't serve any purpose.

As for being shot in the leg and dying, well, there are a couple of ways this can happen.

1. As stated above. The Femoral artery was severed. Death can occur in 10-20 seconds if this happened.

2. Remember, our weapons are designed to cause the maximum amount of damage.

The M-16 round is designed to "Tumble" once it hits a target, which can cause it to literally bounce around inside the body, resulting in extensive internal damage.

With that in mind, I will relate to a story / lesson that was taught to my class in SOI (School of Infantry).

Panama 1989. My Sergeant's platoon is out on an Ambush patrol. They send a one-man LP (Listening Post) out ahead of the ambush area.

Hours pass, and the LP hears a Panamanian small patrol (3-5 troops) advancing on his position. Instead of radioing the ambush group, he decides to force them towards the ambush area.

So he fires off some shots, and the Panamanians start running away from him towards the ambush site. He gives chase and sure enough, they reach the ambuch site, and surprise, surprise, the ambush goes off.

Well, the LP got hit by his own guys. He was shot around the hip / pelvis area. They are carrying him on a stretcher to a Medevac, and he is concious, and proud of himself... talking about how he'll get a purple heart and stuff....

He never even made it to a field hospital. The round travelled from the pelvic area and bounced around inside his body causing massive internal injuries and bleeding.

The lesson - Don't leave your post unless ordered to.

(I have also been told stories of soldiers being shot in the lower leg and the bullet making it all the way up into the chest.... Scary)
posted by da5id at 11:48 AM on November 11, 2003


Any time a soldier kills am unarmed politician over a parking dispute, it is a failure of the occupying power, regardless of what the circumstances were. Whether the failure was with the type of personnel on duty, the perimeter that had been set up, or the instructions to the men on duty, or whatever the case, it is a failure by the US. Not because the solider necessarily failed on an individual level, but because he was put in that situation in the first place.

The failure to recognize failure is perhaps even worse.
posted by cell divide at 12:20 PM on November 11, 2003


Do a search on any full-text news service for the phrases "grabbed at his gun," "grabbed for his gun" and "grabbed his gun." Except for the ones in which an officer is grabbing his own gun, in more than half of the articles you will read, the "he grabbed for my gun" defense is being used when the suspect has been killed by a cop and can no longer defend himself.
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:36 PM on November 11, 2003


Winning their hearts and minds, one bullet at a time...
posted by Cerebus at 2:48 PM on November 11, 2003


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posted by the fire you left me at 3:55 PM on November 11, 2003


My browser has failed me.
posted by the fire you left me at 3:55 PM on November 11, 2003


thats alot of question marks!

I thought you might have been trying to make an ascii picture or something out of them...
posted by Iax at 4:50 PM on November 11, 2003


no, it's the secret code of MeFi's Left Wing Cabal

we're having our next meeting in Pyongyang, January 4
posted by matteo at 5:21 PM on November 11, 2003



posted by y2karl at 5:29 PM on November 11, 2003


I can't make Pyongyang; I'll be in Havana getting my annual refresher course in corrupting loyal Americans. Can we reschedule?
posted by Cerebus at 5:32 PM on November 11, 2003


Bullet tumbling and politics aside, shouldn't two (supposedly) healthy young men be able to enforce parking regulations on a (reportedly) slight man without, you know, killing him?
posted by spazzm at 7:14 PM on November 11, 2003


(I have also been told stories of soldiers being shot in the lower leg and the bullet making it all the way up into the chest.... Scary)

In the basic training class just before mine at Ft. Bliss a recruit was killed when his buddies decided to play a joke on another recruit. They slipped a live round into his weapon hoping the drill sgt. would find it when they checked the weapons off the range and he would be in a world of sh*t. Unfortunately while walking to the drill sgt. to have his weapon checked he tripped and the weapon discharged with a round entering the person standing next to him. Now think about a soldier carrying a weapon. It's muzzle up so the round entered the shoulder. Once the round entered at the shoulder it bounced around the rib cage severing almost anything worth a damn (i.e. lungs, aorta, etc.) and eventually exited the hip.

Any time a soldier kills am unarmed politician over a parking dispute

I don't think you can really make a fair comparison of a "parking dispute" with what we in the US think of as a parking dispute. This isn't some beat cop saying you can't park in the red, it's a soldier who's trying to keep car bombs from taking out buildings. When the person becomes agitated and aggressive in addition to refusing to move the vehicle then it should damn well set off some red flags for that soldier.

I do think there were more effective ways it could have been handled (I like the idea of a rifle butt to the nose myself) but let's at least properly define what we're talking about here.
posted by billman at 9:59 PM on November 11, 2003


Bush in '04.
posted by Witty at 1:49 AM on November 12, 2003


When a high powered small-caliber rifle round (like the one fired from a Bofors AK5 5.56 mm, for example) enters the the human body it starts to tumble, twisting and ricocheting around inside the body - drilling out the fillings of the unfortunate victim's teeth and turning everything inside the skin to a fine sauce that drains out trough the ears as the now bone-less sack of skin slowly collapses.

It happened to a cousin of a friend of my girlfriend's brother.
posted by spazzm at 2:54 AM on November 12, 2003


I've heard stuff like this before, that bullets from M-16s bounce around inside the body and basically frappe you from the inside.

I've also heard that the philosophy behind small-caliber military rifles was to wound the enemy, not kill them, on the principle that a wounded soldier takes two or three enemies out of the fight, instead of one. I also remember from stories about the war in Afghanistan that U.S. soldiers complained about the stopping power of M-16s against fanatical enemies like Al-Qaeda; they wouldn't go down after the first shot.

Which is it?

(Also, tackling a soldier holding a gun? Especially if there are other soldiers around? Darwin award. Same deal for cops. Assuming the story is true of course. And I don't even like the war in Iraq.)
posted by furiousthought at 7:29 AM on November 12, 2003


Again, from the Washington Post story -- witnesses say Kaabi was speaking English and DID NOT grab the gun OR tackle the soldier.
Someone simply fucked up here. Call me anti-Bush, anti-american or anti-military if you like, but there's way too much evidence that our soldiers in Iraq are overwhemled, undermanned and out of their depth - led by a government that is deceptived, dishonest and corrupt.
I find it interesting that consevatives who decry "mission creep" and derided Clinton's efforts in Bosnia as "nation-buidling" can be so quick to justify incidents like these. Especially when US soldiers are going home in body bags on an almost daily basis.
To think that a reasonably sane person would attack an armed soldier over a parking dispute beggars the imagination. Kaabi was unarmed!
Kaabi has friends and family, do you think they'll be unaffected by this incident? All this talk of Darwin Awards is sickening. Why we're at it, why don't you just offer one to the whole nation of Iraq for being stupid enough to be sitting on the world's second largest reserve of oil?
posted by black8 at 9:54 AM on November 12, 2003


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