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Another Day in Baghdad.
September 13, 2004 9:07 AM   Subscribe

Yesterday, Mazen al-Tomasi, a reporter for Al-Arabiya, was broadcasting live from the scene of a carbombed Bradley Fighting Vehicle, which had attracted a crowd of locals. While making his report, a sudden noise came from behind Mazen.
Two Apache helicopters flew in overhead, and one of them started attacking the crowd, with their guns. The crowd, which included several small children, tried to run away. A helicopter launched a missile...
Mazen al-Tomasi was struck by shrapnel from the blast on live television. His cameraman, Seif Fouad, fell down from the force of the explosion. Mazen's blood spattered across the camera's lens and the screams of the dying and injured were heard. Mazen screamed to Seif for help: "Seif, Seif! I'm going to die. I'm going to die."
Seif grabbed Mazen and started to pull him out of harm's way. Suddenly, another missile was launched, and Seif was hit by shrapnel in the leg and abdomen. Seif, seriously wounded, watched his friend Mazen die soon afterwards. Twelve were killed, 61 wounded in the attack.
A US military spokesman said the helicopters opened fire after coming under attack from the crowd, and that they fired to prevent looters from stripping the vehicle. That said, the vehicle was burning too badly to be stripped, and the television footage showed no evidence of any shooting from the ground, or indeed, any armed Iraqis whatsoever. The full video of this is was seen by millions of Arabs and is apparently something that Reuters has the rights to -- Saif works for Reuters -- but something tells me that it will never make the evening news.
posted by insomnia_lj (66 comments total)

 
Can you point me at some other sources for this? Work has blocked ogrish.com and from the google info on the site (never heard of it before) "Forum. Submit. Homepage. Bookmark. Contact Us. Videos. Popular. Free Porn! Farm
Teens. DareToSing. Goregasm. CamCaught. Nude Teens. Dave's Daily. CrookHunt. Rotten ... " I can see why. Interested to read more about this though, Google news shows nothing for Mazen al-Tomasi
posted by zeoslap at 9:13 AM on September 13, 2004


It was on the ABC Sunday Evening News with sub-host Terry Moran last night. They ran the full video, including the blood-spattered lens after issuing a warning that the footage was graphic and disturbing...

It was both.
posted by Henry Flower at 9:14 AM on September 13, 2004


Is the vid online?
posted by delmoi at 9:17 AM on September 13, 2004


Warning: Make sure not to look around ogrish as it is a site dedicated to the foulest gore and violence stuff.
posted by destro at 9:18 AM on September 13, 2004


Lotsa Google News about it here
posted by kokogiak at 9:18 AM on September 13, 2004


This story in the latimes (pigheaded/porkpie) states that from the footage you can't see if a helicopter fires a rocket; only that the vehicle behind him explodes (could be ammo in the bradley). Where is the US military quoted as saying they actually did fire on the crowd (for whatever reason) ?
posted by zeoslap at 9:20 AM on September 13, 2004


BBC video about it. RealPlayer, poor quality.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:21 AM on September 13, 2004


CBS News (realplayer)
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:22 AM on September 13, 2004


zeoslap - here are the photos from the ogrish site
posted by t r a c y at 9:23 AM on September 13, 2004


FYI, the details I reported of the video and of the incident were pieced together from the following accounts:
Times of Oman, Associated Press, Arab News, Herald Sun.

More pictures from the video:

posted by insomnia_lj at 9:23 AM on September 13, 2004


That's bloody awful.
posted by zeoslap at 9:25 AM on September 13, 2004


Ogrish has some screencap, while a googlenews on Mazen al-Tomaisi returned some links.

I watched the video yesterday on national tv (Italy) and from what I recall the vehicle was on fire and some kind of blast occurred with some blood reaching the camera lens.

What the hell do they thought they could recover from a vehicle in flames that's not already well documented in Jane's I really dunno.

Guess the blame could be shifted to some "cowboy easy trigger aviator" ...mh yeah the bucket stops to the grunt the praise flies to the top ..ooold story.
posted by elpapacito at 9:27 AM on September 13, 2004


from the bbc video the crowd looks just like a bunch of gawkers, not exactly threatening. mission accomplished...
posted by zeoslap at 9:31 AM on September 13, 2004


insomnia_lj: but something tells me that it will never make the evening news.

Henry Flower: It was on the ABC Sunday Evening News with sub-host Terry Moran last night.

"Something" was apparently giving you bum information.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:35 AM on September 13, 2004


ogrish?!? Can I start linking to stile then? Seriously, the story has been picked-up by major major news sources. Why the snuff-link?
posted by naxosaxur at 9:37 AM on September 13, 2004


My condolences to the families of the people involved.
posted by ph00dz at 9:39 AM on September 13, 2004


I wasn't aware of the video, and didn't see any signs of it after googling. I'm glad it was broadcast, but still it does absolutely nothing to bring some semblance of justice to this situation.

As for the "snuff link", if I knew there was video on the BBC or CBS sites, I would have gladly linked them. The best/only good pictures I saw were on ogrish, however, so I linked them. It's a valid story, even if it does involve death. It was the questionable rationale behind the deaths that made it so, frankly.
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:43 AM on September 13, 2004


As a former excessive front page post serial abuser, now mostly reformed, I'd say that there are times when long front page posts are wholly appproriate :

Americans need to be made fully aware of the fact that it's military has taken to firing rockets into what seem to be defenseless crowds of people.

They need take responsibility for this by stopping the spreading mayhem. The only solutions are apocalyptic ones : but to lay waste to a mostly defenceless country would be the death knell of all that was good and noble about American Democracy and might achieve that Democracy's end.

American troops, locked in an untenable situation, seem to be losing their grip and this will only get worse. As the Americans come to see all Iraqis - men, women, and children - as enemies, so it will be and then the US will be at war with that entire country's population.

And that will be very, very bad indeed.

That evil outcome can be averted.

_________________

[ UK Independent ]

"Twelve others were killed and 61 wounded by rockets from two US helicopters on Haifa Street in central Baghdad. They had fired into a crowd milling around a burning Bradley fighting vehicle that had been hit by a rocket or bomb hours before......."The helicopter fired on the Bradley to destroy it after it had been hit earlier and it was on fire," said Major Phil Smith of the 1st Cavalry Division. "It was for the safety of the people around it.".....The videotape......shows no reason why the helicopters should open fire.

Many of those hit by the rockets in Haifa Street.....were on their way to work. "We are just ordinary workers. We are just trying to live," said Haidar Yahyiah, 23, sobbing with pain from a broken leg as he lay in bed in nearby Karkh hospital.....The US military said that a Kiowa, a light reconnaissance and attack helicopter, fired rockets at the Bradley to destroy weapons and ammunition on board. But it is evident from the al-Arabiya video that the rockets landed among people standing or walking far away from the Bradley. "

The US military's line on this incident seems confused :

"....In Baghdad, U.S. military helicopters fired at Iraqis who were scaling a burning U.S. armored vehicle. It was unclear how many Iraqis were killed in the air strike: At least one television journalist was confirmed dead, and photographs immediately after the strike showed four men severely wounded or dead at the site. Military commanders said the helicopters were returning fire aimed at them from the ground. " - NYT, via sfgate

Note how the NYT omits any mention of women, children, or innocent bystanders as well as the unattributed "official rational" which is factually at odds with the nonsensical statement by Major Phil Smith of the 1st Cavalry Division which nonetheless does not mention ground fire at the US helicopters.
posted by troutfishing at 9:47 AM on September 13, 2004


wow, imagine how often stuff like this happens when it isn't caught live on tv..."at least 110 people died in clashes around the country..."
posted by jacobsee at 10:11 AM on September 13, 2004


Hearts and minds, hearts and minds.
posted by Busithoth at 10:14 AM on September 13, 2004


Being liberated doesn't look like fun anymore.
posted by kevspace at 10:27 AM on September 13, 2004


"It was for the safety of the people around it."

Next, we will destroy the village in order to save it.
posted by ook at 10:38 AM on September 13, 2004


Though I too regret the loss of these people, and I believe that no one in that scene (excepting those who may have been firing on the US helicopter) deserved to die, I am truly amazed that innocent bystanders would be standing by.

I'm not calling anyone stupid, but if a car-bomb explodes on my street, damaging a military vehicle, I'm either staying safely inside, or running like hell in the other direction.

Oh, look, a wounded bear-- I think I'll poke it with a stick!
posted by Kwantsar at 10:42 AM on September 13, 2004


Here's Iraq as the Iraqis see it. Lots of ParisParamus porn so don't click if you aren't prepared for the real horror of war that our damn liberal media is protecting your tender eyes from.
posted by nofundy at 10:44 AM on September 13, 2004


"Next, we will destroy the village in order to save it."

Which village would that be? Fallujah, Ramadi, An Najaf, or Tal Afar?

(This is a trick question, of course. All of the above are major cities...)
posted by insomnia_lj at 10:45 AM on September 13, 2004


I'm either staying safely inside, or running like hell in the other direction

Kwantsar-
what if you've been 'safe' inside your house for 18 months? Are you saying that you'd never leave your sometimes powered home to investigate a scene like that?

if so, your discipline is amazing. road-side bombs are anti-vehicle, not anti-personnel. Were these bombs in the spirit of the palestinian vein (one bomb goes off, with a second bomb detonating within a few minutes, to take out the crowd that inevitably congregates to check out what happened), then yes, better to stay at home.

and has anyone confirmed that shooting allegation? I didn't hear any shots on the video, and he wasn't that far off from the Bradley...
posted by Busithoth at 10:57 AM on September 13, 2004


"I am truly amazed that innocent bystanders would be standing by." - come on Kwantsar, I know you can read.

""Many of those hit by the rockets in Haifa Street.....were on their way to work....it is evident from the al-Arabiya video that the rockets landed among people standing or walking far away from the Bradley"

Indeed, the story I linked to their reveals that some of those commuters - who lived in the neighborhood - waited a couple of hours, past the initial bomb explosion that disabled the Bradley, to venture out.

What - from the standpoint of Iraqis trying to get to work who were hit by shrapnel - would distinguish the experience of these Iraqi commuters from that of American commuters, in a hypothetical case, who were killed and wounded by a terrorist firing RPG rounds from an overpass as their cars crawled by in slow traffic ?
posted by troutfishing at 10:57 AM on September 13, 2004


I'm not calling anyone stupid, but if a car-bomb explodes on my street, damaging a military vehicle, I'm either staying safely inside, or running like hell in the other direction.

unlike those who, say, saw a plane crash into the tower right next to them and stayed inside anyway, instead of running like hell away from the (already attacked by terrorists 8 years before) WTC area? like those, you mean?

I'd say it is pretty easy to judge things from a safe distance, seated in front of one's monitor. of course the safest option would be for nonfighting civilians to get the fuck out of liberated Iraq before the liberators liberate them from their bodily entities (same for the Occupied Territories Palestians, and the four or five Grozny inhabitans who haven't been dismembered by Putin's righteous wrath). one wonders why all those poor bastards don't leave for a safer place, some place with T1 lines and, like, running water.

silly them.
posted by matteo at 10:58 AM on September 13, 2004


Thanks, nofundy. In the future, why not simply refer to it as "PPP" or PPPorn"?

But actually, I don't know what you're talking about.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:59 AM on September 13, 2004


Kwantsar, its a valid point, "Haifa Street is one of the most violent places in Baghdad." from the Telegraph's article.

I'm of a similar mind when it comes to burning and exploding vehicles.

That said, it sounds like more war atrocities by us. And I'm sure someone will go to jail but those really responsible for it will just carry on. I heard that the top officers in the Abu Ghraib torture crimes will have their records tarnished because of this. Poor guys.

On Preview: Matteo, come on, prop up your straw man a little more. There's an obvious difference between the two, one is intentionally going towards a more dangerous area and the other is moving away from a more dangerous area. Sure, its easy to second guess it from the comfort of my office or home and I bet there could be arguments made for having been so immersed in violence for so long that it kind of lost its ability to invoke flight response but that's neither here nor there.

Silly anyone moving into harm's way unnecessarily.
posted by fenriq at 11:04 AM on September 13, 2004


Holy. Fucking. Shit.
posted by dejah420 at 11:06 AM on September 13, 2004


Sorry, the Abu Ghraib officers will have their records tarnished for the Abu Ghraib crimes, not this current mess.
posted by fenriq at 11:06 AM on September 13, 2004


fenriq, think of the calculus likely at work :

1) The neighborhood's violent anyway, but you're too poor to move elsewhere (or have other reasons to stay which probably involve family).

2) Since this sort of thing - violent altercations - happen all the time in the area, you have no real choice except to go on with your life. Sometimes - as narrated by some of the Iraqi commuters who were wounded - you choose to wait things out for a few hours. In this case, some of the quoted commuters waited a couple of hours after the initial blast.

3) Eventually, though, you've got to venture out for the simple fact that you need to go to work to earn money, so you can to buy food and pay rent.
posted by troutfishing at 11:18 AM on September 13, 2004


"I am truly amazed that innocent bystanders would be standing by."

Details are sketchy of course, but one of the reports said that the vehicle had been bombed hours before. And this *is* central Baghdad. Given the population of the city it seems unlikely that a crowd wouldn't gather.

This story seems to have the most detail. And it does appear to have been a rather stupid place to have been. It also seem to be a pretty stupid way to try and win a guerilla war. We're killing the opposition in such a way as to guarantee the size of that opposition increases.

Whatever good we might be doing in Iraq is wiped out by things like this. And if this is as good as we can manage - one step forward, two steps back - Then let's pull out now and save everyone the bother. Other wise we pull out in ten years and leave the country to it's fate. Just like Vietnam. Why drag this out ten more years if it's going to end up just like Vietnam?

Or will we stay there forever and forget the reason we went in in the first place? This was supposed to be about promoting democracy in the region (I think we can disregard the WMD spin at this point). Does anyone think we're promoting any democracy at this point?
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:22 AM on September 13, 2004


And, I'm not talking about the people who were celebrating around the burning Bradley - for the greatest moral clarity, I'm concentrating on those innocent people passing by ( who had no choice due to the fact that they lived on that street ) who were killed and wounded by the US helicopter missile strikes as they attempted to go about their daily business.

Not to mention the children.

Silly them.
posted by troutfishing at 11:23 AM on September 13, 2004


Those are some gripping pictures that you've linked to, nofundy. Abdul-Ahad's unflinching perspective of the casualties remind me of war photographer Capa's mantra that "if your pictures aren't good enough, you aren't close enough." Of course, Capa himself died by getting too close to a land mine...
posted by DaShiv at 11:27 AM on September 13, 2004


y6y6y6 - That UK Telegraph story has the best chronology. But the UK Independent story I linked to provides a rather differently framed perspective :

"Many of those hit by the rockets in Haifa Street, in a tough neighbourhood of tower blocks notorious as a centre of resistance to the occupation, were on their way to work. "We are just ordinary workers. We are just trying to live," said Haidar Yahyiah, 23, sobbing with pain from a broken leg as he lay in bed in nearby Karkh hospital.

He and others described how they had been woken by the sound of explosions in Haifa Street in the early dawn.....They saw a vehicle on fire. But it was several hours later, at about 8am, that they sallied out.....Young men and children had swarmed over the vehicle, cheering triumphantly, waving black flags and setting it ablaze again. .... But it is evident from the al-Arabiya video that the rockets landed among people standing or walking far away from the Bradley.

Hamid Ali Khadum was on his way to work when he was hit. "At first I thought I had just tripped over dead people but then I realised I was wounded myself,"....The rest of his body was peppered with shrapnel. A male nurse standing nearby said: "This happens not just in Haifa Street but in all Baghdad, and not just in Baghdad but in all Iraq."

posted by troutfishing at 11:32 AM on September 13, 2004


Just read in the Telegraph piece that Abdul-Ahad, the photographer's work linked earlier in the thread, was wounded in the head during this attack as well.
posted by DaShiv at 11:35 AM on September 13, 2004


Seriously, the story has been picked-up by major major news sources. Why the snuff-link?

Wassamatta? Can't you handle life?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:47 AM on September 13, 2004


As the Americans come to see all Iraqis - men, women, and children - as enemies, so it will be and then the US will be at war with that entire country's population.

Which is what war is. Not this crap that they have adopted since the end of WWII, the so called "limited war."
How the hell do you limit war? With smart weapons? You can minimize maybe and to some degree limit the affects of war, but things like this will always happen, no matter how smart the weapons. A weapon is only as smart (or crazy) as the guy squeezing the trigger. Could be the Helo pilots were way out of line, and may yet be in trouble.

It would be a lot easier if war was just good old war like the old days. Carpet bombing, terror bombing, fire bombing. Indiscriminate destruction. Man, the good old days.(sarcasm)
posted by a3matrix at 11:51 AM on September 13, 2004


Insomnia_IJ thanks for the post, this is an important story and I'm looking forward to reading the thread.

That said, metatalk
posted by sic at 12:02 PM on September 13, 2004


"Which is what war is" - a3matrix, your definition of war there seems to me to be what has been commonly termed "Genocide". You probably just meant "Total War" in the old line sense - the complete Marshalling of a nation's human, industrial, economic, and material resources towards the end of defeating an enemy.

And - yes - civilians populations were targeted during WW2 (and I would describe those as war crimes, but - anyway - there were also usually accompanying military rationals) but they were not really "the enemy" per se. The enemy, for the allies, were the governments of Germany, Italy, and Japan. If the people themselves constituted "the enemy" the allies would have wholly depopulated those nations.

But.....umm......

Weren't we supposed to be liberating and then bringing Democracy to the Iraqis ?

Now we're at war with them ? If we are, what is the objective ? We're not at war with Allawi's government. So, who ? The Iraqi people ? If so, what would be our metric for success ?
posted by troutfishing at 12:07 PM on September 13, 2004


Haven't we had this thread before?
posted by ParisParamus at 12:12 PM on September 13, 2004


Weren't we supposed to be liberating and then bringing Democracy to the Iraqis ?

Nope. We were supposed to be protecting the US from terrorism, weren't we? Seems we got kinda sidetracked, and ended up encouraging it instead.

(Seriously. This is going to go right up next to the Abu Ghraib photos on the "Osama Wants You!" recruitment posters. This adventure in Iraq has probably increased the risk of future terrorist attacks a thousandfold.)
posted by ook at 12:21 PM on September 13, 2004


Well, it just sort of goes on and on.
posted by troutfishing at 12:21 PM on September 13, 2004


Another NYT account of the incident which seems bizarrely at odds with the UK accounts (which don't substantially contradict each other) :

" As the mortar shells were still falling early this morning, a suicide bomber plowed into an American Bradley fighting vehicle on Haifa Street in central Baghdad, not far from the International Zone, the American military said. The vehicle was hit at 6:50 a.m. as it was traveling to the area to help American forces that had come under fire from insurgents there.

  In all, six soldiers were wounded in the attack, including two crew members of the armored vehicle.

  No Americans were killed, but the confusion that followed showed the difficult decisions commanders here face as they push ahead in this increasingly organized guerrilla war.

  After the attack, fighters and gleeful onlookers scaled the burning armored vehicle, said Hassan Lazim, assistant security director at nearby Karkh Hospital who said he saw the scene. Reuters reported that several young men had hung a black banner of the Unity and Jihad militant group, believed to be linked to Al Qaeda, on the barrel of the Bradley's main gun.

  Helicopters that flew in to protect the Bradley were then fired on from the ground and fired back, the military said in a statement, adding that the aircraft then destroyed the armored vehicle as well. The helicopters "fired upon the anti-Iraqi forces and the Bradley, preventing the loss of sensitive equipment and weapons." The military stressed that the helicopters had not fired indiscriminately into the crowd, but said, "An unknown number of insurgents and Iraq civilians were wounded or killed in the incident."
"


This NYT account seems rather suspiciously vague. I'd trust the UK Independent and UK Telegraph over this - both actually mention names and other specific details. The suicide bomber/Bradley detail is interesting though.
posted by troutfishing at 12:28 PM on September 13, 2004


Ook - Ah yes, I remember that rationale. Long, long ago and far, far away : the purported Saddam Al Qaeda link.

That got us in the door. But, per A3matrix, we seem to need a new one now like - "We're at war with the Iraqi people!"
posted by troutfishing at 12:32 PM on September 13, 2004


The American invasion of Iraq has changed its name!

It's a new name, but it's the same great taste!

America in Iraq™ now trading as "I can't believe they're not Saddam"®
posted by Blue Stone at 12:43 PM on September 13, 2004


trout, you lost me somewhere along the way. I never said we were at war with Iraq the nation. Good god man, you are in Millbury, I am less than 25 minutes from you. Who knew?

I did mean total war, not genocide, thanks for clarifying.

What is the point of fighting a limited war? Limiting war defeats the war itself. Leaving no point in fighting it at all.

If you are going to liberate a countries people, it would seem pertinant that they ask for it.

It certainly would make it easier on the soldiers if we were at war with Iraq in the sense of total war.

I had a friend over last week that I served in Bosnia with. He is still in. He tells me that one of the latest tricks is using children as young as 3 to stab GI's in the legs with syringes full of nastiness. As young as 3. Pretty crazy
posted by a3matrix at 12:47 PM on September 13, 2004


Blue Stone, I didn't think I'd get a laugh from this thread, but you did it.
thanks?
posted by Busithoth at 12:49 PM on September 13, 2004


If this was truly about breaking up a crowd for whatever reason, why aren't they firing the machine guns far over their heads (or if they have a target, then shoot at it)? Sounds like the Apache dropped a wide range shrapnel bomb/rocket right on a crowd. The reporter was what, 100+ feet away from the burning Bradley?
posted by skallas at 12:51 PM on September 13, 2004


this whole thing has been so predictable. PP must be so proud.
posted by quonsar at 1:04 PM on September 13, 2004


If this was truly about breaking up a crowd for whatever reason, why aren't they firing the machine guns far over their heads (or if they have a target, then shoot at it)? Sounds like the Apache dropped a wide range shrapnel bomb/rocket right on a crowd. The reporter was what, 100+ feet away from the burning Bradley?

Well, Apache's don't have bombs, but they do have Hellfire missiles and 70mm FFARs (Folding-Fin Aerial Rockets), as well as a bigass M230 chain-gun turret below the nose. Now, depending on which version of the Apache it was (AH64A or AH64D Longbow, where the Longbow has a better fire control radar and newer Hellfire II missiles) one can guess what missile is being fired. In my estimation, it was probably one of the newer wire-guided Hellfire missiles, otherwise you'd need some sort of radar signature. I don't see why the hell they would be firing FFAR's into a crowd, considering FFARs have no guidance and just essentially go in a straight line until they blow up, unless you're looking to just kill everyone everywhere...

Now, Hellfire's are used as anti-tank weapons, so they pack a pretty big fucking punch. They're similar to TOW missiles (The ones they used off a Humvee to take out Uday and the other one), and can be guided by the fire control officer via a camera in the front of the missile, until they hit their target. I'm not sure of the blast radius, but I imagine its pretty big.

Then again, now that I think about it some more, it could be an FFAR too. They're dumber, and a lot less powerful than the Hellfires (and that explosion in the video looks a lot bigger than an FFAR), but I guess if you fired off enough of them, you would see something similar to what happened.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:06 PM on September 13, 2004


So you're telling us that it was probably some kind of missile?
posted by Zetetics at 2:47 PM on September 13, 2004


The military cover story seems loony. If an abandoned vehicle is sitting out in the street for over an hour, what is the point of blowing it up to try and destroy sensitive material? Wouldn't it have been stripped already? And we have film of people not firing at our helicopters. If the cover story for a damaging video tape contradicts the video, why bother with the cover story?

When we lose an armored vehicle in the capital of a country we're supposed to be rebuilding, that's bad.

When citizens come out into the street to celebrate and hang enemy banners from the burning vehicle, that's worse.

When we solve that problem by firing missiles into the crowd, we make the situation about as bad as possible.

When we cover our ass with lame and conflicting explanations, we doom ourselves to failure.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:26 PM on September 13, 2004


Two little points. The Bradley was burning for an hour or two before the news showed up? That seems to be a long time for a vehicle fire, especially if there is ammunition on board. And did people, or did they not, climb on top of it and wave the black Zarqwari banner, as some reports have said.

I also note this because a special point was made of it (an hour or two). That being to imply that the news people *weren't* waiting for the Bradley to drive by *knowing* that there was a car bomb, so that they could get a live report of the ambush. Al-Jazeera has long had the habit of just happening to be right where an ambush is going to take place, I might add, even being invited to where they are going to be ahead of time.

Come to think of it, a bunch of people dancing on top of a not-really-burning Bradley and waving a big black flag would seem to me to be an awfully tempting target for a helicopter gunship.
posted by kablam at 4:55 PM on September 13, 2004


kablam, that suspicion certainly seems highly suspect. That is, all the video coverage that we've seen (the video coverage in question) is from hours after the truck was hit (and presumably the two injured Americans were evacuated).

In any case (too lazy to search) one of the news stories linked above indicated that the revelers atop the vehicle were reigniting it repeatedly.

And tempting? I would hope that the only targets our troops are attacking are the ones attacking them. ("Well, they obviously didn't like us very much, and certainly looked like they'd make good rocket fodder, and the crowd was milling a solid 15 feet away, so I just had to go for it.")
posted by rafter at 5:08 PM on September 13, 2004


That "anti-Iraqi forces" quote echoed in my head all day. Thank heavens we'll never see any actual Newspeak in, er, Newsweek.
posted by mwhybark at 5:12 PM on September 13, 2004


Damn streaming media links. Anyone got a file I can download? Or something other than a Real link?
posted by krisjohn at 6:49 PM on September 13, 2004


a3matrix - yup. you're welcome over (with friends/family) for dinner. I came down hard there because it seems the Iraq conflict is breaking down into unrestrained urban combat with some pretty heavy ordinance - and that style of combat won't go well for the Americans. Not for very long - and, along the way will be a frightful number of casualties. It's a shame : Iraq is not really total war at the moment, but it might as well be and soon will be because the US troops have no means of discriminating - and so soon this will result in the alienation of most of the Iraqi population.

kablam, I know it's a lot to read, this thread. So, I'll reiterate :

But first, SweetJesus' comment [ excerpted ] - "....In my estimation, it was probably one of the newer wire-guided Hellfire missiles, otherwise you'd need some sort of radar signature. I don't see why the hell they would be firing FFAR's into a crowd, considering FFARs have no guidance and just essentially go in a straight line until they blow up, unless you're looking to just kill everyone everywhere"

____

"....it is evident from the al-Arabiya video that the rockets landed among people standing or walking far away from the Bradley. .....Hamid Ali Khadum was on his way to work when he was hit." - These were not "enemy combatants" by any stretch. Just people going to work.
posted by troutfishing at 9:27 PM on September 13, 2004


"The military cover story seems loony" - y6y6y6 yes, and I'm guessing that what's up here is that the US military in Iraq is being stretched to the breaking point and so the actions of it's individual members can't be tightly scripted anymore.

On the other side of my stance on this thread - it's easy over here to judge, but US troops in Iraq are in a very hard spot and the ultimate responsibility for the situation lies with the civilian leadership which placed them there.

US military forces in Iraq are mostly just trying to cope with an awful - both personally and strategically - situation.
posted by troutfishing at 9:35 PM on September 13, 2004




"one is intentionally going towards a more dangerous area"

a more dangerous area alright. Iraq itself is a more dangerous area, thanks to the Liberation:

At Least 10 Killed in Baghdad Police Station Blast


other sources put the body count to at least 25 dead.
what were these guys doing hanging out at a police station? didn't they know how dangerous that is?
they should have gone shopping at Wal-Mart instead, or at the mall

silly them

posted by matteo at 12:33 AM on September 14, 2004


from Grangousier's Guardian link, an interesting quote:

"There's an injured man. Take pictures - show the world the American democracy"

heh.
fucking sarcastic, ungrateful, unhelpful Iraqis... always putting themselves in harm's way. they just can't seem to be mature enough to enjoy their newly-found, Made-in-the-USA freedom

anyway that'll teach them to attack America again, like they did on 9-11

never again!
posted by matteo at 12:47 AM on September 14, 2004


"At Least 10 Killed in Baghdad Police Station Blast"

correction: at least 47 dead

posted by matteo at 4:17 AM on September 14, 2004


Grangousier - That's a nasty account. It's all the truth I don't get from Public Radio.
posted by troutfishing at 7:18 AM on September 14, 2004


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