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Old 04-10-2003, 03:11 PM   #61
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Speaking of Steve Bell, I his cartoon from today's Guardian!

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Old 04-10-2003, 07:35 PM   #62
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Sorry to get back to the original topic of the thread.

The USA tank that fired at the Palastine Hotel did so because the commander of the tank thought he saw someone in the building that could be a potential spotter for Iraqi Artillery or other Iraqi forces. He saw someone with binoculars or other image devices. There is no way he could have known that it was a bunch of reporters that were warned not be there in the first place. It is sad what happened, but when one examines the situation of a tank comander who's tank is being fired on, he did what he was trained to do. Destroy any targets first that you are recieving fire from and destroy any target that may be spotting for artillery weapons that are not in you line of sight. The tank Commander sees a tall building with people looking at him with binoculars. Thats what foward observers or spotters for artillery do. Find a good observation point ie a tall building, and spot for artillery that is father away. The tank Commander responded the way he was trained to respond. This was not some order from Rumsfeld or CENTCOM to target Al Jezera. Such speculation in my opinion is not even worthy of Baghdad Bob.
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Old 04-10-2003, 08:39 PM   #63
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I'm sorry but I don'y buy that argument. Everybody knew where the Journalists were staying and if the tank's soldiers didn't that is the fault of their commanders.
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Old 04-10-2003, 09:05 PM   #64
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So your saying that every US soldier had to have a map of Baghdad memorized? Think about that the next time you go to a city you have never been to, and then think about what it would be like if people were shooting at you from all directions. The soldier in the thick of combat sees someone with an image device up on a tall building. How is the soldier supposed to know that person is not the one spotting for Iraqi artillery? Even if they knew that tall building several hundred meters away had reporters in it, based on what the tank commander was seeing, he made the right decision. I don't think people understand the split second decisions a person has to make during combat. These decisions more often save lives but they also result in mistakes. Based on what the tank commander could see from his position and considering he was under fire, he made the right decision. There is no "safe zone" that Iraqi forces can operate from in the city. Its sad what happened, but I totally understand why it did.
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Old 04-10-2003, 09:27 PM   #65
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I agree with you about split decision. I'm aware I've had the luxury of never having been in that position and respect the tense hightened awareness adrenalin causes. I do think there is constant communications going on at the same time. (I'm equating my feelings during a car wreck or almost or not avoided accident, I;m sure it doesn't compare)
At the least, instead of the military and Pentagon saying "it is war these things happen" I believe they should at least apologize and say it was an accident. Not we're not sure what happened.
Does that make us less a nation? I think a little humility could go a long way right now.
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Old 04-10-2003, 09:30 PM   #66
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So you say he made the right decision, but the result of his decision was a mistake. I donīt agree, I think it is the wrong decision; if mistakes like that happen the information and command structures have to be improved a lot. We canīt just be satisfied with saying "well its war, those things happen" - as difficult as the decision process in the actual situation may be. There were lives lost by this mistake.

Compare it with a violent protest. There are some violent protestors who throw molotov cocktails. A policeman, in all the chaos surrounding him, takes out his gun and shoots you, later claiming that 10 metres from you there was another protestor holding a molotov cocktail, even if none of your friends saw that mysterious protestor. Would your agree, shooting you was the right decision by the policeman? Or would your friends think, the policemen got a command by authorities to give an example to protestors for the future, so that they actually see innocents can be killed and they are not safe and will never ever dare to go to a protest again? Remember, they didnīt see any molotov coctails around at that time. Or would your friends think it was just bad luck, if youīre in a protest you know things can get dangerous, and you knew what risk you were taking anyway?

Even if you say the policeman took the right decision leading to an unfortunate result, your death - what about the other two cases, Al Jazeera and the diplomats?
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Old 04-10-2003, 10:54 PM   #67
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Its very simple, they were accidents. These things happen. Friendly fire happens. Does the military want these things to happen? HELL NO! Does the military work hard to prevent these accidents from happening, yes. Harder than most people will ever understand.

I don't think CENTCOM or Rumsfeld has had time to debrief a commander of a single tank hundreds or thousands of miles away who strongly believed he saw a forward observer in a tall building a few hundred meters southeast of his position on the bridge. We all know what the Palastine hotel looks like because we have been watching reports from there for weeks. This tanker has been out in the desert for months and just recently came into a country he had never been to before. He has been fighting in intense combat for several weeks and just recently in the last day or two or perhaps even hours before the incident moved into Baghdad a city of 5 million people. He finds himself fighting Iraqi forces on a bridge across the Tigris river. Iraqi artillery is coming in. Someone in the tank notices perhaps the glare of the sun bouncing off the binoculars or image device from a tall building several hundred meters to southwest on the other side of the tigris river. Commander says, bingo, thats how their able to direct their artillery on us and attempts to take out the forward observer before the bridge or any other vehicles gets hit by Iraqi Artillery. Unfortunately, its not an Iraqi forward observer but a foreign reporter getting a better look at the US tanks crossing the bridge. 3 reporters are killed by the tank fire.

The US military warned all reporters to leave Baghdad 3 weeks ago. This is one of the reasons why. I agree that the military should express sorrow and sympathy for the victims and families. But there was no way that the Tank Commander could have done anything else. Based on what the Tank Commander knew at the time, to not fire on the building could potentially cause another soldiers death from Iraqi Artillery fire. He did the right thing based on what he knew.
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Old 04-11-2003, 07:49 AM   #68
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"The US military warned all reporters to leave Baghdad 3 weeks ago."

I don't want the reporters to leave Bagdad. I want INDEPENDENT reporting of what is happening. Not reports filtered by the military. That is what is wrong with the "inbedded" reporters.
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Old 04-11-2003, 08:28 AM   #69
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It seems the US reporters were not the only ones that were told to leave Baghdad -- at least the US doesn't torture reporters.
http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/04/11/spr...lot/index.html

As for independent reporting, even with journalists embedded in Baghdad, they had government minders with them at all times to make sure they were getting the right news. The journalists there may have wanted the truth but their hands were tied by Iraq. In some sense, its no different than the control the US government is holding over embedded American reporters. At least the ones in Baghdad get a shower.
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Old 04-11-2003, 11:15 AM   #70
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And if Journalists were embedded in the US army they had a bunch of soldiers who made sure that they got the right impression?

I'd also like you to remember on another thread here:
Foreign Reporters and US Troops:
http://forum.interference.com/showth...threadid=75052

I'm surprised that on the pro- and contra- warside there are so many people who are sure that either the US do everything 100% wrong or 100% right, everyone who thinks so should seriousily stop to believe only the stories he wants to hear

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Old 04-11-2003, 11:25 AM   #71
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p.s. It's great to have you back in this forum Sting!
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Old 04-11-2003, 12:52 PM   #72
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anyone who suggests that american forces purposely targeted journalists is an absolute fool and is just trying to find something to pin on the coalition. where were the huge posts when american journalists were killed by iraqi fire? the fact that this discussion is still ongoing is an absolute joke. it was a horrific accident, nothing more. can we please move on to something else.
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Old 04-11-2003, 01:53 PM   #73
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Headache in a Suitcase:

one problem with the killied Journalists is that Pentagon tried to call it selfdefense instead of simply calling it a accident and excusing for that.
And this gives a bitter taste for other self defense actions, dosn't it?

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Old 04-11-2003, 02:13 PM   #74
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I'd believe the word of a US soldier long before I believed the word of an independent reporter. One is dedicated to serving his country, the other is dedicated to finding the best story to make his media outlet good money.
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Old 04-11-2003, 02:26 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
I'd believe the word of a US soldier long before I believed the word of an independent reporter. One is dedicated to serving his country, the other is dedicated to finding the best story to make his media outlet good money.
Sure, thatīs one of the differences between us. You believe the word of a US Soldier before you believe a reporter; you also believe the lawyer of US State Department before you believe any other expert lawyer. You do so, because throughout your life you get used to value certain sources more than others.

I believe the word of an independent journalist before of the word of a US Soldier, because I think the US soldier gets orders he is forced to follow, if he doesnīt want to end in front of the court, whereas the journalist can afford to have a more independent, unbiased view. I believe numerous independent expert lawyers rather than the ones of the US State department, because it is very logical that if the US administration says that its actions are justified, the State Department will agree. I do so, because throughout my life I get used to value certain sources more than others.

Thatīs exactly why further discussions about resolutions and breaching of international law are a total waste of time.

Being in FYM, I think you should at least consider the words of parties you are not used to. You can say the same about me, and believe me, I do consider your arguments.
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