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Old 04-11-2003, 02:48 PM   #76
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Never once have I not considered your arguements. I do mean your arguements and not some lawyers.

Nice try in attempting to discredit a US soldier. US soldiers are not told to lie. They certainly do not disclose classified information. But I will get a far more accurate picture of the war in Iraq from my best friend of 19 years who is a Captain in the US Marine Corp and one of 50 Cobra Helicopter Pilots that have been involved in extensive combat over the past 3 weeks.

Will my friend get any money for his story, nope. Is money a factor in telling his story, nope. But with the reporter, his job depends on the story. His job was not risking his life to defend his country, his job was reporting a story that will be newsworthy enough to make him money. Thats fine for the reporter, its his job. But nothing can compare to the sacrifice, commitment, integrity and honesty of the US soldier.

I know you would like to describe the entire US military( including my friends) and US State Department as robots of President Bush, but I can tell you that is utter rubbish. Also there are plenty of independent law experts and experts in International Relations that believe in the US State Departments view of International Law and President Bush's view of International Law.

But most important, is the support of the American people! 82% of the people of American support what the US government has done in Iraq!

By the way, I'm still waiting for you to tell me the resolution in which 3 of the 5 permanent Security Council members voted against a US move to invade Iraq.

Several years from now when Iraq is a functioning democracy, I'd like to see those lawyers who believed the US action was illegal go to Iraq and tell the people that the US action that freed them from Saddam was a violation of international law.
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Old 04-11-2003, 03:20 PM   #77
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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.
We could discuss about motivations for saying the truth or lying but I'm sure there are trustworthy and nontrustworthy people on both sides, your job dosn't turn you a liar or a a person with credibility.

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Old 04-11-2003, 03:29 PM   #78
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By the way, I'm still waiting for you to tell me the resolution in which 3 of the 5 permanent Security Council members voted against a US move to invade Iraq
I'm just speculating... maybe he was referencing to the resolution where G.W.Bush promised he that he will bring that resolution to the UN and the Security Council will vote no matter if he gets the majority or not?

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Old 04-11-2003, 03:52 PM   #79
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Originally posted by STING2
Never once have I not considered your arguements. I do mean your arguements and not some lawyers.

Nice try in attempting to discredit a US soldier. US soldiers are not told to lie. They certainly do not disclose classified information. But I will get a far more accurate picture of the war in Iraq from my best friend of 19 years who is a Captain in the US Marine Corp and one of 50 Cobra Helicopter Pilots that have been involved in extensive combat over the past 3 weeks.

Will my friend get any money for his story, nope. Is money a factor in telling his story, nope. But with the reporter, his job depends on the story. His job was not risking his life to defend his country, his job was reporting a story that will be newsworthy enough to make him money. Thats fine for the reporter, its his job. But nothing can compare to the sacrifice, commitment, integrity and honesty of the US soldier.

I know you would like to describe the entire US military( including my friends) and US State Department as robots of President Bush, but I can tell you that is utter rubbish. Also there are plenty of independent law experts and experts in International Relations that believe in the US State Departments view of International Law and President Bush's view of International Law.

But most important, is the support of the American people! 82% of the people of American support what the US government has done in Iraq!

By the way, I'm still waiting for you to tell me the resolution in which 3 of the 5 permanent Security Council members voted against a US move to invade Iraq.

Several years from now when Iraq is a functioning democracy, I'd like to see those lawyers who believed the US action was illegal go to Iraq and tell the people that the US action that freed them from Saddam was a violation of international law.
Hey hey hey, keep cool, man. I didnīt discredit a US Soldier. I just said he has to follow orders.

I also donīt believe money is the issue for a reporter in Iraq. He gets paid anyway, he isnīt a paparazzi.

US Soldiers are told not to lie? Iīm sure I have missed something, how often are they told that and by who?

I do believe you will get a pretty accurate picture from your friend. I also believe there is a code of patriotism in all armies in this world.

In my opinion, a lot of people in various jobs all around the world can compare to the sacrifice, commitment, integrity and honesty of a US Soldier. So you think a doctor who works in discovering a new treatment against cancer, or a priest who serves the church for all his life, or a development worker who goes to help eradicate poverty, or an American, who builds up wells in rural India, or teachers, or healers, or protestors who get killed by bulldozers, or Bono, or other musicians and artists, and millions and millions of other people in this world, can not compare to the sacrifice, commitment, integrity and honesty of a US Soldier.

Well, you are entitled to your opinion, fine.

I donīt describe US military or State Dpt. as robots of Bush; I merely said you believe in your sources, I choose to believe in mine.

To me, it seems logical that the US Military and lawyers of the State Dpt, in case of doubts, will rather follow the opinion of the US administration than following the opinion of another country. I mean, do you think the French foreign ministry would value the opinion of the Pentagon more than the opinion of the French President?

Well, you are entitled to your opinion, fine.

I like independent sources, like many different reporters, like CNN and Al Jazeera, like NGOs, like aid organizations, like the UN, and I trust those sources more than the US State Dpt., even if I consider the views of the State Dpt. too. I am entitled to my opinion, see.

Please quote "plenty of independent law experts and experts in International Relations that believe in the US State Departments view of International Law and President Bush's view of International Law". You may quote some Russian, French and German experts, just like I have quoted British ones, amongst others.

Since you are waiting so patiently on a specific new resolution in "which 3 of the 5 permanent Security Council members voted against a US move to invade Iraq", I may tell you that in respect of international law, such a resolution is not needed in order for the war to become illegal. A war is and stays illegal if not all 5 permanent members agree with it, which they didnīt (otherwise we would be without diplomatic problems now). And even if they agree, the country that starts the war has to be attacked first in order to defend itself. And if Saddam had posessed thousands of nukes (which he apparently didnīt), this wouldnīt have given the US/ UK the right to attack Iraq, according to international law.

Please tell me a resolution in which 3 of the 5 perm. Sec Council members voted against a Russian move to invade the Untied States. There exists no such resolution. In respect of international law though, an invasion of the United States would be illegal. An invasion is and stays illegal if not all 5 perm members agree with it (which they wouldnīt since the US is one of the five).

Also if 82% of the Americans supported this war (which is debatable, but I will take it as given, in order to avoid another boring debate), also if hundreds of Iraqis cheered and feel this is liberation (whereas hundreds of others feel this is an occupation, and hundreds of others have lost members of their family), the US action still stays a violation of international law.
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Old 04-11-2003, 08:24 PM   #80
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HIPHOP,

All five permanent members voted for resolution 678 and Resolution 1441, so there is the approval your looking for. Also, a vote by all five is not required in cases of self defense which this clearly is. Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990 and has failed to comply with the ceacefire agreement of that war and the 17 UN resolutions passed under CHAPTER VII rules of the United Nations.

Iraq was required to destroy its weapons of mass destruction after it was defeated in the first Gulf War. The use of force was seen as a legitamite response to Iraq's failure to do so which is why ALL 17 UN RESOLUTIONS AGAINST IRAQ WERE PASSED UNDER CHAPTER VII RULES OF THE UNITED NATIONS! If disarmament of Iraq through the use of military force was illegal as you say it was, the resolutions would not have been passed under CHAPTER VII rules which allow the use of force to bring about compliance.

It is your narrow interpretation that self defense only involves the attack of one nation state against another. No matter because the US invasion now is in response to unresolved issues over Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. I suppose in your view the Kosovo war that saved Hundreds of Thousands of lives was illegal? Do you believe its illegal for another country to prevent a dictator in another country from committing gross human rights violations?

If you want to debate the support here in the USA go ahead. Please find me one poll, just one, where the support for military action in this country is less than 70%. I dare you to find one. I know you'd like to think that it is less, but thats just wishful thinking on your part. The Scientific polling done is fact.

"the US action still stays a violation of international law."

The US action is a violation of your narrow interpretation of international law. The Majority of Americans in our democracy disagree with your interpretation of international law. America does not have to swallow and be forced to follow your interpretation of international law when our national interest and security are threatened!

The US citizens with their elected representives will continue to decide when and where we need to use US military force in the world. Will also act in accordance with our interpretation of international law, not your interpretation.

The only thing I can really concede is that there is really no such thing as international law, only various interpretations, yours, mine, everyone elses. No other country can ever have veto power over the American people and their elected representives rights to defend itself under its interpretation of "self defense" and "International Law".

America is a democracy and we had a large debate over the use of force in my country. The Majority of the people and the majority of my country's elected representives approved of Bush using all means necessary to disarm Iraq.
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Old 04-11-2003, 08:26 PM   #81
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars

invade Iraq", I may tell you that in respect of international law, such a resolution is not needed in order for the war to become illegal.

Quote:
A war is and stays illegal if not all 5 permanent members agree with it, which they didnīt (otherwise we would be without diplomatic problems now). And even if they agree, the country that starts the war has to be attacked first in order to defend itself.
wrong, it's a either or, not a and

beyond this if you read the resolution and are unsure if it allows war or not you have to look at the intension of the writers (as you do when you interpret law) and since 2 veto powers said that they would not sign a resolutions which would legitimate law it's obvious that this war was a violation of international law.

Worse than that - future UN weapon inspections will be verry problematic because we saw that military power is stronger than law - a bad lesson for us all

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Old 04-11-2003, 09:13 PM   #82
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Klaus,

UN inspections of Iraq were a failure. They were tried for many years but failed to produce the results that were only supposed to take about a year. Why did they fail, because Saddam never fully cooperated. All UN resolutions were against Iraq were passed under Chapter VII rules which mean force was allowed to be used in order to bring about compliance with Iraq. All members voted for Resolution 678 and 1441. Enough said.

The USA wrote 678 and 1441. Its clear what area intentions were. The other countries had the option of vetoing then, they never did. Considering the fact that Iraq was already under heavy sanctions and a weapons embargo, "Serious Consequences" could only mean one thing, military force. "Serious Consequences" had to mean something as serious or more serious than actions already being done to Iraq. In international relations, the only thing more serious than heavy sanctions and a weapons embargo is military force. The other countries can bitch and scream all they want to, but they voted for this.

Its a great day for all Iraqi's, its a great day for the world. Saddam will never possess Nuclear Weapons or be able to kill hundreds of thousands of people or potentially millions as he had done in the past. Military force was finally used to enforce the law as it should have been done many years ago.

The alternatives to military force completely failed and were of course doomed to fail. A dictator, with a 400,000 man army, who is unwilling to cooperate, can only be dealt with in one way, military force. Saddam only understand one language, the language of military force. He spent 12 years playing with the UN and laughing at them. I don't think he is laughing anymore. The world, the region, and especially the Iraqi's are much safer and secure today with Saddam gone.
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Old 04-12-2003, 12:05 PM   #83
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Back to the subject of this thread, not a UN resolution one nor a legality of war.

Another view from the east.
THE ROVING EYE
The Iraqi killing fields
By Pepe Escobar

AMMAN - "We know we don't target journalists," said the US Central Command (CentCom) in Qatar. Contrary to CentCom's assertions, non-embedded journalists know that they have been targeted.

It was inevitable. When it finally happened, it was like clockwork. Al-Jazeera's office in Kabul was incinerated by four missiles in the 2001 ousting of the Taliban in Afghanistan. True to CentCom form, al-Jazeera's office in Baghdad was hit by a Tomahawk this week in the invasion of Iraq - even though the Qatari network had offered its global positioning system (GPS) position to the Pentagon in late February.

Correspondent-producer Tariq Ayyoub, 35, Jordanian, father of an infant girl, was killed and a photographer was wounded. The Abu Dhabi TV office in Baghdad was hit by an Abrams tank - although they have been broadcasting from the same building for three years now. Another Abrams tank fired at the Palestine Hotel, near Tahir square: even Mesopotamian desert rats know that this is where virtually all the Western and Asian journalists in Baghdad stay: A Ukrainian cameraman for Reuters and a Spanish cameraman for Telecinco were killed, and four other journalists were wounded.

France 3 television broadcast footage of the turret of the Abrams tank, positioned on the west margin of the Tigris, at least 300 meters away from the Palestine, moving in the direction of the hotel and taking its time to aim and shoot. The official American version - that they were threatened by sniper fire coming from the hotel - was universally dismissed. Asia Times Online was among many to confirm that no journalists who were in the open doing live feeds for TV reported hearing any sniper fire or rocket launchers being fired from the hotel. As Sky TV's David Chater put it, the shell "was aimed directly at this hotel and directly at journalists. This wasn't an accident, it seems to be a very accurate shot."

There's a problem with the absolute majority of the journalists in Baghdad - surreptitiously betrayed by the rhetoric emanating from US CentCom in Qatar. They are non-embedded. "Unilaterals" - non-embedded journalists - may be mistaken for "legitimate" targets by the Pentagon: or rather "targets of opportunity". They can be bombed because of their annoying Thuraya satellite telephones with GPS. They can be beaten - like a group of Portuguese journalists in southern Iraq. They can be humiliated at will, just because they are able to think independently, or they are also reporting the Iraqi side, or they are not telling the official, sanitized, Pentagon-censored story of the carnage in Iraq.

Even diplomatic convoys are not immune. Alexander Minakov, a reporter for Russian TV who was involved in Sunday's incident when a Russian convoy with 10 diplomats and 10 journalists was trying to leave Baghdad towards Damascus, confirmed that they were targeted by M-16 rifles, standard equipment for American soldiers and marines. According to the Russian ambassador, Vladimir Titorenko, speaking to the Itar-Tass agency, "A column of American armored vehicles suddenly blocked our way. There were tanks, APCs and mobile gun mounts. Our convoy led by my car under the Russian flag stopped but they suddenly opened fire. All the attempts to leave the cars and explain the situation were thwarted by bursts from automatic weapons," said Titorenko. Several grenades were hurled at the cars. Four people were wounded and the ambassador's driver was seriously wounded in the stomach. American officials predictably denied any responsibility.

The attack on the Palestine hotel has been vehemently condemned all over the world. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) says that it is a possible war crime, or at least "a grave and serious violation of international law". IFJ general secretary Aidan White stressed that "the bombing of hotels where journalists are staying and targeting of Arab media are particularly shocking events in a war which is being fought in the name of democracy".

While Arab satellite channels are showing the tragic reality of war, American corporate media - also available by satellite all over the Middle East - all but totally ignores the suffering of the Iraqi people. Torrents of abuse in America are directed against Arab and European news outlets that publish and broadcast the real extent of the carnage and human suffering that is being inflicted on civilians.

In this context, the bombing of al-Jazeera could not but please the neoconservatives in Washington. Carnage it is. The American advance has been described as the "infernal column" by Yves Debay, a war correspondent for the military affairs magazine Raids who observed the US modus operandi at very close range: "They organize columns of 40 to 50 armored vehicles. Up front, M1 Abrams tanks, followed by Bradley fighting vehicles and Humvees. They roll with two tanks up front, occupying the whole road. They shoot everything in sight, everything suspicious. It's 'fire at will'. They love shooting Saddam portraits with 25 mm cannons. They have no fire discipline. The initiative is left to the soldiers, 20-year-old kids. That's the reason why they also shoot civilians. An European army would never behave like this. By better controlling its troops, the British army kills considerably less civilians." Debay's observations are corroborated by what happened at the Palestine: crucial tactical decisions are left to low-level local tank commanders.

On his way to Baghdad from Mahmudiyah, Debay saw dozens of burning civilian vehicles, all of their passengers dead. He volunteers an explanation for the indiscriminate killing: "They [the Americans] have two problems. They are still taking revenge for September 11, and there are no sanctions when a soldier kills a civilian. Their objective is not to kill civilians, but they behave like cowboys. They even shoot cows ... I have the impression it's a way to mask their fear. They are very afraid. And it gets worse every time they sustain losses."

The American superiority in technology, mobility and firepower is overwhelming beyond comprehension - also considering that Iraq's military capability had been totally smashed in 1991, plus the 12 years of debilitating United Nations sanctions. The road to Baghdad for the advancing American troops was cleared by a devastating combination of B-52 carpet-bombing, artillery barrages and strafing by Apache helicopters. Initially, the killing in Baghdad had no military objective, or was not about taking or holding ground (CentCom briefing). Even after Monday's spectacular foray into the National Parade Ground and Saddam's palaces in Baghdad, the rhetoric remained the same.

Now territory in central Baghdad has indeed been taken: the Americans control large swaths of the west bank of the Tigris (echoes of Israel controlling large areas of the West Bank in Palestine). So the rhetoric has changed to "targets of opportunity". Like the bombing of houses of Iraqi Christians (at least eight civilians dead), or the blitz with four satellite-guided 900-kilogram bombs of the famous al-Sa'a restaurant in the al-Mansour residential district (at least 14 civilians dead) where Saddam Hussein and his sons "might" have been - according to a web of 37 American satellites plus "human intelligence" on the ground. The satellites and the intelligence failed. Behind the al-Sa'a there is now a huge crater 10 meters deep and 15 meters wide, and the families of residents Abdel Massyah and Salman Daoud are buried under the rubble.

Outside the five-star al-Rashid hotel, a Reuters photographer said that the marines on Monday were firing indiscriminately on civilians and militias: he has bullet holes in his car to prove it. "Human intelligence" on the ground in Baghdad has revealed to Asia Times Online that the rate of casualties in the city could be anywhere from 100 to 500 Iraqis to each American. Even though the resistance is now minimal, the carnage will go on because although the Americans have practically encircled Baghdad they don't have enough troops to control a sprawling city of 5 million-plus inhabitants.

The military plan is to divide the city in pockets and secure it pocket by pocket - with overwhelming support of F/A-18s, A-10 tankbusters and Apache helicopters, now flying very low because there's absolutely no air defense left in Baghdad to speak of. If it looks and sounds like a deadly video game, that's because it is: even American generals are describing it as an aerial form of house-to-house fighting. The main victims are, of course, Iraqi civilians.

Popular reaction has been graphic. The Bush administration, the Pentagon and the breathless, embedded cheerleaders of American corporate media are ecstatic. The whole planet is horrified. By watching those images of the proud cradle of human civilization reduced to Fourth World status, anybody that is not a military expert may understand that the only thing left for the "poor bastards" - as the marines call them - absolutely unable to resist overwhelming military force, is to resort to guerrilla and suicide attacks. History shows that this is how occupied lands and peoples have always reacted. Extraordinary footage by the Capa photo agency shows a group of ragged teenagers with rocket launchers trying to retake a bridge from Abrams tanks: the operation takes a few minutes, and half of the bunch is left soaking in pools of blood.

All over Baghdad, the city's five main hospitals simply cannot cope with an avalanche of civilian casualties. Doctors can't get to the hospitals because of the bombing. Dr Osama Saleh-al-Duleimi, at the al-Kindi hospital, confirms the absolute majority of patients are women and children, victims of bullets, shrapnel and most of all, fragments of cluster bombs: "They are all civilians," he says, "caught in aerial and artillery bombardment."

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is in a state of almost desperation. Its spokesman, Roland Huguenin-Benjamin, contacted by satellite telephone, still mentions casualties arriving at hospitals at a rate of as many as 100 per hour and at least 100 per day. This correspondent has been to many Baghdad hospitals: after fighting 12 years of sanctions and a list of as many as 500-prohibited items, it's a miracle that they barely remained functional. In a city now with no regular phones, no electricity and practically no water, they are all operating on generators. One of the larger hospitals has no power and no water at all. Getting clean water for the patients remains a nightmare. Anaesthetics, antibiotics and insulin are almost gone. The hospitals are running out of blood, beds, everything.

The victims of the blitz are inevitably the young and the poor. How many? Even the ICRC cannot determine it yet: hospital doctors talk about hundreds of dead and thousands of wounded. Dr Sadek al-Mukhtar has seen it all in terms of death and destruction. He is adamant: "Before the war I did not regard America as my enemy. Now I do. There are military and there are civilians. War should be against the military. America is killing civilians." Fifty percent of Iraq's population of 24 million is under 15. Malnutrition is endemic. The majority of families depend on state food rations - the meager standard package of flour, rice, tea, cooking oil and soap - and rations should run out by next month.

A-10 tankbusters have fired the hungry, terrified Baghdadis with depleted uranium rounds - the surefire way to win their hearts and minds. There may be some scenes of jubilation with the marines coming to town - basically in the huge Shi'ite Saddam City slum, bursting with more than 2 million people who have been frustrated and oppressed for so long by the Sunni-dominated Saddam regime.
But these desperately poor and angry masses want food.They want water. They don't necessarily want to see marines in tanks for more than a day or two. Eastern Baghdad is in total anarchy. But there's still fighting. And people are not only scared - or involved in looting. They are suffering. One just needs to ask 12-year-old Ali Ismail Abbas. His father, his five-month-old pregnant mother, his brother, his aunt, three cousins and three other relatives were incinerated by a missile in Diala, eastern Baghdad. He is now an orphan, he is terribly burned and he has lost both his arms. He wants to be a doctor. "But how can I? I lost both hands." George W Bush can always say that at least he has been "liberated".

(Đ2003 Asia Times Online Co, Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact content@atimes.com for information on our sales and syndication policies.)
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Old 04-13-2003, 06:11 PM   #84
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Scarletwine:

thanks for helping us to get back ontopic
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Old 04-23-2003, 02:15 PM   #85
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One last post here:

Philip Wolford, the american comandant of the Tanks said:

"i shoot back unhesitatingly"

Seems like he returned fire to binoculars of journalists this time"

did annyone hear wether the US government apologized for this tragic accident?

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Old 04-24-2003, 03:28 AM   #86
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Klaus,

When you hesitate in combat you get killed. The Tank Commander did not say he shoots back indiscriminately, he said unhesitatingly. Thats how all professional soldiers are trained. Many people in the civilian world fail to understand the split second decisions soldier have to make.

I'm happy my best friend in Iraq applied the same principle. Its part of the reason I will happily get to see him when he returns to the USA in June!

As for the reporters, there is no way the US military or anyone could promise them that they would not get hurt or killed if they remained in Baghdad. Accidents and mistakes happen all the time. Its actually surprising that more of the reporters and civilians in Baghdad did not get killed. The main reason more were not killed is because of the professionalism and training of the US military and the technology of the weapons they use.
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Old 04-24-2003, 04:40 AM   #87
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STING2:

i have no problem with that commander, it's natural that he shoot back unhesitatingly (thanks for correcting this one, sometimes it's difficult to retranslate).

The only problem i had with it was that Pentagon officials called it simply self defense (i'm sure that the commander thought it was self defense, i'm sure he didn't think "hey let's kill some of the Reuters guys").
The problem was that there was no official exuse. I didn't read/hear it in the big media that they found out that it has been the reflections of some binoculars.
Why was a simple excuse like "I'm sorry we accidentially killed a innocent reporter" so difficult for the pentagon?
That was all i was asking for.
What made me upset that the pentagon had a problem telling the public that tragic things like that can hapen. In the end it's a war, no game.

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Old 04-24-2003, 08:31 AM   #88
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The Pentagon would never apologize for any mistakes. They might be held liable by the victims family. God forbid we admit we aren't perfect.
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Old 04-24-2003, 09:25 PM   #89
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Scarletwine,

"The Pentagon would never apologize for any mistakes. They might be held liable by the victims family. God forbid we admit we aren't perfect."

That statement makes me sick! My father served at the Pentagon for four years! I've seen the Pentagon on countless occassions express sorrow and compasion for the victims of war or mistakes.

Its interesting that all you guys care about are reporters and civilians and not one word about soldiers killed in friendly fire which is essentially the same thing, an accident!

I find certain European countries and anti-war members to be unable to admit somethings, and notice other things as well!
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Old 04-24-2003, 09:37 PM   #90
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STING2:

we mentioned the tragicloss of soldiers in friendly fire, we mentioned the tragic loss of civilians, we mentioned the tragic loss of Iraqi soldiers who were forced to fight.. and i can asure i won't forget them.

We also remember that this dictator is history, and we're glad about it, please believe us that we don't have to repeat this in every 2nd posting to remember it.

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