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Angry Mandrill
6th April 10, 03:27 PM
is it murder? i can't decide. watching the video is depressing, but in 2007 things were much hotter in iraq than they are now. the victims were carrying what appear to be weapons. should the pilots have gotten a closer look? i think so. would that have put them at risk? from their perspective, i think so. the guy they say is setting up a shot with an rpg certainly appears to be carrying a long tube of some sort.

darwin-award moment: the victims were paying no attention to the two apache helicopters circling them.

the military's defense was that the pilots acted within the rules of engagement. should the rules of engagement allow this sort of indiscriminate video game-style massacre?

article:

Video Shows U.S. Killing of Reuters Employees

By ELISABETH BUMILLER

Published: April 5, 2010

WASHINGTON — The Web site WikiLeaks.org released a graphic video on Monday showing an American helicopter shooting and killing a Reuters photographer and driver in a July 2007 attack in Baghdad.

...

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/world/middleeast/06baghdad.html?hp

unedited vid:

is9sxRfU-ik&feature=player_embedded (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is9sxRfU-ik&feature=player_embedded)

WarPhalange
6th April 10, 04:13 PM
I call dibs on the band name.

SFGOON
6th April 10, 04:18 PM
They wanted to be heroic Reuters warzone reporters. They knew damned well they were subject to remote vaporization from an invisible black helicopter.

AAAhmed46
6th April 10, 05:00 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20LkYvEZOZs

Yeah they were innocent.

EvilSteve
6th April 10, 05:03 PM
Was it kosher under the rules of engagement to shoot up that van? It wasn't posing a threat to them and was basically acting as an ambulance.

I try not to judge the actions of soldiers in a warzone too harshly. Was a little creepy to hear the guy saying "All you got to do is pick up a gun" though. However, it does look like the brass engaged in some CYA action which I am less sympathetic to.

Cullion
6th April 10, 06:57 PM
I understood why they were shooting until they shot up the van. It's good that ordinary voters can see this, because you should expect that any time a military gets used, things like this will happen.

Stick
6th April 10, 07:18 PM
http://i42.tinypic.com/2z7h4wk.jpg

Phrost
6th April 10, 07:43 PM
The only comment I have to make on this is that Wikileaks' efforts and credibility are undermined by such a histrionic domain name.

SFGOON
6th April 10, 08:05 PM
Was it kosher under the rules of engagement to shoot up that van? It wasn't posing a threat to them and was basically acting as an ambulance.

I try not to judge the actions of soldiers in a warzone too harshly. Was a little creepy to hear the guy saying "All you got to do is pick up a gun" though. However, it does look like the brass engaged in some CYA action which I am less sympathetic to.

Those were military lawyers on the other end of that radio, no shit. That's why he was asking "is it okay?"

Cullion
7th April 10, 06:12 AM
They were asking lawyers for moral guidance ? No wonder.

Ajamil
7th April 10, 07:17 AM
Did I miss the part where they discover these were not in fact combatants? Did the foot soldiers ever go "We're not seeing any weapons?"

Madgrenade
7th April 10, 07:26 AM
One of the foot claims he found a rocket under one of the corpses. I find the claim that they weren't engaging the Yanks highly dubious. I just sat through the forty mins. The abridged versions are highly selective in their cuts. The junior gunner on crazy horse 18 could probably do with being less sick and morbid, and start sounding professional. And see a headshrinker.

Shooting up the ambulance was a violation of Geneva though surely? Any comments from miltry members?

Cullion
7th April 10, 07:28 AM
The area might never have been searched by western troops on foot. That's not the only way Reuters could've found out that two of it's reporters died in a helicopter attack.

Besides, at the start of that film, there's a bunch of men squatting down around some kind of tube that could easily be some kind of weapon. There could've been weapons all over the area. Troops would be searching through rubble and chopped up bodies wondering which AK47 belonged to which mangled corpse, and trying to work out which of the people in the film the body was.

Doesn't sound very easy after the fact. And I guess it would be extremely dangerous to go back to an incident like that on foot and start picking through people's body parts in front of the locals.

Based on the information in the film, I don't see a reason for shooting up the van though.

Madgrenade
7th April 10, 07:37 AM
Later on the vid shows a large contingent of U.S troops securing the whole area. Looks about 50/50 has to who had weapons, but they were in the same group. Probably trying to get some dynamic shots, but for reporting purposes that's way too close to the action. It's terrible, but it's why they mostly don't let reporters onto the very frontline in large battles, mostly.

EvilSteve
7th April 10, 07:54 AM
Those were military lawyers on the other end of that radio, no shit. That's why he was asking "is it okay?"

So they were advised by a lawyer that they were clear to shoot. One might argue that clears the pilots of responsibility, but it doesn't mean that they followed the rules of engagement.

And the fact that this video was classified for so long tends to make me think that the military didn't think this was entirely above board either.

Angry Mandrill
7th April 10, 08:00 AM
the wikileaks website claims to have released the rules of engagement in effect prior to, at the time of, and subsequent to this event. i could not find them anywhere. if anyone does find them, please link. but my guess is that orders were to shoot on sight anybody carrying a weapon. if so, this entire tape is covered. before shooting up the van, crazyhorse reports that the van occupants are picking up wounded and weapons. true or not, it's what they thought.

wikileaks makes too much, imho, of the pilots' seeming callousness. we pay them to kill people. i don't care how they deal with it. if laughing and making light of it is their way of handling it, i'm okay with that.

wikileaks also pulls a 'zomg, the children!' well, i'm with the pilot who said 'shouldn't have brought them to a battle.' if i'm in a car somewhere with my kids and someone nearby is blowing shit up, i'm driving away, fast, not going to the site to pick up some dead bodies. dead bodies vs. live children? those parents chose unwisely.

EvilSteve
7th April 10, 08:09 AM
Well, yah- have to agree that people have gotten too wound up over the pilots being "flip" about killing people. They're soldiers- they get paid to kill people. If they don't develop a degree of callousness about it, I expect they wouldn't be able to cope psychologically. This really does boil down to a "did they follow the rules or didn't they?" because when you're flying around with a bigass machine gun and an arsenal of hellfire missiles, you kind of need to follow the rules to make sure nothing more horrible than necessary happens.

WarPhalange
7th April 10, 09:58 AM
If they asked someone for confirmation on whether or not to shoot, then the blame gets shifted to those people. Nikki is right that soldiers are trained killers. It's their job. That's why they didn't just fire on everything that moved, but asked for confirmation.

Cullion
7th April 10, 10:19 AM
That hasn't been true since the Nuremberg trials, unfortunately.

WarPhalange
7th April 10, 10:32 AM
That hasn't been true since the Nuremberg trials, unfortunately.

There's a difference between "Those guys look like they have weapons. Should we shoot?" and "Those Jews are just standing there. Should we shoot?"

Madgrenade
7th April 10, 10:32 AM
lol Nuremburg. Goodies can't be war criminals, Cullion. You know that.

Zendetta
7th April 10, 12:20 PM
Soldiers using Gallows Humor to endure the Horrors of War is as Old as History.

Also: if you are a front-line battlefield reporter, you need to have your affairs in order.

Cullion
7th April 10, 02:10 PM
There's a difference between "Those guys look like they have weapons. Should we shoot?" and "Those Jews are just standing there. Should we shoot?"

Not if your report of them 'apparently being armed' turns out to be a false report because you were high on adrenalin and really excited about killing somebody.

'He said it was ok!' isn't a defence in these situations. That's the point. It doesn't matter what the alleged offence was.

Ever seen that episode of south park where the hunters yell 'it's coming right at us!' every time they can see a bear, so they can hunt out of season by claiming it's self defence ?

Go through the video and every time somebody on the audio track says 'he's armed!' see if you can actually see the weapon. Maybe grab a still and circle it.

Dark humour isn't really relevant here, it's whether or not unarmed people were shot at. It looked like that happened when they shot the van.

bob
7th April 10, 03:51 PM
How high up were those choppers? Seems like the people on the ground were completely oblivious until the shooting started.

Cullion
7th April 10, 03:54 PM
I think the guns on an Apache are effective from about a mile away.

Ajamil
7th April 10, 09:29 PM
You hear and see the gun's effect on the camera, time it with when the shots hit.

I knew they were reporters, and it kept looking to me like they had weapons. I bet what those soldiers did weighs heavily upon them, but I don't think they were in the wrong.

Cullion
8th April 10, 08:08 AM
You saw weapons when the van turned up ?

HappyOldGuy
8th April 10, 11:08 AM
You saw weapons when the van turned up ?

The van was not marked as an ambulance and was bringing aid to suspected combatants.

Not saying they were right or wrong, but that right there throws any nuremberg references right out the window.

Cullion
8th April 10, 12:11 PM
They were civilians of an invaded country in a civilian vehicle picking a wounded man up with no weapons fire, or even visible weapons as far as I can see.

Are you sure ?

Cullion
8th April 10, 12:29 PM
If it was Hitler wounded on the ground with no visible weapons and a van drove up and Ghandi and Alessandra Ambrosio got out to help him with no weapons visible would you shoot?

I would.

I hope you are playing Devil's Advocate.

You'd be shooting spunk though. Not lead.

HappyOldGuy
8th April 10, 12:46 PM
They were civilians of an invaded country in a civilian vehicle picking a wounded man up with no weapons fire, or even visible weapons as far as I can see.

Are you sure ?

There were arms. Whether they actually were civilians or not, there is no obvious international war crime. If you disagree, please cite the precedent you are looking at.

Cullion
8th April 10, 01:49 PM
Show me the weapons in a still. I simply cannot see weapons in the section where the van shows up.

Ajamil
8th April 10, 02:37 PM
No , I never saw anything I would call a weapon, especially after the van showed up. I saw what the pilot and gunner saw as weapons, and I wouldn't have any confidence in my ability to agree or deny that. Once the people were considered combatants it would surprise me if the army were to just let an unmarked van drive up and carry the wounded away.

Other than the fact that this is 3 years ago, and has been confirmed that reporters were killed, I would be dubious of the claim. Was the entire group reporters? Were they reporters with insurgents? What of the RPG round claim? Why don't any of the foot soldiers mention cameras or possible press gear? I know the guys on foot had other priorities than checking dead bodies, but aren't press tags big floppy things you wear around your neck?

Cullion
8th April 10, 02:44 PM
I saw what the pilot and gunner saw as weapons

I didn't even see that. I'd be very grateful if somebody could circle them in a still.


Once the people were considered combatants it would surprise me if the army were to just let an unmarked van drive up and carry the wounded away.

Why ?

HappyOldGuy
8th April 10, 03:00 PM
Why ?


A distinctive and uniform flag shall be adopted for hospitals, ambulances and evacuation parties. It should in all circumstances be accompanied by the national flag.
An armlet may also be worn by personnel enjoying neutrality but its issue shall be left to the military authorities.
Both flag and armlet shall bear a red cross on a white ground.

Cullion
8th April 10, 03:03 PM
That doesn't really apply when you've already broken international war by prosecuting a war of aggression. You can't go shooting up unarmed civilians trying to pull injured civilians off the street when you're invading their country and then say 'but they didn't have a red cross on their car!'.

It comes down to weaponry I think.

HappyOldGuy
8th April 10, 03:09 PM
That doesn't really apply when you've already broken international war by prosecuting a war of aggression.
Iraq is fairly (legally) defensible as a continuation of the first war and under the security council resolutions, but there is obviously room for debate there.

However the legality of the war itself is entirely seperate from this discussion. If the war was 100% legal, firing on a marked ambulance would still be illegal. And a soldier fighting in an illegal war is not prosecutable just for participating.

The weaponry point is a fair one, but it's not one you could bring against the chopoper crews. It would go against their commanders for using weaponry likely to cause civilian casualties out of proportion.

Cullion
8th April 10, 03:10 PM
He is prosecutable for shooting at unarmed civilians. Absolutely.

People keep saying they can see weapons in the video when the van turns up. I couldn't see them, that's why I want them picking out in a still.

As to the legality of the Iraq war, sure that's a different debate. But when we're talking going about one of their own cities in civilian clothes and unmarked vehicles (as civilians do), it is a bit crazy, as the occupier (this is not a UN peacekeeping mission or a defensive action on America's part by any stretch of any sane person's imagination), to talk about having the right to shoot them for picking up somebody in their car to take him to hospital because the car doesn't have a red cross on it.

Ajamil
8th April 10, 03:15 PM
How's this? Try to imagine not knowing at all that there are reporters down there - this is right around the time the pilot asks if the coalition has any people in that area.
Spoiler:

As for why, it doesn't sound like good strategy to let soldiers go. I'm on shaky conviction, but when the enemy likes to dissolve into the crowd, then pop up and shoot before disappearing again - any time they are visible should have the question of whether to engage or not.

Edit: Hmm, I didn't see any weapons when the van pulled up, but I will see if there's a still that can be made.

Cullion
8th April 10, 03:18 PM
If you go back and read my post, I make it clear I understand the shooting of the men who crouch down around what looks like a long cylinder. I'm talking about when the car shows up.

Angry Mandrill
8th April 10, 03:35 PM
lotsa stills here - http://www.collateralmurder.com/en/photos-4.html

there's nothing visible around the van before the attack.

Cullion
8th April 10, 03:44 PM
I'm on shaky conviction, but when the enemy likes to dissolve into the crowd, then pop up and shoot before disappearing again - any time they are visible should have the question of whether to engage or not.

Edit: Hmm, I didn't see any weapons when the van pulled up, but I will see if there's a still that can be made.

You're talking about a lone man crawling along the street injured. Do you see any sign of a weapon in his hand?

Ajamil
8th April 10, 05:49 PM
I didn't see any, no.

Cullion
8th April 10, 05:57 PM
I bet you don't see any weapons on the vehicle, poking out of the vehicle, fired from the vehicle or in the hands of anybody who emerges from the vehicle, do you ?

I don't.


As for why, it doesn't sound like good strategy to let soldiers go.

You're not supposed to shoot unarmed people who are trying to crawl away. No question.

And we certainly aren't talking about 'no man's land' in the Somme. It's a city in an occupied country.

Them being civilians in a city you've invaded is pretty much a rhetorical point, aside from the fact that it's nonsensical to be 'suspicious' about them not wearing uniforms or the people trying to help them to hospital not having ambulance markings clear from the air on their vehicle.

You should absolutely expect people to drive around without uniforms on, and without markings on their vehicles. You should absolutely expect them to try to help a man crawling along the street bleeding to get to a hospital.

With this in mind, and your examination of the stills in mind, listen to the audio again. It sounds to me like people high on adrenalin and flags killing pretty much indescriminately. You even hear them wishing there was a gun.

AAAhmed46
8th April 10, 06:00 PM
There was a british friendly fire incident.

As soon as the Britts realized they killed innocent people, the stuff they said afterward was

OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD

Obvious remorse from the british troops?


Yet, no such reactiosn were seen by these guys. When they found out kids were in the van, they seemed uncaring.

Reflection of military culture and training here? Or very sipmly, more compassionate individuals?

Cullion
8th April 10, 06:06 PM
Well the helicopter crew in this case sound like they're in a sort of video-game trance to be honest.

However, the UK has prosecuted troops for incidents in the middle east too.
Only today a couple of Royal Marines were discharged for beating up a couple of Afghan prisoners.

I have no doubt that soldiers of any nationality can find themselves doing the same things. I think such incidents are inevitable when military force comes into play for a prolonged period, especially when there are 'ungrateful' civilians around. Sad to say, but especially when they are of a markedly different ethnicity.

That Nuremberg point I made? I actually believe that 'following orders' should come into play as a defence at a point. I think frontline troops are totally wrapped up in a world of extreme adrenaline and 'us vs them', and that's how they need to think to do their jobs, and unfortunately many of us would be capable of the same things seen in that video if put in that position and hence the same mental state.

It's the political suits in the comfortable offices back home who put the young men there that always get away with it. Notice how nobody (well, maybe except General Taguba) even got close to pinning anything on Rumsfeld over Abu Ghraib, but the press were all over those enlisted rednecks.

I hope more videos like this get released and everybody sees them. The point not being 'oh look those helicopter pilots that one tiime were monsters', but 'shit, this is what happens when you invade another country and have to keep the populace under control by force. I'm going to remember this every time a politician suggests doing it again'.

I think we've just seen a warcrime, but I'm not stupid enough to be surprised or look for some 20-somethings with crewcuts to blame.

Zendetta
8th April 10, 06:24 PM
When the Cheney/Bush II regime began resemble House Harkonen, many people stopped signing up for the military. Recruitment numbers plunged, just as we began to open up a second front in the *snicker* War on Terror.

To shore up numbers, the US military lowered their standards for enlistment.

It was predicted/is being seen that more sociopaths and emotionally marginal people got in, people who would have previously been rejected.

This on top of the general decay of American Culture into egotism, nihilism, and violence.



A True Anecdote - Jason P. lived down the street from me in South Carolina and was a friend until there was a falling out and I had to show him some karate upside his face. Before that, we had been pals, shooting BB Guns, exploding GI Joes with bottle rockets, vandalizing the house of and generally terrorizing the asshole kid across the way.

But Jason had a twisted side I was never cool with. He was an unrepentant racist, and kind of an asshole by nature. He was the guy who once crucified a squirrel, the guy who put a dead raccoon in the car of someone who pissed him off. He was a little guy with a big mouth, a bit of a goober... but deep down a sadist who almost completely lacked empathy.

He had no sense of Honor either, but nurtured many fantasies of violence and bloodshed. I could never interest him in martial arts (until, perhaps, I whipped his ass) - but I think of him as the Kid Most Likely to Pull a Columbine.

He grew up, joined the Army, and became an Apache pilot.

Cullion
8th April 10, 06:27 PM
How has any military ever screened out kids who have a twisted love of violence ?
Do you really believe any has ever tried that hard?

You think they've changed the pass score on some kind of 'morality test'? How does this test work, is it like Voigt-Kampf?

I thought 'lowering standards' just meant they let fatter, older, slower and dumber people in?

Zendetta
8th April 10, 06:49 PM
Nah, dude. Previously, there were plenty of people who didn't make the cut for psychological reasons of various kinds. They lowered the psych/emotional standards too - there are articles out there about this.

My pal was very high functioning - smart, did well in school, fairly good impulse control, etc. Its not hard for a smart sociopath to hide his dark side.

The difference is that the Military is are now accepting more .

And if you haven't already, you must read Grossman's [I]On Killing. Oh yes you must.

Ajamil
8th April 10, 06:51 PM
When I looked into the army around that time, the recruiting officers made note that depression and bipolar were "no nos" and that saying anything could get me rejected *knowing look.*

Cullion
8th April 10, 06:53 PM
You probably should have cut your hair and not gone into the office smelling of weed.

elipson
8th April 10, 07:30 PM
Jesus.

No wonder America damn near lost the war in Iraq. If this video was from 07 then it was before the big policy shift in 08.

Did anyone see at the end of the video when they rocketed that building? Did you see the guy standing in front of it just before the rocket hit? He was just walking by and they blew him up because someone had an ak-47 in the building. Now imagine all the relatives of that guy, pissed off at the US. Now times that by a few thouasnd.

What do you mean they didn't greet you as Liberators?

Wounded Ronin
8th April 10, 07:56 PM
That really, really looked like the gunship sequence from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Wow.

Ajamil
8th April 10, 08:31 PM
You probably should have cut your hair and not gone into the office smelling of weed.You misunderstand. The knowing look was "stop talking and sign, recruit."

bob
9th April 10, 06:22 AM
gHkbahPv7s0

Madgrenade
9th April 10, 07:02 AM
I'm fully with Cullion on this one. Shooting up the ambulance was a war crime. It doesn't matter that it wasn't marked, it's purpose on the battlefield was obvious.

Also, generally it makes good sense to allow the enemy to recover their wounded, not for any humanitarian reason, it forces the enemy to use up their food, water and medical resources treating the patient. They may recover, they may not, but dead men don't need feeding. If they do get better you can always kill them again later.

Edit: Obviously in this case the wounded would be taken to the hospital and would drain your medical resources. But the US was waging war on a people they'd already conquered. In the distant past armies generally wanted to take cities intact, but in the corporate era it's more profitable to destroy everything and then rebuild it yourself, sending the bill to the defeated. This is probably why it's such a mess. (Correct/ shred me if I'm wrong.)

EvilSteve
9th April 10, 07:58 AM
Jesus.

No wonder America damn near lost the war in Iraq. If this video was from 07 then it was before the big policy shift in 08.

Did anyone see at the end of the video when they rocketed that building? Did you see the guy standing in front of it just before the rocket hit? He was just walking by and they blew him up because someone had an ak-47 in the building. Now imagine all the relatives of that guy, pissed off at the US. Now times that by a few thouasnd.

What do you mean they didn't greet you as Liberators?

Okay- so I'm not the only one who noticed that.

Ajamil
9th April 10, 03:11 PM
I don't think I watched to the end. I was watching it late and probably dozed.

Wounded Ronin
11th April 10, 10:48 AM
Also, generally it makes good sense to allow the enemy to recover their wounded, not for any humanitarian reason, it forces the enemy to use up their food, water and medical resources treating the patient. They may recover, they may not, but dead men don't need feeding. If they do get better you can always kill them again later.


I know that's the conventional wisdom but in the Vietnam War the North Vietnamese forces went through great lengths to always recover their wounded as a psychological tool to basically torment US forces who would get ambushed or sniped or whatever but never saw any bodies after they returned fire. Towards the end of the seige of Khe Sanh when some Marines finally encountered the enemy after a year of psychological torture they went crazy and bayonetted the shit out of them because they finally saw the enemy that had been shooting at them for a year unseen.

After reading many Vietnam War memoirs I view retrieval of all bodies as a psychological tactic used by guerillas. If there were a bunch of guerillas/insurgents or whatever you want to call them, and from your helicopter you saw an unmarked van pull up to recover weapons and bodies, based on what I read in Vietnam War memoirs, I would absolutely think the occupants of the van were engaging in military activities and psychological warfare. Again, based on what I have read in Vietnam War memoirs, I cannot in the slightest blame the helicopter crew for lighting up the van.

The real problem is that apparently a lot of people in civilian Western society have no idea about any of the depraved shit that happens in war, they have never experienced (or even just read about like I have) the psychological impact of being ambushed and shot at but never encountering any bodies, they have never had to deal with an enemy that will use children as shields or as a means to suicide bomb, and they have never had to make a decision which possibly involvesm making a choice between killing non-combatants or letting your friends be killed. I feel like with a lot of people who get all indignant over stuff like this, they're so used to clear cut and morally easy questions and choices. What would they do in a situation like in the Vietnam War where villagers might simultaneously be helping the US/ARVN forces and the North Vietnamese forces trying to appease both sides enough that neither would kill them? What would they do if some children would play with them and be friendly at one moment, but tell the enemy where to find them an hour later? It's like people think that war is some kind of stroll in Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

The fact there's so much blah blah talk and indignation over this footage makes me think that most people just comfortably sit at home and derive personal significance from being a war protestor or whatever but actually have no idea what they're talking about and their thoughts have absolutely zero relevance to what is actually going on in the middle east right now. Indignation is the luxury of the uninvolved in this case.

I'm not sure how to solve this problem with society.

EDIT: Maybe with more Vietnam War video games.

Cullion
11th April 10, 10:59 AM
Wounded Ronin, you are enormously full of shit.

Tragically and pathetically so.



The real problem is that apparently a lot of people in civilian Western society have no idea about any of the depraved shit that happens in war, they have never experienced (or even just read about like I have)

If it was within my power I'd actually award you some kind of flashing tag. What a waste of an ivy league education. Somebody alert and gifted could've used that place.

Wounded Ronin
11th April 10, 03:34 PM
Wounded Ronin, you are enormously full of shit.

Tragically and pathetically so.



If it was within my power I'd actually award you some kind of flashing tag. What a waste of an ivy league education. Somebody alert and gifted could've used that place.

Oh, so if I read about something in several memoirs, I'm not allowed to let it color my opinion?

Only people who 1.) have been to war and 2.) actually been in desperate high-risk firefights are now allowed to articulate an opinion without a glib comment from you? Speaking of ivy league education I feel like I'm talking to some snot-nosed 19 year old who has all the answers and if you disagree he gives you some glib dismissal as if that were the final word in an academic debate.

If I just jumped on the passive aggressive leftist bandwagon and said completely intellectually lazy and conventional things like, "those guys were bad because they shot at journalists and a van," that would somehow make me "alert and gifted"? I mean, I could have gone to some college student populated anti-war protest and waved a sign around, would that be cereberal enough for you?

What would you prefer that I do, drink my information out of your nipples? Perhaps if I PMed you for validation every step of the way before posting you'd be happy?

Seriously, dude, what the fuck is your problem? It's pretty damn easy to emote moral outrage while never yourself going out on a limb on a controversial topic.

Cullion
11th April 10, 03:42 PM
My problem is that you're dumb enough to think what happened was okay based on what you read about Vietnam, and didn't stop to see the irony of it.

Wounded Ronin
11th April 10, 03:42 PM
And just in case you didn't get it, the video game reference at the end was a JOKE. I'd have thought that would've been obvious, but I guess I can't assume that with you...

AAAhmed46
11th April 10, 03:43 PM
But people are not as ignorant about war as you think. people do horrible horrible shit.

But does that not mean it HAS to be a part of war? The horrible stuff? The fact is, 'civilized' amies tend to wage war in a far more focussed manner than 'uncivilized' armies.

So it's held to a higher standard.

THe way western soldiers in ww2 raped enemy woman of other western nations is not nearly as common today. You see that shit in africa and other places, but now from british and american soldiers? Not to the same degree.

The fact it can be lower from nation to nation shows that it is RIGHT to critique and call these horrible acts that happen in war as horrible. If they can be prevented, then really, they are not a part of war...they CAN be if we let it.

And lets say it IS a part of war and is inevitable...then the video footage shown here in the thread only reinforces that there is no moral highground between foreign and domestic soldiers, and does not change the fact that perhaps the invasion WAS(things are a bit different now right?) caused more of an insurgency then remedied it.

Cullion
11th April 10, 03:47 PM
And just in case you didn't get it, the video game reference at the end was a JOKE. I'd have thought that would've been obvious, but I guess I can't assume that with you...

Yes, I get your joke, I just didn't think it was funny or relevant to the rest of the keyboard-spooge in your post.

Wounded Ronin
11th April 10, 03:49 PM
My problem is that you're dumb enough to think what happened was okay based on what you read about Vietnam, and didn't stop to see the irony of it.

In the first place, that's not what you had originally posted.

Secondly, most people seem to turn their brains off when the subject of the Vietnam war comes up. It's now a political cultural construct where you say "Vietnam" and it's like a trump card that automatically wins and ends whatever argument you're on. You can say "Vietnam" and have that mean, "The US should never get involved in foreign wars, maaan!," or else you can have that mean, "The US totally would have killed all the NVA and VC if only it weren't for those damn liberal traitor commie pinko hippie bastards, but instead we abandoned all our friends and let them be tortured for decades following the US departure."

Most people don't actually try and study the Vietnam war and attempt to simply understand whatever they can piece together from historical records and memoirs.

So in my opinion, citing Vietnam as some kind of negative example that relates to a US war today is intellectual lazyness in the same vein as Godwinning yourself. It's reducing Vietnam to a cliche, a foregone conclusion, to in turn support a pre-concieved idea of what is going on in the middle east today.

Wounded Ronin
11th April 10, 03:53 PM
But people are not as ignorant about war as you think. people do horrible horrible shit.

But does that not mean it HAS to be a part of war? The horrible stuff? The fact is, 'civilized' amies tend to wage war in a far more focussed manner than 'uncivilized' armies.

So it's held to a higher standard.

THe way western soldiers in ww2 raped enemy woman of other western nations is not nearly as common today. You see that shit in africa and other places, but now from british and american soldiers? Not to the same degree.

The fact it can be lower from nation to nation shows that it is RIGHT to critique and call these horrible acts that happen in war as horrible. If they can be prevented, then really, they are not a part of war...they CAN be if we let it.

And lets say it IS a part of war and is inevitable...then the video footage shown here in the thread only reinforces that there is no moral highground between foreign and domestic soldiers, and does not change the fact that perhaps the invasion WAS(things are a bit different now right?) caused more of an insurgency then remedied it.


I can respect your logic. Rape, for example, would never be justifiable. There's an excellent Vietnam War memoir called "Platoon Leader" written by someone who was a lieutentant in the Vietnam War and he explains the supreme importance of ensuring that your men behave ethically and respect the locals as much as possible.

In this specific case, though, I just don't think it was as clear cut. The helicopter crew spotted a group of people whom appeared to have weapons. They opened fire and wasted them all. A few minutes later an unmarked van shows up and starts pulling the victims inside. Retrieving the bodies and leaving no trace of damage done to the enemy is a historically established psychological warfare tactic, so I don't feel it can be fairly said that opening fire on the van was completely unethical or unjustifiable. If we assume for the sake of argument that the helicopter crew also believed the van occupants were retrieving weapons, then the helicopter crew would have even more justification for opening fire.

Cullion
11th April 10, 03:54 PM
You're trying to argue for a context of which no evidence exists, in a country where US troops never had to be, as an excuse for straight forward video evidence of the killing of unarmed civilians. It's utterly absurd.

Wounded Ronin
11th April 10, 04:05 PM
You're trying to argue for a context of which no evidence exists, in a country where US troops never had to be, as an excuse for straight forward video evidence of the killing of unarmed civilians. It's utterly absurd.

Okay, I suppose that if you could hypothetically demonstrate that insurgents in the middle east do not spirit away their dead and wounded in the manner of the NVA or VC in the Vietnam War, that you could then make more of an argument against opening fire on an unmarked van picking up the wounded. You could say that since the enemy has never done that in the past, it would be less reasonable to conclude that the van operators were insurgents engaged in combat operations against your friends and allies.

But still, if the helicopter crew believed that the van occupants were retrieving weapons as well as moving the wounded, how can you fault them for opening fire on what strongly appears to be the enemy's support structure?

A lot of this moral outrage crap is monday morning quarterbacking with the assumption that it's somehow totally obvious that the people who were killed were not enemy fighters. But how can people be so sure? What's the difference between a random bystander and an insurgent? If there's no uniforms how can you tell besides for the presence of firearms, and the appearance of setting up a RPG? So how can people possibly go and say that the victims were obviously not enemies? Would they have preferred that the helicopter crew let a few US soldiers die from RPG fire before opening fire? That's utter monday morning quarterback bullshit from a safe armchair where nobody's life is in immediate danger.

Cullion
11th April 10, 04:15 PM
Okay, I suppose that if you could hypothetically demonstrate that insurgents in the middle east do not spirit away their dead and wounded in the manner of the NVA or VC in the Vietnam War, that you could then make more of an argument against opening fire on an unmarked van picking up the wounded.

Don't be ridiculous. Everybody tries to assist the wounded. It doesn't make it ok to shoot at them.



But still, if the helicopter crew believed that the van occupants were retrieving weapons as well as moving the wounded, how can you fault them for opening fire on what strongly appears to be the enemy's support structure?

Because fucking babyfood plants are 'support infrastructure' if viewed through the weird sunglasses of that quasi-militaristic nomenclature you gullible boob. We're talking about an unarmed man crawling across the floor with unarmed people trying to help him.

Why would the helicopter crew believe that anybody was recovering weapons? You've seen the footage yourself. Can you circle a still of that actually happening at any point ?



A lot of this moral outrage crap is monday morning quarterbacking with the assumption that it's somehow totally obvious that the people who were killed were not enemy fighters. But how can people be so sure? What's the difference between a random bystander and an insurgent? If there's no uniforms how can you tell besides for the presence of firearms, and the appearance of setting up a RPG? So how can people possibly go and say that the victims were obviously not enemies? Would they have preferred that the helicopter crew let a few US soldiers die from RPG fire before opening fire? That's utter monday morning quarterback bullshit from a safe armchair where nobody's life is in immediate danger.

It doesn't matter if people have 'enemy thoughts' if they aren't discharging a weapon or are even armed. If you need a complex rationale before you understand that it's not okay to shoot unarmed people trying to get an uninjured man into a civilian vehicle then you're basically beyond help.

kanegs
11th April 10, 04:43 PM
People keep saying they can see weapons in the video when the van turns up. I couldn't see them, that's why I want them picking out in a still.
Cryptome has the military report of the incident available for download here: http://cryptome.org/reuters-kill.zip

The exhibits include stills with weapons marked.

Cullion
11th April 10, 05:41 PM
The slide of the van has no weapons marked at all, it just points out that three of the men are 'military aged'.

Wounded Ronin
11th April 10, 09:30 PM
Don't be ridiculous. Everybody tries to assist the wounded. It doesn't make it ok to shoot at them.


Is it morally wrong to finish off a wounded enemy? And if so, how wrong is it?

I don't know the answer to that. Thankfully it's not something I had to grapple with in any realistic capacity.




Because fucking babyfood plants are 'support infrastructure' if viewed through the weird sunglasses of that quasi-militaristic nomenclature you gullible boob. We're talking about an unarmed man crawling across the floor with unarmed people trying to help him.


See, now you're taking things to ridiculous extremes. Babyfood plants are not the same as making sure the enemy never sees a body while you ambush and harass them constantly.



Why would the helicopter crew believe that anybody was recovering weapons? You've seen the footage yourself. Can you circle a still of that actually happening at any point ?


No, but they were in a combat situation. It's wrong in my opinion to hold people who are in a combat situation to a standard demanding detached contemplation and reflection like we are benefitting from today and in hindsight.

If a civilian kills someone in their home and self defense, he or she may be monday morning quarterbacked all the way to prison. While it's not all bad there are certain laws governing the use of deadly force in civilian life, I think it's fair to say that there lots of people who aren't totally comfortable with the monday morning quarterback aspect of how these laws can sometimes be applied. How much more forgiving we must be of people who maybe killed someone they shouldn't have in a bona fide war zone!

Now, that's not to say that the current situation isn't a media outrage clusterfuck that will greatly undermine and hurt the US efforts in the region and create cultural impacts that will directly threaten military personnel in the region. The action no doubt has harmed the US more than helped. But in terms of principles I'm extremely uncomfortable with an armchair revisionist condemnation of what the helicopter people did in a war situation. It's so easy to look at the footage and come to a detached conclusion, and that's basically how educated comfortable college-educated elites throw servicemen under the bus.




It doesn't matter if people have 'enemy thoughts' if they aren't discharging a weapon or are even armed. If you need a complex rationale before you understand that it's not okay to shoot unarmed people trying to get an uninjured man into a civilian vehicle then you're basically beyond help.

Are you saying it's not okay to shoot a Vietcong dragging away a wounded comrade?


While we're rocking out to the Vietnam war, here's the Jimmy Webb version of "Galveston". Webb insisted that his song was actually about the Spanish American war instead of the Vietnam War, but my personal hunch is that he just said that to avoid controversy. Most people who listen to this and contrast it to the Glen Campbell version associate it with the Vietnam War, which was going on when this song came out.

dfYJKpLX1xw

And then just for kicks here's the Glen Campbell version:

oIUPCfIihQ4

Ajamil
11th April 10, 09:51 PM
But the report states clearly that these were two reporters that weren't wearing anything that identified them as reporters surrounded by combatants. That's insane, but no reason to shoot them. The soldiers saw weapons, they thought they saw an RPG being aimed, they had been taking small arms and RPG fire all day. The ground soldiers retrieved weapons along with the children and the cameras.

You can't say the soldiers didn't think they were insurgents. I think the question here is whether the soldiers should have let wounded combatants leave the field. Cullion seems to think so, most others do not.

Cullion
12th April 10, 05:38 AM
Is it morally wrong to finish off a wounded enemy? And if so, how wrong is it?

It's both wrong, illegal, and irrelevant to this case, because you're talking about an unarmed journalist.



No, but they were in a combat situation. It's wrong in my opinion to hold people who are in a combat situation to a standard demanding detached contemplation and reflection like we are benefitting from today and in hindsight.

Are you retarded, or just too lazy to read posts before responding to them ?

Madgrenade
12th April 10, 11:07 AM
Wounded Ronin- If I'm right, your arguments run along the lines that:

N.V.A in north Vietnam carried their wounded off the field and the Americans didn't see them do it and cried.

Therefore,

It's O.K to shoot ambulances in a war zone.

Let me be clear. Many Nations signed a document commonly known as the GENEVA CONVENTION. You may have heard this mentioned. In the GENEVA CONVENTION there is laid out a set of RULES which lay out the means of acceptable conduct during WAR. The U.S.A has SIGNED the GENEVA CONVENTION. They are what is known as a SIGNITORY NATION. This means they, their soldiers and their officers (including pilots of gunships) are obliged to conduct WAR in acordance with the rules laid out in the GENEVA CONVENTION. Ergo the shooting of unarmed men clearly taking injured men off the battlefield, be they combatants or no, is ILLEGAL. I hope this is clear enough.

Additional: Please stop comparing groups of men creeping through the densest jungle, unable to get a very clear indication of the disposition of the enemy, to a modern gunship with a clear arial view under no direct threat viewing a few blokes through a highly powerful zoom lens over a mile away.

It's retarded.

HappyOldGuy
12th April 10, 11:34 AM
And like everyone else in this thread, you refuse to identify exactly how these soldiers contravened the geneva conventions.

Ajamil
12th April 10, 12:30 PM
I would think if the Geneva Convention was violated, the investigator would've mentioned it. Section 8.d and 9 of his conclusion seems to indicate he isn't finding fault, although his recommendations were redacted.

Are you thinking they should be accused in a civil court? The military seems to be writing it off as tragic accident.

Cullion
12th April 10, 02:07 PM
Article 3 of the fourth Geneva convention is the relevant one, you can read it yourself online and make up your own mind if the investigator interprets it correctly:-


Article 3 states that even where there is not a conflict of international character the parties must as a minimum adhere to minimal protections described as: noncombatants, members of armed forces who have laid down their arms, and combatants who are hors de combat (out of the fight) due to wounds, detention, or any other cause shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, with the following prohibitions:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) taking of hostages;
(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

Nobody emerging from the vehicle was armed, nor did the US investigator claim that to be so. I think there's a very good case for violation of this convention in the video we've all watched here.

Although to be honest I'm kind of shocked that anybody would need a regulation citing to them before they recognised that what they saw happen in the video was wrong.

Iraq is bound by the convention, so it's nationals are also extended a range of other protections. Transportation to Guantanamo would also seem to contravene article 49 for example.

Here's a former 22 SAS trooper, Ben Griffin giving his thoughts on the use of 'rendition' shortly after resigning from the regiment after refusing to return to serve in Iraq (he himself was astonished that his CO didn't court martial him):-

cb50-ouA-IA

I think Geneva Convention violation is actually kind of passe in Iraq these days.

HappyOldGuy
12th April 10, 02:36 PM
So your argument is that the people in the unmarked van were incapacitated from their wounds before the helicopter opened fire? Cause otherwise it's a total non sequitor.


Of course given that you seem to want to talk about rendition now, I'm thinking it wasn't an accidental one.

Cullion
12th April 10, 02:59 PM
No HOG, the argument is that they were unarmed civilians trying to help a crawling, injured man get into a civilian vehicle, hence not combatants.

I'm pretty sure you grasp this point.

Rendition's just another example of Geneva convention violation by our side in this.

HappyOldGuy
12th April 10, 03:11 PM
No HOG, the argument is that they were unarmed civilians trying to help a crawling, injured man get into a civilian vehicle, hence not combatants.

I'm pretty sure you grasp this point.



Shooting civilians is not a warcrime. Knowingly shooting them under specific conditions is. Noone has even tried to make that case. You are all pointing to something that we all say is horrible and screaming "bad thing happened, someones gotta pay!!!!!"

Cullion
12th April 10, 03:29 PM
Shooting civilians is not a warcrime. Knowingly shooting them under specific conditions is.

I just posted the conditions for you. 'Being in a badass helicopter high on adrenalin' is not one of the conditions where you are allowed to shoot them.

I'd be very interested to hear why you don't think the convention I gave was violated.

HappyOldGuy
12th April 10, 03:31 PM
I just posted the conditions for you. 'Being in a badass helicopter high on adrenalin' is not one of the conditions where you are allowed to shoot them.

I'd be very interested to hear why you don't think the convention I gave was violated.
Look two posts up. The section you quoted dealt with already wounded soldiers who had given up fighting. Noone in the van was wounded when the chopper started shooting.

The fact that after the fact it turned out that the van was not full of combatants is not relevant to whether it's okay to shoot at a random unmarked van that drives into a firefight.

Cullion
12th April 10, 03:38 PM
Look two posts up. The section you quoted dealt with already wounded soldiers who had given up fighting. Noone in the van was wounded when the chopper started shooting.

You're being silly now dude. It mentions several classes of people, including civilians.
I can post it with larger text if you'd like, gramps. These men were unarmed civilians.



The fact that after the fact it turned out that the van was not full of combatants is not relevant to whether it's okay to shoot at a random unmarked van that drives into a firefight.

All civilian vehicles are 'random and unmarked'.

It did not drive into a 'firefight', it arrived at the scene of the shooting of an unarmed man, in a populated urban area, that was being observed at some distance by a helicopter, after the helicopter had stopped shooting. No weapons, or even weapon like objects were displayed from the vehicle, or by the dismounting occupants of the vehicle. At no point had the helicopter been fired at by anybody in the scene, and it took some moments for the men to even realise the helicopter was there.

This is simply the slaying of some unarmed civilians. I'd say it is in clear contravention of the Geneva Convention cited. You're going to have to make a much more convincing counter-argument.

HappyOldGuy
12th April 10, 03:54 PM
You didn't even quote the conventions. You quoted a discussion about them. And one that was not relevant to this discussion. What specific chapter and line of the set of Geneva accords which the is is a signer of do you think the helicopter pilot violated?

We're not talking any more about this till you answer that question.

Bad and illegal are not synonyms. Nor are tragedy and atrocity.

Cullion
12th April 10, 04:01 PM
Yes, actually I quoted directly from the text of the 3rd convention. Article 3, section 1(a), rather than a discussion about them. You're clutching at straws with this line, I really don't think you're paying very close attention, try something else.

For your benefit, here it is again :-


Art 3. In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following
provisions:
(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

My source is the international red cross site:-

http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/7c4d08d9b287a42141256739003e63bb/6fef854a3517b75ac125641e004a9e68

The unarmed people picking up the unarmed guy the helicopter just shot? Taking no part in hostilities. Vehicle's an ordinary civilian vehicle in a civilian area. No weapons or armour. They're just trying to help another unarmed guy who's been shot up by a helicopter they don't even initially see.

America is a signatory to, and has ratified all of the Geneva Conventions with the exceptions of two protocols created in 1979. The above quote is from 1949.

bob
12th April 10, 04:20 PM
I don't see this as occurring in the territory of one of the "High Contracting Parties."




In the case of occupied territory, the application of the present Convention shall cease one year after the general close of military operations; however, the Occupying Power shall be bound, for the duration of the occupation, to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory, by the provisions of the following Articles
of the present Convention: 1 to 12

Cullion
12th April 10, 05:02 PM
NOB, your troll is too obvious. P.S. George Bush is a war criminal. So's Rumsfeld.

Cullion
12th April 10, 05:15 PM
Let's try this with something simpler, for the idiots in the audience.

zQQcGc5c1Tk

See those little mushroom people? Not armed.

What Godzilla is doing is clearly excessive, m'kay? The only reason he hasn't breached the Geneva convention, is because he hasn't signed it. America and Britain, however, have, therefore it's kind of breaking a real promise if we do what Godzilla does.

Wounded Ronin
12th April 10, 06:14 PM
I just posted the conditions for you. 'Being in a badass helicopter high on adrenalin' is not one of the conditions where you are allowed to shoot them.

I'd be very interested to hear why you don't think the convention I gave was violated.

So, in World War II, basically every nation engaged in "terror bombing", i.e. phosphorous bombing civilian areas and populations.

Is that a war crime? If so, it means that every nation involved in World War II pretty much engaged in war crimes with complete impunity and open-ness.

Cullion
12th April 10, 06:18 PM
So, in World War II, basically every nation engaged in "terror bombing", i.e. phosphorous bombing civilian areas and populations.

Is that a war crime? If so, it means that every nation involved in World War II pretty much engaged in war crimes with complete impunity and open-ness.

Yes, that's right. That's why they got together afterwards and decided to try and agree not to do it again because it's wrong and horrific (the convention I cited is from 1949). That's why people look at American and British politicians who still claim that things like this had to be done because Hussein's Iraq was a danger to us, like they're insane.

Wounded Ronin
12th April 10, 06:19 PM
Wounded Ronin- If I'm right, your arguments run along the lines that:

N.V.A in north Vietnam carried their wounded off the field and the Americans didn't see them do it and cried.

Therefore,

It's O.K to shoot ambulances in a war zone.

Let me be clear. Many Nations signed a document commonly known as the GENEVA CONVENTION. You may have heard this mentioned. In the GENEVA CONVENTION there is laid out a set of RULES which lay out the means of acceptable conduct during WAR. The U.S.A has SIGNED the GENEVA CONVENTION. They are what is known as a SIGNITORY NATION. This means they, their soldiers and their officers (including pilots of gunships) are obliged to conduct WAR in acordance with the rules laid out in the GENEVA CONVENTION. Ergo the shooting of unarmed men clearly taking injured men off the battlefield, be they combatants or no, is ILLEGAL. I hope this is clear enough.

Additional: Please stop comparing groups of men creeping through the densest jungle, unable to get a very clear indication of the disposition of the enemy, to a modern gunship with a clear arial view under no direct threat viewing a few blokes through a highly powerful zoom lens over a mile away.

It's retarded.

It's more, "in general, carrying off your wounded and never letting the enemy see any evidence that they've succeeded in killing any of you is psychological warfare."

Also, please look at my last post about terror bombings. Did all the nations involved in World War II who engaged in terror bombings violate the geneva convention?

Because I just want to make sure that we aren't assuming that lighting up the van is a GC violation when in reality maybe it technically isn't. People assume a lot of shit about the GC and I just want to make sure we're actually talking about it before we get too caught up in a tangential argument.

HappyOldGuy
12th April 10, 06:22 PM
Yes, actually I quoted directly from the text of the 3rd convention. Article 3, section 1(a), rather than a discussion about them. You're clutching at straws with this line, I really don't think you're paying very close attention, try something else.

For your benefit, here it is again :-



My source is the international red cross site:-

http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/7c4d08d9b287a42141256739003e63bb/6fef854a3517b75ac125641e004a9e68

The unarmed people picking up the unarmed guy the helicopter just shot? Taking no part in hostilities. Vehicle's an ordinary civilian vehicle in a civilian area. No weapons or armour. They're just trying to help another unarmed guy who's been shot up by a helicopter they don't even initially see.

America is a signatory to, and has ratified all of the Geneva Conventions with the exceptions of two protocols created in 1979. The above quote is from 1949.

They also weren't prisoners of war. You aren't even looking at the right treaty. You want the fourth convention, not the third.

Cullion
12th April 10, 06:27 PM
They're non-combatants. It's there plain as day HOG.

HappyOldGuy
12th April 10, 06:28 PM
They're non-combatants. It's there plain as day HOG.

They aren't prisoners. They aren't in any sort of custody.

Did you miss the title?

Cullion
12th April 10, 06:28 PM
It's more, "in general, carrying off your wounded and never letting the enemy see any evidence that they've succeeded in killing any of you is psychological warfare."

Also, please look at my last post about terror bombings. Did all the nations involved in World War II who engaged in terror bombings violate the geneva convention?

Because I just want to make sure that we aren't assuming that lighting up the van is a GC violation when in reality maybe it technically isn't. People assume a lot of shit about the GC and I just want to make sure we're actually talking about it before we get too caught up in a tangential argument.

I'm not sure where you get this idea that the people in the video were engaged in any kind of military offensive against US troops, but it's batshit insane basically.

Cullion
12th April 10, 06:33 PM
They aren't prisoners. They aren't in any sort of custody.

Did you miss the title?

No, I didn't miss the title. They don't have to be in any sort of custody for the following to apply :-


(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

These people are taking no active part in any hostilities. When it says 'non-combatants, including members of armed forces', the passage is clearly not intended to mean 'But if they've never been combatants, you can do what the fuck you want'.

I think the following is clearly implicit: 'by the way, if you kill some unarmed journalists in a residential area of a country you occupy, it's not okay to shoot up a civilian vehicle with some unarmed adults and children in it that try to take the journalist to hospital when he's crawling across the ground injured'.

I have no idea why you think it wouldn't be. If the Pentagon just told your troops not to shoot at unarmed people, or even people who they've already shot and whom are no longer armed, or at least punished them and didn't try to keep it secret when it happens, then we wouldn't have to have this awkward conversation.

This is a pretty strange line of argument from a liberal, HOG. It's practically Clintonesque, I suppose.

I'm waiting for somebody to explain how they got confused and thought they had some combatants in their sights.

HappyOldGuy
12th April 10, 06:36 PM
No, I didn't miss the title. They don't have to be in any sort of custody for the following to apply :-
By your definition, every civilian killed, whether by accident or on purpose is a war crime.

That's why noone who isn't you accepts your definition.

Read the fourth convention. That's the one that actually addresses the relevant questions.

Cullion
12th April 10, 06:46 PM
By your definition, every civilian killed, whether by accident or on purpose is a war crime.

Every unarmed civilian killed on purpose is a war crime, yes. I'm not sure why you find that so hard to process. It's quite true. Everybody in the van and the man on the ground are clearly non-combatants, and everybody is unarmed. Yes, it's a war crime. That's why the Pentagon tried to hide it from you.



That's why noone who isn't you accepts your definition.

WR and you don't agree. Don't kid yourself that your reactions to this are seen as sane and normal in most of the civilised world.



Read the fourth convention. That's the one that actually addresses the relevant questions.

I'm quite sure the one I've already posted addresses this quite clearly. You aren't allowed to kill non-combatants even if they've recently been firing weapons at you once you drop them and they no longer present a threat. The people in this case never presented a threat and your initial argument about the vehicle not being marked as an ambulance is spurious and plain wrong, because the people inside it at no point produced weapons or presented any kind of threat.

Trying to argue that the section regarding non-combatants including people who've recently been firing at you somehow doesn't protect people who were never armed or firing at you is simply rhetorical insanity, and deep down you know this.

HappyOldGuy
12th April 10, 06:48 PM
Every unarmed civilian killed on purpose is a war crime, yes. I'm not sure why you find that so hard to process. It's quite true. Everybody in the van and the man on the ground are clearly non-combatants, and everybody is unarmed. Yes, it's a war crime. That's why the Pentagon tried to hide it from you.
Nothing in your out of context quote says anything about on purpose.

Nor is there the slightest bit of evidence that they shot at civilians intentionally, and there is quite a bit of evidence to the contrary.

The third protocol and even most of the fourth deal with the behavior of people who have surrendered to you. They have nothing to do with people who get in the crossfire during a firefight.

Cullion
12th April 10, 06:50 PM
HOG, put the crack pipe down. My quote is not 'out of context'.

The people they're firing at getting out of the vehicle are unarmed. The US military investigator couldn't find any evidence of weapons. They do not hold anything that looks like a weapon. There are children in the vehicle. It's an unarmoured civilian vehicle. The US personnel on the tape quite deliberately fired on them, it's not a weapons malfunction.

Convincing yourself that people in civilian clothing with nothing in their hands trying to pull an injured man into their car are armed enemy troops engaging in offensive action is not a defense against a war crime, it's evidence of insanity contributing to the war crime. There is no evidence at all that the helicopter's weaponry fired by accident, or that there was any reason to believe the people fired at were engaged in offensive operations. None.

This is madness. Step back and read what you're typing.

HappyOldGuy
12th April 10, 06:59 PM
Immoral != illegal != tragedy != atrocity.

I know quite well what I'm saying. So do you. And you know I'm right. But you can't accept it because it means that those bad men who you want to see suffer won't.

Cullion
12th April 10, 07:02 PM
You're trolling me, and I won't have it.

Wounded Ronin
12th April 10, 07:10 PM
Okiedokie, let's see, y'all have piqued my curiosity about the GCs and what they say. I thought it mostly said that you can't technically set people on fire (although shake-n-bake is okay), you can't shoot people with JHPs during a war (but it's okay for the police to do that at home, or for you to do that in your own home if someone does a home invasion), you can't run people over with tanks, and you can't use tear gas (but it's okay to use it on your own guys during training).

So, let's open up Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_convention

Reading through that, there isn't enough detail to answer the question about whether or not it's okay to light up the unmarked van.

So, I went here: http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/genevaconventions

There's more detail, but still nothing so specific as to answer the question.

Third time's the charm....http://www.spj.org/gc-index.asp?#w

I looked up the thingie in "war crimes".

It says,



War crimes are againt the customary laws of war which are applicable in any conflict, regardless of whether the country in question is a signatory to the Geneva Convention. They include the rights listed in the common article 3 of the Geneva Conventions (Convention I, Article 3) and the basics of human rights law – freedom from torture, mutilation and rape, slavery, and willful killing. Customary law also forbids genocide, crimes against humanity, as well as war crimes.


Again, I'm not finding anything specific saying you can't open fire in the situation you're talking about.


I'm getting the impression that the GC is a general document that doesn't have specific provisions dealing with the van in question.


EDIT: In fact, according to that same website, someone is only "hors de combat" if they don't try to escape:



Persons are hors de combat if they have been captured, if they have surrendered, or if they are unconscious or otherwise incapacitated provided that they do not attempt to fight or escape. (Protocol I, Art. 41, Sec. 2)


So if someone is trying to crawl away you can still light him up and he's not considered hors de combat.



Aha, and check out this section on medical aircraft:



Medical aircraft must be clearly marked and fly only at heights, times and on routes specifically agreed on by the belligerents. Unless agreed otherwise, flights over enemy-controlled territory are forbidden. They must obey every summons to land and may be used only for the evacuation of the sick and wounded and for the transport of medical equipment and personnel. Aircraft that fulfill these requirements may not be attacked.



So even if something is medical, it must be clearly marked and adhere to specific routes. A shady white van doing a run to pick up some combatants and weapons isn't meeting criteria like those described above.


I dunno, the more I read, the more "that violates the geneva conventions, nyaaah" seems not really to apply in this situation.

Cullion
12th April 10, 07:16 PM
I've already posted the relevant section.

You're not allowed to kill non-combatants period. The people killed in the video are not military personnel or combatants who've become 'hors de combat', they are simply non-combatants. Unarmed civilians. Absolutely not valid targets. You've simply failed to read the passage properly and concluded that it only applies to combatants who have become hors de combat, when it doesn't.

I don't know why you're looking for a reason why it might be okay to kill these people. It's obviously not to anybody with a functioning conscience and their status in the Geneva convention I posted is quite clear.

'Yeah but you can never be sure with these arabs' is not a reasonable defence here. Nor is 'but if he had been a combatant then surely he might come back and fight if he gets medical treatment'. That's why you aren't even allowed to blow up military hospitals.

EvilSteve
12th April 10, 08:52 PM
That's why you aren't even allowed to blow up military hospitals.

No wonder I got such a low score in Blue Max....

Srsly tho- Cullion's right on this one. And I'd cite this as a really good reason to not embark on prolonged occupations and ill-defined wars for empire.
:worship1:
^
|__ 'cuz all those gray guys are eventually gonna get up and beat that red dude's ass.

HappyOldGuy
12th April 10, 11:07 PM
I've already posted the relevant section.

Relevant because this is a "case of armed conflict not of an international character?"

Cullion
13th April 10, 02:46 AM
Relevant because the section clearly says 'you aren't allowed to kill, or do a bunch of other stuff, to non-combatants'. It would take a very strange person to think that a controversial legal principle.

Madgrenade
13th April 10, 05:10 AM
Cullion has posted this already, but as I have been challenged to do so I will post it also, with different emphasis. Note that a further reading of -Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949- will present no clarification on this matter, probably because this article is clear enough.

Article three of Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.

"Art. 3. In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following
provisions:

(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) taking of hostages;
(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

(2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.

The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.

The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict."

Iraq has signed the convention BTW, which I believe makes them a High Contracting Party. And just 'cos Saddam violated it doesn't make it O.K for us to do the same. Also at no time have a advocated that "someone must pay! Rararararar!" Just pointing out the (obvious) facts.

@ Cullion, I don't need a legal framework to argue that what I saw on that video was wrong. It's just that (some) Americans seem to think that the normal rules of right and wrong that most of us normal humans seem burdened with don't apply to their Armed Forces. I just used the convention to demonstrate that yes, in fact, they do.

bob
13th April 10, 05:15 AM
Here are the actual rules the US Military appear to be operating under:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2010/04/the-wikileaks-video-and-the-rules-of-engagement.html

Cullion
13th April 10, 05:34 AM
Thank you BS, that's interesting. Doesn't look like they were obeying the US military's own rules either.

Madgrenade
13th April 10, 06:08 AM
I don't think rules for war apply here. The chumps on the other side won't even wear uniforms. Fuck them. They are too weak sauce to even own up visually as to which side they are on.

Until they act like a proper army, I will have no sympathy when they are picked off from a mile away like farmers shooting vermin.

Fuck them for bringing children along as well.

Go USA.

I'm sure the Redcoats felt much the same way when American partisans inexplicably refused to line up in front of them and exchange fire in the usual way. Cowards.

Cullion
13th April 10, 07:40 AM
I heard the Americans were using 'human shields' in the World Trade Centre. Cowards.

Honestly WR, that's the debauchedly stupid level of propaganda you're sucking down here.

HappyOldGuy
13th April 10, 10:27 AM
"Art. 3. In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following
provisions:

I despair for our schools. I really do

HappyOldGuy
13th April 10, 10:37 AM
Thank you BS, that's interesting. Doesn't look like they were obeying the US military's own rules either.

Proportionality in hague is something that is the responsiblity of the commander setting the rules rather than the people following them, but the US may employ stricter restrictions.

That source completely shits on your van argument.


The understanding here is that such people are clearly designated as noncombatants—by wearing a prominently displayed red cross, or red crescent, on their persons, for instance—or who are obviously civilians. A “positively identified” combatant who provides medical aid to someone amid fighting does not automatically lose his status as a combatant, and may still be legally killed.

Cullion
13th April 10, 10:42 AM
When you say 'that source shits on my argument', you mean 'actually it doesn't at all'. "or who are obviously civilians" being the obvious and relevant part.

There was absolutely no combat of any form occuring other than that initiated by the helicopter. Nobody on the ground fired back. The people killed were unarmed civilians. The people in the van were unarmed civilians including some children. They were simply trying to take an injured man to hospital.

It was the simple gunning down of unarmed civilians. You know this. We all know this. No more trolling please.

HappyOldGuy
13th April 10, 10:48 AM
It was the simple gunning down of unarmed civilians. You know this. We all know this. No more trolling please.

Under the worst possible interpretation of the facts it was the gunning down of an excessive number of civilians to get at a few armed people. Which is not a war crime (on the soldiers part) under international law.

Tragic and disgusting, yes.

Cullion
13th April 10, 10:53 AM
Under the worst possible interpretation of the facts it was the gunning down of an excessive number of civilians to get at a few armed people.

Nonsense. They killed an entirely seperate and unarmed group of civilians who were clearly offering assistance to an unarmed wounded man. There were no armed people in the gun's sights when they opened fire on the van. Period.

The fact they opened fire on other people earlier on the same street, in the mistaken but understandable suspicion that they were armed and hostile is not a defence in any form. There are simply no combatants here. None.



Which is not a war crime (on the soldiers part) under international law.


Yes it is. You don't get to shoot unarmed civilians just because the guys you killed a few minutes earlier in the same street may have been armed. You don't even get to finish off the guy who you previously suspected of being armed when he's crawling away.

What happens in the video when the van arrives is clearly a war crime because there are no combatants of any sort. But we think there were some a while ago and it's a shame it turns out that they're not isn't a sane defence, and I think you know this.

You're just going to have to accept that.

Madgrenade
13th April 10, 11:14 AM
I despair for our schools. I really do

Why? Cryptic comments a cohesive argument do not make.

Cullion
13th April 10, 11:16 AM
I think HOG was trying to go leftfield and argue that the Geneva conventions don't apply to US forces in Iraq. I don't think he's going to get very far with that.

HappyOldGuy
13th April 10, 11:19 AM
Why? Cryptic comments a cohesive argument do not make.

The bolded bit is unclear to you somehow? The section you and cullion are obsessing over only applies to civil wars and the like. It's also about the treatment of people in your power, not about rules of engagement in a firefight.

Madgrenade
13th April 10, 11:37 AM
The bolded bit is unclear to you somehow? The section you and cullion are obsessing over only applies to civil wars and the like. It's also about the treatment of people in your power, not about rules of engagement in a firefight.

You really are a ripe fruit aren't you?

Lets go over again, so that you can understand.

"Art. 3. In the case of armed conflict not of an international character ( Meaning that the conflict is not between two countries, i.e U.S.A vs Iraq, but is a conflict where the host nation has already capitulated , as is the case here. You are essentially arguing that an occupying power can do whatever the fuck it likes to anyone in the occupied territory. This is of course what the U.S gov would love you to believe.) occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following
provisions:

HappyOldGuy
13th April 10, 11:43 AM
You really are a ripe fruit aren't you?

Lets go over again, so that you can understand.

"Art. 3. In the case of armed conflict not of an international character ( Meaning that the conflict is not between two countries, i.e U.S.A vs Iraq, but is a conflict where the host nation has already capitulated , as is the case here. You are essentially arguing that an occupying power can do whatever the fuck it likes to anyone in the occupied territory. This is of course what the U.S gov would love you to believe.) occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following
provisions:
No actually, the rules for occupying powers are spelled out in quite a bit of detail in the third and especially fourth conventions. As are the definitions of the different types of conflicts, what applies, and when.

The entire conventions apply fully in the case of wars between signatories, and various other permutations. The part that you guys keep misciting is a set of general principles to be applied in cases where the full conventions would otherwise not be in effect.

Learn to read.

Madgrenade
13th April 10, 11:46 AM
No actually, the rules for occupying powers are spelled out in quite a bit of detail in the third and especially fourth conventions. As are the definitions of the different types of conflicts, what applies, and when.

Learn to read.

That section is from the fourth convention you spasmoid, as I clearly stated.

Therefore, sir, it is not my reading comprehension that is lacking, but yours.

HappyOldGuy
13th April 10, 11:53 AM
my reading comprehension ... is lacking


^^^This is what you are doing with your quote. It has a very specific meaning and purpose within the context of the convention. By removing it from the surrounding text, you are changing the meaning.

Cullion
13th April 10, 12:03 PM
The section you and cullion are obsessing over only applies to civil wars and the like.

That's pure fiction.

Madgrenade
13th April 10, 12:05 PM
Fine, here is all the text of the fourth convention before the section I quote. Actually makes it pretty clear about what this applies to.


"The undersigned Plenipotentiaries of the Governments represented at the Diplomatic Conference held at Geneva from April 21 to August 12, 1949, for the purpose of establishing a Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, have agreed as follows:

Part I. General Provisions

Article 1. The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.

Art. 2. In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace-time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.

Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof."

And here's the link- http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/7c4d08d9b287a42141256739003e636b/6756482d86146898c125641e004aa3c5
To the fourth convention.

Because you obviously haven't taken the time to read it yourself. Otherwise you might be speaking from a position of information (perish the thought). Please feel free to quote any examples where the text states that the people in the van are not protected.

HappyOldGuy
13th April 10, 12:10 PM
That's pure fiction.


Article 1. The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.

Art. 2. In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace-time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.

Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.

Art. 3. In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following
provisions:

You've been lead to water several times, but I can't make you drink.

Cullion
13th April 10, 12:10 PM
Here's the earlier section of third convention I cited.


Art 1. The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.

Art 2. In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.


The contracting parties here are the United States, and Iraq. This occurred in the occupied territory of Iraq. It's pretty clear HOG.

Madgrenade
13th April 10, 12:13 PM
You've been lead to water several times, but I can't make you drink.

More cryptic clues, because a coherent arguement you do not have.

HappyOldGuy
13th April 10, 12:13 PM
Here's the earlier section of third convention I cited.



The contracting parties here are the United States, and Iraq. This occurred in the occupied territory of Iraq. It's pretty clear HOG.

That's correct. Meaning that you need to find a violation in the detailed provisions.
The bit you keep quoting is general principles that apply when the rest of the convention does not. Jesus christ, you are a programmer, how do you not understand an if then else.

Cullion
13th April 10, 12:18 PM
The principle of 'don't shoot at unarmed civilians' applies to all parties at all times. It would behoove you to find a case where what happened to the car was allowed, and you can't, because it's patently obvious that the Geneva conventions absolutely forbid you to fire on unarmed civilians.

There is no more specific provision where what happened was okay.

HappyOldGuy
13th April 10, 12:29 PM
So anything that is not expressly stated to be legal is illegal. That's how you want your laws to be interpreted?

Cullion
13th April 10, 12:35 PM
So anything that is not expressly stated to be legal is illegal. That's how you want your laws to be interpreted?

No, I gave you an example of something that's expressly stated to be illegal and you claimed that there were specific circumstances where it didn't apply. But you haven't produced them.

Madgrenade
13th April 10, 12:41 PM
So anything that is not expressly stated to be legal is illegal. That's how you want your laws to be interpreted?

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/DQ_Minis_x/MountainTroll.jpg

That's quite a leap.

Madgrenade
13th April 10, 12:43 PM
Notice to all foreigners and deluded citizens of the United States.

If you haven't been paying attention, here in the US, we pretty much make our own rules.

We can back someone one decade and attack them the next. We can invade to protect financial interests, we can call black white, white black and smoke cigars while banning cigarettes.

We are the spoiled child of the planet. We get what we want allot of times even if it isn't right or hurts other people.

We use a hugely disproportionate amount of the planet's resources to tickle our fancies.

God I love living here!

Nothing serious will happen to the men who pulled the trigger or those who authorized it. Sorry!

And one more notice to our enemies, you aren't going to get a fair fight, especially if you fight with kids strapped to your backs and then whine about collateral damage.

Allot of Muslims are fucking backward and they need to get with this century or the previous one or they can be trampled to dust by people trying to live sane 21st century lives.

I will happily watch 1000 'innocents' hanging out with terrorists killed if it prevents 1 innocent civillian dying at the hands of these bastards when they target civillians specifically.

I'll take this as a concession of the point, re: Geneva Convention.

Ajamil
13th April 10, 03:53 PM
I don't think rules for war apply here. The chumps on the other side won't even wear uniforms. So you think armies should have unity? Like some sort of union?

Cullion
13th April 10, 03:55 PM
It's a closet gay thing for NOB. He likes watching atheletic young men march in time and do callisthenics, and he likes them to be smartly dressed.

HappyOldGuy
13th April 10, 04:37 PM
No, I gave you an example of something that's expressly stated to be illegal and you claimed that there were specific circumstances where it didn't apply. But you haven't produced them.

I can't force you to read. It states in black and white that the provisions you are quoting only apply to conflicts not of an international character.

Ajamil
13th April 10, 04:40 PM
So what is the definition of conflicts of an international character? One nation occupying and acting as a policing force in another is not an international conflict?

Cullion
13th April 10, 04:41 PM
I can't force you to read. It states in black and white that the provisions you are quoting only apply to conflicts not of an international character.

Which it also expressly states include conflict occurring within an occupied state. That's in black and white too. I'll quote it again:-


The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.

Remember you also claimed that the injuction against killing noncombatants only applied in general, and not where overridden by something more specific?

You haven't found the more specific clause that overrides that injuction. That's because there isn't one.

Only an idiot would think that the Geneva conventions made a specific exception to the rule against shooting unarmed civilians for when you were the occupying power of their home state.

I'm pretty sure that everybody on the thread can see that. Maybe even WR, if he just puts down his Tom Clancy novels long enough.

Now I know you to be a liberal-minded, and reasonably intelligent man, so I think you're probably willing to step away from such a silly position. It's really not worth it just to try and score a point from Cullion. I'm sure you have more fun and winnable games to play.

According to a veteran of the unit concerned, this is the training culture that lead to what we saw:-

http://www.truthout.org/iraq-vets-coverage-atrocities-is-too-little-too-late58527?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+TRUTHOUT+(t+r+u+t+h+o+u+t+|+New s+Politics)

HappyOldGuy
13th April 10, 04:52 PM
So what is the definition of conflicts of an international character? One nation occupying and acting as a policing force in another is not an international conflict?
No it is. It is an occupation. Which is quite clearly epelled out. Basically, it's a fundamental principle of international law that treaties are only binding between the states that sign them and not between them and a third party. So even if you and I promise to duel with one hand tied behind our backs, when can still give Steev the old one two. That's why 95% of the geneva protocols spell out in detail exactly how signers are supposed to behave when they fight eachother. But in a pretty revolutionary move, the geneva protocols also mention that the signers should also follow a very limited abstract set of principles when they are engaged in fights that are not fights between signing parties. Those principles are what Cullion and Mg are quoting, but they don't apply because this is an occupation of one signing party by another. Also, the entirety of Geneva is about treatment of people in custody. Rules about how to actually behave in a war are spelled out in a totally separate set of treaties called the Hague Conventions.

Cullion
13th April 10, 04:54 PM
So what is the definition of conflicts of an international character? One nation occupying and acting as a policing force in another is not an international conflict?

It explicitly includes just such a situation in the convention I cited.

Cullion
13th April 10, 04:58 PM
No it is. It is an occupation. Which is quite clearly epelled out. Basically, it's a fundamental principle of international law that treaties are only binding between the states that sign them and not between them and a third party

The difference between you, and an international lawyer, is that international lawyers actually read the law in question, and think about what the words mean.

Iraq is a signatory of the same Geneva convention, and this happened in Iraq, whilst occupied by the US, another signatory.

The people shot were unarmed Iraqi civilians.

Iraq's ratification of the Geneva conventions did not disappear in a puff of smoke when Saddam Hussein was captured, and the people in question were not acting as military personnel of any other party.

I'm going to repeat myself until you get it:-

Only an idiot would think that the Geneva conventions made a specific exception to the rule against shooting unarmed civilians for when you were the occupying power of their home state.

Perhaps if you won't take it from me, you'll listen to this man:-




There are so many incidents like this that happen in Iraq it's bound that eventually one of them hits the vein of public attention, like this one," Reppenhagen told Truthout of his opinion of the WikiLeaks footage, "Film helps - like this, and Abu Ghraib - the video and film documentation helps spurn public attention. So, it's sad that these instances happen, and they are occurring and it has to do with how we conduct ourselves in this conflict - clearly there are things that need to be done for soldiers to adhere to the Geneva Conventions.

Ajamil
13th April 10, 05:18 PM
Those principles are what Cullion and Mg are quoting, but they don't apply because this is an occupation of one signing party by another.So because both parties are signators of the GC, there are less rules that apply? Or just different ones? What are the rules in this case, then? Can you cite or link the Hague Conventions?

Cullion
13th April 10, 05:23 PM
So because both parties are signators of the GC, there are less rules that apply? Or just different ones?

HOG thinks that the Geneva conventions say you can kill unarmed civilians as long as you're occupying their country. I therefore think the only other reason to ask him about international law would be for a deep belly laugh.

Cullion
13th April 10, 05:47 PM
You're the one who's married to a communist spy.

bob
13th April 10, 08:57 PM
I suspect the Geneva Convention discussion is moot because the US military simply doesn’t view it as a document that guides their actions (ironically NOB’s reasons, not HOG’s). Which is not to say that they are opposed to the principles of it, but that they have their own processes and justifications.
There may or may not be enough wriggle room in their own legal framework to argue justification for the (clearly mistaken) actions. The critical point might well be the definition of whether this was a ‘free fire zone’ or battle or whatever they want to call it. I’m not sure there’s enough context in that video to say that. I got the feeling that the guys making decisions there knew how to follow the processes to the letter but that it got them no closer to making a good decision. Typical bureaucrats.

Ajamil
13th April 10, 09:24 PM
I suspect the Geneva Convention discussion is moot because the US military simply doesn’t view it as a document that guides their actions.They do when those actions are to punish other nations for breaking them.

Seriously though, do you mean this? Didn't we help write them?

BadUglyMagic
14th April 10, 12:52 AM
Had the government of Iraq asked the US forces to leave at the time the unmarked vehicle was shot up?

If they haven't been asked to leave the country, is it still a military occupation or is it a foreign military actively involved in nation building/rebuilding and policing actions?

Would the answer to the above affect any convention interpretations?

Cullion
14th April 10, 03:28 AM
Had the government of Iraq asked the US forces to leave at the time the unmarked vehicle was shot up?

If they haven't been asked to leave the country, is it still a military occupation or is it a foreign military actively involved in nation building/rebuilding and policing actions?

There was still substantial resistance to American presence in Iraq at the time. It's fairly safe to classify the Iraq government of the time as a puppet regime.



Would the answer to the above affect any convention interpretations?

No, you still wouldn't be allowed to shoot unarmed civilians.

Cullion
14th April 10, 03:31 AM
I suspect the Geneva Convention discussion is moot because the US military simply doesn’t view it as a document that guides their actions (ironically NOB’s reasons, not HOG’s).

That would still put the US government in violation of the treaties they signed. In practice that means other countries would no longer be bound to treat their troops in accordance with it.



Which is not to say that they are opposed to the principles of it, but that they have their own processes and justifications.

All the Geneva convention except the 1977 addendum were ratified as US federal law.



The critical point might well be the definition of whether this was a ‘free fire zone’ or battle or whatever they want to call it.

They'd just be making stuff up at that point.

bob
14th April 10, 04:25 AM
I don't disagree. They just seem to have made it abundantly clear that they're not going to be bound by international law when it doesn't suit them.

BadUglyMagic
14th April 10, 08:40 AM
There was still substantial resistance to American presence in Iraq at the time. It's fairly safe to classify the Iraq government of the time as a puppet regime.



No, you still wouldn't be allowed to shoot unarmed civilians.

According to google, the elections were in 2006. If for whatever reason the US armed forces are still in Iraq at the "invitation" of the elected Iraqi government, by definition, they are not military occupiers.

I would not dispute shooting random civilians is inappropriate.

Cullion
14th April 10, 10:16 AM
According to google, the elections were in 2006. If for whatever reason the US armed forces are still in Iraq at the "invitation" of the elected Iraqi government, by definition, they are not military occupiers.

They're not allowed to shoot at unarmed civilians even if no hostilities or state of war exist between the contracting parties. It sounds like a point too obvious to cover in the conventions, but it does actually explicitly make it clear that you can't shoot your friend's civilians either.

This is kind of a retarded point to be arguing over, but it is actually still a violation of the conventions the US has signed.

BadUglyMagic
14th April 10, 11:45 AM
This is kind of a retarded point to be arguing over, but it is actually still a violation of the conventions the US has signed.


Can you prove the van only contained noncombatant's? So unarmed resupply or field support vehicles are not to be shot at or attacked?


I haven't been called retarded since junior high. The correct term is conceptually challenged.

Cullion
14th April 10, 12:25 PM
Can you prove the van only contained noncombatant's?

Yes, and that's what the US military investigator concluded too. It was a car with unarmed people in civilian clothes and a couple of kids. Nobody in the car was armed, nor was their any sign of them being so in the camera footage. I'm not sure why this is hard to understand.



So unarmed resupply or field support vehicles are not to be shot at or attacked?

You mean like a civilian truck full of food or bandages? No, you can't blow those up either. I hope that doesn't come as a surprise to you.

Ajamil
14th April 10, 12:35 PM
Unarmed with no evidence of having weapons makes the case, but the kids weren't visible anywhere, and civilian clothes don't really count for much considering the opposition wears them as camouflage.

HappyOldGuy
14th April 10, 12:40 PM
You mean like a civilian truck full of food or bandages? No, you can't blow those up either. I hope that doesn't come as a surprise to you.
Unless they are clearly designated, you most certainly can blow the fuck out of any truck you see in a war zone.

If you know that it is a civilian truck, then you can't, but there is no onus on you to find out.

(AIUI, the US rules of engagement were stricter than that, but as far as international laws of war go, you only need to respect civilian targets if they are communicated as such and are not being used for any military purpose)

Cullion
14th April 10, 12:40 PM
You're right. It's about the complete lack of weaponry or any threatening action. It's failure to adhere to that basic standard of 'is it ok to open fire' that leads to the dead kids.

Cullion
14th April 10, 12:55 PM
Unless they are clearly designated, you most certainly can blow the fuck out of any truck you see in a war zone.

The suburbs of Baghdad count as a warzone now? interesting. Just a while ago you were telling us that it was an occupation rather than a war of international character (not that it had any bearing on your point).

Anyway you most certainly fucking well can't blow the crap out of any unarmed civilian car you see in a suburb. Stop being ridiculous.



If you know that it is a civilian truck, then you can't, but there is no onus on you to find out.

You have to assume that it's a civilian truck when it's unarmed, unarmoured and you can see no evidence of weaponry on the occupants. These rules are specifically intended to prevent people shooting first and asking questions later.

HappyOldGuy
14th April 10, 01:02 PM
The suburbs of Baghdad count as a warzone now? interesting. Just a while ago you were telling us that it was an occupation rather than a war of international character (not that it had any bearing on your point).

Anyway you most certainly fucking well can't blow the crap out of any unarmed civilian car you see in a suburb. Stop being ridiculous.



You have to assume that it's a civilian truck when it's unarmed, unarmoured and you can see no evidence of weaponry on the occupants. These rules are specifically intended to prevent people shooting first and asking questions later.

There is no law that specifically says that you may post in this thread and our prison regulations say all posts must be cleared in advance by an approved censor, therefore you are not allowed to post in this thread.

Cullion
14th April 10, 01:07 PM
This is a variant of your previous troll.

Remember HOG, you were the one who claimed that the injuction against not wasting unarmed civilians didn't apply in certain circumstances, and then were unable to produce that circumstance. Remember telling me that what I quoted was a 'general' provision that was overruled in the specifics? You never successfully produced those specifics.. because they don't exist and it would be absurd if they did.

Let me put it another way, by analogy to your troll.

'Unless they are combatants as defined in the Geneva convention, then deliberately targetting them is murder.'

Simple enough?

Your proposal amounts to thinking that the Geneva conventions allow US troops to kill absolutely any civilian they wish, anywhere in the world, without being required to produce evidence that they were an armed threat.

Now, many of your population might actually believe this, but it certainly contravenes international law, and specifically the sections of the Geneva convention that have been cited to you.

If you want this trolling to succeed, you're going to have to vary your approach, and try different angles. Repeating the same stupid premise and acting like I didn't understand it properly the first time isn't really artistically satisfying for either of us.

HappyOldGuy
14th April 10, 01:17 PM
The circumstances are spelled out clearly in black and white. The section you keep quoting only applies in a very narrow set of circumstances and the entire set of treaties only regulates specific areas of behavior. You just refuse to read them because you want mommy to promise that the bad men will be punished but you don't believe that god will do it.

The geneva conventions don't say anything about who you are allowed to shoot in battle. The hague conventions (and others) do. The geneva conventions dictate how you behave when people aren't shooting at you. And those regulations are very specific and based on the nature of the conflict. The principles you keep quoting don't apply to this conflict.

Cullion
14th April 10, 01:23 PM
The circumstances are spelled out clearly in black and white.

Yes, and they apply here.


The section you keep quoting only applies in a very narrow set of circumstances and the entire set of treaties only regulates specific areas of behavior.

Oh so they aren't general principles that get overridden by specifics?
First rule of a good troll is to keep your story straight.



You just refuse to read them because you want mommy to promise that the bad men will be punished but you don't believe that god will do it.

I read them and demonstrated to you that you hadn't understood them properly.



The geneva conventions don't say anything about who you are allowed to shoot in battle. The hague conventions (and others) do. The geneva conventions dictate how you behave when people aren't shooting at you.

O RLY? REMIND ME WHO WAS SHOOTING AT THE HELICOPTER?

LOLOLOLOLLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

HappyOldGuy
14th April 10, 01:29 PM
"In the case of armed conflict not of an international character."

The United States and Iraq are not the same country.

Therefore it is international.

Therefore it doesn't fucking apply.

End of fucking discussion.

If you want to discuss whether proportionality was an issue, that's potentially a fair question. But it would require that you actually have some fucking clue what you are talking about.

Cullion
14th April 10, 01:38 PM
I've already posted the section explicitly mentioning the occupation of one party by another. This isn't conflict of an international character because the helicopter isn't firing on Iraqi military personnel and the states of the US and Iraq are no longer at war in 2007.

The US is an occupying power, as described in just the section I already posted, but which you failed to understand.

Look dude, this is going to suck for you the longer you carry on with it, because I'm just better at this.

HappyOldGuy
14th April 10, 01:39 PM
I've already posted the section explicitly mentioning the occupation of one party by another.
Which then referenced an entirely different set of rules. Not including the one you keep quoting.

Which would be clear if you actually read your own fucking links like the lovely icrc site that explains the whole history of all the relevant treaties.

HappyOldGuy
14th April 10, 01:42 PM
The funny thing is there actually is a counter argument based on customary international law. But you have to actually know what that is to make it.

Cullion
14th April 10, 01:43 PM
The funny thing is there actually is a counter argument based on customary international law. But you have to actually know what that is to make it.


<snork> I can't attack your argument but actually there's another way of winning from your side, but it's a secret!!!

weak.

HappyOldGuy
14th April 10, 01:44 PM
<snork> I can't attack your argument but actually there's another way of winning from your side, but it's a secret!!!

weak.

If "customary international law" is secret code to you. You need to not express opinions on the subject.

Cullion
14th April 10, 01:45 PM
Which then referenced an entirely different set of rules. Not including the one you keep quoting.

Oh but HoG, the general provisions against not killing noncombatants apply everywhere. Remember, you were the one who thought there was a specific circumstance somewhere that overrode those, making it ok for the helicopter to fire on unarmed civilians.

This game is over. I win!

Kein Haar
15th April 10, 05:16 AM
Hog,

Can you confirm this? Did Cullion just win?

HappyOldGuy
15th April 10, 11:08 AM
Hog,

Can you confirm this? Did Cullion just win?

Well, he's declaring victory and refusing to read the scoreboard that says different.

If that counts then he definitely did.

Kein Haar
15th April 10, 11:21 AM
Cullion? Counter-point?

Cullion
15th April 10, 11:27 AM
I DEFINITELY WIN!!!

Madgrenade
15th April 10, 11:34 AM
^^^^ Win seconded.

Kein Haar
15th April 10, 11:34 AM
LOL

HOG just got served by (and according to) two Englishmen.

Hog! How does this feel, after such a long season, to get served by Englishmen in the play-offs?

HappyOldGuy
15th April 10, 11:37 AM
I'm going to disneyland.

Madgrenade
15th April 10, 11:41 AM
You should try the one in France.

Cullion
15th April 10, 12:09 PM
You know, I never thought of it like that.

Madgrenade
16th April 10, 03:57 AM
Just one thing... What makes them terrorists if they are fighting in their own country? Surely rebel or partisan are more accurate terms.

Cullion
16th April 10, 04:14 AM
Because they're fighting us. So terrorists.

Ajamil
16th April 10, 04:45 AM
Timothy McVeigh is labelled a terrorist. I think the fellows in Waco were considered cult rather than terrorist, but those Christian Militia dudes were on the fast track to a terrorist label. I think it's the deliberate targeting of civilian sites that gets you the label. Technically - from the US standpoint - since we didn't see them attacking anything yet, they should be called insurgents, yes?

Madgrenade
16th April 10, 05:10 AM
No. Insurgent implies that people are travelling from abroad to fight at a certain location. In-Surge-ent. Rebel would be fine.

BadUglyMagic
16th April 10, 11:56 AM
Sorry for prolonging the death of this thread.

Can anyone answer why the Iraqi insurgents/terrorists/rebels should receive Geneva Convention (or Hague) protections?

Besides attacking the non-Iraqi military forces, they are attacking the Iraqi government and supporting infrastructure to bring it down. It appears to be an internal unrest with nondomestic military and financial support.

HappyOldGuy
16th April 10, 12:02 PM
Again, it's based on customary international law. The idea that once all the 'good' countries have gotten into a certain habit, that habit has the force of law.



No. Insurgent implies that people are travelling from abroad to fight at a certain location. In-Surge-ent. Rebel would be fine.

There obviously are Iraqi rebels in multiple factions, but groups like Al Quaeda in Iraq are almost entirely foreigners.

Now back to the carefully constructed to obscure how fucking long it is line for space mountain.

Cullion
16th April 10, 12:24 PM
Can anyone answer why the Iraqi insurgents/terrorists/rebels should receive Geneva Convention (or Hague) protections?

Because that's what the Geneva convention says. They don't have to wear uniforms.
Besides, there weren't any armed insurgents in the case under discussion, just Iraqi civilians.

BadUglyMagic
18th April 10, 08:50 PM
Because that's what the Geneva convention says. They don't have to wear uniforms.
Besides, there weren't any armed insurgents in the case under discussion, just Iraqi civilians.


Makes sense. However, the terrorists/rebels/criminals/insurgents/pie makers are not signatories to the conventions and do not observe them anyway.and are not part of any domestic government.

As I did not watch the video as edited, how long after gunfire stopped/ceased was the van shot up?

The line at Space Mountain is the worst.

Cullion
19th April 10, 08:01 AM
Um, what gunfire ?

EvilSteve
19th April 10, 08:06 AM
As I did not watch the video as edited, how long after gunfire stopped/ceased was the van shot up?


The "insurgents" did not fire at all, so far as I can tell. After the apache initially shot everyone up they circled for a few minutes before the van showed up.

Cullion
19th April 10, 08:10 AM
Yeah, at no point was the helicopter under attack. The sequence of events went:-

i) "We can see a bunch of iraqis holiding what look like weapons!" <DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA> (turned out to be reporters and their guards. the main thing they thought was a weapon turned out to be camera equipment). This part was a mistake most of us watching could understand, but we aren't talking about a helicopter defending itself from incoming fire at any point. We're talking about a helicopter shooting at a group of men who look like they may be armed, but who aren't taking part in any combat.

ii) A while later, there's a dude crawling around on the ground bleeding, a civilian car pulls up and some unarmed people get out to help him into the car. They shoot that up too whilst saying 'they're armed!' and joking about it etc.. when there's no sign of any weapons at all.

Ajamil
19th April 10, 01:55 PM
The report says they were taking small arms fire for most of the day, and the initial group did have weapons. I saw nothing about the men with weapons being guards. Are you saying they lied when they said the group had an RPG round? I'm not talking about when the helicopter pilot and gunner say it, I mean when the ground troops said they recovered one.

Cullion
19th April 10, 01:58 PM
The initial group were mistaken for having an RPG which turned out to be camera equipment, and some of them turned out to have holstered AK47s which they never fired.

Nobody shot by the helicopter let off a single shot at it.

The helicopter crew made an understandable mistake when they saw some people appear to crouch around a cylinder.

Then they went fucking nuts and started making shit up, and that's how the war crime happened.

BadUglyMagic
19th April 10, 03:56 PM
holstered AK47s



Uh, one big holster.

Cullion
19th April 10, 04:05 PM
I mean slung. The point is they weren't aiming them or firing them.

Wounded Ronin
19th April 10, 07:30 PM
I just am having trouble with how some people can take it for granted that lighting up the van must have been fundamentally wrong. It didn't have medical markings prescribed by the GCs so I don't see how you could differentiate it from an insurgent vehicles come to spirit away the casualties and collect the wounded.

Pretty much what I'm getting as a response from people who disagree is, "It's automatically wrong to light up someone who isn't both 1.) armed and 2.) in the process of killing your guys." It's like you're not allowed to ambush an enemy platoon or something.

bob
20th April 10, 02:05 AM
I just am having trouble with how some people can take it for granted that lighting up the van must have been fundamentally wrong. It didn't have medical markings prescribed by the GCs so I don't see how you could differentiate it from an insurgent vehicles come to spirit away the casualties and collect the wounded.

Pretty much what I'm getting as a response from people who disagree is, "It's automatically wrong to light up someone who isn't both 1.) armed and 2.) in the process of killing your guys." It's like you're not allowed to ambush an enemy platoon or something.

You play a lot of video games don't you.

Cullion
20th April 10, 02:58 AM
I just am having trouble with how some people can take it for granted that lighting up the van must have been fundamentally wrong. It didn't have medical markings prescribed by the GCs so I don't see how you could differentiate it from an insurgent vehicles come to spirit away the casualties and collect the wounded.

Pretty much what I'm getting as a response from people who disagree is, "It's automatically wrong to light up someone who isn't both 1.) armed and 2.) in the process of killing your guys." It's like you're not allowed to ambush an enemy platoon or something.

We've already discussed this confusion of yours. It's because you're an idiot.

Cullion
20th April 10, 10:51 AM
WR has had the benefit of pages of explanation as to why both morally, and legally some unarmed civilians driving through a suburb who stop to try and help an unarmed wounded man can't be treated in the same way as a platoon of VC you spot coming down the jungle track.

Anybody having trouble understanding this distinction is an idiot.

Cullion
20th April 10, 11:04 AM
Tell you what, first let's eliminate all cases where civilians are specifically targeted in non combat zones by people out of uniform, because this is a greater outrage.

That's a false dichotomy, and not something that's within the US government's power. This is.

Scrapper
20th April 10, 11:30 AM
I've been loathe to engage in this thread, because in my opinion, everybody is right.

1- The entire engagement was very prejudicial. Peripheral events had the crews keyed up, hyper, and looking for a fight. When they saw what looked like trouble they stamped it out with EXTREME prejudice and only as much care and attention toward procedure and restraint as required by their superiors. Does anyone here think the crews just WANTED to shoot up some civilians? I think that they were seeing boogeymen everywhere at this point and were itching to engage an enemy that doesn't play by the same rules they are made to. Frustrated and angry, they bent the rules and civilians died.

2- In war zones, it is very important to make yourself identifiable to your friends and foes alike. Armed individuals on the ground need to make sure it is obvious what side they are on when a pair of goddamn Apache attack helicopters are around. That is just safety 101. Get a white flag, wave the chopper down, get on your knees and beg, but indicate that you are not a combatant somehow. The enemy in the middle east deliberately refuses to distinguish itself from the civilian population as a strategy. While the crew is ultimately responsible for their own actions, the insurgents and terrorists share much of the blame for this.



None of this is groundbreaking shit from me. Here is the part where I manage to piss everyone off.

War is hell. Seriously. The only difference between this war and others is the fucking media coverage. Bad communication, fear, rage, and confusion have caused civilian, friendly and unnecessary casualties in every armed conflict since Og the fluffy and his crew of Troglodytes attack Grook the itchy's cave in 50,000BC.

A soldier in a war zone is under extraordinary circumstances and stresses. No matter what you so, this shit will happen again. Court martial and hang the chopper crews if it makes you feel better, but not a damn thing will change. Until you can figure out how to produce fighting men and women who are immune to the apathy bred (as a necessary part of maintaining your sanity) by armed conflict, this shit will happen from time to time.

So I don't care. How awful is that (no sarcasm)? I just can't get all that angry about this beyond the sadness of unnecessary loss of life. I can't bang my fist on the table and cry "something must be done!!" or decry my country's military and gnash my teeth. There is no solution for this. Not the geneva convention, not war crimes tribunals or endless internet debate of procedural minutiae when the very nature of war makes the concept of "rules" laughable to anyone not inclined to follow them. This event is either nobody's fault or everybody's fault. So who wants to be the first in line to take the blame?

to quote a great general:

"It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it."

Cullion
20th April 10, 12:19 PM
Devilish tactics like stopping your car to help a guy to hospital? THOSE ANIMALS!

For all the 'war is hell' sombre-sounding stuff in this thread, we are talking about people firing on unarmed civilians when they haven't been fired upon. This isn't the battle of the Somme, or Happy Valley, these are guys in an armoured helicopter picking people off from a mile away when nobody has fired at them yet.

DerAuslander108
20th April 10, 01:21 PM
The key to the issue is, as soon as the gates open, to head straight to the back of the Magic Kingdom & work your way forward. The majority of long-line rides are toward the back. By taking care of these early, you minimize wait times.

I once rode on Space Mountain 4 times in one hour.

Suck on that, Cullion.

Cullion
20th April 10, 01:28 PM
I expect it won't be the last time you ride space mountain either. Still pretending to be an Asian monk ?

Scrapper
20th April 10, 01:34 PM
Cullion,

from a tactical perspective...it is always best to shoot first. So I care little for the fact that they were not fired upon first. That's me personally speaking...i do not have the time or energy to become an expert on the Geneva convention sand the rules of engagement, nor so i care about either. If they THOUGHT they were dealing with an armed enemy, than I would expect them to engage.

They were certainly very prejudicial and enthusiastic about it. But that was my whole point. This is what happens. It's a war, not a UN session.

I'm not even justifying anything. I don't know exactly how "right' or 'wrong" anyone was in this situation. I saw a lot of stupid, violent, and unnecessary things happen in that video. EVERYBODY did something wrong, and a lot of people died.

Let's just add a section tot he Geneva convention that says all battles must be fought under SCA rules and most of this would go away. Or just ban war altogether.

Cullion
20th April 10, 01:48 PM
Cullion,

from a tactical perspective...it is always best to shoot first.

Would you always consider this 'rule of engagement' appropriate for a police officer in your home town who hasn't been fired upon ?

Now consider that we're talking about people in an armoured helicopter about a mile away from people some of whom might have sidearms?

I don't think there's any indication of the kind of imminent danger justifying shooting first like that.



They were certainly very prejudicial and enthusiastic about it. But that was my whole point. This is what happens. It's a war, not a UN session.

It's an armoured helicopter flying over a residential suburb dude, not a guy fighting for his life in a trench against a similarly armed foe.

Remind me, who exactly was the US at war with at this point?



EVERYBODY did something wrong, and a lot of people died.

I don't see what the people in the car did wrong. They were driving through a suburb of their capital city and saw a guy bleeding and crawling across the road so they tried to help him to hospital. They probably didn't even know there was a helicopter there at first. What did they do wrong ?



Let's just add a section tot he Geneva convention that says all battles must be fought under SCA rules and most of this would go away. Or just ban war altogether.

So you don't actually believe in the concept of 'war crimes' ?

Wounded Ronin
20th April 10, 06:45 PM
You play a lot of video games don't you.

Sure, I've explicitly stated such.

But if I were looking it as if it were a video game, I'd say, "You'd better not hit any object tagged as 'civilian' or else it's an immediate game over!" Video games tend to be much more perfectionistic about no collateral damage than real life.

Cullion
20th April 10, 06:46 PM
How would you know about collateral damage in real life? What are you hiding from us ?

Wounded Ronin
20th April 10, 06:47 PM
WR has had the benefit of pages of explanation as to why both morally, and legally some unarmed civilians driving through a suburb who stop to try and help an unarmed wounded man can't be treated in the same way as a platoon of VC you spot coming down the jungle track.

Anybody having trouble understanding this distinction is an idiot.

Half the point of the VC was that you couldn't always tell if an apparent civilian was a VC or not and they created circumstances where civilians might be working against you for the VC part of the time and vice versa other parts of the time.

I don't think the distinction is as clear as you seem convinced it is.

Wounded Ronin
20th April 10, 06:50 PM
I don't see what the people in the car did wrong. They were driving through a suburb of their capital city and saw a guy bleeding and crawling across the road so they tried to help him to hospital. They probably didn't even know there was a helicopter there at first. What did they do wrong ?




Aren't YOU making a lot of assumptions at this point? How do you know they weren't going to drag them back to the batcave and salvage their weapons for another day to use against US forces?

Wounded Ronin
20th April 10, 06:51 PM
How would you know about collateral damage in real life? What are you hiding from us ?

Umm, the fact that it actually seems to happen? A lot? If it were easy to not have it it probably wouldn't happen so much. You can go and buy books full of collateral damage photos.

Cullion
20th April 10, 06:51 PM
If you can't tell if somebody's a civilian or not, then don't shoot until they do. Simple enough principle.

If you think that's too dangerous, then don't invade in the first place.

Here's the legal principle you don't get: 'They may not look armed but bad stuff might happen' is simply not sufficient cause to open fire on a civilian car in a suburb morally or legally. I don't care what paranoid fantasies you construct. They were in an armoured helicopter a mile away. They don't get to shoot first, end of story.

There's a name in international law for the (groundless) defence you're attempting. It's called the 'Phil Elmore Principle'. I'm not going to debate this with you any more. Get back to your X-Box.

Wounded Ronin
20th April 10, 06:57 PM
It was here. If you can't tell if somebody's a civilian or not, then don't shoot until they do. Simple enough principle.

If you think that's too dangerous, then don't invade in the first place.

That sounds more like a Western country police rule than a military rule.

Heh, even the Russian cops shoot at you while you flee. Whether they hit or not is apparently another story...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRLZJ1ykDTE&feature=related

Embed code seems broken.

LOL @ 9mm makarov.

And the cop also runs out of ammo. Ha ha, he carries less than I do when I go shooting.

Scrapper
21st April 10, 11:02 AM
Would you always consider this 'rule of engagement' appropriate for a police officer in your home town who hasn't been fired upon ?

False dichotomy. Law enforcement is not armed conflict.


Now consider that we're talking about people in an armoured helicopter about a mile away from people some of whom might have sidearms?

In war, "might" is a good place to start.


I don't think there's any indication of the kind of imminent danger justifying shooting first like that.

This is where we are disconnecting. Combat troops in a combat deployment should have the right to shoot first if they see a hostile. It's not about self-defense, it's about killing the enemy until there are none left. That's why you are supposed to identify your troops. Insurgents deliberately defy the Geneva convention by NOT doing so.




It's an armoured helicopter flying over a residential suburb dude, not a guy fighting for his life in a trench against a similarly armed foe.

Eastern Europe 1939-1945. "It" is a residential suburb more often than not. Get a uniform or a flag or something when the helicopters are out. Callous? Sure. But I already said this would piss people off.


Remind me, who exactly was the US at war with at this point?

The insurgency in Iraq. Terrorists. Hippies. The usual crowd.




I don't see what the people in the car did wrong. They were driving through a suburb of their capital city and saw a guy bleeding and crawling across the road so they tried to help him to hospital. They probably didn't even know there was a helicopter there at first. What did they do wrong ?

Same disconnect as before. It's not about self-defense. It's about killing the enemy, anyone who helps him, all his friends, and anyone who might decide to become your enemy later.




So you don't actually believe in the concept of 'war crimes' ?

I believe that one man's "War Crime" is another man's "strategy." Since enforcement is a function of political expediency, UN efficiency, and public outcry based on the popularity of the players, I find it laughable how often the term is flung about when America has a screw-up chopper crew, while Darfur, Myanmar, and China seem to go unnoticed.

If your "justice" is about expediency, then it deserves all the derision I can heap upon it.





(God, I've missed arguing with you, Cullion!)

Cullion
21st April 10, 11:11 AM
False dichotomy. Law enforcement is not armed conflict.

Neither's this. They were firing at unarmed civilians in a suburb after hostilities between the US and Iraq had ended.



This is where we are disconnecting. Combat troops in a combat deployment should have the right to shoot first if they see a hostile.

They didn't see a hostile. I'm not sure why you're so confused about this.



It's not about self-defense, it's about killing the enemy until there are none left. That's why you are supposed to identify your troops. Insurgents deliberately defy the Geneva convention by NOT doing so.

There are no insurgents in the video.



Eastern Europe 1939-1945. "It" is a residential suburb more often than not. Get a uniform or a flag or something when the helicopters are out. Callous? Sure. But I already said this would piss people off.

The Nazi leadership were prosecuted at Nuremberg for doing precisely what you're suggesting is OK.



Same disconnect as before. It's not about self-defense. It's about killing the enemy, anyone who helps him, all his friends, and anyone who might decide to become your enemy later.

That's illegal and immoral.

I believe that one man's "War Crime" is another man's "strategy." Since enforcement is a function of political expediency, UN efficiency, and public outcry based on the popularity of the players, I find it laughable how often the term is flung about when America has a screw-up chopper crew, while Darfur, Myanmar, and China seem to go unnoticed.[/quote]

'We can do it if other people do it' is a stupid argument and would apply to domestic murder.



If your "justice" is about expediency, then it deserves all the derision I can heap upon it.

No, it's about upholding the law to protect the innocent.

Scrapper
21st April 10, 12:29 PM
Neither's this. They were firing at unarmed civilians in a suburb after hostilities between the US and Iraq had ended.

They didn't think so. Hindsight is a luxury reserved for those of us not in combat zones. I do agree that they were highly prejudiced towards a violent encounter.


They didn't see a hostile. I'm not sure why you're so confused about this.

They thought they did. Why are you struggling with that? Is it because if they really thought there was a hostile you'd have to concede that they had the right to engage? Just do what I did with that cognitive disconnect: Concede that they were prejudiced and were seeing bad guys when there were none. The real world is full of murky unpleasant grey areas like that .


There are no insurgents in the video.

Now you are just repeating yourself. Fog of war, et al.


The Nazi leadership were prosecuted at Nuremberg for doing precisely what you're suggesting is OK.

The allies had an established policy of deliberately secreting combat troops within the civilian populations and attempting to use the local populace as human shields?? Source, please.


That's illegal and immoral

The first is relative and the second is subjective.


We can do it if other people do it' is a stupid argument and would apply to domestic murder

Didn't say that. I said I deride any system of justice that is based on expediency and popularity. Like the Geneva convention or the UN. Impotent posturing by an impotent body politic is worthy of contempt and I've said it before.

The morality argument is entirely academic when the players are only as moral as is convenient for them. Such is life. If the whole international community can't get upset enough about Darfur to correct it...or at least hang a few assholes...don't expect me to cry over some dead civilians in Iraq. It's not about what is more "right" or "wrong," it is about how much respect I have for the international community's interpretation of it. I told you I was a dick about this sort of thing.



I think you are missing my point, Cullion. The point is not that this incident was "ok" or shouldn't be held up as an example of something that was horrible and unnecessary.

The point is that this sort of thing is impossible to stop, and that those who are gnashing their teeth the hardest about it refuse to accept that armed conflict between tool-using species is nasty business.

Of course killing with extreme prejudice under any circumstances is immoral. Killing in all but the most dire of circumstances is immoral...or amoral at least. Not arguing that.

My argument is that when you deploy military troops in a combat engagement, there is going to be a degree of amorality, and in some cases immorality, inherent in doing so. Ergo, I can only get so outraged by this. Life is not a comic book. Moral absolutism is the luxury of the invulnerable.

Captain America would have waited to be fired upon. Superman would have used his X-ray vision to determine exactly what they were carrying. Both would have used only exactly as much force as was necessary to diffuse the situation. Both risk little in applying this policy.

Cullion
21st April 10, 12:42 PM
They didn't think so. Hindsight is a luxury reserved for those of us not in combat zones. I do agree that they were highly prejudiced towards a violent encounter.

They were a mile away in an armoured helicopter hovering over a suburb and there were no weapons to be seen. Making shit up on an adrenalin high doesn't justify murder. And they were making shit up.


Concede that they were prejudiced and were seeing bad guys when there were none.

This, at best, would be an attempt at an insanity defence in a murder trial.


The allies had an established policy of deliberately secreting combat troops within the civilian populations and attempting to use the local populace as human shields?? Source, please.

Civilian Resistance movements and OSS/SOE operatives all thoughout occupied Europe. You and I aren't going to be debating for much longer if you don't dust off your highschool history.



Didn't say that. I said I deride any system of justice that is based on expediency and popularity. Like the Geneva convention or the UN. Impotent posturing by an impotent body politic is worthy of contempt and I've said it before.

The morality argument is entirely academic when the players are only as moral as is convenient for them. Such is life. If the whole international community can't get upset enough about Darfur to correct it...or at least hang a few assholes...don't expect me to cry over some dead civilians in Iraq. It's not about what is more "right" or "wrong," it is about how much respect I have for the international community's interpretation of it. I told you I was a dick about this sort of thing.


It's not about the 'international community', it's about Americans, and you, and your government.



The point is that this sort of thing is impossible to stop, and that those who are gnashing their teeth the hardest about it refuse to accept that armed conflict between tool-using species is nasty business.

No it isn't. Read the accounts already posted by US veterans of Iraq on the problems with the training regime and leadership culture.



My argument is that when you deploy military troops in a combat engagement, there is going to be a degree of amorality, and in some cases immorality, inherent in doing so. Ergo, I can only get so outraged by this. Life is not a comic book. Moral absolutism is the luxury of the invulnerable.

They were pretty much invulnerable relative to the people they shot. That's the gap in your analysis. You're using the kind of language that applies to men on the ground, often on foot, to apply to men hovering a mile away in an armoured helicopter with no weapons pointed at them.

I suggest you watch the South Park episode about hunting out of season.

You're trying to employ, on their behalf, the 'IT'S COMING RIGHT AT US!' defence.

And it's just as silly now.

Madgrenade
21st April 10, 01:10 PM
Yeah still gotta agree with Cullion. It's, in my view, the difference between professionalism and idiocy. When was the last time anyone actually managed to shoot down an Apache?

Appreciate Scrappers sentiment that war is just too confusing but in this instance the shooters had a clear view of what was occuring. I wouldn't argue over the legitimacy of the first strike because it looked to me as though the men on the corner were lining up on the advancing column. But the van was unforgivable. The crew even lie about what they are seeing in order to get firing permission. That shows they racka disiprine.

Curious Scrapper, you don't seem to disagree with the general thrust of the arqument on legal issues visavis codes of conduct. What exactly is your arguement?

Cullion
21st April 10, 01:11 PM
Scrapper is making two simultaneous arguments:-

i) These international laws can't be enforced against the US so who cares?

ii) THEY WERE COMING RIGHT AT US!

Scrapper
21st April 10, 01:40 PM
Come on...


They were a mile away in an armoured helicopter hovering over a suburb and there were no weapons to be seen. Making shit up on an adrenalin high doesn't justify murder. And they were making shit up.

Your interpretation. Subjective. Irrelevant.


This, at best, would be an attempt at an insanity defence in a murder trial.

Weaker ones have worked.


Civilian Resistance movements and OSS/SOE operatives all thoughout occupied Europe.

Tsk tsk. Spies are different and you know it. The rule about them still stands. As far as resistance goes, while I'm glad they won, I won't fault Hitler for shooting them on sight, or for being prejudicial about it. I'm a dick.

Is your assertion that these pilots went out looking for a group of civilians to mow down under the guise of espionage or succoring the enemy? That would be murder.


You and I aren't going to be debating for much longer if you don't dust off your highschool history.

Ad hominem? You wound me sir! You and I both know about spies and resistance. You demonstrate a specifically comparable case to this and I'll evaluate it through this lens.

I'll dust off my "high school history" if you dust off your college "Situational ethics."


it's not about the 'international community', it's about Americans, and you, and your government.

It always is. Why is that, I wonder? Because despite what everybody else says, we are notoriously good natured about that sort of thing. I simply refuse to apologize to anyone except the individuals directly affected.


No it isn't. Read the accounts already posted by US veterans of Iraq on the problems with the training regime and leadership culture.

Pick any deployment, any army, anywhere in the world, at any point in history. Same stuff. This is neither new nor unique, nor is it really solvable. We can try, and have. that's why the current military culture is as evolved as it is. We apologize for not being perfect yet. Working on that.


They were pretty much invulnerable relative to the people they shot. That's the gap in your analysis. You're using the kind of language that applies to men on the ground, often on foot, to apply to men hovering a mile away in an armoured helicopter with no weapons pointed at them.

But their friends and teammates and countrymen were on the ground. going building to building, getting shot and blown up every day.

We have a philosophical difference on how wars should be fought. You keep harping on the threat to the chopper, and the harmlessness of the people on the ground. To you that's horrifically one-sided, unfair, and downright mean. To me that's a tactical advantage that ensures the survivability of my people and eliminates threats.

People like you win honor, and accolades (posthumously). People like me win wars.

I am not even trying to be "right" here. I am trying to make you understand that while you are technically correct on most of the things you are saying, IT DOESN'T MATTER.

You can be right and irrelevant at the same time. War is exactly the kind of arena where the two walk hand-in-hand.

It sucks. It really does. You can't sanitize war, because the stakes will always be too high for one party to play by the rules. So civilians will die. Women, children, reporters, dogs, cats, and young boys who just wanted to go to college will get dead for no damn good reason.

People will decry the violence. Politicians will exploit it. But when it hits the fan again, the cycle will start over. I have no stomach for any of it. The posturing, the passion play, and worst of all the stupidity of any of it. I'm cynical, I'm angry, and I am plum out of sympathy. For anyone. Not the pilots. Not the people on the ground. Not for our tarnished international image. Certainly not for the poor defenseless, persecuted people of the middle east.

I said it before: Blame everybody, or blame nobody. Trying to parcel it out is an exercise in moral masturbation.

Scrapper
21st April 10, 01:45 PM
Scrapper is making two simultaneous arguments:-

i) These international laws can't be enforced against the US so who cares?

ii) THEY WERE COMING RIGHT AT US!




i: Those international laws can't be enforced anywhere, really. That pretty much makes them not a law in practical terms. It is illegal to get a blowjob in michigan, too.

ii: Nope. No matter how many times I type it you won't admit I said it. It's not about self defense. It's about crushing the enemy.

I can't make it any simpler. You want me to argue something that I'm not arguing. I'm saying "tough shit. War is hell." You want me to say "AMERCIA, FUCK YEAH!"

Cullion
21st April 10, 01:50 PM
Your interpretation. Subjective. Irrelevant.

It's not subjective, it's objective. There really was no threat, no visible weaponry or any attack on another party.



Weaker ones have worked.

Not in cases like this.



Tsk tsk. Spies are different and you know it.

No they aren't.



The rule about them still stands. As far as resistance goes, while I'm glad they won, I won't fault Hitler for shooting them on sight, or for being prejudicial about it. I'm a dick.

Would you fault him for having unarmed civilians shot 'just in case' ?



Is your assertion that these pilots went out looking for a group of civilians to mow down under the guise of espionage or succoring the enemy? That would be murder.

Yes, that's my assertion and the audio supports it.



Ad hominem? You wound me sir! You and I both know about spies and resistance. You demonstrate a specifically comparable case to this and I'll evaluate it through this lens.

The Tulle Murders, Central France, 1944.





People like you win honor, and accolades (posthumously). People like me win wars.

Now you are trolling.



I am not even trying to be "right" here. I am trying to make you understand that while you are technically correct on most of the things you are saying, IT DOESN'T MATTER.

You can be right and irrelevant at the same time. War is exactly the kind of arena where the two walk hand-in-hand.

The US wasn't at War.


Trying to parcel it out is an exercise in moral masturbation.

Making people accountable for breaches of these very, very simple moral guidelines makes it less likely that other's will feel it acceptable to behave in the same way. That's exactly why we punish crimes back home.

Scrapper
21st April 10, 02:43 PM
Tulle Murders? Really?

SS hangs 99 men at random as a reprisal for the mutilation of 40 of it's own, versus a helicopter crew engaging what it erroneously believes to be hostiles (I know you don't believe that, but work with me!).

OK. Same thing You're dead right. I can't believe I didn't see the correlation myself!


Now you are trolling.

I take exception to that! I never troll, sir! You want to win your war/conflict/insurgency/uprising/revolution/bake sale? You want your boys to come home safe and theirs to die? Than you kill. You kill more, you kill faster, you kill without dying. You never leave a live enemy behind you. This is how it works out here in the blood and the dirt.

Ask Daniel Pearl about honor and tactics and morality as seen by the opposition in Iraq. Two wrongs don't make a right, but the side with least dead heroes usually gets to make the rules. Don't like it? Go live in a comic book.



Yes, that's my assertion and the audio supports it.

At this point we are at an impasse. If the crew was in fact looking for unarmed civilians to mow down, than they should be hanged at the Hague (no sarcasm). I won't argue that. I just think that the truth is far more complicated than that.


Making people accountable for breaches of these very, very simple moral guidelines makes it less likely that other's will feel it acceptable to behave in the same way. That's exactly why we punish crimes back home.

No argument. These guys should not be allowed to fly combat missions. They were (obviously in hindsight) too prejudicial when assessing the situation. What bothers me a little about your position is that you refuse to acknowledge the possibility that this same prejudice may have many times saved their (or someone else's) asses. You steadfastly refuse to accept how a soldier's mentality could shape their perceptions. You keep banging away at moral absolutes without considering the context. But I will concede that one fuckup is one too many when machine guns are involved. Ground 'em.

But comparing this to Tulle? That only works if you can establish that the group was selected at random and executed as a reprisal and a warning to others. You would have to establish that the people on the ground were pulled out of their homes and dragged into the street where they could be killed for all to see. Then you would have to prove that the pilots landed the chopper, and displayed the bodies for posterity.

The fact that you blithely do so tells me that our perceptions of the matter are too far apart for reconciliation. Fortunately, we have done this dance enough to know that already. That's what makes it worthwhile

Cullion
21st April 10, 03:09 PM
Tulle Murders? Really?

SS hangs 99 men at random as a reprisal for the mutilation of 40 of it's own, versus a helicopter crew engaging what it erroneously believes to be hostiles (I know you don't believe that, but work with me!).

OK. Same thing You're dead right. I can't believe I didn't see the correlation myself!



I take exception to that! I never troll, sir! You want to win your war/conflict/insurgency/uprising/revolution/bake sale? You want your boys to come home safe and theirs to die? Than you kill. You kill more, you kill faster, you kill without dying. You never leave a live enemy behind you. This is how it works out here in the blood and the dirt.

Ask Daniel Pearl about honor and tactics and morality as seen by the opposition in Iraq. Two wrongs don't make a right, but the side with least dead heroes usually gets to make the rules. Don't like it? Go live in a comic book.




At this point we are at an impasse. If the crew was in fact looking for unarmed civilians to mow down, than they should be hanged at the Hague (no sarcasm). I won't argue that. I just think that the truth is far more complicated than that.



No argument. These guys should not be allowed to fly combat missions. They were (obviously in hindsight) too prejudicial when assessing the situation. What bothers me a little about your position is that you refuse to acknowledge the possibility that this same prejudice may have many times saved their (or someone else's) asses. You steadfastly refuse to accept how a soldier's mentality could shape their perceptions. You keep banging away at moral absolutes without considering the context. But I will concede that one fuckup is one too many when machine guns are involved. Ground 'em.

But comparing this to Tulle? That only works if you can establish that the group was selected at random and executed as a reprisal and a warning to others. You would have to establish that the people on the ground were pulled out of their homes and dragged into the street where they could be killed for all to see. Then you would have to prove that the pilots landed the chopper, and displayed the bodies for posterity.

The fact that you blithely do so tells me that our perceptions of the matter are too far apart for reconciliation. Fortunately, we have done this dance enough to know that already. That's what makes it worthwhile

If I shot your brother on the grounds that he might be in the IRA, how would you feel about that?

Scrapper
21st April 10, 03:23 PM
Now we are getting into situational ethics! Love it! It's like a game of 20 questions.

Why did you believe he was in the NRA?

Are you in the RUC?

How did the shooting go down?

Where did the shooting occur?

Which brother?

Etc. Etc.

Madgrenade
21st April 10, 03:25 PM
While I understand your line of reasoning, Scrapper, you are advocating total war against an enemy you have already defeated. You might just aswell form up a line of bulldozers 100 miles long at the outskirts of every town you come across and just drive though.

Scrapper
21st April 10, 03:31 PM
I don't advocate anything. I am illustrating a mindset that created the kind of prejudice that got a bunch of civilians killed, and why I do not object to the mindset. It is a mindset that wins wars. That's why these things occur.

Until we figure out how to win wars without aggression, prejudice, amorality, and violence, this is how it goes.

Madgrenade
21st April 10, 03:49 PM
I think you might enjoy this article.

http://drunkard.com/issues/55/55-blood-and-wine.html

Cullion
21st April 10, 04:00 PM
Now we are getting into situational ethics! Love it! It's like a game of 20 questions.

Why did you believe he was in the IRA?

He was seen driving through the same neighbourhood that some IRA people had passed through a few hours before, and despite being in a tank, I had to be sure.



Are you in the RUC?

No, for the purposes of this discussion I'm in the British Army.



How did the shooting go down?

I shot one of your brothers with a tank BECAUSE HE WAS COMING RIGHT AT ME! (he was unarmed, but there had been a shooting in the next street the day before), and then your other brother drove past in a car whilst I hid around the corner. He saw your bro crawling across the street and got out to help him, so I sprayed the entire street with the minigun from Predator and then joked about it.



Where did the shooting occur?

A suburb of Belfast.



Which brother?


All of them. I accidentally killed his children too, but that's his fault for having them in his car IN A WAR ZONE.

Zendetta
21st April 10, 04:22 PM
I'm a dick...

When you are a 230lb judo badass with a concealed .357, you can get away with being a dick.

For a while.

But it begins to encourage others to deal with your dickishness by shooting you when your back is turned.

Consider that this might actually be an apt metaphor for US foreign policy.

Scrapper
22nd April 10, 08:31 AM
When you are a 230lb judo badass with a concealed .357, you can get away with being a dick.

For a while.

But it begins to encourage others to deal with your dickishness by shooting you when your back is turned.

Consider that this might actually be an apt metaphor for US foreign policy.

Well put.

But I refer you to the "Dicks, pussies, and assholes" speach from "Team America"

Scrapper
22nd April 10, 08:55 AM
He was seen driving through the same neighbourhood that some IRA people had passed through a few hours before, and despite being in a tank, I had to be sure.



No, for the purposes of this discussion I'm in the British Army.



I shot one of your brothers with a tank BECAUSE HE WAS COMING RIGHT AT ME! (he was unarmed, but there had been a shooting in the next street the day before), and then your other brother drove past in a car whilst I hid around the corner. He saw your bro crawling across the street and got out to help him, so I sprayed the entire street with the minigun from Predator and then joked about it.



A suburb of Belfast.



All of them. I accidentally killed his children too, but that's his fault for having them in his car IN A WAR ZONE.


You know, if he appeared armed, and couldn't figure out that fucking around in the bad parts of Belfast with a tank in the area might be a bad idea, than there is a very clear and understandable chain of events that could lead to this.

Except for the predator minigun thing. Predators don't carry minguns.

I don't have to like it, and I may pursue the matter afterwards, but I would not be surprised by it. I would not shriek "WAR CRIMES!" and demand a tribunal. I would seek to have the matter settled through channels and ultimately probably begin a PR and litigation war against the British army.

I'd lose. No one would care, and it would all amount to nothing. No one would learn anything and I'd be down two brothers. I may end up joining the IRA and seeking vengeance, thus becoming the problem you thought you were solving when you fired on my brother.

You gotta understand. I don't LIKE what happened in the video. I don't ever want it to happen again. I even think that the chopper crews need to be out of apaches and flying transports. But I UNDERSTAND what happened. I GET it. It is the very nature of combat that breeds the mentality that causes these things to happen. You are not supposed to like it. You are supposed to want to fix it. In a thousand years we may even be able to do it. But for now, civilians will die in these conflicts, on both sides.

It's the same reason soldiers come home with PTSD, and struggle to re-integrate back into society. Look into the history of outlaw biker gangs in the US after Vietnam. I could start another 100-page thread with my opinion on is wrong with the US military's approach to mental health and the way our society contributes to the problems; and maybe I should. Because frankly it would probably explain why I just can't get all that outraged by the video.

Scrapper
22nd April 10, 08:56 AM
I think you might enjoy this article.

http://drunkard.com/issues/55/55-blood-and-wine.html


I'm a subscriber.

EvilSteve
22nd April 10, 09:21 AM
Scrapper is right wrt/ tactical victories, but the U.S. has never had a problem with tactical victories. We had a whole bunch of tactical victories in Viet Nam. Look how well that turned out.

We've already beaten Hussein, toppled his government and installed our own. Now it's a matter of controlling the insurgency until the new government can manage security on its own. However, when an Apache crew shoots up a couple of kids, the Iraqis aren't going to be thinking "it's their fault for bringing kids into a war zone." They're going to see two Christian Crusaders(tm) flying $50MM of airborne death and shooting kids. This leads to more insurgents, which leads to more dead soldiers, a prolonged conflict and potential strategic loss.

Strategic loss in Iraq would be problematic because, oil concerns aside, eventually that region is going to go nuclear. The political character of that region when that happens will be heavily influenced by whether we can foster a functioning democracy in Iraq. Furthermore, a democratic and prosperous Iraq will weaken the neighboring Iranian theocracy which is already unpopular with its citizens. So pragmatically speaking, it's important that we not let things like this happen, all basic moral considerations aside.

Wounded Ronin
22nd April 10, 09:55 AM
Scrapper is right wrt/ tactical victories, but the U.S. has never had a problem with tactical victories. We had a whole bunch of tactical victories in Viet Nam. Look how well that turned out.

We've already beaten Hussein, toppled his government and installed our own. Now it's a matter of controlling the insurgency until the new government can manage security on its own. However, when an Apache crew shoots up a couple of kids, the Iraqis aren't going to be thinking "it's their fault for bringing kids into a war zone." They're going to see two Christian Crusaders(tm) flying $50MM of airborne death and shooting kids. This leads to more insurgents, which leads to more dead soldiers, a prolonged conflict and potential strategic loss.

Strategic loss in Iraq would be problematic because, oil concerns aside, eventually that region is going to go nuclear. The political character of that region when that happens will be heavily influenced by whether we can foster a functioning democracy in Iraq. Furthermore, a democratic and prosperous Iraq will weaken the neighboring Iranian theocracy which is already unpopular with its citizens. So pragmatically speaking, it's important that we not let things like this happen, all basic moral considerations aside.

Yes. This is the real concern whereas the other is more of an abstraction.

Zendetta
22nd April 10, 11:04 AM
Well put.

But I refer you to the "Dicks, pussies, and assholes" speach from "Team America"

touche!

I almost put that as a footnote to my post!

taijiamn
7th June 10, 08:45 PM
Necro'd for Update


Federal officials have arrested an Army intelligence analyst who boasted of giving classified U.S. combat video and hundreds of thousands of classified State Department records to whistleblower site Wikileaks, Wired.com has learned




Read More http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/06/leak/#ixzz0qDoGAlBS (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/06/leak/#ixzz0qDoGAlBS)





Manning was turned in late last month by a former computer hacker with whom he spoke online. In the course of their chats, Manning took credit for leaking a headline-making video (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/04/whistleblower-report-leaked-video-shows-us-coverup/) of a helicopter attack that Wikileaks posted online in April. The video showed a deadly 2007 U.S. helicopter air strike in Baghdad that claimed the lives of several innocent civilians.



He said he also leaked three other items to Wikileaks: a separate video showing the notorious 2009 Garani air strike in Afghanistan that Wikileaks has previously acknowledged is in its possession; a classified Army document evaluating Wikileaks as a security threat (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/03/wikileaks-army/), which the site posted in March; and a previously unreported breach consisting of 260,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables that Manning described as exposing “almost criminal political back dealings.”

“Hillary Clinton, and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public,” Manning wrote.



I saw in one of the other threads that someone wondered if wikileaks might have actual sensitive data, appearantly they might.

EvilSteve
8th June 10, 08:04 AM
Read about this- the guy who turned him in said he thought Manning was a potential threat to national security, although all he seemed to be doing was revealing unethical or immoral things the gov't was doing. In my mind, a threat to national security is giving tactical data to the enemy, not calling out your own side.

Madgrenade
8th June 10, 08:15 AM
Well if your going to leak secret videos to the wikileaks, it's probably best to shut up about it afterwards. There's one guy who really can't keep a secret.

EvilSteve
8th June 10, 08:17 AM
Oh, yeah- I'm not saying he wasn't an idiot for blabbing, just that he's less a threat to national security than the career security of a number of very powerful people.

Ajamil
8th June 10, 08:27 AM
Well if your going to leak secret videos to the wikileaks, it's probably best to shut up about it afterwards. There's one guy who really can't keep a secret.
Now waiting for the YEAAAHHH meme adaption.

EvilSteve
8th June 10, 03:08 PM
I think his head should be removed and placed on the senate building. If you join the military, don't leak shit.

Ummm...

http://www.keenewire.com/wrobel/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Abu-Ghraib-tm.jpg

I suppose one could argue that sometimes it's one's moral duty to leak things.

Not the best photo from Abu Ghraib, but it's the only SFW I could find. Which brings me back to my point.

Cullion
8th June 10, 03:20 PM
If people didn't leak things, you'd wouldn't find out when your government was breaking the law when it mattered most.

Stick
8th June 10, 07:38 PM
Read about this- the guy who turned him in said he thought Manning was a potential threat to national security, although all he seemed to be doing was revealing unethical or immoral things the gov't was doing. In my mind, a threat to national security is giving tactical data to the enemy, not calling out your own side.

260,000 classified State Department cables, if he did leak that it is huge, it can get people killed, and it damages our efforts at peacful action world wide. He said that he revealed them because of "almost criminal political back dealing", but then there's that word "almost" and also the simple fact that there is no way in HELL this kid read all 260,000 cables and that it is utterly impossible he understood the complete context of the situation in which those cables were sent.

State Department cables provide instructions to FSOs when negotiating with foreign powers, include information on troop deployment and strength, can give great insight into sources of foreign intelligence- as in, get people imprisoned and executed in their home countries-, reveal information on refugees and people seeking assylum in the US- as in, get people picked up by the secret police before their plans to leave go through-

If he seriously gave away 260,000 classified cables he could be directly responsible for a lot of dead people and serious diplomatic loss for this country, and very little of what will have been revealed is something the public is better off knowing.

The State Department is the person who speaks for you on your behalf in foreign affairs. The Sec State and HQ are the brain and they send thoughts out in the form of cables to Foreign Service Officers, FSOs, who act as the voice and use those thoughts when forming the words they put out there.

Would you want someone reading that person's thoughts if he were helping you buy a car?

Would you want someone reading that person's thoughts if he were helping you get out of prison?

Would you want someone reading that person's thoughts if he were trying to prevent a war that would get a shit load of people killed?

Wikileaks is really losing ground here- "transparent government" is a cute idea and all, but there are reasons things are secret and very, very rarely is it about keeping the sheeple in line while the aliens send out black heli9copters to harvest the internal organs of true believers who are getting to close to THE TRUTH!

To be clear, I do not have a problem with legitimate whistle blowing which reveals criminal action, but this right here is not it.

HappyOldGuy
8th June 10, 08:10 PM
Yes on the cables, assuming they exist, but the video is legitimate whistle blowing even if I don't agree with all the ninnies here about what it really shows.

EvilSteve
9th June 10, 08:34 AM
Well if the government wasn't doing anything wrong then they have nothing to worry about at the loss of secrecy. At least, that's what they said to us when they passed the PATRIOT act, so I'm sure it's okay with them too.

That was only partially a joke.

If it can be shown that he directly revealed tactical information that endangered troops, diplomatic personnel or civilians then that is unacceptable. However, if the information he revealed was unethical backdoor diplomatic deals, well, that sounds like a whistleblower to me.

Cullion
9th June 10, 11:10 AM
Just because your dad sexually humiliated you, doesn't mean everybody else should be subjected to it.

bob
23rd October 10, 11:52 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/22/iraq-war-logs-apache-insurgents-surrender