Kat
Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London
Member Since: 13th Dec 2000
Total posts: 2211
Posted:In response to the death of 13 Iraqi protesters brandishing rocks killed by US troops

quote: There were lots of people who were armed and who were throwing rocks. How is a US Soldier to tell the difference between a rock and a grenade? Lieut Col Eric Nantz




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A grenade does look rather similar to Shergottites which is however one of the rarest forms of meteorites


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So really, the US soldiers cannot be blamed. Its the fault of the Iraqi's for throwing stones that looked like grenades in the first place


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)
Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Location: San Diego California
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Total posts: 2905
Posted:You know, it is very interesting that you, or whoever orginally gave you the idea of this post, picked a very large rock.

I mean it could be all camera perspective, but lets pretend, for the sake of argument, that the rock is as large as it looks there.

I mean compare it to the grenade it does look really stupid. I ask you though. If you were to pick up a rock to throw at someone, would you throw a big rock or a smaller rock, one that would fit nicly in your hand?

Maybe one the size of a grenade.

Please also remember that, your in a combat zone. Everytime you wake up your adreniline glands will go into overdrive. Today may be the day that you get killed.

Out of the corner of your eye you see a dark object flying through the air twords you. Just about the size of a grenade.


Do you now see how easy it is to get confused?

Look at things in context next time eh?


Now onto the real issue, umm my dear Kat, the people who were throwing the stones were not the reason that the soldiers opened fire. It was the guys in the crowd with AK 47s that were shooting at the sodiers.


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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Astar
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Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.
Member Since: 8th Nov 2002
Total posts: 1591
Posted:I don't think the issue is confusing rocks with grenades. It would be absurd to mistake a rock with a grenade and anyone who did so should be disciplined. This is ofcourse under normal conditions but like ray said THERE WERE PEOPLE IN THE CROWD SHOOTING AT THEM. It is impossible to return fire on the "bad apples" without hitting the "good apples". Its not like they can really distinguish between the two at the time.

If you don't want to be shot don't take part in armed protests. It's plain and simple. Don't throw rocks at armed soldiers period. They may not think it is a grenade but at one point when being pelted by rocks, having your teeth smashed out and having bones broken you might just have a defense reflex and open fire. The palestinians know this very well and they use it to their advantage. They have gone from being seen purely as the bad guys to being seen as the good guys by many. This is because the israelis routinely gun down palestinians protestors, often because the protestors give them no choice.

I imagine the iraqi's know this basic idea to and im pretty sure you would learn it quickly when you are desperate enough to die for your cause.


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King Of Bongo
King Of Bongo

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Posted:There is always a choice.
It was not an armed protest. (a rock really isn't a serious weapon when it is being thrown in a general direction- would you consider a giant boulder to be a WMD?- hey, maybe thats what the coalition is looking for!)

It was a demonstration against the military occupation in Iraq and more specifically against the US army installing one of their headquarters in a school. The people were protesting to try and get the soldiers to move elsewhere so they could open the school.

Ray- Ok, they may have started throwing rocks, but you know they are just throwing rocks after they have thrown a couple (which by the time of the shooting they already had thrown quite a few). It sounds like pretty feeble excuse... rocks being mistaken for possible hand-grenades? I doubt the soldiers were that vulnerable/lame they couldn't just take cover or do something to keep the crowd in order.

What caused the incident were apparently two guys who drove from out of the crowd on a motorbike with weapons (from the reports I've read it doesnt say what kind) and fired at the soldiers.

The soldiers obviously could not keep a clear head in the situation and panicked- I know it must be hard not to, but it is what they are trained for. If you see someone on a motorbike with a gun shooting at you, fair enough you should return fire, but you should definitely think first before shooting into a massive crowd. As astar said, they are all dressed in civilian clothes so it is hard to tell who's who- but once you start firing at a crowd without pinpointing the target, people start running, and in the confusion, the a**holes on the motorbike are gone without a trace. As it is, they did not get them.

13 people dead, acceptable collateral damages?
NO.

Did the Iraqis deserve it and bring it upon themselves by being there that day to protest against a military occupation that claims to be liberating them?
NO.

Poor and unfortunate performance if you ask me.

A couple of guys on a motorbike with guns is not part of a demonstration- they are the enemy, but who suffered the consequences were the innocent civilians. Perhaps the soldiers should just learn restraint.

PS Dont even try and relate this situation to the west bank, the Israeli's aim to kill, it is what they are told to do. According to them, anyone protesting is the enemy and cannot be allowed to do so. In Iraq, the demonstrations are allowed. There are other methods of dispersing a crowd/controlling protestors once it gets violent.

Sorry Astar, i don't buy the "end justifies the means" approach... just cos people look alike it doesnt give you the right to shoot them all because one has a gun and is shooting at you. Especially when they are the people you are liberating. It sounds pretty shallow to me.

If you were a policeman with an automatic weapon in the middle of a city and someone in a giant crowd protesting against the war took a pot shot at you, would you open fire on the crowd? or would you take cover/search for where the shots were coming from before firing back?


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Kat
Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London
Member Since: 13th Dec 2000
Total posts: 2211
Posted:Actually Ray, I thought I did a very good job of finding a rock that looked like a grenade. I did not think that the sizing was important. I expected people to use a bit of imagination. Imagination is what supposedly seperates humans and neanderthals. Does not seem to prevent us from behaving any less barbaric however

Anyhow - You have to admit - that was another prime dumb quote!!

I'm not going to get into the whole argument about the US still occupying Iraq, I made my views clear long ago that they should not be there in the first place!

Also the guys with the AK47's were supposedly driving past on moterbikes not standing in the crowds according to US reports I heard.

Neither is there any point speculating why was it that the guys with rocks that could have been grenades were shot instead of the guys with guns?
I don't blame a soldier for panicking and shooting, human instinct, survival of fittest and all, imagining that a rock been hurtled at them is potentially a deadly weapon.

But my gawd - what a dumb statement!


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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Dio
Dio

HoP Mechanical Engineer
Location: OK, USA
Member Since: 11th Jul 2002
Total posts: 729
Posted:OK let's for a moment think about where the RESPONSIBILITY lies in this situation. If I were to go to a protest with a machine gun and fire on the cops regulating it, would I expect them to find me and act on myself specifically?

The guys with guns were USING THE CROWD FOR SHIELDING. THEY are the ones who unfortunately put the lives of everyone around them at risk. The resulting deaths are squarely on THEIR shoulders. Don't shift the blame over to the US soldiers simply because they refused to stand around and ingest bullets from a concealed adversary.


What hits the fan is not evenly distributed.

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Astar
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Posted:Dio exactly.

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King Of Bongo
King Of Bongo

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Posted:I don't think it is a shift of blame at all, there is blame on both sides (obviously far more so on the Iraqi gunmens side for shooting in the first place, there is no denying that), for a lack of self-control on the part of the soldiers and a very cowardly performance on the gunmens' side, however both sides showed a vile lack of respect/consideration for civilian lives.
I think that the soldiers were very wrong and unproffessional to open fire randomly on a crowd, but I can see it being fairly understandable from the point of adrenaline-overpowered scared people being shot at. However they are supposed to be better than that.

I seem to remember NATO soldiers in kosovo were under strict orders to return fire only when they had an acquired target that had fired at them first and to avoid civilian casualties at all costs. I'm sure they had to put up with a lot more shooting at them without firing back... now that took the amazing professional guts and restraint that simply weren't present in this situation.


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Tika
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Location: BC, Canada
Member Since: 1st Jan 2002
Total posts: 106
Posted:And again today US troops opened fire on protestors killing 2 and wounding 8. While I see the responsiblity on both side the US troops should and are trained to maintain a clear head in these kinds of situations. When you have people protesting for the American miltitary to reduce thier pressence and they get shot not once but twice by this unwelcome military you have a serious problem. Daily I hear of anti-american protest in Iraq and accidents like this are something the US can't afford to make. In the eyes of the Iraqis the very people who are supposed to liberate them are also hurting them. If something like this where to happen here we would not settle for excuses about protestor throwing rocks and shoting into an unarmed crowd without locating the source so why is it ok in Iraq? People here would calling for an investigation and wanting those responsible to be brought up on charges.
quote:Don't throw rocks at armed soldiers period. They may not think it is a grenade but at one point when being pelted by rocks, having your teeth smashed out and having bones broken you might just have a defense reflex and open fire. So I guess the innocent people who got beat, pepper sprayed, and arrested for protesting at the World Summit had it coming to them because the riot police where under a lot of pressure. Give me a break!
I think that steps should have been taken awhile ago to unsure that trained peace-keepers preserve and maintain order in Iraq. A lot of the troops in Iraq are either "weekend-warriors" or/and never been to war and that inexperience is harmful.


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Astar
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Posted:No one ever accepts any excuses for any violence on the part of the police or military when they deal with protestors. It never ever fails. It's really pathetic. Remember in italy (I think) when the mob of people were swinging two by fours and fire extinguishers at the cop and he shot one of them in self defense and every liberal was crying bloody murder?

I really don't see how far a crowd has to go and how much danger cops or soldiers have to put themselves in before people think it's alright for them to return fire.

I agree there are times when the police and military do show terrible judgement. I haven't heard enough about this particular "shooting" to say either way. But Really the details NEVER matter because no one cares to listen to them. It could be a crowd of 200 guys with ak-47's and RPG's with 50 "peaceful protestors" and the assholes in the media would cry "PROTESTORS GUNED DOWN" and the general populace would buy it.


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poiaholic22
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Member Since: 22nd Dec 2002
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Posted:What a sh1tty situation.

It's really not fair to blame the soldiers.

However, blaming the gunmen is not going to bring back the dead nor is it gonna make us look any better to the Iraqi people.As far as they may be concerned if our military left as has been requested by many levels in Iraq this wouldn't have happened.

This is similar to the NYC shooting a couple years ago.What was that guys name who got shot 41 times? Diallo or was it Louima?

It's just a bad situation where the soldiers lose if they do something and quite possibly lose their lives if they do nothing.

Don't judge the soldiers until you have been in that situation and know what it is like to not be able to tell the enemy from a civilian.


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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)
Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Member Since: 31st Dec 2001
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Posted:KoB, have you ever taken incomming fire? I have never, but I have done live fire exercises and let me tell you something, thats ****ing scary!!

Even though I have faith in the Marines to the right and left of me, what if those artilery shells are off?? I would never hear the explosion thats what!! So you keep your head as much as you can.


So... when these guys, as you say, came out on a bike and started shooting at the soldiers the soldiers fired back. Was it panic fire? I doubt that, but you know what? Moving targets, MOVE!!

So is it a shitty situation? Yep

I dont think that 13 innocent dead is acceptable, but I also dont feel that anybody outside of the situation has any room to talk especailly when they have no idea or comprhension of how the soldiers mind set was at that time.


Ohh and another thing, Soldiers are not the Police. While some do the job of a cop, not all do.

What if there was no place for cover? I mean true you can hit the dirt but that doesnt really do much.

KoB, get some military experiance before being a military critic!


Kat, in a situation where you have people that are obviusly agressive and quite frankly dont like you a rock can look like a grenade. Also... though the Iraqi people had been throwing the rocks for a little while who is to say that a genade couldnt magically find its way hurled twords the Soldiers? I mean, if you let your guard down, then something like that will happen, its Murphy's Law.

So if you treat every rock like a grenade, you will be ready for one when it is thrown.

Now does that mean shoot someone every time they throw a rock? NO it doesnt, but it also doesnt mean that you just ignore the rock and let it bounce of your kevlar!


Another thing, where where those guys riding? Did they ride to the front of the crowd, exposing themself to the Soldiers? I doubt it I bet they were riding through the crowd, and thusly 13 casulties.

Like I said, it is a shitty situation.

Yes it was a bad quote, and that is probably why it was used. I mean why use a great quote that doesnt go along with the flow of your article?


KoB how do you know it was random? You were not there, you cant tell me that you know what happend.



Originally said by Tika:
quote: A lot of the troops in Iraq are either "weekend-warriors" or/and never been to war and that inexperience is harmful. What war would you like our troops to get experiance on? Maybe the US Army has alot of reservists over there, I dont know how the Army works, but I do know that the Marines sent in active duty personel and not many reservists.

You are right though, inexperience is harmfull. And that is why you train, and let me tell you something, they train day in and day out.


Alot of times in those situations there is no way to tell the difference between an armed civilian and the gunman who just shot at you. Also there are things that were not reported, like how many people there that were on motercycles. The crowed was armed and it only took a few to get 13 people killed, the thing is, how much would it take to get the crowd to start shooting?


So KoB since you know so much about the military and how things should be done. At what point do you start shooting? When the guy next to you gets killed?


Edit:

Poiaholic and Astar, what the hell are you doin??

Your supposed to fight with me, not agree with me


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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poiaholic22
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Member Since: 22nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 531
Posted:quote:Originally posted by Raymund P.:

Edit:

Poiaholic and Astar, what the hell are you doin??

Your supposed to fight with me, not agree with me What, you thought I was kidding when I said I try to see things from both sides.

War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges and ...
Jarhead by Anthony Swofford are two books that have been published recently that give insight into the lives of the people on the front lines.Supposedly both are very good reading.

Here's a review of both.


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Tika
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Location: BC, Canada
Member Since: 1st Jan 2002
Total posts: 106
Posted:Since 1991 there has been US militarty deployment in Operation desert storm, Intervention in Somalia, Bosnian War, Kosovo War, Afghanistan war, thats all I can think of right now.

My point is that UN peacekeepers should have been sent a long time ago. Their entire training in based "to alleviate human suffering, and create conditions and build institutions for self-sustaining peace." UN peacekeepers include civilian police which weather US soldiers are or are not, is what they are doing right now.
Ray you said it yourself quote:... a situation where you have people that are obviusly agressive and quite frankly dont like you.. So with that in mind why would you have the very same people that the Iraqis are agressive towards trying to moniter and maintain them? That makes no sense to me.


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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)
Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Posted:Right now it would be very bad to leave the Iraqi people alone. I mean just imagine a country where only those with enough power are safe.

People would be killed right and left and the US would be blamed for leaving the country, so damned if they do, damned if they dont!

I cant suggest anything, and that is probably a good thing.


You know, I dont know how good of a choice I would make. For the first time I had to write proficiancy and conduct marks for the Marines who are junior to me.

It is a hard thing grading someone else, especially people you consider friends. I mean JGG is a friend and the score that I wrote will either help or hinder his carrer. Imagine trying to make choices for a whole country?!?!

Wow now thats a mind job!


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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King Of Bongo
King Of Bongo

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Posted:Ray, ray, ray, i have absolutely no intention of getting any military experience, but I have all the intention and right to criticise what i see as an error in judgement- people don't tell organizations like UNESCO etc that they are not soldiers so can't judge them and what they do...

You start shooting when you know who is shooting at you. It takes balls and a clear mind. soldiers are meant to be able to cope with the risk of being killed , if you dont accept that risk, dont join the army. I would respect a soldier much more that was shot whilst searching for the gunner than one who survived by just shooting at where the sound was coming from and killing the gunner amongst 13 other people.

As you say, I dont know the ins and outs of the situatiion, but neither do you, neither of us were there, dont foolishly pretend that any military experience you have gives you more of a right to have an opinion than me. If you want it like that, I study psychology and therefore am much more aware of their mindframe than you are... B.S.
From a psychological point of view they are tired, scared and confused, adrenaline is rushing through their blood and fear is congesting their mental capabilities, they are extremely susceptible to noise and prone to errors in judgement... if they were truly professional soldiers this wouldn't get out of control, they would have a heightened sensitivity and a clear mind. If the soldiers were in the latter situation, they clearly did make a fairly unforgivable error in judgement.

The soldiers are now in a policing role- one the US hadn't planned for them beforehand. However police in england are not allowed to carry any sort of fire-arm unless they are a special division and they cope... I understand that there is a need for soldiers to carry guns, but when policing, some restraint is needed. It is extremely hard to judge in the situation where you dont know who is friend or foe, but I think the soldiers f****d up on this one... the last thing they should get is a pat on the back for it.

The lack of police stems from the lack of UN and NATO backing...
international co-operation is the way forwards...
and as i just said in a recent post- the US decided to go it alone, so I guess it should clean up its mess (hopefully without more incidents like these) and then leave if it wants to end up being the "good guy"...
A long military occupation is a blunder, and a short one is too- so lets just hope the decision makers in washington get this one right.


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Dio
Dio

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Location: OK, USA
Member Since: 11th Jul 2002
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Posted:Source: Daily O'Collegian, April 30, 2003

quote: Soldiers had said armed men had mixed into the crowd and fired at them.

The deaths outside a school in Fallujah... heigthened the tense and precarious balance as Americans try to keep the peace in Iraq.

U.S. forces insisted they opened fire only upon armed men, according to Col. Arnold Bray, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 325 Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division, whose troops were involved in the shooting.

"Which school kids carry AK-47s?" Bray asked. "I'm 100 percent certain the persons we shot at were armed.

US Central Command said paratroopers of the 82nd... were fired on by about 25 armed civilians mixed within an estimated crowd of 200 protestors.

"The paratroopers, who received fire from elements mixed within the crowd and positioned atop neighboring buildings, returned fire, wounding at least seven of the armed individuals," the Central Command statement said.

Sgt. Nkosi Campbell, who commanded the first American who fired, said "Even then, soldiers exercised restraint. They turned around and said 'Hey, sergeant, can we shoot?' And that was when they were already under fire."It sounds like they did the best they could, given the situation and the circumstances. Before you criticize our soldiers for their radical responses to civilian rock-tossing, please do a little digging first.


What hits the fan is not evenly distributed.

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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)
Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Posted:To say that I cant understand something just because I dont study psychology is BS!

I do not have the same exact training as the soldiers in this situation had. That is because I do a different job. But I do have some of the same training. You, on the other hand, have none. You know what your book says and your right from a printed point of view what you described was right. Yes they probably were scared, tired, and had adreniline going through their bodies at warp 1! I doubt they were confused. They knew where the enimy fire was comming from. They knew that in a last ditch effort they could leave. So confused, I doubt it.


Yes they are in a sort of police role.

Let me tell you a little story about the LA riots a decade or so ago.

The LAPD, needed a bit of help, so they asked for some Marines to come up from Camp Pendleton to assist in matters.

Well one of the police units that was patroling with a squad of Marines in a HUMM V behind him came upon some looters in a store. The looters started shooting at the cops when they saw them.

The cop stopped the car got out and hunkerd down behind his car.

One of the cops had seen a position that he if he could get to, could have a better angle on the situation. So he yelled to the Marines, "Cover me!" What happend next neither the cops or the looters were prepared for.

The Marines opend up with semi and fully automatic fire on the store!


You see, the difference between sodiers and cops is very big. They do the job differently.

The cop in that story wanted the Marines to just aim in, the training that the Marines had was when some asks for cover, you open fire at the target suppressing anyone from getting up to take a pop shot.

Soldiers arnt cops. If the UN really gave a damn and if NATO really had any power they would send people in no matter what the US said. Thats their job. Obviusly they dont care so whats the use complaining, use what you got.


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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Kat
Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London
Member Since: 13th Dec 2000
Total posts: 2211
Posted:Ray - article I read was not critical of soldiors protecting themselves - just reported that incident made US relations with Iraq more volatile and justified for the iraqi's their protests their clerics and not US mouthpieces should be leading Iraq.

Must be tough for the poor soldiors who are sent there many of them believing that they were saviours and heros only been spat on or shot at by the people they have 'liberated'. I am not criticizing a soldior for trying to defend themselves, just the dumn smucks who speak for them! In the same situation, would I do the same as the soldior not knowing whether a rock or a grenade was been thrown at them? Probably.

I disagree that US troops (who I belive should never have been sent there) should remain there, Iraqi's will never accept the US and a 'neutral' party would be better in this instance. As a citizen of a country that was occupied for many years, I forsee that the hatred of Americans by the Iraqi people is something that will fester and grow and be passed on to future generations of US hating Islamics.

The problem is what neutral party could be sent in to restore the Peace, especially now that the UN counts for jackdiddlysquat?


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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King Of Bongo
King Of Bongo

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Posted:Ray- perhaps from my last post you see my point... From what i said I was intending to make this point. I accepted that my knowing about how the marines felt was BS, but it was throwing your "i'm a marine so i know exactly what it was like and you couldnt possibly know because you have no military background thus you have no right to say anything" attitude straight back in your face for being equally as BS:
quote: "dont foolishly pretend that any military experience you have gives you more of a right to have an opinion than me" Nice one dio, I did a fair bit of research but could not find anything of similar detail from the american point of view (have never heard of the Daily O'Collegian but I trust your source is good). All I can say is that from that report it sounds like they did a good job.

Dio, I do my research, but found nothing like the article you discovered. Just to show you I do read up on things (and so you dont discard me as some radical anti-war freak!), these were a couple i read:

from articles published by the FT:
BY JEANETTE OLDHAM
The Scotsman - United Kingdom; Apr 30, 2003


AMERICAN soldiers have fired on a crowd of Iraqi protesters, killing at least 13 and injuring dozens more.

A spokesman for the United States military said soldiers started shooting after people in the crowd fired on them - but Iraqi witnesses said the protesters, in the Iraqi town of Falujah, were unarmed.

The military presence at a school in the town, which lies 30 miles west of Baghdad, had prompted the protest. The US troops are reported to have entered Falujah for the first time two days ago.

Kamal Shaker Mahmoud, a local Sunni cleric, said the demonstrators were unarmed and had gone to the school to ask the US forces to leave.

Witnesses in Falujah, who were burying their dead after the shooting on Monday night, said dozens more Iraqis had been wounded. Some put the death toll between 13 and 17.

Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based television station, said the toll could be as high as 15 dead and 50 injured.

and this is one of the latest...

IRAQ: THE AFTERMATH: American denials enrage Fallujah
BY PHIL REEVES IN FALLUJAH
The Independent - United Kingdom; May 02, 2003


AMERICAN CENTRAL Command has dismissed reports that US troops shot dead 13 civilians at a demonstration in Fallujah as "allegations" that are unlikely to be proved.

The claims came as relatives of one of the victims, a 13-year-old boy, gathered for a third day of mourning at his home. Had US officials paid a visit, they would have been shown the ID card of Abdul Khader al-Jumaili. They would have seen his death certificate, No 220441, issued by Fallujah General Hospital, listing his cause of death on Monday as bullet wounds to the chest.


and finally:


IRAQ AFTERMATH : At least 10 dead as US soldiers fire on school protest US put under pressure after civilian shooting, as Europe forges ahead with plans for military operations outside Nato
BY PHIL REEVES IN FALLUJAH, IRAQ
The Independent - United Kingdom; Apr 30, 2003


THE SCENE was of a messy kind the PentagonOs publicists had dearly hoped to avoid. Large patches of congealed blood. Discarded shoes scattered in terror. Angry Iraqi neighbours and wailing relatives, recounting a tale of the random killing of young men whose only crime was to demand that their new, heavily armed masters leave the neighbourhood.

The troubles plaguing the American and British occupation of Iraq deepened after US troops opened fire on a crowd of demonstrators.

Iraqi doctors and city officials say that 13 people were killed and many more injured. The US military speaks of up to 10 deaths but admits that it is OpossibleO the figure is 13.

The people of Fallujah, a dust-blown Sunni Muslim trucking town 35 miles west of Baghdad, will always view the events of Monday night as an atrocity not to be forgotten.

Some time after 9pm, a crowd of about 100 demonstrators descended on a school that had been taken over by about 100 American soldiers four days earlier.

The ostensible reason for the march, which was unusually late in the evening, was to demand that the troops depart because the people wanted the school to reopen. But there were also wild rumours going around that the Americans had been peering into their homes ETH and at their women ETH with night-vision goggles.

The marchers were carrying a solitary banner of Saddam Hussein, a gesture to the fact that it was the dictatorOs birthday but also a tactic chosen partly to annoy the Americans. Some Iraqis, both sides agree, were firing in the air in celebration. Iraqi witnesses say that the US troops were frightened and opened fire.

The Americans say they were fired on and acted in self-defence against a crowd in which 25 people had guns. But there are strong doubts about the US version ETH and an absence of evidence. Ahmed al-Essawi, aged 15, who was shot in his arm and leg, says he did not see any guns. OAll of us were trying to run away. They shot at us directly. The soldiers were very scared. There were no warning shots, and I heard no announcements on the loudspeakers.O Ahmed Karim, a 21-year-old blacksmith who was shot in the thigh, did not see any guns either. OWe were shouting OthereOs no god but AllahO. We arrived at the school building and were hoping to talk to the soldiers when they began shooting at us randomly. I think they knew we were unarmed but wanted a show of force to stop us from demonstrating.O

No guns were seen in the crowd by Hussein Ali Awari, a labourer who lives across the road from the protest. He says that when the shooting started, panic-stricken demonstrators, some injured, piled into his courtyard for cover, including a boy of about 17 who died later.

OIt was terrible,O he said. OI think the Americans were so scared of us Iraqis that they were willing to do anything. There were injured people crying out for help outside the house. When I tried to go out to help them, they told me to get back inside or theyOd shoot.O

No weapons were seen by Hassan, a student aged 19 who refused to reveal his full name. OWe had one picture of Saddam, only one. There were quite a lot of us ETH about 200. We were not armed and nothing was thrown. There had been some shooting in the air in the vicinity, but that was a long way off. I donOt know why the Americans started shooting. When they began to fire, we just ran.O

These people may be lying, but the hard evidence at the scene must also be considered.

The Americans troops were from the 84th Airborne Division, deployed late last week to stop looting and a roaring local arms trade. They fired at the crowd from FallujahOs al-Kaat primary and secondary school, a pale-yellow utilitarian concrete building of two storeys and about the length of seven terraced houses. They were shooting from the front of the upper floor and from the roof at people across the road ETH a distance of several dozen yards.

According to Lt-Col Eric Nantz, the troops were being shot at and stones had been thrown. They tried to disperse the crowd with loudspeaker warnings but in vain, he said. Under threat, they fired back.

Yet there are no bullet holes visible at the front of the school building or tell-tale marks of a firefight. The place is unmarked. By contrast, the houses opposite ETH numbers 5, 7, 9, and 13 ETH are punctured with machine- gun fire, which tore away lumps of concrete the size of a hand and punched holes as deep as the length of a ballpoint pen. Asked to explain the absence of bullet holes, Lt-Col Nantz said that the Iraqi fire had gone over the soldiersO heads. We were taken to see two bullet holes in an upper window and some marks on a wall, but they were on another side of the school building.

There are other troubling questions. Lt-Col Nantz said that the troops had been fired on from a house across the road. Several light machineguns were produced, which the Americans said were found at the scene. If true, this was an Iraqi suicide mission ETH anyone attacking the post from a fixed position within 40 yards would have had no chance of survival.

The American claim that there were 25 guns in the crowd would also indicate that the demonstrators had had a death wish or were stupid. Iraqis have learnt in the past few weeks that if they fail to stop their cars quickly enough at an American-manned checkpoint, they may well be shot.

To walk, at night, up to a US army outpost brandishing guns and chanting anti-American slogans would have been an act of madness.

But these facts ETH all of which point to a frightened, panicked and trigger- happy force that opened fire because it did not feel its base was safe ETH matter less than the larger political implications of the event.

The occupiers of Iraq are running into trouble. Last week, six Iraqis were shot dead in Mosul by US troops. Every such incident deepens the bedrock of Iraqi public sympathy for armed resistance against the troops.

In the past week, American forces have been shot at daily. A deliberate attack on a US arms dump in Baghdad led to the explosion that killed at least 10 people, and stone-throwing at troops ETH a highly symbolic form of OresistanceO borrowed from the Palestinians ETH has become commonplace.

The language of the American forces is beginning to sound grimly familiar. They complain of having to shoot at stone-throwers because the Iraqi youths might ETH and did on one occasion in Ramadi three days ago, they allege ETH throw grenades as well as stones.

They describe people firing at them from within crowds of civilian demonstrators. They live in dread of car bombs and suicide attackers. They say that the majority of Iraqis like them but add that there is a small element lodged in the fabric of Iraqi society that is determined to make trouble.

This has all been said before, by their allies, the Israelis, several hundred miles to the west. And no one has yet found a solution. Leaving the scene of this mayhem yesterday, one personOs words were unforgettable. They came, not from a protester or a gunman, but from the headmaster of the school where this bloodshed happened. Many of his students were among the protesters.

When he heard of the shootings, he rushed to the hospital to give blood. He is a quietly spoken man, but cloudy-eyed with anger and grief. Now, he said calmly, he is willing to die as a OmartyrO to take his revenge against the Americans.


I personally fear repurcussions like this more than anything else...


Your life is ending one minute at a time...
So live it.

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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)
Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

Enter a "Title" here:
Location: San Diego California
Member Since: 31st Dec 2001
Total posts: 2905
Posted:Now you have to choose who to believe a reporter or the men who were there.

Take your pic, I know some will obviusly choose what the Scotish reporter said, and completly disreguard the sodiers word.

You have the right to your opinion,feel free.


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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Dio
Dio

HoP Mechanical Engineer
Location: OK, USA
Member Since: 11th Jul 2002
Total posts: 729
Posted:KoB, you're the Megatron to my Optimus

I gotta run to class now, but incredibly interesting and I'll have to do some more digging later on today!


What hits the fan is not evenly distributed.

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Tika
member
Location: BC, Canada
Member Since: 1st Jan 2002
Total posts: 106
Posted:Or do you believe the protestor who said they weren't firing at the soldiers?

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King Of Bongo
King Of Bongo

addict
Location: Berlin
Member Since: 25th Dec 2002
Total posts: 522
Posted:I'd say it eventually comes down to a question of we weren't there so we dont know and probably never will... its one persons word against another.

And Dio- thats just simply not fair. I want to be optimus!

[ 03. May 2003, 06:18: Message edited by: King Of Bongo ]


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Mistress Aurora
Mistress Aurora

Hot Schtuff
Location: Stillwater,OK/Wichita Falls,TX
Member Since: 19th Jan 2003
Total posts: 1032
Posted:quote: (have never heard of the Daily O'Collegian King of Bongo this is the Oklahoma State University college paper.Dio tried to find that specific artical on the papers webpage to cite it, but it wasn't on there.So he had to type it in.

Wish I hadn't been deprived of Transformers, then I would know more about the characters yall talk about.



RISK: Do not follow the common path; Go where there is no path and leave a trail.

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King Of Bongo
King Of Bongo

addict
Location: Berlin
Member Since: 25th Dec 2002
Total posts: 522
Posted:thank you mistress aurora!
( you probably had a productive childhood if you haven't watched transformers!)

and... good effort dio!


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