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Video Of Us Helicopter Killing Unarmed Iraqis


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both these links are working as i post this...

the video shows no weapons in the mens hands

1 was obviously wounded when fired on

they posed no visible danger at the time they were attacked

does this violate the rules of engagement of an occupying not to engagne unless in harms way?

looks like 3 execuations on tape

maybe there is more to the story, but its hard to see much to justify this as "combat"

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That is very graphic, you don't realize how powerful those guns are until you see the aftermath. Scary

From the tape, it does look as if they are just walking around. But we don't have all the information. They could have been guerillas that were setting up for something....we just don't know.

This is war, this is what happens...

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It could be 3 executions, but from the video, it's impossible to tell what's going on.

From the warblogging site:

At no point in the video can we see any weapons in the hands of the Iraqis... I'm not used to viewing thermal video and I don't know how weapons or IEDs would appear in infrared.

A weapon, unless it had recently been fired, would be at the same temperature as it's surroundings and so wouldn't show in an IR picture. These men might have been armed. The video can't answer that question.

I'm not sure that it's proper to shoot and kill a wounded man.

The SAS used to use the double-tap firing rule: hit the target with two shots. They abandoned that in the 80s and took a new rule, which was to continue shooting at the target until he stopped moving. In the Iranian embassy siege, some terrorist corpses were found with over 30 bullets in them.

The reason is that a wounded man can still raise and fire a weapon, activate a detonator or any other number of things. The only way to ensure a man is not a threat is to kill him. From a military perspective, the helicopter gunners were correct to kill the wounded man.

Furthermore, as the blogger admits, it's also perfectly possible that the men are setting up a mortar, planting a bomb or so forth. Maybe the truck contains a bomb. Since the video doesn't show what these men were doing before they were fired upon we just can't tell.

The HUD info on the video is unreadable. The time is impossible to ascertain, but because this is IR footage it was probably a night engagement. So, we have three men, sneaking around at night after curfew, combined with the other factors above, which makes it less likely that these are innocent guys out for a stroll and more likely that they are up to no good.

To judge anyone from this video is a huge leap. It could be a shooting of three innocents, but it also could be a legitimate engagement of three terrorists or guerillas preparing to attack US soldiers or Iraqi policemen and civilians.

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i agree this video is damn graphic...very scary actually...war is hell

half of me says, if these guys were going to kill a whole bunch of people, they deserve to die, no trial, no jail, just blow them up. we waste too many resources on people who dont deserve to live anyways (rapists/chlld molesters)

the other half of me says as a western democratic nation, the US especially must go beyond any reasonable concept of justice to be an example to all the middle of the road european nations. else who will be left to criticise russian in chechnya or india and pakistan.

this kind of video leads me to believe vauge estimates of 30,000 to 75,000 iraqis killed to date in this conflict. with this kind of firepower and similar attacks that occuring during the war, there are likely thousands of low level iraqi army guys who were killed rather pointlessly.


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the other half of me says as a western democratic nation, the US especially must go beyond any reasonable concept of justice to be an example to all the middle of the road european nations

Bush declared major combat over. That meant the 150 thousand 'armed to the teeth' soldiers stooped in their tracks and changed roles to a police force. They kept the same uniforms so that they would be rocognizable and did not continue on destroying anything that stood in their way as they advanced.

Now they are protecting a country as best they can while it is set up for a transition to a democraticly elected Iraqi government. Their mission is clear, to enable the Iraqi people even if it means being taken out themselves. Don't you think it is about time you give these brave men and country some credit? When they take more casualties in 'peace' then they do in war does that not tell you something about the commitment they have to make sure that they are doing everything they can to appear non violent? We all know what they are capable of, to think they couldn't destroy the people easily is a falicy. That is not what they came for.

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after viewing the recording repeatedly, it is impossible to assertain for certain the status of those being fired on.

All that I can reasonably determine is:

1. the vehicle to the far left appears to be a tractor plow that has been in recent operation as is evidenced by the hot exhaust stack and the temperature of the soil aft of the vehicle.

2. the individual closest to and left of the largest vehicle during the first volley may appear to be armed.

3. the two individuals aproaching the "tractor operator" appear to be rushed.

3. The tractor operator has been instructed to exit the vehicle.

4. time unknown.

5. location unknown.

There is simply not enough information to make a definitive determination about what is going on here.

What is certain in that the fog of war is an everpresent reality during combat and adds a level of unpredictability.

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  • 2 weeks later...
during the curfew hours

Interesting point. Curfews are a well known thing in times of war. These people are not idiots who take armies casually. A curfew means that, a restriciton to be taken seriously. Why would they be out and about save for dishonest reasons? An innocent person would more than likely stay indoors.

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