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You Don't Want To Watch This Video

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April 06, 2010 – Comments (27)

Don't do it.

I'm warning you.

Your life is very nice. You don't want to see American soldiers in Iraq murdering two dozen civilians, including two Reuters journalists.  You don't want to know what you are capable of supporting (your apathy is all the support they need.)  You don't want to know that the government lied.  If they can lie about this, what else do they lie about?  Your money?  Your health care?  What else?

So, don't watch the video, which was released after the DoD was forced to comply with a FOI request.

Don't watch the video if you want to believe that America's cause is just.

Just, whatever you do, don't click play.

Perhaps you understand why I say that investors are ignoring the possibility of bad news on the war front.  It's not going.... swimmingly... over there.   It just keeps getting worse, in fact.

David in Qatar

27 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 06, 2010 at 7:07 AM, devoish (95.76) wrote:

Here is a link to the original WaPo story about the incident. The quotes do not match the video and do not help the soldiers who were targeting the Iraqis in from the apache.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/12/AR2007071202357.html

 Don't watch the video if you want to believe that America's cause is just

I am not sure how the behaviour of these soldiers reflects upon the motivations of George Bush in 2003 or President Obama in 2010. But it is good politics for someone, even if it doesn't make sense.

Here are some Americans that have been looking for your support to end this war.

http://www.codepink4peace.org/  http://ivaw.org/ 

However it is very unlikey that most Iraqis will be any better off if the US armed forces leave Iraq in the hands of private oil companys and their mercenarys (private security forces). See Nigeria.

 

 

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#2) On April 06, 2010 at 8:40 AM, jdlech (< 20) wrote:

And yet, people call me 'anti-American' when I mention anything like this.  We've been very bad boys for a very long time.  I'm a liberal libertarian, but there's a dark side to liberalism that just gets my hackles up - the idea of imperialism.  More precisely, how we've imposed imperialism on the world.  Absolutely immoral, unethical and in literally millions of cases, highly illegal.

Neoconservatism picked up this dark side of liberalism and what we did to Iraq is the result.  And not just Iraq, but also all over the world.  You might want to look into our use of depleted uranium in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And the spike in birth defects directly attributed to it.  Not just a few birth defects - tens of thousands.

The problem is; corporations are every bit as bad as governments when it comes to treating people like animals, commodities, and trash.  They have also learned to infiltrate and subvert the very regulatory bodies designed to keep them legal, moral and ethical.  The watch dogs need watch dogs, and those watch dogs need watch dogs - an endless series of watch dogs.  We need a system of checks and balances based upon distrust and cynicism to prevent the worst of human abuses.

Who will pay for it?  Ultimately we do.  We pay for it whether we have a working regulatory system or not.  Ultimately, we pay for both stifling regulation and inhumane excess.

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#3) On April 06, 2010 at 1:30 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Neo-Con Defend Massacre of Iraqi Journalists, Children

Bloodthirsty neo-cons who would defend barbecuing Arab babies on the White House lawn if they were told it was part of the “war on terror” are disgracefully scrambling to defend a shocking video released by Wikileaks which shows U.S. Apache helicopters massacring Iraqi journalists and children in Baghdad while laughing about it.

“The newly released video of the Baghdad attacks was recorded on one of two Apache helicopters hunting for insurgents on 12 July 2007,” reports the Guardian. “Among the dead were a 22-year-old Reuters photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40. The Pentagon blocked an attempt by Reuters to obtain the video through a freedom of information request. Wikileaks director Julian Assange said his organisation had to break through encryption by the military to view it.”

The video shows the journalists openly walking down the middle of the street with tripods and video cameras while talking to other Iraqis and preparing to set up filming.

Claiming the men are carrying RPG rocket grenade launchers, the Apache pilots indiscriminately open fire on the group, before firing again at people who attempt to rescue the dying men. The rescuers’ van, which is seen to contain at least two children, is blown to pieces as the soldiers laugh and chuckle, “Hahaha. I hit ‘em,” and “Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards.”

Full Article

 

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#4) On April 06, 2010 at 1:37 PM, nzsvz9 (< 20) wrote:

There are always casulaties in war; military, civilian, intended, unintended, and the oft-abused collateral. War is ugly and brutal.

My father told of stories of the war of Independence of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) after WWII. When a sniper would be chased back to his hut and would not come out, rather than risk the life of anyone in the unit, after warning the gunman, they would place a shell in the mortar, prop it against a tree, pull the firing pin, and blow up the hut. Not pretty. Sometimes families were in there with the gunman. Also, not pretty. The Indonesians would place airplane bombs under the rice paddy "roads" and wait with trigger wires in small dugouts nearby, then touch them off when a vehicle would come by. IEDs in the 1940s. Not pretty either. (The irony of that conflict was after the "rebellion" was put down, the Dutch granted the Indonesians independence - so the war and all the dead did not stop the political change at all).

Are there mistakes made in every war? Yes. Are our soldiers making some? Yes. Are all our soldiers doing this all the time? No. Is it going swimmingly? No. Is it all going like this video? No. Does it just get worse? Don't know.

We should not be there to make these kinds of mistakes in the first place.

Known simply as nzsvz9 who clicked play ...

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#5) On April 06, 2010 at 1:45 PM, weg915 (< 20) wrote:

Access to information, informs decisions and opinions.  I donated to wikileaks last night and urge everyone else to do so. 

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#6) On April 06, 2010 at 7:38 PM, 1315623493 wrote:

I don't blame the pilots. I blame the politicians who sent them there.

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#7) On April 06, 2010 at 10:34 PM, devoish (95.76) wrote:

betapegLLC,

Those pilots, assuming the audio is correct, were lying to claim they saw AK47s when there were none. Nothing but charges are deserved. I doubt it was the first time for those two.

The issue of the politicians who sent them there is more complex. There is the issue of fox spews repeatedly presenting us with Generals who lobby for military companys claiming the WMD's were there etc. etc. There is the issue of the Americans who rallied around hate and anger. There is a Conservative elected administration that in the morning told reporters that Iraq had WMD's and in the afternoon told television that Fox had reportered Iraq had WMD's.

Jdlech

I'm a liberal libertarian, but there's a dark side to liberalism that just gets my hackles up - the idea of imperialism...

...Neoconservatism picked up this dark side of liberalism and what we did to Iraq is the result

Neoconservatives are Liberals now? Neoconservatives are Libertarians now, You have ruined the name Republican, Conservative and now you need a new brand name for "Gov't is the problem make it smaller theory".

Sorry to get your hackles up David, but let's face it. Republicans, Conservatives and now Libertarians have all been selling the same schtick.

Not the Liberals.

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#8) On April 06, 2010 at 10:38 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Avram Grumer — “So, apparently if you’re a bunch of goofballs with a fake language who are just talking about killing a cop, waiting for people to show up at his funeral, and then shooting them too, all in the name of freedom from tyranny, that’s a serious crime, and the government will raid you and the media will post all sorts of stories about how scary you are. If, in the other hand, you’re a US military helicopter crew who actually kill a bunch of Iraqi civilians, including a pair of journalists, and then, when some people (including two children) show up in a van to help the wounded and collect the bodies, shoot them too, all in the name of freedom from tyranny, the government will spend two years blocking Freedom of Information Act requests for the video of the event, and when the story finally breaks on the Internet, the media will spend their time talking about Tiger Woods and the iPad.”

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#9) On April 06, 2010 at 10:39 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

devoish,

Liberals are total phonies.  You cowards disappeared from the anti-war front in 2009 and to be honest with you, we don't want you back. Go f*ck yourself.

David in Qatar

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#10) On April 07, 2010 at 7:15 AM, devoish (95.76) wrote:

#8,

I watched your video. It was a couple of pilots who lied in order to get permission/justification to shoot. I doubt it was the first time and their lies should fall on their own heads.

Not prosecuting them should fall higher up.

These guys weren't likely "harmless goofballs", unlessyouarethetruthtwister. What was the other story you were going to write? Liberals cannot protect Americans?

#9

I'm sorry no libertarians brought legal charges against the Bush administration. I'm sorry no-one ever heard of you guys before you destroyed the republican/conservative brand name. The rest of us Americans moved the US away from the Republican/Conservative/Neocon/Andnowlibertarians "gov't is always the problem agenda", in the last two elections.

Frankly I am glad that many libetarians are realising what extreme wackpots their mouthpieces are. At the libertarian core there is some excellent fiscal conservatism that should approve that Congress has budgeted for its healthcare proposal and agrees that all Americans should be able to get to a Dr.

Americans who voted Democratic aren't happy because in his first year the President has not moved left fast enough, or kept promises about the ending the war, or followed up on his early belief in single payer healthcare, or moved against polluters quickly enough. They aren't happy because he has opened the coast to drilling. Their unhappiness has shown up in the Presidents polling numbers going down.  Believe me when I tell you, he did not lose the approval of the Republicans/conservatives/libertarians. He never had their support.

I'm not buying what you are selling.

Whereisyoursmallgovutopia?

Love,

devoish

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#11) On April 07, 2010 at 7:50 AM, Xciteddon (68.90) wrote:

And After 9-11 how many of you people urged and/or demanded then President Bush "do something" or "retaliate" in some way, shape, or form? Our government unanimously voted for this war. Backed by a majority of the people living in the US. War is hell! Just be thankful we are not fighting it on American soil. You have to take the good with the bad. To err is human. These soldiers are human and living under extremely stressful conditions. Can you imagine going to bed every night wondering if you are going to wake up in the morning? Wondering if you are going to be attacked. They don't play fair. They don't go by "rules" There are no rules in war. Its either shoot them or they shoot you. You conplain when American soldiers get shot or killed, you complain when civilians get shot or killed, come on you can't have it both ways. Support our troops!

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#12) On April 07, 2010 at 12:51 PM, ChrisGraley (29.81) wrote:

#7) On April 06, 2010 at 10:34 PM, devoish (99.47) wrote:

betapegLLC,

Those pilots, assuming the audio is correct, were lying to claim they saw AK47s when there were none. Nothing but charges are deserved. I doubt it was the first time for those two.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/04/07/military-raises-questions-credibility-leaked-iraq-shooting-video/

I'm not defending them. but I'm not willing to convict them so quickly.

No matter what I'd like to see the rules of engagement that allowed them to fire on that van. Someone in that chain of command should have to answer for that in court. You can clearly see an AK-47 in the leaked video as well.

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#13) On April 07, 2010 at 2:15 PM, angusthermopylae (40.72) wrote:

I recently read a blog/analysis/perspective by a vet who said the original shooting wasn't so much the problem--weapons were visible, and a shoulder-held device could have been mistaken for an RPG.

OTOH, (and this part I tend to agree with), the second shooting at the van is the morally repugnant part.  A vehicle shows up and the occupants obviously start to tend to the dead or wounded (nothing indicates they were picking up weapons...not even the pilots' audio.)

My guess (the usual, IANAL, etc) is that it's that particular act that might have fueled some sort of cover-up/delaying-action/"close this investigation NOW!" decision.

And for what it's worth, I have to stand mostly with betapegLLC with one slight alteration:  Regardless of the guilt of the pilots, I blame the politicians who started this whole mess...and the country who condoned/allowed it to happen.

Me, included...

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#14) On April 07, 2010 at 2:33 PM, mmaple3749 (64.55) wrote:

Casualties of war happen. It looked like an RPG to me and when your in the Helicopter and they have an RPG, you don't have time to think about it.

If you could do it better, join the ARMY become a pilot and go show me how it's done.

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#15) On April 07, 2010 at 2:35 PM, ragedmaximus (< 20) wrote:

the problem with this war is there is no army to fight just a bunch of terrorists running amok in the streets with ak47 rpg ied stapped to women and children.so it;s a losing proposition for everyone,there are no winners.usa should pull out and let that sand pit wither in the sun. 

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#16) On April 07, 2010 at 5:17 PM, Option1307 (30.24) wrote:

Intersting video and following comments here in the blog. I have a few comments to add.

1) The video doesn't surprise me in the least bit, and frankly I'm surprised that so many Fools (especially you David) are shocked by it's content. It's war people, obviously there are going to be casualties including civilian and children. I'm not here to argue whether we should be in Iraq or not (I don't), but the fact of the matter is that we are. So shouldn't we excpect to loose US military personnel and Iraqi civilians. I sure do.

2) Let's keep some things in perspective here regarding the video and the likely soldiers in the helicopters.

 A) They are young kids, probably mid 20's. B) Have been on several tours in Iraq/Afghanistan. C) Been shot at and likely shot at other people. D) Have not been sleeping a ton nor living healthy lifestyles. E) Are living in constant fear of dying from battle, beit suiccide bombings, friendly fire, roadside bombs, etc. Death is on their minds.

So, now that we understand who these soldiers likely were, is it any surprise that they acted the way they did? I sure don't think so, it seems pretty logical IMO. 

3) Did you see guns/weapons when you first watched the video? I wasn't sure what I was seeing, it certainly was very difficult to distinguish the camera over the shoulder, from say, a AK-47 over the shoulder.

4) Did you see the children in the front seat passanger window? I definitely did not notice them the first time around b/c I was more worried about what the people outside of the van were doing. 

First off, I completely agree that this was a terrible event and we should try and avoid future events like this. There is no excuse for civilian casualties, especially children. With that being said, I have to again ask, what in the hell did we think was going to happen when we are at "war" in Iraq? 

Let's be honest with ourselves, or at least follow me down my own personal logical path.

If you put me in Iraq (I'm in my mid-20's) and place me in the same situation as these soldiers, the outcome will likely be very similar. Check this out, you are used to civilians blowing up your friends and/or carrying weapons. As you come accross a large group of people, they have something slung over their shoulders and several are hiding behind building corners. What do you do? Wait until they fire and take out your helicopter or strike? Strike it is.

Next up, a van pulls up and tries to save the very people you assume (maybe inccorectly but that's besides the point) are villians and trying to ahrm you. What do you do? Strike them before they can harm you.

See my point? We put, essentially kids, in rough spots where they are being shot at daily and then expect them to behave humane and go out of their way to be civil and moral when push comes to shove. Wtf, really?

I would like to say the only thing differently I would do is determine if the people were carrying weapons before firing myself, but this is not always possible and when time is of the essence, well you know...

I understand that the soldiers maybe didn't react in the absolute best way, but IMO they didn't act in an overly evil way either. They followed protocol and got permission before engaging in what appeared (maybe falsely) hostile people.

If we want to prevent casualties like this, stop the war. It's really that simple.

I bet people read this and think I'm a horrible person, but let's not kid ourselves Fools, we can only imagine how hard it has to be for military personnel in Iraq/Afghanistan currently.

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#17) On April 07, 2010 at 6:19 PM, kdakota630 (29.83) wrote:

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#18) On April 07, 2010 at 11:27 PM, devoish (95.76) wrote:

ChrisGrayley,

Agreed 100%. (go check the earth is still spinning) The video demands a trial. Justice demands a trial not a conviction without one. If my using the word "assume" about the audio didn't convey that, I had hoped it would have.

To all the "put yourself in their shoes and consider the circumstances" posters. Also agreed. But the audio (assuming it was real) did not sound like those shooters in the helicopter were worried about deciding whether or not that was a camera or a weapon, and it certainly did not look like a weapon to me.

To all the "support the troops" posters. Sorry. I will offer no blind, all encompassing support for every member of any group. And I would greatly prefer to find out those kids in the helicopter had real reason to shoot, A riot three blocks over and one hour earlier that the video does not tell us about, that raised tension levels, or better, that the video is a fake.

Frankly, I found almost every reply measured and reasoned, unlike the OP. 

 

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#19) On April 08, 2010 at 6:49 AM, devoish (95.76) wrote:

More on the story -

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4057 

 

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#20) On April 08, 2010 at 7:38 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

It is being reported that Obama has authorized the assassination of an American citizen. 

Story here.

Imagine how bad GWB would have been if he was beloved a large portion of the population, and that is Barack Obama.

To Option1307,

I'm not surprised at anything that is happening, and that is why I am so ticked off.  I said this would happen.  The Neocon cheerleaders didn't listen.  Now the Left has been completely deluded, totally unaware that Neocons are advising Obama.  I don't know what is worse, being a Neocon or a Neocon puppet.  Or being a Lefty like devoish that is completely clueless as to how governments actually operate.

The naivete is staggering.

David in Qatar

 

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#21) On April 08, 2010 at 4:01 PM, Option1307 (30.24) wrote:

I'm not surprised at anything that is happening, and that is why I am so ticked off.  I said this would happen.  The Neocon cheerleaders didn't listen.

Fair enough, thanks for the clarification. Now you that put it this way, I do rememeber you talknig about this in previous blogs.

Now the Left has been completely deluded, totally unaware that Neocons are advising Obama. 

This is a really interesting point, at lest for me personally. Since I'm a youngster, many of my friends/peers from my college days are uber liberals. They used to rail and rail all the time about Bush/American imperialism, yadda yadda etc. etc. But now that Bush is gone and we have a new president in office, they are strangly silent. Even when I bring up the fact that Obama has clearly not fullfilled his "bring em home in 1 year" crap and actually increased our presence in Afghanistan. Hmm, go figure... Another shinning example of politics at it's best and getting in the way of real/true discussion.

Sorry if I came off rude to you earlier, I didn't intend to. Keep fighting the good fight!

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#22) On April 08, 2010 at 4:13 PM, Option1307 (30.24) wrote:

whereaminow

Just read your newest link you posted, I had not seen that yet.

Wow, just wow. There isn't much else to say about that.

Does this officially make the Obama Nobel Peace prize a complete joke yet?

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#23) On April 08, 2010 at 5:14 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Option1307,

Amazing isn't it?  How long before people wake up?  I know if I say that Obama is now comtemplating murdering American citizens, Rachel Maddow will jump out of the closet and yell "Racist!" at the top of her lungs, but f*ck her.

Obama is worse than Bush.

You and I have been sharing thoughts on Liberty too long for me to think you were being rude.  You were just trying to gauge where I was coming from.  We are both on the side of Liberty.

David in Qatar

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#24) On April 08, 2010 at 8:57 PM, devoish (95.76) wrote:

From the Washington Post;

"He's recently become an operational figure for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," said a second U.S. official. "He's working actively to kill Americans, so it's both lawful and sensible to try to stop him." The official stressed that there are "careful procedures our government follows in these kinds of cases, but U.S. citizenship hardly gives you blanket protection overseas to plot the murder of your fellow citizens."

Aulaqi corresponded by e-mail with Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 12 soldiers and one civilian at Fort Hood, Tex., last year. Aulaqi is not believed to have helped plan the attack, although he praised Hasan in an online posting for carrying it out.

Concern grew about the cleric's role after he was linked to the Nigerian accused of attempting to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day by detonating an explosive device he had smuggled in his underwear. Aulaqi acknowledged teaching and corresponding with the Nigerian but denied ordering the attack.

He won't be the first American to be wanted Dead or Alive.

I am sure the President would rather see him captured to stand trial. I hope he turns himself in.

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#25) On April 08, 2010 at 9:05 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

I am sure the President would rather see him captured to stand trial.

This, in a nutshell, separates you from me.  I don't try to claim that I know what the President wants.  I look at actions.  His action has been to authorize the assassination of an American citizen.  It is actions not words that matter to me.  There are a whole list of actions that he has taken that do not match the words.  This is just another on the "hit list" - bad pun intended.

David in Qatar

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#26) On April 08, 2010 at 9:26 PM, weg915 (< 20) wrote:

David,

Well said.

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#27) On April 08, 2010 at 9:48 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

More updates on the assassination story.  This disputes devoish's WaPo State Propaganda.

 

UPDATE:  When Obama was seeking the Democratic nomination, the Constitutional Law Scholar answered a questionnaire about executive power distributed by The Boston Globe's Charlie Savage, and this was one of his answers:

 

5. Does the Constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants?

[Obama]:  No. I reject the Bush Administration's claim that the President has plenary authority under the Constitution to detain U.S. citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants.

So back then, Obama said the President lacks the power merely to detain U.S. citizens without charges.  Now, as President, he claims the power to assassinate them without charges.  Could even his hardest-core loyalists try to reconcile that with a straight face?  As Spencer Ackerman documents today, not even John Yoo claimed that the President possessed the power Obama is claiming here.

 

UPDATE II:  If you're going to go into the comment section -- or anywhere else -- and argue that this is all justified because Awlaki is an Evil, Violent, Murdering Terrorist Trying to Kill Americans, you should say how you know that.  Generally, guilt is determined by having a trial where the evidence is presented and the accused has an opportunity to defend himself -- not by putting blind authoritarian faith in the unchecked accusations of government leaders, even if it happens to be Barack Obama.  That's especially true given how many times accusations of Terrorism by the U.S. Government have proven to be false.

 

UPDATE III:  Congratulations, Barack Obama:  you're now to the Right of National Review on issues of executive power and due process, as Kevin Williamson objects:  "Surely there has to be some operational constraint on the executive when it comes to the killing of U.S. citizens. . . . Odious as Awlaki is, this seems to me to be setting an awful and reckless precedent. "  But Andy McCarthy -- who is about the most crazed Far Right extremist on such matters as it gets, literally -- is as pleased as can be with what Obama is doing (or, as Gawker puts it, "Obama Does Something Bloodthirsty Enough to Please the Psychos").

 

UPDATE IV:  Keith Olbermann's coverage of this story was quite good tonight -- see here.

 

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