Collateral Murder

27

April 5, 2010 by J. Madson

Today, WikiLeaks released a video of the U.S. military murdering civilians in Iraq in 2007. Those killed include a Reuters photojournalist and his driver as well as several Iraqis who showed up to carry away the dead including two of their children.

Warning, the video is graphic and hard to watch. I post it because people need to know what has happened and continues to happen in our wars of aggression.

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27 thoughts on “Collateral Murder

  1. Tariq says:

    I predict that the the US military will do nothing to take responsibility for these murders. Nothing will happen to any of the soldiers responsible and nothing will happen to any of the high ranking officers who lied about it later. Because of the cowardly dodging of responsiblity that goes on in the military – from the lowest all the way up to the highest ranks – this kind of cruelty will continue. I would love to be proven wrong about that.

    Notice that the soldiers seemed to take pleasure in their bloodshed, and notice their arrogant disrespect for life and for the Iraqi people. They laughed about running a body over with their humvee. They laughed about their shot that went right through the van’s windshield, into a van where children were sitting. And when they found out that they shot children, they automatically went into victim-blaming mode; “It’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.” “That’s right.” Nevermind the fact that it wasn’t a battle. It’s just like when some frat boy date rapist blames the woman he raped, “well, it’s her fault for dressing so seductively”. I bet that when those murderous soldiers came home to the US, dumbass patriots treated them like heroes and said, “Thank you for your service”.

    And before any angry patriotic idiots try to chastise me for criticizing “the troops”, and before you regurgitate your FOX Newsish line that, “if it weren’t for those soldiers, traitors like you wouldn’t even have the freedom to criticize the military!” you’d better have an answer to my question; How does murdering Iraqi civilians, children, and journalists protect my freedom? And, how would you feel if a foreign occupying force came to the US and treated you the way these soldiers treat Iraqis? How would you like it if they murdered your innocent father, brother, husband, or son, and then laughed about it afterwards?

    Lastly, notice how the US military, which took part in the genocide of Native Americans, uses alot of Native American names; for example, Apache helicopters, Tomahawk Missiles, and one of the murderous soldiers used the name “Crazy Horse”. It’s just more evidence attesting to the level of arrogance and disrespect this sleazy military has.

  2. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    1. responsibility for what happens in war is a two way street for you to reasonably be able to make a call on this event would require you to know the context of it. Do you? As with most of these gun camera videos the context of who theyre watching is missing. Preceding events, etc etc.

    2. What’s arrogant is you, some rear echelon bomb tech passing judgment on those who actually get dirty doing their job. What was the intel dude? Who were these guys? Do you know? I’m sure every time you worked on a bomb it was a solemn experience for you, you hypocrite. Hows that G.I. Bill working out for you? How many Iraqis or Afghans died from the bombs you made so you could go to college? I sure hope you never laughed once while working on any part of a bomb, Tariq.

    3. If the collateral damage the author is referring to is the Journalists and the kids then yeah that’s easy. If you’re taking pictures of guys likely to get shot by an Apache, you stand a good chance of getting shot yourself, the imagery is not perfect, that’s the price of doing business. And yeah they shouldn’t have brought their kids. Oh and as for questions, here’s one for you, How would you feel if a foreign occupying force came to the U.S. and there was no military to fend them off?

    4. wow, that’s so deep man… We use Native American names for some of our equipment, could that possibly be OUT OF RESPECT? because we fought them and they put up a good fight? No? Explain how it’s disrespectful. Or are you implying that 20 years from now we’ll have a helicopter or missile called “Hajji” really dude.

  3. J. Madson says:

    SUNNofaB.C.Rich

    its getting really tiring to listen to your constant cheerleading. War is hell. When you invade a country you are going to be held responsible for the collateral damage and destruction you cause. The callousness with which people knowingly kill is astounding. There is nothing worth defending here. It is sick.

  4. hey J., I was just about to post this. The US military does stuff like this pretty consistently, then they refuse to release and/or destroy the damning evidence, then they outright lie about it, until they get caught red handed, then it just gets shrugged off and nobody cares or remembers it a few days later. I wonder what the record would reveal about alyssa peterson’s unit before she committed suicide.
    Anyway, someone in the military had alot of courage to leak these tapes. It took two years, but alot of respect to whoever in the military leaked it.

  5. Tod Robbins says:

    J. I support you 100% about SUNNofaB.C.Rich going on and on. I think the major thing that troubles me in this video is the callousness with which the majority of the troops speak of taking human life. I have read plenty in my studies to suggest their desensitized view of taking life is partially a defensive mechanism, though this war of aggression is real and is corrupting and destroying a lot of good men and women from America and elsewhere.

  6. J. Madson says:

    Someone wrote into Andrew Sullivan’s blog with this comment which I thought was worth repeating

    Soldiers are trained to kill and sometimes in the heat of combat they will engage in killings that are not strictly justified, for example, at Haditha. But this — all of it — was simply gratuitous and the killing of the wounded journalist and the shooting up of the minivan trying to pick him up to save his life went beyond gratuitous and was just plain sadistic murder.

    Forty years ago, when Charlie Company went into My Lai to inflict some collective punishment, a helicopter pilot watching from above saw the carnage and did something to stop it. Nowadays, helicopter pilots make movies of their killings and beg a wounded man to make a suspect move so they can pump more 1 1/4″ rounds into him. How completely depraved.

    I served four years in the Armed Forces of the United States and was always proud of my service. Not anymore.

  7. Forest Simmons says:

    Sunn, you asked:

    “How would you feel if a foreign occupying force came to the U.S. and there was no military to fend them off? ”

    The obvious answer is, “I would feel much the same way that most Iraqi’s would feel if there were no Iraqi insurgents willing to fight the American occupiers.” How do you think they would feel? Glad to submit to the occupiers?

  8. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    J Madson, it’s not cheerleading and I doubt it’s that tiring for you. This Andrew Sullivan guy obviously doesn’t know much about Vietnam, Iraq, Helicopters and gun cameras and apparently doesn’t take into consideration that it wasn’t possible to distinguish the journalist from the other targets. No indication in the audio that they knew it was a Journalist or that there were children in the van. You’ve been to Vietnam forest, how do you think Iraq compares?

  9. will says:

    I disagree with the above comment that Tariq must be a hypocrite because he used to be in the army and make bombs and now he criticizes the military. Instead, it means Tariq wised up and was able to see through the bullshit. Props to him.

  10. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    Sorry Will, I guess I have higher standards than you.

  11. Forest Simmons says:

    Jungle versus Urban warfare? Urban has to be worse.

    But to me the main question is, “Should we be there at all?”

    I think the answer is no. And part of the reason is that as long as we are there, we’re going to have tragic incidents on a spectrum of totally understandable to totally inexcuseable, most them somewhere in between, but all tragic.

    Is our main reason for being there to help the Iraqi people? I think for the most part that is the motivation of the troops(along with survival and solidarity for their buddies). That’s what motivated me all of the time I was in ‘Nam. I didn’t learn about the motives of those who made the fateful and fatal decisions (the war profiteers controlling the government) until years later.

    But I remember thinking back then, “Why don’t we just take the people that want democracy back to the world with us, and leave the rest of them to their own devices?” I still think it would have been less costly all around. That’s kind of what eventually happened anyway. All of the boat people that risked their lives at sea … we could have made it easier for them years earlier.

    But that wouldn’t have been as profitable for the war profiteers.

    Is the motive “fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here?” For some of the cheer leaders that’s the explanation. But they don’t fathom the depth of depravity of the war mongers in control, who don’t care where the war is as long as they can make a cost-plus-profit-contract buck.

    If we really were in imminent danger from massive attack by Iraqi (or Afghan) terrorists on our own soil, I think it would be a lark to try the strategy that Gidgiddoni used against the terrorists of his day, as found in chapters 3 and 4 of Third Nephi.

    In any case it would be better to have the troops here than over there. Do we think the terrorists are going to stay over there to fight, just because we have troops there? How do our troops attract them or trick them into staying ove there? Are they more interested in fighting our troops than terrorizing civilians in America? If so, then why do we classify them as anti-American terrorists?

  12. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    I was in the 1st Cav as well by the way. I don’t have a problem with arguments against us being there. What I have a problem with is comments like the 1st comment.

  13. J. Madson says:

    SUNNofaB.C.Rich #8

    It actually is tiring and if you dont want to call it cheerleading fine but the reality is that you apparently feel a need to justify every murder done by our country. I dont really care to get in a debate over it with you since I am certain that any heinous act will either be blamed on another group if possible (preferably muslim) and/or defended as just another american success story.

    The video not only shows the depravity of the first kills but the completely unjustified killing of a group of unarmed men (with their children) carrying away an unarmed, seriously wounded man to safety.

    I place the blame firmly on the US govt and its policies. We are killing and have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. It is vile. We train boys and girls to become killers and we shouldnt be surprised when they become adept at it. It is those leaders who began this war, those who profit of it, and those who continue it who should be blamed for our continuous and ruthless occupation of a foreign nation.

  14. Tariq says:

    This may be a bit off topic, but worth mentioning, considering the fact that one of the murderous US soldiers in the video footage was using the code name “Crazy Horse”. The real Crazy Horse, who was a Native American resistance fighter against US colonialism and imperialism, has much more in common with the Iraqi resistance fighters who shoot at US soldiers than he does with the US soldiers who murder journalists and shoot children.

    June 25th, 1876, on the banks of the Little Bighorn River (modern-day South Dakota), Crazy Horse and Gall led a coalition of indigenous warriors in defeating and utterly wiping out General George Custer and his cavalry regiment. Custer was trying to use US military force to clear the Black Hills region of indigenous people so that white settlers could mine for gold. Crazy Horse didn’t see white people’s lust for gold as a good justification for the displacement or murder of the Lakota, Arapaho, and Cheyenne people. He fought back. Crazy Horse spent most of his life resisting and fighting to defend his people from US imperialism and colonialism. The US military was his greatest enemy. So, when a US soldier fighting an imperialist war of aggression refers to himself as Crazy Horse, he’s not just being disrespectful to Native Americans, he’s also exhibiting profound historical ignorance.

  15. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    Interesting J, any depraved or heinous act by an enemy of the United States has you guys pondering “why did this happen” what did the people on the receiving end of the violence do to deserve it? You try and put the violence in the context of what happened to cause and really in a roundabout way justify it. You don’t afford the same considerations to a situation like this, it would be counter to your extremist views to consider anything in anything other than black and white. I don’t buy that crap. This propaganda dump of a site is obviously only going to attract people that enthusiastically agree or people that think youre full of crap. There’s not going to be any enlightening discussion here, the views here are just too extreme. I don’t mind being the dissenting view here. Somebodys got to.

    You obviously don’t understand why they got shot and aren’t interested in finding out.

  16. J. Madson says:

    #15

    I think you are missing something here. First and foremost, no one has ever suggested than anyone “deserved” any depraved or heinous act committed by terrorists. No one has ever tried to justify violence. I am personally against all violence. What we have tried to do is understand why people act violently. Since I am an American Citizen my duty is to first and foremost make my country a better place. This involves more than just cheerleading and defending anything my country does. It involves trying to understand how our countries actions contribute to the problems of the world and how we can repent and do better. In the same way if I was a muslim I would be deeply concerned about making Islam better or if I was an Afghan about exposing my leaders abuses.

    I am not sure what violence you think I am justifying. I have said nothing to justify any violence. If it is extreme to believe we should lay down our weapons of war, cease to invade foreign nations, and love our enemies than I am extreme in my views.

    I would be interested in you explaining why “they got shot” or perhaps better why they “deserved” to get shot.

    Thoreau said it best:

    How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.

  17. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    1. youre extremely accepting of any minor or major grievance against the U.S. used as justification to attack us, but refuse to even consider there might have been actions immediately preceding the gun camera footage which justified the shooting. Sure youre against violence of any sort especially if it’s not the U.S. on the receiving end. Guys with bombs in their underwear get your empathy and U.S. soldiers get condemnation.

    2. That’s not practical.

    3. Why did they get shot? Now that’s a reasonable approach, maybe you ask that first before you condemn the entire incident.

    4. Youre a U.S. citizen and you feel you have duties as such? I don’t believe you believe that.

  18. J. Madson says:

    We have a pretty liberal commenting policy here but Im not really keen on letting you continue to be an ass towards anyone who disagrees with you.

    I explained clearly that 1) I dont condone violence by any group 2) that i believe that my first concern is challenging my own countries faults and not seeking them elsewhere 3) that as a Christian it is my duty to be a witness to the state that invading other countries, killing civilians (collateral or otherwise), building up armies and training men in the art of war, and not loving our enemies is wrong.

    So we are clear, all life is precious regardless of nationality, sex, race, creed, etc. If you want to point out something is not practical in your view, feel free to explain. If you want to argue why these individuals deserved to get shot, then explain with reasons. But if all you are here to do is to not listen to people, cast aspersions, and accuse people of lying or purposefully representing views, then go comment elsewhere.

    I suspect you are a troll and you are more than welcome to find another bridge.

  19. Tod Robbins says:

    I condone you explanation of your stance in paragraph two J.

    🙂

  20. Tod Robbins says:

    That’s a “your” by the way…

  21. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    “When is violence justified? the curious case of sgt. Hassan Akbar” was the title of an article published on the “mormon worker” not too long ago. care to comment on that, J?

    anyways for the impractical, not having a military and loving your enemies as U.S. foreign policy or national defense is a good start… as for why the Apache shot them do you think it’s possible that maybe… those guys shot at U.S. forces earlier?

    I think it would be interesting to hear your beliefs on the concept of “countries” and borders and stuff like that as you mention the U.S. is a priority for you. Also you mentioned “duties” as an “American citizen” I’d be interested to hear more about what you believe about that.

    Because….. those are the reasons you give for only condemning the actions of U.S. troops. vaguely nationalist stuff which I find suspect.. I mean this site is called “mormon worker” dude… the radical politics promised are obviously not limited to “christian pacifism”

  22. J. Madson says:

    I didnt write that and we are not all robots here so obviously we have different views.

    as to a prior shooting, nice supposition, its of course based upon nothing in evidence. And neither does it justify what is a clear violation of international law in shooting rescuers.

    you can read here about my view on borders.

  23. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    the audio mentioned something about the people in the van picking up weapons, which would justify shooting them according to the laws of war.

  24. J. Madson says:

    #23 So if a soldier says hey I think that guy there in the van might be picking up weapons that we should kill him. Nevermind that didnt occur, nevermind that he was zero threat to anyone.

    Just today American soldier lit up a civilian bus in Afghanistan. Why? Oh because they thought it might be a threat. We didnt know it was a civilian bus. So instead of shooting tires or whatever lets murder some civilians. Military command called the killings a “tragic loss of life”

    U.S. Troops Fire on Afghan Bus, Killing at Least 5 Civilians

    American troops raked a large passenger bus with gunfire near the southern city of Kandahar on Monday morning, killing as many as five civilians and wounding 18, Afghan authorities and survivors said….

    One of the bus passengers and a man who identified himself as the driver said that an American convoy about 70 yards ahead of the bus opened fire as the bus began to pull to the side of the road to allow another military convoy traveling behind to pass. The two convoys and the bus were on the main highway in Sanzari, about 15 miles west of Kandahar city. All of the windows on one side of the bus were shot out …

    If the Afghan government’s casualty toll is correct, it would suggest that troops fired scores or even hundreds of rounds. It was not clear why such a large fusillade would have been directed at a passenger bus….

    But lets all become apologists and justify the most debase and sick aspects of our culture and military. Here is a nice list John Caruso compiled with his commentary

    From the New York Times :

    “We had a great day,” Sergeant Schrumpf said. “We killed a lot of people.” …

    But more than once, Sergeant Schrumpf said, he faced a different choice: one Iraqi soldier standing among two or three civilians. He recalled one such incident, in which he and other men in his unit opened fire. He recalled watching one of the women standing near the Iraqi soldier go down.

    “I’m sorry,” the sergeant said. “But the chick was in the way.”

    From Reuters:

    Two soldiers picked out two figures on a rooftop and quickly lined up their shot. Thankfully, First Sgt. Eric Engram saw them and also saw their target. “No man, that’s a kid and a woman. It’s a KID and a WOMAN,” he bellowed, and his soldiers lowered their rifles.

    “These guys are young and most just want to get their first confirmed kill, so they’re too anxious to get off shots. I hate to say ‘bragging rights’ but they want that kill,” Engram said an hour later.

    Can you imagine what kind of mindset makes a person not just happy, not just proud, but eager to brag about killing another human being? And can you imagine the (military) culture in which bragging about killing another human being is considered a badge of honor? I can’t either.

    From the Scotsman (or see also the London Times):

    US marine, Corporal Ryan Dupre, surveying the scene by the bridge at An Nasiriyah, said: “The Iraqis are sick people and we are the chemotherapy. I am starting to hate this country. Wait till I get hold of a friggin’ Iraqi. No I won’t get hold of one – I’ll kill him.”

    From Reuters:

    A tracked armored vehicle has crushed two men up the road.

    “Killed one, ripped the legs off another,” Monty said briskly, a cigarette dangling from his lip.

    From Newsday:

    “It’s like you’re fighting a faceless enemy,” said Cpl. Jeb Moser, 21, of Ruston, La. “They’re all just ragheads to me, the same way they used to call the enemy ‘gooks’ in Vietnam.”

    “Raghead, raghead, can’t you see? This old war ain’t — to me,” sang Lance Cpl. Christopher Akins, 21, of Louisville, Ky., sweat running down his face in rivulets as he dug a fighting trench one recent afternoon under a blazing sun.

    Asked whom he considered a raghead, Akins said: “Anybody who actively opposes the United States of America’s way … If a little kid actively opposes my way of life, I’d call him a raghead, too.”

    From Editor and Publisher:

    “We splashed that bastard,” a Western eyewitness quoted one Marine as saying to another after they’d shot an Iraqi dead.

    From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

    The 20-year veteran of the Marine Corps said he found the soldier after dark inside a nearby home with the grenade launcher next to him. Covarrubias said he ordered the man to stop and turn around.

    “I went behind him and shot him in the back of the head,” Covarrubias said. “Twice.”

    Did he feel any remorse for executing a man who’d surrendered to him? No; in fact, he’d taken the man’s ID card off of his dead body to keep as a souvenir.

    From the Daily Mirror:

    “There was no dilemma when it came to shooting people who were not in uniform, I just pulled the trigger.

    “It was up close and personal the whole time, there wasn’t a big distance. If they were there, they were enemy, whether in uniform or not. Some were, some weren’t.”

    Describing the scene during combat Richardson admitted shooting injured soldiers and leaving them to die. He said: “S***, I didn’t help any of them. I wouldn’t help the f******. There were some you let die. And there were some you double-tapped.” Making a shooting sign with his hand he went on: “Once you’d reached the objective, and once you’d shot them and you’re moving through, anything there, you shoot again. You didn’t want any prisoners of war. You hate them so bad while you’re fighting, and you’re so terrified, you can’t really convey the feeling, but you don’t want them to live.” And despite there being no link between Iraq and the September 11 attacks Richardson admitted that it gave him his motivation to fight Iraqis.

    “There’s a picture of the World Trade Centre hanging up by my bed and I keep one in my flak jacket. Every time I feel sorry for these people I look at that. I think, ‘They hit us at home and, now, it’s our turn.’ I don’t want to say payback but, you know, it’s pretty much payback.”

    Perhaps if someone in Richardson’s family is ever killed, he can go pick someone at random off the street and torture them to death; that would really give the killers their “payback,” wouldn’t it?

    Note also the phrasing: “I don’t want to say payback.” Just like “I hate to say ‘bragging rights’.” The reticence is telling. These are the dirty little truths that lie behind all the elevated rhetoric and noble words. These are the things you’re not supposed to admit are lurking in the shadows, so that you won’t disrupt the elevated fantasies of the cheerleaders for war.

    From the Los Angeles Times:

    “I enjoy killing Iraqis,” says Staff Sgt. William Deaton, 30, who killed a hostile fighter the night before. Deaton has lost a good friend in Iraq. “I just feel rage, hate when I’m out there. I feel like I carry it all the time. We talk about it. We all feel the same way.”

    “I enjoy killing Iraqis.” Does that sound horrific to you? Think it would to any normal human being? Unfortunately, you’re wrong; some people liked it so much they made a sticker out of it. Then again, maybe you’re right, since anyone who would celebrate such viciousness isn’t a normal human being–or at least that’s how I like to think of the world.

    From the Seattle Times:

    “I want to know if I killed that guy yesterday,” Hall says. “I saw blood spurt from his leg, but I want to be sure I killed him.”

    No, it wasn’t enough for Hall to watch the blood spurt from his victim’s leg; he wants to know the man was dead, and that he was the cause of it. After all, he wants those bragging rights.

    This article does at least contain some notes of humanity. One man struggles to reconcile what he’s become with what he used to be, and what he hopes to be again:

    The vehicle goes silent as the driver, Spc. Joshua Dubois, swerves around asphalt previously uprooted by a blast.

    “I’m confused about how I should feel about killing,” says Dubois, who has a toddler back home. “The first time I shot someone, it was the most exhilarating thing I’d ever felt.”

    Dubois turns back to the road. “We talk about killing all the time,” he says. “I never used to talk this way. I’m not proud of it, but it’s like I can’t stop. I’m worried what I will be like when I get home.”

    That’s what the culture does: it turns normal, sane people into people who are obsessed with killing other people (“we talk about killing all the time…it’s like I can’t stop”). Roll that fact around in your mind for a few moments. All of us should be worried what it will like when they get home, and bring with them these lessons they learned in Iraq.

    But I’ve saved the worst for last. This is from the East Bay Express, in an article about a web site on which American soldiers can get free access to online pornography by posting their trophy photos of dead and mutilated Iraqis:

    Six men in beige fatigues, identified as US Marines, laugh and smile for the camera while pointing at a burned, charcoal-black corpse lying at their feet.

    The captions that accompany these images, which were apparently written by soldiers who posted them, laugh and gloat over the bodies. The person who posted a picture of a corpse lying in a pool of his own brains and entrails wrote, “What every Iraqi should look like.” The photograph of a corpse whose jaw has apparently rotted away, leaving a gaping set of upper teeth, bears the caption “bad day for this dude.” One person posted three photographs of corpses lying in the street and titled his collection “DIE HAJI DIE.”

  25. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    I think a lot of these quotes are from the initial invasion when the enemy was simply the Iraqi military. Some are pretty unprofessional. A lot of them have no context, some are pretty ignorant and some are just callous.

    personally I don’t condone taking pictures of or otherwise disrespecting the dead, execution of prisoners, the idea of the Iraq war being payback for 9/11 or the idea of the actions of a group of people of a certain race implicating everyone of that race as an enemy, bragging about killing someone or talking to reporters.

    As for hating the enemy, wanting to kill them and being casual about death I can relate. I did a couple years over there.

  26. J. Madson says:

    I think this commentary describes the views on this incident perfectly

    Here’s my prediction for the final outcome of the Wikileaks video: the U.S. military will continue to claim some of the people killed were armed insurgents. This will satisfy all U.S. conservatives and most U.S. “liberals.” Meanwhile, everyone else on this planet will continue to gape at us in slack-jawed horror.

    Why the sharp difference between us and the rest of humanity?

    1. I have no idea whether any of the people shot were armed, or insurgents, or armed insurgents. There will inevitably be long dreary arguments about this between U.S. liberals and conservatives, complete with 5,000-word blog posts analyzing the video frame by frame.

    But here’s the thing: even if everyone but the journalist and children were armed insurgents, no one else on earth cares. That’s because, when another country invades yours, you’re allowed to fight back. And if you invade another country and start slaughtering people, you don’t somehow make yourself the good guy by proving that they were trying to fight back.

    2. The technological mismatch between the U.S. and everyone else is so gigantic that it violates normal humans’ sense of justice. This is something almost no Americans give a second thought to, but it’s widely appreciated in those countries (ie, all of them) that don’t have noiseless death-machine drones flown by joystick from 10,000 miles away.

    In other words, even if everyone shot in the video had been fighting the U.S., and even if it had somehow been on some neutral third ground, the rest of the world would still be horrified at the unfairness. For instance, here’s Colin Powell writing in his autobiography about the shelling of Beirut in 1983, and how that led to the suicide bombing of the Marine barracks there:

    McFarlane, now in Beirut, persuaded the President to have the battleship U.S.S. New Jersey start hurling 16-inch shells into the mountains above Beirut, in World War II style, as if we were softening up the beaches on some Pacific atoll prior to an invasion. What we tend to overlook in such situations is that other people will react much as we would… And since they could not reach the battleship, they found a more vulnerable target, the exposed Marines at the airport.
    I think we can count on the fact that, since no one could reach the Apache attack helicopters shooting from far overhard, someone will try to find a more vulnerable target. And Americans will find this terribly unfair, while to the rest of the world it will seem like the essence of fairness.

  27. Did it ever occur to you that perhaps these quotes were taken directly following a hostile engagement or perhaps following the death of a fellow soldier and perhaps that is why the comments were hostile? Did it ever occur to you that perhaps the reporter who interviewed these guys took for granted these soldiers understood any comments would be on the record? They did not. Did it ever occur to you that perhaps these comments were tweeked or misquoted in such a way as to make them lean towards one view or another? These same soldiers mentioned here were the same ones who supplied schools and local children with books, shoes, clothes, etc. They made relationships with the local children and saved MRE’s and water from their own meals to “make sure the kids had something” so they could hand it out on patrol. How do I know all this….I am married to a very loving and HUMAN SSG. Deaton.

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