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Rambler 1-1

Wikileak Apache video

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Just saw this on the news, what do you guys think?

 

http://wikileaks.org/

 

 

The media here is putting the usual spin on it: The pilot was a heartless, cold-blooded murderer who deliberately shot at civilians, women and children, and he should be punished.

 

I think it's just an example of war, and the hell it really is.

Edited by Rambler 1-1

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In the US armed forces, we are a responsible military. The best of us selflessly serve to protect the innocent and avoid such tragic mistakes. The worst of us have trouble ID'ing the enemy, get their fellow troops killed, and aid the enemy in different ways.

 

In this case we saw a team which was in between. Maybe the crews of those AH-64s were a little on the rookie side, or a little jumpy when it came for an opportunity to shoot. This crew we watch made an obviously, undeniable mistake at correctly identifying their victims. The fact is that they were dedicated to their jobs, but maybe they were improperly trained, or had ethical flaws.

 

The most unfortunate part is when they shot a disabled enemy who was crawling. I believe that has been, and still is, a violation of what is acceptable by the rules of war. Once an enemy is disabled, and proves to be no longer a threat, no further attempts to injure or takes his life are necessary. They had no proof that what two of the victims were carrying were weapons. Obviously they were just cameras and maybe the long thing was a tripod. When these delusional crews engaged a van they had ZERO reason to believe had hostile intent, you begin to see how mistaken this crew really was.

 

In my honest opinion, when you f*ck up in the military, be it a mechanic's improper maintainence, an armorer's loss of weapons, or even an officer's fraternization with enlisted, it shouldn't go unpunished. The severity makes all of the difference in the punishment. But when an overeager crew shoots and kills what they believe to be up to 15 Middle Eastern males, who by the way were unarmed and showed ZERO hostile intent, the hurt that is caused goes beyond bad maintainence and bad armory procedures. The crews should, at very least, be reduced in grade and be sent to units that aren't actively expected to be involved in most engagements. I know that some of you think that they shouldn't be punished at all, or that they should be punished more, but anyone who has military experience knows that mistakes aren't free. The sad truth is that they probably created at least one insurgent for every innocent victim they murdered. That is how they ended up aiding a foreign enemy.

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Before folks start putting up their opinions (mainly against the US forces in this video) you need to consider several things. First, was there any co-ordination with the media in this crowd and US forces? Second, what would that video look like inside an Apache? If you never been in one, you can't start second guessing these men. Finally, what was the Apache's mission and what is the ROE (rules of engagement) in this situation? Those are the questions that need to be asked before starting to make speculations on what had happened. I can obviously see why the US forces would not want to release this video 'cause it looks like it should have been easy to understand what was really going on. However, it probably wasn't all that easy being in the position of the pilots and ground forces that they were co-ordinating with. Also, we don't know what their prior experiences have been while operating in this area. I bet I can gurantee if we were in their shoes, we would have done the exact same thing and behaved the exact same way. Understand before judging.

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The problem with your argument exhausted is that you forgot the fog of war. They looked like guns to me and we don't shoot to maim we shoot to kill. So the dude crawling was still a legit target. This is a case of the fog of war, also get shot at for days on in and you will be jumpy, anxious, etc because everyone else is trying to kill you. Lets not turn this into a bash US military thing because a ton of members here are US military to include me.

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the story behind it is the helicopter was responding to a complex attack on US forces.

 

So the US forces were under fire.

 

In such an event in the heat of battle, it is extraordinarily difficult to sort out hostiles carrying weapons from others who merely look like they might be carrying weapons. Taking into account the fact that jihadist camera crews normally are part of attacks who use the footage for propaganda broadcasts as well as training and future planning and it becomes very, very difficult to sort out a "hostile" camera crew that points something at the forces under attack from a "legitimate" camera crew that is "somehow" in the middle of the attacking force.

 

and firing on a vehicle that appears to be used to evacuate weapons and armed wounded is legitimate, firing on a vehicle being used to evacuate unarmed wounded and civilians is not. How easy is it to tell the difference during a firefight when you are taking fire from that location?

 

The Defense Dept has stated that they did not release this video. So where did the video come from? who has had it? and how have they doctored/spliced/manipulated the film to hide what they don't want and show what the do want out of context of the original?

 

I don't think this was an accident by US forces. I think this shows what happens in the middle of a firefight when armed enemy combattants are intermixed (deliberately) with civilians. It is tragic that civilians were killed in a combat engagement. But it does not show US forces engaging in "target practice" of civilians just for the Hell of it. That is a deliberate and manufactured lie.

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Now after that bit of info clearing things up, I completely agree with the use of force here. The Reuters guys were at the wrong place at the wrong time or had other motives. Don't mean to sound cold and heartless about it, but sucks to be them. Next time, notify US forces of where you are and what you're doing if you don't want to get killed. If you deliberately didn't notify them, then hmmmm, what does that say?

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the story behind it is the helicopter was responding to a complex attack on US forces.

 

So the US forces were under fire.

 

In such an event in the heat of battle, it is extraordinarily difficult to sort out hostiles carrying weapons from others who merely look like they might be carrying weapons. Taking into account the fact that jihadist camera crews normally are part of attacks who use the footage for propaganda broadcasts as well as training and future planning and it becomes very, very difficult to sort out a "hostile" camera crew that points something at the forces under attack from a "legitimate" camera crew that is "somehow" in the middle of the attacking force.

 

and firing on a vehicle that appears to be used to evacuate weapons and armed wounded is legitimate, firing on a vehicle being used to evacuate unarmed wounded and civilians is not. How easy is it to tell the difference during a firefight when you are taking fire from that location?

 

The Defense Dept has stated that they did not release this video. So where did the video come from? who has had it? and how have they doctored/spliced/manipulated the film to hide what they don't want and show what the do want out of context of the original?

 

I don't think this was an accident by US forces. I think this shows what happens in the middle of a firefight when armed enemy combattants are intermixed (deliberately) with civilians. It is tragic that civilians were killed in a combat engagement. But it does not show US forces engaging in "target practice" of civilians just for the Hell of it. That is a deliberate and manufactured lie.

 

Man you can't say it any better than that...

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hmmm if they demonstrate hostile intent(say carrying what looks like weapons around US forces) then i'm pretty sure we dont have to wait for them to fire first to engage. that wait to be fired upon crap only applies in top gun. as for the journalists...... why are they crying when a vbied or mortar takes out some press? i recall hearing more about how heroic daniel pearl was after he was beheaded than how evil the douches that cut his head off were. thank you media

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The problem with your argument exhausted is that you forgot the fog of war. They looked like guns to me and we don't shoot to maim we shoot to kill. So the dude crawling was still a legit target. This is a case of the fog of war, also get shot at for days on in and you will be jumpy, anxious, etc because everyone else is trying to kill you. Lets not turn this into a bash US military thing because a ton of members here are US military to include me.

 

[NO MILITARY BASH - I'm in it with you]

 

There is actually no problem with my argument. Mistakes can happen, but denying that one of our own f*cked up IS a problem. I know about shooting to kill. I'm 3 years into a USMC enlistment and we get a sh*t tonne more ground training then most air force do (with all respect to your time in service.) I haven't experienced fog of war personally, but I know that patients and keeping your nerves calm will lead to a lot cleaner situation if your about to pull the trigger on something questionable.

 

What none of this meantions is HOW LONG the Apache unit had been in theatre. What if they were reservists hastily called up and deployed with little experience, or training in Middle Eastern insurgencies (as most of our units were on 9/11)? Maybe you could believe that early on in a deployment, someone who doesn't know the area, who DOESN'T know what is out of the ordinary (most obvious sign of coming violence), may be a little itchy with the trigger, and prone to making a mistake.

 

EDIT: one last thing, I understand that ROE can change depending on the situation. Take al Fallujah for example: the whole city was basically a kill zone. Every one was a target. But was it right? Depends how you look at it. But that's not the question. The question to me is if better judgement could have been made on those targets, if yes, and I believe so because I can see on Youtube, even after the quality loss from the compression and generation loss on the video, that none of those men were carrying weapons. The fact is that there was a brief time where I thought I saw an outline of of RPK or an AK-47, but these men made no attempt to hide from a chopper that witnesses claimed they could clearly see. It's not very insurgent-like not to shoot at the infidel, or at least not to hide from that beast of an Apache.

 

Finally, the conclusive evidence is that they weren't found with any weapons.

Edited by exhausted

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I also believe there is Iraqi Law governing the use of personal weapons (security detail or not), that you are allowed one Firearm for personal home defense, and that you are not supposed to be displayed in public les you be arrested or shot.

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Never said there was a cover up. Never said we don't make mistakes. Never said you couldn't have an opinion. I disagreed with your assesment though. The fact is that the media needs to quit twisting the story into something it isn't. Of course we as milItary members should be accountable forbour actions. But in this case, this is an obvious attempt to make us look bad. 3 years in the Corp eh? My socks have more time in service than you. (that's just a joke)

 

Marines do get jumpy or edgy, the same goes for any combat unit who has been engaged for long periods of time. It's a fact that a longer a unit is on the line the more they are prone to make mistakes. You may of not experienced the fog of war, yet. But it's happens and it happens often.

 

Edit: You said you thought you saw what might of been a weapon. Another person in this thread said he saw at least 5. That is a perfect example of fog or war.

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Which is also true suhsjake. As for the pilots... after listening to the pace of the engagement, it's clear that the pilots took the time to establish the fact that they were armed, and not just deciding at the instant to waste them. Generally it's gotten so bad that they'll throw a 15-6 (I got hit with two in Afghanistan, and I was clean) at you faster than the insurgents can shoot at you. So pilots, and the ground elements will think about ROE more than you think. And as far as having been prone to make mistakes? Yeah, but the outgoing unit probably took the time to show the new pilots what's going on. As far as insurgents not realizing they're spotted? I saw a good CJTF-82 vid and the T-ban targets were definitely not worrying about the Apache until it opened up on them. And to be quite honest with you, if they hadn't pointed out the cameras, I would have thought the reporters had AKSU's.

Edited by EricJ

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OT for a sec. Exhausted I updated your status to Mil Vet. Ok I'm going to bed all. Have to get up at 0600. Clean it nice please

in here.

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Just as a side note... don't post any comments on that video on youtube. You try to point out some common sense, and some rational, and you get a crap storm raining down on you. I know the latest trend is to hate Americans just because we're Americans, but geez, I never knew it was a religion. Seriously, youtube has done more harm in destroying peace among mankind than any war or social upset has ever done.

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EDIT: I've rescinded ALL of my comment here, and I wish you a good night. With that said, I leave with you with this:

 

Marines do get jumpy or edgy, the same goes for any combat unit who has been engaged for long periods of time. It's a fact that a longer a unit is on the line the more they are prone to make mistakes. You may of not experienced the fog of war, yet. But it's happens and it happens often.

 

When Marines start to get jumpy in a war, it may be time to pull out, cuz you ain't got nothing better out there....

Edited by exhausted

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Just as a side note... don't post any comments on that video on youtube. You try to point out some common sense, and some rational, and you get a crap storm raining down on you. I know the latest trend is to hate Americans just because we're Americans, but geez, I never knew it was a religion. Seriously, youtube has done more harm in destroying peace among mankind than any war or social upset has ever done.

 

Agreed!

 

Also, Thank you Typhoid for your explanation.

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im no pro, im old, and i got bad eyes, but i SAW a zoom lense, not an rpg, and i saw no fire coming from that group of people,

i consider myself a bit thick skinned, and have watched many a gun camera video, but i stopped this video as the wounded man crawled around,

this video disturbes me

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I didn't see a weapon. Not one. And even I couldn't watch the whole video. In this thread I thought exhausted's opinion was the most pithy.

If my understanding serves me right, one of the primary objectives of any military force is to protect human life. The absolute lack of restraint and clarity is disturbing to say the least. The laughter was unnerving; it was the sound of an unhinged mind.

 

'That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,

Were axioms to him, who'd never heard

 

Of any world where promises were kept,

 

Or one could weep because another wept.'

 

W.H Auden.

 

 

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Me being in the media business and all, the natural thing for me to do would be to side with the Reuters reporters, but I'll go against the stream by saying only this: If you're going into a warzone, you better have your will filled out correctly and pray to your most almighty deity to make it out alive safe and sound - especially if you're a reporter aiming at covering the weaker side. If there's anything shocking it's probably the anxiety of the Apache pilots but the deaths of the reporters isn't shocking to me - after all, not everybody can be like Bruce Willis, being the wrong person at the wrong place and the wrong time - and always survive...

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Yeah, maybe no RPG, but at 3:30 you can see several guys standing in the background that are apparently armed. And according to the NYT, Reuters wrote in 2008 that “It is believed two or three of these men may have been carrying weapons, although witnesses said none were assuming a hostile posture at the time.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/world/middleeast/06baghdad.html?hp)

 

However, I think the problem is not so much with the incident itself (I mean, it's pretty obvious that no one likes to get killed while doing their job, neither soldiers nor reporters), but more with the way the footage is presented. It starts with the Orwell quote and ends with the statement that the video is dedicated to "all victims of war whose fates remains unknown". While I don't have anything to say against either Orwell and said dedication, it does not belong in this video, because it deliberately aims to support one certain narrative. Reminded of what I read about NBCs and ABCs failure to represent the political context when reporting on the TWA-hijacking in 1985.

 

Anyway, I recommend Yaacov Lozowick's thoughts: http://yaacovlozowic...teral-what.html

Edited by wilco
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Emm, this thing has awesome end credits. I mean, producer, co-producer, script etc. WTF? If it's a document all you need is someone to do the subitles, maybe some editing with a clear indication how much is left out.

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