Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Wikileaks Video of an Apache Helicopter Engagement

This video was  posted on Wikileaks.  It has value added content from Wikileaks so be sure to ignore that and make up your own mind.  I do not believe you are free to brandish AK47's on the street in Iraq.  It is a war zone.  I think its safe to assume that people walking around with assault riffles are insurgents even if they have reporters in tow.  It looks as though the camera was mistaken for an RPG as well.  After they are shot, an unmarked van drives up to carry off the wounded and it is also shot at.   The van came equipped with two children for just such a contingency.

Of course I'm troubled by the pointless loss of life in this video and in this war.  Perhaps the outcomes in Iraq will one day justify the lies told to all of us for its purpose.  There were no WMD.

I'm glad Canada did not participate in this war.  I'm glad we are leaving Afghanistan.  The two are related in my view.  The above pilots, soldiers and equipment would have been better deployed in Kandahar.  The expense of this war should have been directed at this first and just war in Afghanistan.  Instead the US diverted sizable resources to a second war in Iraq on purpose.

Today Canada loses blood and treasure in a war that has lasted far too long.  Afghanistan should have had this kind of attention.  We did not come to Afghanistan so that the USA could take care of other business.  They are mighty enough to fight 2 wars simultaneously, they are mighty enough to do it alone.  Our patience is as limited as our resources.

I would very much like to see Afghanistan healed.  We've done our part.  Have things improved there at all since our parliament decided not to extend the involvement past 2011?  Where is the war trending?  Would a few more years make a difference or would it just prolong the current situation?  Is the Status Quo preferable to leaving it to Obama and the NATO phonies?  Is Russia still willing to wade in?

Never throw good money after bad, they say.  It applies to lives as well.  Just some things to think about.

Update:  There were indeed RPGs and ammo found by the troops who arrived.  It seems as though the reporters intended to film a rocket attack carried out by insurgents.  Here is the report from the troops who arrived:

We remained above the engagement site while Bushmaster sent ground forces to the site. Bushmaster arrived and reported 11 x AIF KIA and found RPGs and RPG rounds at the site. We also witnessed a loaded RPG lying 2-3 blocks south of the engagement site. Bushmaster reported that the first child was wounded and pulled from the van. We were unable to determine that there were children in the vehicle and never saw any children prior to or during the engagement. After viewing the gun tape, were able to determine that both wounded children came from the van. Bushmaster immediately MEDEVAC'd both girls to FOB Loyalty for medical care.

(h/t) to the Jawa Report.  The whole video is a big smear.


Bert said...

Look closely at the video. There is a spot around 3:50 in the video where a guy sets down something that is obviously an RPG.

BillM said...


Check the above link. It shows one of the insurgents carrying an RPG (in trail) at the scene. The Reuters guys were setting up to film an attack on American troups.

If you download the video and step through it, you see exactly what happened.

Spin Assassin said...

I thought I saw an RPG and so did the pilots. One would assume it would have been recovered when the troops showed up. I'm really not sure how much spin is taking place. Its a classified video so more details might emerge from the Pentagon. Can you believe the Pentagon or Wikileaks? All I know is what I can see.

Anon1152 said...

" I do not believe you are free to brandish AK47's on the street in Iraq. It is a war zone. "

Call me crazy [you certainly wouldn't be the first] but if I lived in a warzone, I wouldn't walk around without a weapon.

Peter said...

As Sherman said, "War is hell". If you want an absolute ID check and zero probability of innocent loss of life before engaging then you'd better be prepared for massive fatalities and deaths on our side. The Reuters people were lining up a photo shoot (for profit) of an attack on American troops and in that sense were part of the enemy force since they made no attempt to discourage it. Kids in the van is not surprising. Women and children have been used as a shield by these folks for a long time. Again, if you don't want innocent lives in jeopardy then leave them somewhere safe. If you don't want to be fired on in a war zone then don't prance about carrying RPG's and AK47's. Sad? Yes. Pinning it solely on US Forces like they intentionally planned it and willfully committed murder? Not right.

Spin Assassin said...

@anon1152: You would carry a weapon because you would want to kill the person trying to kill you. Two or more people intent on killing the other first is generally what happens in combat. Its a warzone. Congratulations for living, and I mean that. You can't really claim that you aren't part of the conflict when you carry a weapon. Peacekeepers get shot at. Private security gets shot at. They are just armed spectators too. They are just living in a war zone.

@ Peter: War needs a little more hell. Our biggest mistake is letting liberals get involved at all. Our troops are the first honest to goodness noble knights in history and look where it gets us. The Geneva conventions should only apply when the other side participates. If they use nerve gas, we should respond with nerve gas. If they target civilians so should we. I'm sorry if that sounds cruel, but it is. War is a cruel thing. Humane warfare is nonsense if only one side engages in it. They aren't afraid of our mighty armies anymore. They aren't afraid our knights or our nukes. We should just intern the entire country and lobotomize them. All the males anyway. Otherwise lets not fight any more wars. Perhaps the next generation will grow a pair. We have got to do away with liberal thinking. That is the number one national security issue now.

Anon1152 said...

"You can't really claim that you aren't part of the conflict when you carry a weapon. "
- True. But if I live in what has become a warzone, and if the people shooting at me are from thousands of kilometers away... I would think I deserve my weapon more than them.

"Peacekeepers get shot at. Private security gets shot at. They are just armed spectators too."
- They are not "just armed spectators" if they shoot back. Especially if they are from thousands of kilometres away. Once you are armed, you are not a spectator. (I think that the ridiculously restrictive rules of engagement during the peacekeeping mission(s) in the former Yugoslavia was ridiculous).

For the record, I agree that war is hell. And I will agree with you that "war needs a little more hell".... though we might agree for different reasons.

"Our troops are the first honest to goodness noble knights in history and look where it gets us."
- No offense, but I think this statement is pure fantasy. (Sorry. I don't know of any non-offensive way to say that). But it is no more non-fantasy based than my believe that Sir Gawain and Sir Perceval were the first honest-to-goodness noble knights.

I don't believe that. And to be honest [and again, I think we agree in some way here] I don't want our soldiers to be "noble knights". (Though what that means isn't exactly clear and self-evident). What I mean is that I expect that our soldiers are able to do bad things, and that they DO on occasion do bad things. That's what they are there for. What matters is the when, where, why and to whom they do those things.

What do you mean by "look where it gets us"? A while ago I heard a news report that mentioned, quite melodramatically, that we have been in Afghanistan longer than WWII. But... no one seemed to acknowledge that during WWII, we cared more as a people, and as a military force, we certainly tried harder.

"The Geneva conventions should only apply when the other side participates."
- Do you mean participates in the war, or participates in the Geneva conventions? I need to read these conventions. I think they are supposed to apply without those conditions.

"If they use nerve gas, we should respond with nerve gas. If they target civilians so should we. I'm sorry if that sounds cruel, but it is. War is a cruel thing."
- Ah yes. "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." War is cruel. I'm might be ok with that as long as we acknowledge our own cruelty as cruelty.

"Humane warfare is nonsense if only one side engages in it."
- Strange. I thought that a "just war" only makes sense (that is, is only properly called a "just war") "if only one side engages in it"

"They aren't afraid of our mighty armies anymore."
- Who is "we" here? If you are as Canadian a "cynic" as I am... I have to say that our armies are not mighty anymore. And that bothers me.

"They aren't afraid our knights or our nukes."
- Again, this makes me wonder who "we" are. Canada does not (to my knowledge) have "nukes." I don't think we have "knights" either. Though that is debatable. (I assume neither of us has in mind "knights" like "Sir Paul McCartney."

Anon1152 said...

"We should just intern the entire country and lobotomize them. All the males anyway."
- Why do I think there is joke that equates "lobotomizing" and "castrating" when it comes to "all the males"?

As for interning the entire country... There are almost as many people in Iraq or Afghanistan as there are in Canada. (Just under 30 million). Though it that is the plan... we can dispense with the rhetoric about being there to help the people of either country. Are were there to help anyone there if we are going to intern and lobotomize them?

"We have got to do away with liberal thinking."
- Not sure what you mean by that or what is specifically "liberal" about anything. The last leader of Canada to officially declare war on anyone was a liberal. McKenzie King in 1939. (I think the last country to ever officially declare war was Russia in 1945, declaring war against Japan). Declaring war has gone out of style. I'm all for surprise attack. But how many years have we been in Afghanistan? And the government won't acknowledge what everyone else does? (i.e., that we are engaged in a "war"?).

What do you define as "liberal thinking"? If I had to choose a "number one national security issue now"... "liberal thinking" wouldn't be it. Though I'm sure we have different definitions in mind.

Spin Assassin said...

Ok you got caught up in my use of the word "knights." I mean by that the noble valiant warrior that is commonly associated with knights or knightly conduct. I'm not even sure Sir Gawain and whoever even existed and if they did that they live up to their legends. Thats why I used knights to describe our troops. We force them to live up to an ideal that never existed before in my opinion while at the same time expecting them to win wars.

About the Geneva convention, I'm not talking about signatories. I'm talking about releasing signatories from their obligations if atrocities are committed against them. An eye for an eye and all that. We might might lose a war honorably, but we should not lose because of our honour.

About nukes. We could have nukes in a heartbeat. Its our honor again that keeps us from developing them. This is because we have deemed them too terrible to ever use. If however Canadians, civilian or military, ever received a nuclear attack we should develop and deploy them with out reserve.

I wasn't really serious about lobotomizing the whole population, though it would get the job done. We still have to do some thing outside of what we are doing.

About liberal thinking, I don't mean Liberal Party thinking. That party might be rife with liberal thought but I think its also just an act for those types of voters. Corrupt cronyism being the true ideology of the Liberal Party and possibly the entire political left.

Liberal thinking is that post modern self-flagellating defeatist surrenderist apologetic loser state of thought that pardons child molesters and calls soldiers war criminals who might have unknowingly allowed an enemy to be hit by a shoe in a war zone. Its the thinking that tells kids that the earth is dying because of population and free markets and its all white people's fault. It tells people there is no free will, that everything is someone elses fault and you should be responsible for nothing. It tells people the government should be responsible for everything. Its liberal progressive idiots that have essentially embraced socialism and marxism.

We need to get rid of these thoughts. They are poison. They are destroying western civilization from within and you don't need to look very far to see the luminaries among call for that event to "save the world."

Spin Assassin said...

Oh and by the way. I updated my post with new info. They were also carrying RPGs so the point is moot. Its not really a far leap. They were walking around with AKs and RPGs to protect themselves from helicopters right? How can they be insurgents only at the moment they fire against Americans? Sorry this just doesn't make sense. The reporters were trying to make a buck by filming a rocket attack. I have zero sympathy for them or their human shields.

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