Wednesday, May 31, 2006

This Won't Work

Two Iraqi women were shot to death north of Baghdad after coalition forces fired on a vehicle that failed to stop at an observation post, the U.S. military said Wednesday. Iraqi police and relatives said one of the women was about to give birth.

A car entered a clearly marked prohibited area near coalition troops at an observation post but failed to stop despite repeated visual and auditory warnings, the U.S. military said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press.

"Shots were fired to disable the vehicle," the statement said. "Coalition forces later received reports from Iraqi police that two women had died from gunshot wounds ... and one of the females may have been pregnant."

The statement said the incident was being investigated.

"The loss of life is regrettable and coalition forces go to great lengths to prevent them," the military said.

The statement was issued after Iraqi police said a pregnant woman and her cousin were killed by American troops while driving to a maternity hospital in Samarra, a predominantly Sunni city 60 miles north of Baghdad.

The shooting deaths occurred in the wake of an investigation into allegations that U.S. Marines killed unarmed civilians in the western city of Haditha.

AP Television News footage showed the women's bodies wrapped in sheets and lying on stretchers outside the Samarra General Hospital, while residents pointed to bullet holes on the windshield of a car and a pool of blood on the seat.

"I was with the victims, one of them was pregnant and about to give birth," said a woman who did not give her name but said she was a relative of the victims.
This isn't meant as a dig at our troops, who are in an impossible situation. But here's a scenario: the U.S. is invaded by the Chinese on a false pretense. Three years later, pregnant American women en route to the hospital to give birth are being shot at checkpoints.

How would you react?


Anonymous elfranko said...

this is a very difficult situation - if i were the driver, i'd presume that if i drove thru a military checkpoint, i'd get shot. just saying. people aiming guns at me is somehow more menacing, and deserving of attention, than a woman, even my wife, giving birth (and my wife is pregnant, btw).

5/31/2006 1:28 PM  
Anonymous wendy said...

This administration is never going to admit this occupation is unwinnable and bad for America. They will keep blaming the press and the victims of these types of incidents despite whatever will come next. It's horrifying.

5/31/2006 1:28 PM  
Anonymous elfranko said...

to amend what i said above - i'd be pretty *&^% pissed at the situation. but a gun is a gun. i'd rather stop than having my wife get shot, which is what happened.

5/31/2006 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree. And it is perfectly good commonsense. But I think there are a lot of folks out there that don't care or are glad. What did I hear on the news that a General said, shoot them all and let God sort them out. That is a barbaric attitude.

Very difficult situation, and you have to think that our leadership created this situation by putting our service people, many National Guard, into policing situations in which they were not trained or equipped. I can still hear Rumsfelds and Cheney saying the war will last weeks not months and we are over 36 months now, with no exit strategy.

Sister Chittister has had some good articles on the Women’s Global Peace Initiative and the attendance by Iraqi women, the ones that at least got a visa.

5/31/2006 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>....the U.S. is invaded by the Chinese on a false pretense. Three years later, pregnant American women en route to the hospital to give birth are being shot at checkpoints.

How would you react?<<<

well CR, that would depend, if the Chinese rationale for the invasion was to liberate us from tyranny, then the ends justify the means, no?

5/31/2006 1:42 PM  
Anonymous wendy said...

that wasn't our rationale Anonymous. It was to rid Saddam of WMD, remember?

5/31/2006 1:45 PM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

The same way I am now. Horrified. That's why I do not like war, too many innocents are killed.

5/31/2006 1:49 PM  
Anonymous elfranko said...

anonymous is right insofar as we need to be invaded by somebody to liberate us from tyranny....

5/31/2006 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but it's ok, because the republicans are the "Party of Life"

5/31/2006 1:58 PM  
Anonymous thirdeye said...

Honestly, TCR, I just don't care anymore. If we get attacked domestically again, I'll pay attention, but otherwise overseas events don't matter to me anymore.

5/31/2006 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chilling, and outrageous.

5/31/2006 2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question we should be asking is why, 3 years into this, we haven't redesigned most checkpoints to make these scenarios impossible.

It was discussed early on, then revisited after the Italian journalist was shot at, yet we're still seeing it.

And making the change isn't exactly rocket science.

5/31/2006 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ends justifying the means is a most dangerous philosophy, as it always ends up being abused by a self-serving tyrant in the making.

The shoe-on-the-other-foot mental exercise should be performed by all of us for all situations. It is the basic exercise which exposes hypocrisy and keeps us from lying to others, and maybe more importantly to ourselves.

It seems to me that this self-serving hypocrisy is what is most alienating to the rest of the world.

As usual, thanks CR for the post!

5/31/2006 2:53 PM  
Blogger jj said...

Are any of us naive enough to believe what happened in Hadith was a one-time anomaly? As always, it's only the existence of cameras and witnesses that brings this to light. I cringe to think how many times events like this have gone completely unreported.

This is the horrid evil of war, especially a 'war of choice'. Soldiers are its first victims. The number of dead people, grieving families and damaged souls is too much to bear. I hope the Bush cabal meets all of them, one by one, in whatever hell they find themselves in.

5/31/2006 3:22 PM  
Blogger jj said...

Underscoring my contention above, I just saw this article:

5/31/2006 3:46 PM  
Blogger jj said...

Here, this URL is the real one, takes you right to the C&L article I'm referring to:

5/31/2006 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Jeff in Texas said...

The soldiers are in an impossible situation, but the the civilians are too. One, these checkpoints, even the "clearly marked" ones, are not like turnpike toll booths-- it's hard to tell where and what they are, based upon accounts I have read and pictures I have seen. Second, militias and insurgents often put up checkpoints to rob and/or kill civilians. Third, stories are circulating in Iraq about Marines murdering civilians-- how you would react in this context when a Marine or soldier starts firing "warning" or "disabling" shots at your car is not obvious. Add the craziness of a pregnant woman giving birth, and who can possible say how they might react?

But in any case, yeah-- what a way to win hearts and minds.

5/31/2006 4:12 PM  
Blogger 277fia said...

Since I would have joined the resistance on the same day that the Chinese invaded my country and then spent all of my time trying to kill as many Chinese as I could, I would keep on keeping on.

No way in hell would I ever buy off on a claim that my country was being invaded for my own good and I would have been right if the Chinese were still around three years later. The day the Chinese started bulding an embassy ten times bigger than any of Saddam's palaces, I would have redoubled my efforts.

Visit the Defense Intelligence Agency website and take a look at all of photos of Saddam's palaces now occupied by the US military. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

Anyone know when the Iraqi referendum on whether to permit the US to build military bases in Iraq is scheduled?

5/31/2006 4:25 PM  
Anonymous susiecal said...

Horrible but important story, thanks for this post TCR.

5/31/2006 4:33 PM  
Anonymous thirdeye said...

All you high-minded people make me sick. This is war. The Arabs will be willed into submission and we are all willing participants.

The hypocrisy here is nauseating...

5/31/2006 6:40 PM  
Anonymous wendy said...

According to your post about 10 back or so thirdeye, I thought you didn't "care anymore" about things that are happening in our name overseas...and I totally don't understand your most recent comment.

At times like this, I am thankful for the name of this blog, the Cunning REALIST...realism and looking at the reality of our situation in Iraq transcend politics.

5/31/2006 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


regarding my "end justify the means" post, I was being facetious (perhaps, it was a rather inappropriate way to make my point).

5/31/2006 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure this is really what happend like the marines told the truth about the 24 civilians that died because they were caught in a crossfire in Hab. and also on a bus that was hit by a roadside bomb.

I remember a few years ago there were accusation of rape by some Iraqi woman against some american military, don't remember whether they were army or marines.

The army investigated, interviewing the soldiers, but somehow never did find it necessary to interview the woman, therefore there was no rape.

And the great sharpshooters of our army always finds it necessary to stop a car by shooting through the windshield and not at the tires or radiator. But then they have a jolly time shooting civilians as they are NEVER held accountable for any deaths and they can get their revenge for the stress they have to endure.

I just recently read an article were british soldiers stated, it was in a british newspaper, that they alway carried shovels with them, so that when they kill a civilian they just throw a shovel on the body. That then justifies it as he was planting a bomb.
Our soldiers don't have to bother with that as every killing is just an oops, and we don' observe the Geneva Convention under any circumstance. We are the democratic and most powerful freedom loving nation on the globe, therefore we are above all that.

I wonder how much longer it will take when our reputation will be so damaged that we will become the most hated nation in the world, if we work at it real hard why might beat Stalin in that catagory.

5/31/2006 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one lesson we should have learned from Vietnam is that you cannot occupy a country that refuses to be occupied and is willing to fight you forever or until you are gone.

5/31/2006 10:42 PM  
Anonymous thirdeye said...

Quite simple, Wendy. We are hell bent to beat the Arabs into submission and the process of getting there - the atrocities, the details, the mechanics of war - don't interest me anymore. I won't feign compassion or concern for our actions. Wake me up when the Arabs accept Israel and sell us there oil for $10 barrel. You can all pretend we are held to some higher standard but I honestly can't drink the koolaid anymore.

6/01/2006 12:25 AM  
Blogger jj said...

so, thirdeye, beating and willing Arabs into submission is your idea of a good foreign policy, eh?

i believe you have hit upon exactly the bush policy, with all their rosy statements about democracy and helping the Iraqis just lies to cover up their ongoing atrocities and fear campaign.

i wish bush was as honest about it as you are, thirdeye.

6/01/2006 1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gotta laugh.

Thirdeye says sell us your oil at a price we dictate, and we'll leave you alone.

Classic neo-conservative group think, which, btw, is totally discredited.

6/01/2006 8:09 AM  
Blogger Mark Jones said...

I haven't been reading/watching MSM for a period of time, until the last few days. It is intersting to see how the TV types have really come around to the FoxNews practie of adding "context" to any story involving Iraq. This idea of "context" is code for "it is understandable how a squad of Marines could systematically go door to door, and kill civilians, to include women and children, at point blank range, with automatic weapons, because the marines were under so much stress and were serving on their 3rd tour of duty, and 'one of their own' had just been killed in a IED incident, and the whole fog of war thing, and the whole Saddam Hussein did the same type of thing thing."
The MSM has finally gotten in line with the Bush Whitehouse/FoxNews standards and practices. It would not be so evident to me, except that I was working oversea's for several months, and had not watched any network news for awhile. It was sickening to see that idiot (I think it was Charles Gibson on ABC) trying to "play devil's advocate" about the Haditha incident. What a fucking joke the MSM has become. It is one more sign that the U.S. had entered a fantasy world, that our affluence and military power has allowed us to live in, for so long. Being overseas on this last hitch (I was working in Chile, a friendly and basically pro-US country)and then coming back, I can really see it now. People (in this case Chileans) are dumbfounded about what has taken place the last 3 years in the US. Everyone asks me what the hell is going on with Iraq, Iran, the torture issue at Gitmo, the economy. They are especially worried about the economy, and our trade and budget deficits, because they live in the real world, and know what huge deficits did to the Argentine economy.
It is indeed a sad situation, when the rest of the world is more concerned about the state of affairs in the U.S., than Americans in this country. I blame part of this on the mainstream media (to include alot of bloggers). But that can't be the only culprit. I still remember as a kid, when Jimmy Carter said that the U.S. was in some sort of "malaise" (i can't remember the exact quote). Maybe we are in the Bush Malaise. I just pray that it will end in 2008.

6/01/2006 11:20 AM  
Anonymous thirdeye said...

The "malaise" has nothing to do with Bush. Bush is merely executing our will to protect Israel at all costs. Arabs will be brought around to accept Israel much like Japan was brought into submission. The problem is the Arab-Israel conflict is much deeper-rooted than Japan's now-nascent expanisionist desire.

Make no mistake about it. I don't believe our founding fathers had in mind to resolve the centuries-old conflict between the Semitic brothers. But we are now in it - lock, stock and barrel - and the solution may be the same the one we administered to Japan.

Better get used to it. Me, I'm going into the ostrich-mode. Beats the anxious hand-wringing you all are engaged in. Go out and appreciate what a great place we have while we still have it and forget about what's going on overseas. There's not a thing you can do about it.

6/01/2006 1:44 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I'd react quite poorly, that's for sure.

I also note the constant use of passive voice, and speaking "statements" in press coverage that continues to dehumanize the entire face of the war: the victims, the perpetrators, everyone.

6/01/2006 4:34 PM  
Anonymous b-psycho said...

Yes, there IS something we can do about it: demand our involvement end, & that Israel defend itself.

6/01/2006 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

b-psycho, that's a great idea. And it will never happen, because our national politicians are terrified of AIPAC. In the 2004 presidential election, both Bush and Kerry made public proclamations of their support for Israel. No other countries, but we are sure there for Israel. If any politician stood up and said "gee, maybe we should think about our own self interest first" AIPAC would fund their opponent in the next election most generously. I'm not sure why it is even legal that a gigantic lobby for a foreign power exists, but there it is.

6/01/2006 10:03 PM  
Anonymous thirdeye said...

Jewish behavior through such entities as AIPAC follows a long line of poltical influence going back to the Middle Ages. Their parasitic corruption always leads to the host turning ugly. Now it's America's turn. Probably will start emerging after the upcoming credit collapse. I think I'll move to Canada then. I feel sorry for the "this time it's different" crowd.

6/01/2006 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thirdeye said: ...Their parasitic corruption always leads to the host turning ugly.

For god's sake, thirdeye, can't we have a sane discussion of America's relationship with the state of Israel without you spouting this anti-semitic bullsh*t? This is precisely why the situation will never change; most people will not touch the Israel issue with a ten foot pole for fear of being associated with anti-semitic psychos like you. Why the hell do you think I'm posting anonymously?

6/03/2006 8:46 PM  
Anonymous thirdeye said...

How is it anti-Semitic to observe the host nation turning ugly on Jews? I don't condone it. I'm merely point out an irrefutable fact of history.

And if you don't believe history repeats, or at the very least, rhymes, the you've got you head in the sand.

6/05/2006 1:25 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

I agree with thirdeye up to a point. There is nothing you can do to change US policy. There is no going back. Japan was different though. Since they were seen as the attacker our waging total war on them was given a pass. The Arabs have not attacked us. We are seen as the attacker and the rest of the world will not sit by and let us wage total war on the Arab world. The more attrocities in Iraq the more dissent from the US population at home also. The US will be forced to wage the half war like Vietnam. Thirdeye is crazy for thinking the US will come out ahead in the end. In the long run we will lose this war. The Soviet Union is to Afghanistan and Iraq is to the US. Buy Gold...Get out of the stock market. The US has a very bleak future.

6/05/2006 4:28 PM  
Anonymous thirdeye said...

goldhorder I would submit the U.S. was attacked on 9/11. The attack was motivated by the decades-long struggle between Israel and Palestine and Arab resentment at U.S. support of Israel. The U.S. response is now centered on the requirement that Arabs accept Israel. We have a fairly good case with the Egyptian acceptance of Israel that one day all Arabs will lay down their arms.

Unless the Arabs can be pounded into submission (like Egypt) I agree this war will go on forever. And this is part of the Arab strategy. They saw how Germany eventually got fed up with the Jewish influence in German society. They are hoping after another 5-10 years of this that Americans will also turn against Jewish influence in U.S. foreign policy. Keep in mind this sort of abandonment of Israel means giving up much of Hollywood, the medical community and a good part of Wall Street. The Arabs idea of victory is Americans turning on Jews in a domestic purge - Holocaust is hopefully too strong a word. By attacking us in our year of the Lord 2001, militant Arabs have signaled they are willing to fight us for another 1000 years before they make peace with Israel.

6/05/2006 6:48 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

An angry group of mainly Saudi militants attacked the US for stationing bases in the holy land. That is why we quitly pulled most of our troops out of Saudi Arabia. We paid for the Egyptian peace. We did not pound them into submission. We gave them Sinai and agreed to paid them a percentage of the billions we give Israel every year. That is why Israel recieves 3 billion as a gift from US taxpayers and Egypt gets 2 billion as a gift from US taxpayers. Americans are suckers for allowing their politicians to play these stupid games. We will go the path of Rome, England, and the Soviet Union.

6/06/2006 3:24 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

...and by the way. If we got rid of hollywood it would be worth it.

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