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WAR: 40 Dead in Disputed US Attack in Iraq

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posted on May, 20 2004 @ 12:58 PM
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www.newsday.com...

"In a statement, the U.S. Central Command said coalition forces conducted a military operation at 3 a.m. against a "suspected foreign fighter safe house" in the open desert, about 50 miles southwest of Husaybah and 15 miles from the Syrian border."

Yes, if your house is a "suspected foreign fighter safe house", we will launch a missile attack. Key word: suspected. Go USA!

"In July 2002, Afghan officials said 48 civilians at a wedding party were killed and 117 wounded by a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan's Uruzgan province. An investigative report released by the U.S. Central Command said the airstrike was justified because American planes had come under fire. "

Okay wait a second. Practically the exact same thing happened in 2002 and the US claimed the exact same reason.

Why would you believe your government now? Is is because they've been so up front about everything so far? Haha.

news.independent.co.uk...

"It would not be the first time US forces have mistakenly fired on a wedding party. In 2002, 48 civilians were killed in a US air strike on a wedding party in Afghanistan. That was believed to have been caused when US forces mistook wedding guests firing in the air in celebration for hostile fire. There were immediate suspicions the same thing had happened in Iraq, where people routinely fire in the air at celebrations. A few nights ago, Baghdad echoed to gunfire when the Iraqi football team beat Saudi Arabia. Several wedding guests interviewed on the videotape obtained by the Associated Press said there had been firing in the air before the attack...

Kimmitt said there were no indications that the victims of the attack were part of a wedding party. He said a large amount of money, Syrian passports and satellite communications equipment had been found at the site after the attack."


Are they releasing these items to anyone so this story can be corroborated, or are we just to take their word for these "findings"? Haha.


Based on the past, I don't believe anything the US Army says when there is a civilian massacre. I believe about 10% of what the Iraqis say, but 0% from the US.

Some of my thoughts are summed up in this article from the Scotsman.

news.scotsman.com...

"Alice Mahon, a Labour MP and veteran anti-war campaigner, said the incident was proof that the US mission to stabilise and pacify Iraq is doomed, because a military force will never win the support of an occupied people.

"This atrocity just shows that the American policy is just a disaster," she said. "They must learn that they can never hope to win the hearts of the Iraqi people through force. The occupying forces should leave now, and the UN should take over the transfer to civilian rule.""



"the incident was proof that the US mission to stabilise and pacify Iraq is doomed, because a military force will never win the support of an occupied people. "

But your average American cannot understand this, because they are ignorant about the rest of the world. And arrogant about their own country. When someone thinks their country is the best of all (based on no actual proof, just mindless patriotism), it blinds them to any faults their country might have. Ask a German.


jako


a military force will never win the support of an occupied people




posted on May, 20 2004 @ 02:17 PM
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ok then... suggestions on what to do now? pick up and leave?



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 02:51 PM
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Yes, pick up and leave. The situation in Iraq is unwinnable while the US is there.

GREAT article by a former CIA analyst here:

www.counterpunch.org...

"The US Can't Win
The Failure of Its Aggressive Foreign Policies is Inevitable
By BILL and KATHLEEN CHRISTISON
former CIA analysts

ONE: Why is the global perception of U.S. foreign policies so negative? How have the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iraqi prisoner abuses, and the fight against terrorism contributed to this perception?

In our view, most of the world's ordinary people -- as opposed to their governments -- are convinced that present U.S. foreign policies are aimed at dominating the rest of the world, and most of them do not want to be dominated by the U.S.

Over the past several decades, the poor almost everywhere have seen the gap between rich and poor grow ever wider. Even though the urban middle class, generally only a small part of any nation's population, has benefited in some countries from the privatized, minimally regulated globalization that is a major weapon used by the U.S. to extend its global power, the masses of people have not received any of the benefits. Instead, they see themselves as oppressed by the U.S., and they believe that the U.S., and often their own governments, neither respect them as human beings nor regard them as having any value other than as a reservoir of cheap labor. "


You need to leave Iraq because you cannot ever win their "hearts and minds" by military power. I'd say that's fairly obvious to most of us.

It's their country when it comes down to it. If they want to totally eff it up, it's THEIR RIGHT.

Remember rights?

jako



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 03:16 PM
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I don't know about that, Iraq is not a poor country. If they could keep the insurgents away from the oil industry money would flow into Iraq, especially now with 40 dollar a barrel prices.
The Iraqi's are also better educated than many countries in the Middle East. It's up to them, we can lead the camel to the stream but, we cannot make him drink. If they want to be a #e hole like Iran and Syria let them. But, if they want to make something of themselves the US should help them like they did Japan and Germany.

It is up to the people of Iraq.

Variable



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 04:36 PM
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this article seems to support some of the Iraqi claims:



Video of Desert Bombing Shows Carnage, Survivors Sifting Through Rubble
Fragments of musical instruments, tufts of women's hair, and a large blood stain are among the scenes in Associated Press Television News film of a destroyed house that survivors say U.S. planes bombed during a wedding party.
It is the first known footage of the aftermath of Wednesday's attack, which killed up to 45 people, mostly women and children from the Bou Fahad tribe in Mogr el-Deeb, a desert village on the Syrian border.
"There were a number of woman, a handful of women, I think the number was four to six, caught up in the engagement. They may have died from some of the fire that came from the aircraft," Kimmitt said.

But an Associated Press reporter in the Ramadi area, at least 275 miles east of Mogr el-Deeb, was able to identify at least 10 of the bodies as those of children.

At the Bou Fahad cemetery outside Ramadi, where the tribe is based, each of the 28 fresh graves contain one to three corpses, mostly of mothers and their young children.

Bou Fahad tribesmen denied there were foreign fighters among their community. They consider the desolate border area part of their territory and follow their goats, sheep and cattle there to graze. In the springtime they leave spacious homes in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, and roam the desert.

Smuggling livestock into Syria is also part of a herdsman's life, although no one in the tribe acknowledged that.

"What we saw in those APTN videos were substantially inconsistent with the reports we received from the unit that conducted the operation," Kimmit said. "We're now trying to figure out why there's an inconsistency.

"We're keeping an open mind as to exactly what happened on the ground. That's why we're continuing to try to gather all the facts; that's why we're not ruling out anything based on information coming forward," he added.



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 11:31 PM
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Well, they were sure in a big enough hurry to bury the bodies, weren't they?.

I thought that they were big on funerals..parading the caskets through the streets and all?

A TV report that I heard stated that local hospitals disputed the injured and dead counts, saying they had seen no such numbers of casualties.




posted on May, 22 2004 @ 09:06 AM
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I think you are mixing up images of Palestinians who march their dead thru the streets with the Iraqis.

In islamic and other customs, they do not keep their dead unburied for long, it is usually imperative to bury the bodies as soon as possible. You're not gonna find too many muslims (unless moderate and in the usa) that will allow viewing of the corpse.



posted on May, 22 2004 @ 02:41 PM
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CNN is reporting that the video released of women and children's bodies was not video from the attack site.



He said that video showing dead children killed was actually recorded in Ramadi, far from the attack scene.


During the coalition briefing Gen. Kimmits noted that it appears that the area housed foreign fighters.



BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Dozens of people killed in a U.S. attack in the Iraqi desert Wednesday were attending a high-level meeting of foreign fighters, not a wedding, and photos shown to reporters in Baghdad support that belief, according to the senior coalition military spokesman.





At Saturday's briefing for reporters in Baghdad, Kimmitt showed photos of what he said were binoculars designed for adjusting artillery fire, battery packs suitable for improvised explosive devices, several terrorist training manuals, medical gear, fake ID cards and ID card-making machines, passports and telephone numbers to other countries, including Afghanistan and Sudan.



The US stated that they will continue with the investigation. Link



posted on May, 22 2004 @ 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by JayKew

Its a pity these gunships werent about at my wedding.


LOL we have an Al Bundy here.



posted on May, 22 2004 @ 10:49 PM
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The Jenin Hoax and claims come to mind on this whole damn story.
A weddings?
One that had:
> a remote desert site
> no decorations, no musical instruments found, no large quantities of food or leftover servings one would expect from a wedding celebration and no gifts
> a significant number of weapons, battery packs used to power improvised explosive devices and a host of other non-wedding-related items.
> a dormitory
> more than 300 sets of bedding gear in it and about 100 sets of prepackaged clothing. It's suspected that when foreign fighters come in from other countries they change their clothes into typical Iraqi clothing sets.
> a significant number of identity cards, ID-making machines, the capability to make exit visas for Iraq and a couple of passports," the general noted. "And we found a waist-high medical table for examination and treatment."
> None of the bodies had any identification of any kind – no ID cards, no wallets, no pictures.
> a lot of telephone numbers to foreign countries -- Afghanistan, Sudan and a number of others."
> no evidence of livestock at that location though the area was made out to be a rural farming area.
> a number of terrorist training manuals (and) suspected forged Iraqi IDs
No Wedding Party, Children's Deaths Indicated, Military Spokesman Says

A typical wedding.

There is currently no Arabic media rebuttal to this, as of yet.



seekerof



posted on May, 23 2004 @ 06:06 PM
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lol this story is going to keep going back and forth, basically one side's words against another

here's an AP exclusive:


Video Film of Wedding Party Captures Revelers Dancing, Singing
The bride arrives in a white pickup truck and is quickly ushered into a house by a group of women. Outside, men recline on brightly colored silk pillows, relaxing on the carpeted floor of a large goat-hair tent as boys dance to tribal songs.
The videotape obtained Sunday by Associated Press Television News captures a wedding party that survivors say was later attacked by U.S. planes early Wednesday, killing up to 45 people. The dead included the cameraman, Yasser Shawkat Abdullah, hired to record the festivities, which ended Tuesday night before the planes struck.

The U.S. military says it is investigating the attack, which took place in the village of Mogr el-Deeb about five miles from the Syrian border, but that all evidence so far indicates the target was a safehouse for foreign fighters.

"There was no evidence of a wedding: no decorations, no musical instruments found, no large quantities of food or leftover servings one would expect from a wedding celebration," Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said Saturday. "There may have been some kind of celebration. Bad people have celebrations, too."

But video that APTN shot a day after the attack shows fragments of musical instruments, pots and pans and brightly colored beddings used for celebrations, scattered around the bombed out tent.

The wedding videotape shows a dozen white pickup trucks speeding through the desert escorting the bridal car - decorated with colorful ribbons. The bride wears a Western-style white bridal dress and veil. The camera captures her stepping out of the car but does not show a close-up.

An AP reporter and photographer, who interviewed more than a dozen survivors a day after the bombing, were able to identify many of them on the wedding party video - which runs for several hours.

APTN also traveled to Mogr el-Deeb, 250 miles west of Ramadi, the day after the attack to film what the survivors said was the wedding site. A devastated building and remnants of the tent, pots and pans could be seen, along with bits of what appeared to be the remnants of ordnance, one of which bore the marking "ATU-35," similar to those on U.S. bombs.

A water tanker truck can be seen in both the video shot by APTN and the wedding tape obtained from a cousin of the groom.

The singing and dancing seems to go on forever at the all-male tent set up in the garden of the host, Rikad Nayef, for the wedding of his son, Azhad, and the bride Rutbah Sabah. The men later move to the porch when darkness falls, apparently taking advantage of the cool night weather. Children, mainly boys, sit on their fathers' laps; men smoke an Arab water pipe, finger worry beads and chat with one another. It looks like a typical, gender-segregated tribal desert wedding.

As expected, women are out of sight - but according to survivors, they danced to the music of Hussein al-Ali, a popular Baghdad wedding singer hired for the festivities. Al-Ali was buried in Baghdad on Thursday.

Prominently displayed on the videotape was a stocky man with close-cropped hair playing an electric organ. Another tape, filmed a day later in Ramadi and obtained by APTN, showed the musician lying dead in a burial shroud - his face clearly visible and wearing the same tan shirt as he wore when he performed.

As the musicians played, young men milled about, most dressed in traditional white robes. Young men swayed in tribal dances to the monotonous tones of traditional Arabic music. Two children - a boy and a girl - held hands, dancing and smiling. Women are rarely filmed at such occasions, and they appear only in distant glimpses.

Kimmitt said U.S. troops who swept through the area found rifles, machine guns, foreign passports, bedding, syringes and other items that suggested the site was used by foreigners infiltrating from Syria.

The videotape showed no weapons, although they are common among rural Iraqis.

Kimmitt has denied finding evidence that any children died in the raid although a "handful of women" - perhaps four to six - were "caught up in the engagement."

"They may have died from some of the fire that came from the aircraft," he told reporters Friday.

However, an AP reporter obtained names of at least 10 children who relatives said had died. Bodies of five of them were filmed by APTN when the survivors took them to Ramadi for burial Wednesday. Iraqi officials said at least 13 children were killed.

Four days after the attack, the memories of the survivors remain painful - as are their injuries.

Haleema Shihab, 32, one of the three wives of Rikad Nayef, said that as the first bombs fell, she grabbed her seven-month old son, Yousef, and clutching the hands of her five-year-old son, Hamza, started running. Her 15-year-old son, Ali, sprinted alongside her. They managed to run for several yards when she fell - her leg fractured.

"Hamza was yelling, 'mommy,'" Shihab, recalled. "Ali said he was hurt and that he was bleeding. That's the last time I heard him." Then another shell fell and injured Shihab's left arm.

"Hamza fell from my hand and was gone. Only Yousef stayed in my arms. Ali had been hit and was killed. I couldn't go back," she said from her hospital bed in Ramadi. Her arm was in a cast.

She and her stepdaughter, Iqbal - who had caught up with her - hid in a bomb crater. "We were bleeding from 3 a.m. until sunrise," Shihab said.

Soon American soldiers came. One of them kicked her to see if she was alive, she said.

"I pretended I was dead so he wouldn't kill me," said Shihab. She said the soldier was laughing. When Yousef cried, the soldier said: "'No, stop," said Shihab.

Fourteen-year-old Moza, Shihab's stepdaughter, lies on another bed of the hospital room. She was hurt in the leg and cries. Her relatives haven't told her yet that her mother, Sumaya, is dead.

"I fear she's dead," Moza said of her mother. "I'm worried about her."

Moza was sleeping on one side of the porch next to her sisters Siham, Subha and Zohra while her mother slept on the other end. There were many others on the porch, her cousins, stepmothers and other female relatives.

When the first shell fell, Moza and her sisters, Subha, Fatima and Siham ran off together. Moza was holding Subha's hand.

"I don't know where Fatima and my mom were. Siham got hit. She died. I saw Zohra's head gone. I lost consciousness," said Moza, covering her mouth with the end of her headscarf.

Her sister Iqbal, lay in pain on the bed next to her. Her other sister, Subha, was on the upper floor of the hospital, in the same room with two-year-Khoolood. Her small body was bandaged and a tube inserted in her side drained her liver.

Her ankle was bandaged. A red ribbon was tied to her curly hair. Only she and her older brother, Faisal, survived from their immediate family. Her parents and four sisters and brothers were all killed.

In all, 27 members of Rikad Nayef's extended family died - most of them children and women, the family said.




[Edited on 5-23-2004 by worldwatcher]



posted on May, 23 2004 @ 07:37 PM
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I agree worldwatcher.

And according to the article I linked above:


Kimmitt said video showing dead children killed was actually recorded in Ramadi, far from the attack scene.

Coalition: Target not a wedding

Another mentions this:


Q For General Kimmitt, sir. There was footage shown on Associated Press Television Network yesterday that seemed to depict civilians who were purportedly killed in the incident near the Syrian border. Is the military disputing that any civilians were killed? There were graphic images of dead children. Does the military have a position on whether these children were killed in this incident?

GEN. KIMMITT: The persons that we had on the ground did not find -- and they were on the ground for an extensive period of time -- they did not find any dead children among the casualties of that engagement.

Kimmitt-Senor Briefing, Thursday May 20, 2004

I do question Scheherezade Faramarzi, however.
Has she explained away or given sufficient explanation for the findings of the dormitory, the other above mentioned findings, and why there was only 6-8 women out of 34-35 men out in the middle of the desert, again, among the other oddities of this situation and what was found on the ground?
(same link provided just above this).



seekerof



posted on May, 23 2004 @ 11:18 PM
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With the recent revelations about shameful US conduct in the Arab world one has to wonder who are the real terrorists in all of this. The US always goes in claiming a high moral purpose and like clockwork it degenerates into these kinds of atrocities.

ter·ror·ist (tĕr'ər-ĭst)
n.
One that engages in acts or an act of terrorism.
adj.
Of or relating to terrorism.

ter·ror·ism (tĕr'ə-rĭz'əm)
n.
The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

America has shown its disdain for humane values and human life time and again when economic and ideological goals that its "leaders" consider to be important are at stake.



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 05:38 AM
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As noted above this discussion will go back and forth one sides word against another and I don't have any info to make a personal stand.

I only have three questions-

1. They have video before the attack and they have video of the aftermath. Now maybe I missed and earlier post, but what about during the attack? While I suspect no one would grab a camera in the middle of a strike, it supossedly happened in the middle of the celebration and obviously the camera survived so why isnt there footage of atleast the beginning of the attack.

2. Why hasn't the military released/leaked thier own footage on the strike to calm the public?

3. Does anybody have a copy of the alleged video i can see for myself?



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 10:38 AM
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Lythium: "I only have three questions-

1. They have video before the attack and they have video of the aftermath. Now maybe I missed and earlier post, but what about during the attack? While I suspect no one would grab a camera in the middle of a strike, it supossedly happened in the middle of the celebration and obviously the camera survived so why isnt there footage of atleast the beginning of the attack."


The cameraman was killed but the camera survived. I don't know that they only had portions of it or if the entire tape was intact. But once the bombs start flying, it's not normal for most people to grab a camera, more like hit the dirt. The footage afterwards is on a different camera I believe.

"2. Why hasn't the military released/leaked thier own footage on the strike to calm the public?"

I would imagine if the military had any solid evidence that they had "actionable intelligence" , they would release it. Which means they don't. The Pentagon doesn't do civilian body counts, so I don't imagine this will get any special treatment.

"3. Does anybody have a copy of the alleged video i can see for myself?"

Might be here. I'm at work and have no RealPlayer


www.usatoday.com...

I saw some of it on BBC last night, and they identified a few people in the clips by showing them in the video then showing their bloody corpse. Like the DJ.

Let me know if that link is crappy, I'll try to find another.

If this is proven to be a wedding party, it would seem to be either a War Crime or at the very least a court-martial offense? Or is it a "whoopsie, more innocent dead iraqi civilians, oh well"?



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 11:26 AM
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I'd also like to say something about people who are saying things like...


So who has a wedding in the middle of the desert anyway? 80 miles away from civilization? It's fishy.


Hey, what if you actually LIVE 80 miles from civilization. In fact, if you DO in fact live in a tiny hamlet 80 miles from civilization, it's probably quite a good place to have a wedding. Nobody local has to drive far.

And here's another newflash, in Iraq some people DO live in the desert, and have for generations.

The person who can do most harm to the US image abroad over this issue is Major general James Mattis. He said,


"How many people go to the middle of the desert 10 miles from the Syrian border to hold a wedding 80 miles from the nearest civilization? . . . These were more than two dozen military-age males. Let's not be naive . . . I have not seen the pictures [of the 14 dead children] but bad things happen in wars. I don't have to apologize for the conduct of my men."


There were more than 24 military age males there? Oh the evil bastards.



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 08:34 PM
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Jakomo

The link wasn't crappy but the video just showed them digging through rubble as we saw on the news. Thanks for the effort though.




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