posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 02:52 PM
They made a mistake. A big one. However...
1. From what I understand, the purpose of those helicopters is to support and protect ground troops. If you hesitate, you are risking their lives,
and possibly your own. I have no doubt that at least a few of those voices we heard had been in the situation in the past, where they hesitated
because they were unsure of the intentions of potential enemies and they themselves nearly died. Or, they nearly, or actually did get another
American soldier(s) killed by such hesitation. What is motivating these men the most is pure raw, monkey-boy, pleistocene driven fear; and like it or
not, most of us wouldn't fare much better under the same stimuli. What would you do? Think about that. Not the moral high road that's easy to
take from in front of your computer... But what would you really do if people were trying to kill you and the other people you depend on to stay
alive? The reptile brain is a bugger, and not really equipped to factor in something as potentially counter-survival as 'ethics'.
Were there American troops on the ground? Had they engaged with insurgents in that area within that time frame? What was the overall scenario in
that area for that day? Week?
We. Don't. Know.
On another note, I don't know how far away that helicoptor was, and neither do any of you. With the information available, debating the distance of
the helicoptor vs. the potential range of an RPG (which most of us don't know either) is a non-sequiter.
2. There is a man carrying something that looks enough like a gun for it to be assumed to be a weapon when your life, and the lives of your friends is
on the line. I know all of the 'camera tripod vs. RPG arguments'... (Personally, I think it was likely a rifle, not an RPG or a tripod, but there
is no way to know for certain). I would back up the pilots interpretation that at least some in the group were armed.
The guy crouched behind the wall...? Interpretational. The men with the camera's...? Interpretational. They interpreted incorrectly, and the
information they had was insufficient to make the assumptions they did on those counts, and their state of mind led them to hasty conclusions. (IMO).
However, overall, I feel that the initial engagement was justifiable since there were those in the group carrying what were probably weapons,
and from what I could glean, there were American troops on the ground in the area. Tragic mistake. But justifiable in a combat situation.
3. The decision to fire on the van was wrong. Period. No one picked up a weapon. They simply picked up the injured and got lit up for it. Why did
they need to wait for the injured man to 'pick up a weapon' before they could fire, and this was not so with the people with the van? If they were
worried about them being insurgents recovering weapons, why couldn't they allocate the resources to follow, (another helicoptor maybe?) and get more
information? There was no way to know the intent or affiliation of those in the van until they were openly hostile, and they never did anything even
as aggressive as picking up what could be interpreted as a weapon. The decision to fire was hasty, foolish, and callous.
4.The shoot-em-up banter was deplorable. The callousness, and eagerness to kill makes the skin crawl. Not to mention, the '...shouldn't bring
your kids into a battle' comment was inexcuseable--'Trying to stay sane' my a**. That isn't staying sane, that is excusing your insanity.
5. Whoever gave them permission to fire should be held accountable as well.
6. This shouldn't have been covered up. The mistake should have been admitted and rectified as quickly, and as well, as possible.
7. As unfortunately common as I suspect these scenarios are, it is good that this one came to light. Perhaps it will help fuel public opinion in the
U.S. to get us out of this war that never should have started that much sooner.