Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Today WikiLeaks released a leaked 2007 video taken from an Apache helicopter in Iraq that depicts the killing of a number of Iraqis, including two Reuters news staff. If you haven't already seen the video, you can watch it here:

 

http://www.collateralmurder.com/

 

Here's some of the news discussion on it:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5d3SHumK2UY

 

Beyond the political implications of the video, I think it raises some interesting questions about the role of technology in helicopter warfare, and the powers and limitations of the same. Sobering stuff.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure that technology was a significant factor here, TADS was showing some pretty good resolution, IMO.

 

Armament - I'm not a Scout/Attack guy use to looking through a TADS 24/7, but I think the crew calling the short blunt object (the camera lens) an RPG is a significant stretch. PRG-7s have a very characteristic long diamond-shaped projectile mounted to a relatively slim, long launcher. The camera lens was not at all consistent with an RPG.

 

Intent - part of Rules-of-Engagement. While I heard some R/T about some Humvee's in the area, I didn't see any force in the immediate field of view (and range of an RPG-7) to which the group of people engaged would have posed an immediate threat.

 

Proportionality - part of the Law of Armed Conflict - use of only as much force as required to stop an enemy threat. Intent and pattern-of-life of enemy, such as it is evident or not, influence the degree of force that is considered appropriate under the LOAC. Not feeling that 30mm HEI was the most appropriate means.

 

Treatment of wounded - Combatants who are substantively injured and clearly no longer able to engage are considered "Hors de combat" in accordance with the Geneva Convention (Chap. 1, Art. 3) and are not to be further engaged as a combatant. There was one person crawling in the rubble who was without any weapon whatsoever, and was re-engaged.

 

I'm generally not a fan of armchair quarterbacking and revisionist judgment applied after the fact and with more time that originally available...HOWEVER, this one does not sit well with me for a number of reasons noted above. Their callsigns could have just as easily been COFFEE 51 and COFFEE 52 for how this one feels.

 

 

Regards,

AV8

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Bullet Remington

While I do agree with several points raised by canuckav8ter, I can only do so having the benefit of having the film looped contiuously while I watched it. I can honestly state that on my very initial view of the film, my initial reaction was that the individual was shouldering a weapon. Wether it could be mis-construed as an RPG or not would be based upon the observatory skills of an individual. I'm NOT sure of the skills of the crew so I can't honestly comment positively nor negatively on the crew nor their actions!

 

Having said that, having rolled around a corner in a fire zone a few times, there have been the ocassion where a kid and or person have popped up armed with a stick and in his excitment at seeing us, pointed the stick at us. On only ONE ocassion was an individual fired upon. Which is not a LUCK situation, in all of these ocassions one of the six of us was observate enough to realize it was a stick. None-the- less, loaded and locked waepons were trained upon the individuals.

 

Having said that, I strongly concurr with canukavi8ter's staus with respect to arm chair quaterbacking. BUT do know my position is based upon being in a free fire zone and the butt puckering edge of insanity that combat keeps the mind in, And unfortunately , in most cases of self preservation, collateral deaths occur. It has been thus in EVERY combat situation since the beginning of time, AND shall continue to be so.

 

Having said that, I never condemn nor condone the survival instincts of combattants. NOT do I condone war. BUT is has and will happen as long as there are humans inhabiting the earth. But it is never right!

 

Speaking of war, does anybody know if there's a demand for S61 endorsed mechanics over in the big sandbox??

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Bullet Remington
"Truth is the first casualty of war."

 

Dick

 

 

I dunno Dick. I have always maintained that innocense is the first casualty of war. Truth is never really a casualty. It is however, a matter that is very strongly manipulated!!

 

Sometimes to the point that the line between truth and mistruth can be blurred to the point that it is no longer visible, nor considered relevant to the goals an/or aspirations of people of power!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
I dunno Dick. I have always maintained that innocense is the first casualty of war. Truth is never really a casualty. It is however, a matter that is very strongly manipulated!!

 

Sometimes to the point that the line between truth and mistruth can be blurred to the point that it is no longer visible, nor considered relevant to the goals an/or aspirations of people of power!

Calling it the "colateral murder video" reveals a lot about the objectivity of the person who submitted this. If you are in a war zone this is one of the risks you take. Given the snap decisions that have to be made when people can shoot at you at any moment this has to be a tragic accident, and nothing more.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...