At 10/8/12 08:34 PM, JoS wrote:
Its war, shit happens. In World War 2 it was common to bomb entire cities. Not to make light of people dying but sometimes in war you have to make a call in a matter of seconds, while we get years to judge it. Also the pilot saw a guy with an RPG which can be neither confirmed nor denied by the video.
The rules of engagement require there to clear and present danger for the enagement to be justified. The pilot claimed he saw evidence of weapons, but let's look at the video.
This is the reuters photographer that was killed, and his camera which is said to be an RPG. This is all that is seen of the camera and what is ultimately the arbitrator of whether those people's lives end or not. It would be understandable to take immediate action if the photographer were in a ready-to-fire stance and this object were pointed at the helicopter, but there isn't any sign of any tangible immediate threat. Yet the watchout hastily goes from "he has a suspicious object" to "he has an RPG!" without anything of definitive substance. Is there any need to move to engage that quickly before more intel can be gathered to properly identify people as either civilians or combatants?
Then there's this:
Remember this line: "If we see a weapon, we're gonna engage."
CH18: Yeah, Bushmaster, we have a van that's approaching and picking up the bodies.
CH18: Bushmaster; Crazyhorse. We have individuals going to the scene, possibly uh picking up bodies and weapons."
Once Bushmaster gives the go-ahead to engage the people picking up the wounded, they then of course chuckle about one of the bodies being driven over by a Bradley and joke about not bringing kids to a battle. I have a hard time coming to the conclusion that this was more about eliminating an enemy threat and not satiating a trigger finger.
You've also ignored the second part of the Apache video where they fire Hellfire missiles into an apartment building and kill a completely unrelated passer because they can't be bothered to wait a handful of seconds after being given permission to engage. 2 insurgents try to surrender. The military lawyer gives the Apache clearance to murder them. They run into a building. 4 women come out waving white sheets. Apache kills all 6. There are laws of war, and those laws explicitly mention that the red cross or red crescent or the white flag are examples of "you do not fire on these people, period". Even though those people in the van were not members of the red cross/crescent, they are covered by the Geneva Conventions, which is something every member of the US forces is bound to. When you commit an act in violation of the Geneva Convention, you are committing a war crime. It's as simple as that. I understand the fog of war but it all too often seems like a convenient excuse for sociopathy. Go watch the part where an unarmed civilian attempts to render humanitarian aid to a wounded, unarmed, hors de combat dude and the soldier repeatedly lies to his superiors so he can satisfy his own bloodlust.
(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
When there is a culture present, especially in insurgency warfare, that dehumanizes the opponent, it leads to these kinds of issues. And there is plenty of evidence of exactly this kind of culture not just in these videos.
You provided 11 links to 9 different issues. Of those 9 issues, at the most 2 could be seen as legit whistle blowing, and they arent even that huge. So 2 out of 250 000, that's not very diligent now is it. Manning I doubt read most of what he released before doing so, he just released it all in hopes maybe someone would find a nugget or two. This is why Manning is a traitor, not a whistle blower.
But I wasn't cherry picking articles I thought sounded the juiciest, I was merely copying and pasting articles from an article Proteas neglected to read thoroughly. A quick google search brought me this article. So I guess that's 3 out of 250,000 now. Who knows how much higher that number goes when we actually start looking at the documents leaked :O