Arab journalist killed on live TV by U.S. helicopter.

Stumbled across this entry over at TPRS which links to a news item about Arab television journalist Mazen Al-Tomaizi who was accidentally killed on live TV when a U.S. helicopter opened fire on a disabled Bradley fighting vehicle to destroy it so it wouldn’t be looted.

US Missile Kills Journalist – Arab News

In the West Bank, residents of his home town Idna watched in horror as Mazen went down. He was killed when a US helicopter fired missiles on people who had gathered round a US tank that had been set ablaze in a car bomb attack.

Blood spattered across the cameraman’s lens and screams were heard by viewers of the Al-Arabiya report. Mazen was the fourth Palestinian journalist killed in Iraq.

Most of the young Iraqi men and boys mingling around the burning wreckage of the US tank were unfazed by the clattering of an American helicopter gunship overhead. Moments later they were under fire.

Some had pointed to the Apache helicopter. Others jogged slowly from the burning Bradley fighting vehicle. None expected it would shoot at them. “I didn’t imagine the helicopter would fire on the crowd,” Reuters cameraman Seif Fouad said from his hospital bed, where he was recovering from two shrapnel wounds. He had been recording the scene and was standing near Mazen.

“I looked at the sky and saw a helicopter at very low altitude,” Seif said. “Just moments later I saw a flash of light from the Apache. Then a strong explosion,” he said.

The first explosion sent Seif crashing to the ground. “Mazen’s blood was on my camera and face,” Seif said. Mazen screamed to Seif for help: “Seif, Seif! I’m going to die. I’m going to die.”

A second blast hit some 15 seconds later, lodging shrapnel in Seif’s leg and waist as he was trying to pull Mazen from harm’s way. Seif’s camera, its lens stained with blood, filmed the chaos. Reuters footage showed the crowd to be made up of unarmed boys and men, two of whom were standing on top of the Bradley.

As TPRS points out, this is a helluva way to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. More competent decision making in action.

51 thoughts on “Arab journalist killed on live TV by U.S. helicopter.

  1. Just when you think they can’t come up with a way to become even more unpopular…

    I can understand that you want to destroy military hardware to avoid it being gutted and used against you one way or the other. However, firing on a crowd sends the clear message that even the possibility of whatever is salvageable in that Bradley being used against US troops outweighs the potential cost in Iraqi lives.

    I wonder what, if any, precendents there are in previous engagements. E.g., would the US have destroyed a Bradley when surrounded by a Serbian crowd?

  2. Am I to understand that this did not make the national news? Like EVERYWHERE else in the world?

    Took the words right out of my mouth.

  3. Anybody see the irony of this posted on SEB, where the tagline is “what the fuck is wrong with you people”? 
    WTF is wrong with people that flock to warzones and don’t wear flak jackets and helmets?
    WTF is wrong with people that crowd around car bomb sites, don’t they know about secondary explosions?
    How do we know the people jumping on the Bradley were not trying to remove weapons?

    You ficking luberals are a trip

  4. Dave –

    Let’s see if I can break this down for you.

    WTF is wrong with people that flock to warzones and don’t wear flak jackets and helmets?

    Um, their home is the war zone.  They don’t have to flock.  This makes about as much sense as asking ‘What the fuck was wrong with the people killed by the falling South Tower.’  They new it was hit, why didn’t they go get their hardhats and battle gear?

    WTF is wrong with people that crowd around car bomb sites, don’t they know about secondary explosions?

    It was a disabled fighting vehicle and they were doing a news broadcast.  It’s not like they were trying to disarm a dud missile.  They most certainly know about secondary explosions now, that’s what a second anti-tank missile causes when fired from an Apache helicopter.

    How do we know the people jumping on the Bradley were not trying to remove weapons?

    On national television?  Do you have any idea on what type of armament a Bradley is equipped with?  It’s not as if they could have just snuck off camera with anything.  My guess is that the US wanted to ensure that the .50 cal hard mount was destroyed.  Using an Apache to completely destroy an already disabled Bradley would be like hunting rabbits with hand grenades.

    Here’s some irony for you.  A few people jumping up and down on the fighting vehicle that liberated them from an oppressive dictator are blown to pieces because we’re really not there to liberate them but to fight a war on terror.

  5. Dave,

    I have to agree with deadscot on this one.  This has nothing to do with liberalism it has to do with you shouldn’t fire anti-tank missiles on unarmed crowds.  Also I don’t think that a flak jacket would do a helluva lot to keep you safe from an exploding hellfire missile.  Anything that puts holes in tanks will put holes in you no matter what you’re wearing.  Also as deadscot pointed out firing a missile at something doesn’t really count as a secondary explosion.  If it was that the ammo cooked off inside the Bradley, that would have been a secondary explosion, being fired upon by an Apache is something that I don’t expect that most unarmed civilians should consider when making their day to day decisions.  At least it shouldn’t be.

  6. You know just occurred to me, why didn’t they fire some warning shots first to clear the crowd before they launched a missile at the Bradley.  No offense deadscot, but it makes me wonder about the underlying mentality of the US military.

  7. but it makes me wonder about the underlying mentality of the US military.

    I don’t have any first-hand knowledge of this, but what I can piece together from disjointed sources is the following.

    It seems like the overriding principle is that US casualties are politically unsustainable and must be avoided at all cost. There are two ways to achieve this in an occupation scenario. You can establish a rapport with the population, which implies you literally stick your neck out in a gesture of good faith. In return, you get more breaks, like fewer people wanting to harm your troops in the first place and if they do, a chance of getting advance warning. My understanding is that e.g. the Brits play it like this – a lesson learned in Northern Ireland.

    Since the above implies training cultural sensitivity to your troops, the US opts for the other way. They rely on overwhelming force and intimidation to scare the hostiles away. It doesn’t seem to work too well in Iraq, though. Since the US troops seem to operate in isolation, they seem to get blindsided by every attack and have to use disproportionate force to suppress anythings untowards. As a result, even US peacekeeping forces are apparently perceived as armed thugs by the locals, instead of somebody that’s supposed to help them.

    If the above is halfway accurate, it makes perfect sense why US troops would fire antitank weapons into a crowd. It’s all about neutralizing the potential threat from looted weapons; killing citizens of their “host country” is not a consideration.

  8. The underlying mentality of the US military?  You find it clearly spelled out in this paper.

    American military leaders have been very successful in their task to create combat-effective units.  In response to the War Department’s World War II research that revealed that less than 25% of riflemen fired their weapons in combat, the military instituted training techniques—such as fire commands, battle drills, and realistic marksmanship ranges—that resulted in much improved combat firing rates.  In the Korean War, 55% of the riflemen fired their weapons at the enemy, and by the Vietnam War that rate had increased to 90%.

  9. decrepit,

    However, unarmed civilians aren’t the enemy.  I thought the idea behind the Iraq war (in addition to getting rid of the “WMDs”) was to liberate the Iraqi populace from the oppressive regime of Sadam Hussein.  I thought the war was supposedly about helping the very same people that are getting hit with missiles.  I’m fully aware that there is a war going on in Iraq, and as with any war there will be “collateral damage” however, it just seems excessive and egregious to shoot anti-tank missiles into an unarmed crowd without warning.  Even if those people are dumb enough to climb onto a burning tank.

  10. Anyone who believes this war is about anything other than oil, money and W.‘s Holy Christian Crusade in the Middle East are just fooling themselves…If you ask me, Halliburton, Cheney and Bush are Weapons of Mass Destruction.

  11. Deadscot,

    I was referring to _journalists_ flocking to war zones.  He was not on the vehicle, and may have survived if he was better protected.

    I haven’t lived in a war zone, but my parents lived in England during WW2, they headed to shelters when bombs went off.  The Bradley was initially disabled by a bomb, as it was heading to assist another group that was under attack.  If I were there and heard battle sounds and a helicopter, I’d be haulin ass out of there.

    I don’t think you know what type of armament is on the Bradley, its not a Humvee.  They were after the Bushmaster 7.62 Chain Gun, ammunition, or possibly the TOW missiles it can carry; to make more bombs.

    If you didn’t want any salvageable parts off a rabbit, then a grenade is appropriate.

  12. You’re right, Stink; civillians aren’t the enemy.  But If I got jerked out of my happy life in America to go spend “x” number of months expecting a bullet in the neck at any moment from any direction, I might be a trifle paranoid and cease to care exactly who the enemy is.  Bad and wrong, true, but human.

    Another good reason we shouldn’t have gone there in the first place…

  13. Fool,

    I agree we should get out of there, never should have sent an occupying force, although I did support taking out Saddam.

    It time to put the war dogs back in the kennel.

  14. Not exactly a way to win friends and influence people by any means.

    No offense deadscot, but it makes me wonder about the underlying mentality of the US military.

    None taken.  My best guess goes right along with Elwed’s theory.  Right now the US mission is to avoid taking causalities at all costs.  Of course, that’s always the goal but when you’re trying to win the hearts and minds of an occupied country this is a step in the wrong direction.

    I was referring to _journalists_ flocking to war zones.  He was not on the vehicle, and may have survived if he was better protected.

    Maybe so, since it was shrapnel that did the trick, but what I find especially disturbing is that this man was there with camera crew and still fired upon.  There’s no excuse for that given the technology available in the Apache helicopter.  It’s not like it was take out by mortar fire from 10 km away.  This was simply inexcusable.

    If I were there and heard battle sounds and a helicopter, I’d be haulin ass out of there.

    Do tell.  Are these people ever supposed to come outside?  So, since they stayed outside the Apache was justified in firing upon them?  That sounds so much like a bad scene out of Apocalypse Now.

    I don’t think you know what type of armament is on the Bradley, its not a Humvee.  They were after the Bushmaster 7.62 Chain Gun, ammunition, or possibly the TOW missiles it can carry; to make more bombs.

    Interesting, and I thought Bradley was a retired General.  Seriously though.  When the Bradley was introduced in Europe the Blackhorse Regiment were equipped with the Bushmaster and a .50 cal hard-mount.  BTW,  The Bushmaster is a .25mm gun.  Now the Bradley also has 7.62 mm machine gun which is more in keeping with field ammunition and troop support.

    Back to the point, these people were not about to sneak away with any bomb building ordnance.  There was ample opportunity to move the civilians out of the area and then completely disable the vehicle.  Had this been carried out during war-time it would qualify as a war crime.  Since we are merely an occupying er.. peace-keeping oil protecting, nation building force, we can do pretty much whatever the fuck we want.

  15. I strongly support the invasion of Iraq, but (like Kerry) would have done it quite differently.

    But, that’s besides the point…
    [] Anyone sitting in an Apache could have seen the crowd of humans, and their general ages and types (e.g., kids vs. teenagers vs. adults vs. journalists w/camera man)
    [] the Apache is equipped with video, so this should be born out in the investigation
    [] someone mentioned warning shots; Yes, there was no reason not to do so—but, we’re assuming they did not (again, video will show).  If they didn’t, the gunners should were negligent (at best) and motivated by emotions (at worse)

    Personally, and again we don’t know all the facts yet, i tend to side with the idea that the gunner was acting on emotions and (1) probably didn’t fire warning shots and (2) should be courtmartialed due to the quantity of civilian lives lost.

    That all said, it is not beyond teenagers and kids to scavange recently attacked convoy vehicles or armoured units in hopes of grabbing ordinance or other material that can be sold to in-the-market insurgents.  But, that’s no reason to fire upon (or deathly near) an unarmed (and otherwise peaceful) group of civilians, no matter their politics.

    rob@egoz.org

  16. I’m going to have to break with my fellow “luberals” here and say that the crowd was more or less fair game; any person of normal intelligence can figure out that hanging out near military equipment in a warzone (especially with air cover overhead) is liable to get you killed and they should stand clear.  I’d be hiding under my bed taking cover.

    Additionally, the US doesn’t do itself any favors by allowing Iraqis to throw rocks at them and their vehicles.  I would issue a nationwide warning and after that start firing on crowds that are throwing rocks. 

    If anything, we should have learned by now that the people of the ME do not respect the “nice” approach.  I don’t agree that the “hearts and minds” approach is effective, certainly not now.  I don’t think we should just blast them to bits, we should still try to be humane, but the Muslim culture (especially in the ME) seems to lose respect very quickly if you show weakness. 

    That said, I think that if we can actually hold elections that are perceived (more or less) as being free from American influence (other than setting them up to begin with), and we can manage to leave Iraq gradually and the Iraqis can learn to take care of their own country without plunging back into despotism…then Iraq might work out and might actually be viewed as a “good thing” (though there were a lot of “ifs” in that list.)  And, I do have to say that I think it’s better to flush out would-be terrorists in the ME and get them to engage the US Army than it is to have them training and plotting attacks against US population centers (though who’s to say they can’t do both?)

    However, Bush lied—very, very big time—about Iraq to get Congress and the American people to back a war that was really unrelated to the WOT.  And that hurts us because now the next president (god help us if Kerry doesn’t win) and the future presidents will have an uphill battle:  It will be a tough job to convince anyone that we need to go to war after Bush got us into this mess in Iraq.

  17. …the crowd was more or less fair game;

    This is one of the most myopic, sanguinary comments that I’ve seen here in a long time.

    For some reason the United States continues to be a slow study of history when it comes to the effects of aggression.  After 9/11 we had the majority of the world on our side and I would argue that pursuing an avenue self-restraint, core discipline, prudent understanding and cooperation would serve us much better than assuming a bully pulpit in the Middle East.

    The Vietnamese people deeply love independence, freedom and peace. But in the face of United States aggression they have risen up, united as one man. – Ho Chi Minh

  18. Chris,

    “any person of normal intelligence can figure out that hanging out near military equipment in a warzone (especially with air cover overhead) is liable to get you killed and they should stand clear.”

    I agree with you on this claim, but I still don’t think that being stupid is enough of an offense to merit getting a missile fired at you.  The people gathered around the Bradley, if the reports are accurate were not throwing stones or in any other way attacking the American troops, they were just dumb enough to congregate in a very bad spot.  It wouldn’t have taken much effort to disperse the crowd.  Also, it’s not a matter of “hearts and minds” as far as I’m concerned, it’s a matter of legitimate targets versus committing atrocities. 

    However, there are some underlying issues regarding “hearts and minds” as well (though I think these are secondary to what I mentioned above).  If the United States does want to be seen as liberators and not occupiers by the locals, they can’t go around killing unarmed people.  If history has demonstrated anything, it has demonstrated that inhabitants of middle eastern regions respond very poorly to intimidation, consider how effective the Afghans were against the Soviets.  The United States doesn’t need to get into a similar position and should make every effort to avoid making the situation any more unstable.

  19. This is one of the most myopic, sanguinary comments that I’ve seen here in a long time.

    I agree. Worse, there is a strong possibility that the comment accurately reflects the mentality of US policy makers and service members at the triggers alike. If so, it’s a very concise summary of why the occupation of Iraq is doomed.

  20. Here’s a gem –

    “The helicopter fired on the Bradley to destroy it after it had been hit earlier and it was on fire,” said Major Phil Smith of the 1st Cavalry Division. “It was for the safety of the people around it.” The Independent

  21. I have followed the whole “Invade Iraq” thing quite closely from the start. I agree that going in was the right thing to do under the right set of circumstances.  No matter who wins the election I cannot see a “rebuilding Iraq” scenario working with the current force pool deployed.  news reports of the last several days site the military as estimating 5000 insurgants last year and 20000+ now. Does that mean 80000+ next year?  The dead civilians scenario will continue to be playes out over the next few months/years.  Does anyone see a “clean way out” for the U.S. at this point?

  22. Does anyone see a “clean way out” for the U.S. at this point?

    I don’t see one, and neither did George Bush Sr.  He wrote in his book that invading Iraq would be a more-or-less no-win situation.

    Too bad GWB didn’t read it, or take it to heart if he did.

  23. I could have sworn that GWB doesn’t like to read, but perhaps I am wrong.  Maybe he will stop by SEB one day to checck in.

  24. At this point I don’t see any entirely clean way out for the US.  Even if we were to completely withdraw troops from the region we would encounter hostility and attacks on the way home.

    I agree with Elwed’s statement that nothing approaching clean way out can be reached without the US getting some egg on its face.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t proceed along those lines.

    When I say a clean way out, I am referring to sometime in the distant future of 3 to 6 years from now.  Right now, we broke it open and we have certain obligations there.  Staying the current course should not be one of them.

    Attempting to place a US led democracy in this environment is a mistake on the grandest scale.  In my opinion, Iraq could have been better served by a combination of a hagiocracy and hoplarchy during the duration of the transition.  One of the main reasons Osama bin Laden and fundamental Muslims are so strongly opposed to the US as it stands is because over-bearing western influences in their countries.  To think that the removal of Saddam Hussein would change that mindset is just ludicrous.

    The US needs to set its ego aside and stop with the ‘father knows best’ attitude and allow this government to find its own footing.  I would protect Iraqi infrastructure and oil fields and focus on rebuilding areas that are welcoming assistance.  I would also re-arm the Iraqi military to forward battle-field strength and allow them to deal with insurgents with notice that the we and the rest of the world a closely watching.

    With the ministers and military in power I would focus on the surrounding countries giving strong notice not to negatively interfere and stressing their interests that Iraq become a stable presence in the Middle East.  Then I would humbly apologize to the rest of world and ask for their assistance in rebuilding this country stressing that an negative regime had been removed and with it’s stabilization, one less bastion for terrorism is available.

    All said and done, the Iraqi people could then hold open elections for a full representative democracy sometime around 2008 and we would have one more ally on the planet.

    Or we could turn another corner.

  25. StinkAss said: ”…consider how effective the Afghans were against the Soviets.”

    I’m sure you meant “…consider how effective the Afghans and U.S. CIA were against the Soviets.”

    deadscot said: “After 9/11 we had the majority of the world on our side and I would argue that pursuing an avenue self-restraint, core discipline, prudent understanding and cooperation would serve us much better…”

    Huh?  “Prudent understanding”?  What does that mean?  Consider the reasons for 9/11 before retaliating?  Consider the culture of the people we’re invading, attacking, liberating?  I guess I’m too myopic to understand this one.

    “Cooperation” with whom?  The U.N.?  The U.N. who vetoed the resolution to enforce the previous U.N. resolutions that permitted military action for non-compliance?  The countries of France, Germany, and Russia who were all violating U.N. sanctions against Iraq by supplying them with military equipment and/or had illegal oil contracts outside the food-for-oil program.  Please.  With whom should we have cooperated?  Should we have waited until France, Germany, and Russia agreed to join us?  If you’re a pacifist and we should never take violent action, just say so.  But, France, Germany, and Russia (and Kofi Annan’s son) had too much to lose by agreeing to take military action and they would never have agreed to invade.

    Most people would say that if an American President fails to act on a threat and it cost American lives, he has failed one of his responsibilities.  If you think Bush is a lying war-monger, he can never satisfactorily justify his actions.  I think deadscot and StinkAss are in that camp: they hate Bush and oppose anything he says or does.

    I’m not defending Bush.  I’m disputing the logic of the arguement.  I didn’t vote for Bush (or Gore) and I can’t in good conscience vote for either Bush or Kerry.

  26. deadscot,

    One thing to keep in mind though is that Saddam Hussein wasn’t nearly as traditionalist as other leaders in the middle-east.  Iraq, from what I hear, is fairly “modern” though perhaps not so much as Dubai or Qatar.  It seems that the citizens there on the large part would probably prefer a more western style democracy than oligarchial system.  However, this is second hand reporting, I’m just saying here what some friends of mine (who spent some time in the middle east) have said to me.  That said, I do agree with you that the United States forcing any particular system of government on the Iraqis is mistaken, even if the people would likely prefer a western style democracy, they probably would get upset that the decisions regarding their government are made for them by an outside power.  People do have this thing about self-determination.  I think a strategy similar to what you suggest, pace asking for some foreign assistance, would be useful.  However, I think the countries that need to be involved are countries from the area.  I’m talking Eqypt, Dubai, the UAE, Jordan and Qatar, these are all countries that are relatively progressive considering the regional political climate, and they’re all countries that might offer their assistance for some oil rights (though I would assume that the provisional Iraqi gov’t should make the offer of oil rights versus the US doing it).  That’s just my two cents though.

    JJL,

    Touche, you have a point there, the Afghans did get a fair amount of assistance from the US.  However, I’m pretty sure if the insurgency in Iraq becomes protracted, countries not to friendly with the US are bound to get involved.  I’m sure China and North Korea are itching for the US to get some “egg on their face” as deadscot puts it.

  27. StinkAss –

    One thing to keep in mind though is that Saddam Hussein wasn’t nearly as traditionalist as other leaders in the middle-east.  Iraq, from what I hear, is fairly “modern

  28. Another side effect of Iraq seems to be that other nations are increasingly looking out for their own interests, to the detriment of the US. Such a valiant effort in the game of “How to lose friends and influence”…

  29. “The US military’s accounts of incidents in which it claims to have targeted insurgents but only civilians have died are frequently discredited by Arab television pictures of the incident which US officers apparently do not watch before issuing statements. At the weekend the US was claiming to have precisely hit insurgents in Fallujah while Iraqis were watching pictures on television of an ambulance gutted from the air in which a driver, paramedic and five patients died.”
    – Independent
    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=562235

  30. Only those who have never experienced war rush in when there are several other options available. I can tell who the old guys are here without asking. We were the most powerful nation on earth, now we are a paper tiger, punching above our weight. I am reminded of what Theoden said upon learning of Boromir’s fate, “Alas!” he said, “that these evil days should be mine, and should come in my old age instead of that peace which I have earned.” I lived through the sixtys and seventys, I survived when many of my classmates did not. Death is not glorious unless your a great grandfather, surrounded by four generations of your decendents, lying on your own bed, breathing your last.

  31. And two more telling quotes from the Independent article:

    The US State Department has announced it is switching $3.4bn of US funds from water and power projects. Most of the money will be reallocated to boosting security and oil output.

    It is not clear how much real security the additional security men will provide. Even aspirant police officers injured by a massive car bomb in Haifa Street earlier this week expressed approval of resistance attacks on US forces. In April, the US military command were horrified to find the soldiers and police they had trained went home or switched sides during the Sunni and Shia uprisings.

    Larkinsjapn, a statistic I’m always curious about is how many of those defending the invasion have done what should be their patriotic duty – served their country in the armed forces…

  32. elwedriddsche, probably, not counting people serving right now or seconded from the guard,  0, I don’t know anyone in my local chapter of the VFW that thought it was a good idea. In fact we made our view know in the local paper, and the big regional before this little quagmire started. Our local representative is not going back to washington. New blood, who has been blooded, will back up our new President.

  33. …probably, not counting people serving right now or seconded from the guard, 0

    Even taking into account the active duty military the latest military poll has the president leading 52 to 44 percent with a 5 point margin of error.  If I’m not mistaken, this would be the narrowest margin of support that a sitting Republican president has garnered from the military.  President Bush is 10 up and 2 down.

    Seeing these figures leads me to believe that some of our engagement policies in Iraq may be directed toward gaining electoral support from military personnel.

    I find these numbers even more interesting given Kerry’s actions upon returning from Vietnam and the harsh rebuke many veterans have for him.  It would seem that a vast number have weighed those actions against the betrayal our country is currently facing and come to terms with their grievances.  For those vets who refuse to support Kerry because of his anti-Vietnam actions, I can be empathetic to that position.  Old wounds sometimes just won’t heal.  Unfortunately we’re creating a whole new set of wounds for future generations.  Namely 1032 dead, 7132 combat wounded and 12,000 non-combat wounded US troops.

  34. Who better qualified to protest a war than someone who’s actually fought in it?  I think Kerry’s actions were eminently reasonable.  If someone who has risked his life tells me we’re doing it for the wrong reasons, I’d take HIS word for it, not the word of a draft-dodger in Washington.

    (Speaking of draft dodgers, have you noticed how desperate Cheney, Bush and co. seem to be to appear macho?  I guess you have to act extra tough if you’ve never actually done anything tough.  Whereas Kerry, who doesn’t have to prove himself, doesn’t need to strut and bluster.  It’s a common phenomenon.)

  35. Speaking of draft dodgers, have you noticed how desperate Cheney, Bush and co. seem to be to appear macho?  I guess you have to act extra tough if you’ve never actually done anything tough.

    What GM said.  Reminded me of another quote:

    “Oh, I forgot to tell you… you had to have actually hit someone once.”
    -The Fonz, explaining to Richie Cunningham why tough talk won’t resolve his dispute with a bully.

    I can’t fathom how Bush’s supporters say his TANG experience is equivalent to having gone to Vietnam.  The argument I’ve seen several times is that the plane Bush flew wasn’t the most reliable so, theoretically, he could have been killed.  But he was in the US and his safety depended on intelligent ground mechanics who were doing their level best to keep him safe.  Kerry was on a river in Vietnam where intelligent guerilla fighters were doing their level best to kill him.

    Texas (not equal to) Vietnam.

  36. deadscot, I apologise I mostly log on at about 11pm. my time it looks early to you but I am half way around the world with a malfuncti9oning f—n keyboard adb type ergonamic because of my hands!!
    I really meant Cheney, et. al. I know that most old soldiers trust the Republicans, but I am hoping that this year there will be a weather change. Because the imposter in the Whitehouse does not have the military’s best interest at heart. I do feel stronly about this point but I would never denigrate fellow veterans their belief in the Commander-in-Chief. I really worry that to cover his ass he will reinstate the draft!! I don’t want my nieces and nephews chewed up for no good reason. Are we really safer than 4 years ago.

  37. I really worry that to cover his ass he will reinstate the draft!! I don’t want my nieces and nephews chewed up for no good reason.

    What Larkinsjapn said.  I sure as hell didn’t raise my kids to be cannon fodder so some dumbass who can’t say “nuclear” can push us closer to the brink.

  38. I can’t believe that Bush said that “people love America” (just not the decisions we make).  “People” didn’t love America or Americans before Bush decided to make us look like the big playground bully.  People around the world have shared this view prior to our invasion of Iraq that Americans are wealthy, selfish, rude, arrogant, etc…

    I’m sure a lot of this comes from their own personal experience with Americans in their home countries—most of them don’t get the pleasure of meeting normal, everday Americans.  Instead, they meet Americans who can afford to travel abroad (i.e.—usually the wealthy, who unfortunately are overwhelmingly selfish, arrogant, rude, and have the manners of a spoiled 2 year old child!).  In fact, especially after watching this last presidential debate, it really seems to describe our “president”. 

    Maybe some Americans thought he came off as a leader, but he appeared to me as an illiterate, idiotic, little hothead as he interrupted the moderator and kept jumping up to dispute nearly everything Kerry said.  He would be an embarassment as a congressman or senator, let alone as our “president”!  Civilized, educated human beings do not act like tantruming 2 year olds and any elected official should be able to stay calm and cool in any situation and not get so upset by something someone says that they start hopping around interrupting others or starting wars. 

    I hope the majority of Americans see this little arrogant bastard for the prick he is and get him out of office.  I don’t care if you don’t like Kerry—we can worry about getting someone in to replace him if he turns out to be a crappy leader too, but another 4 years of Bush will get our former allies wanting to use WMD’s on the US!  The way Bush acts, how do they know he’s not going to attack France or Germany next for harboring terrorists?  They live over there too.  Oh, and also in the US, let’s not forget about that.  Maybe we should bomb our own back yard?  It would probably make sense to the little psycho…I mean after all, “…if you’re not with us, you’re against us…”

    Great way to keep allies!

    Stephanie grin

  39. The way Bush acts, how do they know he’s not going to attack France or Germany next for harboring terrorists?

    You’re not nearly the first one to voice that thought. Even before Gulf War 1.1 started, I remember that plans were leaked to the effect of a covert US PR operation in Germany that was supposed to influence German voters in favor of the US (and in detriment to their own national interest). Allegedly the plans were quickly dropped following the leak.

    Clearly, Germany and France are candidates for regime change.

  40. Stephanie, I don’t mind the president jumping up to dispute something he disagrees with.  What I mind is that when he does jump up to speak, what comes out of his mouth is pure idiocy.  That’s the difference between passionate, intelligent debate and someone just yelling out, “Nuh-Uhh!  Is not, either!”

    Another thing that didn’t make sense to me was the long pause after some questions, where Bush seemed to be looking at nothing in particular for a moment before answering.  Almost as if he were listening to an earphone

  41. Not to pour water on the hate-fest…  but there aren’t any US tanks or helos in the West Bank.  Maybe Israeli ones, but no US ones.  So it’d be a little shy of impossible for a US helo to fire a US missile at someone next to a disabled US Bradley, in the West Bank.  This story wasn’t in the int’l media because it’s obviously bogus.

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