18 June 2008

Another military mistake

I thought that with all the government spending on military equipment and technology that a soldier should be able to have enough sight enhancing tools to be able to tell a camera and a microphone from a rocket propelled grenade.

Apparently this is not so seeing as a journalist was killed because he was "mistaken" to be the enemy. Here is an excerpt from the article:
According to the report, U.S. soldiers responding to an ambush on Iraqi police, saw the car with the Reuters journalists inside, and mistook Kadhem's handheld camcorder and microphone for a weapon. The soldiers fired warning shots at the car.
Following Reuters' safety procedures, the crew put the car in reverse and began to back away — an action the military is trained to interpret as an insurgent's combat tactics.
The soldiers fired shots to disable the car, killing and wounding the journalists. A contributing factor, the inspector general said, was the Reuters policy that allows journalists to work without wearing protective equipment, and in unmarked cars.
Help me understand.

Camera:Rocket Propelled Grenade:

Maybe with all the dust, or the heavy helmets, they were not able to tell the difference.

The Pentagon calls the shooting, killing, and wounding of these journalists justified. Justified. It is ok. No one will be reprimanded.

The military is trained to kill people. I understand that. And most acts are seen as threatening to them. I understand that, too. But come on now. How do you get trained to kill someone who is trying to get away from you? I guess I need to -- no, must -- remember to never back away from a soldier with a weapon. Nor will I do so when I fear that a soldier is around.

I like living.


  1. Wouldn't the journalists have known the proper thing to do? I'm not in the war zone, but I know if American/allied soldiers fire a warning shot at me, and I have done nothing wrong, just stop and show signs of surrender.
    Reuters policy is the opposite of logic. I blame the company for doing something so stupid.

  2. I think that showing signs of surrender would be a possibility, though I would also fear that they would not believe that surrender sign. In that case, you might just get shot at from a closer distance than if you were trying to get away -- perhaps while showing a surrender symbol as you drive off.

    Plus, if they are not able to recognize a camera, perhaps they would also "not recognize" the symbol utilized by someone to show surrender.


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