First the Video: (Warning Graphic Violence and Language)
Ed Morrissey Weighs in:
War correspondents take huge risks to bring news of a war to readers far away. What this shows is just how risky it is to embed with terrorists, especially when their enemy controls the air. War is not the same thing as law enforcement; the US forces had no responsibility for identifying each member of the group and determining their mens rea. Legitimate rescue operations would have included markings on the vehicle and on uniforms to let hostile forces know to hold fire, and in the absence of that, the hostile forces have every reason to consider the second support group as a legitimate target as well. It’s heartbreaking for the families of these journalists, but this isn’t “collateral murder” — it’s war.
Rusty over at Jawa Report also weighs in:
These people are beyond stupid, they’re evil.
Worst case scenario this is a few innocent being accidentally killed in the fog of war.
But the video doesn’t even appear to be worst case scenario. It appears, in fact, that the video shows armed insurgents engaging or about to engage US troops. The Reuters camera men had embedded themselves with the insurgents. This makes them enemy combatants themselves and should have been shot.
Reuters has a long history of its local stringers embedding themsleves with terrorist forces. Perhaps they do this because they are sympathetic, perhaps they do this to get “the story”, but it matters little to those engaging insurgents.
When you embed yourselves with terrorists you know the risk. You are producing propaganda for them. You have become one of them.
Anything less than this understanding is purposeful naivite about “objective journalism”. In war there can be no objective journalism. You’re either with us or the enemy. If you want to stay neutral stay out of the war zone.
As for those who went in to pick up the bodies? Perhaps they were innocents. I’ve no idea.
But you drive your van into an active military engagement? What the hell were you thinking?
You are stupid. Innocent, but stupid. You’re asking to be killed.
And if you brought children into the midsts of an ongoing military engagement that makes you more than stupid: it makes youcriminally negligent.
“It’s their fault for bringing their kids to a battle,” says one of the Americans on the video. Indeed it is.
People, this is war. This happens in war. It can’t be avoided. If you want to end civilian casualties then end war. Start by asking armed Islamists to put down their weapons. But you won’t do that because your real objection isn’t war, it’s America. Which is why anti-war activists around the globe never protest al-Qaeda, only America.
They’re not anti-war, they’re anti-American.
I agree. If you embed yourself with terrorists, you die. Just that simple.
I humbly submit, that these so-called Journalists got just was coming to them.
Update #3: Apparently some liberals, including a gay pedophile stalker blogger, that I will never link to; cannot grasp the idea of sarcasm and are complaining about what I wrote here about Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. Well, you know what liberals? I got two words; FUCK YOU. You bastards sat out here in the Blogosphere and mocked and derided Conservatives and the Tea Party protesters, to the point of using a crude sexual phrase to describe them. —– and you are going to bitch about me being a snarky bomb thrower? Please. Just like that stupid liberal jack assed twit Maxine Waters, do as I say, not as I do.
Update: Rusty Talks back to me… (wow! )
Over at Political Byline:
“I humbly submit, that these so-called Journalists got just was coming to them”
Perhaps. This wouldn’t be the first time Reuters had sent off it’s “crack team” of locals to give the terrorists’ “point of view”.
Now why am I not surprised?
Update #2: Leave it one of my commentators to point out the obvious, From Gaven in the comments:
First off, watch the full, unedited one, without the political editorializing:
A little background is given in this one that is absent from the edited one. First off, the Apache’s mission was to support that infantry platoon. A few minutes before the video starts, that platoon takes RPG and small arms fire in that vicinity, so the Apache is called up to find the guys doing it. Source: Click here to read – See the 12th paragraph.
Our video starts. They see a large group of people, all adult males, several of whom are armed. You can see 2 AK’s and at least one actual RPG around 3:30-3:45 (Pic) . Next, they see a man peeking around the corner and pointing what looks like an RPG at the infantryman about four blocks away. Armed men? Check. Immediate threat to American lives? Check. They get permission to fire, and as soon as they have a shot, they take it.
(For what it’s worth, the actions of this group of people are very suspicious looking, especially in a combat zone mere minutes after US forces have been fired on. Including having the RPG firer simply poke around the corner and fire while everyone else hangs back to avoid backblast. See here for a slightly humorous example: Click for pic . Obviously one example does not a trend make, but I’m just bringing it to your attention)
Secondly, I have yet to see anyone say that the group of guys with the reporters were NOT insurgents. For extra emphasis, at 30:45 there is more small arms fire. At 31:10 you see guys with AK’s and body armor running away from the area. There was DEFINITELY a battle going on in this area, something that Wikileaks biased editing job carefully omits.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Reuters stringers were hanging out with insurgents for some good pictures. For instance, this picture:
Was taken by none other than Namir Noor-Eldeen, one of the photographers killed in this attack. Wonder how he got that? How about THIS one:
Here, Namir is obviously standing about 10 feet away from insurgents as they commit an act of violence. I’m not passing judgement on him, I actually think it’s good to have reporters as close as possible to the conflict, but I’m merely pointing out that hanging out with insurgents is something that Noor-Eldeen had been doing for a few years prior to his death.
Anyways, back to the video.
At 19:20, someone reports finding an RPG round.
At 32:54, someone asks if it’s been defused yet, and is told “no, it’s still live”
Even if everyone in Iraq has an AK, only the bad guys have RPG rounds. The discovery of an RPG round among the bodies makes me believe that Namir Noor-Eldeen was yet again hanging out with an insurgent group looking for great shots. He and the other photographer were almost certainly innocent of actual wrongdoing, but the armed men they were with were in all likelihood some of the ACTUAL insurgents who fired on US troops before the video started.
As for the van that was attacked, I’ll admit that it’s slightly sketchier, but I’ll clarify that by noting that insurgents often clean up their own wounded, so an black van showing up with three or four adult men who immediately jump out and start aiding wounded insurgents is absolutely suspicious enough to make a case for engaging it. I don’t know that I personally would have engaged that van, but I find in totally understandable that they did. Although, again, there’s no proof that the men in the van weren’t also insurgents, since the video leaves out a lot of context.
Yes, this video is disturbing simply for the sheer violence and immediate destruction. But think about it before mindlessly jumping to conclusions regarding what actually happened that day.
Also, allow me to point something out of the liberals and weak kneed Conservatives who are reading this. Let’s go back in history a bit, shall we? During World War 2, The Korean War and during Vietnam, I do not remember ever hearing of any American or international journalists embedding with the enemy then. So, why were these loons embedded with the Terrorists? Because point blank, these so-called “journalists” and their employer, who is quite obviously liberal; have an editorial position that the United States of America deserved the attacks on 9/11 and that these fighters in Iraq were a legitimate fighting force; that’s why! That is, as far as this writer is concerned, an Anti-American stance. Because of this, these bastards got EXACTLY AND I DO MEAN EXACTLY WHAT WAS COMING TO THEM! Period, end of story.