quote of the day

The war in Iraq has been particularly bloody for journalists, whether they are embedded with U.S. troops or simply staying at their hotel in Baghdad. Two weeks ago, when U.S. troops fired on Reuters cameramen right in the Palestine Hotel, I was willing to believe that it was an unfortunate accident, and that the journalists were killed inadvertently. Until I came across this article, in which the tank commander claims that “he was unaware the building was packed with journalists.” How the hell can we, sitting here in our homes in the U.S., know that journalists were staying there, and not the tank commander across the bridge? And that’s the best he could come up with after two weeks of questions? (Earlier reasons for shooting on the journalists included that snipers had attacked from the hotel, a claim which was later dismissed when other reporters at the hotel reported that no snipers were present.)

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7 Responses to “quote of the day”

  1. Derek Says:

    Sounds like the old story of the grunts not being told anything. I can’t figuare a reason why the US would intentally attack these reporters.

  2. Jos Says:

    A Spanish cameraman died in the attack. It was said at the time that US forces had set the hotel as a military objective two days earlier, but nobody told the reporters about that. The Spanish government didn

  3. 0xdeadbeef Says:

    Excuse me, but it was a war zone! And, unlike the civilians who live there, the journalists had a choice to stay or go. They knew the risks, better than we arm-chair generals, by far.

    The grunts in the field know only so much. I doubt very much that anyone, even someone armed with the knowledge that there were journalists in that building, who just spent days in combat, would be able to identify the hotel in a strange city with possible shooters around every corner. On top of that, if I hear that my guys are taking fire (true or not) and I see in the distance, some dude on a rooftop or in a window holding a camera (or maybe it’s an RPG? Hard to tell when you only have seconds to choose.) I’d take him out. Not gonna wait for him to pull the trigger first. Not much different than pointing a toy gun at a cop and being surprised at being shot. Sorry, dude, better luck next life.

    It’s a regretable incident. No question about it. Murder? Maybe, but blame the civilian authorities who put the grunts there in the first place.

    Save your sympathies for the civilians who lost their lives. They are the ones that had no choice, and paid the ultimate price for [insert today’s reason for the war here].

  4. moorishgirl Says:

    Hmm. The problem is that the reasons given for the shooting have changed. First, it was the snipers. Then that was discarded when journalists said they hadn’t seen any. Then it was some guys using binoculars from the roof of the hotel. Then that seemed to get scrapped. And finally this. The fact that they didn’t know the hotel had journalists. Seems odd is what I’m saying.

  5. Jos Says:

    The problem is that you can

  6. Dennis Schulte Says:

    Armchair generals would know the journalists were there because we’re getting our information from their reports. The troops in the field get there information from their commanders, who get it from intel, who get it from…?
    Therefore I can’t hold any blame at all to those in the field or even thier direct commanders, maybe even extend that up a couple of rungs.
    However, I do understand your point about saying one thing, then another. That’s a serious problem our govt has with nearly everything, here in this land supposedly free, open and run by a govt by for and of the people. We have only token control over our government and they in turn feed us lies. It’s an exhausting battle overall and one that seems futile in fighting very much. However, cases like this will get it in the most trouble over the long haul, by creating a larger credibility gap than is already there.

  7. Big John Says:

    It’s easy to second guess from a distance. It’s another matter when you hear/feel enemy H.E. going off inches from your head. Plus, your view of the world is entirely thru a small periscope. As stated before, it’s a WAR ZONE. Warriors do not think like civilians, especially when being shot at.

    “The fog of war” is not just a trite phrase.

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