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Tragic Deaths in Iraq

Thursday, June 1st, 2006 · 4 Comments

I almost always have nothing but respect for our soldiers, especially those who are put in harm’s way on a daily basis, but how does attempting to “disable the vehicle” result in the death of two women, including one on her way to give birth? I know, fortunately, thanks to the bravery of so many young soldiers, that I will likely never understand what it’s like to be in a war zone, so I’m not really one to talk, but I just don’t understand how a road block could turn into a lethal attack on innocent civilians. Yes, accidents do happen… but how does one like this occur?

U.S. troops kill pregnant woman in Iraq:

BAGHDAD, Iraq – U.S. forces killed two Iraqi women — one of them about to give birth — when the troops shot at a car that failed to stop at an observation post in a city north of Baghdad, Iraqi officials and relatives said Wednesday. Nabiha Nisaif Jassim, 35, was being raced to the maternity hospital in Samarra by her brother when the shooting occurred Tuesday.

Jassim, the mother of two children, and her 57-year-old cousin, Saliha Mohammed Hassan, were killed by the U.S. forces, according to police Capt. Laith Mohammed and witnesses.

The U.S. military said coalition troops fired at a car after it entered a clearly marked prohibited area near an observation post but failed to stop despite repeated visual and auditory warnings.

“Shots were fired to disable the vehicle,” the military said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. “Coalition forces later received reports from Iraqi police that two women had died from gunshot wounds … and one of the females may have been pregnant.”

Tags: war

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Alex // Jun 1, 2006 at 10:05 am

    That is tragic. However, not unreasonable. I am not a soldier nor have I ever been, so my point of view may mean nothing, but I take no issue with the soldiers’ tactics. Think about it. To a soldier whose job it is to protect a likely target, a car full of innocent people blazing a checkpoint looks exactly like a car full of suicide bombers blazing a checkpoint. And it’s not like the driver did it accidentally either– he ignored several audible and visual warnings. Granted the driver was panicked, but c’mon man, he is in a war zone– small mess-ups carry HUGE consequences.
    It happened with Italian reporters a year back, and they tragically pershied as well. It even hapened right here in the US of A (Miami, FL) a year or so ago when that mentally deranged guy was gunned down on an airport jetway. He was freaking out and threatening people and not complying with security.
    If I were sick in the head and yelled out, “I am gonna kill all you motherf*ckers!” on an international flight, even if I have no intention of doing so, I would face some serious consequences (and probably get hurt, maybe killed). Granted these Iraqis didn’t do THAT, but that’s what it looked like, and it would probably look that way to you too.
    And the fact that they were women means nothing since female suicide bombers joined the fold back in 2002.
    Lastly, I am guessing that disabling a car is easier said than done. We all know from watching “COPS” that cars can drive for miles on their rims. I doubt these soldiers have miles to spare if they are trying to protect a building from a car full of explosives. It’s tragic, but not hard to understand.

    If you were comissioned to protect a hospital full of innocent people, how many cars would you give the benefit of the doubt when they blazed checkpoints and ignored commands?

  • 2 Joe V. // Jun 1, 2006 at 10:26 am

    Well, I think it goes like this, more or less.

    We have men (and women) over there who are under CONSTANT threat of being blown to bits by IEDs, truck bombs, car bombs, and individual suicide bombers (who have been known to be women or men dressed as women). Many U.S. checkpoints have been car bombed, which is why soldiers now shoot to kill when an unauthorized vehicle refuses to yield.

    The check point was well marked, according to all reports I’ve read, and most Iraqi civilians by this point, I’m sure, know that not stopping at checkpoints could result in being shot and killed.

    What were the soldiers supposed to do? They really are in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation here. At 100 yards, it is impossible to see who’s driving a car. What’s more, even if they could make out the driver, they have no way of knowing friend from foe, which is why the checkpoint is there in the first place.

    If they shoot at the tires and miss or don’t fully disable the vehicle, it could still reach the checkpoint and explode. They did what they have been trained to do in that situation: fire to kill the driver of a car that refuses to stop. It’s the only sure-fire way to stop the vehicle.

    It sucks massively and the whole tragic situation makes me feel physically ill. But the problem here is that these guys are in this no-win situation in the first place. In my opinion, they acted appropriately under the conditions as I’ve read them to be. I’m sure they feel horrible about it, but what could they have done?

  • 3 Nat // Jun 1, 2006 at 4:46 pm

    good points made by Joe V. It was a tragic incident and certainly a no-win situation for all parties involved.

    Personally, I think you are in an almost “no-win situation” by being a soldier in the United States Armed Forces in this day and age. Don’t get me wrong, I support the majority of the troops deployed throughout the world and I know there are merits to fighting for this great country. However, it’s unfornate we live in a country that does not take care of ALL of those who have served this country. Fact: Close to 40 percent of all the homeless men in the country are veterans.

    I’m going to stop there before I get on a political rant about Bush’s educational policy, and why so many of the wrong people are fighting and enlisting to fight.

  • 4 Bill & Connie // Jun 7, 2006 at 6:16 pm

    “…I will likely never understand what it’s like to be in a war zone…” says it all Gabe.