Five members of an Iraqi family were killed when US forces opened fire on their vehicle outside a military base near the city of Baquba, police say.
A US military spokesman said the minibus they were travelling in failed to stop as it approached a roadblock at about 0800 (0500 GMT). Two men and three children were killed and two women and a child were wounded, Iraqi police said. A US military spokesman put the toll at three dead and two wounded.
The family was travelling to a funeral at the time, witnesses said. The roadblock had been set up to allow military vehicles to turn off a highway into the base.
“The Iraqi car wouldn’t slow down and warning shots were fired,” Maj Steven Warren told news agency AFP. He said the vehicle did not stop and came under machine-gun fire.
Ahmed Kamel al-Sawamara, a 22-year-old who was driving the car, said he had no time to react when shots began raining down.
“The soldiers started shooting at us from all over,” he told reporters. “I slowed down and pulled off the road, but they continued firing.
“I saw my family killed, one after the other, and then the car caught fire. I dragged their bodies out.”
Since the US-led invasion in 2003, there have been repeated incidents in which American troops have fired on civilian vehicles. [source]
Now lets say members of Zarqawi’s group get a hold of Ahmed, who was most likely a young moderate Iraqi Muslim going to a funeral before any of this happened for all we know .
The question is, how long will it take them to brainwash him? To show him photos of his dead family, or abused Iraqis, and convince him why he should strap bombs on his waist and blow up say, a hotel in Amman? A day? An hour? 5 minutes? Less?
I suppose it’s normal to say “I would never be convinced to do such a thing no matter what!”, but it’s the “no matter what” that is so relative. A person’s will power varies from say, when he or she is in a normal state of mind, to say, after they witness 5 members of their family riddled with bullets and have to pull their dead bodies out of a burning car.
How easy the presense of the US in Iraq make it for them. AlQueda and the U.S. are each other’s greatest servering allies if you think about it.
UPDATE: November 22nd 2005
“They are all children. They are not terrorists,” shouted one relative. “Look at the children,” he said as a morgue official carried a small dead child into a refrigeration room, according to Reuters.
“We felt bullets hitting the car from behind and from in front,” said another survivor with blood running from a wound to his head and splattered on his shirt. “Heads were blown off. One child had his hand shot off,” he added.
According to Reuters, the US military said it was looking into the incident but did not confirm its involvement or provide any other details. [article]
Well, If this Ahmad that you are talking about happen to be a Palestinian, and those that were killed were members of his immediate family, he may decide instead to donate their internal vital organs to other needy enemy combatants.
hatem, don’t count on another universal miracle of that calibre to happen anytime soon
Hey, miracles happen all the time, as a matter of fact a dexterous Palestinian father donated his killed by the Israeli forces son vital organs few weeks ago, the memory is still fresh in my mind. See miracles do happen.
hatem, yeah i know about that, which is why i said “another” 😉
You’re so right about their mental status after witnessing such a horrible event!
I and you will say that two wrongs don’t make it right and that one crime does not justify another in response, but each human being has his own capacity and limits, I honestly can understand how such incedents affect us and can drive us completely mad.
if it takes a long time to get over third grade teacher and the bad memories of being beaten up, imagine how long will it take to get over seeing all the family killed.
how many boy ends up beating his teacher sooner or later for humuliating him one way or another? it makes more sense that a man whose entire family was killed seeks revenge.
SC, u hit the nail on the head: “two wrongs do not make a right”, but when we factor in the environment that is contaminated and pushes them in a direction they never of thought of going, we can begin to see a patern here. Iraq, like Palestine, has become an occupation and like Palestine we have been forced to think in some philosophical paradox of what came first the chicken or the egg? When everyone knows which.
I’m commenting here with trepidation.
My heart goes out to the children, and the family. But, I’m wondering if the driver understood that failing to stop at a US checkpoint will result in being shot at. There has been incident after incident, starting with the first month of the invasion, it can’t be a secret.
Is it right that the family got killed? No; it’s not even understandable.
But, with incident after incident of car bombs slamming into both the US military, and more often, Iraqi civilians, the soldiers were probably under orders to stop any car they could not check. With the death toll of civilians rising, I think this is designed to protect both civilians and military — not to punish, and not to humiliate.
I’m not sure how the IDF operates, but in the US Army, soldiers get relieved of duty and investigated when they kill civilians; you’ll notice that American soldiers will turn each other in from time to time, and civilian and journalists accusations are taken seriously. The offenders prosecuted if there is any reason to suspect it was a willful act. That means they go to jail. And, I know this is cold comfort to a grieving family.
During Vietnam, there were a few stories about how American soldiers would shoot their own officers before they’d fire on villagers. Was this widely done — no. But, it happened from time to time.
In terms of occupation, please understand that the US public will not tolerate a true occupation. Most Americans want our troops out, which will happen when the country’s calmer. If insurgents, “freedom fighters,” terrorists, whatever you want to call them, could refrain from killing people, then we’d be out that much sooner.
I do agree that incidents like this are fodder for recruiting, though. What insurgent groups fail to show recruits are the bloody aftermath of dead civilians after one of their own attacks. An incident comes to mind about when a car bomb slammed into a bunch of kids outside of a hospital in Baghdad; the kids’ only crime was accepting gifts being distributed by group of US soldiers. I guess the desire to blow away US soldiers was greater than the need to protect Iraqi children, because it was the kids who got killed by the bomb while the soldiers were okay.
I’m open to feedback here, and will respectfully consider differing opinions.
In Vietnam they would shoot their own officers – villagers or not. 😉
“The question is, how long will it take them to brainwash him? To show him photos of his dead family, or abused Iraqis, and convince him why he should strap bombs on his waist and blow up say, a hotel in Amman? A day? An hour? 5 minutes? Less?”
How long will it take the driver to own up to the fact that military roadblocks are no friggin’ joke? If you attempt to run them, you get sprayed with fire from automatic weapons – regardless of whatever nation’s military is manning them. How long will it take him to realize that soldiers at a roadblock cannot tell who is or isn’t in a car running a roadblock? How long will it take him to own up to the facts, to take responsibility? 5 minutes? An hour? A day? More? How about never?
samaritan, lol you’re telling me that if this happened to you, where lets say Russia mans all the roadblocks in America after it illegally occupies your country, that you would probably face up to the facts and take responsibility for what happened? i.e. blame it on yourself?
come on man
something that might interest you: http://www.black-iris.com/?p=176
“samaritan, lol youÃ¢??re telling me that if this happened to you, where lets say Russia mans all the roadblocks in America after it illegally occupies your country, that you would probably face up to the facts and take responsibility for what happened? i.e. blame it on yourself?”
Hey, Nas, lets exercise a little common sense, here. I don’t care who mans the roadblock. It is a military roadblock. You run it – you die. Pretty simple. It doesn’t matter what you think of the military running the roadblock. Like I said, run a checkpoint and die. Checkpoints aren’t set up just for fun. Run a checkpoint – die. Really, really simple.
By the way, Nas. Regardless of what you think of the legality of the initial war in Iraq by the time this event occurred the elected Iraqi Transitional Government had the power to ask Coalition forces to leave. Since American forces were operating at the invitation of the democratically elected government, there was nothing illegal about the checkpoint.
lol samaritan, i worry that you actually believe what you say sometimes 😀
Sometimes I worry too. 🙂