Monday, February 07, 2005

Most Shootings Aren't Publicized

I provide this unreported news to illustrate what the troops will bring home in their hearts and have to live out the rest of their lives remembering. It should not be their burden alone to carry, folks, we, as a country, share in the duplicity and we, as a country share in every killing on both sides, our troops and the Iraqi people. Next time you are comfortably getting your hair done, shopping at a mall for really important stuff, watching tv, or working hard to ignore what is really going on by filling up your days with urgent matters, maybe you might take a moment to think about your own mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, grandmother, grandfather, child and wonder .... oh please, wonder as if it were your own. The people doing the killing and maiming or being killed and maimed are real people; it's the catchy slogans and labels that are not real. We cannot be absolved by wrapping it up in picturesque language of labels like terrorists, insurgents, freedom-haters or whatever other apt labels get used to define real people.

Most Shootings Aren't Publicized
Dionee Searcey

February 7, 2005

MOSUL, Iraq - The shootings rarely make news - outside the towns where they occur. The military does not make a practice of publicizing cases of "collateral damage" unless by chance reporters are embedded with units and write about the events they witness. And no one at the Pentagon nor at the U.S. Central Command keeps a comprehensive tally of the incidents, according to senior officials in both locations, who say that all operations in general are periodically reviewed. The examples that follow are a sampling.

From April to October a unit of Arkansas infantrymen was involved in at least eight shootings at roadblocks or in convoys that ended in civilian deaths, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In one instance, the paper reported, a driver was killed and his pregnant wife wounded; in another a girl died after being struck by bits of metal from a shot intended to disable the car engine.

In mid-November, a family driving across battle-weary Fallujah encountered a company of Marines that opened fire, wounding a 23-year-old woman and killing her mother, media accounts reported.

In Baghdad the following month, a young man drove up to an Army base with his dead mother and two siblings, said Airborne Capt. James Shaw. Americans had shot up the car, the man said, and didn't even stop. Airborne officers from the 2nd Battalion, 325th Infantry, who were not responsible for this shooting, have been working to compensate the family.

And about three weeks ago, a nervous National Guard unit rolled into Mosul for the first time after patrolling calmer outlying areas. Soldiers came under mortar attack when they stepped out to investigate a body on the street. The onslaught had just ended when a car sped toward them with a 55-gallon drum in its opened trunk. It failed to slow despite warning shots, according to a soldier who was there.

Worried the vehicle was packed with explosives, troops peppered it with bullets, killing the driver. The drum, however, was empty and the driver was not armed.

Minutes later, another vehicle swung around the corner and headed toward the scene. Soldiers immediately shot it up, too. A mother got out of the car, her hand severed by bullets. In her arms was her dead 7-year-old girl. Her young son also was injured.

"She was sitting on the curb, holding her daughter, rocking, not crying, just in shock," the soldier said.

Troops told their superiors they fired warning shots at the second vehicle, but the soldier disputed that. "The shots were into the cab" of the car, he said. "They were well-placed." - My News

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President George W. Bush's statement in March 2006 after 3 yrs of war "a future President will have to resolve war in Iraq"


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