U.S. fires on van at checkpoint that has 13 people inside

U.S. marines today fired on a van containing 13 people today, including women and children, when it did not stop immediately at a U.S. checkpoint in Iraq. 7 people were killed inside the van and 2 people were wounded. Iraqi V.P. Taha Yasin Ramadan confirmed that the van was a suicide bombing and promised that there would be more to come.
Do you think that we are justified in firing on oncoming vehicles when they do not stop immediately? This particular case was a suicide attack, but next time it might just be a van full of women and children passing through. I'd like to hear your thoughts on if we are taking up our intensity too high in Iraq, or even if we aren't reacting to mounting terrorism attempts enough.

Has the US confirmed that it was a bomber bus? I don''t trust the Iraqi government.

If people don''t stop and they''re told to, it''s their own fault.

There has been no confirmation, but you would think that if Americans gunned down 7 women and children the Iraqis would claim that they were peace-loving teachers and honor students killed in cold blood. If the U.N. didn''t hate us already...hoo-boy.

I don''t think it''s been genuinely confirmed that this was a suicide attack. The BBC at this hour is reporting the bus and its occupants as being ""unarmed"". That said, the coalition is now, officially ****ed. It''s this simple, we _must_ win this war at all atrocious costs.

The Iraqi regime is, without empathy or humanity, doing precisely what it must to survive. It is going to throw things at our troops, and thus through the media at us, that will force us down a horrible path. I''ve no doubt that the number of civilian casualities that will die by our bullets, bombs, etc, will be horrific. It''s the only possible strategy by which Saddam''s regime can possibly stay in power. It must assume that there is some point where the popular opinion of the US, the world, and the coalition will not allow the military to cross, and that by virtue of the massive humanitarian crisis we will be forced to turn back from our ''liberation''.

The problem is, that if we should turn away, then every dictator to come will know that America can be beat as long as you don''t challenge them in conventional means. If you''re willing to sacrifice every last civilian at the sake of power, to organize the offensive in such a way that we must kill civilians to kill our enemy, then you can beat America, and boy you think things are bad now ... wait til you see that world. So, in the great calirvoyance of an administration that deemed this war a ''cake walk'', we''ve managed to send not enough troops into the worst kind of military situation, and set ourselves up to slaughter women and children. And worse still, now we have no choice.

This was precisely what I feared would become of this war.

Elysium: The war is 11 days old. The media has turned the story into that we''re losing and it''s another vietnam. There haven''t been that many civilian casualities.

I think the problem is that many people thought we would face no resistence which was foolhardy. The people fighting know that if their side loses they will be killed.

I think the American public believes that this is a war of self defence and will stick with it. I saw poll where like 70% of Americans think it will last months.

This is reminding me of the Afgan war. After a few days the media said we were losing and kept saying that until the Government fell. I think we should give the allies more time.

Before people jump to conclusions about the malicisiousness of the American troops, bear in mind that this occurs but two days after a suicide bomber blew up his car and killed 4 American troops. Their rules of engagement had been modified to fire on any vehicle that refused to stop. Since this was a windowless van, the troops couldn''t see the children. This accident was inevitable. You want someone to blame for this situation, blame the terrorists and their cowardly tactics. Don''t blame US servicemen trying to protect themselves.

Elysium: The war is 11 days old. The media has turned the story into that we''re losing and it''s another vietnam. There haven''t been that many civilian casualities.

I think laying machine gun fire into a van of children is relevant regardless of the timeline, and is an indication of things to come. The war is 11 days old, and clearly going to be a lot longer.

And, precisely how many civilian casualties are ''not that many'' so I can point it out when we cross that line. It better be a number above several hundred, or else you''re going to be unpleasantly surprised.

Before people jump to conclusions about the malicisiousness of the American troops, bear in mind that this occurs but two days after a suicide bomber blew up his car and killed 4 American troops.

I''m not suggesting they acted out of malice. In fact, my whole point is that the Iraqi regime has put them in a situation where they have no choice.

You want someone to blame for this situation, blame the terrorists and their cowardly tactics. Don''t blame US servicemen trying to protect themselves.

I do, but I will also blame, if I find cause, an administration that has haphazardly put our servicemen into the position of having to do this. Make no mistake, I am not faulting the servicemen for doing what we see they had to do. It doesn''t make the result any less horrible.

I think the problem is that many people thought we would face no resistence which was foolhardy.

Like Dick Cheney who is quoted as saying this would be a very quick war, or the administration that termed this as a cake walk, or everyone who just two weeks ago smuggly proclaiming the inevitability of an easy victory. All of the sudden a lot of voices who had no fear going into this are trying to sound reasonable and pragmatic. You can pretend like senseless conclusions are being drawn, but the tone has changed.

This is reminding me of the Afgan war. After a few days the media said we were losing and kept saying that until the Government fell. I think we should give the allies more time.

You know what, Ulairi. I hope you''re right.

And, precisely how many civilian casualties are ''not that many'' so I can point it out when we cross that line. It better be a number above several hundred, or else you''re going to be unpleasantly surprised.

First, I don''t trust the Iraqi Government. I would like to get a source from a non-baised, independent group. I also don''t include Iraqi soldiers in the deaths. I know a lot of people will die and that''s not my point. We are taking every effort to save civilian lives and we have to comend the Bush Adminstration for doing that. Even if you''re against the war you have to admit that we''re trying to do the war the ""best way"" that it could be done to save the most lives.

Like Dick Cheney who is quoted as saying this would be a very quick war, or the administration that termed this as a cake walk, or everyone who just two weeks ago smuggly proclaiming the inevitability of an easy victory. All of the sudden a lot of voices who had no fear going into this are trying to sound reasonable and pragmatic. You can pretend like senseless conclusions are being drawn, but the tone has changed.

You want to know what''s funny? I saw him on Meet the Press and his quote was taken out of context. He also said it could take a lot longer. The media is taking part of what he said. It''s like the duct tape thing, an official was listing off what would go in a kit and the media jumped all over it. Yes. Many that have ties to the adminstration said it would be a cake walk and so did President Clinton. It was wrong.

You can pretend like senseless conclusions are being drawn, but the tone has changed.

That''s because we have reporters with the troops that have no military historical context. We''re doing things on the fly. I don''t know anyone who''s serious who thinks the war is going poorly. We''ve done more and gone further into the country than at any other time. I knew that the war would be tougher than many thought because it would require us to take over a country. Look at what happened in WWII. I don''t think this will be Vietnam II.

I also don''t include Iraqi soldiers in the deaths.

Neither do I. Nor the terrorists that are in civilian clothing. My concern is with genuine innocents.

We are taking every effort to save civilian lives and we have to comend the Bush Adminstration for doing that. Even if you''re against the war you have to admit that we''re trying to do the war the ""best way"" that it could be done to save the most lives.

I''ve never said otherwise. I''ll reiterate. My concern is that Saddam''s regime will put coalition forces into positions where they must injure civilians to protect themselves and achieve their goals. This is not the direct fault of the military, but those who''ve put these soldiers into this position. It''s fine to congratulate the administration on not choosing to kill civilians (and I genuinely believe they want to avoid needless casualty), but speaking as one who didn''t think war was such a hot idea in the first place, you can see how I might be of the opinion that the administration takes some responsibility for the consequences of the choices it made.

That''s not to say you should necessarily agree with my position. Frankly, I''d be stunned if you did.

I don''t think this will be Vietnam II.

I''d like to point out that I''ve never said this is a Vietnam. I''ve heard it said, and I''m intrigued by the correlation, but, like you, I''m not jumping to that conclusion.

I don''t see why Saddam''s recklessness should hurt international opinion of the U.S. Saddam throws his own civilians at us and uses sickening tactics to try and save his own ass, and we are the bad guy? Shouldn''t the world be seeing that the current Iraqi regime is genuinely evil? Shouldn''t the world start backing us up a little bit instead of complaining about our ""imperialism""? I just think that the U.N. is failing to realize that the war is happening and every time they denounce the U.S. and their military actions, they are only urging Saddam to use terrorist attacks even more.

"asands2" wrote:

I don''t see why Saddam''s recklessness should hurt international opinion of the U.S. Saddam throws his own civilians at us and uses sickening tactics to try and save his own ass, and we are the bad guy? Shouldn''t the world be seeing that the current Iraqi regime is genuinely evil? Shouldn''t the world start backing us up a little bit instead of complaining about our ""imperialism""? I just think that the U.N. is failing to realize that the was is happening and every time they denounce the U.S. and their military actions, they are only urging Saddam to use terrorist attacks even more.

A lot of people in the world have no problem cuddlying up to dictators.

Shouldn''t the world be seeing that the current Iraqi regime is genuinely evil?

Actually, this is a point on which I agree completely. It''s reprehensible.

Then why in Western Europe is public support for the war hovering around 20%? What is it that these nations like Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal and France have against the United States?

""Then why in Western Europe is public support for the war hovering around 20%? What is it that these nations like Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal and France have against the United States?""

Nothing against the US, just some problems with the current administrations foreign policy, don''t oversimplify every issue the US and Europe have into a ''good guy'' - ''bad guy'' thing. They''re not either with you or against you, its just that Bush and his pals don''t seem like the genuine ''what has to be done will be done'' white-hooded sherrifs they wish to be right now.

I just can never understand why some people can hate Bush more than Hussein. Even if you think Bush is the most obnoxious, stupid, arrogant, or whatever person in the world how can he be worse than a brutal murderous dictator?!

You don''t like the guy, fine. But don''t undermine USA in a time of war where innocent people are dying because of a dictator! The UN should look at what Hussein is doing and say ""nope, that''s over the line"" and back USA or at least shut up. Don''t let Hussein think he still has a chance. It''ll make the UN look better and redeem itself somewhat.

Nothing against the US, just some problems with the current administrations foreign policy, don''t oversimplify every issue the US and Europe have into a ''good guy'' - ''bad guy'' thing. They''re not either with you or against you, its just that Bush and his pals don''t seem like the genuine ''what has to be done will be done'' white-hooded sherrifs they wish to be right now.

Can you really have nothing against the US but with its administration? Isn''t that ""nothing"" really something?
But if we support US adminstration does that make them really against us? To me it''s about ""good guy, bad guy"" and it''s not oversimplifing anything. France, Russia and German are standing by, because of their own interests, and watching people die. To me, that''s what bad guys do.

I just can never understand why some people can hate Bush more than Hussein. Even if you think Bush is the most obnoxious, stupid, arrogant, or whatever person in the world how can he be worse than a brutal murderous dictator?!

I don''t think anyone on this forum will ever suggest that they like Saddam more than Bush. It''s just that resenting Bush does not equal promoting Saddam or loathing the US as a whole. I for example have got absolutely no problem with concepts like ''Pax Americana'' or a new world order lead by the US. I would rather have that same world ruled by a honest, responsible and smart leadership though, not by ''Bush and his cronies''. I just don''t have any confidence in the current administrations policy :cry:.

You don''t like the guy, fine. But don''t undermine USA in a time of war where innocent people are dying because of a dictator! The UN should look at what Hussein is doing and say ""nope, that''s over the line"" and back USA or at least shut up. Don''t let Hussein think he still has a chance. It''ll make the UN look better and redeem itself somewhat.

Stick up or shut up right? Well boohoo, that''s what''s happening right now. France for example has already stated they want a quick end to the war with the coalition coming out as victorious. Abstaining shouldn''t be turned into actively undermining for propaganda reasons, leave that to Rumsfeld.

Anyway, if you call ''old Europe'' the bad guys, something most Europeans can understand, you instantly transform the Bush administration''s decisions into a glaring example of fine policy-making. I wouldn''t put things so black/white.

Can you really have nothing against the US but with its administration? Isn''t that ""nothing"" really something?
But if we support US adminstration does that make them really against us? To me it''s about ""good guy, bad guy"" and it''s not oversimplifing anything. France, Russia and German are standing by, because of their own interests, and watching people die. To me, that''s what bad guys do.

Why not? I am fairly confident US policy will shift at least a couple of times in the years to come (elections come to mind) and there would be no reason to hold any grudge against the American people because a bunch of fundies farked up policy back in ''01-''04.

This sort of thing happened pretty frequently here in Northern Ireland, people used to try and run Police and/or Army checkpoints and were killed as a result. Sometimes it was terrorists other times it was just kids who''d stolen a car. The soldiers were just following Standard Operating Procedure for a military checkpoint. Apart from the families affected I feel sorry for the troops who opened fire on the van as they have to live with the fact that they''ve killed women and children.

honest, responsible and smart leadership though, not by ''Bush and his cronies''. I just don''t have any confidence in the current administrations policy

What policies do you not like?

What policies do you not like?

That''s a whole other thread.

Hell, that may be a whole other section of the forums.

"Elysium" wrote:
What policies do you not like?

That''s a whole other thread.

Hell, that may be a whole other section of the forums.

I''m not saying he has to like Bush. I don''t like Bush''s policies. My point is that everyone knew what they would get with Bush when he won the election. He''s not lied about cutting taxes, cutting money on social programs, and increasing spending on the Military. I think everyone knew this would happen.

Before the United Nations, we had the Treaty of Nations (I believe). I think it was ''38 or somewhere around then. Hitler, had just crossed borders and begun invading. At that time, had organized diplomacy made even a feeble attempt to join together and show the resolve to end the matter, Hitler''s reign would have ended before it began. They didn''t, and the rest is history.

I blame the United Nations for not having the balls to deal with this situation the right way. We''ve let 12 years go by without doing anything. It just so happens that this time, the US feels personally endangered by the dictator. Whether its true or not, or there is a real threat or not, I leave up to you to decide. I do, however believe that once a country deems someone else a threat, if diplomacy fails, you have no other option but to completly, and with prejudice, conquer them.

Yes there will be shamefull loss of life, but I have no guilt in doing whatever it takes to protect our men and women overseas. If the world hadn''t let this stupid *#&$ dig in for so long, it wouldn''t be so hard. But the world did, and we, the good guys, have to pay the price. If the price is world scorn, I would argue that means nothing to me. I hate France with a passion now, not for their actions recently, but more for the fact they have this anti-US frame of mind, when, within their own borders, lies 10,000+ of our men that gave their lives for them.

We''ve taken 1/3 of Iraq in 11 days. I fail to see how this is going badly.

I read this, and I''m not sure if its true but I''ll share it:

Colin Powell was at a diplomatic function and was asked about the US policy of invading other countries for ''Imperial Expansion''. His reply was that the US has never asked for any land from an attack, with the exception of ground to bury our troops there.

We''ve taken 1/3 of Iraq in 11 days. I fail to see how this is going badly.

We haven''t ""taken"" so much as we''ve ""driven through"". A sucessful argument could be made stating we''ve merely bypassed the better part of Iraqi resistance.

"Reaper81" wrote:
We''ve taken 1/3 of Iraq in 11 days. I fail to see how this is going badly.

We haven''t ""taken"" so much as we''ve ""driven through"". A sucessful argument could be made stating we''ve merely bypassed the better part of Iraqi resistance.

We''ve gained footholds enough to allow massive amounts of aid to distribute. We now possess control of the majority of oil fields. We have taken their port. We''ve just about covered all around Bagdad. In essence, we''ve locked them up within several cities and have made it difficult for them to come out. We ''own'' their airspace.

11 days so far.

As for ''bypassing'' resistance, from what I''ve been reading, what little resistance there was, had been decimated. You''re right in the fact that they ''could'' end around us and attack from behind, but we have troops/support lines back there as well.

No, I''d say so far we''ve done exactly what was expected. The bitch are the days to come....

""I''m not saying he has to like Bush. I don''t like Bush''s policies. My point is that everyone knew what they would get with Bush when he won the election. He''s not lied about cutting taxes, cutting money on social programs, and increasing spending on the Military. I think everyone knew this would happen.""

Well that sums it up domestically, with additional consideration for the ''Ministery of Love''-ish Patriot Act. Don''t forget the foreign policy though, disagreement over Kyoto, the international court of justice and the ABM treaty have only widened the gap between the US and Europe.

My point is that everyone knew what they would get with Bush when he won the election. He''s not lied about cutting taxes, cutting money on social programs, and increasing spending on the Military. I think everyone knew this would happen

That is a far cry from what he is doing now. Spending money on the military is totally different than removing Saddam from power by force.

I dont hate Bush. I absolutely deplore his attempts to give government sponsorship to faith based social programs and charities. It doesnt make it ok that he includes Jews, Christians and Muslims. I am no athiest but I do believe their rights need protecting as well as the Hindus, Buddists, Taoists and any of the hundreds of world religions. Seperation of church and state is crucial to the stability of this country.

Backing out of the ballistic missile treaty was a huge slap in the face to the Russians. Oh yeah they are going to support us going to war now, right!

Bush jr. is making his dad look like a foreign policy saint.

How many times does it have to be repeated?
The US citizens don''t seem to get that the ""Rest of the world"" is neither with Saddam * nor * with Bush. As far as I''m concerned, this war is meaningless, senseless.

Bush screwed up in the diplomacy department. He''s already in a bad position, just being the President of the US. No matter how many examples you bring up Ulairi, the world has a bad image of the US based on the many places they ""went in to protect freedom"" that ended up the same or worse.

And Saddam, well, you know.

On the streets, on TV, everyone says that they''re both crazy.

Well that sums it up domestically, with additional consideration for the ''Ministery of Love''-ish Patriot Act. Don''t forget the foreign policy though, disagreement over Kyoto, the international court of justice and the ABM treaty have only widened the gap between the US and Europe.

Kyoto could have been done under Clinton and it wasn''t. The congress voted 95-0 against it. The Russians aren''t making a big deal of the ABM treaty. The ICC should never be entered into by us as it stands. I actually agree with those three issues that Bush did. I have a problem with his Faith Base and economic plans.

Report out of Qatar this morning is that the women and children driving the van were forced to by Iraqi military. Their husbands/fathers were being held at gun point.

I think this makes sense. Why else would women and children not stop at a check point?

Can we at least agree, regardless of why we are there, or how we got there, that now we are there...we are the good guys and they are the bad guys?

I''m glad its being done, and I''d like nothing more then to make this the first stop in a line of spanking down leaders who use their own people as doormats. North Korea next? Sure. Let''s take a look at Syria sometime, too.

In fact, let''s send a message to the world that if you are going to repress your own people, kill and keep your own citizens quiet under fear and oppression, then sooner or later, we''re going to come for you, too.

I know it won''t happen like that. I''m not so foolish as to realize that US interests come before other''s freedoms, but if no one does anything (and the United Nations needs to take a good hard look at themselves) we''re just going to have another Iraq somewhere else.

Can we at least agree, regardless of why we are there, or how we got there, that now we are there...we are the good guys and they are the bad guys?

I hate moral absolutes, but on the whole I''d agree. As long as we have the understanding that the ''bad guys'' are those comitting atrocities for the Iraqi regime. I would also only tag our soldiers as the ''good guys'', which is not by default to say that I''m pegging the administration with ''bad guy'', because, as I said, I don''t care for moral absolutes. Still, if it were my choice, I would hold the administration to some degree responsible for a war they chose to fight - which again, is not to say I''m thinking of them as war criminals, only accountable.

I''d like nothing more then to make this the first stop in a line of spanking down leaders who use their own people as doormats. North Korea next? Sure. Let''s take a look at Syria sometime, too.

What a fabulous idea. Maybe we could set some kind of record for number of wars started in one administration. I know with enough pluck we could hit four or five! Hey, don''t stop there, what about Iran, and you know Saudi Arabia''s been a bit uppity lately, and what''s with the French. We should kill a whole bunch of people! YEAH!

In fact, let''s send a message to the world that if you are going to repress your own people, kill and keep your own citizens quiet under fear and oppression, then sooner or later, we''re going to come for you, too.

You really think that''s the message we''d send to the world?

I''m not so foolish as to realize that US interests come before other''s freedoms

Good, I was getting worried.