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Knowing the Enemy Difficult in Iraq

October 7th, 2007 . by TexasFred

PATROL BASE HAWKS, Iraq (AP) - When U.S. sentries fatally shot three guards near an Iraqi-manned checkpoint south of Baghdad, they thought they were targeting enemy fighters planting roadside bombs, according to the American commander of the region.

The shootings, which are still under investigation, underscore a new dilemma facing U.S. troops as former fighters join forces against extremists and Iraqis are increasingly forced to take up arms to protect themselves - how does one distinguish them from the enemy?

The U.S. military said the American troops shot the three civilians Thursday near a checkpoint manned by local members of a U.S.-allied group helping provide security in the village of Abu Lukah, near Musayyib, a Shiite-dominated town 40 miles south of Baghdad.

Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division that controls territory south of Baghdad, stressed the investigation was continuing but said initial results showed that U.S. troops fired on the checkpoint after spotting what appeared to be enemy forces planting roadside bombs.

If the truth were told, our guys may have very well BEEN targeting enemy fighters planting roadside bombs, Iraqi forces are so infiltrated that absolutely nothing is out of the question, and THAT is the exact way the Sec. of State needs to be looking at it too, concerning Blackwater USA and their recent problems, this is an enemy that is NOT wearing uniforms, and in some cases, if they are in a uniform, it’s simply because they are a paid member of Iraqi security forces and have managed to pull off a successful infiltration…

If they can’t be put into some kind of highly recognizable uniform it’s going to be almost impossible to distinguish them from insurgents, and this is NOT mean to sound as racist as it is going to sound but to combat troops, they all look alike in civvies…

The comments reflect rising concerns about possible friendly fire killings that could threaten to undermine the U.S. strategy of seeking alliances with local Sunni and Shiite leaders to fill the vacuum left by a national police force that has been plagued by corruption allegations and infiltration by militants.

Incidents of shooting of civilians at checkpoints has drawn allegations by many, in Iraq and beyond, that U.S. troops and contractors are quick to fire and ask question later.

Such criticism was widespread after the March 2005 fatal shooting of an Italian intelligence officer at a checkpoint near Baghdad airport. The officer was traveling at night shortly after securing the release of a kidnapped Italian reporter, who was wounded along with an Italian driver when a U.S. soldier opened fire. The U.S. military has said the soldier acted appropriately in the incident.

I happened to have known some of the soldiers that were in the same unit as the troops that fired on the Italian Intelligence officer, and you betcha, our troops did exactly the right thing, it’s regrettable they guy was killed but he made a bone head move in a combat zone, and that type of bone head move, or something similar, more often than not, generally gets someone hurt or killed in a war zone, that’s the facts of life and if the people that are criticizing our troops and the private security forces of being trigger happy took the time to actually be ON the trigger and not just the keyboard, they might see life in a combat zone a lot differently…

After the Abu Lukah shooting, the so-called North of Hillah Awakening Council staged a three-day strike to register its anger over the loss of three of its members, but guards resumed their posts on Sunday.

“Such acts will create a gap between us and the Americans. We are trying to restore security in the area while the Americans are killing us,” Nabil Saleh, 37, said as he stood with his AK-47 slung over his shoulder at his post in Abu Lukah.

You betcha, it’s the AMERICANS fault, it’s always the Americans fault, we’re just blasting the hell out of every Iraqi we see, sure, that’s what our goal is, look, I know there are some bitter feelings on the Iraqis part over their 3 guys getting killed but our guys are NOT committing wholesale murder or atrocities, it’s just not happening that way, and there are gaps between these people and our troops, a day or 2 before this happened those guys were very likely trying to KILL our troops, and even now I am highly suspect of their intentions, and I am NOT the only one that is…

Capt. John Newman, 31, of Columbus, Ga., said the soldiers believe they can discern volunteers from the insurgents.

“We’ve given them their road guard vests,” Newman said. “So, he’d better be wearing that vest if I see him carrying an AK-47.”

Be careful Captain, you’ll incur the wrath of the Bush administration if you actually go out there and do your job, they aren’t taking too kindly to Iraqis getting killed lately, even if they ARE carrying rifles and firing on our troops or private contractors…

Full Story Here:
Knowing the Enemy Difficult in Iraq

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5 Responses to “Knowing the Enemy Difficult in Iraq”

  1. comment number 1 by: Stormwarning


  2. comment number 2 by: TexasFred

    Yeah, hypocrisy, on the part of the Iraqi ’security services’ and their terribly infiltrated forces…

    Much like the VC in Vietnam, they are Iraqis by day and insurgents by night, I’d call that HYPOCRISY…

  3. comment number 3 by: GUYK

    that captain has the right idea..if they see a raghead with an ak 47 and the raghead is not wearing something to identify him as a friendly waste the sumbitch..if he was a friendly..which is doubtful we have actually done him a favor and sent him to play with his virgins early..and after all, nothing happens unless Allah wills it, right?

  4. comment number 4 by: Bloviating Zeppelin

    Speaking of being IN UNIFORM, I might suggest you watch the movie “The Kingdom.” Actually, quite damned good except for one little addition at the end.


  5. comment number 5 by: Basti

    “Knowing the Enemy Difficult in Iraq”

    If it ain’t American, then its enemy. Same as it was in Nam.