Sunday, September 12, 2004

In Iraq today, 120 civilians were killed and 219 injured in what Iraq's Health Ministry called the "highest single-day totals in recent months," according to the Washington Post.

Among the dead were 13 civilians in Baghdad who were part of a crowd surrounding a burning Bradley tank. The U.S. military said the crowd was looting the vehicle and the shooting was intended to stop them, but witnesses at the scene, including a Reuters cameraman, said the crowd was just milling around and not threatening the tank. A Palestinian journalist was among the dead; he was killed and his cameraman "seriously wounded" when they were hit by a "rain of bullets" from the helicopter.

If the U.S. military was just trying to "scatter" what they believed were looters, why did they use live ammunition? And if they were trying to blow up the tank so looters couldn't get the ammunition, why did they do that when a crowd of civilians was surrounding the tank, and it was obvious civilians were going to get killed? This is the kind of thing that bothers me when I am told that the U.S. military doesn't "target" civilians. Maybe not, but they don't care if civilians are killed, either.

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