Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Greenwald, Willis and Our Troops Cont'd

Greenwald uses General McChrystal's words to "solidify his point." Willis says, "Still Work to be Done."

One part of the conversation that seems to be missing, reported by Reuters:

The U.S. military has said an investigation of the incident shortly after it occurred found that U.S. forces were not aware of the presence of the news staffers and thought they were engaging armed insurgents, mistaking a camera for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

Emphasis mine. Now I will state this, I believe there should be an independent investigation. The cover-up by the Pentagon is unacceptable. The shooting on the van was unacceptable. However, this tragic event is missing a considerable amount of information for me to conclude who was in the right or who was in the wrong and what may be in between.

In my opinion Greenwald and his supporters have jumped to a conclusion. They have found the meme that best fits their narrative and are running with it. Not once have they asked, "did the reporters decide to go to a location that they shouldn't have been?" What were they doing there? Were the soldiers engaging insurgents somewhere else before they encountered the journalist group? Was it a war zone area with known insurgent activity? I am not trying to insult and or stain the memories of those killed, however these are questions I want answered before I make a judgment.

I don't suspect Greenwald to be a troop hater, I find his writing to be informative as well as thorough (even in the post of discussion for the most part.) On this particular occasion, I happen to disagree with him THAT IS ALL. Here is what gets me; if I want to find out more information before I come to a conclusion, if I don't think or suggest troops and the military are trained maniacal joy killers, if I think the military is a necessity, if I think sometimes peace talks don't work, if I think that people are innocent until proven guilty, I am now a jingoist? It doesn't apply to me nor does it makes sense in this context. It is the same rhetoric that seeps from the fringe of the right and it is intolerable. You are entitled to your own opinion and I am entitled to have mine. One thing is for sure I don't eat Freedom Fries.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message

1 comment:

Steve said...

Yeah the big problem with this is that the context is everything. I think the video, up until the point of the van getting attacked is pretty defensible. The guys in the chopper clearly think that the photographers are armed with RPG's, not Nikons.

When it comes to destroying the van, it's pretty clear that this was a standard procedure. They don't ask if they should shoot the van in a way that suggests it's something unusual. They ask, they get confirmation, and they shoot.

So what we lack here is the context of:

1) What the rules of engagement actually were
2) Why the rules of engagement were like that
3) Whether there was any knowledge of the photographers being in the area

This reminds me of a video I saw a few years ago. I think it was early on the in the Iraq war when there was gun camera footage of an Apache shooting guys near a truck. It looked nearly identical to what we saw here and nobody took it as a war crime. The only difference between that video and this one is a bunch of edits to say, "look, that's a camera," put into the video after the fact.