Another Stupid Mistake

Lucky they didn’t kill John Simpson. I think the BBC coverage would have been distinctly cooler towards the war.

I was going to make a new post here about the American Luftwaffe but you beat me to it. So how many RAF planes have made a friendly fire attack in this war?

Is there a high incidence of freindly fire attacks from the air in this war? Anybody know what is considered a normal amount of friendly fire?

so stupid, I can’t believe they’re playing with friendly damage on!!!

That question is meaningless without the context of how percentage of combat sorties being flown are RAF and what kind of missions they are flying.

Friendly fire is never such, and is never limited to the US: one UK Challenger tank took out a fellow tank in the first couple days of the war. When the majority of the troops and the majority of the firepower is American, the bulk of the friendly fire incidents will undoubtedly follow that trend.

yeah- I realize that the US is flying many more sorties than the RAF. However, as far as I know, there are no FF misakes by the RAF. I just recently read an outburst from a British senior officer about the ‘cowboys’ in the USAF and started to wonder if there is a difference in the doctrines that both air forces have about identifying targets. Like yesterdays attack on a convoy of friendly civilian vehicles in northern Iraq- I would have thought that the USAF would be taking special pains to minimise friendly fire. It’s not like the vehicles were driving under a flak umbrella, they could have made sure of the identity before attacking. Maybe I think it’s a lot easier than it really is.

Wait, a limey referred to Americans as “cowboys”? Has that ever happened before?!?! WHEN DID THIS START?!?!?!?!

WAIT JUST A MINUTE! I thought this was a “coalition!” Are you telling me the “coalition” is pretty much America with a token smattering of Limeys?

Yeah, but that still doesn’t’ mean much if they’re only flying a small number of sorties. What are really needed here are some stats on how often friendly fire accidents occur during a war, so you can make a valid comparison.

Nevertheless, I hear you on the cowboys comment. I would like to find the same sort of statistics for civilian casualties during war. Just having the number of dead for this war doesn’t really help me understand how successful we’ve been (or not) at minimizing civilian casualties.

Shit, can any one of you blame these boys for taking a ‘shoot first’ approach? A pregnant woman blew herself and her car up the other day at an American check point. Before that it was one of Saddam’s generals. And each and every day the Iraqi front lines throw a man out into the fields to walk to the Americans, just so that when the Americans are forced to shoot the Iraqis can open up the mortar fire.

This is a war where the enemy are dressing as civilians to gun down the Americans willing to take them prisoner instead of shooting them all like the Iraqis are doing, usually to repair corps and civilian aid trucks.
It’s all so fucked up and surreal, I’m sure I would be scared shitless of everything that moved and was big enough to strap a bomb to itself. I can’t imagine what those people must feel like. I wonder how many of them have died thinking ‘He’s just wearing bulky clothing.’ Or ‘That’s just an innocent vehicle.’

It’s strange how every incident of friendly fire and irrational accusation of the Iraqis get sooooo much damn press, but the cowardice and down right scummy tricks of the Iraqis gets a minute long blurb before they turn it over to ‘Sunny Funny Storm and the acu-weather 5 sky-tracker 12’.

If China was rolling through your hometown, your military was hopelessly outclassed, and you DIDN’T try some desperate tactics do something to stop them, you would be a coward.

These people are trying to protect their homes, ass.

If China was rolling through your hometown, your military was hopelessly outclassed, and you DIDN’T try some desperate tactics do something to stop them, you would be a coward.
These people are trying to protect their homes, ass.[/quote]

I’m sure their homes do them a lot of good when they’re in thousands of pieces all over the landscape. And for the record: FUCK NO would I blow myself up, nor would I allow anyone else to do so either.
YOU may see it as heroic to do something so underhanded and shitty, but that just means you’re a horrible person. A fact which you’ve proven over, and over, and over, and over again.

And over.

Standing out in the open in a 20-year-old tank waiting to be blown to hell by A-10 Warthogs = honorable.

Dressing like a civilian so you might actually have a chance of surviving long enough to hit the enemy = dishonorable.

Check. Glad we got that straight. The French Resistance should have worn uniforms during WWII.

That’s not what he said. He said pregnant suicide bombings = Dishonorable.

Also Dishonorable: holding families hostage to coerce unwilling men to fight. Crippling utilities in an effort to create suffereing for the civilian population you supposedly represent. Staging ambush attacks by feigning surrender. Basing military operations in schools and hospitals and placing military assests in civilian areas in an effort to require collateral damage to innocents for their destruction. Executing prisoners. Executing soldiers for refusing to fight. Kidnapping young men against their will and bussing them to the front lines to fight. Creating ecological disasters out of spite.

If those would be the tactics you’d use in an armed defense of America, I’d hope the people around you would have the good sense to start by killing you.

For air-to-ground friendly fire accidents? Or civilian convoys from being hit from the air?

Right. I’m sure we’d have played fair if the USSR had invaded in the 1980s and was on the cusp of winning.

Guess what? We don’t have to go in to their cities. If we are invading a country, totally voluntarily, without provocation, and see that the other side is hiding in schools, we don’t have to blow up the school. We can go the fuck home. If we decide to pull the trigger, we are responsible for deciding that we had to invade that city and pull that trigger. This invasion is totally voluntary. We didn’t have to go in. We don’t have to own Baghdad. We don’t have to own Basra. Every civilian casualty that happens in this war is our responsibility, because we were the ones who decided to go in and take over the place.

Will you look at that: special forces in civilian clothing.

As Tim said- this thread is about air to ground friendly fire. The coalition has complete air superiority. I haven’t heard about any SAM attacks so far. It’s not like they’re barrelling in, dropping the ordinance and hightailing it out of there. They should have time to validate the target. The news said that the special forces commander called in an air strike on an enemy armoured vehicle and the pilot responded by bombing the column of civilian vehicles where the commander was based. The weather looked pretty clear (did anyone else catch the footage from the BBC crew who were with the column?). Something is just wrong.
The initial prompt for my comment was also the USAF’s track record in the Gulf War. Lots of FF there too. All by the USAF.
As for Cookie’s rant- I have a lot of respect for the way the ground forces are controlling themselves and their fire. Most of the press are slavering for a chance to display dead civilians. I’m glad the troops display more discipline than Cookie. Sounds like he would have set off a few My Lai style media frenzies if he was there. The troops have generally followed the rules of engagement against a barbaric enemy- a bloody tough job that they accomplished -so far- with honour.

The Special Forces guys do what they have to to blend in and gain confidence with the people they’re liasing with - and for their own safety.

The administration is stupid for criticizing the iraqi’s for doing this though - it’s a normal accepted “rule of war” that armed combatants wear uniforms, and those that don’t have special rules applied to them (IE executed as spies) - but only a moron would sit in the open in uniform in their 30 year old Soviet Tank waiting for the Armored Cav to roll in, or for a F-15E to drop a 500 pound bomb on them.

Saying that, you wouldn’t see the US Military pull something similar if we were invaded unless the US Military was basically crushed (Ie no longer a fighting force) and the only fighting that was left was guriella warfare - the possibilities of friendly civilian casualties are just to high, and most people in the military are just to ethical for that (and you may disagree with that, but growing up and knowing a LOT of them I speak from experience).