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Author Topic: Comparisons between Marine shooting and CARE worker murder  (Read 1325 times)
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Kurth
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« on: November 17, 2004, 10:15:04 PM »

I just read the following article at Yahoo.  I find it sad and horrific that people in the Middle East are equating the barbarous murder of the CARE humanitarian worker with the incident involving the Marine shooting the wounded insurgent in the mosque.  The situations couldn't be more distinct, yet (when the media over there cares to mention Margaret Hassan's death) the two killings are being linked causally and held out as comparable murders.  How can people be so willfully blind?

Oh, and I especially liked this quote:  "Jordanian businessman Isa Samawi, 42, said: "Exterminating the Americans is the way to combat international terrorism."  

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Iraqi Man's Slaying Dominates Arab Media

2 hours, 45 minutes ago   World - AP
By SAM F. GHATTAS, Associated Press Writer

BEIRUT, Lebanon - The chilling video of a U.S. Marine shooting and killing a wounded and apparently unarmed man in Iraq (news - web sites) dominated the Arab world's media Wednesday, overshadowing the slaying of a British aid worker who had been kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents.

The Marine shooting in a mosque in Fallujah was played and replayed, debated and portrayed as "evidence" of what many Arabs believe: that the United States is destroying Iraq and Iraqis.

Frames of the Fallujah shooting appeared on many newspaper front pages Wednesday and Arab satellite stations repeatedly aired the footage taken by an American television crew.

Al-Jazeera was among the stations airing the Marine shooting. The station said Tuesday it also had received a videotape showing a blindfolded woman believed to be Margaret Hassan being shot in the head at close range, but had chosen not to broadcast it.

"We don't show acts of killing," Jihad Ballout, Al-Jazeera spokesman, said of the decision not to show the slaying of the longtime director of CARE in Iraq. "We've never done it before, outside war."

Adnan Abdul-Rahman, a 34-year-old Syrian government employee, was one of those loosely linking the two killings and placing blame for both at the feet of the United States. He said Hassan's death was "a normal response to the crimes which the Americans are committing in Iraq."

"Violence breeds violence," he said.

The U.S. military said Tuesday it was investigating the shooting in the mosque to determine whether the Marine acted in self-defense.

Some Arabs portrayed the shooting by the Marine as a war crime committed by trigger-happy Americans, and the video as revealing the true face of the U.S. invasion. Others saw it as another debacle in the Iraq war that hurts America's image and efforts to restore stability in Iraq.

One Lebanese newspaper, As-Safir, called the shooting a "cold-blooded" killing. A Saudi pan-Arab daily, Asharq al-Awsat, warned of "another Abu Ghraib," a reference to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by some of their American jailers.

Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor who is an expert on Arab media, noted that at one point an anchor on Al-Jazeera "was almost having a heart attack, he was so angry," about the video showing the shooting by the Marine.

"He said, "Where are the Arabs? Where are the Arab states, why is nobody complaining about this?" Cole noted, speaking on the Public Broadcasting Service.

The pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat cited both killings as images of what is happening in Iraq now, Cole noted, calling it unfair for the Marine, whose case remains under investigation, to be compared to those who killed Hassan.

Amman car rental clerk Youssef al-Atoum was so disgusted by the pictures of the Marine shooting that "I switched off the TV."

"The Americans are criminals, they don't distinguish between a mosque and their places of battle, they want to exterminate Arabs and erase Iraq and its people from the map," the 29-year-old said.

Jordanian businessman Isa Samawi, 42, said: "Exterminating the Americans is the way to combat international terrorism."

Both declined to comment on Hassan, saying they had neither seen nor heard news of the killing of the 59-year-old aid worker who had been an opponent of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. She was abducted in Baghdad on Oct. 19 on her way to work, the most prominent of more than 170 foreigners kidnapped in Iraq this year.

A Lebanese Shiite Muslim cleric, Sheik Afif Nabulsi, said both the killing in the mosque and the shooting of Hassan were "barbaric acts that cannot be condoned."
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Sepiche
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2004, 10:24:39 PM »

I agree that it's not right to say the two crimes are equal, but at the same time I can see why people over there would equate them.

It goes back to the old cliche: "One persons terrorist is anothers freedom fighter."

s
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gameoverman
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2004, 10:45:51 PM »

My main thought on this is that when we're reduced to defending actions like the marine's by basically saying "Yeah, well, at least it's not as bad as cutting people's heads off"- I am not entirely surprised to hear that some in the Arab world aren't buying it.

But then what do I know, I'm a blue-stater.  Tongue
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dbt1949
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2004, 10:49:59 PM »

Let's see.....a soldier killing(an unarmed) someone during battle(even if it was uncalled for) and the kidnapping and execution of an aide worker trying to help the Iraqis.
Yep.Sounds like one and the same to me.
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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2004, 12:48:20 AM »

Al Jequeera had a big piece of the shooting of the guy in the mosque. They showed the footage and all. Was like a 10 minute thing they said. then when it came to them shooting the CARE worker woman they only gave it a mention and said the footage was too graphic to show. I hate those bastards. I hope they all die.
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wookiee007
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2004, 01:54:30 AM »

I find it odd that this quote by Kurth..
Quote
Oh, and I especially liked this quote: "Jordanian businessman Isa Samawi, 42, said: "Exterminating the Americans is the way to combat international terrorism."


And then this one by Daehawk  
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I hate those bastards. I hope they all die.


Seem to have the same sentiment.  The first time it seemd that Kurth was put off by such a harsh statement, only to be followed up by one that is very similar. To me I think it is all wrong. Wishing someone dead for no good reason (and I also think that there are NO good reasons for killing people) is just plain wrong. Instead of killing each other, you should all be playing dodge ball. It's much more civilized, plus there is usually less blood to clean up once you are done.
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Balshazaar
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2004, 03:25:13 AM »

The problem is that they capitalize on a single American screw-up.  Abu Ghraib was another (larger, I might add) screw up that just added fuel to the terrorist fire over there.  They have a silent mass of people, just like we do, who believe whatever the media puts in their mouth.  The only thing that might help prevent such future occurences is a very quiet and careful US propaganda campaign that removes some of the inflammatory media from their public view...  but the problem is that our media is all inflammatory, too.
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Kurth
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2004, 03:28:12 AM »

Quote
when we're reduced to defending actions like the marine's by basically saying "Yeah, well, at least it's not as bad as cutting people's heads off"- I am not entirely surprised to hear that some in the Arab world aren't buying it.


The thing is, given what has been reported about the situation with the Marine, I don't think anyone can say right now whether his actions were justified or unjustified.  At the minimum, I don't think any reasonable person can argue that what he did was conclusively a war crime.  There are a whole host of contextual factors that may, in fact, explain his actions and mitigate his culpability.  

There's NO WAY you can say the same thing about the terrorists that kidnapped and executed Margaret Hassan.  For that reason and that reason alone, these incidents are not comparable.  Unfortunately, due to the biased way these stories are reported and due to the (in some cases understandable) rage at what many in the Middle East see as an American occupation in Iraq, this obvious distinction is missed.  

Quote
To me I think it is all wrong. Wishing someone dead for no good reason (and I also think that there are NO good reasons for killing people) is just plain wrong. Instead of killing each other, you should all be playing dodge ball. It's much more civilized, plus there is usually less blood to clean up once you are done.


I agree with Wookie's post, for the most part.  That said, while there's never a "good reason" for killing someone, sometimes, unfortunately, I believe it's necessary.  Personally, I have no doubt that there are a number (undetermined, as far as I can tell) of Islamists throughout the Middle East whose violently anti-modern beliefs make wiping them out a necessity and a priority.  

How to do this without making their numbers multiply is obviously the big (as yet unanswered) question.
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gameoverman
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2004, 03:56:03 AM »

Quote from: "Kurth"
Quote
when we're reduced to defending actions like the marine's by basically saying "Yeah, well, at least it's not as bad as cutting people's heads off"- I am not entirely surprised to hear that some in the Arab world aren't buying it.


The thing is, given what has been reported about the situation with the Marine, I don't think anyone can say right now whether his actions were justified or unjustified.  At the minimum, I don't think any reasonable person can argue that what he did was conclusively a war crime.  There are a whole host of contextual factors that may, in fact, explain his actions and mitigate his culpability.  

There's NO WAY you can say the same thing about the terrorists that kidnapped and executed Margaret Hassan.  For that reason and that reason alone, these incidents are not comparable.  Unfortunately, due to the biased way these stories are reported and due to the (in some cases understandable) rage at what many in the Middle East see as an American occupation in Iraq, this obvious distinction is missed.


It's very true that there may be mitigating factors that make the marine's action understandable if not out and out legal, but I wouldn't expect the man in the street(Arab street) to buy that either. Because, who will be the ones determining the legality/acceptability/morality of his action?  The US of course, the same people who sent him there in the first place.  It's a Rodney King situation, but on an international scale.  So, like with the Rodney King case, people are just going to go by what they see and hear on tape.

We all saw the outrageous activitiy going on in the prison, whatever happened to those people? Anything that would make Arab people think that we made a real effort to see justice done for those prisoners? From what little I've seen, I'd say no.  I'm sure they expect the same in this case.  

Another thing to consider, alot of people are lumping all the killings, beheadings, bombings, etc under the umbrella term 'insurgents' as if the insurgents are all one force, trained and deployed together.  From OUR point of view, that may be how it is seen, but I bet the Arab public sees that the Hassan killing might have been done by another type of group(generic criminals), rather than freedom fighters, rebels, insurgents or whatever.  Meanwhile, the marine is definitely a member of a highly trained, state sponsored, unified military force, I think alot more is expected in terms of actions and accountability from someone like that.
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ericb
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2004, 02:19:37 PM »

I may be wrong (probably so) but weren't the men in that mosque attacking the marines in the first place?  

Were they not the ones using RPGs and machine guns, inside their mosque, to attack?  

Are these not the same insurgents who have been killing marines by boobytrapping their bodies after they are wounded?

I'm sorry...this is no where as close to the situation of an armed marine walking into a mosque and shooting an unarmed man in cold blood like it's being portrayed over there.
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RobbieD
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2004, 03:13:04 PM »

Regardless of the Marines actions being right or wrong, I have to hope they told the American tv crew to get out of their unit.

Free speech is all well and good but airing this video has just jeopardized more American's lives worldwide.
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