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Saturday, February 10, 2007



Today's report:
A U.S. airstrike accidentally killed eight members of a Kurdish security force and injured six others who were working at an observation point near a political office in the northern city of Mosul, Iraqi officials said Friday.

The U.S. military said that five, not eight, Kurdish police officers died in the attack, which it said had been aimed at bombmakers affiliated with al-Qaida.

A statement from the U.S. military said that American troops had received intelligence that bomb makers connected to al-Qaida were operating in the Karama neighborhood of Mosul. Seeing armed men near a targeted bunker, ground forces fired warning shots and made several calls in Arabic and Kurdish for the men to lay down their weapons, the statement said.

As the men began shooting at the ground forces, an American aircraft "observed hostile intention from the bunker and exercised proper self-defense measures in response to the assessed threat," said the statement.
This was not an "accident," but the quite expected result of standard U.S. military policy, which is to shoot first and ask questions later. Note that the military claims the strike was "aimed at al Qaeda." It was not. It was aimed at people they thought they were some slight chance might be al Qaeda; that's the standard of proof they use (see the Robert Gates' standard of "proof" about Iranian bombs in Iraq in the post below this one for another example of the same way of thinking).

And, needless to say, everything becomes self-defense according to the "rigorous standard" propounded in the description above. "Exercising proper self-defense measures in response to the assessed threat" is what the Kurds were doing after some unidentified men showed up literally in the middle of the night and started firing at them, not what the American attackers were doing.

Out now isn't just a slogan, it's a life-saving imperative.

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