on who's head is it???

  1. 375 Posts.
    Terrible, terrible tragedy with the troops firing on the van killing the civilians.

    The rules of engagement are there to protect combatants and non-combatabnts alike.

    Would this have had happened if the terror bombing at a checkpoint - which is against all the rules - had not taken place.

    And now there is the article below that makes the action almost an inevitable act.

    Grist for the Iraqi propoganda war? It appears so

    Driver of van on forced suicide mission?
    Muslim cleric says checkpoint purposely ignored, causing civilian deaths

    7:24 p.m. Eastern

    A Shiite Muslim cleric in Iraq claims the driver of the van at a U.S. checkpoint in which at least seven women and children were killed was forced to disobey the soldiers' orders to stop, thereby causing the civilian deaths, reports Fox News Channel.

    Mohammed Barkir Al-Mohari said in a translated videotape that the incident outside Najaf in southern Iraq on Monday was purposely set up to give Saddam's regime grist for criticizing the United States.

    After delivering repeated warnings to stop, U.S. soldiers fired on the van, which carried 13 people, according to the Pentagon, when the driver failed to stop as ordered. The military is investigating the incident.

    Yesterday, another Iraqi was killed in a similar incident at a checkpoint near the south-central town of Shatra.

    ''In all cases in checkpoints and otherwise we maintain the right to self-defense,'' Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks told reporters while discussing the van incident. ''We've increased vigilance because of the tactics of Iraqi death squads.

    ''While we regret the loss of civilian lives, they remain unavoidable,'' he said.

    ''They tried to warn the vehicle to stop; it did not stop,'' Marine Gen. Peter Pace said on PBS. ''And it was unusual that that vehicle would be full of only women and that the driver was a woman. So we need to find out why it was that they were acting the way they did.''

    The soldiers involved were from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, which lost four soldiers Sat$rday at another checkpoint when an Iraqi soldier posing as a taxi driver detonated a car bomb in a suicide attack.

    Al-Mohari also claims the suicide bomber that struck over the weekend was told if he didn't carry out his mission his family would be killed, and that Saddam's regime gave the man's family hush money.

    Fox says Al-Mohari, whom the network describes as an "influential cleric," says families have been threatened with mass killings and even chemical attacks in recent years if they didn't follow through with orders from the Iraqi regime to sacrifice themselves in suicide attacks.

    "Those people, children and women, were put in the [van] by Saddam Hussein's forces," Al-Mohari said, "and their husbands and fathers were taken as hostages. And the driver was ordered to speed up at the checkpoint and not stop so that they would be shot at."

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