Hold fire at Taliban fighters: they are attending a funeral

#1
The American intelligence officers monitoring the satellite feed from an unmanned spy plane at their base in Afghanistan could hardly believe their eyes.

An estimated 190 Taliban fighters were lined up in tightly packed formation, captured in the crosshairs of a gun sight — as the picture shows.

Rarely in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan are so many Taliban fighters gathered together on open land. The target was too tempting to ignore: all it required was authorisation for the Predator drone to launch an air strike.

"We were so excited. I came rushing in with the picture," an army officer told an NBC television journalist who obtained the grainy black-and-white photograph taken in July. But then, to his frustration, they were told that the United States military's rules of engagement made an attack impossible because the men were attending a funeral in a cemetery.

The officers then watched the satellite footage of the fighters splintering into small groups — not big enough for the drone to target — and heading back to their mountain redoubts. They were convinced that prominent Taliban leaders had been present.

American caution has also proved expensive at times. When Mullah Omar was located in 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency requested permission from Central Command in Florida to destroy the building. The response from Gen Tommy R Franks, the military commander, was that his legal officer "doesn't like this, so we're not going to fire". The mullah escaped unscathed.


Article in full

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...CFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2006/09/17/wafg17.xml
 
#4
In fairness, while they would probably shoot at people at a funeral in seconds (in fact do if you remember all the bombings that happen at funerals in iraq). I personally am happier that the americans took the moral high ground on this one, islamic tradition calls for dead to be buried before sundown.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
Two things here

If a member of the Taliban had come in to his Osama's cave shouting:
Boss the Brits / Canadians / Yanks are all stood in a straight line can we have a crack?
Do you honestly think that he would have said '' it looks like a funeral to me leave them alone lets go home''

Plus I thought part of the problem with reporting form the 'Stan was that the only news coming out of there is the new and approved type
So if the yanks had quietly got on with it and not told anyone we or the rest of the world wouldn't have known
Pity it wasn't a wedding with the obligratory celabratory fire
Our colonial cousins seem to have no problem filling the guests full of 5 56mm holes then :D :D
 
#8
the_boy_syrup said:
If a member of the Taliban had come in to his Osama's cave shouting:
Boss the Brits / Canadians / Yanks are all stood in a straight line can we have a crack?
Do you honestly think that he would have said '' it looks like a funeral to me leave them alone lets go home''
Perhaps not, but if we are going to take a moral high ground in policing the world we must be accountable. I understand ethics is a higly personal and contraversial thing. The very fact that our ethics (on the whole) are different to those of OBL et al is the reason we are there.

To lower ourselves to that level would destroy any justification to be there at all.
 
#9
armchair_jihad said:
... the Central Intelligence Agency requested permission from Central Command in Florida to destroy the building. The response from Gen Tommy R Franks, the military commander, was that his legal officer "doesn't like this, so we're not going to fire". The mullah escaped unscathed.

1. Then retire Gen Franks since he's not a decision making General.

2. How does the 'legal officer' know what is the correct decision?

3. It's war, they are the enemy, kill them.

Wouldn't you just love it if the pilot had come back with? "Oooops, my finger slipped and now they're all gone. Sorry".
 
#10
PotYos said:
the_boy_syrup said:
If a member of the Taliban had come in to his Osama's cave shouting:
Boss the Brits / Canadians / Yanks are all stood in a straight line can we have a crack?
Do you honestly think that he would have said '' it looks like a funeral to me leave them alone lets go home''
Perhaps not, but if we are going to take a moral high ground in policing the world we must be accountable. I understand ethics is a higly personal and contraversial thing. The very fact that our ethics (on the whole) are different to those of OBL et al is the reason we are there.

To lower ourselves to that level would destroy any justification to be there at all.
PotYos, the world is a nasty place. Moral highground looks great on ones CV but in reality we're at war with dirt bags. Let's just shoot them for a change.
 
#11
PotYos said:
the_boy_syrup said:
If a member of the Taliban had come in to his Osama's cave shouting:
Boss the Brits / Canadians / Yanks are all stood in a straight line can we have a crack?
Do you honestly think that he would have said '' it looks like a funeral to me leave them alone lets go home''
Perhaps not, but if we are going to take a moral high ground in policing the world we must be accountable. I understand ethics is a higly personal and contraversial thing. The very fact that our ethics (on the whole) are different to those of OBL et al is the reason we are there.

To lower ourselves to that level would destroy any justification to be there at all.
Moral high ground aside, It must have been incredibily tempting to take advantage of the opportunity to deal with so many of them so easily!
Whilst the story of a WW1 Christmas day truce for us to play football with the Germans still has the power to re establish faith in the value of the moral high ground, I fear this gesture may have been somewhat wasted on the Taliban's sensibilities. I'm sure holding off was the right thing to have done- It's just that given the pressures, it's impressive that this was achieved in the event.
 
#12
Very true Booby. Imagine it, Taliban chief running into cave to give Osama the good news:

Taliban Chief: "Osama, the yanks refused to fire upon our funeral out of respect to our traditions".

OBL: "Do you know what guys, I think we've misjudged the yanks all along. They are really not all that bad you know".
 
#13
I hear you D&G but we are accountable for our actions (afterall the world is a nasty place) and if we're going to start killing people at funerals then surely that opens up a huge can of worms, it begins to justify some of the actions of terrorism (I DON'T CONDONE IT) and will end in tit-for-tat exchanges of varying scales and will not provide a successful outcome.

I can also see it as being disastrous from a recruiting point of view (theirs not ours). Imagine if you will, you are at your fathers funeral, you knew he was a fighter but had no involvment yourself, then some random army from thousands of miles away dropped a few bombs on the funeral killing most of your friends/family.

I would imagine you would be a tad upset about that, and if you were'nt inclined to fight before, you probably would be now. This I believe is a fairly basic human instinct. The old 'eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth' principle etc

I truly believe the Americans made the right decision here. This is going to be a prolonged operation if we are to do it properly. If we wanted a quick fix we could simply drop nuclear bombs on them, but the loss of innocent lives would be huge and would make us no more than terrorists ourselves.
 
#14
To be blunt here, F**K 'EM!! Those bastwards'd be quite willing to attack one of our funerals,god forbid,so in my opinion,we should've taken them out.And I done think there'd be many out there who'd lose much sleep over it.I would'nt!!
This yank occifer seems to be more concerened with not offending anyone than saving troops lives by a pre-emptive strike.
T**ser!
 
#15
PotYos, every word you wrote is absoloutely spot on. But I think of it this way. We (the West) and Muslim extemeists are all heading in one direction. This situation is NOT reversable. It can be slowed down but not stopped. In 1, 2, 5, 10 years time where do you think we will be? Time is not important. The point is in the future things will have become worse. there will have been another 9/11, there will have been something far worse than 9/11 that we cannot comprehend. So hitting or not hitting this Taliban funeral would not have changed the outcome. Hitting it will have brought forward something bad. Not hitting it MIGHT have delayed something bad. So, if that is the inevitable outcome then strike a major target when the opportunity comes. There is no 'stand down' for the West.
 
#16
doomandgloom said:
armchair_jihad said:
... the Central Intelligence Agency requested permission from Central Command in Florida to destroy the building. The response from Gen Tommy R Franks, the military commander, was that his legal officer "doesn't like this, so we're not going to fire". The mullah escaped unscathed.
Can we get Tomahawk6 to comment on this?
 
#17
D&G fortunately I'm slightly more optimistic than you...

I'm now desperately trying to work out an explantion of how we can avoid 'judgement day' but I can't at the moment. Hmm, this was all so clear last night when I was p1ssed.

I'm still confident that the majority of the world are good, peace loving types and eventually this will spill over into world politics. Perhaps I'm being VERY naive.
 
#18
doomandgloom said:
PotYos said:
the_boy_syrup said:
If a member of the Taliban had come in to his Osama's cave shouting:
Boss the Brits / Canadians / Yanks are all stood in a straight line can we have a crack?
Do you honestly think that he would have said '' it looks like a funeral to me leave them alone lets go home''
Perhaps not, but if we are going to take a moral high ground in policing the world we must be accountable. I understand ethics is a higly personal and contraversial thing. The very fact that our ethics (on the whole) are different to those of OBL et al is the reason we are there.

To lower ourselves to that level would destroy any justification to be there at all.
PotYos, the world is a nasty place. Moral highground looks great on ones CV but in reality we're at war with dirt bags. Let's just shoot them for a change.
Well said, not many people with the guts to just come out and say that these days. Eye for an eye eh?
 
#19
PotYos said:
D&G fortunately I'm slightly more optimistic than you...

I'm now desperately trying to work out an explantion of how we can avoid 'judgement day' but I can't at the moment. Hmm, this was all so clear last night when I was p1ssed.

I'm still confident that the majority of the world are good, peace loving types and eventually this will spill over into world politics. Perhaps I'm being VERY naive.
WOW! PotYos, yes you are very optimistic! Do you live rent free at home with your parents? :wink:

A reason one should always take a pencil and notepad on the raz', for jotting down ideas for avoiding Judgement Day! A night in Newcasatle or Cardiff amongst the local p1ssheads should show you some serious JD avoidance!

Sorry, I'm only pulling your leg and proving that I am not mature enough to carry an adult debate beyond a couple of posts before reverting back into my mong-mode!

So where were we: Judgemant Day. That's biblical speak and since religion is folly I would not worry about trying to stick JD into your personal organiser. How about Judgement Days, i.e. more than one day? In that case every human conflict since time began (sorry, since the bible was written!) would have been a judgement.
 
#20
Alas not at home rent free, but in the big bad world, and interestingly enough most nights out for me are in Cardiff. Coincedence or wierd stalker? However, the girlies don't take too kindly to lads with notebooks, especially when they look geeky like me, and I drink near the train station!!

You will of course note the inverted commas around 'Judgement Day' in my earlier post, but i'll give you that one. Depending on the spin put on such events its easy to pass those that give their lives as being judged.
 

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