Hold fire at Taliban fighters: they are attending a funeral

Discussion in 'The ARRSE Hole' started by armchair_jihad, Sep 17, 2006.

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  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

  2. Wonderful, lets let the lawyers decide who to shoot now. If ever there was an HVT in the stan, that begged for a J-dam this was it.
  3. Didn't they get a second chance at the wake?
  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.
  5. Or at least have told you lot they did to get some better reception!
  6. The US should have pulled the trigger then apologised saying it was an accident! The world would have understood.
  7. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    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. 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.
  10. 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. 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. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    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.
  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.