Assumption of Command

13 March 2005

CNN Contradicts Itself

CounterColumn has a good post about CNN not connecting the dots regarding opening fire on possible Suicide Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (SVBIED).

Unconnected dots:

But buried in this CNN story is information that by firing on a suspicious vehicle, Iraqi security forces actually caused a truck bomb to detonate prematurely, and thereby preventing the terrorists from blowing up an entire hotel.

This is a very tricky thing to deal with. Throughout our training we are told two different things.
1. Keep vehicles at a distance because they could possibly do harm. We even have rifle ranges that teach us to fire at moving vehicles.
2. Be careful of your actions as they can have international implications.

Cox & Forkum has a perfect description: Rules of Engagement

I wish this situation didn't happen, but I will never say that vehicle should not have been fired upon. In the same situation, I would have done the same thing. First and foremost it is our job here to protect and defend ourselves and our fellow soldiers. The Iraqi population knows to stay far away from us while we are on the road. Most of the time, we don't even have to wave them away, they get out of the way on their own. On the road they don't want any part of us.

If you were in my shoes, I ask you this question:

If you know that the good people of Iraq know better than to charge their vehicle up to American checkpoints or convoys, who is the only people who would speed their vehicle at us?

If I feel my troops or my life is endangered, I will act appropriately and I expect my troops to do the same.