Some stuff about Falluja

I just got back from a weekend of long hard training. We did some MOUT (urban combat like Falluja) and it was tiring and hard as hell. After doing it, I have a lot of respect for the guys that fought in Falluja and I’m amazed at how well the city stood after the battle and how few casualties there were (in 2000 the the statistic was a 80% casualty rate, pretty fuckign high). If you are wondering what I mean by the city stands well after the fight (since I’m sure you have read things and saw the pictures in the article that Sin posted), I say it because the damage was kept to a minimum to keep making as many new enemies as possible(and maybe making new friendlies), going through town is a bitch and it tempts you to use a lot more powerful weapons (such as to call in air support on a building), and there is a shit load more. We did it with bblanks and then practiced specific techniques with live rounds, which adds a whole new element to things.

In case you are wondering, the Marine that got in trouble for shooting a wounded Iraqi was cleared because of the types of tricks the hodgies use and how things in the battle had gone.

Fallujah was a disaster for its residents and its horrible that a man can shoot an unarmed individual and get away with it.

However, the damage could easily have been MUCH worse and we could have lost many more guys. Also, when it’s your life or theirs, you’re gonan make it theirs. Also, when you start to understand the workings combat mroe, the more you realize how good Falluja was. I know some abd came otu of it, but any battle can have that come out it, however, the important thing to remember is that the battle went much better than it could have. Militaryily, Falluja was a great success. If you’ve seen Black Hawk Down, you’ll see just a ow crazy things can get. Hell, Black Hawk Down lacks some elements that make MOUT so difficult, such as traps, snipers, grenades in buildings (thrown from the enemy). Also, when you run into strongholds, the temptation is to call in for heaver fire when you he, but you can’t because you have to keep damage to a minimum. I’m not saying that the residents didn’t suffer. I’m saying that the residents could have had it much worse.

The reason he got away with it is that they often booby trap bodies, killing guys as they treat them. A week earlier the guys faced a guy that had a grenade and when the troops got by him he blew it up. Many insurgents don’t care if they die, they just want to take us with him. The guy may have been unarmed, but he still had the intent and possibly the ability to cause harm to coalition troops, which fits into the rules of engagement.

Nobody knows if they’re unarmed for sure until they’re dead, and sometimes not even then. I agree with nick here.

Then don’t walk up to the guy like that or send an easily available Iraqi to check him out. Its not because you could’ve nuked or carpet bombed Falluja that what did happen is any better.

… Wow, you really dont have an idea on how this shit goes down do you?

Easily available Iraqi. Maybe, but do you always have a translator with you? Or do you always trust the random civilian and hope he can understand you?

And actually, it is because Fallujah could’ve been carpet bombed that crashing through buildings with a tank or a heavily armored dozer is a much better (from a military and civic standpoint) solution. So I fail to see how the preventing as much loss of non-combatant life is no better than saying “Fuck it, turn the whole damn city into a parking lot.”

Excuse the strange-ass structuring but I’m exhausted.

There aren’t always Iraqis to use like that and when you go up to an Iraqi, you always have someone covering you. Also, an explosion is just one example. Another time a wounded Iraqi was left alone, he shot the Marine in his back as he left him alone. The insurgents use all kinds of tricks. Also, I’ve seen footage of insurgents fighting where they have been hit a couple of times and keep on fighting. Innocent bystandards, and even some insurgents, that are injured, are taken to hospitals when we are able to take them. We do take care of them, however, insurgents are dangerous and you have to take precautions. Not only that, but the full context of the incident was never revealed. Hell, the Marines could have been in to clear the building and were afraid of what the insurgent would do while they were preparing to move to the next building.

Sorc put it about as easily and clear as possible.

Also, I’m not talking about nuking or carpet bombing. I’m talking about just normal fighting. You also have tot ake into account the stuff that the insurgents were doign and could do to determine how much better things are than they could have been. It is sort of like a fender-bender. If you had been going faster, the accident would have been much worse. However, you’re lower speed minimized the damage.

The force that attacked Falluja wasn’t just composed of marines. You can always find excuses to shoot people in a war. However, what makes things right in this shit world of ours are people not acting out on those reasons to indiscriminately murder other people. In other words, not sinking to the terrorist’s level.

If Long Beach gets invaded by thousands of troops from Mexico and another country you don’t like and then you return home to find corpses in your house and the house of your neighbours (or at least ,what’s left of them), I doubt you’d be too happy and I doubt you’d think “gee, this could’ve been a whole lot worse if they had bombed it MORE”.

I know that it wasn’t just composed of Marines. Also, you can’t always find reasons in war to shoot people. This weekend we were always getting yelled at for shooting people in windows pointing weapons at us. ROE are pretty strict.

I know that the people are pretty upset. Many are upset with us just being in their country. What I’m saying is that those of us HERE need to lay off of the troops because they caused much less damage than they could have. Several troops probably died as a result of them not using more capabilities. I’m also saying that all of the damage wasn’t us. You are also making your judgements with no idea of how it feels to have your life on the line. Just the live fire exercises was enough to make me nervous and that was shooting at stationary targets that weren’t shooting at me, so adding another element just amazes me at what the troops did over there. Also, by not using all capabilities many civilians were spared and property was saved. It would have been much easier to take some tanks and shit and just level the city. It would have saved a lot of American lives, but it would have angered the people more. Bottomline is that the troops did an outstanding and amazing job in Falluja. MOUT is hard as hell and the troops did better than anyone could have hoped for.

Going with your LB example. If LB was invaded by Mexico, I’d be much happier if the tore up half the city than just destroying the whole thing.

You’d be less pissed off, not much happier. Nonetheless , you’d be very pissed at the destruction around you and having the people responsible for it tell you “well be happy, we ‘restrained’ ourselves” would probably only piss you off more for the insensitivity and single mindedness of the comment. You can’t expect people to be happy about having their city destroyed in any circumstance. To say “we could’ve done worse” is not an excuse to attack, disrupt and destroy so many civilians’ lives. First the US creates a situation where they become a giant target for terrorists in the middle east and then the US takes it out on the innocent civilians they came in to “liberate” and does a shit job at attacking the terrorists, since all it did , assuming Fallujah was full of insurgents, is spread them. Its like shooting a gas pod in metroid prime. Concentrated, it blows up, and it spreads everywhere. The situation didn’t improve that much despite the invasion. Bombings are a daily event and just today over 100 people died in Bagdhad. So what was it worth to these tens of thousands of people? Absolutely nothing. The US isn’t in Iraq to waive its penis around to make itself look like it won a clear and decisive victory. The US is there to give the Iraqis a better life.

You want to talk about how hard it is. Fine, that much is obvious to us and no one here’s been blasting the soldiers, except for those who murder unarmed POWs. Its not because there’s a war that crimes aren’t commited. Your comments have no bearing on the justification of the invasion. Finally, neither you nor I have actually seen what was left of Fallujah after the attack, partly due to the severe media restrictions imposed by the US on the city. All we’ve heard up to now was that documentary you mentionned I linked to that said the city was in a very sad state.

You’re the first one to mention the invasion at all Sin, I thought the topic you brought up was about the soldier who shot that unarmed civillian.

And as far as thanking those responsible for being careful, I think it would be wiser to count your sea shells rather than count the ones you lost.

Invasion in reference to Iraq and Fallujah.

Why should they be thankful they have anything left when it was wrong for them to lose anything in the first place? Not carpet bombing or nuking Fallujah to get rid of the insurgents isn’t doing the residents a favor. It doesn’t make the attack any more valid if you don’t destroy everything.

Also, the insurgent wasn’t a POW. The insurgent was still a possible hostile. I also pointed out that letting him live wounded behind was dangerous in many situations and for various reasons. Cops in CA can shoot you easier than troop in Iraq can shoot insurgents. A cop would be justified in shooting you in the same situation. I think it was a big mistake for us to go to Iraq and have said it millions of times, however, I support the troops and keep trying to support them. It is like one of the guys in Black Hawk Down says before the go into the town: “Wanna know what I think? It doesn’t matter what I think. Once that first bullet goes past your head, politics go right out the window.” Later he says that he’s going out because its about the guys to your left and right.

Also, you need to get out of the mind set of invading be a mistake. The invasion was almost two years ago. Even if the war was a mistake (and I think it was), you can’t just be like “fuck, if we hadn’t done this thing would be better.” What we have to think about is how to fix the problem. If you do poorly on a test, you don’t just let it beat you up and get stuck on that one test, you clear your head and think about what you can do to improve your grades. If you just keep beating yourself up over the test and don’t work to improve your grades, your grades will continue to go down and your grades will spiral down. The troops don’t control the insurgency, all they can do is their job to the best of their ability, which was outstanding in Falluja. Ever hear of the saying, “two steps forward and one step back?” Well Falluja was two steps forward. The insurgency getting thinned out there and moving to different areas is a step backwards. Also, Falluja wasn’t meant to be the end all battle like you make it out to be. Everyone knew that the insurgency would continue. The point was to break the insurgency in Falluja. The insurgency did spread into many other areas, however, it did also break it up. It is sort of like breaking a block of ice. Smash it with a hammer and it breaks into little pieces and spreads. If you continue to hit the pieces, they’ll break up into nothing. Besides, it is much easier to fight a few insurgents in an area thana whole bunch in one area.

This topic has nothing to do with whether you support the war or not. It is about the troops and supporting them.

I’m not trying to justify the invasion. I’m just saying that you guys are being too hard on the troops and have no idea how hard it is. If you liked the war, you’d be happy with the work they are doing. You have to seperate the cause for war and what the troops do. Troops don’t start a war, they just carry it out.

The only comment against the troops I made was against the marine who murdered the unarmed civilian. I refuse to believe that the only possible scenario is one where the marine has to shoot the dude. Supporting murder and genocide doesn’t advance anyone’s cause. It isn’t because there’s a war that we shouldn’t be critical about what is going on.

And there’s nothing wrong with saying the invasion was a mistake and to continue saying so because one must be reminded of why it was a mistake so people do not keep fucking up the situation even more than it already has. People need to know why they’re there and act accordingly. If people maintain the same mentaility that led to the war, this war will never end.

I wouldn’t call it just one step back for the simple reason that the block of ice holds together becuase all the water molecules form a lattice structure. These terrorists are not associated like such a big block of ice and can dissociate at will, as demonstrated. They don’t work as 1 big unified blob, but as separate units. Now instead of having most of the units at the same place, they’re separate and just as active. The situation didn’t change. Bombs are still going off daily and people are still dying at the same rate. Guerilla warfare isn’t about being a unified mass. That’s what the Iraqi army was.

This entire discussion is “wow , the troops were so nice in not destroying all of fallujah” vs “that’s not an excuse for the destruction that was done”.

The thing is, the Marine didn’t murder the guy. If he had murdered the guy, he would have been in a world of hurt. Look at Abu Garhaib, the guys involved in that have been pushed for tuorturing, not even killing. I personally know guys that have been punished for hurting Iraqis. The killing was justified. You seem to be missing to point that the inurgent was very dangerous despite being wounded. I probably said it earlier, but I’ll say it again. I’ve seen insurgents be shot several times and still fight. It took headshots to kill them. The Marine also didn’t violate the Geneva Convention since it isn’t enacted for this war since it isn’t an official war (that means we aren’t protected either). This isn’t genocide either. We aren’t killing Iraqis because we don’t like them. Hell, most Iraqi deaths have been caused by the insurgents, not America.

Also, you don’t have to know the original reason for the invasion when you are in combat. It doesn’t matter. What matters is accomplishing your mission and looking out for your brothers. The guys who actually fought in Falluja don’t have a lot of control on when the war will end. All they can do to end the war is accomplish their mission to bring the end closer. It seriously doesn’t matter why you are there. If you think about it, it’ll drive you crazy. If anything, you create your reasons for being there. Such as to help the Iraqi people, protect your freinds and family, take care of those right there with you, etc.

My point with the ice analogy is two points. Having a little piece f cie hurts less than having big pieces of thrown at you. Also, if you break the pieces enough times, they’ll disappear. So Falluja was one battleground, but the insurgents have spread into several other places, all right they are no longer a big powerful force in an area. In urban combat, which this primarly is, large numbers of insurgents in an area is much harder and mroe difficult to fight than patches on insurgents. A IED can be put together and detonated by few people. A suicide bomb takes few people. That is why you hear of all the explosions still. The insurgents feed off of your negativity about the IEDs. They know that the IEDs killing Iraqis and troops make people back here lose support for the troops, which makes it harder for the troops to fight. That is why they keep doing it. The beheadings acted the same way. They shocked people and made them upset with the war. Also, by breaking the insurgents into smaller groups, it makles them easier to manage. It also gives us more time to train the Iraqis and makes it more possible for the Iraqis to handle the insurgents on their own.

People have to stop trying to force guilt trips on critics by saying they’re not “supporting the troops” (Nick’s not doing it too much, only a little). Blindly “supporting the troops” isn’t going to make the situation better, it’s just going to lead to fewer people thinking critically about it and coming up with ways to make it better.

Yeah, that’s something I noticed as well, <i>especially</i> a few months ago. Every time someone tried to criticize the war, they would get hit with ad hominem arguments and accusations that he wasn’t “supporting the troops”, to the point that the people launching these arguments have ingrained pro-war and troop-support together so closely that <i>they</i> can’t even tell them apart.

Thank you RPT and Cless.

You missed my point about the ice thing which is that it doesn’t matter that they are broken apart and that the little pieces apart don’t act any differently than they did together. Thus it makes little difference. If terrorist groups were this centralized, the war on terrorism would be over.

Let’s not get into more detail about the illegitimacy of the war with how it ignores the Geneva conventions. This in part is why torture and murder are “allowed”.

Look, he still shot and killed someone. I don’t care how justified it was, it’s still murder. I don’t believe any of that bullshit that says killing someone in a warzone is different then killing someone anywhere else. Sure, they’re shooting at you, but someone is still taking a bullet to the brain. So what, it’s necessary at that point to survive, and I’m sure in the same situation I probably would have done the same thing, but don’t try to shrug it off like killing in a war is any different then anywhere else. I won’t get all high and mighty saying that no one should be killing anyone, if I was in a battle and someone had a fucking AK-47 pointed at my face, I’d damn well shoot them first, I’m just saying it’s still not right.

I hate how the “supporting the troops” is mixed up in all this shit. Hell, sometimes I don’t even support them because of all the political bullshit that’s going on. I don’t have to support someone to want them to not get shot in the fucking head.

Edit: Even if he didn’t kill the guy, my point still stands in a general context.

All in the interest of discussion.

I do, however, see Nick’s point, but I don’t know the full extent of the condition in which the unarmed man was shot, so I won’t comment.