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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Good Luck Premature Detonation

This video (h/t Tim Blair) carries a certain satisfaction. It shows the premature detonation of a roadside IED, taking out the bad guys planting the devide before the good guys had to fire a shot. That alone makes it worth posting.

But listen to the video, don't just watch it. The American soldiers watching the scene unfold repeatedly hold fire as a child carrying supplies to the bombers enters the target area, "My only concern is that child right now" one of the soldiers says (at 2:20 descending).

After the child leaves, the soldiers move towards the firing sequence, but the child reappears: "Is that a kid, damn it." (at 1:15) Then "go away kid, go away kid." Not a shot is fired.

And that is the real point of the video. Not the bad luck of the bombers, but the good luck of us all to have soldiers with the decency to hold fire to avoid civilian casualties.

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  1. "And that is the real point of the video. Not the bad luck of the bombers, but the good luck of us all to have soldiers with the decency to hold fire to avoid civilian casualties." ...
    I disagree. A child should not be a reason not to shoot militants ... sorry, life is not just for everybody, including children. Bad example...

  2. Decency of our soldiers, yes. But awesome video and conclusion. If only all IEDs ended this way - taking out the bad guys.

  3. Yos, I believe that you have completely missed the point. While our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been so frequently maligned by our enemies and many others who do not agree with their mission, this video, along with the audio, demonstrates their bravery and zeal for fighting the enemy is correctly tempered by their careful administration of deadly force as to not cause civilian deaths. In this particular case, sparing a child's life by holding fire until he is at a safe distance. This is a reason to be very proud of our soldiers who are in the field of war every day and are still holding true to doing the right thing. It seems justified that the perpetrators accidentally took themselves outin this case.

  4. That's why I give U.S. military personnel the benefit of the doubt when someone screams abuse. Show me the evidence of abuse because the norm is for the military to avoid civilian casualties as much as possible.

    However, this regard for the lives of children is a weakness that the enemy now knows for sure. Who do you think will be sent against our soldiers? The communists did it, and the Muslims have and will, too.

  5. You must be mistaken. Those couldn't be American soldiers. Dick Durbin, John Kerry and other prominent Democrats have assured us that American soldiers LIKE killing civilians.

    Soon, there will be comments somewhere on left wing sites explaining that that video is just propaganda and exactly opposite to the truth.

  6. Our soldiers have more concern for those children than their own people. Knowing that device could detonate while being buried, the enemy had no problem putting a child in harm's way.

  7. Precisely. It isn't the fact that our soldiers hold their fire that proves a superior decency to the terrorists--its that it even occurs to them to do so.
    We care more about their kids than they do.

  8. I commend all of you who saw the bright side of this video ... sparing the life of a child. However, a la guerre comme a la guerre, as goes the french saying, and soldiers should not be under the pressure to act "nicely" when it might present a dangerous consequences. A war is a war is a war ... let's stop whining. Act!

  9. I agree (and should have said something to that effect in my post); allowing children to be used as shields simply guarantees that ever more children will be used as shields. The Palestinians have turned that tactic into an art. It can't be allowed or it becomes all our soldiers will face.
    Sometimes the trigger has to be pulled with kids in the way. Such is war. That the necessity bothers us is what makes America better, because such a thought would never even occur to the other guys.

  10. Yos and Cowboy Curtis, While you do make a valid point about not enabling our enemies to use children as shields, the difference here in this instance is that technology provides us with a soldier's view of actual events and outcomes. Like you said, this is war. But isn't this result a positive thing and no doubt was the reason it is shared as such, as opposed to our military simply taking the target out regardless of any collateral death because of it?

  11. I am in general in agreement with the sentiments, but calling the kid (carrying supplies to the bombers) a "civilian" is an abuse of the language.

  12. Larry, True enough. But your point assumes that the youth in the video is old enough to decide by his own free will to assist the would-be bombers. We know that is probably not true.

  13. It also brings into stark relief the honor and morality of the "brave" jihadis, involving a child like that.

  14. I'm not saying its not a positive outcome (not knowing how old the kid is and how active in these activities he is makes it impossible to say--a bullet fired from a ten year old will kill a man just as dead as if a 40 year old fired it). But Larry has a very valid point, the minute the kid got involved with setting the bomb, he ceased to be 'collateral' or 'civilian'.
    When to let them go and when not to is an awful, awful decision that soldiers have to make. No one wants to see a young life ended. Yet, little warriors grow up into big warriors (and probably far more deadly for all the years of experience).
    But the main thrust of my early posts was that America and its soldiers actually care. The other guys don't.

  15. I agree completely with that logic.

  16. The problem with blaming the child is that he doesn't know any better. If his older brother, or father was involved in the bomb planting, how would he know it was wrong?

    That said, I was tickled to hear the commander ask over and over again if they saw hostile acts. He was that typical guy worried about the fallout if his guys did it wrong. I imagine when that bomb went off two things were said from different perspectives. The soldiers are saying, "NOW do you believe us?" The commander is going, "Thank you God for not making me decide!"

    It is a sorry state of affairs that we worry so much about what others think and risk our people because of it. But that is the American way.

    It is going to be the reason those same kids in the Middle East believe life can be better than what they were told by their own culture. The key isn't today, it is twenty years from now.