Tuesday, November 23, 2004


The shooting incident from Fallujah mosque is blogged about from the journalist that shot the footage. A very disturbing account. All I could think off was, war is hell.

Kevin Sites, the journalist in question is worried that the American troops he has been embedded with are upset at him for providing the footage of the shooting to the media, he is worried he will be perceived as some anti war activist. He starts he post by the following

Since the shooting in the Mosque, I've been haunted that I have not been able to tell you directly what I saw or explain the process by which the world came to see it as well. As you know, I'm not some war zone tourist with a camera who doesn't understand that ugly things happen in combat. I've spent most of the last five years overing global conflict. But I have never in my career been a 'gotcha' reporter -- hoping for people to commit wrongdoings so I can catch them at it.

I wonder if Kevin Sites would write a letter to the family of the shot man, what would it say?

Dear Family of shot man, I made sure not mention the names of the soldiers involved in the shooting in order to protect their privacy, in your son's case I didn't mention his name because I never bothered find out what his name was. I worried for hours about how the footage broadcast would effect the morals of the soldiers and their families back home, but really I didn't spend one second considering how seeing the last few seconds of your son's life would effect you. Afterall, your son chose to live by the sword and he died by the sword. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. I do hope that all the American troops return home safely soon. When people like you commit acts of savagery, I have no problem showing them to the world and generalizing that all your people and your religion is to blame, when one of us acts in the same manner we ensure to explain the horrible strain the poor fellow was under and the circumstances that might have led the person involved to "lose it". I am American you see and I work for NBC, you hate us already so we don't bother with your feelings. I would like to report that while your son was being killed I performed my duties proudly, I kept rolling the camera and did my job. I watched and never lifted a finger to save your son's life.

I don't support the insurgents nor do I support their criminal activities that are killing mostly Iraqi civilians, but it bothers me to see Iraqi life treated with such disregard.


#11/23/2004 08:36:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Papa Ray

Yes, war is hell and other famous sayings. If you watch war movies you get a little taste of actors trying to play soldiers. Thats all you get.

I have been in war and it is worse than hell because you KNOW that you can be dead or even something worse, maimed for life. No one understands that all the training, all the lectures,all the preperation does not make your mind ready for that disease of mankind,WAR.

After a few hours,days of being shot at and thinking that this might just be your last few minutes,hours, days of life, your mind goes on a kind of automatic control. Your senses become hightened and sharper than if your on drugs. But, if you get a break, and your not on the guard detail, you can go into a state deeper than sleep in about two seconds. I've been told that is a body defense, trying to repair itself.

When I was in combat my first thought was to follow orders (complete the mission), protect my friends and then to protect myself. Not always in that order.

I have pulled the trigger many times, sometimes at the enemy I could see, most of the time at those I could not really see. Sometimes I wondered what would happen if I shot the wrong person. The longer I was being shot at and shooting back, the less I worried about it. That is also a defense mechanism for the mind.

There is no right and wrong sometimes, sometimes it is all wrong when you think of it later, but at the time you don't really have the opportunity or time to think.

If you take the time to think about it, it most likely will be your last thought.

This is my post

Papa Ray
West Texas

#11/23/2004 04:15:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

And what would you have done ihath?

Charged in and stopped bullets with your own body? Oh bravo. Then you'd be dead too and none of us would be any the wiser. We'd probably just go back to watching more cuddly pictures of soldiers letting children ride their tanks.

To provide totally unsugarcoated evidence of life in passing has got to be one of the most respectful things any journalist could ever do considering the circumstances.

But, fine, go on then, sling off about one of the few journalists with any actual integrity. Hey, maybe you'll help him lose his job and then we can get on with loving liberation and not having to doublethink so hard. But you must be practised at that, hey.

#11/23/2004 05:19:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger Bruno

People, even though I call the Marine's actions murder, papa ray has a point about the desensitisation process of combat. This is well documented. I place even more responsibility on the idiots that put the soldier where he was than him, and you know which leafy scum I am talking about. They should hang.

Emigre, Ihath ... I agree that the Iraqi dead are nameless and that there is a serious media bias towards hushing up atrocities and casualties caused by the US. However, Sites did in the end publish what he caught on tape. Do you know how many people (read: morons,amoral thugs) are saying that he ought to have simply erased the tape. That is not even counting those that would like to shoot him on sight. Let us be grateful for what bravery and moral fibre he did in the end display, not what he lacked.

#11/23/2004 05:41:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger madtom

"but really I didn't spend one second considering how seeing the last few seconds of your son's life would effect you."

My only question is, Did you read the article?

#11/23/2004 06:47:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

i wish that really was his letter to the parents of that terrorist thug hiding in the mosque. you arabs dont see to complain much when a decapitated body is tossed onto a garbage pile on the side of a street. quit being so hypocritical.

#11/23/2004 06:47:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

i wish that really was his letter to the parents of that terrorist thug hiding in the mosque. you arabs dont see to complain much when a decapitated body is tossed onto a garbage pile on the side of a street. quit being so hypocritical.

#11/23/2004 08:57:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger F. in Amsterdam

Kevin Sites is an embedded journalist. Under those circumstances he can hardly be objective. If there is anything to reproach him with, it is that he is not entirely forthright about his necessary bias.

Have you noticed that he actually describes two distinct groups of soldiers? The "good" American soldiers, the squad that he tags along with, had taken the Mosque, disarmed and bandaged the surviving insurgents inside, and then left, expecting them to be moved out. The day after, the "bad" American soldiers from the other squad re-shoot the unarmed wounded, kill one of them from point-blank range for no good reason, and generally behave in an undisciplined manner. Though Kevin Sites isn't explicit about it, it is clear who belongs to which squad.

He might have found it even more difficult to report "impartially" if the latter squad had been his own. Such is the lot of the embedded journalist.

#11/23/2004 10:24:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger madtom

It's so easy to play journalist, Such a different story to be a Journalist.. story developing...

#11/24/2004 12:26:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

(ihath ~ apologies for vitriol, am diplomatically handicapped this week ;)


#11/24/2004 02:26:00 am Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous


give it a rest!!!


#11/24/2004 05:04:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Papa Ray

Sorry had to go get some supper for my Grand Daughter.

I meant to say something about the News Guy.

He has a job too. His job is to report news.

He reported the news. The MSM shaded and colored it.

End of comment.

This is my post

Papa Ray
West Texas

#11/25/2004 01:02:00 am Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

Bush Arrival In Iraq Imminent?


#11/25/2004 07:19:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

screw that insurgent, as non uniformed personal using a supposed 'place of worship' as a military fort, he deserved that bullet and a dozen more like it

day before some medic got blown up by some a55hole pretending to be wounded, fake surrender ambushes etc etc

in my letter to the guys family i would write simply

'your son is dead thanks to his own stupidity'

#11/28/2004 05:25:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

This is a reply to "Anonymous" who wrote, "in my letter to the guys family i would write simply / 'your son is dead thanks to his own stupidity'"

Your comments are disgusting, and do not reflect the opinion of the vast majority of those Americans supporting the US's efforts in Iraq. Most Americans believe and hope that we are over there for a worthy purpose. What we are doing will, we hope, benefit Iraqis as well as help make the US safer.

Many of the insurgents seem to have committed acts that are reprehensible to us and to Iraqis. That does not mean that our US soldiers should respond in kind. In the end, it is the behavior of each of the US soldiers in Iraq that will largely determine how much support moderate elements in the country will give to Iraqis friendly to the US. Given the terrible actions of the insurgents, many Iraqis would like the chance to support a moderate government. Pictures of marines shooting unarmed civilians will waste our chance.

Sympathy is due Kevin Sikes for the terrible position he found himself in. More sympathy is due the family of those dead Iraqis--who have lost a lot more than Kevin Sikes.


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