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[casi] [Fwd: [AL-AWDA-Canada] It's way More Fun With Iraqi Shepperds andSheeps

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    What was it that that Robin Cook spokesperson said to  Felicity Arbuthnot
in John Pilger's video - Paying the Price:
"We reserve the right to fire back in self-defense whenever we are
threatened"? I guess what goes around comes around.
Marc Azar
-------- Message d'origine -------- Objet: [AL-AWDA-Canada] Wounded British
soldiers condemn US 'cowboy' pilot Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 21:01:17 -0500 De:
"nonwork" <>[1] Répondre-A:[2]
A: <>[3]
Wounded British soldiers condemn US 'cowboy' pilot
Staff and agencies
Monday March 31, 2003
British soldiers injured when a US "tankbuster" aircraft attacked their
convoy, killing one of their comrades, hit out angrily at the "cowboy" pilot

Troops wounded in Friday's attack accused the A-10 Thunderbolt pilot of
"incompetence and negligence" while others privately called for a manslaughter

The comments came as America's most senior military official vowed to make it
his quest to stop future "friendly fire" tragedies.

General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, apologised for
the deadly error by the A-10 in southern Iraq.

He told BBC1's Breakfast With Frost: "It's the absolute saddest tragedy that
any of us can experience.

"I don't think we have to live with situations like that, and one of my jobs
has to be to ensure that we get the resources and the technical means to
ensure that in the future this never, never happens again. And that will be my

But the crews of the two British forward reconnaissance Scimitars which were
attacked by the A-10 could not contain their anger.

Lance Corporal of Horse Steven Gerrard, speaking from his bed on the RFA Argus
in the Gulf, said: "I can command my vehicle. I can keep it from being
attacked. What I have not been trained to do is look over my shoulder to see
whether an American is shooting at me."

LCoH Gerrard, the commander of the leading vehicle, described to Patrick
Barkham of The Times how the deadly A-10 attack began.

The pilot made two swoops. "I will never forget that noise as long as I live.
It is a noise I never want to hear again," he said.

"There was no gap between the bullets. I heard it and I froze. The next thing
I knew the turret was erupting with white light everywhere, heat and smoke."

He added: "I'll never forget that A-10. He was about 50 metres off the ground.
He circled, because he can turn on a 10 pence.

"He came back around. He was no more than 1,000 metres away when he started
his attack run. He was about 500 metres away when he started firing."

On the back of one of the engineers' vehicles there was a Union Jack.

"It's about 18 inches wide by about 12 inches. For him to fire his weapons I
believe he had to look through his magnified optics. How he could not see that
Union Jack I don't know."

Packed with hundreds of rounds of ammunition, as well as grenades, rifle
rounds and flammable diesel fuel tanks, the front two Scimitars exploded into

One of their comrades, Lance Corporal of Horse, Matty Hull, 25, was killed.

LCoH Gerrard also criticised the A-10 for shooting when there were civilians
close by.

He said: "There was a boy of about 12 years old. He was no more than 20 metres
away when the Yank opened up.

"He had absolutely no regard for human life. I believe he was a cowboy. There
were four or five that I noticed earlier and this one had broken off and was
on his own when he attacked us. He'd just gone out on a jolly."

He added: "I'm curious about what's going to happen to the pilot.

"He's killed one of my friends and he's killed him on the second run."

Trooper Chris Finney, 18, added: "All the wagons have markings to say they are
Coalition. I don't know why he shot a second time, he was that close.

"To be honest, I think they are just ignorant. I don't know if they haven't
been trained or are just trigger happy."

Another of the injured, Lieutenant Alex MacEwen, 25, added: "A mistake has
happened but too many things suggest it was down to pure incompetence and

Trooper Joe Woodgate, 19, the driver of the Scimitar in which gunner LCoH Hull
was killed walked away with holes in his bullet-proof vest and torn clothes.

He told Audrey Gillan of The Guardian: "I don't suppose they have learned much
from the first war. I can tell what an American tank looks like from every

"It was the most irresponsible thing in the world. They didn't know what was
going on. We were just getting on with our mission and they were messing
around in the skies and saw us and said 'let's get ourselves a couple of
wagons, that'll be one to tell the lads when we get back to the base'.

"How come somebody who is a top-notch Thunderbolt pilot can't tell what a
British tank looks like. I think someone in the Pentagon or somewhere needs to
sort something out there."

The reporter said some soldiers were also calling for the pilot to be
prosecuted for manslaughter.

"I had a lot of time for Matty," said Trooper Woodgate.

"I respected him a lot and thought he was an awesome bloke. He was one of the
nicest people I have ever met."

So far five British servicemen have been killed by friendly fire and four in
combat with Iraqi forces.

On March 23 a Tornado aircraft was shot down by a US Patriot missile battery
near the Kuwaiti border. Another two British soldiers were killed when their
Challenger 2 Main Battle tank was engaged by another British tank west of
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