UK court verdict on US shooting of UK soldier: unlawful, avoidable killing. A US plane twice fired on a convoy of UK troops whose vehicles were marked with the pre-agreed orange fabric. The BBC reports a transcript from the US plane crew:
“At the start of the attack, one pilot notices orange panels on the vehicles and asks whether there could be any friendly units in the area… …Pilots open fire but soon the error is realised and they are informed that friendly units were in the area“
There are lots of disturbing threads to the stories as published in the British press. I hear them daily on radio, TV, internet and newspapers. The most disturbing, unexplicit, storyline is that the US conduct their internal investigations to find themselves innocent. For the USA it is reasonable that they ignore the standard NATO symbol for identifying NATO vehicles. For the USA it is reasonable to make sure evidence is not made available to NATO allies by lying, denying the existence of the cockpit tapes.
The crux of the different verdicts are reported as based around a difference in the UK and the USA ‘rules for engagement’ without these rules of engagement explicitly being reported, a British soldier comments that:
“the incident would not have happened if American troops had as strict rules as the British on opening fire.”
This is not a unique verdit, where the US has been (ir)responsible for the death of UK soldiers. The incident has an analogous dynamic to many USA’s engagements with other Nations and Nationals. The USA look gun-happy in so many ways, internal laws, internal crime statistics, international diplomacy and even in its dealings with its allies.
British people I meet wonder how I can stand to live in the USA, they variously refer to the USA as an immature, ignorant, greedy, fat, dishonest, sick, bully.