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Canadian Friendly Fire Deaths...(6 posts)

Canadian Friendly Fire Deaths...empacher6seat
Apr 21, 2002 11:09 AM
I was just wondering if the whole incident with the American pilot killing 4 Canadians and injuring 8 others is a big topic in America right now... from our side of the boarder, it seems like it's not that big of a deal down there.
re: Canadian Friendly Fire Deaths...PaulCL
Apr 21, 2002 12:08 PM
It would be more of a big deal if Canadians had accidentally killed Americans. I'm not saying that to diminish the enormity of the mistake, but that's the press for you.

Either way it is very, very unfortunate and sad. Four killed, eight injured, a pilot and probably a lot of support people will lose their jobs and/or go to prison. In war, mistakes happen always with dire consequences.

As an American, I'd like to send my condolences to the families of those injured and killed. It must be extra heart breaking for the families to know their sons died from friendly fire.

The longer this conflict goes on, the more of this we will hear about.
re: Canadian Friendly Fire Deaths...empacher6seat
Apr 21, 2002 1:34 PM
Good points.
Especially about Canadians killing Americans.
I personally think it's pretty pathetic that despite all this new age technology and the vast superiority in fighting power of the U.S./Canada/England/etc forces that were made to protect our soldiers, there have been more allies killed by friendly fire then by the Taliban...
re: Canadian Friendly Fire Deaths...Jon Billheimer
Apr 22, 2002 6:58 AM
Good point. I'm beginning to wonder what the whole point of this extended exercise in Afghanistan is all about. The coalition has not achieved its principle objective of getting Bin Laden. And killing a few more tribal hoodlums who switch sides according to who's paying them off at the moment doesn't seem to warrant the enormous expenditure in money, technology, and human lives it's costing.

There's a good deal of confusion, questions, and anger over this latest incident here in the Edmonton area, since the Canadians were based here. The local perception is that this is a minor incident in the eyes of American political and military leadership.

Also, from here, the American hectoring of Israel looks pretty hypocritical, given America's reactions to any interests that threaten it or its oil resources.
re: Canadian Friendly Fire Deaths...Me Dot Org
Apr 24, 2002 8:05 AM
It is precisely because of the accuracy of modern weaponry that there is a greater percentage of friendly fire casualties.

With gravity bombs, the margin of error hitting a target was considerably greater. It took many more planes many more tries to sucessfully take out a target, putting the pilots at greater risk.

The more accurate modern weaponry means that the chances of hitting the target are much greater. The same rule applies if the target is mistakenly identified, as in the case of 'friendly fire'.

In short, improved accuracy is a double-edged sword.
If people knew how often that happens...cory
Apr 22, 2002 8:33 AM
I'm a Vietnam vet, and while that was a long time ago (when bombs were dumb and presidents were smart), I don't think the friendly fire aspect has changed much. If people knew how often U.S. and (especially) friendly Vietnamese or Montagnard soldiers were killed by our own fire, they would have marched on the Pentagon with torches. It's just SO easy for an artillery or mortar round to fall short, or a pilot to push the button one second late (computers probably push the button now, but they're only as good as the information they get). In a firefight, with lots of similar-looking, non-uniformed people running around with guns, there's a huge temptation to shoot first and identify later. Last time I checked, the U.S. had lost far more people in Afghanistan to accidents and screwups than to enemy action.
To answer your original question, though--it's news here, but it's not BIG news. Sadly, I agree that it would be if one of your planes had dropped bombs on OUR troops. Then George W. would be stomping around waving the flag and demanding an accounting. But's just Canadians, eh?