[ Monday, August 18, 2003 ]
I've been following several discussions about the Rueters photog killed by one of our tanks. I think a couple of points have been left out.
First, I don't believe for one second it was intentional. Maybe 'cause I've "been there", but it seems like an honest mistake to me. A shoulder camera looks a lot like a weapon to me, and MY training is 35 years old!
Second, a life was lost. A good man, by the sound of it. Combat photographers are just as dedicated to their mission as soldiers; many have military training and most respect the soldiers they cover. This man was a dedicated, seasoned professional. He died doing what he loved. Let's respect him and his profession by trying to understand.
And last but not least, there's a tank gunner out there who will never, ever forget his mistake. This poor bastard knows what he did, knows it was a mistake, and must live with that mistake the rest of his life. He is no less an honorable gunner than before the incident, he just had to pay more, a lot more for the privelege. His was the mistake that everyone saw. There are hundreds that go unreported, but none go unsuffered. So maybe you can say a good thing or two about the hapless gunner, whether in a tank, gunboat or infantry, that shoots with a golden heart, but whose "fortunes of war" have dealt a bitter hand.
Sometimes, you just gotta state the obvious, 'cause no one else has thought to yet!
gonzoliberal [11:56 AM]