Coalition self-defense kills journalists

CNN reports on the tank attack on the Baghdad hotel that hosts internationals journalists: “Reporters Without Borders also said film shot by a French TV station shows the surrounding neighborhood was very quiet at the time and that the “U.S. tank crew took their time, waiting for a couple of minutes and adjusting its gun before opening fire.”
“Even if there was sniper fire coming there, aimed towards massively armored tanks, was that risk commensurate with the risk of civilian casualty by firing a tank shell into the Palestine Hotel or firing some kind of explosive into the Al-Jazeera office?” asked Christiane Amanpour, the chief international correspondent for CNN, from Kuwait City. ”
I’m not quite sure where to stand on this. Of course it’s easy to make fun of the Pentagon press release talking about self defense – but I find it hard to understand the press. A few days ago, I thought: “that hotel may be the safest place in Baghdad. If I were Saddam, my bunker would be below that hotel”. I also tend to think that journalists still residing in Baghdad must be suicidal – we’ve all seen missiles missing their targets even by country, so anybody in the area is taking chances. Even if you consider yourself safe of stray bombs or missiles, when urban warfare starts there is no such thing as a safe place. There can’t be. If you want to survive, get out. Now.

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