Rumsfeld Admits Downside To Shooting Iraqi Police
Rumsfeld admits it will be harder to recruit Iraqi policemen if the Army keeps killing them
US military opens investigation to determine what Iraqi policemen did to get themselves shot.
US officials informed this wounded Iraqi police officer that he will have a good long stretch to think about the mistakes he made that provoked the attack by US soldiers.
Fallujah --Following Friday's accidental killing of nine Iraqi policemen by US soldiers, civilian administrators are worried that some potential police academy recruits may not have a death wish.
However, the more immediate question on commanders' minds is "what fool thing those stupid towel heads did to get themselves killed."
The "friendly fire" incident occurred as 25 uniformed Iraqi policemen in two pickup trucks and a sedan began chasing a white BMW known to have been used by highway bandits.
It was when the chase neared a checkpoint close to the Jordanian Hospital in Fallujah that an American patrol at that location opened fire.
Members of the Jordanian armed forces guarding the hospital also opened fire when the Americans began shooting and pretty soon the entire area turned into a giant shooting gallery with the policemen as the sitting ducks.
Iraqis interested in becoming police officers await instructions from US soldiers, some of whom may shoot them later in their law enforcement careers.
"All I know is some middle eastern dude was coming at me with a gun so I iced him," Pvt. Terrance Edwards, 21, said. "He may have been a police officer but he was an Iraqi police officer so I was at least 50 percent justified in wasting his ass."
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said all of the facts are not in to determine what exactly happened but he suggested that the Iraqi law enforcement officials were probably doing something wrong at the time.
"What you have to remember in situations like this is that there are factors on the ground such that complicate the ordinary flow of working relationships and security arrangements with local agencies in ways that you and I can't possibly fathom," he barked in his signature condescending, jargon-laden speaking style. "In other words, it was the Iraqis' fault."
Hilal Ramadah, Middle East director of Human Rights Watch, said it will be almost impossible to recruit future police officers following the incident.
"What will they do, put up recruiting posters that say 'Join the Police Academy! The Americans need target practice?'" he asked.
Rumsfeld admitted that this could be a setback for the police training program under the direction of former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.
Mourners carry the casket of one of the slain policemen in Fallujah as an onlooker whips the crowd into a frenzy by shooting his rifle into the air. American servicemen watching the display exchanged silent looks of, "Oh crap."
"Ok look, yeah, the irony of this situation is not lost on me," he said. "Certainly killing Iraqi police officers is not helpful in our ongoing effort to recruit law enforcement personnel. But cut us a little slack here. It's not like we had a plan for the occupation. We're just making this stuff up as we go along."
US Army investigators were "interviewing" witnesses to make sure their accounts matched the official version of events Sunday while US officials attended the funerals of the deceased Iraqis as part of an organized damage control effort.
However, while speaking at one policeman's funeral, Civilian Administrator L. Paul Bremer managed to violate multiple Islamic traditions by leading those in attendance in a Christian prayer.
"As this brave soul makes his way to heaven's gate, oh Lord," he said addressing a majority Muslim audience. "We ask that you in your infinite wisdom show him the error of his ways and help him accept responsibility for his death at the hands of US soldiers, for we are all sinners. Also, Almighty God, please show mercy on his soul and deliver him to Christ for without your grace he will surely face eternal hellfire and damnation in a fiery pit of brimstone and suffering. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen."
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