The Scene From HELL

FRIENDLY FIRE - euphemism for IDIOCY

Just the latest -- and worst -- in a whole string of laughable disasters -- the criminal assault on Iraq is doomed.

'This is just a scene from hell'
The BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson has been injured in Northern Iraq in an apparent mistaken attack on a US special forces convoy by one of their own planes.

Moments after the attack, John Simpson broadcast live by satellite telephone on the BBC news channel, News 24.

This is a really bad own goal by the Americans
John Simpson
"Well it's a bit of a disaster... I was in a convoy of eight or 10 cars in northern Iraq coming up to a place that has just recently been captured. American special forces in a truck - two trucks I think - beside them, plus a very senior figure ..."

Simpson to US soldier: "Shut up. I'm broadcasting! Oh yes, I'm fine - am I bleeding."

US soldier: "Yes, you've got a cut."

Simpson: "I thought you were going to stop me. I think I've just got a bit of shrapnel in the leg, that's all. OK, I will - thanks a lot.

"That was one of the American special forces medics - I thought he was going to try to stop me reporting. I've counted 10 or 12 bodies around us. So there are Americans dead. It was an American plane that dropped the bomb right beside us - I saw it land about 10 feet, 12 feet away I think.

"We were so close to the damage and - it didn't damage us badly at any rate. This is just a scene from hell here. All the vehicles on fire. There are bodies burning around me, there are bodies lying around, there are bits of bodies on the ground. This is a really bad own goal by the Americans.

"We don't really know how many Americans are dead. There is ammunition exploding in fact from some of these cars. A very senior member of the Kurdish Republic's government who also may have been injured."

TV presenter Maxine Mawhinney: "John, just to recap for the viewers, an American plane dropped a bomb on your convoy of American special forces - many dead, many injured?"

Simpson: "I am sorry to be so excitable. I am bleeding through the ear and everything but that is absolutely the case. I saw this American convoy, and they bombed it. They hit their own people - they may have hit this Kurdish figure - very senior, and they've killed a lot of ordinary characters, and I am just looking at the bodies now and it is not a very pretty sight."

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