Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News War on ancient civiliastions continue …

  1. Apr 1, 2005 #1
    The great minaret of Samara was attacked today; its upper part is exploded. The American soldiers used this historical -1200 years old- site as sniper point for several months. Many Iraqi were killed by American snipers from the top of this minaret.

    Old article from BBC about this minaret:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/iraq/iraq_lost_cities_06.shtml [Broken]

    ((The Great Mosque at Samara is the most memorable architectural image in Iraq. The minaret was built in about 850 AD and is a 52m-tall spiral, which looks rather like a medieval image of the Tower of Babel. And that is the point - in its infancy, Islam embraced the forms of the sacred buildings of earlier religions, and this minaret is in effect an Islamic ziggurat. It is also an astonishingly powerful, elemental and mystic structure. If anything happened to this minaret it would be an act of barbarism of the highest order. The prelude to a new dark age.))

    Of course the American propaganda will claim that the ‘’evil terrorists ‘’ who bomb the historical minaret, but the question:

    Is it logical to use this great historical building as sniper point by American soldiers?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2005 #2

    ((Police say insurgents blew up the top section of the 52m (162ft) Malwiya tower, which had been used by US soldiers as a lookout position.

    The minaret was built by Caliph al-Mutawakil in 852 when Samarra, a city on the Tigris north of Baghdad, was capital of the Abbasid Empire. ))

    ((US troops pulled out of the site last month.
    A senior government official told the BBC the Americans should have ensured it was properly protected))

    ((Iraq's antiquities officials had expressed concern that US soldiers had also caused significant damage to historic sites in Samarra, including the walls of an ancient palace. ))

    ((Coalition troops have been heavily criticised for earlier damage done to the ancient site of Babylon which was taken over as a military base.

    BBC Baghdad correspondent Caroline Hawley says extensive looting of archaeological sites, particularly in southern Iraq, has also raised serious concerns about the effects of the war on the country's heritage))
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2005
  4. Apr 1, 2005 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    It doesn't say that it was used by snipers, it says it was used as a lookout post. It also says the US pulled out last month.

    You can't have it both ways: you can't blame us for being there if its attacked and also blame us for not protecting it.

    And frankly, this, to me, shows that the "insurgents" are not fighting on behalf of the Iraqi people.
  5. Apr 1, 2005 #4
    Do you think the soldiers used the minaret to watch the beautiful city?

    The soldiers forced to leave after strong pressure form Iraqi people and leaders after the minaret became battlefield several times. It was attacked by mortar few months ago...

    ((SAMARRA, Iraq, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Two U.S. army snipers sit on the top of an ancient minaret in the Iraqi city of Samarra, scanning for rebels who might try to plant bombs on a nearby road, and braving rain, sun and winds in long, lonely shifts. ))

    ((Crouched behind sandbags, the soldiers say guerrillas bent on sabotaging the Jan. 30 elections frequently shoot at them with small-arms fire, mortars and rockets, sometimes hitting the 52-metre-tall minaret, built over 1,000 years ago.
    "We get shot at all the time," said Sgt. Steve Langelier, 25, from Newport, Rhode Island.
    "We are very busy. Scanning the city takes all day. It only slows down after the curfew," said Langelier, as he eyed the city below with the scope of his .50 calibre-rifle.
    The snipers from the 1st Battalion 26th Infantry Regiment, work in 24-hour two-man shifts, taking turns to eat and sleep.
    They were posted on top of the distinctive spiral minaret -- the highest vantage point in this violent Sunni Muslim city -- after U.S. and Iraqi forces overran Samarra in October and wrested it from the control of insurgents.
    A hole the size of a watermelon was left in the minaret when it was hit last month by an insurgent's mortar, the U.S. army says. The external staircase which spirals round the brick building is littered with sniper shells.
    Capt. William Rockefeller, in charge of the nine-man sniper team, said he has not received any complaints about using the minaret as a snipers' nest.
    "You only have to wonder why the Iraqis shoot at their own minaret," he said. ))

  6. Apr 1, 2005 #5
    (("You only have to wonder why the Iraqis shoot at their own minaret," he said. ))

    Is it strange that he sit there to kill the Iraqi people and want them not to attack the minaret?!

    Beside that, we still do not know who bombed the minaret, may be the same who looted 7 ton Babylon wall in April 2003?

    Many Iraqi called the TV stations and claim that American agents who bombed it ....

    If USA can not protect the Iraqi people and their heritage, they simply should withdraw as Syria did in Lebanon …

    Anyway, I am so sad for this great site … its effect on Iraqi people will be more than the effect of destruction of ‘’Liberty statue’’ on American..

    It is very sad day … they lost one of most important national and historical symbols!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2005
  7. Apr 1, 2005 #6
    You are wondering whether geocentric, short-term thinking military types feel a sense of loss about a historical symbol? (Maybe when the Statue of Liberty goes under water...?)
  8. Apr 1, 2005 #7
    I find it amusing you seek sympathy.
    I still recall the people of Iraq dancing in the streets the day the Towers fell, and now you wish us to be outraged that a historic site in Iraq was destroyed (most likely by the citizens of Iraq)

    The only reason the US remains in Iraq is to protect the people there, and they continue to do their best to victimize themselves.
  9. Apr 1, 2005 #8
    I don't think it was the Iraqis who were dancing, I think that took place in Palestine. Recent surveys (John Hopkins/Lancet) show that the US military has killed the civilians at a faster rate than Saddam ever did during his entire reign over his country.
  10. Apr 1, 2005 #9
    Welcome to this discussion forum, this is your first post :smile:

    1) Iraqi people did not dance on 11/9 :uhh: ; it is few kids in refugees’ camp near Jerusalem. The Iraqi people suffered from American attacks and Saddam massacres for 11 years before 11/9!!

    2) Surely, I do not seek your sympathy (even sympathy of millions of American will change nothing ), but it is good to hear the other side of the story..

    3) If Iraqi people victimize themselves, and the only reason the US remains in Iraq is to protect them, then why USA pay expensive for protecting people who do not welcome them. For example, the American can send their army to Uganda to protect millions of people from savage repels and to save them from starvations instead to send them to Iraq who does not deserve such generous American offer? :rolleyes:


    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2005
  11. Apr 2, 2005 #10
    1) People are much more important than stone

    2) It is necessary to bash the terrorists in Iraq so that they stop killing the civilians and if it means using a few ancient pieces of stone in the process then so be it.
  12. Apr 3, 2005 #11
    I would like to present the history of this city (Samaraa) and its well known tower …

    Al Mutasim (and his brother), one of the most well known Khalifa in Abbasid Empire, built this city with its well known tower (minaret), in the 9th century.

    During his era, A Byzantine army invaded East/West of Turkey, and destroyed town called Maltiah. They killed all men and they enslaved the women (rules of war in that era). This Khalifa could not defend the border or revenge because his army was busy to stop huge Turkish/Persian attacks from Middle Asia.

    All women were put in jail in castle of Amouria (near Ankra). Byzentine leader wanted to rape a women. She resisted strongly and she was shouting (Please! Khalifa Mutasim help!) ….

    The Byzantine leader was laughing because Mutasim was far enough (1000 Km) to hear her. In that moment, an old man working near the jail heard the shouting of this women and request for help from Khalifa. So he left immediately to Samaraa the second capital of Abbasid Empire in that time. He told Mutasim that he heard women shout and ask for his help because one of Byzantine soldiers wanted to rape her.

    Khalifa Mutasim decided to save her, even he had no army.. but most of his advisers rejected his crazy plan to open two large fronts in one time. After Khalifa observed that nobody support him, he asked his personal soldiers to follow him because he is going by himself to save her. After people saw their political/religious leader himself went to the heart of Byzantine Empire, many of them follow him …

    Byzantine forces met him near castle of Ankara (Amouria), and he succeeded after 6 months of heavy fighting to destroy the castle and to save that woman. After that he withdrew to his border to show that all the war was for that woman, not for getting more lands.

    In this sad and horrible time of our nations, it is interesting to remember those great leaders and that golden time, when Iraq was the center of the world. Who knows, may be we need another brave Mutasim to save the women and kids of Iraq in ABu Gharib
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2005
  13. Apr 3, 2005 #12
    You mean freedom is sad?

    "Golden" times when the rights of man weren't recognized by the "great" leaders?
    When dissent or rebellion was ruthlessly crushed by the monarchy all over the world?

    Do you have a reliable source for your story about Mutasim? It is so difficult to hear someone shouting from a 1000 m, much less 1000 km.
  14. Apr 4, 2005 #13


    User Avatar

    I'm forwarding this to you, FYI:

  15. Apr 5, 2005 #14
    also i dont think comparing that tower to the statue of liberty is proper, for the shear fact they werent build for the same reasoning nor do they have the same meaning

    then i suspose it was good he wasnt that far away...mutasim was in a city 1000km away, whereas the man was just outside the jail...which by the way was most often on the 1st floor or basement of most medievil establishments

    but this is a controversial issue for even myself, because i have a large respect for historical monuments still standing today, but i also know of a severe lack of posting positions for USMC/SS's to operate from.

    also i think we need to note that sniper positions arent meant to be known, so when they selected it they most likely believed it was a secure position where noone would realise they were operating from it, it astonishes me that they stayed there after being discovered, most often a SS team will rotate positions every week, if not every day...
  16. Apr 6, 2005 #15

    In war, things will be damaged.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2005
  17. Apr 6, 2005 #16


    User Avatar

    While this is generally true in all-out war, certain situations may call for a different approach. In this case snipers apparently provided overwatch, one part of their mission might being there to show presence to the enemy, denying him open operations in the town.
    I think this is pretty clear from the link bilal posted:
    There really wasn´t much alternative to this minaret for a rather complete 24/7 overwatch of the town, to position snipers there with appropriate, far reaching weapons (.50 Cal) seems reasonable.
  18. Apr 7, 2005 #17
    lol .50 cal is enormous...you can successfully hit targets from 2500m away lol, but yah remmington is building a new m24a2 for the military, and it looks nice...huge IR flashlight on it(at least what me and others are presuming)
  19. Apr 8, 2005 #18


    User Avatar

    That´s probably a Thermal Imager, IR-Flashlights are cumbersome and tell "here i am, shoot me" to everyone having a image intensifier and the like.
  20. Apr 8, 2005 #19


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Except that not a lo of "insurgents" do.
  21. Apr 8, 2005 #20


    User Avatar

    Sure, altough were some cases of insurgents running around with stolen US NV equipment. There should also be quite some older russian made NV goggles around. In any case, putting an IR searchlight on a sniper rifle is a big no-no for the Army these days, even if it wouldn´t hurt so much in the current conflict.
    This is probably the sight or similar to what TsunamiJoe means:
    http://www.raytheon.com/products/w1000/ [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook