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November 21, 2004
French Troops Open Fire At Ivory Coast Demonstration

Charles at LGF points his readers to a long video (in two parts) that shows a number of people being shot at a rally in the Ivory Coast. As rallies go, this one looked rather unremarkable until the shooting starts -- and then all you see is chaos for a few minutes. After the shooting stops, you see the carnage, including several extremely graphic scenes of dead people. (I'm not kidding -- one person has his head blown completely apart in the ninth minute of the second part. Don't watch it unless you really think you can handle it.)

From what I've seen thus far, it appears to show French troops shooting indiscriminately at African civilians. A number of deaths appear to have occurred at this incident, including several women. In fact, it seems like most of the dead were women, but that may have been because the cameraman focused on those victims. And that, just like the Marine shooting the faker in the mosque last week, may be the problem.

The video is highly subjective. Just like with any home movie, it starts and stops at different times with no particular purpose, and no time sequences are shown. When the firing starts, you can't see who's shooting, where it's aimed, or why. In fact, you never see soldiers shooting, at least in part II -- you just hear the shots and see the aftermath. Just as with the video in Iraq, the entire presentation lacks context. Who starts the shooting? Did anyone in the crowd have weapons and fire back, or fire first? So far, I can't tell.

Perhaps this might be the French Amritsar, but the video shown doesn't prove it; it merely suggests it. Before we leap to conclusions, we need a bit more evidence than these videos provide.

UPDATE: I've looked through both videos several times now, and it appears that the shooting in part I was warning fire. People hit the ground but then immediately got up and continued protesting. If anyone had been hit, they seemed pretty unconcerned. The few scenes showing bullet wounds appear rather minor, perhaps the result of ricochets on the warning shots.

The second video is the real thing. People hit the ground and don't get back up, and it's apparent that wounds caused by this fire are no accident. Neither video gives much context to the shooting, though. It still isn't clear that the French weren't provoked, only that the video doesn't show any provocation.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 21, 2004 11:30 AM

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» The French at War from Solomonia
From emailer Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi: This is a rather large file and the scenes are brutal BUT the atrocities committed by French troops in the Ivory Coast is real proof of what liars and hypocrites the French really are. If you... [Read More]

Tracked on November 21, 2004 12:31 PM

» France, A Brutal aggressor? Mais oui! from
In reality, the French will explain this away. They will say "their hands were forced" or "they were fired upon first." They will present their side and all will quietly go away. However, were this an American dilemma, marches with chants of "war... [Read More]

Tracked on November 21, 2004 1:42 PM

» France & Ivory Coast from Democracy Project
Captain Ed has commentary and linkage to homemade footage showing French troops firing on demonstrators in Ivory Coast. I haven't watched the footage, which the Captain says is violent and graphic. He cautions that it isn't clear what, if any,... [Read More]

Tracked on November 21, 2004 3:53 PM

» French soldiers shooting Cte d'Ivoire civilians? from Stygius
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Tracked on November 21, 2004 6:29 PM

» Daily Dish from The Cool Blue Blog
An insurgent, playing dead, shoots at Marines in Fallujah. Then he stopped playing. It seems to me that once these guys start using that tactic, they have to accept the consequences. Isn't that the point of the Geneva Conventions; to [Read More]

Tracked on November 22, 2004 6:48 AM

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