Car bombs, or VBIEDS, have been and still are a real threat in the world. People are shocked when they see the destroyed white car that was at the center of this incident. In the story below, you learn that a VBIED went off "while a school bus was passing." Proximity... Proximity decides whether you live or you die.
In 2007, in a traffic circle in Baghdad, as that white car continued forward - speed is irrelevant - it continued to be a clear and present danger. The closer it came, the more likely the team was to be wounded or killed. It had to be stopped. Look at the picture and look where it finally stopped. The Raven 23 trucks were in the circular roadway just in front of that car.
Well, you might ask, stopping is one thing but why such destruction? It's really very, very simple. When similarly-trained men are working in a close formation, and a threat makes itself known, WELL-TRAINED men do not sit back and say, "Oh, OK, Bob - that threat is yours. I won't engage it." No - there was concentrated fire on that car because all of the men of Raven 23 who perceived it as a threat and were able, took the same actions as their teammates, at the same time.
And yet - even as more than one team member was engaging that car - it still continued to come closer.
So you tell me - when exactly would YOU stop trying to keep that car as far away from you as possible?
Remember - we were only told after the incident that there was no bomb in the car (based on the evidence collected by the Iraqi investigators and later confirmed by the FBI, after the vehicle had been in the possession of the Iraqis). Even as such, there was no way to tell what the car did or not have in it until AFTER the event. Until you know something is not a threat - it must be considered a threat.
Consider for a moment had the car been a bomb and they had not stopped it before it got to their convoy. The team would have suffered dead turret gunners and possibly others, multiple vehicles would have been disabled, and suddenly, Raven 23 is in a kill box. Nothing would have protected the team from being overrun, decimated, and for all we know, being the next charred bodies strung up from a bridge and going viral on Al-Jazeera's You-Tube channel.
No - self-defense is a perfect defense. Whether the Iraqis disagreed with them and began firing on them because of the white car or for some other reason - the Raven 23 convoy committed no wrong in protecting themselves.
These are photos of a truck hit by an EFP. This is what the Raven 23 trucks would have looked like if that white car had been a VBIED. They could NOT risk that car, breaking out of traffic, rolling continually toward them. How does this NOT speak to their state of mind and right to self-defense based on fear for their lives, and the lives of the rest of their teammates?
[I've lost track of who needs to get credit for the photos...]