Crazy scene from Iraq

Imagine it is 2003, just after the US enters Iraq. You are a US soldier with only four other soldiers in two vehicles. You just enter the city of Karbala and this is what is blocking your way. They are shouting things you cannot understand, beating their chests, and carrying signs you cannot read. Should you be afraid? How long do you think you have before you need to start shooting? Who is the threat here?
The scene I found on that day was definitely daunting, just as many of you might suddenly happen upon other potentially precarious situations of varying degrees at any time.  Fortunately, there are ways you can use your personal posturing as a self-defense mechanism while simultaneously and quickly assessing which of all of the people (if any) actually pose a threat. However, you have to be conscious of it. Comprehension of danger signals on the face, position of the hands and bodies, as well as the knowledge of the circumstances that brought you both to this point will be crucial to saving your life or prevent taking someone else’s in error.

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