MERCILESS SAVAGERY FROM THE SKY
THE FUTURE OF BOMBING
General David Petraeus
Meet Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of the Multinational Force Iraq,
who continues the proud Military tradition of launching
air strikes on areas populated by civilians.
(In 1920, the British dropped 97 tons of bombs on Iraq, killing 9000 Iraqis).
This month an additional US AVIATION BRIGADE with
more than 2,600 troops will be deployed to Iraq.
It will unleash attack aircraft, transport helicopters, destruction and death;
most of which will be not be reported.
Iraq is already crowded with military aircraft. In the 2004 siege on Fallujah, carrier-based Navy and Marine aircraft flew over
21,000 hours of missions
and dropped 26 tons of ordnance on the city.
Why is an air war so lawless?
Why is anyone considered fair game, even when they're not?
Accepting command, Kabul, Feb 07
Meet NATO's new man in Kabul, US Gen. Dan Bomber McNeil, who continues a proud military tradition of dropping bombs on mud brick villages, regardless of who's inside.
(The British bombed civilians in Afghanistan in 1919).
GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER
In March 07, soon after Bomber McNeil assumed command, a NATO air strike was called on homes in the Kapisa province north of Kabul.
The bombs killed nine people from four generations of a local family,
including a 6-month-old child.
"Men knowingly endangered civilians byretreating into a populated area explained Lt. Col. David Accetta, so it was targeted and hit."
The strike killed four women, four children under 5 years old,
and an 80-year-old man.
Just another day in the air war on terror.
Just another day in Kapisa
Back in October 02, after the US led invasion began,
bombs rained down on Afghan civilians.
An F-18 dropped 35 bombs on a village in Kapisa.
Ten members of a family were crushed under the rubble
and another twenty were injured.
Between October and December the same year,
3,767 civilians were killed by US bombs.
Why is an air war so lawless?
Why is anyone considered fair game, even when they're not?
Around the same time as the March 07 aerial slaughter of the extended family in Kapisa, a convoy of freaked out Marines made a frenzied escape from an ambush east of Kabul, shooting wildly as they fled along a busy highway. 10 civilians were killed and 34 wounded.
Photos of the victims were confiscated by the US military at the point of a gun.
On the ground, criminal acts can be investigated.
There is a possibility of redress.
But bomber pilots and their crews are rarely called to account, even when they breach the Geneva Conventions (Article 48, 1977 addition to, Part IV):
The Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations
only against military objectives.
That's the law.
But when US AC-130 gunships strafed the Afghan farming village of Chowkar-Karez, killing at least 93 civilians, a Pentagon official felt able to remark:
the people there are dead because we wanted them dead"
According to RAWA, the anti Taliban Association of Afghani Women,
the American military presence has no benefit for our people.
In Afghanistan, Iraq and other trouble spots, including the border towns of allies,
the US air force is indifferent to the deaths of the innocent.
Weddings, parties, funerals - anything is a target.
How did this indifference come about? Why does it matter?
It matters because the stakes are soon about to be raised.
A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE
On November 11th, 2001, US planes bombed a bus
carrying refugees fleeing Kabul: 35 died
In this flag waving age, we suppress the history of Western war crimes.
In 1923, in order to exterminate a troublesome sheik, the British bombed a crowded market in Baghdad. A newly arrived British staff officer, Lionel Charlton, was so horrified by the carnage inflicted on women and children, that he asked to be relieved of his post.
Air Commodore Lionel Charlton
Charlton's request for an official enquiry into the slaughter was refused on the grounds that matters of conscience were irrelevant.
The Iraqi rebellion continued for a decade, as did the punitive bombing raids,
under the command of Arthur Bomber Harris, one of the most
sadistic figures in British military history.
THE SEEDS OF GUERNICA
In 1925, French and Spanish forces dropped thousands of tons of bombs and poison gas on the totally undefended holy town of Sheshuan, in Morocco,
at a time when every male adult was known to be absent.
Countless women and children were massacred. The survivors were maimed and/or blinded.
It was an act of imperial revenge arising from a humiliating defeat the previous year at the hands of Moroccan guerrillas.
Strangely, the assault on Sheshuan, was directed by volunteers attached to the French Flying Corps - a squadron of American pilots.
Observing the bombardment was a Spanish soldier serving in Africa, Francisco Franco, the future dictator of Spain. It became the blueprint for Franco's 1937 destruction of the Basque city of Guernica,
assisted by the Nazis.
A re-interpretation of Picasso's Guernica
At his trial at Nuremberg Herman Goering confirmed that Guernica had indeed been the testing ground for the Luftwaffe: It was a pity; but we could not do otherwise, as we had nowhere else to try out our machines.
By the close of the Second World War, the impact of Guernica had paled in comparison with the wholesale carpet bombing of German cities, carried out by the RAF under the command of - yes - Arthur Bomber Harris.
THE END OF INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
The RAF dropped three quarters of a million incendiary bombs on Dresden, creating an artificial tornado which sucked people into its heart. It was a city without capital industry or strategic infrastructure,sustained in peacetime by its theatres, museums, cultural institutions.
The ruins of Dresden, bombed by Allied forces in February 1945
Reputed to like destruction for its own sake Bomber Harris was the only man who ever frightened Winston Churchill.
On March 9, shortly after the bombing of Dresden, 325 US planes dropped napalm over seventeen square miles of Tokyo, burning alive 100,000 civilians. Hit by strings of incendiaries, the city became a holocaust. Temperatures reached over 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. Water boiled in the canals.
Over the next five months, 66 cities Japanese cities were annihilated, along with about a million residents
"There are no innocent civilians, Major General Curtis LeMay told Time,
"so it doesn't bother me to be killing innocent bystanders
On August 6, 1945, when US President Harry Truman announced that an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese Army base, he was aware the target was a city of 400,000 inhabitants. He said the US wanted to avoid as much as possible the killing of civilians, yet the bomb was detonated 600 meters above the Shima hospital in the center of the city during morning rush hour.
Between 80,000 and 100,000 people were instantly incinerated.
Three days later, Nagasaki was hit, bringing the total death toll to 200,000.
Around the same number died slow, agonising deaths.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur declared southern Japan off-limits to the media, but a month later, Australian free-lancer Wilfred Burchett defied the banand made his way to the charred remains of Hiroshima, where he found people still dying, mysteriously and horribly
"Hiroshima does not look like a bombed city. It looks as if a monster steamroller has passed over it and squashed it out of existence. I write these facts as dispassionately as I can in the hope that they will act as
a warning to the world."
Published in the London Daily Express, it caused a sensation and enraged the top brass. A front-page story appeared in the New York Times disputing the notion that radiation was deadly. Its reporter, William L. Laurence, worked for the military. He wrote speeches for Truman and was a guest on the flight that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki. Laurence dismissed Burchett's prose as Japanese propaganda and was rewarded with a Pulitzer prize.
Wilfred Burchett & his front page scoop
Meanwhile, General Grove assured Congress that nuclear radiation caused
no undue suffering - in fact, they say it is a very pleasant way to die.
Most Westerners still believe that dropping the bomb was strategically justified, despite evidence to the contrary. This is the US Strategic Bombing Survey's official report on the result of the air war against Japan, July /46:
Japan would have surrendered even if Atomic bombs had not been dropped
[nor] did they persuade Japan to accept unconditional surrender -
According to a 2005 report in the New Scientist, President Truman agreed at a meeting three days prior to dropping the bomb, that Japan was "looking for peace". He was told by army generals, Douglas Macarthur and Dwight Eisenhower, and his naval chief of staff, William Leahy,
that there was no military need to unleash Little Boy.
The real motive was to impress the Soviet Union.
In 1963 President Eisenhower re-iterated his view to Time:
First, the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing. Second, I hated to see our country be the first to use such a weapon.
After Little Boy, everything changed. Instead of relying on pitched battles, a key object of war became the extermination civilians.
HAVE WE GOT A KOREA FOR YOU
In the Korean war (1950-53), President Truman, authorized General Curtis LeMay to unleash his 1,000 bomber crews on the hapless inhabitants of the North: to burn cities, wreck agricultural dams, destroy rice paddies and eliminate entire peasant villages.
South Koreans were also attacked.
In July 1950, US troops massacred hundreds of defenseless and pleading women, children and men at Nogun-ri, a hamlet 150 miles south of Seoul.
A Fifth Air Force memo of the same year states: The army has requested that we strafe all civilian refugee parties.
To date, we have complied with the army request."
The Nogun-ri massacre did not come to light until 50 years later.
2.5 million of the five million killed during the Korean war were civilians.
Another 160 massacres have since been documented.
Korea has been called Washington's Guernica.
Picasso: Massacre in Korea 1951
In December 1950, the US dropped 700 (500-lb) bombs, napalm, and 175 tons of delayed-fuse demolition ordnance on Pyongyang. In January 1951 General Ridgeway ordered the Air Force to burn Pyongyang to the
ground with incendiaries.
Which is probably why Kim Jong-il yearns for The Bomb.
Having sent 17,000 troops to Korea, Australia was rewarded with the ANZUS Treaty, binding it to Washington.
THE VIETNAM WAR
Between March 1965 and November 1968, Operation Rolling Thunder deluged North Vietnam with a million tons of missiles, rockets and bombs, dropping eight hundred tons each day.
Other pacification techniques included
(The 1967-70 Phoenix Program assassinated 60,000 to 70,000 civilians
in South Vietnam).
DESECRATION OF THE NAPALMED DEAD
Agent Orange destroyed 14 percent of South Vietnam's forests. To this day, poisons remain in the Vietnamese food chain,
causing elevated cancers and birth defects.
Adjoining countries were not spared. Henry Kissinger instructed the US Air Force to bomb anything that moved" in Cambodia.
Kissinger remains a free man.
Today the West is still in Iraq dropping bombs on civilians without regret, mostly in secret.A photo essay I published in 2005, THE HOUSE THAT BUSH BOMBED circulated widely on the web and provoked strong emotions, but little has changed. Except the surge, and the surge of the surge.
The air war remains hidden.
Embedded on the ground, mainstream media ignores the slaughter from the skies, leaving the legwork to plucky independents
Last year a total of 10,519 close air support missions took place in Iraq, during which aircraft dropped 177 bombs and fired 52 Hellfire/Maverick missiles - a censored tally.
One of numerous weapons left off the list are rockets - such as the 2.75-inch Hydra-70 - which can be outfitted with various warheads and fired from fixed-wing aircraft and most helicopters.
Even the TOTAL cannon rounds fired from AC-130 gunships - up to 1,800 rounds a minute - is also a closely guarded secret.
The number of civilians blown away exceeds by far the number of slain insurgents. In today's wars, there are no innocent bystanders.
A NUCLEAR FUTURE
In tomorrow's wars, everything and everyone will be a target.
Tactical nukes are being stockpiled at a military base near you.
The B61-11 is an earth-penetrating nuclear device, known as the bunker buster. It can penetrate and detonate below the earth's surface, creating a massive shock wave capable of destroying underground targets.
so that its radioactive fallout could drift with the wind across borders.The B61-11 was developed in secret and shielded from test treaties and congressional debate, on the grounds that it is an adaptation of pre treaty technology.
Depending on the bomb's yield, a B61-11 can produce explosions equal to 300,000 tons of TNT.
It is several times more powerful than Little Boy. The idea that it would explode underground and be harmless to those above ground is false
150 B61-11s are currently in the US arsenals, scattered among NATO aircraft carriers and on planes in some of its 700-plus bases in
130 countries worldwide.
Currently, the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran is the most likely
target for a strike.
That is, the first strike in a nuclear war.
God Bless America
ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL
EXCEPT MERCILESS SAVAGES
The 1776 Declaration of Independence accuses the
present King of Great Britain of committing repeated injuries and usurpations, in order to establish an absolute tyranny.
John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence
King George was charged with fostering a domestic insurgency comprised of the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
This is the rule of warfare that guides the Pentagon.
DEATH OF AN ETHICIST
And brings us back to Gen. David Petraeus
and an officer who was sickened by what he saw in Iraq,
Colonel Ted Westhusing, who recently put a bullet in his head.
Westhusing was a leading scholar of military ethics, a West Point professor who volunteered to serve in Iraq to be better able to illuminate his students. Instead he found darkness and corruption and murder. His sentiments seems to echo those expressed by Air Commodore Lionel Charlton in Baghdad,
82 years ago.
Westhusing's suicide note included claims that the Iraqi mission was
based on "corruption, human right abuses and liars."
He urged David Petraeus, and another commanding officer to:
"Re-evaluate yourselves. You are not what you think you are and I know it."
Petraeus has added 2,200 US Army military police to the troop surge in Iraq, expanding the US capacity for detention
beyond the 17,000 already imprisoned.
A CONSERVATIVE ECONOMIST REVEALS ALL
"The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell-Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps."
Thomas Friedman, "A Manifesto for the Fast World",
New York Times Magazine, March 28, 1999
The US Government has committed more acts of airborne terror than all the other nations of Earth put together.
Such an observation isn't racist. It's history.
It's a history that threatens our future.
Published on the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War
Since April 9 /07, when this was published, US forces continue to rain bombs on civilian dwellings in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the wrath this incites from the citizens they supposedly protect. Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan and a staunch US ally, says his people can no longer tolerate such indiscriminate slaughter. Even so, the Pentagon has announced it will maintain a heightened level of U.S. troops in Afghanistan well into 2008 by sending in the 101st Airborne Division as a replacement force. This will guarantee more senseless serial killing. How come not a single politician or media organization dares to condemn these faceless Pol Pots of the sky, who get to be treated as heroes at home, rather than hauled before the International Criminal Court? Australian air crews are also involved, according to this News Release by US Central Command, which covers a startling range of terror operations over a single day in May.
For those who have lost their life, may they rest in peace.