FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Our Heroic Baby Killers

by DAVE LINDORFF

 

We know now what our “heroic” troops in Iraq have been up to-and why they are so wildly unpopular there.

Thanks to an investigation by the Iraqi Ministry of Health, we now know that the U.S. military not only kills more civilians than rebels; it also kills more civilians than the rebels do.

According to the report, which was the banner story in Friday’s Philadelphia Inquirer, but didn’t make page one of the New York Times, twice as many Iraqis, most of them civilians, are dying as a result of U.S. military operations and Iraqi police as are being killed by insurgents.

Looking at the period from last April 5 ­ September 19, the ministry identified 3487 Iraqis killed and 13,720 injured. Of the dead, 328, or nearly one in ten, were children under the age of 12.

Examining the deaths more closely for the June 10-Sept. 10 period, the ministry concluded that two thirds of the dead died at the hands of the U.S. and its “coalition allies” and one third at the hands of rebels.

The ministry notes that the total dead could be much higher, since they only reported confirmed bodies and people who were brought to hospitals. They point out that many bodies simply aren’t recovered from bomb sites, and, as well, some families bury their dead without reporting them.

Commenting on this extraordinary civilian carnage, a military spokesman, Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, said only “damage will happen” and blamed the insurgents for the high toll of children and non-combatants, saying they operate in residential areas and homes. “As long as they continue to do that, they are putting the residents at risk,” he said. “We will go after them.”

What Boylen doesn’t address is the manner in which U.S. forces “go after” the insurgents, which is with high-powered explosives-aerial bombardment with 2000-lb bombs and blasts from M-1 Abrams tanks and rockets-none of which make much distinction between enemies and civilians, soldiers and children.

The grisly and unconscionable statistics of death in Iraq make it clear that the number one danger to life and limb in Iraq today is the American military, which explains the widespread desire for the U.S. to leave the country. It also offers a grim foretaste of what is to come if, after the election, the Bush administration were to follow through with its announced plans to “retake” the roughly half of Iraq, mostly urban, that is currently in rebel hands.

To keep American casualties low, the U.S. approach in this war favors bombing and artillery fire, while the heroic army for the most part stays confined to heavily guarded bases, subject only to the occasional mortar barrage.

It’s no wonder that back in December 2003, L. Paul Bremer, then head of the provisional occupation authority, ordered a similar tallying of the dead by the Iraqi Health Ministry halted.

Iraqi’s know they are being slaughtered every day, but it wouldn’t do for Americans to know that their so-called army of liberation is killing children by the dozens every week.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

Weekend Edition
April 29-31, 2016
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
Ulrich Heyden
Crimea as a Paradise for High-Class Tourism?
Ramzy Baroud
Did the Arabs Betray Palestine? – A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society
Halyna Mokrushyna
The War on Ukrainian Scientists
Joseph Natoli
Who’s the Better Neoliberal?
Ron Jacobs
The Battle at Big Brown: Joe Allen’s The Package King
Wahid Azal
Class Struggle and Westoxication in Pahlavi Iran: a Review of the Iranian Series ‘Shahrzad’
David Crisp
After All These Years, Newspapers Still Needed
Graham Peebles
Hungry and Frightened: Famine in Ethiopia 2016
Robert Koehler
Opening the Closed Political Culture
Missy Comley Beattie
Waves of Nostalgia
Thomas Knapp
The Problem with Donald Trump’s Version of “America First”
Georgina Downs
Hillsborough and Beyond: Establishment Cover Ups, Lies & Corruption
Jeffrey St. Clair
Groove on the Tracks: the Magic Left Hand of Red Garland
Ben Debney
Kush Zombies: QELD’s Hat Tip to Old School Hip Hop
Charles R. Larson
Moby Dick on Steroids?
David Yearsley
Miles Davis: Ace of Baseness
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail