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).

More articles by:
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
Stephanie Van Hook
The Time for Silence is Over
Ajamu Nangwaya
Toronto’s Bathhouse Raids: Racialized, Queer Solidarity and Police Violence
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
Binoy Kampmark
Headaches of Empire: Brexit’s Effect on the United States
Dave Lindorff
Honest Election System Needed to Defeat Ruling Elite
Louisa Willcox
Delisting Grizzly Bears to Save the Endangered Species Act?
Jason Holland
The Tragedy of Nothing
Jeffrey St. Clair
Revolution Reconsidered: a Fragment (Guest Starring Bernard Sanders in the Role of Robespierre)
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail