For those of you who aren’t following the “goings on” in Iraq, well, things have been pretty messed up. The whole “go git al Sadr” thing didn’t work out too well, as over 1,000 of the Iraqi forces just gave up that fight. The Green Zone is being pelted on a regular basis now, and each week brings more death and destruction than the prior one.

Even with this, one of the major unreported items is that there has been a tremendous increase in air strikes in Iraq over the years, and 2007 saw an increase in air strikes from four per week to around four per day.

Yet, we either hear nothing about this at all, and even less about the massive number of casualties that these attacks cause. Hell, we barely hear about the IEDs or the suicide bombings that happen in all areas of Iraq on a nearly daily basis, and those kill our troops and Iraqi forces – so why would we hear about bombings that “only” kill Iraqis – let alone innocent Iraqis, including women, children, judges, policemen and the elderly.

A must-read post at TomDispatch hits on this very issue as well, further supporting the fact that nobody making any decisions has any clue whatsoever as to what is the end game in Iraq other than more of the same crap.

While we see headlines like Fighting in Baghdad as Sadr aide killed, if you look right below the surface, you will see:

Heavy gunfire erupted at around 11:00 p.m. (10 p.m. British time) in several parts of the slum, an east Baghdad stronghold of Sadr’s followers and home to 2 million people.

A Reuters correspondent said U.S. helicopters and jets were swooping overhead and several of the aircraft fired missiles. The number of casualties was not immediately known.

Does it really matter how many casualties there are in an area where 2 million people live? Are all of these 2 million people insurgents or “Sadr aides”? Enough to justify this:

At the same time International Medical Corps is responding to frequent emergencies in the country, most recently, to people in Baghdad’s Sadr City who have been caught in fierce fighting between local militias and U.S.-supported Iraqi troops.

Since last week, International Medical Corps staff has been assisting the most vulnerable families in Sadr City. IMC is distributing one month’s worth of food to poor families – including rice, cooking oil, sugar, beans, and flour – as well as potable water and essential medical supplies. With food supplies initially located within the midst of fierce fighting around Jamila Market and access restricted for all civilian vehicles, International Medical Corps staff improvised a network of wheelbarrows to transport the goods from the stores.

In anticipation of increasing scarcity of essential supplies, International Medical Corps has strategically pre-positioned 1,500 food packages and has two additional emergency medical supply distributions planned for hospitals in Sadr City.

But we killed a whole lot of insurgents, right? Just like always….

Like This incident, reported recently in the LA Times:

Saad Mohammed was among those being buried Monday. A friend, Wisam Kadhim, said Mohammed was mortally wounded in a U.S. airstrike Sunday and had left behind a wife and two children.

“His family couldn’t make a funeral for him, so we, his friends, made a small funeral,” Kadhim said. Few people showed up, he said, because they feared being caught in crossfire.

But don’t worry about that, because:

A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, Lt. Col. Steven Stover, rejected Iraqi allegations that U.S. airstrikes and gunfire have killed mainly civilians.

“There might be some civilians that are getting caught, but for the most part, we’re killing the bad guys.

Or this incident from last month, where I can hear Bush smirking and saying, “well, let’s just say that justice was served”:

A U.S. airstrike killed five Iraqi civilians including a judge in the northern town of Tikrit on Wednesday, Iraqi police said.


Iraqi police said five civilians were killed and 10 wounded in the air strike. The dead included Munaf Mehdi, a judge in the town.

I bet he was an activist judge.

And after a while, there’s just a blending of one:

a US military air strike on insurgent targets in a southern Iraqi city killed ten civilians


A hospital source said the dead included six children under the age of 12. He put the number of wounded at 30.

Into another:

the attack killed three civilians, including a woman, and wounded six others, all from one family.

Into yet another (from today):

The US military has killed 15…Iraqis in air raids and attacks in eastern neighborhoods of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

The casualties included three policemen and three civilians that were killed in clashes in Sadr City.


While the US claims that the attacks target militiamen holed up in Sadr City and other neighborhoods of Baghdad, witnesses told Press TV that US troops have been lunching heavy attacks on the densely populated slum city and “indiscriminately killing” civilians.

The numbers obscure the lives ruined and ended – and for what reason? To kill “insurgents”? What the hell should we care if they want us out of their own country (rhetorical question)? What is the goal? What happens if we stop al Sadr’s militia? And what is it our place to be doing that anyway, especially considering BOTH Saddam and al Qaeda are Sunni, and al Sadr is Shiite?

If an airstrike ever hit somebody of real “high value”, you can bet it would be trumpeted by the war mongers and Keyboard Kommandos (hell, they do that anyway). Yet, with a fivefold increase in the tonnage of ordinance dropped from 2006 through 2007, we only are “treated” to precision attacks like this one:

“In a raid in May 2007 on Sadr City, in eastern Baghdad,” the report notes, “American forces called in an air strike on nine cars that were seen positioning themselves to ambush the American and Iraqi troops on the raid . . . and five people suspected of being ‘terrorists’ . . . were killed in the attack. But an Interior Ministry official and residents of Sadr City said the cars were parked in a line of vehicles waiting at a gas station.”

Because, you know, once those cars fill up their gas tanks, the drivers can use them as a weapon of mass destruction, so we can’t take any chances.

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