Rain of Terror: The Iraqi Air War in Context


I've got another guest-post up over at Glenn Greenwald's place; you can find it here. Below is a brief excerpt:

Monday, the Pentagon acknowledged a long-unspoken truth: that the bombardment of civilian neighborhoods in Iraq is an integral part of the vaunted "counterinsurgency" doctrine of Gen. David Petraeus. The number of airstrikes in the conquered land has risen fivefold since George W. Bush escalated the war in January...

What we are also seeing with this strategy is, to put it plainly, an attempt to terrorize a civilian population into submission. Let's strip away all the political gamesmanship and partisan point scoring that encrusts the Beltway debate -- that hideous masque of red death, where fine-dining blowhards prate and prance to the music of keening mothers and dying soldiers. Let's break down the on-message jargon and lumps of propaganda into the base elements of truth. ... George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their cohorts have made the deliberate, conscious decision to engage in state terrorism in order to advance foreign policy and energy objectives they held long before 9/11 "changed the world."

Go give it a gander, if you would.

UPDATE: The beat goes on. From AP:

A U.S. helicopter opened fire Tuesday on men seen planting roadside bombs in a Sunni stronghold north of Baghdad, then chased them into a nearby house and continued to shoot, killing 11 Iraqis, including five women and one child, the military said. Neighbors and relatives of those killed said 14 civilians were killed. They prayed and wept over the bodies, which were wrapped in colorful blankets for burial in the desert north of Samarra...

Dhurgham Hamid, a man from the area that was hit, said the dead included a man who was a supervisor at the provincial education directorate, his wife, and an accountant at the agency. "They were peaceful people who had nothing to do with the resistance or gunmen," Hamid said.

It was the third claim of civilian casualties from U.S. airstrikes in as many days, raids that have prompted complaints from both sides of the sectarian divide that too many Iraqis are losing their lives, particularly as the Americans increasingly rely on air power to attack militants.