Murderers of Civilians

1. “It was an Outrage, An Obscenity” by Robert Fisk, U.K. Independent

“Why do they hate the Iraqi people so much?” -- an Iraqi civilian

2. “U.S. Missile Kills 58 in Baghdad” by Hamza Hendawi, Associated Press Writer

Only the Americans and British, of course, have air superiority. Indeed there is no evidence a single Iraqi aircraft has taken off since the start of the invasion. So even the US and British officers back at Qatar headquarters can hardly claim the cluster bombs were dropped by Iraq.

But something terrible happened around Hillah this week, something unforgivable and something contrary to international law. One hesitates, as I say, to talk of human rights in this land of torture but if the Americans and British don't watch out, they are likely to find themselves condemned for what they have always and rightly accused Iraq of: war crimes.

3. “Wailing Children, the Wounded, and the Dead: Victims of the Day Cluster Bombs Rained on Babylon” by Robert Fisk, U.K. Independent

A Western army on a moral crusade had broken through to the heart of an Arab city for the first time since General Allenby marched into Jerusalem in 1918. But Allenby walked into Jerusalem on foot, in reverence for Christ's birthplace, and yesterday's American thrust into Baghdad had neither humility nor honour about it.

4. “It Seemed As If Baghdad Would Fall Within Hours” by Robert Fisk, U.K. Independent

Nothing Bush and Blair, their cluster-bombing boys and their media court do now will change the truth of their great crime in Iraq. It is a matter of record, understood by the majority of humanity, if not by those who claim to speak for "us". As Denis Halliday said of the Anglo-American embargo against Iraq, it will "slaughter them in the history books". It was Halliday who, as assistant secretary general of the United Nations, set up the "oil for food" programme in Iraq in 1996 and quickly realised that the UN had become an instrument of "a genocidal attack on a whole society". He resigned in protest, as did his successor, Hans von Sponeck, who described "the wanton and shaming punishment of a nation".

Take the British helicopter pilot who came to blows with an American who had almost shot him down. "Don't you know the Iraqis don't have a fucking air force?" he shouted. Did this pilot reflect on the truth he had uttered, on the whole craven enterprise against a stricken third world country and his own part in this crime? I doubt it. The British have been the most skilled at delusion and lying. By any standard, the Iraqi resistance to the high-tech Anglo-American machine was heroic. With ancient tanks and mortars, small arms and desperate ambushes, they panicked the Americans and reduced the British military class to one of its specialities - mendacious condescension.

5. “Crime Against Humanity” by John Pilger

"The lack of cooperation from the US military is a breach of the Geneva convention and its protocols, but more importantly the time now being wasted is costing children their lives" -- Save the Children Fund

6. “Charity’s Anger as U.S. Halts Aid Plane” by Jamie Wilson of The Guardian

7. “Bombs Silent, But the Children Still Suffer” by Jonathan Steele of The Guardian

I've never seen a war with so few 'returns'. The Iraqi army was like a ghost. It barely existed. Over the three weeks, I only saw the adversary fire a few short-range rockets and a few shots. I saw deserted trenches, a dead Iraqi soldier lying next to a piece of bread and some old equipment. Nothing that really made you feel that there was a real confrontation going on, nothing comparable to the massiveness of the means at the Americans' disposal.

A second vehicle drove up. The same scenario was repeated. Its passengers were killed on the spot. A grandfather was walking slowly with a cane on the sidewalk. They killed him too (SEE PHOTO IN LE MONDE). As with the old man, the Marines fired on a SUV driving along the river bank that was getting too close to them. Riddled with bullets, the vehicle rolled over. Two women and a child got out, miraculously still alive. They sought refuge in the wreckage. A few seconds later, it flew into bits as a tank lobbed a terse shot into it.

With my own eyes I saw about fifteen civilians killed in two days. I've gone through enough wars to know that it's always dirty, that civilians are always the first victims. But the way it was happening here, it was insane.

8. “Embedded Photographer: ‘I Saw Marines Kill Civilians’” by Michael Guerrin of Le Monde

9. “Collateral Damage: My Bloody 1040” by Matthew Barganier

And of All Conventions of War

“This war was imposed on us,” said Affaf al-Naimi, carrying yogurt out of a store in the wealthy neighborhood of Palestine. “Liberate us by bombs? The bombs are going to liberate us? We didn’t ask them to liberate us. We sat in our houses relaxed, we were safe, we entertained ourselves. We don’t need someone to come here to be our godfather.”

In any event, the public is intended never to know how many Iraqis are slaughtered by the US military machine. As a Financial Times article published March 19 pointed out, the American government has refused to publish an official estimate of Iraqi casualties in the first Persian Gulf War. Unofficial estimates range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands killed and hundreds of thousands more wounded.

The reduction of sections of Baghdad to smoldering rubble, on only the first day of the all-out assault, exposes the US government’s nauseating claim to be “democratizing” Iraq. Only a deranged ignoramus, impervious to world public opinion, like George W. Bush could declare against the backdrop of flames and mushroom clouds in Baghdad that “We’re making progress” toward the “liberation” of the country.

Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed Sahhaf aptly compared the Bush administration to gangsters. “You consider them superpowers. Well, this is a disgrace, a complete disgrace. They are a superpower of villains. Al Capone is the typical official of America in these days.”

1. “A Cowardly Attack” by the Editorial Board

Daisy cutters detonate above the ground, engulfing a square mile in a firestorm that sucks out all oxygen, incinerating or asphyxiating everyone in the area. One description of their impact reads: “Those not incinerated are injured by the massive blast or the vacuum. Typical injuries include concussion, blindness, rupture of the eardrums, seared airways and collapsed lungs, multiple internal hemorrhages, displaced and torn internal organs.”

Amid the shameless celebration by the US media of the American assault, it is necessary to call things by their right name. What is unfolding in Iraq is a slaughter. It is one of history¹s most unequal military conflicts. The US and British invasion forces are utilising their unchallenged control of the air and overwhelming technical supremacy to rain down death on Iraqi troops.

2. “Iraqi Troops Massacred from the Air as US Advances to Baghdad” by James Conarchy

The Treatment of POW’s and Civilians – A Photo Glimpse of Probably What Is, Just a Tip of the Iceberg – Of Course, The Smug and Arrogant Occupiers and Invaders Won’t Tell You What They Are Really Doing and Have Done, Nor Will Their Embedded Mouthpieces Called Reporters.

4. Send Anti-War E-Mail to the Troops

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