troops massacred from the air as US advances into Baghdad
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 history's 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.
Harlan Ullman, one of the authors of the US "shock and awe"
policy of physically and psychologically crushing any enemy of US
imperialism, gloated to the April 3 New York Post: "To appreciate
why we're making such progress, you have to understand the extraordinary
advantages our forces have over the Iraqis. It's a matter of
overwhelming might. Our air power is unstoppable. And our ground power
has massive capability to destroy the enemy with minimum losses to
US and British bombers and fighters are flying more than 1,000 sorties
over Iraq per day. The majority of air strikes over the past week have
targeted the defensive positions of Iraqi Republican Guard units south
of Baghdad. The US has kept 150 strike jets in the air continuously to
enable constant "opportunity" attacks on any attempt by Iraqi
soldiers to re-deploy, re-supply, or retreat.
As many as 12,000 precision-guided bombs have been dropped since the
invasion began, as well as thousands more "dumb" bombs. The
Iraqi units that have withstood the aerial attacks have been
subjected to massive artillery bombardments and assaults by jet
fighters, A-10 tank-buster aircraft, and Apache helicopter gunships.
The US and British military are not even giving official estimates of
the number of Iraqis killed or wounded. The New York Times reported on
April 1 that American officials say a death toll is "not a
statistic that interests them." A British air force officer told
the Times: "We don't do head counts and we certainly don't
All indications, however, are that the casualty rate among Iraqi troops
The Washington Post reported on April 2 that the 12,000-strong Medina
Republican Guard Division positioned to the southwest of Baghdad around
the town of Karbala had suffered a "relentless pounding in recent
days by Air Force planes, including B-52 bombers." The Post
commented: "Scores of blown-up Iraqi vehicles and dozens of bodies
lined the roads as the US troops passed by."
The Los Angeles Times reported that "burned and blasted wreckage of
Iraqi military vehicles littered the sides of Route 9 just east of
Karbala." The Associated Press reported on April 3 that
the road from Karbala to Baghdad was lined with "hundreds of
burning vehicles, both civilian and military" and added
"hundreds of dead Iraqis, most in uniform, lay next to the
The British Guardian reported on April 3 that the Baghdad Division of
the Republican Guard defending the town of Kut and the southeast
approaches to the capital had suffered "intense"
bombardment over the past week. This included the dropping of two
15,000-pound "daisy cutter" fuel-air bombs on their positions.
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."
US Marine commanders told the Washington Post that long before their
forces reached the lines of the Baghdad Division, 5,000 or more of the
Iraqi unit's 11,000 men had already been killed or
wounded from the air, and 75 percent of their equipment destroyed. A
Pentagon official told the Guardian: "They've been broken up and
we're taking them out one tank at a time. They're sitting ducks."
An embedded New York Times journalist with a Marine unit reported,
"The bodies of Iraqi soldiers lay about in the wake of the American
advance" and there was "a large pile of the Iraqi dead rotting
in the morning sun" to the west of the Tigris river crossings.
Reinforcements were also cut off by US air power. The New York Post
reported on April 3 that B-52s dropped six new CBU-105 cluster bombs on
April 2 on a column of Republican Guard-believed now to be from the Al
Nida Division-which was attempting to reinforce Iraqi positions. Dropped
from as high as 40,000 feet, the CBU-105 releases 10 bombs above the
battlefield, each of which fires four armour-penetrating warheads. Using
infrared targeting, the warheads lock onto any vehicles within a 30-acre
radius. According to the claims of the US Central Command, the new
hardware wiped out an Iraqi force consisting of dozens of tanks and
Despite their losses, the Iraqi military and civilians have continued to
resist the American invasion. Numerous reports testify that Iraqi
soldiers have launched heroic attacks to slow the advance of the US
tanks and armoured vehicles, often with nothing more than pick-up
trucks, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms. Survivors of Iraqi
Guard units that have been flanked or bypassed by the US columns are
attempting to retreat to Baghdad to join with defenders inside the city
Summing up the military situation, a senior American military officer
told the April 3 New York Times: "The enemy is taking what forces
he can muster and is ordering them back into the city. He is bringing in
the Republican Guard for a last stand. We have been trying to kill
anything that is moving toward the city."
The slaughter accompanying the US advance on Baghdad demonstrates again
the character of the Bush administration's war to "liberate"
Iraq. The resistance of the Iraqi people has inevitably seen the
invasion degenerate into a campaign to wipe out the vastly outgunned
Iraqi armed forces and traumatise and intimidate the population into
accepting rule from Washington. A legacy of hatred has been created that
will endure for decades to come.
With US forces encircling Baghdad from the south, west and east, the
potential is now looming for a bloodbath. Significant sections of the
Iraqi army have taken up positions in the capital for a last ditch
battle to prevent a US entry into the city. The recklessness and
desperation for victory of the Bush
administration is such it may well order a street-to-street assault-at
immense cost in both military and civilian lives."
Or slow diseases, starvation, thirst, fires, 24/7 sound blasts plus Waco
like assaults... rapes, plunder, tribal cross fights so "born
again" believers can later safely come to CONVERT them
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