Thursday, February 08, 2007

Air Iraq: how the Bush team plan to pulverise Iraqi cities under the rubric of the 'surge'.

I've written before about the air war on Iraq. I noted that the air war had begun secretly in 2002, (which means, since I'm on the topic, that the war on Iraq began long before the debacles at the UNSC). And I noted that it had continued on and off in secrecy since 2003, but especially intensely in 2005.

Today, Tom Englehardt and (mainly) Nick Turse are once again left to notice what most of the media will not. That is the systematic and concentrated use of American air power against densely populated civilian areas. It isn't that the instances themselves aren't reported, since at least some of them are. It is that they are tacitly understood as off the cuff moments of suppression directed against evil-doers, rare and isolated events at that. Articles by various reporters on Englehardt's site have long documented that the contrary is true. What's more the 'surge' policy (I can't escape that word, that's how good the branding exercise was), can only involve a drastic escalation of tactic. Why? Because they have nothing else to throw at it. Everyone knows a shock boost of troops will do nothing but create a few thousand more corpses, a few of them American.

Now there are some reports suggesting that there is such a plan, and that the Air Force is preparing for a "heightened role". In light of this, Nick Turse has investigated the air war, probing military sources and so on - the way reports are supposed to do - and come up with some disturbing facts. Bombs, missiles, rockets, bullets, cannon rounds - he tries to account for everything, and gets further than any NYT schmuck ever has. At the end of those weapons, Iraqi bodies piling up by the thousands, barely reported, barely visible.

The escalation in the Iraq war comes as further aggression is threatened, this time against Iran. When it comes, I am certain it will be a brief, but destructive air war. The ironies are too numerous to enumerate. One is that it is an axis of aggressive states that accuse Iran of aggressive designs. Another is that it is an axis of nuclear states that cries foul about Iran's alleged plans for nuclear weapons. A third is that states which have explicitly pursued a sectarian strategy and in broad daylight, for those not too blind to see, sent death squads roaming across iraq, are now accusing Iran of the same. And when they threaten Iran, they will cite some UN resolution as if they held these things to be holy texts. UN resolution 2625, which prohibits even the threat of aggression, will not be so highly spoken of. Finally, various throw-away stories about the human cost of the regime in Iran will be purveyed and then dropped like sizzling carrion when the bombs have done their business. They may even, while strafing the cities with tonnes of explosives, have the nerve to lob a few food parcels out of the airplanes. Didn't someone say the age of irony was over?