Smart Bombs or Rocks for Brains?
The US military is now dropping laser-guided chunks of concrete on Iraqi targets in order, it says, to minimize the 'collateral damage.' Of course, the same military refuses to admit responsibility for any of the civilian casualties resulting from the bombing campaign in the first place.
by Karla Solheim Nov. 5, 1999
US Operation Northern Watch, which has been bombing Iraq regularly since December, has added another weapon to its war chest: laser-guided chunks of concrete. Dubbed "concrete bombs," these babies weigh 500 to 2,000 pounds each and can take out a military target without explosives, without a rain of shrapnel -- and, theoretically, without killing as many civilians.
Whether the decision to use concrete instead of explosives is humanitarian or a public relations move intended to counter Hussein's powerful images of maimed children is debateable.
Hussein Ibish of the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee says: "I think that the use of something as strange as a concrete bomb is another indication of how odd and senseless it all is. When you have a campaign of bombing that goes on for years, for no real reason and no real goal, and you have these very weird weapons used," Ibish says, it indicates that, "you're looking at a policy that cannot be explained rationally on its face."
The rationale for bombing Iraq is certainly fuzzy. No UN resolution ever mandated the no-fly zones or gave the US the authority to patrol Iraqi airspace. In fact, says Ibish, "They're in violation of all the Gulf War resolutions, which establish the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq." Says Sarah Sloan of the International Action Center: "The no-fly zones that they're patrolling are set up unilaterally by the US and England. They're not even set up by the United Nations."
|An Iraqi boy
from a destroyed
home in Jesan
If concrete bombs are, indeed, being used with the intention of saving Iraqis' lives, then the sentiment is poorly placed, says Ibish. "If it is designed to minimize the suffering of Iraq, that's ludicrous, because there's no doubt that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died because of the sanctions, and hundreds of people have been killed from the bombings."
Copyright © 1999 Nando Media Copyright
© 1999 Associated Press
By WAIEL FALEH
BAGHDAD, Iraq November 28, 1999 - Iraqi media accused warplanes from the United States and Britain of bombing a school Sunday in northern Iraq, injuring eight people and damaging the building, surrounding homes and nearby cars.
The official Iraqi-News Agency said the Al-Zanaziq elementary school in Mosul, 250 miles north of Baghdad, was hit at 11:05 a.m., when U.S. and British warplanes carried out 18 sorties over three northern provinces.