Observations on the world today.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Maybe Bush Wants to Lose 

t r u t h o u t - Missile Strike By U.S. Kills 22 Civilians in Iraq
US air forces fired two missiles into a residential area of the troubled Iraqi city of Fallujah yesterday, killing 22 people and sparking a bitter row just 10 days before the country is supposed to come under Iraqi control.

Angry local people said at least five children and three women were among the dead, and that the Americans had sought to maximise casualties by firing a second missile at people trying to rescue victims. According to a US military spokesman in Baghdad, the target was a known hideout of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an al-Qa'ida-linked militant who is the Americans' most wanted man in Iraq.

The dispute highlighted the problems likely to be thrown up by what the occupation authorities call the transfer of power to a sovereign Iraqi government on 30 June. The interim government expects to be consulted on major military operations, but it is uncertain whether US officers would clear air strikes with Iraqi ministers. If they gave the go-ahead and there were serious civilian casualties, then many Iraqis would see their government as a US puppet.
Who's idea was this? How did this seem like a good idea by any standard? Even assuming that nobody was killed who wasn't an insurgent or an al Qaeda operative, what value was there in firing missiles into a house? Wouldn't arrests and honoring the cease fire in Fallujah have been a better plan?


And the next time somebody complains that we are only being shown the bad news from Iraq, I'm going to direct them to this paragraph:
The impact of these events on US public opinion remains to be seen. Media coverage of the Fallujah raid was relatively muted yesterday, in part because the US military refused to comment or give details of what happened and in part because the news was dominated by the beheading of the kidnapped military contractor Paul Johnson in Saudi Arabia.
Liberal media my ass.


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