Washington Post Publishes Names and Details of 1,400 Civilians Killed in US-Led Bombings of ISIS

November 21, 2020
Posted in Blog
November 21, 2020 Editor
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Washington Post Publishes Names and Details of 1,400 Civilians Killed in US-Led Bombings of ISIS

WN: “Collateral damage” has always meant huge numbers of civilians–aged and young, noncombatants of both sexes, etc.–indiscriminately slaughtered during U.S. drone strikes and other bombings the world over.

American military historian Tami Biddle wrote that

when aerial warfare was still only imagined in the 19th century, it meant “English-speaking peoples raining incendiary bombs over the enemy to impose the customs of civilization (Tami Biddle, Rhetoric and Reality in Air Warfare: the Evolution of British and American Ideas about Strategic Bombing, 1914-1945, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002, italics added; page number lacking).”[1]

“To impose the customs of ‘civilization’ “. The white man’s (at least the West’s) noble burden indeed. In a word: bullshit!

The United States is Planet Mass Murderer Enemy Number One . . . (Not even to mention Climate Change, Nuclear weapons, CIA operations in every country on earth. etc., etc., etc.)

Obama became known as “Assassin-in-Chief” in many parts of the world due to his use of ubiquitous reach killer drones that “rained down terror and death” (not “the customs of ‘civilization’ “; drone warfare begun by George W. Bush, “perfected” under Obama and Biden, expanded by far under Trump)  on multiplied numbers of innocents each year, including (though so far not American–or not?) women and children?

excerpts:

The Washington Post on Wednesday published an extraordinary interactive report that names hundreds of civilians killed by coalition airstrikes during the U.S.-led war against the so-called Islamic State.

The report, which contains harrowing survivor testimonies, draws upon data from the U.S. military and the U.K.-based journalistic monitor group Airwars to name each victim, as well as when and where they were killed. The paper mentions “thousands” of civilian casualties since President Barack Obama launched the war against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria in 2014, but focuses only on the approximately 1,400 deaths acknowledged by both the Pentagon and Airwars.

Instead, the paper focuses on notoriously conservative Pentagon casualty figures, as well as Airwars incident reports that have been rated “confirmed” by the group. Airwars’ methodology ranks casualty reports in six levels of certainty: “confirmed,” “fair,” “weak,” “contested,” “discounted,” and “no civilian harm reported.” The problem with the “confirmed” category is that U.S. military officials often fail to investigate or acknowledge (pdf) deaths and injuries caused by coalition airstrikes. Many of the casualty incidents reported by local and international media fall into Airwars’ “fair” category.

In a nation whose military claims it doesn’t “do body counts” and whose corproate media more often than not ignore or bury reports of civilian casualties, it is difficult if not impossible to say exactly how many innocent people are killed during its wars. In February 2019, the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights said around 11,800 Iraqi and Syrian civilians, including some 2,300 children, were killed in U.S.-led bombing. These numbers closely mirror Airwars’ figures.

This, on top of the at least hundreds of thousands—and possibly as many as two million (pdf)—men, women, and children killed in at least seven nations since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. And since waging the world’s only nuclear war in 1945, the U.S. military has killed more foreign civilians than any other armed force on the planet—by far.

Airwars’ own reporting paints a very different casualty picture from the Post’s. In August 2015 the group published Cause for Concern (pdf), which counted between 459 and 1,086 Iraqi and Syrian civilians killed by coalition airstrikes in just the first 11 months of the anti-ISIS campaign. By the end of the Obama administration, the group reported (pdf) “at least 1,500 non-combatants” killed in Syria and Iraq.

Then came President Donald Trump, who infamously promised to “bomb the shit out of” ISIS militants and “take out their families.” Trump loosened rules of engagement meant to protect civilians, with former Defense Secretary James Mattis—who earned his “Mad Dog” moniker during the atrocity-laden First Battle of Fallujah in 2004—declaring in May 2017 that the U.S. was shifting from a policy of “attrition” to one of “annihilation” in the war against ISIS.

By the end of May 2019, Airwars reported (pdf) “at least 7,978 non-combatants likely died as a result of U.S.-led actions—that is, predominantly but not solely airstrikes.” By that time ISIS had been all but vanquished in both Iraq and Syria, but Airwars reports of U.S.-led airstrikes—and civilian casualties—continue to this day.

In a nation whose military claims it doesn’t “do body counts” and whose corproate media more often than not ignore or bury reports of civilian casualties, it is difficult if not impossible to say exactly how many innocent people are killed during its wars. In February 2019, the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights said around 11,800 Iraqi and Syrian civilians, including some 2,300 children, were killed in U.S.-led bombing. These numbers closely mirror Airwars’ figures.

Please click on: U.S. Planet Mass Murder Number One

  1. [1]In Luke 9:55, Jesus’ disciples wanted to rain fire down upon a Samaritan village, and Jesus “rebuked them”.  So ever is the Way of Jesus.  Willard Swartley comments:

    “Rather than eradicating the enemy, as was the goal of Joshua’s conquest narrative in the earlier story – in a similar location [Samaria] – the new strategy eradicates the enmity…  Instead of killing people to get rid of idolatry, the attack through the gospel is upon Satan directly (Luke 10).  Instead of razing high places, Satan is toppled from his throne! [Note 48 reads: “Hence the root of idolatry is plucked from its source…] (Covenant of Peace: The Missing Peace in New Testament Theology and Ethics, Swartley, 2006, p. 144)”

Editor

Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.

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Kairos means a highly significant historical moment. We are in one this year (2020), given:

— a worldwide pandemic

— worldwide anti-racism protests

— an attempted coup by U.S. President Trump–that affects the entire world.

The very busy kairos post you may wish to click on is:

Cornel West Says ‘Neo-Fascist Gangster’ Trump and Neoliberal Democrats Expose America as ‘Failed Social Experiment’

Thanks for clicking on the post. I encourage you to leave a comment at bottom of this or any post, and of most pages. See Sitemap for a full list by titles and dates, under “HOME“; or see  BLOG for thumbnails you may view from current to previous; or check ARCHIVES below each post for groupings by year and month. You may also see Related Posts below each post. There as well, you may choose to rate posts/most pages. At bottom of each page is also a “SEARCH” box. My commitment is to respond if comment is approved. I can learn something for sure! Hopefully you may too…

Thanks, 

Wayne Northey

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