ANOTHER MOTHER WILL SOON HAVE HER SAY and the tale she tells of friendly fire may now meet more friendly reception than it has in the past [story] How Pat Tillman died and how it was covered up may shoot the final hole in the myth of Bush The War President Commmander in Chief. The Heretik says it should
WHO HASN'T HEARD THE TALE of the multimillion dollar contract football player Cardinal PAT TILLMAN who, who took off his pads and helmet of the football field to put on the uniform of the U.S. Army Ranger? PatTillman served with his new brothers in arms, he actually served with his own brother. Let us now remember Pat Tillman is our brother too. But having heard of his enlistment, who has heard the true story of Pat Tillman’s service and the true story of his sacrifice. Our leaders made much of his sacrifice when it served them. They discarded the truth of his death.
RECOMMENDED READING THE HERO, THE MYTHS, AND THE LIES [WaPo] Myths shaped Pat Tillman's reputation, and mystery
shrouded his death. A long-haired, fierce-hitting defensive back with
the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League, he turned away a
$3.6 million contract after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to volunteer
for the war on terrorism, ultimately giving his life in combat in
Taliban-infested southeastern Afghanistan. Millions of stunned Americans mourned his death last
April 22 and embraced his sacrifice as a rare example of courage and
national service. But the full story of how Tillman ended up on that
Afghan ridge and why he died at the hands of his own comrades has never
THE HERETIK KNOWS TRUTH is the first casualty of war and lies walk dead among us. The masters of war use lies when inconvenient truth would end slavish acceptance of a canned reality served up like a ration to sustain continued war.
FAMILY DEMANDS TRUTH [SF Gate] His killing was widely reported by the media, including conservative
commentators such as Ann Coulter, who called him “an American original —
virtuous, pure and masculine like only an American male can be.” His May 3,
2004, memorial in San Jose drew 3,500 people and was nationally televised.
Not until five weeks later, as Tillman’s battalion was returning home, did
officials inform the public and the Tillman family that he had been killed by
his fellow soldiers. [hat tip: King of Zembla]
THE HERETIK BELIEVES Pat Tillman served his administration as a shield for the breaking torture story of Abu Ghraib. So his family was tortured with the lie of his death. Tillman's death is in ways worse than Abu Ghraib because it tells us our leaders will use anything, even the most noble sacrifice, to serve its lying course of action.
COVERUP AT HIGHEST LEVELS [Blumenthal/HuffPost] “The administration clearly was
using this case for its own political reasons. This cover-up started
within minutes of Pat’s death, and it started at high levels. This is
not something that (lower-ranking) people in the field do.”
--Pat Tillman Sr.
Of all the symbols the right used to cultivate domestic support for
the Bush administration's military escapades in Iraq and Afghanistan,
that of Pat Tillman was one its most effective.
TILLMAN AND KERRY [Lawyers, Guns, and Money] Luckily for the right, Pat Tillman died in Afghanistan. Had he lived,
they would have had to come up with a smear campaign against him, too.
NO STORY HERE, MOVE ALONG? [Tom Dispatch] Recently, Ted Rall, considering press response to a more modest
smoking-gun incident -- the covered up friendly-fire death of former
NFL star Pat Tillman in Afghanistan whose revelation was reported
rather reluctantly on the inside pages of papers -- wrote tellingly: "For journalists supposedly dedicatedto uncovering the truth and informing the public, this is exactly the
opposite of how things ought to be. Corrections and exposés should
always run bigger, longer and more often than initial, discredited stories."
THE HERETIK NOTES one reason stories like Pat Tillman's fade away is because the reporters who would tell them fade away first.
[Yelladog] It sounds to me like Tillman had ripped a page from RFK's book.
SOME SEE IT QUITE A BIT DARKER [DIGBY] ANOTHER F WORD He might have been fragged. It's
hardly better that Americans killed him by accident. But it is better.
I no longer trust what any official says about the Iraq war. There seem
to be no limits. If it's true that the military routinely forces
innocent people into stress positions so painful they pass out,
anything could be true. Even that.
ON WAR AND PEACE, MEMOS, AND PHIL OCHS When did this war in Iraq start? . Newly released STATE DEPARTMENT MEMOS reveal GEORGE BUSH wanted war even before the Downing Street Memos say he did. The memos also confirm what everyone now knows. In the rush after prejudgment, Bush never had a plan for post war Iraq. No surprise he doesn’t have one now. Where do we go from here?
I BELIEVE THE WAR IS OVER An illegal war started with lies now has its moment of truth for the government of the United States of America. Masters of realpolitik will say we must think about the consequences if we should leave. We should think more of the consequences if we should stay. The same people who say we should stay are the people who say we wouldn't be there long anyway. The masters of realpolitik would make us further slaves to their continued deception.
I BELIEVE THE WAR IS OVER Where is wisdom in the argument that only we have the wisdom to settle problems in other people’s houses? Make the connection, flypaper fools. If we don’t want Islamists or anyone else settling scores over here, we should give them less numbers of things to complain about us over there. We who are led by a drunk who presumes to know better than anyone have only shown the world our worst in Iraq. Our involvement there is soiled forever by our lies. Our unholy seed spilled on the ground has grown only weeds of wickedness and despair. Our soldiers die in the flower of their youth. Where have all our flowers gone? When will we ever learn.
I BELIEVE THE WAR IS OVER I am lighting a candle now for Cindy Sheehan as she remembers her boy Casey. I am lighting a candle for all the soldiers gone too soon and all the soldiers in Iraq too long. I honor them in life as they honored themselves in death. Soldiers fight the generals’ war. Generals take orders from their president, who presides over an order general in dismay and general in decay.
I BELIEVE THE WAR IS OVER I remember better to light the candle than to curse the darkness. In the light of that candle, in the faint glow of one candle that yet holds the memory of the fallen and the dreams that yet may live, in that great glow of one small light, I see the way out of Iraq. I see soldiers who still can hold their heads high for having done their best when war is at its worst. I see two nations grateful. America is grateful for their safe return and Iraq is grateful they are gone. So how will we find peace? I BELIEVE THE WAR IS OVER Who strikes first in war has hate in his heart. How can the battle against hate be won? I say it again. Peace is a growing thing. The seed of peace grows quick to life in the heart wherever it is planted. War cannot there abide. If war is over for you, it can be over for all who walk with open, unclenched hands. War cannot end with a slap of the back of the hand. War in the heart only ends with a helping hand. War ends when we realize the enemy is not the foe we fear. War ends when we remember the enemy is the fear and hatred in our own hearts.
I BELIEVE THE WAR IS OVER The war ends for me each morning, when the day starts new. Find the way to peace with every step you take. Your step will grow lighter and you might find yourself in the air. When you are up in that light air, you might hear the lighter notes of Phil Ochs’s heavenly voice. Remember Phil who forgot himself.
PEACE IS A BIRD ON A BREEZE floating easily over the land we love. When I look to the sky and a bird on the wing, the voice of PHIL OCHS rises in my mind as well. You see a lot of Phil Ochs quoted across the internets these days and rightly so. In his high voice (some of which he lost before we lost Phil), we hear in Phil the truth that seeps into our hearts, the truth that springs up from our souls. I believe the war is over. Let it be over for us all.
RECOMMENDED READING [AGITPROP]The war IS over. The war, as it exists today, CANNOT be won. We invaded Iraq because the Bush administration argued
that Saddam Hussein possessed biological and chemical weapons. We were
told that Saddam Hussein had a nuclear bomb and that we could not wait
for the smoking gun to come in the form of a mushroom cloud. We were
told that Saddam Hussein wished to annihilate the entire United States.
Remember the endless threats which all turned out to be lies? Don't
forget the lies that led us to where we are now. WATCH THIS AND REMEMBER.. . .
Silent soldiers on a silver screen Framed in fantasies and dragged in dream Unpaid actors of the mystery The mad director knows that freedom will not make you free And what’s this got to do with me I declare the war is over It’s over, it’s over
Drums are drizzling on a grain of sand Fading rhythms of a fading land Prove your courage in the proud parade Trust your leaders where mistakes are almost never made And they’re afraid that I’m afraid
I’m afraid the war is over It’s over, it’s over
Angry artists painting angry signs Use their vision just to blind the blind Poisoned players of a grizzly game One is guilty and the other gets the point to blame Pardon me if I refrain
I declare the war is over It’s over, it’s over
So do your duty, boys, and join with pride Serve your country in her suicide Find the flags so you can wave goodbye But just before the end even treason might be worth a try This country is to young to die
I declare the war is over It’s over, it’s over
One-legged veterans will greet the dawn And they’re whistling marches as they mow the lawn And the gargoyles only sit and grieve The gypsy fortune teller told me that we’d been deceived You only are what you believe
I believe the war is over It’s over, it’s over
"War Is Over" Phil Ochs
PHIL OCHS WAS A TORTURED SOUL Artists who feel pain in others often more pain themselves. His love was for a greater humanity beyond nation. He left this world by his own hand, as lovers often do.
THE HERETIK REMEMBERS PHIL WHO LEFT US TOO SOON, But who left us better for having shared the shining pearl near the bottom of his soul. Some must dive deep to recover what has been lost. And some do not return. This war began with no reason. Peace needs no reason to begin as well. You only are what you believe.
We already know WHO is dying in Iraq. We know WHAT sacrifices they have made. We know WHERE soldiers who sacrifice go. We don’t know WHY they are there. And no one will tell us WHEN it will end. ASKING QUESTION IS NOT UNAMERICAN. It is the American way. What question would you like an answer to today?
UNCOMMON VALOR When I Made This Poster Above That I Now See in Different Forms All Over the
Web and All Over the World Today on the Third Anniversary of the Downing Street Memo, I was thinking of the common soldier uncommon in valor in defense of all that democracy is. When I first wrote these words to be tied the to the image, nothing was more real to me. Honor our Dead. Demand the Truth.
A pithy phrasing. Nothing will honor our dead today more than the truth. Remember that. Share that. Share the sense of loss so we may again be made whole
When I made this ghostlike image representing all the brave souls we send out in battle, I hoped there was more than a ghost of a chance for our democracy. If we stay true to the truth found in the Downing Street Memos, we would speak true for all the soldiers who have died in Iraq in a war conceived in dubious plain sight. We would speak true for what happens when our leaders’ lies lead us astray. All of us must now be true. In the face of yet more infamy we must recommit to uncommon valor in defense of truth.
IN OR OUT
The Bush Administration Has Made Much of Its Resolve and Principle in
Its Ever Changing Mission in Iraq. The same people who told us it was
all about weapons of mass destruction, whose lies about the run up to
the war were revealed in the DOWNING STREET MEMOS, who said we would
stay until the job was done and not a day longer have a new problem.
Bush, the War President Commander in Chief, who says he takes commands
on troop levels from the generals he commands, has a new leaked memo to
contend with. Interestingly this one was leaked not to Michael Smith
at the LONDON TIMES, but to the SUNDAY MAIL.
To get to the point of the memo, which is now being spun as an outline
of a possibility, both the United Kingdom and the United States want to
pull troops out of Iraq in huge number by the beginning of 2006. The
boys in the Pentagon are disagreeing with the general’s in Iraq that
Bush says he listens to so much. And all of this would happen in time
for Bush to play it for politics in the 2006 mid term elections. Not
that politics has had anything to do with how this war with ever
changing reason for being was ever about politics.
IN THE SUNDAY PAPERS: [SUNDAY MAIL UK] [GUARDIAN UK] [TIMES ONLINE] Interestingly each of the British papers has a different take on the story. The Mail hardly mentions it was the recipient of a leaked document, the Times seems to be smarting that it didn't get the document first, and the Guardian sits in the middle.
SINCE THE MEANING REVEALED IN THIS STORY WILL BE SPUN, looking at the document in question would be helpful for readers to decide for themselves what it says.
We will need to reach decisions later this year on likely future UK force structure and disposition in Iraq into 2006.
This paper sets out some of the key contextual considerations; identifies areas of uncertainty; sets out what we know of US planning and possible expectations on the UK contribution; and assesses the potential impact on UK decision making.
2. Decisions on coalition, and within that, UK force levels will be governed by four factors, all of which are subject to a greater or lesser degree of uncertainty: * Internal Iraqi pressure for further force posture changes. * Successful progress in the potential process and extension/renewal of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546. (Mail on Sunday footnote 1) * The continued development of the capability of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). * The security situation.
3. None of this, however, undermines the Multinational Force Iraq (MNF-I) (Mail on Sunday footnote 2)broad security strategy of: a) Working with the Iraqis to contain and restrain the insurgency. b) Assisting and encouraging the development of Iraqi security forces and structures which can progressively assume responsibility for all aspects of security including dealing with the insurgency, and thereby: c) Enable MNF-I force reductions and eventual withdrawal.
4. US POSITION
US political military thinking is still evolving. But there is a strong US military desire for significant force reductions to bring relief to overall US commitment levels.
Emerging US plans assume that 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006, allowing a reduction in overall MNF-I from 176,000 down to 66,000.
There is, however, a debate between the Pentagon/Centcom (Mail on Sunday footnote 3) who favour a relatively bold reduction in force numbers, and MNF-I whose approach is more cautious.
The next MNF-I review of campaign progress due in late June may help clarify thinking and provide an agreed framework for the way ahead.
5. (Technical details)
6. UK POLICY CONSIDERATIONS
The current ministerially endorsed policy position is that the UK should not: a) Agree to any changes to the UK area of responsibility. b) Agree to any specific deployments outside Multinational Division South East. (Mail on Sunday footnote 4) c) Agree to any specific increases in the roughly 8,500 UK service personnel currently deployed in Iraq.
7. Looking further ahead, we have a clear UK military aspiration to hand over to Iraqi control in Al Muthanna and Maysan provinces (Mail on Sunday footnote 5) in October 2005 and in the other two Multinational Division South East provinces, Dhi Qar and Basra (Mail on Sunday footnote 6) in April 2006.
This in turn should lead to a reduction in the total level of UK commitment in Iraq to around 3,000 personnel, ie small scale, by mid 2006.
This should lead to an estimated halving in the costs which fall to the reserve, (Mail on Sunday footnote 7) around £1 billion per annum currently. Though it is not clear exactly when this reduction might manifest itself, it would not be before around the end of 2006.
8. None of this however, represents a ministerially endorsed plan. There is a good deal more military analysis to do which is under way. We will need to consider handling of other MND SE allies.
The Japanese reconstruction battalion (Mail on Sunday footnote 8)will for example be reluctant to stay in Al Muthanna if force protection is solely provided by the Iraqis. The Australian position, which is highly influenced by the Japanese presence, may also be uncertain. (Mail on Sunday footnote 9)
I will bring further and more specific proposals to DOP-I (Mail on Sunday footnote 10) for the future UK force posture in Iraq, including handover to Iraqi control and subsequent UK military drawdown.
Mail on Sunday footnotes
Footnote 1:(UN resolution authorising allied troops presence in Iraq) Footnote 2: (The Multinational Force of Allied troops in Iraq) Footnote 3: (Centcom is the US military command centre in the US) Footnote 4: (Not get involved in operations outside area around Basra under UK control) Footnote 5: (two of the four provinces around Basra in UK control) Footnote 6: (the other two UK run provinces) Footnote 7: (The UK Treasury Reserve) Footnote 8: (Japan has 550 engineers in UK area of Iraq) Footnote 9: (Australia has 1,400 troops in Iraq ,whose main job is to protect the Japanese) Footnote 10: (The Defence and Overseas Policy, Iraq sub committee of the Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister)
A WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING Shorthand Live Blog of President of the United State’s Speech on Iraq. I’m not sure he convinced anyone on this one tonight, not even himself. Has there ever been a Presidential Address in the usual Oval Office setting political PR Event in front of hand picked troops that so invigorated the nation fell so flat?
Here is the play by play: Stand in front of troops. I have a dream plan. Commander in Chief. Rah, rah. A plan, a progress. Elections. September Eleventh. The Mission. September Eleventh. Hate. Innocent. Coalition. September Eleventh. Hail to the Troops. We were attacked. September Eleventh. Fight them there. Ideology of Hate. Not here. Rah, rah, Hail to the troops. God bless America. September Eleventh.
Maybe now people will give Bush the Downing Street Memos the deserved respect.
NUMBERS DON’T LIE And the People Who Have Sworn to Uphold and Protect the Constitution of United States of America Shouldn’t Either. In the matter of the Downing Street Memo, that simple a basic premise of truth applies to General T. Michael Moseley and to the George Bush, the servant of the sovereign people of the United States of America. Tomorrow General Moseley must be asked the questions and he must answer truthfully about the spikes in bombing activity in late 2002 and late 2003. The President must answer as well. CHART CREDIT: [RAW STORY]
When the President does answer to the sovereign ruling people of the United States about these aggressive acts of war, he should remember what his title of Commander in Chief means. He commands not us, but our military. The numbers above show just how many bombs were dropped in the past, but perhaps not how many will drop when Mosely testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
SHAKESPEARE'S SISTER: HUH? Following up onyesterday’s post about the general who confirmed
in a 2003 briefing the secret air war, known as the “spikes of
activity” which preceded Congressional authorization for the Iraq War,
we come to find out, care of Spoof News editor JJ, that the same general, Gen. T. Michael Moseley, wasnominated
by Bush on May 16 as chief of staff of the Air Force to succeed Gen.
John P. Jumper who has served in the position since September 2001.
Call me crazy (I know you will), but I think Wednesday's confirmation hearingwould be the perfect place to question Gen, Moseley, who served as the
Combined Forces Air Component Commander for operations Southern Watch,
Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom, about the “spikes of activity”
that were alleged in the Downing Street Memos to have been designed to
provoke Saddam. [SHAKESPEARE'S SISTER]
FROM [EXPOSTULATION] Gen. T. Michael Moseley, the one who confirmed the secret air war on Iraq (mentioned in yesterday’s BBA PSA),
was nominated by Bush to be the Air Force Chief of Staff in May.
Tomorrow is his confirmation hearing. Moseley, who served as the
Combined Forces Air Component Commander for operations Southern Watch,
Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom; needs to answer questions about
his role in the “spikes of activity” that were allegedly designed to
provoke Saddam. Here is the listing of the Senate Armed Forces Committee members. If you click on their name, you get their contact information. Contact them and request that they bring up this issue.
CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES LATER TODAY.
RELATED LINKS: [MOSELEY AIR FORCE BIO]
November 2001 - August 2003, Commander, 9th Air Force and U.S. Central Command Air Forces, Shaw AFB, S.C.
August 2003 - present, Vice Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
THE BULLHORN When Things Look Tough for the Future, You Go Back to What Has Worked in the Past George Bush’s poll numbers on Iraq continue to sink into the dark ooze of a deep ocian and the message of the Downing Street memo is seeping into the national conscience.
For those who will not have a chance to see the President speak tonight, Scott McClellan gave the short story for what the president will say. Déjà vu all over again may hit some on the head as some recall they have seen this scene before. Tonight George Bush, the prophet of the new apocalypse, will come down again from the mountain we have so publicly seen him climb and he will give us his word of God. The new words we will hear will be mixed with some old ones. What a sorry stew it is suggested we eat: Commander in Chief, threat, strategy, Iraq, mission, nature of the enemy, ruthless, victory, mission. September Eleventh. Also: strategy for success, clear path to victory. September Eleventh.
MR. McCLELLAN: You're going to hear from the President tomorrow night. I
think we have a clear strategy for success. He's going to be talking in a
very specific way about what that strategy is. It's an opportunity for the
American people to hear about the strategy. We've all seen on the TV
screens the images of bloodshed and violence. They are disturbing. The
President is disturbed by those images. The terrorists have inflicted
great suffering. There have been tremendous sacrifices. But the cause for
which we are in Iraq is an important one, and there is great progress being
made on the ground.
The terrorists' only alternative is to spread violence and chaos and
destruction because they know that when a free Iraq takes hold, a
democratic Iraq, that it will be a major defeat for their ambitions.
You've heard terrorists talk publicly about the importance of trying to
stop the progress that is being made in Iraq.
Q Isn't the message really more patience? Isn't that really what the
President is going to be requesting, something he's --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think if you go back to September 11th -- remember,
on September 11th the threats of the 21st century were brought to our
shores. We saw in a very clear way the threats that we face on that day.
And the President said shortly after the attacks of September 11th that
this is a long struggle that we're going to be in, that this is a different
kind of war, one which we have never seen before. And we do face a
determined and ruthless enemy, an enemy that has no regard for innocent
human life. That's the nature of the enemy that we're up against. That's
the nature of the enemy that the President will be talking about in his
remarks tomorrow night. [WHITE HOUSE]
We have come so far to find ourselves in the same place. We are back in the dark times. Bush climbs up the rubble of the Trade Center, sacred holy ground and profanes it. Yet again Bush the false prophet climbs over the bodies of the dead to make his diabolical connection. We were attacked by Osama Bin Laden . . . so we must go after Saddam Hussein. And now we must stay in Iraq . . . because we are there.
OTHER PRESS BRIEFING NOTES: Someone named John has replaced Jeff Gannon for giving Scott McClellan a break and a chance to reiterate the day's message.
Go ahead, John.
Q Scott, could you talk a little bit more about the nature of the enemy? [WHITE HOUSE]
This press briefing lasted all of twentysix minutes with not one question asked about the Downing Street Memos. Still Iraq and its postwar condition deteriorate further. When the future of the war requires a return to its dubious, dark beginnings, you know the what is coming out of that bullhorn.
try not to go around saying that those who were in New York City or
Washington on 9/11 understand the attacks differently from those who
weren't. I try not to say it because it sounds snotty, and it's not
something you can prove. But I know I've said it a few times, because I
think it's true.
first time I went back to the Midwest and saw people wearing
commemorative 9/11 T-shirts--burning towers in background, weeping
American eagle in foreground--I was stunned. Just the idea of a
commemorative 9/11 T-shirt seems obscene to me. And if you don't understand that, then you don't understand 9/11 the same way I do.
can only speculate, but I do think many Americans got a big vicarious
thrill out of the attacks. It must've been great television. But even
better, it was a five-star excuse to wallow in self-righteousness and
indignation. And the villians of the drama were swarthy Islamic aliens,
which was great for xenophobes. When the towers collapsed, suddenly it
was socially acceptable to haul xenophobia out of the darkness and
place it on a pedestal. Party time! [MAHABLOG][KEITH OLBERMAN]
THE HERETIK HAS A QUESTION: How long will we waste our time against an enemy who never attacked us the way the president says? How much more time has the real enemy been given because of that? How long will we indulge our misplaced vengeance?
A NEW STRATEGY After the Downing Street Memo Reveals All That Bush Deceived the Nation on in Regard to the Planning of the War in Iraq and the Subsequent Post Major Combat Disaster, This What We Can Look for as a New Direction:
Q The question is, is there a new direction, though, or not?
MR. McCLELLAN: You're going to hear from the President tomorrow night. I think we have a clear strategy for success. He's going to be talking in a very specific way about what that strategy is. It's an opportunity for the American people to hear about the strategy. We've all seen on the TV screens the images of bloodshed and violence. They are disturbing. The President is disturbed by those images. The terrorists have inflicted great suffering. There have been tremendous sacrifices. But the cause for which we are in Iraq is an important one, and there is great progress being made on the ground.
The terrorists' only alternative is to spread violence and chaos and destruction because they know that when a free Iraq takes hold, a democratic Iraq, that it will be a major defeat for their ambitions. You've heard terrorists talk publicly about the importance of trying to stop the progress that is being made in Iraq.
Q Isn't the message really more patience? Isn't that really what the President is going to be requesting, something he's --
MR. McCLELLAN:Well, I think if you go back to September 11th -- remember, on September 11th the threats of the 21st century were brought to our shores. We saw in a very clear way the threats that we face on that day.
ANOTHER BOMB DROPSAt Tomorrow’s White House Press Happy Hour, Some Brave White House Court Stenographer Reporter Should Ask Scott McClellan What the President Has to Say About What His Generals Have to Say. A general confirms the bombing war started far earlier than the White House is willing to admit. Will a reporter have the guts to ask a question about Downing Street tomorrow and the nerve to follow up on this?
The American general who commanded allied air forces during the Iraq war appears to have admitted in a briefing to American and British officers that coalition aircraft waged a secret air war against Iraq from the middle of 2002, nine months before the invasion began.
Addressing a briefing on lessons learnt from the Iraq war Lieutenant-General Michael Moseley said that in 2002 and early 2003 allied aircraft flew 21,736 sorties, dropping more than 600 bombs on 391 “carefully selected targets” before the war officially started.
The nine months of allied raids “laid the foundations” for the allied victory, Moseley said. They ensured that allied forces did not have to start the war with a protracted bombardment of Iraqi positions. [LONDON TIMES ONLINE]
This spike in bombing activity has been previously noted in the Downing Street Memo. Here is the heart of the matter:
The focus turned to what may ultimately be the most important part of the memo: the point where Hoon said that the US had already begun “spikes of activity to put pressure on the regime”.
Ministry of Defence figures for the number of bombs dropped on southern Iraq in 2002 show that virtually none were used in March and April; but between May and August an average of 10 tons were dropped each month, with the RAF taking just as big a role in the “spikes of activity” as their US colleagues. Then in September the figure shot up again, with allied aircraft dropping 54.6 tons.
If this was a covert air war, both Bush and Blair may face searching questions. In America only Congress can declare war, and it did not give the US president permission to take military action against Iraq until October 11, 2002. Blair’s legal justification is said to come from UN Resolution 1441, which was not passed until November 8, 2002. [LONDON TIMES ONLINE]
A serious spike in bombing. Will there be a spike in questions about that tomorrow at the White House?