Terror Against Civilians

April 7, 2003

In the first 2 weeks of its aggression against Iraq, the U.S. military dropped more than 10,000 bombs and cruise missiles on Baghdad and other Iraqi cities, including Mosul, Kalak, Kirkuk and Basra.

U.S. B-52 bombers carry JDAM bombs weighing 2,000 pounds each; these bombs destroy everything within a 120-yard radius and send metal shrapnel and other debris as widely as 1,000 yards. The U.S. has also dropped cluster bombs and at least two 4,700-pound "bunker buster" bombs on Baghdad.

U.S. bombs regularly land in residential neighborhoods, busy civilian roadways, farms, marketplaces, near hospitals and schools and other civilian areas. By April 5, news agencies estimated that as many as 1,300 Iraqi civilians were killed and more than 5,000 wounded from U.S. bombings.

For example, on March 29, a Tomahawk cruise missile struck the Al-Nasr market in a working class area of Baghdad, killing 62 civilians and wounding 49. On March 28, a missile fell on a farm southeast of Baghdad, killing 17 and wounding 10 civilians. Also on March 28, 2 U.S. missiles hit the Sha'ab highway at middday killing at least 21 Iraqi civilians. Robert Fisk, a British reporter, describes the results of this bombing:

"It was an outrage, an obscenity. The severed hand on the metal door, the swamp of blood and mud across the road, the human brains inside a garage, the incinerated, skeletal remains of an Iraqi mother and her three small children in their still-smouldering car."

"Two missiles from an American jet killed them all -- by my estimate, more than 20 Iraqi civilians, torn to pieces before they could be 'liberated' by the nation that destroyed their lives. Who dares, I ask myself, to call this 'collateral damage'? Abu Taleb Street was packed with pedestrians and motorists when the American pilot approached through the dense sandstorm..."

These savage attacks on civilians are not "mistakes" but an inevitable result of the kind of war the U.S. is waging. This is an aggressive war which seeks to conquer and colonize the country and people of Iraq.

Relying on its technological superiority in the weapons of war -- probably far greater than the advantage used by the first colonizers against the indigenous peoples -- the U.S. bombings are tantamount to wholesale murder against defenseless populations. These "blitzkrieg bombings," which the Pentagon itself boasts are designed to "shock and awe," aim at terrorizing the Iraqi people and forcing them to submit to U.S. colonial rule.