Originally published 6/1/07:
For those who think that we have been the only force protecting Iraqis and stopping Iraq from descending into a bloodbath… think again. According to data from the Johns Hopkins study last year, it is estimated that 78,000 people were killed by US military aerial bombing. The numbers of tonnage we’ve dropped on Iraq would definitely account for at least that number with 60,000 lbs of cluster bombs since the beginning of the war and 111,000 pounds of other bombs last year alone.
Read the article about our secret or largely ignored air war in Iraq and it’s terrible consequences. This is a great reason for us to get out of there pronto.
“In the opening phase of the Iraq War (March-April 2003), coalition forces dropped almost 2 million cluster submunitions, according to HRW. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request last year from the Mennonite Central Committee, which has studied the use of cluster munitions for more than thirty years, the Air Force said sixty-three CBU-87s were dropped in Iraq between May 1, 2003, and August 1, 2006 (since each CBU-87 contains 202 bomblets, that would be a total of 12,726 submunitions). The US Central Command Air Forces, or CENTAF, told me earlier this year that “there were no instances” of CBU use in Iraq in 2006, yet when I attempted to clarify the possible dating discrepancy, CENTAF refused to confirm that no CBUs were dropped between January 1 and August 1 of last year.”
Les Roberts especially laments just “how profoundly the press has failed us” when it comes to coverage of the war. “In the first couple of years of the war,” he says, “our survey data suggest that there were more deaths from bombs dropped by our planes than there were deaths from roadside explosives and car bombs [detonated by insurgents].” The only group on the ground systematically collecting violent death data at the time, the NGO Coordinating Committee for Iraq, he notes, found the same thing. “If you had been reading the U.S. papers and watching the U.S. television news at the time,” Roberts adds, “you would have gotten the impression that anti-coalition bombs were more numerous. That was not just wrong, it probably was wrong by a factor of ten!”