Friday, May 23, 2008

As War Crimes Continue, Admiration On Capitol Hill Grows For General Petraeus... Upbeat on Destruction Of Iraqi Society And Culture

From UPI:
Analysis: Petraeus upbeat on Iraq
May 23, 2008 at 10:56 AM


WASHINGTON, May 23 (UPI) -- Gen. David Petraeus told an admiring Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday that the improving security situation in Iraq will likely allow him to recommend further U.S. troop reductions this fall, beyond the planned drawdown to about 140,000 in July.

Petraeus, currently the commander of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and now nominated by President Bush to take over as head of U.S. Central Command, appeared before the senators for a confirmation hearing. But the gathering quickly turned from his job qualifications to a progress report on Iraq.

His comments were markedly more optimistic than his last update to the committee only six weeks ago.

Petraeus reported that recent attempts by Iraqi security forces to secure parts of the nation -- including Basra, Mosul and the sprawling Shiite slum known as Sadr City in Baghdad -- with diminished U.S. military involvement have proven successful.

The general also said the U.S.-backed central government was enjoying more support among the Iraqi people,"
In Full @ UPI

Here's one of the 'Iraqi people' he obviously hasn't asked:
"Those civilians include people like Zahara Fadhil, a 10-year-old girl with a tiny frame and long brown hair. Relatives said she was wounded by a missile on April 20 at approximately 8 p.m. in Baghdad's Shiite enclave of Sadr City. The U.S. military said it fired a Hellfire missile in Zahara's neighborhood at that time, targeting men who were seen loading rockets into a sedan.

Her face drained of color and her legs scarred by shrapnel, Zahara spoke haltingly when asked what she thought of U.S. troops.

"They kill people," she said. Lying in bed, she gasped for air before continuing.

"They should leave Iraq now."

How, you ask, did THAT happen to this child?


The reason the Pentagon MIGHT be able to allow a 'drawdown' to 140,000 troops is:

In Iraq, a Surge in U.S. Airstrikes
(Washington Post)

In other words, We can't really carpet bomb Baghdad, Mosul etc like we did to VAST INHABITED AREAS of Vietnam...

We NEED the infrastructure this time...

But we can commit the high tech, tailored-for-urban-warfare equivalent of that war crime.

Military Says Attacks Save Troops' Lives, but Civilian Casualties Elicit Criticism

Footage: Hellfire Airstrikes Over Sadr City

Since clashes broke out in eastern Baghdad in late March the U.S. Army has fired more than 200 hellfire missiles in Baghdad, killing over 251 people. A pilot describes his experiences.

By Ernesto LondoƱo and Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, May 23, 2008; Page A10

CAMP TAJI, Iraq -- From an Apache helicopter, Capt. Ben Katzenberger's battlefield resembles a vast mosaic of tiny brown boxes.

"The city looks like a bucket of Legos dumped out on the ground," the 26-year-old pilot said. "It's brown Legos, no color. It's really dense and hard to pick things out because everything looks the same."

He uses a powerful lens to zoom in on tiny silhouettes, trying to identify people with "hostile intent" among hundreds of ordinary citizens in Baghdad.

In recent weeks, Katzenberger and other pilots have dramatically increased their use of helicopter-fired missiles against enemy fighters, often in densely populated areas. Since late March, the military has fired more than 200 Hellfire missiles in the capital, compared with just six missiles fired in the previous three months.

The military says the tactic has saved the lives of ground troops and prevented attacks, but the strikes have also killed and wounded civilians, provoking criticism from Iraqis...

In Full (4 Pages) @ The Washington Post

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