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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-15-07 07:32 AM
Original message
U.S. Secret Air War Pulverizes Afghanistan and Iraq
Edited on Sat Sep-15-07 07:33 AM by marmar
from FPIF, via AlterNet:



U.S. Secret Air War Pulverizes Afghanistan and Iraq

By Conn Hallinan, Foreign Policy in Focus. Posted September 14, 2007.


The U.S. military is increasingly relying on deadly air strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan as the ground occupations fall apart, killing untold numbers of civilians.


According to the residents of Datta Khel, a town in Pakistan's North Waziristan, three missiles streaked out of Afghanistan's Pakitka Province and slammed into a Madrassa, or Islamic school, this past June. When the smoke cleared, the Asia Times reported, 30 people were dead.

The killers were robots, General Atomics MQ-1 Predators. The AGM-114 Hellfire missiles they used in the attack were directed from a base deep in the southern Nevada desert.

It was not the first time Predators had struck. The previous year a CIA Predator took a shot at al-Qaeda's number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, but missed. The missile, however, killed 18 people. According to the Asia Times piece, at least one other suspected al-Qaeda member was assassinated by a Predator in Pakistan's northern frontier area, and in 2002 a Predator killed six "suspected al-Qaeda" members in Yemen.

These assaults are part of what may be the best kept secret of the Iraq-Afghanistan conflicts: an enormous intensification of US bombardments in these and other countries in the region, the increasing number of civilian casualties such a strategy entails, and the growing role of pilot-less killers in the conflict.

According to Associated Press, there has been a five-fold increase in the number of bombs dropped on Iraq during the first six months of 2007 over the same period in 2006. More than 30 tons of those have been cluster weapons, which take an especially heavy toll on civilians. .....(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/62511 /



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Maq Donating Member (481 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-15-07 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
1. Here is what they look like

The killers were robots, General Atomics MQ-1 Predators. The AGM-114 Hellfire missiles they used in the attack were directed from a base deep in the southern Nevada desert.

The Air Force is also deploying a bigger, faster and more muscular version of the Predator, the MQ-9 "Reaper" -- as in grim -- a robot capable of carrying four Hellfire missiles, plus two 500 lb. bombs.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-15-07 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
2. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-15-07 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Bye bye
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Maq Donating Member (481 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-15-07 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Thank you for getting that poster axed.
I didn't know how. All I remember of the poster was that he/she had posted about nine times.
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-15-07 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Alert link
It's at the lower left, at the bottom of each post. Click that, and a box pops up that lets you send the alert, plus an optional message, to the moderators.
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Maq Donating Member (481 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-15-07 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. gotcha so thats' what it does...still a newbie
.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-15-07 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. ....
:eyes:
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-15-07 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
5. As an alternative to full-scale invasions, which are demonstrably unhelpful,
attack drones make sense to me. Hell, Clinton tried to take out bin Laden with Tomahawk cruise missiles, which are a much blunter scalpel than a Hellfire missile.

If you agree with the premise that there are some potentially deadly enemies out there in the Afghan/Pakistani frontier, and further agree that it would be folly to send in a ground invasion force, there are limited options to elimintating these enemies.

If you don't agree that there are enemies who want to kill Americans in great numbers, then please move on.

The target does need to be selected based on solid, up to date intelligence. I remember in the early days of the Afghan conflict, warlords were ratting each other out to have the US vaporize their rivals.

And the Taliban does bear some culpability for the unfortunate civilian casualties by moving into villagers' homes and mosques.
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Forrest Greene Donating Member (946 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-15-07 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
6. At This Point
...we've got however many thousand troops over there, & America can barely be bothered stop shopping & watching TV. Imagine how much less we would all care if the business of our betters were conducted by robot bombs, instead.




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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-15-07 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
7. "WE'RE KICKIN' ASS!" for the companies that are making money in this invasion.
YEE HAW! It's like a big ole rodeo! Nuke 'em!

And like the post above, when wars are fought remotely, the people not being bombed won't even have to stop shopping. They won't even have to flinch.


Until, the day comes, when they drop over here. Beware, America. What goes around comes around. One way or another.
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-15-07 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. The fact that someone profits does not mean that military
action is never justified. If profit or control of resources is the *only* motive for the conflict (ie; Iraq), then I would agree with you.

But I would argue that ignoring radical Jihadis hasn't worked particularly well, and using remotes to kill them is a better choice than invading their countries or carpet bombing entire populations into the stone age.

For a very good read on the history of Islamic radicalism and the threat it poses to the West today, please see 'The Looming Tower - Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11' by Lawrence Wright.

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reprobate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-15-07 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
9. Permit me to suggest that there is still a price to pay for remote assassinations.
Edited on Sat Sep-15-07 02:37 PM by reprobate

The price is psychological. The more remote the trigger, the higher the price.

Back when war was a personal, hand to hand thing and you looked into the eyes of your enemy and watched him die, there was a recognition that your responsibility for his death was tempered by the knowledge that it was "him or me".

Today, with thousands of miles between the trigger and the corpse, that justification is far more difficult to invoke. And when the corpses are members of a wedding party, the assassin bears a far more personal burden.

Also, I don't believe that the burden is limited to only the warriors. I think our whole society will shoulder the weight of the results of what a violent society we've become.

Problem solving in America has devolved into the use of the gun.

In fact, this may just be the cause of the world's rejection of us as leaders anymore.
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-15-07 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
11. If we're using these strikes regularly, that explains why *'s casualty count
is roughly 10% of the actual number of people he's killed. I am sure these don't count at all
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