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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:38 PM
Original message
We bombed Najaf in 1999, killing civilians....reported by AP.
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 11:14 PM by madfloridian
There is more at this forum from CASI (Committee Against Sanctions on Iraq). I knew we were doing bombing runs in the no-fly zone, but wasn't Najaf outside of that zone.

We have been lied to by our leaders so long, that we simply don't realize what outrages we have been doing. This was reported by the Associated Press in 1999, and there is more at the link.

Iraq Says U.S. Warplanes Killed 14
By Leon Barkho, Associated Press Writer, Monday, July 19, 1999; 2:17 a.m.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq says U.S. airstrikes have killed 14 civilians and
wounded 17 others, the highest death toll the nation has reported since it
started challenging planes maintaining no-fly zones.
The planes entered Iraq from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and ``attacked our
civilian installations'' on Sunday in southern Iraq,
the military said in a
statement carried by the official Iraqi News Agency. The U.S. forces'
Central Command in Florida said earlier its warplanes had attacked two
military sites in southern Iraq after Iraqi anti-aircraft guns fired at
aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone. However, U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Ernest
Duplessis, a Central Command spokesman, said he could not confirm any
casualties. ``Battle damage assessment is ongoing. I can't substantiate what
they said,'' Duplessis said.

Iraq said the ``enemy planes'' caused destruction at the sites hit, but did
not say the nature of the targets or their locations. Central Command said
the U.S. planes struck a missile battery near Abu Sukhayr, 200 miles south
of Baghdad, and a military communications site near Al Khidr, 150 miles
southeast of the Iraqi capital. The command said the U.S. planes used
``precision guided munitions'' to hit the targets. The U.S. statement did
not identify the nationality of the planes the Iraqi guns had fired at
earlier. U.S. and British planes patrol the no-fly zones, set up after the
1991 Persian Gulf War to protect Kurdish rebels in the north and Shiite
Muslims in the south. Iraq does not recognize the zones and has been
challenging the patrol planes since December.

In the previous heaviest toll, according to Iraq, allied warplanes killed 11
people, mostly women and children, in a missile strike Jan. 25 on the
low-income neighborhood of Jamhouriya in the southern city of Basra.

Also Sunday, international experts began the process of destroying poisonous
chemicals in a U.N. laboratory after four days of negotiations with the
Iraqi government.
The five experts finally yielded to an Iraqi demand that
the destruction be witnessed by French, Russian and Chinese diplomats and
the U.N. envoy in Baghdad, Prakash Shah. The chemicals and samples of
biological warfare were left in the laboratory in Baghdad last year when
U.N. weapons inspectors evacuated Iraq on the eve of U.S. and British
airstrikes. The U.N. inspectors had been sent to verify that Iraq had
eliminated its weapons of mass destruction. After the airstrikes began, Iraq
said it would never allow them to return.

But the inspectors did return. They were there when Bush ordered them out so he could begin the war on a country that never hurt us. And he even admitted on TV today that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

If it was covered by the AP, why didn't more of our congress know about it? Why didn't our Democrats like Bill Clinton who was president then speak up and say hey we have been bombing the hell out of them for years. Why didn't they say something instead of letting this administration use shock and awe and destroy the entire infrastructure. Why? Maybe because they thought it was ok. Maybe.

Why didn't our side speak up about the destruction of those chemical weapons? They had to know. But they let us think Iraq still had them.


On Edit: I guess everyone knew except me. I have since learned it here at DU, but I never realized how wide-spread our bombing was in the 90s. I guess I am too soft-hearted. And we had a Democratic president then, who never said so when the vote came up to give Bush powers to use the military. I am sure our congress was NOT that clueless. They had to know he was contained. So they wanted us to spread democracy, just like Bush did.
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Skip Intro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. Its this kind of thing that makes me wonder
if there really is a difference in parties, or if it is only a ruse to occupy those paying attention while a bigger, hidden agenda, is being carried out.

If that possiblity turns out to be reality, then what is the larger agenda, and who is calling the shots?

Of course, I don't mean to say there is no hope in the Democratic Party. I think hope is alive and well in the party, and I think we are seeing signs that the Demcoratic party is nearing a rebirth as a true party of the people. That is the hope, anyway.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. There is good change going on...honest real change.
But look at the deaths and destruction in between. Clinton was president, Bill Cohen was quoted on this page...they knew we were keeping Saddam in total control. They said nothing.

When Dean said Saddam was a "pathetic old man" whom we had been bombing for years and had under control...they tore him apart. He was totally right.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:49 PM
Response to Original message
2. UN was destroying weapons by then also...also was in the news.
We were kept woefully ignorant by our media here, but mostly by those in our own party who knew about it.

U.N.'s deal to clean toxins from Iraqi lab sparks concern
July 16, 1999, Web posted at: 10:16 p.m. EDT (0216 GMT)

BAGHDAD, Iraq <iraq.baghdad.lg.jpg> (CNN) -- Britain on Friday asked U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan to explain why he allowed Russian, Chinese and
French diplomats to accompany a technical team sent to Iraq to remove
chemicals from a U.N. laboratory in Baghdad. Some U.N. officials and Western
diplomats believe Annan may have set a dangerous precedent by allowing Iraq
to essentially dictate the team's composition and the terms of its mission.
Meanwhile, team participants in Baghdad said they were still waiting for
direction from the diplomatic escorts before removing the toxins from the
laboratory. "We have had discussions with the observers, and the procedures
have been outlined to them," said Prakash Shah, a U.N. special envoy. "The
observers naturally wish to consult their capitals, and they have asked us
to await the reply from the capitals." In the meantime, he said the experts
-- from South Africa, Germany, China and Russia -- were working on technical
matters related to the clean-up.

The team arrived in the Iraqi capital on Wednesday to remove and destroy
samples of chemical and biological agents left behind when U.N. weapons
inspectors pulled out of Iraq last December ahead of U.S. and British
Iraq's U.N. ambassador, Saeed Hasan, said Iraq made it clear to
the U.N. that officials involved in the weapons inspection program would not
be allowed to participate in the clean-up -- and that the experts must be
accompanied by diplomats representing permanent members of the Security
Council. The team consists of four chemical experts from the Organization
for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, as well as an independent expert in
biological agents. On Friday, a British U.N. representative, David Richmond,
asked Annan's office for a full briefing on the situation, claiming that the
council had never been told what diplomats would be accompanying the
mission. However, U.N. spokesman Manoel de Almeida insisted that Annan
decided on the team's mission and composition "in full consultation with
(weapons inspectors) and the Security Council."

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
4. NPR covered it in Cohen quoted. People had to know...
we were containing him. It was no secret at all.

"ZACHARY FINK: It's a familiar sound to Iraqis living in the Southern and Northern no-fly zones -- air raid sirens warn of approaching U.S. or European warplanes. Often, the planes on routine patrol drop bombs, and strike what the Defense Department says are military targets. Such raids have intensified since Operation Desert Fox last December. According to military officials, there have been 49 strikes in the Southern no-fly zone since the first of the year, and 72 incidents in the North over the same period. Each strike consists of multiple targets. U.S., British, and until last year French, warplanes have been flying over Iraq since the end of the Gulf War in 1991."

Other cities being bombed in the 90s, that no one really mentioned when they let Bush get away with telling us Iraq was such a threat. From the same link:

ZACHARY FINK: Najaf is not the only city that has been bombed. Our delegation also visited the neighborhood of Jamarya, in the southern port city of Basra. Jamarya was hit by U.S. cruise missiles last January. Sadiq Akbar lives in Jamarya with his children and grandchildren. Akbar once worked as an engineer, but now he's retired. His brother lives in the United States working as a taxi driver in Philadelphia. Akbar said he was fishing with some friends the day he heard the missile strike. He immediately rushed to the scene.

SADIQ AKBAR, Retired Engineer: I saw ambulances; I saw fire trucks and many people running here and there. What I saw, like hell. It was a mess - small children - women - men - people wounded in the street. I saw a child that - not more than three or two and a half years - near torn to pieces. The house with two families inside was completely crushed on them. People were doing their best to bring out the - rescue the people who were buried under the debris. I began to cry and what can I do?

ZACHARY FINK: Akbar said his home was far enough away from the explosion to avoid any major damage. But his walls still show cracks from the impact.

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Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
5. K & R
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
6. "No Fly Zones Over Iraq"

No-Fly Zones Over Iraq: Washington's Undeclared War on "Saddam's Victims"

by Jeremy Scahill

December 10, 2002


The scene would be familiar to any American frequent flyer. The hum of the aircraft could be the morning
Delta shuttle from Reagan National to JFK; the smell of mediocre snacks, housed in compact metal containers,
fills the cabin; elevator music playing as flight attendants welcome passengers and help them to their
seats. Businessmen in suits read the morning paper or shuffle through documents in briefcases.

But this aircraft is a long way from Washington.



Away from the upbeat defiance of the Iraqi Airways crews, once again flying across their country, on the ground in cities like Basra lays the harsh reality. With no declaration of war, American and British warplanes bomb Iraq an average of 3-4 times a week. Baghdad says over the last decade more than 1,400 civilians have been killed in the US and British attacks in the no fly zones. While this cannot be independently verified, UN statistics say that more than 300 civilians have been killed in the raids since December 1998.

"If you want to be very cynical then you say what has in fact resulted from these zones is death and destruction," says Hans von Sponeck, the coordinator of the UN Humanitarian Program in Iraq from 1998-2000. "On average, during the time I was in Iraq, there were bombing incidents every 3 days. The casualties were in the very areas that they allegedly established to protect people. How, at a 10,000-meter height, can you protect a Shi'ite population? That is a fantasy.
The cruel reality is that people are dying as a result of these no-fly zones." In 1999, von Sponeck began compiling what he called "Air Strike Reports" on the US and British attacks. He submitted these every three months to the Security Council and Secretary General Kofi Annan. He says that in 1999 alone, there were 132 bombings that caused civilian "casualties."

"The number of people killed were 120, the number of people hurt, 442," von Sponeck said.
"That's only in the year 1999."

"I was very severely reprimanded particularly by the British authorities for having 'strayed off' my mandate,"
he says. "The reports showed destruction of civilian property in areas where there shouldn't have been
a foreign air zone established in the first place."

These zones cover a sprawling chunk of Iraqi territory (more than 60% of Iraq), from the 36th parallel north and from the 33rd parallel south (in 1996 the southern zone was expanded from the 32nd parallel). Since 1991, the US has averaged more than 34, 000 military sorties per year over Iraq, according to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The no-fly zone bombings represent the longest continuing US bombing campaign since the Vietnam War.

The Pentagon estimates that it carries out an average of 12 "missions" a month in Iraq
(other figures put the number higher) at a cost of $750,000 per mission.
In 2000, the official annual US bill for the southern "zone" alone was estimated at $1.4 billion.

Since the current Bush administration took power in Washington, there has been a significant increase
in the frequency and intensity of the bombings, particularly in the south of the country.
Over the past year, the Bush administration has used the zones to preemptively degrade Iraq's already limited ability to defend against a large-scale US attack, while not citing a single incident of attempted repression of Shi'ite or Kurdish populations as justification.

More at Link....

Jeremy Scahill is an independent journalist.
He reports for the nationally-syndicated radio programs Democracy Now! and Free Speech Radio News.
He reports frequently from Iraq, where he and independent filmmaker Jacquie Soohen coordinate, the only website providing independent reporting from Iraq.
He can be reached at .

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. "more than 300 civilians killed in the raids since December 1998"
I would call that a war already, yet our congress just went along with when Bush called Saddam an immediate threat.

I just feel sick right now. I knew we had been bombing them, but I just realized that it was conveniently forgotten in the rush to give Bush war powers.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
7. 1999 A visit to a bombed city. From The Progressive magazine.
I am so angry. In 1999 I may not have been paying attention, but our congress should damn well have been. They knew Clinton was keeping Saddam in check. And Howard Dean got blasted when he said this on MTP in 04. Shame on them. He was attacked for days by fellow Democrats.

"MR. RUSSERT: Dr. Rice said that Saddam Hussein was the most dangerous regime in the world.

DR. DEAN: That was ridiculous. This is a pathetic old man who we'd been containing for 12 years by overflights. We had sanctions on him that were paralyzing him. It turned out that there were no weapons of mass destruction, as the administration--although the administration said otherwise. It turned out that there was no relationship between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda or the killing of the 3,000 Americans at the World Trade Center, even though the administration tried to lead us in an opposite direction. The administration simply did not tell the truth about Iraq. The debate is not about whether we should fight terrorism. I supported the war in Afghanistan because I think we did the right thing in Afghanistan, although I think the conduct of the war is not being very well-managed, after the fact. But fighting Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism." /

And now Zachary Fink's article about visiting Najaf after the major bombing by Clinton in 1999. And ANYONE connected with the administration in 1999 knew. We were punked by our own Democrats, I fear.

"What the U.S. War in Iraq Looks Like Up Close

In July, I traveled to Iraq with members of Voices in The Wilderness, a nonprofit anti-war group. The group has been to the country twenty-five times since 1996 to deliver food and medicine to the Iraqi people, though this was my first time. Whenever Voices in The Wilderness goes to Iraq, it is openly violating U.S. law, which prohibits unauthorized transactions in Iraq. I was part of an eight-person delegation. I carried a small digital camera but did not identify myself as a journalist to the Iraqi government.

While we were there, several towns in the southern part of the country were attacked by U.S. warplanes. According to the Pentagon, U.S. and British warplanes have struck Iraq more than 130 times since the first of the year. In each strike, many bombs are dropped.

"The people in the village were poor. Many wore ragged clothes. When we left our air-conditioned van and walked out into the oppressive heat, villagers swarmed around us. They tugged on our sleeves and spoke frantically in Arabic. They pointed to the crater, then pointed to the sky. They tried to pull us toward some of the houses away from the road, but our group leader told us to proceed with caution. People formed tight circles around me as I took pictures with my camera. Witnesses showed us marks on a garage wall where bomb fragments had landed. Pieces of shrapnel with razor-sharp edges were strewn about the ground. Our guide from the humanitarian organization Red Crescent was eager to move on."

"In the next room, we saw a six-year-old boy with his right arm missing. According to doctors, his arm had to be amputated because his tissue was severely burned. The boy did not move his body while we were in the room. His eyes darted past us, but he did not speak. He had a bewildered look on his face. A fly landed on his lip, and he made no attempt to shoo it away. The boy's mother sat at the end of the bed. She also said nothing, staring blankly at us as I took more pictures."

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 01:26 AM
Response to Original message
9. We were bombing Baghdad also in 1998. How could congress not know?

"As evening fell December 19, 1998, Baghdad's residents wondered if the bombardment that continued for three previous days would finally end A few hours earlier, I and three other Voices in the Wilderness members had arrived in Baghdad accompanied by our driver, Sattar. The US and UK assault against Iraq bewildered and angered many Jordanians and Iraqis whom we met en route. "Who defies the United Nations?" asked Abdullah, a hotel desk clerk in Jordan.

"Did you see?! Your country!" Abdullah's eyes were flashing as he snapped his fingers. "The Security Council still meeting and your country - it does not even wait, but just starts to bomb. " Driving into Iraq, we entered a nation the US called a "rogue state, " but, in the eyes of many whom we encountered, we hailed from the "rogue superpower."

"Did you see?! Your country!" Abdullah's eyes were flashing as he snapped his fingers. "The Security Council still meeting and your country - it does not even wait, but just starts to bomb. " Driving into Iraq, we entered a nation the US called a "rogue state, " but, in the eyes of many whom we encountered, we hailed from the "rogue superpower."

Sattar told us that the intense bombardments terrified people. "All the walls, they shake, " he said. "And the children scream and cry. But what can you do? In Baghdad, even a maternity hospital was badly damaged No place is safe."

Our guys had to know, and they let the public rally and make phone calls...and they ignored us all. I feel sick.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. From Salon 1998, more about bombing Baghdad.
The Republicans were so irate while Clinton was doing this. Then they conveniently blame him for everything. How in the world did we let them get away with all this....and then watch our congress support Bush's war? Baghdad does not look like it was in the no-fly zone then.

How did things get so twisted that our Democratic party did not even know that Iraq was under control and were willing to grant Bush such powers?

"On Wednesday, Americans awoke to morning newspapers awash in impeachment headlines. By afternoon they were watching the darkened skies of Baghdad illuminated by the orange glow of U.S. bombs. As the bombs were landing, the House decided to delay Thursday's vote on the president's future -- although Republicans left open the possibility that they might vote as early as Friday.

In a speech to the nation, President Clinton defended his attack on Iraq, saying a "strong, sustained series of airstrikes" against Iraq was necessary to punish Saddam Hussein for his refusal to comply with U.N. weapons inspectors. Only minutes into "Operation Desert Fox," Republicans were crying "Wag the Dog." Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., joined other leading Republicans in claiming he could not support the attack because he couldn't be sure it wasn't politically motivated, although Lott had been briefed three weeks ago about the possibility of an attack if Saddam defied the United Nations."

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