Saturday, June 28, 2014

Armed U.S. Drones Over Baghdad Precursor to More Atrocities Against Iraqis

It has just been revealed by the Pentagon via the U.S. “news” media that armed (killer) drones have been flying over Baghdad as of several days ago “to protect Americans.” To one who remembers the history of the U.S. “intervention” in Iraq, that is chilling. In the name of preventing U.S. casualties, a value of zero was placed on Iraqi life. Thus numerous civilians were butchered, including at “checkpoints” where their cars would be shot up, killing and maiming the drivers and passengers on the chance that they might be suicide bombers. The U.S. military’s “rules of engagement” were designed to minimize risk of U.S. casualties which meant maximizing Iraqi civilian ones. [1]

And the New York Times let slip in the last paragraph of an editorial, inside parentheses, that on top of the 300 American “advisers” Obama sent into Iraq, (who will be calling in airstrikes, among other duties, and directing Maliki’s troops on who to kill) the U.S. emperor is also sending what the Times misleadingly calls “private security guards” to bodyguard the “advisers.” [2]

Well, these no doubt aren’t the guys hired to stand at the doors in mall stores to deter shoplifters. These are those “private security contractors” that the U.S. has long used as a shadow army in Iraq. Like the Blackwater Butchers of the Nisur Square massacre in Baghdad, a notorious mass murder. Accompanying State Department officials they were bodyguarding, the Blackwater Butchers apparently were impatient with a traffic jam and so opened fire in a murderous frenzy on the Iraqis helplessly trapped in their cars, killing 17, including children, and wounding others. The Iraqi traffic police on the scene had to run for their lives. The U.S. Army arrived on the scene of the massacre after the Blackwater Butchers had fled, and concluded that no one had fired on the Blackwater/State Dept. convoy.

Another example of the U.S. “warriors’” attitude towards Iraqis was revealed by the infamous video of the U.S. Army helicopter assault on the Reuters’ crew walking in the street in Baghdad, and then the firing on a civilian van whose driver stopped to help the dying men. The helicopter crew makes callous cracks about the children in the van who they wound, sneering that the driver shouldn’t have brought children into a “combat zone.” (Of course the U.S. turned every square inch of Iraq into a “combat zone.”) The only soldier ever punished for that wanton atrocity and war crime was the soldier who exposed it by sending the helicopter video to WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning, sentenced to 35 years in military prison for his awful crime of revealing the murders. [3]

The Times editorial feeds the reader this standard U.S. government guff: “Obama administration officials have said any strikes will depend on factors like support from Iraq’s political leaders and intelligence that identifies precise ISIS targets.” [Emphases added.]

Yeah, right. they’re so “precise.” Why, their bombs and missiles are downright “surgical,” they claim. So does that mean that all those civilians you blow to pieces were deliberately slaughtered, America?

We’ve had numerous examples over the past 13 years of how reliable U.S. “intelligence” is, from the bogus “intel” used as a pretext to invade Iraq, to the random civilians (some bought with bounty money from the Pakis and from Afghan marauders) murdered in U.S. captivity or sent to rot at Guantanamo Bay, to the cruise missile and drone attacks that have repeatedly slaughtered villagers and wedding parties, to the night raids like the one in Gardez, Afghanistan in which U.S. “Special Forces” (death squad) troops murdered the local police commander and two pregnant women, then blamed it on the Taliban.

In Yemen, the corrupt Yemeni rulers have bumped off political rivals, including government officials, by whispering in the U.S.’ ear that their cars were terrorist caravans. (The Wall Street Journal exposed this years ago on its front page, describing a specific example at the time the loathsome Ali Abdullah Saleh was “president.”)

Then there’s just the general bloodthirstiness of U.S. “elite” troops and “private security contractors” like the cutthroats of Blackwater. (Now called Academi, after cycling through other name changes like Xe designed to flee from its murderous reputation. Here’s a suggestion to its boss, the fanatical reactionary and ex-Navy SEAL Eric Prince, for his next corporate disguise: just call yourselves John Doe Inc.)

Since American life is precious (well, as long as they’re Americans in good standing with the Imperialist-Corporate state; the lives of people like Michael Hastings, or Rachel Corrie, or Americans foolish enough to try and sail humanitarian supplies to Palestinians imprisoned in the Gaza strip aren’t worth bupkis) and the lives of Third Worlders like Iraqis, or Vietnamese, or Salvadoreans, or Angolans, aren’t just expendable, but are treated as having negative value, like trash or a form of insect life, slaughter is deemed reasonable under the “rules of engagement” that are crafted to keep U.S. casualties to an absolute minimum.

This has a political dimension, based on the knowledge that the U.S. public doesn’t give a rats’ ass how many non-Americans the U.S. kills, it only cares about “our side” losing bodies. That’s how they keep score. As the rulers learned during the Vietnam War, American body bags = more opposition to war. (Oh, how happy everyone was when the U.S. conquered Grenada! And iraq too, until the going got rougher.) With 5,000 Americans at the world’s largest U.S. embassy in Baghdad, there will be plenty of opportunities to kill Iraqis “just to be on the safe side.”

Warning to Iraqis: Stay as far away from Americans as you can!

1] For a good overview of the toll the U.S. military took on Iraqi civilians, see “DISPATCHES: IRAQ'S SECRET WAR FILES,” on

2] “While Iraq Burns,” New York Times, 6/28/14.

3] There are many copies of the “collateral murder” video on, released by WikiLeaks in 2010, including a full length one The murders occurred in 2007. See “Original Wikileaks 'Collateral Murder' Video.” You can hear these vicious killers saying things like “C’mon, let us shoot!” to their controllers back at their base. They falsely claim to be shooting armed insurgents.

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