Nothing wins hearts and minds quite like 40,000+ lbs of death from above, made in the USA:
Many Iraqis view the attack Jan. 10 by bombers and F-16 jets on a cluster of villages in the Latifiya district south of Baghdad as overkill.
“The use of B1 bombers shows the terrible failure of the U.S. campaign in Iraq,” Iraqi Major General Muhammad al-Azzawy, a military researcher in Baghdad, told IPS. “U.S. military and political tactics failed in this area, and that is why this massacre. This kind of bombing is usually used for much bigger targets than small villages full of civilians. This was savagery.”
The attack on Juboor and neighbouring villages just south of Baghdad had begun a week earlier with heavy artillery and tank bombardment. The attack followed strong resistance from members of the mainly Sunni Muslim al-Juboor tribe against groups that residents described as sectarian death squads.
“On Jan. 10, huge aircraft started bombing the villages,” Ahmad Alwan from a village near Juboor told IPS. “We took our families and fled. We have never seen such bombardment since the 2003 American invasion. They were bombing everything and everybody.”
Residents said two B1 bombers and four F-16 fighter jets dropped at least 40,000 pounds of explosives on the villages and plantations within a span of 10 minutes.
“The al-Qaeda name is used once more to destroy another Sunni area,” Akram Naji, a lawyer in Baghdad who has relatives in Juboor told IPS. “Americans are still supporting Iranian influence in Iraq by cleansing Baghdad and surroundings of Sunnis.”
The cluster of Sunni villages was bombed just weeks after the U.S. military encouraged families to return to their village after heavy bombing earlier in which scores of people were killed. Many residents had fled fearing sectarian death squads, which they say were backed by the U.S.
Few people in the village now talk the language of reconciliation of U.S. President George W. Bush and of some Iraqis in the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad.
“We have no alternative but to fight this occupation and its allies,” a former army officer in Baghdad speaking on condition of anonymity told IPS. “We can see clearly now that Americans came with the idea that we, Sunni Arabs, are the enemies they have in mind no matter what we do to please them. We will fight for our existence, and this massacre will not go unpunished.”
Related: Tom Engelhardt has more on how Bush’s Guernica and other vicious incidents perpetuated during the savage air war being waged by US forces in Iraq have been downplayed (or, more often than not, completely overlooked) by myopic MSM coverage.