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Coincidence? US Bombs Red Cross Again

By greenrd in Op-Ed
Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:59:11 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)

US warplanes have hit Red Cross warehouses in the Afghan capital Kabul for the second time, destroying vital stocks of food, the BBC reported.

The BBC story has now been updated. The Defense Department is saying it was another mistake. But is this really plausible? According to the US's own version of events, only a handful of civilian targets have been hit by accident, and three of them were the Red Cross (twice) and the UN landmine clearers. Both are suspicious claims - together, they are even more implausible.

"It has happened again," said Mario Musa, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). "Huge explosions took place and three of our warehouses are on fire now."... He said the bombing took place at 1130 local time on Friday (0700 GMT) in good visibility.

Deliberate or accidental?

Given that this is the second time the US has hit Red Cross warehouses in Afghanistan, and the Red Cross says (see article) that all parties in the conflict knew the locations of the buildings, and they were clearly marked on the roofs, there is arguably some prima facie grounds for suspicion.

It could be that the Taliban military vehicles allegedly parked nearby were the real target, and it was considered an acceptable risk that the Red Cross buildings might be damaged inadvertantly. For obvious reasons, if this was the real strategy, the US might not want to admit this. Nevertheless, there will be significant "collateral damage" (i.e. ordinary people dying in pain) as a result of this bombing. Can destroying a few vehicles really justify killing so many civilians by proxy? It hardly seems likely. In this case, both the US and the Taliban are guilty of war crimes. The Taliban did so in using the Red Cross as a shield; the US did so by knowingly attacking a civilian target. If there is nothing wrong with attacking a "shield", why is there something wrong with using something as a shield in the first place?

The wrongness of holding a baby up in front of your face to save yourself being shot is only derivative on the wrongness of shooting a baby. (Both are morally excrable, of course.) This is because it cannot be wrong to use something as a shield if it's not prima facie immoral to attack that thing in general.

That the Taliban are guilty of the most appalling crimes is evident to everyone. It's considerably less clear to most US citizens whether that's true of the US. In fact, that's a considerable understatement. You only have to look at the complete incomprehension when many Americans found out for the first time just how much their country was hated when watching the coverage after Sep 11. No-one can seriously argue that the US population is well-informed on world affairs, and to understand this phenomenon it's aboslutely vital to identify the role of the US mainstream media - whose most important driving customers in some ways are advertisers, parent companies and shareholders - not readers and viewers. Education and culture is important as well, but these factors all feed into each other - and the mainstream media is an extremely important factor in terms of influencing public opinion, as the Pentagon very well recognises.

But why would the US deliberately target civilians? My theory is quite simple: it establishes the sort of brutal "credibility" which Mafia bosses are famous for (while not being too overt, thus leaving room for painting the US as "humanitarian" at home); it leaves the Afghan population (military and civilians alike) weakened and makes the task of imposing a new government easier. Why would the US military choose to not pursue a more effective strategy for moral reasons? Is it really plausible that US military planners are now morally upstanding, when historically they haven't been? The US has used chemical and nuclear weapons on civilians before. Only the threat of public pressure and their own (limited) consciences can check them [disclaimer: I am not being sarcastic here, although it is plausible that some military officers have no conscience], and clearly the public isn't going to get very worked up over this one incident.

There are of course other possibilities, such as hardware malfunction or human error (as the Defense Department says "preliminary indications" suggest). The evidence we are likely to hear on this particular incident is probably never going to settle the question. Nevertheless, what matters is that it is quite possibly part of a clear pattern of US deliberate targetting of civilians and civilian facilities, directly contrary to the most basic rules of war, over the last 100 years and beyond (Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in which there was no attempt to warn civilians before nuking them; Nicaragua, especially after the World Court decision condemning the US for unlawful use of force; the Gulf War; etc.) - a pattern that is difficult to discern from just reading and watching US mainstream media, especially when quite recently liberal-leftist commentators were almost universally praising the US' "humanitarian" foreign policy, an assessment quite at variance with the vast bulk of the evidence (allowing for a few anomalies, like pressuring Indonesia to finally call off its paramilitary assault on East Timor).

This incident, like other dubious and immoral US actions before it, is being downplayed in much of the media. That is why it is important, in the interests of balance, for it to be aired in alternative mediums such as kuro5hin, with less strong ideological filters.

It is obvious - and is consistent with the historical record - that if the Taliban had been the ones attacking the Red Cross in both cases, it would be all over the media by now, and "left-liberal"[*] columnists would be foaming at the mouth at the Taliban's inhumanity of starving their own people - in stark contrast to their present and past clear pattern of apathy towards US-backed atrocities and alleged atrocities.

Indeed, this is a very interesting contrast. Imagine that the Northern Alliance had taken control of that area, and the Taliban had been the ones bombing the Red Cross in both cases - would you believe that it was an accident? I certainly wouldn't. Yet the reaction of most people - including myself at times (yes, I'm human too) - is to give the US the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps deep down this has little to do with the facts of the matter (the US's knowledge of the warehouses, and strong pressure within the administration to avoid more PR debacles), and more to do with ignorance and/or disregard of the US' past very successful policy of state terrorism - which is almost always accompanied with either almost total silence or fulsome praise by many "left-liberal"[*] commentators, in the mainstream media. Bombing with one hand, making "humanitarian" gestures with the other - this is absolutely standard, historically. US-backed terrorism in Nicaragua was praised in the media, with comments that we should weigh up the amount of blood going in against the amount of democracy coming out (completely ignoring the fact that democracy was not the US' primary goal) - and this is merely a very overt proclamation of bogus elite justifications for war, but essentially not atypical. Granted, right-wing commentators often criticise US foreign policy, of course, but sometimes for very different reasons than the radical left.

[*] Terminology note: Left-liberal = left of center but not far-left. Anarchists and revolutionary socialists are not liberals, as is sometimes incorrectly charged, they are to the left of liberals. Liberals believe in what is known as "liberal democracy"; anarchists and (some) revolutionary socialists believe in something radically different - far more pervasive democracy, devolved as much as is practical, extending throughout the workplace, schools, etc.


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Why do you think this happened?
o Some sort of accident 8%
o Deliberate US attempt to hit military targets nearby; Red Cross buildings were regarded as acceptable damage 40%
o Deliberate US attempt to target civilians by destroying food and blankets 36%
o It makes no sense to both supply aid and destroy aid, therefore it was an accident 12%
o I don't believe it - the Red Cross, CNN, and MSNBC made the story up 1%

Votes: 71
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
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o reported
o Also by greenrd

Display: Sort:
Coincidence? US Bombs Red Cross Again | 96 comments (65 topical, 31 editorial, 0 hidden)
My guess (3.87 / 8) (#7)
by maveness on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 02:33:52 PM EST

I was suspicious of the "accident" claim the first time I heard it. And I very much doubt that the US would hit such a conspicuous target TWICE by mistake.

With the eyes of the whole world on them, keeping score, matching what the US claims is its policy against what it actually does, what POSSIBLE sense would it make for the US to just blatantly destroy an international and neutral Red Cross facility? It makes no sense unless there was a good reason for it -- it's too costly in terms of public relations.

Since that's what has happened, my guess is that the Taliban were using (probably by force) the Red Cross facility to store armaments and/or personnel... and that the US couldn't come right out and SAY that, because that would have revealed that they have decent on-the-ground intelligence in Kabul.

You may also have noted that there was a "rumor" floating in the media that the Taliban were planning to poison donated food under their control (you know, the big bags of wheat with the printing "Gift of the People of the US" on them) and blame the US for it. I suppose it's also possible that the food storage was destroyed because that was happening. But that's utter speculation on my part -- although, again, it would be relying on-the-ground intelligence.

Clearly the military would rather take the public blame for a "mistake" than admit that the strikes were on purpose and for specific reasons.

This is, however, a far sight away from a clear pattern of US deliberate targetting of civilians and civilian facilities. If the US were indeed making a habit of targeting civillians in this conflict we would not even be debating the question. (No one debates whether the citizens of London or Dresden during WW2 were targeted.) This is not "total war."

Latest fortune cookie: "The current year will bring you much happiness." As if.

wouldn't justiyf (5.00 / 5) (#20)
by Delirium on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 04:31:41 PM EST

While I agree that your reasons are plausible, I think the Pentagon would avoid using them not because they don't want to give away their intelligence (which most people suspect anyway), but because it still wouldn't justify it. Most people will buy "we bombed it by accident." "We bombed it on purpose because the Taliban had military equipment on it" is much more iffy - attempting to protect military equipment with the Red Cross insignia is a war crime, but attacking facilities with the Red Cross insignia is also a war crime. I don't think "the Taliban had equipment there" would justify bombing a Red Cross warehouse that also had relief supplies, though it would at least give a motive for the attack.

[ Parent ]
interesting moral dilemma (5.00 / 1) (#86)
by ethereal on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 03:23:37 PM EST

I would be inclined to say that such a bombing would be justified. Not bombing the building would preserve relief supplies, but it would also prolong the war. If the Taliban is using the building for war materiel, then they probably control the food too, and so you can bet those relief supplies would not be going to the average citizen anyway.

I would have to say that the Red Cross should recognize when a combatant in a conflict has seized their property, and should know to get the heck out of there before the other combatant starts attacking it. The U.S. is not at war with the Red Cross (such suggestions seem pretty ludicrous to me) but if entities that the U.S. is at war with have taken control of a neutral facility, then it would be unreasonable to require all combatants to continue to treat that facility as neutral.

My argument is sort-of hypothetical currently because I don't think the U.S. has alleged that there were any Taliban armaments or troops in the Red Cross building. So I can only offer a hypothetical justification at this point.


Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Why? (3.80 / 5) (#8)
by zakalwe on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 02:55:26 PM EST

Sure, the US has the means and opportunity, but what possible motive could they have? Giving themselves tough-guy 'credibility'? Why?. If there's one thing that's been learned from Vietnam, its that the worst threat to the campaign isn't military, its at home.

Committing such a huge propoganda mistake as bombing the Red Cross is shooting themselves in the foot at home. Anger is high right now, but given enough time for the memory of sep 11 to fade, the public appetite for war will fade.

There are legitimate reasons to speak out about this - it certainly implies that the claims of civilian casualties are grossly underestimated, but the conspiracy theory doesn't hold water.

The reason (5.00 / 2) (#74)
by wiesmann on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:54:46 AM EST

There has been trouble between the US and the Red Cross for some time. There where many issues, from the establishement of an Israeli Red Cross (it would not be a red cross, I think they wanted another symbol like a red cristal, but I digress), to many criticisms from the CICR towards the US, the most recent one I heard about was about the US parachuting "humanitarian" food supplies on mine fields.

I suspect the root problem is that the US has little control on the Red Cross. The Red Cross is acting in a neutral, autonomous way, like it should. The US tried all the classical strategies, not giving money, bad PR offensives, and it did not seem to work. So less subtle signals could be used. After all Bush said it: you are with us, or against us - this leaves little place for neutral organisations.

As for the argument "they would never do this, it would be bad, or a least bad PR" simply have a look at most comment on this forum and count the number of people who dismiss this a conspiracy. Personnaly, I'm in unsure, it might be a intelligence failure (US intelligence is not working well, it seems). We'll see, as the saying says two is a coincidence, three is a conspiration.

One thing to point out is that the US have bombed neutral countries, like Switzerland. All of those bombings where "mistakes", some of them believable (Genova, not Geneva), but other were more suspicious (Zürich is more than 100 km from the border).

[ Parent ]

Yup, and they've got it covered (4.00 / 1) (#91)
by ksandstr on Wed Nov 07, 2001 at 04:33:34 PM EST

If there's one thing that's been learned from Vietnam, its that the worst threat to the campaign isn't military, its at home.

So... what do you think the requests for media self-censorship are, if not spin control? How long is it going to be until dubya "asks" the media to stop telling people those heinous anti-american lies?

[ Parent ]
Here's some background (2.40 / 10) (#14)
by t0mmi on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 03:53:59 PM EST

I doubt that this has been published in the U.S.

This is not strictly on topic. But this article might interest someone who is trying to figure out what exactly is going on in Afghanistan.



Pakistanis Leave for Holy War

Associated Press Writer

TEMERGARAH, Pakistan (AP) -- In buses and trucks, pickups and vans, more than 5,000 people rolled out of a northeastern Pakistan village Saturday morning, bound for the Afghan frontier and vowing to fight a holy war against the United States.

Hundreds were reported crossing into Afghanistan over rugged mountains by Saturday evening, Pakistani border police said.

Thousands of Pakistani men, young and old, had massed in Temergarah on Friday night with assault rifles, machine guns, even rocket launchers. A few even carried axes and swords.

Their mission, they said: to enter Afghanistan's Kunar province and help the country's ruling Taliban defend against any ground incursions by American troops.

``I am an old man. I consider myself lucky to go -- and to face the death of a martyr,'' said Shah Wazir, 70, a retired Pakistani army officer. In his hands Saturday morning, he carried a French rifle from about 1920.

Organizers said similar-sized groups were massing in other towns across North West Frontier Province, an enclave of ethnic Pashtuns with ties to -- and deep feelings for -- neighboring Afghanistan.

Volunteers gathered in scores of groups of 20, sitting on the ground to be briefed on the ways of jihad -- Islamic holy war -- by military commanders wearing black turbans and full beards similar to the Taliban militia. One key rule: obedience to leaders.

``It is a difficult time for Islam and Muslims. We are in a test. Everybody should be ready to pass the test -- and to sacrifice our lives,'' said Mohammad Khaled, one brigade leader. Would-be warriors embraced and chanted anti-American slogans.

Hussain Khan, 19, a carpenter from the area, carried a Kalashnikov and stood with his friend. He said he was leaving behind a fiancee and joining a just cause.

``Whether I come back alive or I am dead, I'll be fortunate because I am fighting in the service of Islam,'' Khan said.

The call for holy war came this week from Sufi Mohammad, an outspoken Muslim cleric who runs a madrassa, or religious school, in nearby Madyan. He exhorted ``true Muslims'' to mass and prepare to go to Afghanistan -- to repel any U.S. ground incursions.

What they will do upon arrival is uncertain. But hundreds of vehicles -- more than 1,000 volunteers -- rolled into the mountains that separate the two countries Saturday night, said Himdallah Khan, a police official at Bajur Agency, a borderland area. Many returned empty. Hundreds of other Pakistanis from different areas were converging near Bajur.

In this region of Pakistan, Mohammad's organization, Tehrik Nifaz Shariat Mohammadi Malakand, or Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Laws, has been embraced.

And the cleric's message -- that, despite its insistence to the contrary, the United States is waging war on Islam -- hits home.

``This is a strange occasion of world history,'' Mohammad said Friday. ``For the first time, all the anti-Islamic forces are united against Islam.''

It was impossible to verify how many supporters were actually en route to join him. In recent weeks, many militants have claimed far more backing than rallies eventually produce.

However, the numbers in Temergarah on Saturday morning -- and the people jammed into trucks and on bus rooftops -- suggested support was heavy. Mohammad's backers say the number to enter Afghanistan will reach 100,000.

``We are not worried about death,'' said Khaled, the brigade leader. ``If we die in jihad, it is something much more greater than to be alive. And we will be taken into paradise.''

The night before, men had massed by the thousands in Temergarah and other wind-whipped mountain villages in northeastern Pakistan's mountains.

Out-of-towners, their conversation crackling with anticipation, roamed Temergarah's streets. Pickup trucks patrolled town with loudspeakers attached, calling people to assemble with a chant: ``Afghanistan will be a graveyard for Americans.'' Men huddled around radios, listening for news about the conflict; most tuned in to the BBC.

People camped on porches, beneficiaries of local hospitality. Others slept on floors of public buildings. Mosques lodged as many as they could, and supplied food and blankets.

``I cannot tolerate the bombing and the cruelty of Americans. I must go,'' said Mamoor Shah, a medicine salesman who, at 18, already has a wife and child. ``Muslims cannot keep silent.''

For many young men, this is no mere rite of passage. It is religion -- and it is blood, heritage and family.

``I'm going. My mother sent me to fight for our faith,'' said Farooq Shah, 21, a student from Buner, 50 miles away. When she told him to go, he had no Kalashnikov. So she went out, sold her jewelry and bought him one.

A correction and an addition to that report. (3.40 / 5) (#25)
by EdFox on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 06:58:43 PM EST

That story is in fact being told by US mainstream press. I recently saw it on CNN, the TV version no less. Sorry to burst your bubble. I know how desperately you want to believe that such news is hushed up in the US media. Far from being silenced, this important development has been given wide play, with a great deal of emphasis placed on a map showing where these combatants originated from in Pakistan and the route they are expected to take to their destination in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, this map does not appear in the web version of the story.

As for the addition, it is mostly a small personal note. I say "good show" to the new armed combatants making their way into the war zone. Its always heartening to see armed combatants rallying to their cause. While I do not hold out much hope for a long life expectancy among these new armed combatants, I do salute their bravery and patriotism. I hope that all likeminded combatants show their patriotism and sympathy for the Taliban by also joining the fight, preferably traveling in a tight column of unarmored trucks traveling slowly in a straight line on clearly marked roads.

[ Parent ]
This has been published in the US. (3.66 / 3) (#34)
by mofospork on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 11:58:36 PM EST

Notice the "Associated Press" in the article? They're American, they published this article, which you reprinted in its entirety, most likely without permission.

[ Parent ]
Yes, but (2.00 / 1) (#52)
by t0mmi on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 07:19:59 PM EST

I have not had too much direct exposure to American media for a few days, so I can not argue with you. But earlier I have notised that the "American story" I get through European channels and the "American story for local consumption" are not always the same.

For example, newspaper articles may have different pictures. The pictures may be taken by the same photographer, but different ones are chosen for different audiences. Also the story may be somewhat rewritten for each country.

I wanted to post that article, because its style was so different from the others I had seen. No "evildoers" in it, but peopple who want to defend their faith. I thought:"If this article is printed in the U.S. then there has been a major shift in the American rhetoric. -- What might that implicate?" That was what I was interested in.

I would not always call an AP story "American", the same way that I would not always call a BBC story "British". For example, when a French journalist writes an article for BBC I do not think of it as "British". Of course, this is just semantics so you may disagree.

By the way, what do you think of Al-Jazeera's journalists, many of whom are ex-BBC employees? Do you think of their news as "British"? Some people actually do, because they were trained by BBC.

To me news agencies are just distributors. I think publisher is the newspaper that buys an article from a news agency. "AP writer" may also refer to a freelance journalist who has contract with AP, but does it really matter? This was not why I chose to post that article. And this is not the kind of discussion that I am particularly interested in.

You may have a point about the copyright. But the story was written in Pakistan, I used a PC in Finland, the server was maybe somewhere in central Europe and kuro5hin server is in the U.S.(isn't it?) So which copyright law would be applicable and by whom? Maybe we find out after the Adobe case is settled by the U.S. courts. ;)

I did not s-p-e-l-l out all of this in my comment, because I think kuro5hin readers are intelligent persons who really do not need this kind of lame explanations.


[ Parent ]
Look. (4.00 / 5) (#53)
by mofospork on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 08:39:22 PM EST

You said it probably wasn't published in the US. You were wrong, it was. I corrected you. Don't try to defend your error. The AP is American, this story was probably published in a great many American newspapers, just not on the front page with a two inch bold headline.

As for the nationality of the story, it was written for, and published by, and American news agency. That qualifies as American in my book. The writer could be from Neptune fo all I care.

ou may have a point about the copyright. But the story was written in Pakistan, I used a PC in Finland, the server was maybe somewhere in central Europe and kuro5hin server is in the U.S.(isn't it?) So which copyright law would be applicable and by whom? Maybe we find out after the Adobe case is settled by the U.S. courts. ;)

And if the AP raises objections over the story appearing here without permission, the blame will fall on Rusty. IMHO, he should just delete your comment, you should have posted a link instead.

[ Parent ]

I saw it. (3.00 / 1) (#68)
by BurntHombre on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 02:16:22 PM EST

This story was published here in the local newspaper for Raleigh, NC, and I'm sure it was published in a great many other US newspapers as well. I know that if you read K5 enough, you'll think that Americans only get happy pro-America news stories fed to them, but it's not true.

[ Parent ]
What kind of markings? (4.33 / 3) (#15)
by physicsgod on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 03:57:17 PM EST

Both bombings occured at night, where the traditional red-cross-on-white-background is somewhat hard to see. Were the roofs of the warehouses illuminated by floodlights? Were the markings done in glow-in-the-dark or IR reflective paint? I couldn't find anything about the type of markings on the BBC site, anyone else have references?

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
The second was in "good visibility" (3.50 / 2) (#17)
by greenrd on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 04:20:40 PM EST

I hate to sound like a broken record, but this time it was at 1130 local time, in good visibility, according to the Red Cross.

"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Oh, right, 24 hour clock (nt) (none / 0) (#27)
by physicsgod on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 07:38:06 PM EST

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
It depends on the type of bomb (4.60 / 5) (#19)
by cyberformer on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 04:29:31 PM EST

The US is using a lot of different weapons in Afghanistan. If the Red Cross was hit by ordinary bombs dropped from a B52, the U.S. is merely being careless. (This could even happen twice, if the bombers were aiming for a nearby military target and didn't care about "collateral damage") If it was hit by a cruise missile (like the Chinese embassy in Belgrade) then it's almost certainly deliberate.

Yes, it is possible (3.50 / 6) (#22)
by Neuromancer on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 05:04:40 PM EST

1) Stategically, intelligence reports might have indicated that this "Red Cross Warehouse" was really a bunker or arms facility.
2) Has the Red Cross stated this, or Afghanistan?

3) Carpet bombing isn't exactly narrow in scope, it's hard NOT to hit something.
4) Even surgical strikes can err, the intelligence used in such systems is bound to be fallible to some measurable degree, after all, we don't have android workers coming into work from their 9-5 jobs.

5) Why do you always criticize the US? These people almost certainly tried to kill a very large number of American citizens... to a degree good enough to give an american prisoner the death penalty. War is unpleasant, but necessary. It deserves our support.

What?! (3.66 / 6) (#26)
by Danse on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 07:09:21 PM EST

These people almost certainly tried to kill a very large number of American citizens...

Millions of starving peasants, ruled by a government they did not elect, did not try to kill Americans! This is the kind of uninformed, downright ignorant thinking that lets the US get away with the attrocities that it commits.

An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Darn it (4.00 / 4) (#30)
by Neuromancer on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 08:32:25 PM EST

I know that these people are not represented by the Taliban, and it is unfortunate that the war affects them too. I am not ignorant. War is war and it's ugly.

[ Parent ]
war (3.87 / 8) (#31)
by Danse on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 09:38:51 PM EST

The point is not that war is ugly, we know that much. It's that the US is bullshitting about trying not to kill civilians. They aren't saying "war is ugly... this is war, deal with it." They're saying "We are doing everything we can to avoid civilian casualties." That happens to be a load of crap, evidenced by the fact that they won't lay off long enough for relief workers to deliver supplies to the people that are dependent upon them for their survival. They know they will be killing hundreds of thousands, and probably millions of civilians this way, yet they do it anyway, all the while spewing the propaganda about how they've only tallied 10 civilian casualties.. blah blah blah. Wonder if they'll give us a real total when this thing is over, or if they'll just forget to mention all the people they killed by cutting off their supplies and starving them to death.

An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
It's not bullshit. (3.83 / 6) (#33)
by mofospork on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 11:30:54 PM EST

It's that the US is bullshitting about trying not to kill civilians.

It's just not what you want to hear. They're not fighting exactly how you want them to, but that doesn't mean that they're bullshitting when they say that they're not trying to kill civilians. They're not trying to actively kill civilians, and there's no point in trying to pin the blame of the indirect civilian casualties on the US, you might as well blame the Taliban because they haven't surrendered yet. No matter how much you try to justify it, the US has no obligation to feed anyone but themselves. You didn't seen the the US sending food to the german population during WWII, and you didn't see the Germans giving food to the British, why, all the sudden, should the US be required to give the Taliban a breather so that they can reorganize their troops (and maybe feed their population)?

[ Parent ]

Wrong... (4.12 / 8) (#36)
by Danse on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 12:37:16 AM EST

They're not trying to actively kill civilians, and there's no point in trying to pin the blame of the indirect civilian casualties on the US,

Hell yes there is a point to it. How about several million human lives? Isn't that a good enough point? Those people will die because the US is attacking their country. Period. They happen to be innocent civilians, moreso than even the people killed in the attacks of September 11, since they aren't even responsible for the actions of their government, and therefore cannot be blamed for them. They didn't elect them, and most of them would love to see the Taliban gone. Of course killing most of the country off in order to get rid of the government kind of defeats the purpose. So whatever the US government is saying publicly, they really don't give a damn whether they kill a few million people by denying them food and supplies (much of it not even coming from the US government). They have an agenda, and they aren't going to let the deaths of millions deter them. I still don't know what the war on terrorism is really supposed to accomplish, other than turning this country into a police state. How do you know if you've won? When is it over? Will we be at war forever?

An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Whatever (3.33 / 6) (#37)
by mofospork on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 12:41:30 AM EST

You're not making anything close to a logical argument, you're just trying to appeal to emotion. You might as well just yell, "Think of the children!" into my ear, it would be just as effective.

[ Parent ]
Agreed (4.00 / 3) (#39)
by Neuromancer on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 01:56:43 AM EST

No offense to Danse, but there are a lot of people on this board who are thinking with their hearts and not their heads.

[ Parent ]
Hearts vs heads (4.10 / 10) (#42)
by driptray on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 09:45:44 AM EST

Valuing the "head" over the "heart" is often code for justifying violence. In this case I prefer to reverse your notions and suggest that it is the war-mongers who are being ruled by "heart", ie, that they are outraged by the death of a few thousand Americans, and blindly seeking revenge, regardless of how that will end up.

Perhaps it is the likes of greenrd who are really using their "heads", and questioning all this violence.

I'd like to think that my position is completely pragmatic and non-ideological, ruled only by a wish to end terrorism and make the world safer. Yet I see the current military action as completely opposed to that goal - escalating the conflict rather than seeking to end it.

Others will question the way I have described it as "escalation", saying that in order to end terrorism you must escalate the fight against it. But that's dumb thinking - terrorism is different to a nation-state that you can subjugate through military means. Killing off the Taliban (assuming that that is possible) is just planting seeds for future terrorists to grow from. It's a disaster in the long term, and a whole lot of death in the short term.

But people whose "hearts" cry for revenge don't want to hear that.

We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]
Thanks (3.00 / 4) (#46)
by Danse on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 03:33:31 PM EST

Couldn't have said it better myself.

An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Please note (4.33 / 3) (#49)
by Neuromancer on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 04:16:45 PM EST

That I am not trying to justify war, or to insult you. I just feel quite differently about this war. I respect your view, but I find it impractical to blame the US government. I am sure nobody was TRYING to kill civilians, it's just not a practical military objective, and politically it doesn't help. So why would they do it?

[ Parent ]
2 things (4.25 / 4) (#58)
by Danse on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 05:03:57 AM EST

First, I want to say that I am trying not to take these comments personally. I do get somewhat worked up over this subject, as do many people from what I can tell. It's a very important and sensitive issue. Please understand that I'm not trying to attack anyone here. I just feel that the current policy of the US government is horribly wrong and I am extremely disturbed by the fact that this government is committing acts that will likely lead only to more hate and terrorism, of which I will be a target. That said, on to my response.

First of all, I'm not saying that they're specifically doing this to kill civilians. I don't currently know of any reason why that would be a goal of the US government right now. What I am saying is that in our drive to bring down Bin Laden and the Taliban, we aren't giving enough consideration to the millions of innocents that will die so that we can satisfy our thirst for revenge and our need to feel secure and in control once more. Directly causing the deaths (via the prevention of supplies being delivered) of hundreds of thousands, or even millions in response to the attacks on this country is not warranted, and I believe that it easily rises to the level of a major war crime on the part of the US.

Second, it doesn't even seem to affect them politically if the civilians aren't killed by US bombs. Nobody seems willing to come forward and accuse the US of killing civilians by denying them food. At least nobody that can get much media exposure in this country. Perhaps in a few months when they've tallied up the dead, things will be different. Too bad it will be too late for those that died.

An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Red Cross (4.66 / 3) (#29)
by Delirium on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 08:23:31 PM EST

2) Has the Red Cross stated this, or Afghanistan?

The Red Cross has stated this, and the Pentagon has admitted it. See http://www.icrc.org/ for the Red Cross's press release.

[ Parent ]

Re Point 5 (4.66 / 6) (#38)
by Robert S Gormley on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 01:00:25 AM EST

Are you privy to something the rest of us aren't? You're sure enough to invoke the death penalty? The US hasn't released any evidence to us mere plebs, even the Australians, though that didn't stop them asking us to commit fifteen hundred ground troops.

Who are you waging war on, again? That's right, terrorism, apparently. Ahh, that explains why the Red Cross has been bombed, twice, and the UN.

[ Parent ]

more on point 5 (4.60 / 5) (#44)
by rantweasel on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 01:01:46 PM EST

forget telling everyone else, the US Govt. hasn't even told it's boss, the people, what evidence it has for taking these actions. To me, that's the simplest explanation for why I will be voting against any politician who supported this "plan".

[ Parent ]
re: Point 3 (5.00 / 2) (#60)
by wiredog on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:41:56 AM EST

You smoking crack or something? Carpet bombing? Even the Taliban isn't saying that we're carpet bombing.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]
Red Cross trashed in the news last night (5.00 / 6) (#24)
by Jonathan Walther on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 06:16:43 PM EST

To add another data point; I was watching a news channel here in Canada, and a news item came up that was distinctly disapproving of the Red Cross. I wish I remembered the exact words. It may or may not have been CNN.

Essentially the item on the screen said the Red Cross was "whining" and not helping the war effort and should be glad there aren't sanctions against them. If I see the item again I'll post exact details, but I was shocked to see such an anti-red-cross item on the news.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")

I`d whine (4.66 / 3) (#59)
by FredBloggs on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 06:30:18 AM EST

if i`d been bombed. And of course they arent helping the war effort. Its their job to clean up after all the exciting bombs have been dropped, and try and help people cope with their lives after they have bits missing.

[ Parent ]
Never ascribe to malice... (3.00 / 3) (#28)
by Edgy Loner on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 08:21:49 PM EST

...what can be adequately explained by incompetence.
It's the simplest explanation too.
Seeing the Red Cross markings would mean getting close to the target. Maybe slowing down or taking another pass. The locals probably still have a few Stingers left and have an annoying habit of shooting back. Why take the risk? Just get a lock on something big and important looking in your target area and let loose. After all the targeting is being done by the same outfit that can't accurately locate embassies or ski lifts. The US isn't that evil, it just doesn't care.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
One thing forgotten (4.00 / 7) (#32)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 11:11:42 PM EST

The main point the media seems to miss when talking about civilian casualties caused by US (or any other nation's) forces: war is not a perfect science. AFAIK the news sources have not told us what kind of bombs hit the Red Cross sites, but in any case there is margin for error.

So-called "dumb bombs" (ie. chunks of metal and explosives) dropped from planes hit wherever the pilot/gunner, targeting computer, wind, ballistics, chance, etc directs them. There is always a _significant_ chance of error at any point in targeting and delivery, and the final point of impact can vary several hundred feet in the worst case.

Even when using "smart bombs", up to 30 percent miss their targets. That special forces soldier designating the target on the ground for the bomber pilot might point the laser designator just slightly off-target (which easily becomes hundreds of feet on flat ground), intelligence might be bad or outdated, or the bomb just might malfunction.

Of course, pilots and commanders try to minimize such risks, but the risk is always there. And in wartime, mistakes lead to collateral damage.

For the opinion part, I'd really like to see any rational reasoning behind targeting Red Cross sites from the US POV. Even the most nihilist should see, IMO, that there are no US interests that are served by bombing an established international help organization. Such mistakes/attacks will quickly become common knowledge as we have seen over and over again. Any short-term advantage from possible damage done to Taliban forces in the form of less food for them is far outweighed by long-term effects of public, domestic and international, outrage.

Even though I believe there are no, and should not be, rules in war, I find it really hard to justify, or even rationally reason for, US bombing Red Cross food storage in Afghanistan or elsewhere. There are so many other ways to cause maximum damage to enemy morale, general (Taliban-sympathetic) populus and enemy soldiers that no general in his right mind would or should consider bombing Red Cross or any other such organization.

My bodyweight is muscle and cock MMM
Tenured K5 uberdouchebag Herr mirleid
Meatgazer Frau gr3y

Motivation? (4.33 / 3) (#43)
by Some call me Tim on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 10:52:04 AM EST

It probably will be impossible to know, one way or another, what caused these bombs to strike the Red Cross.

However, it doesn't take much experience with war games or knowledge of history to realize that one needs to feed troops. If the Taliban's soldiers are hungry, they're more likely to surrender or run away.

Again, this is not to suggest that the US did this intentionally. I'm just contradicting the concept that there was no motivation strategically.


[ Parent ]

Automatic -1, greenrd (2.25 / 20) (#40)
by 2400n81 on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 03:23:57 AM EST

Since it's yet another miserable, whining greenrd story I'm going to have to -1 it.

Dude, get laid or something.

Cool! I'm getting a real following! (1.33 / 3) (#67)
by greenrd on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:56:44 PM EST

Next thing you know, people will be calling me the next John Katz!

"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

The Next Jon Katz? (4.50 / 2) (#75)
by Cloaked User on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 07:32:46 AM EST

Man, he actually writes articles...


"What the fuck do you mean 'Are you inspired to come to work'? Of course I'm not 'inspired'. It's a job for God's sake! The money's enough and the work's not so crap that I leave."
[ Parent ]
Heheh. (none / 0) (#90)
by NovaHeat on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 07:18:03 PM EST

He posted this exact same story (albeit with less commentary) on www.plastic.com a week or two ago.


Rose clouds of flies.
[ Parent ]

Somewhat interesting trivia . . . (none / 0) (#95)
by The Great Satan on Mon Nov 12, 2001 at 01:20:11 PM EST

but if it's relevant to both forums I don't see any harm in it.

Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
Unexamined Logic of War (3.57 / 7) (#41)
by Inden on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 07:21:14 AM EST

If you accept that war against Taliban is justified and necessary do you then criticize when that war kills innocents directly and indirectly? It is a cherished myth that our smart bombs and regrets over killing innocents make our modern war machine more precise and therefore more morally correct. We believe this because we feel better by believing it and we need to feel better or remain ignorant while we learn of the potential indirect innocent deaths we politically sanction.

The US is not targeting food supplies. That makes no sense. Here's what does make sense: the Taliban will be a weaker opponent if their soldiers are starving this winter. It is regrettable that we have no means of 'smart food' whereby we could deliver aid only to the innocents and not to Taliban supporters. Maybe we could work on such a technology - or maybe that technology exists and is called 'refugee camps in Pakistan'.

So if you'd like to criticize the unneccessary losses due to starvation and disease but you do approve of the campaign against Taliban, it would be more consistent to advocate pressuring the Pakistanis and other neighbors to let in all the refugees on their borders so we can escape a humanitarian tragedy.

Then again, these people are not white are they?

Libertarianism is Anarchism for the Rich
Self-contradictory? (4.25 / 4) (#45)
by greenrd on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 01:53:02 PM EST

The US is not targeting food supplies. That makes no sense. Here's what does make sense: the Taliban will be a weaker opponent if their soldiers are starving this winter.

Don't you see the contradiction in these three sentences???

"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

A different view (3.75 / 4) (#62)
by wiredog on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:04:08 AM EST

From the Washington Post, Civilian Casualties and the Air War.

avoidance of civilian casualties has become institutionalized [in the US military] even to the point of rejecting important targets if there is a high probability of civilian harm. And this is not the Clinton administration.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle

Oh yeah? (2.80 / 5) (#64)
by greenrd on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:27:54 PM EST

One word: Bullshit.

"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Damn... (3.25 / 8) (#63)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:45:44 AM EST

This is pretty weak. The Taliban parks military vehicles right next to Red Cross buildings and so on. We bomb those vehicles, and usually, we don't hit the buildings. On occasion, mistakes occur, and then the US-hating crowd comes out to tell us all about it. Here's a hint: the US is the only nation on earth that tries anywhere near this hard to minimize civilian casualties in war, and the only one capable of doing the military damage it has done with the relative minimum of civilian damage we've seen. Nobody else can even come close. If you're against war for all purposes at all times(which is an absurd position given the world we live in today, but so be it,) just come out and say so; otherwise, quit with the conspiracy theory bullshit and admit that sometimes bad things happen to good people.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

So... (5.00 / 1) (#77)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 11:59:50 AM EST

Nobody except US forces has been conducting bombing runs in Afghanistan since the first day when some RAF guys got out there - but they only hit targets far from any civilians, because their weapons aren't as accurate.

As for leaving Afghanistan alone, I think you know that this is utterly irrelevant to the point that was being discussed; it is as though I said that some boat has a top speed of 30 knots and you responded with "not if you mount a rocket booster on the back end!"

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Hmmm ... slightly uninformed ... (2.00 / 1) (#81)
by vrai on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 09:37:44 AM EST

Nobody except US forces has been conducting bombing runs in Afghanistan since the first day when some RAF guys got out there - but they only hit targets far from any civilians, because their weapons aren't as accurate.

Firstly, the cruise missiles used by the Royal Navy (whose submarines attacked on the first day) are exactly the same as American cruise missiles. We bought them off you last year! This is pretty much true of all our 'precision' weapons.

Secondly, unlike the USAF/US Navy who tend to bomb from >10K feet, RAF Tornadoes usually bomb from <500 feet (often below 250 feet). At this height there is very little scope to miss, even with old-skool bombs. Much of the collateral damage is due to the US's reliance on 'precision' weapons (which don't work) rather than truly accurate low-level attacks.

[ Parent ]

Yes, but... (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by trhurler on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:51:04 PM EST

Firstly, the cruise missiles used by the Royal Navy (whose submarines attacked on the first day) are exactly the same as American cruise missiles.
Apparently the difference between "cruise missile" and "bomb" isn't clear over there?
Secondly, unlike the USAF/US Navy who tend to bomb from [greater than] 10K feet, RAF Tornadoes usually bomb from [less than] 500 feet (often below 250 feet).
We've got a lot of aircraft that can do the same thing, problem being that unless there's basically no AA guns in the area, it is massively unsafe to do so. At 500 feet, even guys with 7.62mm rifles are a threat. So, instead of using our attack aircraft, we use real bombers:) This is another reason the UK was only involved in the first day of the air campaign; bluntly put, there weren't enough undefended targets for your attack planes to hit.
At this height there is very little scope to miss, even with old-skool bombs
Sure there is. When the vehicles you're bombing are less than fifty meters from a hospital, at typical attack aircraft speeds, you've got something under a tenth of a second error margin. Granted, that's not as unreasonable as it at first sounds, given a bit of practice, but the point is, missing is quite possible.
Much of the collateral damage is due to the US's reliance on 'precision' weapons (which don't work)
Actually, they usually do work. You hear the one or two stories where they fail, and you don't hear the hundreds of stories where they do exactly what they're supposed to. And they're improving all the time; quoting stories from ten years ago is meaningless, but that's usually what people do when they want to mock our weapons. Even JDAM, which is by its very design the least accurate of the bunch, is usually closer to its target than a human bombardier could hope for.
truly accurate low-level attacks.
If low level attacks were truly accurate, surface navies would be utterly obsolete.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Toys (5.00 / 10) (#69)
by PresJPolk on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 02:54:03 PM EST

I'm reminded of the movie Toys, at the part where the General is playing the war arcade game.

"What do you mean I lose points for shooting the Red Cross? What are they even doing there?"

And he proceeds to begin aiming solely at the Red Cross, to punish them.

We Have? (3.00 / 1) (#70)
by Anon 17933 on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 07:33:17 PM EST

You make the comment that "The US has used chemical and nuclear weapons on civilians before". Yet you give no link -- if you want to count Hiroshima and Nagasaki, maybe... but those were strategic decisions. And I've never heard of the US using chemical weapons on anyone. Prove it!

Chemical weapons (3.50 / 2) (#76)
by mtve on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 09:16:50 AM EST

Do you hear about Vietnam?

[ Parent ]
Elaborate. (5.00 / 1) (#84)
by physicsgod on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 03:01:02 AM EST

Your link's borken.

If you're talking about Agent Orange that doesn't qualify, neither does napalm, since niether of those caused death through chemical means. Is there some other chemical we used in Vietnam?

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

Agent Orange (none / 0) (#85)
by davidmb on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 09:12:04 AM EST

You're saying Agent Orange never killed anyone through chemical means. You need to define "chemical means," because Agent Orange certainly killed a lot of people.

Whether it's the illnesses and cancers of older Vietnamese and American veterans, or the extreme birth defects of the second and third generation of children, an awful lot of people have died.

Obviously you don't think these deaths "count."
[ Parent ]
They don't (3.00 / 2) (#88)
by physicsgod on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 01:34:56 PM EST

First off it wasn't Agent Orange that killed people, it was the dioxin contaminant. Secondly the dioxin didn't kill by chemical means but by metabolic. You could make the argment that metabolism is a chemical process but then you could argue that traditional explosives are chemical weapons, which makes the term "chemical weapon" useless.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Read the Anti-Terrorism Bill (5.00 / 3) (#71)
by grue on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 08:40:21 PM EST

One of the provisions from the anti-terrorism bill fits in nicely with this:

Grants authority to president to restrict exports of agricultural products, medicine or medical devices to the Taliban or the territory of Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban

Nice, eh?

darknews - http://www.itsdarkhere.com/~josh/
Occam's Close Shave (5.00 / 3) (#78)
by nickfusion on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 02:08:11 PM EST

1. US has reported minimal damage to civillian targets.

2. Red Cross, whose location has been divulged to all parties, has been hit twice.

So either,

1 More civillian targets are being hit than reported, and the Red Cross is the most visible evidence of that,


2. The Red Cross is being targeted for some strategic reason.


3. The Red Coss has been really, really unlucky.

I think that covers the bases?

What were you expecting?
Occam's Double-bladed lubra-strip disposable razor (none / 0) (#93)
by Macrobat on Thu Nov 08, 2001 at 11:31:28 PM EST


  • As a percentage of the number of targets hit, and considering they are surrounded by military targets, even two strikes on the Red Cross still counts as a rare occurence.

  • "minimal damage" has a sliding-scale definition.

    Regarding that second one, what do people think is a valid definition for "minimal damage?" On the one hand, there'll be some who say even one civilian casualty is proof of US indiferrence or malice; on the other hand, there are those who'll say it doesn't even register on the scale next to the 5,000 who died in the WTC, so until we approach that number, we're in the clear.

    So really, it's a question of definition. And that definition's going to be pricklier (stubblier?) than a single-bladed "simplest answer" razor will be able to handle.

    "Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
    [ Parent ]

  • Interview with Red Cross Spokesmen (5.00 / 3) (#83)
    by greenrd on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 08:08:52 PM EST

    Red Cross Spokesmen Refute Pentagon Lies

    "There has been much news coverage of the U.S. bombing - twice! - of Red Cross humanitarian warehouses in Kabul. Afghanistan.

    Yet, while Pentagon spokesmen such as Gen. Richard Myers and Donald Rumsfeld have been interviewed and widely quoted, we have seen only one interview with a Red Cross spokesmen; that was on Canadian TV.

    The general thrust of media coverage is that the Red Cross was hit because it is right next to some military facilities, or even that its warehouses had been taken over by the Taliban.

    So on 31 October I called Red Cross headquarters in Geneva and spoke to two officials..."


    "Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes

    emperors-clothes.com (none / 0) (#96)
    by The Great Satan on Mon Nov 12, 2001 at 01:40:52 PM EST

    Is this site a legitimate effort to get at the truth or is it the liberal equivalent of the Clinton Chronicles?

    Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
    [ Parent ]
    Far side (none / 0) (#87)
    by spanner in the works on Sat Nov 03, 2001 at 09:38:37 AM EST

    A large red "X"on the roof ? This reminds me of the Gary Larson Cartoon where some deer are standing in a forest. The caption is "Bummer of a birthmark, Hal".


    Wibble, Ping

    When I think of "deliberate targetting". (none / 0) (#92)
    by Macrobat on Thu Nov 08, 2001 at 10:53:18 PM EST

    ...I think of something a little more protracted and hard-hitting. Say, training suicide pilots to take over jet liners and dive bomb skyscrapers. That's deliberate targetting.

    This? Doubtful. The Red Cross has no military significance whatsoever, and I mean that as a compliment. Why waste the bombs? You won't kill that many people, if that's what you're after. Even cutting off medical supplies would inflict fewer casualties per sortie than just dropping the bombs on the people directly.

    "Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.

    World War I (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by locke baron on Fri Nov 09, 2001 at 06:12:44 AM EST

    The USA used chemical weapons there... The first use of gas, and the US was doing some of the gassing. Phosgene, chlorine, mustard and vomiting gas. Hardly the VX, Sarin and Tabun of today, but lethal nonetheless.

    Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy
    Coincidence? US Bombs Red Cross Again | 96 comments (65 topical, 31 editorial, 0 hidden)
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