Thursday, January 19, 2017
Service : > Op-Ed
Time : Monday, January 9, 2017
News ID: 426381
 
US-Led Cult of Air War:
Off Traget, Indiscriminate and Outright Illegal
Rasa - Nothing at the Pentagon is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Here, the greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

RNA - Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein says war-party Washington is “hitting more targets than we’ve ever hit in a long time in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan,” with tens of thousands of bombs dropped in 2016 alone.

 

Sadly enough, those numbers show no sign of getting smaller this year. That’s bad news for the civilian populations in those countries the bombs are falling on - and bad news for regional peace and security. Quite the contrary, it’s great news for US arms makers and NATO partners, who are seeing their illicit sales soar on the orders that their war machine and Mideast partners in crime have placed to replace the dropped bombs and fired missiles.

 

According to the Pentagon, these bombs aren’t cheap, with even the smaller “dumb bombs” amounting to $30,000 or more, and more advanced technology like Lockheed Martin’s Hellfire missiles costing in excess of $100,000 each. With thousands of Hellfire missiles being fired, that’s a costly proposition. But from the Pentagon’s perspective, money is not an issue here, as America’s regional allies are paying for it in cash to make sure in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya the war-on-terror circus continues to entertain.

 

The cult of air war provides virtually no information about civilian casualties. They deny on-the-ground reports that innocent people are being killed and wounded in the escalating attacks. But their “official” version of events is contradicted by mounting reports. For instance, in Syria the indiscriminate nature of this campaign of horror is morbidly manifest between rhetorical targets as espoused by Washington and real targets.

 

According to international aid agencies and Human Rights Watch, the US-led bombings of alleged ISIL positions in Syria take many civilian lives. The warmongers deny the civilian deaths but present no evidence backing their claims. They claim civilians are spared in the bombings. Again, they offer no evidence to substantiate.

 

Instead, they pose under a body of law. They claim to be ‘an international coalition of law’. They issue death warrants for those whose only crime is to gather for a rescue mission, wedding or a funeral, or the unfortunate owner of a pick-up truck offering his neighbors a ride to town for supplies, or those young boys who carry staffs as they herd their flocks of sheep and somehow convey an image of a terrorist to those sitting at their computer monitors of death!

 

Here, what's more troubling is a lack of accountability among the twelve coalition members. With coalition nations individually liable when civilians are killed, those affected on the ground have no recourse to justice or compensation.

 

It’s a black farce with tragic and deadly consequences. Even outgoing President Barack Obama agrees. He says Washington has no strategy to demobilize the terrorist group of ISIL or neutralize its grandiose ambitions. He however urges his successor to continue the air war. Meaning, under the Trump presidency, the cult of air war will continue to level the playing field unilaterally with bombs and occupying troops that will only make things worse.

 

It is precisely within this context that Trump says America will not end the air war, let alone close the Guantanamo Bay Prison. To sanitize its dubious legality, though, he arrogantly says America's indispensable allies "will have to pay for protection”.

 

A reminder why Gen. Goldfein happily says the cult of air war is an innovative profit center for the bankrupt American arms industry. The Pentagon, with less-than-stellar record, continues to provide the weapons, the Pentagon continues to destroy the weapons, and the Pentagon continues to provide even more expensive weapons. If the pattern seemed too familiar under the Trump administration, it is.

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