Let’s Go To The Tape

The final battle against ISIS in Iraq is being fought in and around the town of Mosul……many deaths have happened thanx to this battle….but the latest deaths may be horrific as it appears the US airstrikes killed nothing more than civilians

Facing growing criticism over an attack earlier this month that killed hundreds of civilians in Mosul, the Pentagon today confirmed that it has video footage of ISIS forcing hundreds of civilians into the destroyed buildings, which they presented as “provoking the attack.

While this is designed to shift some of the blame away from the Pentagon for bombing buildings full of civilians, it appears to actually do the exact opposite: it confirms that the Pentagon knew before the attacks that those buildings were full of civilians, and attacked them anyhow.

ISIS has long been criticized for pushing civilians around and forcing them into various areas, but the fact that civilians were being forced into buildings does not prove that the buildings were of any specific value as a target in the first place, and the Pentagon’s assertion appears to be that putting civilians in there amounted to making the buildings a more tempting target in and of itself.

The huge civilian death toll of the US strikes has been condemned by several human rights groups, unsurprisingly, but the Pentagon’s narrative has rapidly changed from denial, to sheepish admission of “probable” guilt, and now to outright defiance over the fact that they killed so many people.


Blatantly killing civilians?  This should be enough for a review of our tactics and strategy concerning the use of airstrikes and drone attacks…..

But will it?

16 thoughts on “Let’s Go To The Tape

  1. I guess collateral damage just sounds better than the senseless deaths of civilians. I’m sure many are just saying “What the hell, probably just Muslims anyway.” Yes my heart bleeds.

  2. Not to rain on anyone’s moral parade here… but war means killing people. Just because those being killed are non-combatants (or the more emotional term, “innocents”) is what happens in war. Again I make the comparison… the Allies blasted the crap out of the so-called “innocent” populations of Japan and Germany to the result of hundreds of thousands of “innocent” deaths. But there was no CNN then to cover the bleeding children and iconic stuffed dolls in the rubble so it was all about “defeating s stubborn enemy”. Assad and the Russians are killing far more than we are over there… yet because we like fighting “clean” wars where only “bad guys” are killed and we hold some higher moral ground, America gets the blame for women and children dying. I am tired of it, frankly.
    We would have been FAR better off just sending in the damn CIA or Seal Team Six to off Assad.. and accept world condemnation for imposing our will for the weekend.. and by Monday the next Syrian tribal demagogue will have filled the vacuum.
    OR………… close the Syrian borders to prevent refugees leaving, just leave Assad to kill his own people until they get fed up themselves enough to overthrow him… OR… do it the American way… buy out Assad.

  3. If this is considered the final battle, why is the US Army’s 1st Armored Division gearing to head on over there?
    How can anyone tell who is civilian and who is siding with ISIS ? – there are no uniforms.

  4. This is a topic where everyone is right, for different reasons. Doug is right when he says that civilians get killed in wars, and you are right when you say that knowing in advance should have stopped the airstrike. GP is right to question how to identify the enemy, and cigarman is correct when he says that many will not care, because the dead are Muslims.
    For me, the issue is about whether any outsiders should be involved in the first place. The time has come, like it or not, when we have to allow foreign countries to fight their own wars, and accept their own destinies. If western countries are really worried about unpopular dictators, there is a huge list of other countries to deal with, not just Syria. Where does it all end? I think we know the answer to that.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Well, we could let Star Trek guide us. Consider the Prime directive. In spite of the fact that it never was actually written out in its entirety inside any of the Trek franchise, it essentially stipulates that “we” don’t get involved in developing planets (presumably Third World nations), thus allowing them to “develop” on their own until they reached a technological parity of understanding beyond themselves.
      (The corollary in 1966 was U.S. involvement in Vietnam).

      Beam me up, Scottie. Get me the hell outta here!

  5. I have to ask now, because maybe I’ve missed something really really really really big the past few years. Not terribly surprising when you’re dodging curveballs and absorbed in your own life, but really. I need to ask, because I just realized how baffled I am and how much I don’t know the answer to these questions:

    What are we doing over there?
    What is the end result and what do we want once ISIS is destroyed (and how will we know if ISIS is destroyed)?
    and How are drone and air strikes supposed to win the war?

    I think I got my “clueless” epiphany just a few moments ago. Anybody got an answer, because I’d love to know where to look otherwise.

    1. All good questions. I just cut & paste this over to Trump but I fear he is just as clueless as the rest of us. 🙂 (Gawd how I hate to admit to that.)

    2. Good questions….we are there to feed the M-IC….they cannot win a war ground troops are needed for a conclusion….They will not be destroyed, maybe their effectiveness but some aspects will remain….does that help? chuq

      1. All I know is if it’s been 16 years, maybe they need to think first then fight (if/when still needed). We forget that much fighting happens without helicopters, tanks and guns–there’s the battle of the mind, and behind the scenes. I’m sick of our throwing money and tech at military issues when actually learning about who these people are and what they want and why they’re doing what they’re doing (and don’t forget the spies and covert operators on the ground) could do a helluva lot of good. Besides, who said of Rome that “they made a desert and called it peace” (I know RFK lifted it…still). Guess I got another question for my blog now–thanks (hee hee)

      2. WE have no strategy other than 12 months down the line….I agree a grand strategy needs to be used not knee jerk….chuq

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