Help PMA grow | Petition forms | Site map | PMA main page
Alert - bombing Iraq
August 13, 1999
Kia ora, further to our many previous alerts and updates on the US and British government attacks on the people of Iraq, and this week's alert on the UNICEF report re the impact of the economic sanctions, below is a recent Times article suggesting that the bombing may be increased.
US mulls escalating its little-noticed war on Iraq
WASHINGTON, Aug 13 (AFP) - The United States may step up the low-scale war it has waged on Iraq for eight months, which has provoked far less media attention than last December's four-day round of intensive strikes, the New York Times reported Friday. Citing unnamed senior officials, the Times said "some hawkish officials" in President Bill Clinton's administration have been pushing for broader and more punishing bombing.
Some members of Congress are also pushing for an escalation of the attacks on Iraq, which are beginning to face renewed criticism now after being overshadowed throughout much of this year by the war against Yugoslavia.
However, in contrast with the opposition provoked by December's more intensive anti-Iraq air strikes, the domestic criticism now is that Clinton's policy against Iraq is not bellicose enough, the daily said. A letter sent to the president Wednesday alleging "continued drift" in US policy and urging more potent strikes was signed by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jesse Helms, and six other members of Congress both Democrat and Republican, the Times said.
Also in contrast with December's offensive, little international outcry has been aroused by this year's slow but steady US bombing of Iraq over eight months, in which 1,100 missiles have been fired at 359 targets, using 200 aircraft, 19 warships and 22,000 US troops according to the report.
That is triple the targets attacked in the four-day bombing last December, or to use another measure, two-thirds as many missions as were flown over Yugoslavia in two and a half months of bombing by the combined forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Times said.
The Pentagon has said its warplanes bomb Iraq only in self-defense when fired upon by Iraqi anti-aircraft missiles. US and British planes have patrolled Iraq's northern and southern "no-fly zones" since the end of the 1991 Gulf War.
The zones were set up to protect Kurdish and Shiite Moslem communities but are not covered by any specific United Nations resolution. Baghdad does not recognize the zones and has accused the bombers of targetting civilians and causing hundreds of civilian casualties. Iraq's air defence command on Tuesday said the latest raids had brought the number of sorties by the allied aircraft to 11,220 since December's Operation Desert Fox, when Britain and the United States bombed Baghdad for Iraq's alleged lack of cooperation with UN weapons inspectors. The other congressional signatories of the letter to Clinton were three Democrats, Senators Joseph Lieberman and J. Robert Kerrey and Representative Howard Berman; and three Republicans, Senators Richard Shelby and Sam Brownback and Representative Benjamin Gilman.
*** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. ***
Return to "Stop killing the people of Iraq".