“Why Is the U.S. Killing So Many Civilians in Syria and Iraq?”

June 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


“Why Is the U.S. Killing So Many Civilians in Syria and Iraq?” That was the question posed in a June 19 New York Times opinion piece.

The article, written by a supporter of the U.S. empire and its military, nonetheless painted a damning picture of some of the escalating civilian slaughter being carried out by the U.S. in Iraq and Syria, and of America’s murderous, chauvinist ethos. Since the U.S. air war against ISIS began in August 2014 under Obama, the U.S.-dominated coalition has carried out 22,666 air attacks, dropped 84,296 bombs and missiles and killed—at minimum—between 4,118 and 6,360 civilians according to Airwars.org. And many thousands more have been wounded, tens of thousands more driven from their homes, their lives shattered, and untold devastation visited on Iraq and Syria. (The U.S. admits to 484 civilians being killed by its coalition since August 2014.)

And it’s getting much worse under the fascist Trump/Pence regime, which is escalating the war as it tries to retake the densely populated cities of Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria; the number of bombs being dropped has risen 20 percent.

Yet, at the same time, the Trump/Pence regime has “relaxed oversight, investigation and accountability” for civilian killings, according to the author. What does that mean? That the U.S. imperialists are no longer even taking the pitiful and wholly inadequate steps to avoid civilian causalities they had previously, and really aren’t even pretending to give a fuck about Iraqi and Syrian lives.

The U.S. military has never truthfully counted its millions of victims. On the rare occasions the U.S. military speaks about the civilian deaths they’ve caused, they insist they “do everything possible” to protect civilians. But here’s the reality today:

  • The Trump gang has given military commanders much greater latitude to do what they deem militarily necessary with even less concern about killing civilians.
  • The Pentagon no longer bothers with having a separate “red team” that evaluates whether air strikes could better avoid civilian deaths.
  • “[T]he Pentagon will no longer acknowledge when its own aircraft are responsible for civilian casualty incidents”—instead blaming the slaughters on the “coalition” even though the U.S. is responsible for 95 percent of the airstrikes in Syria and 68 percent in Iraq.
  • “Until June 13, the American military had only two people investigating Iraqi and Syrian civilian casualties full time.” This out of 10,000 U.S. military personnel stationed at the air war command center in Qatar! (The number is now seven.)
  • Congress hasn’t bothered to exercise its “oversight” of the war, or hold any hearings about civilian killings.

All this has created a “staggering increase” in the number of civilians being slaughtered by the U.S. under Trump—46 in Al Jineh, Syria, on March 16; at least 105 and probably as many as 230 in one March 17 strike in Mosul; over 100 civilians, including 42 children, in the town of Al Mayadeen in Eastern Syria on May 25-26—to name a few incidents. Since Trump took over, Airwars.org figures indicate the U.S. has killed at least 2,300 and perhaps more than 3,000 civilians—more than 1,000 in March alone.

“Why Is the U.S. Killing So Many Civilians in Syria and Iraq?”

The answer (which the author is unable or unwilling to see): the U.S. is fighting reactionary, unjust wars of empire to dominate the Middle East (and the world)—not to liberate anyone.

Trump is now bringing his fascist “America First” gangsterism to the Middle East and the world. According to him, nothing will stand in America’s way of dominating and plundering the region and the world—not ISIS, not Iran, not global rivals, and certainly not “human rights,” civilian casualties, or Syrian, Iraqi or Middle Eastern lives.

Face it. This is what “America First” looks like!



Volunteers Needed... for revcom.us and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.