Targeting ISIS, and Killing Civilians

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+ctebah    2,948
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The American-led battle against the Islamic State has been hailed as the most precise air campaign in history. But its airstrikes have killed far more Iraqi civilians than anyone has acknowledged.

The survivors of those airstrikes have been left wondering why their families were targeted.

The story also links to:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/16/magazine/uncounted-civilian-casualties-iraq-airstrikes.html

 

Quote

We found that one in five of the coalition strikes we identified resulted in civilian death, a rate more than 31 times that acknowledged by the coalition. It is at such a distance from official claims that, in terms of civilian deaths, this may be the least transparent war in recent American history.

Honestly, I tried to find some "positive" news about the US but it's pretty much impossible.

 

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DocM    12,909

1) There are always civilian casualties in War. This is unavoidable.

 

2) If the coalition were still using 1,000 and 2,000 lb bombs for most raids instead of opting for smaller precision munitions like the SDB (small diameter bomb, 250 lb) and other mini-munitions where possible there would be many more civilian casualties. 

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theyarecomingforyou    9,421
23 minutes ago, DocM said:

1) There are always civilian casualties in War. This is unavoidable.

That's NOT what the article is commenting on. It's commenting on is how egregious the airstrikes are when it comes to civilian bystanders. Saying there are always civilian casualties basically excuses any number of civilian casualties. The US has never been tactful when it comes to military strategy but things have been particularly appalling under recent Republican presidents. Trump has flip-flopped between pro-war and anti-war but his policy is directly in line with the wishes of the military-industrial complex.

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+ctebah    2,948
41 minutes ago, DocM said:

1) There are always civilian casualties in War. This is unavoidable.

 

2) If the coalition were still using 1,000 and 2,000 lb bombs for most raids instead of opting for smaller precision munitions like the SDB (small diameter bomb, 250 lb) and other mini-munitions where possible there would be many more civilian casualties. 

That wasn’t the point of the article.  When Aleppo was being bombed earlier, the entire western media cried about the casualties.  And now most of that same media is saying nothing while US lies about how many civilians died.  

 

Hypocrisy at its finest.

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theyarecomingforyou    9,421
6 minutes ago, ctebah said:

That wasn’t the point of the article.  When Aleppo was being bombed earlier, the entire western media cried about the casualties.  And now most of that same media is saying nothing while US lies about how many civilians died.  

 

Hypocrisy at its finest.

Exactly. The US wanted the media to focus on the Syrian government's atrocities but seeks to actively hide its own.

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+exotoxic    463
1 hour ago, DocM said:

1) There are always civilian casualties in War. This is unavoidable.

Why is the official channel lying about the number of civilian casualties?? Why do they then go on to condemn Russia for bombing civilians??

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Rippleman    2,710

As long as humans are involved in a decision, mistakes will happen. You should be shocked it isn't higher. The USA puts an extreme amount of effort into avoiding civilian casualties... especially when compared to any other country.

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Rippleman    2,710
Just now, exotoxic said:

Why is the official channel lying about the number of civilian casualties?? Why do they then go on to condemn Russia for bombing civilians??

Because Russia doesn't care for the most part.

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DocM    12,909
2 minutes ago, exotoxic said:

Why is the official channel lying about the number of civilian casualties?? Why do they then go on to condemn Russia for bombing civilians??

What official channel? PBS? VoA? They're vastly outnumbered by regular media.

 

Also: if the IS didn't embed themselves in populated areas the civilian casualties would drop precipitously.

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+ctebah    2,948
2 hours ago, Rippleman said:

Because Russia doesn't care for the most part.

But neither does the US.  Or did you not read the article?

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+ctebah    2,948
2 hours ago, DocM said:

What official channel? PBS? VoA? They're vastly outnumbered by regular media.

 

Also: if the IS didn't embed themselves in populated areas the civilian casualties would drop precipitously.

The point of the article is that the US military is outright lying about civilian casualties, saying that they are minimal when they aren’t.  

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Rippleman    2,710
22 minutes ago, ctebah said:

But neither does the US.  Or did you not read the article?

They do, however, mistakes happen to some more often then others. A lot of factors come into play, mostly misinformation. If I had no morals and didn't care about innocent people, I too would feed false information to cause my enemy to hit a civilian target. ISIS (and any insurgency) knows how much public backlash helps their cause when it comes to public outcry. 

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Rippleman    2,710
26 minutes ago, ctebah said:

The point of the article is that the US military is outright lying about civilian casualties, saying that they are minimal when they aren’t.  

minimal in the context of warfare. I would speculate with virtual certainty, most of the "true" numbers touted as being cover-ups are not "true" civilians but were able to be passed off by the enemy media as civilian to help their cause.  The military would report as they see it with the information they have... WHICH would be more then any media source. Do i think there has been times innocents have been killed and then claims to be fighters? Absolutely and it is extremely disheartening. however, as for warfare, they way USA practices it as about as civilized (oxymoron i know) as it can get. 

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+ctebah    2,948
18 minutes ago, Rippleman said:

They do, however, mistakes happen to some more often then others. A lot of factors come into play, mostly misinformation. If I had no morals and didn't care about innocent people, I too would feed false information to cause my enemy to hit a civilian target. ISIS (and any insurgency) knows how much public backlash helps their cause when it comes to public outcry. 

Almost every single non-western media outlet reporting on the liberation of Raqqa and Mosul were saying that civilian casualties were grossly misreported.

 

And this isn’t the first time that the US and western media lied about civilian casualties. 

 

So no, the US cares about civilian casualties as much as Russia.  

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Rippleman    2,710
15 minutes ago, ctebah said:

Almost every single non-western media outlet reporting on the liberation of Raqqa and Mosul were saying that civilian casualties were grossly misreported.

 

And this isn’t the first time that the US and western media lied about civilian casualties. 

 

So no, the US cares about civilian casualties as much as Russia.  

Suggestion: don't believe the media from either side, they are all playing the same game.

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DocM    12,909
1 hour ago, ctebah said:

The point of the article is that the US military is outright lying about civilian casualties, saying that they are minimal when they aren’t.  

They are as minimal as they can be given the context of urban warfare, and that's only happening because IS chooses to be there. Eliminating civilian casualties is all but impossible in that situation.

 

If the US is not trying to use highly precision strikes in order to minimize casualties, please explain our very expensive development of the SBD glide bomb and other mini- munitions - some with a warhead which only weighs 1 kilogram? 

 

It'd be far easier, cheaper and we'd be more certain to get our targets if we were dropping racks of 1000-2000 pound dumb bombs - leveling everything for miles.

 

But the US doesn't because we are trying to minimize casualties.

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+ctebah    2,948
20 minutes ago, Rippleman said:

Suggestion: don't believe the media from either side, they are all playing the same game.

Well obviously, and this article proves that the US military itself lies about the numbers of casualties.  

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+ctebah    2,948
11 minutes ago, DocM said:

They are as minimal as they can be given the context of urban warfare, and that's only happening because IS chooses to be there.

 

If the US were not trying to use highly precision strikes in order to minimize casualties, please explain our very expensive development of the SBD glide bomb and other mini- munitions - some with a warhead which only weighs 1 kilogram? 

 

It'd be far easier, cheaper and we'd be more certain to get our targets if we were dropping racks of 1000-2000 pound dumb bombs - leveling everything for miles.

 

But the US doesn't because we are trying to minimize casualties.

Again, no one is denying this, we are just pointing out the hypocrisy of the US government accusing the Russia and Syrian governments of committing atrocities and then they themselves slaughter civilians and misreport the numbers.  

 

And please, for your own sake, don’t ever mention the word “precision” and US military in the same sentence, it’s embarrassing.  Go look at any number of pictures of liberated Mosul or Raqqa.

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DocM    12,909
40 minutes ago, ctebah said:

Again, no one is denying this, we are just pointing out the hypocrisy of the US government accusing the Russia and Syrian governments of committing atrocities and then they themselves slaughter civilians and misreport the numbers.  

I would be glad to hear any examples of US forces dropping any chemical weapons or other WMDs in Syria or Northern Iraq. 

Quote

 

And please, for your own sake, don’t ever mention the word “precision” and US military in the same sentence, it’s embarrassing.  Go look at any number of pictures of liberated Mosul or Raqqa.

That is the inevitable result when you have an enemy who is dug in, won't surrender and needs to be extracted by force. It would have been good if they had surrendered instead of fighting to the last drop of other people's blood, but many of them didn't.

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theyarecomingforyou    9,421
12 hours ago, Rippleman said:

As long as humans are involved in a decision, mistakes will happen. You should be shocked it isn't higher. The USA puts an extreme amount of effort into avoiding civilian casualties... especially when compared to any other country.

The US puts an extreme amount of effort into military attacks against sovereign nations without a declaration of war. As for avoiding civilian casualties, the only way it avoids that is by declaring everyone it kills illegal combatants and assuming their guilt. The idea that the US is in an way responsible in its military activities is patently absurd.

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troysavary    2,209
10 hours ago, DocM said:

They are as minimal as they can be given the context of urban warfare, and that's only happening because IS chooses to be there. Eliminating civilian casualties is all but impossible in that situation.

 

If the US is not trying to use highly precision strikes in order to minimize casualties, please explain our very expensive development of the SBD glide bomb and other mini- munitions - some with a warhead which only weighs 1 kilogram? 

 

It'd be far easier, cheaper and we'd be more certain to get our targets if we were dropping racks of 1000-2000 pound dumb bombs - leveling everything for miles.

 

But the US doesn't because we are trying to minimize casualties.

If the USA had not created ISIS in the first place, they would not have to attempt to minimize casualties in the first place. Sure, the military might be honourable as can be expected, but when a corrupt Cia and State Dept put them in this situation in the first place, it doesn't really help. 

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troysavary    2,209
14 hours ago, theyarecomingforyou said:

That's NOT what the article is commenting on. It's commenting on is how egregious the airstrikes are when it comes to civilian bystanders. Saying there are always civilian casualties basically excuses any number of civilian casualties. The US has never been tactful when it comes to military strategy but things have been particularly appalling under recent Republican presidents. Trump has flip-flopped between pro-war and anti-war but his policy is directly in line with the wishes of the military-industrial complex.

How is this a Republican created problem? It was Obama's policies that caused ISIS to emerge. It was Obama who ok'd drone strikes against civilians in countries that the US is not even at war with. 

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theyarecomingforyou    9,421
11 minutes ago, troysavary said:

How is this a Republican created problem? It was Obama's policies that caused ISIS to emerge. It was Obama who ok'd drone strikes against civilians in countries that the US is not even at war with. 

Obama has a terrible record when it comes to drone strikes and it's laughable he won the Nobel Peace Prize. However, it was George W Bush's intervention in the Middle East that created a power vacuum that allowed ISIS to form. It was an offshoot of Al Qaeda, which rose to power in the aftermath of 9/11 under Bush. Could it be argued that Obama's policies strengthened ISIS? Quite possibly, but it is demonstrably false that Obama is responsible for ISIS. The United States' continued presence in the Middle East, along with the immense civilian casualties, created opposition to the US. Heck, even 9/11 was in response to the United States' belligerent and interventionist foreign policy.

The point is that Obama had to deal with the legacy left by George W Bush and he did so by reducing the ground presence and traditional military strikes that had been used. Instead he pivoted to drone strikes, which while they began targeted became excessive and in clear violation of international law. As for Trump, he has shown little restraint in his decisions and has actively called for countries in the Middle East to be invaded to take their resources. All US Presidents have been beholden to the Military-Industrial Complex™ to varying degrees. I was just pointing out that things under Bush were particularly bad and Trump has already killed nearly as many civilians as Obama did during his entire administration. Obama was bad but Trump is demonstrably worse.

 

If you're able to bring evidence to the contrary then go ahead, I'm willing to listen.

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troysavary    2,209

Bush was responsible for the power vacuum in Iraq. I will give you that one. But Obama was the one who suddenly withdrew, leaving massive amounts of arms behind, giving what would become ISIS an arsenal of modern weaponry. It was also the Obama administration who supported the removal of Khadafi in Libya and Assad in Syria. Of course, Republicans are not innocent there either, since McCain was photographed meeting with the ISIS leader. Graham and McCain have opposed every attempt Trump by as made to de-escalate in Syria. The establishment of both parties seem to want war in as many nations as possible. 

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