Monday, July 04, 2005

They didn't return enough fire, so we had to drop more bombs

Lieutenant-General Michael Moseley, the allied air force commander in the time leading up to official invasion of Iraq, indicated that allied forces flew 21,736 sorties between June 2002 and the start of the war. The Iraqis, in turn, fired a whopping 651 times - shots Moseley admits could have been in response to stepped-up allied bombings.
"We became a little more aggressive based on them shooting more at us, which allowed us to respond more," he told the New York Times. "Then the question is whether they were shooting at us because we were up there more. So there is a chicken and egg thing here."
In September 2002, Rummy admitted he ordered the implementation of the 1991 UN resolutions that allow pre-emptive strikes, because he didn't like they idea that our planes were getting "shot at with impunity". The resolution did not call for "no fly zones" implemented by US & British forces, not that it mattered since the US policy shift allowed for bombing outside the "no fly zones" established after the Gulf War.

Between March and November of 2002, coalition forces said they recorded eight violations by Iraqi forces of the No-Fly Zone and 143 instances of “recorded threats.”

In response, they attacked Iraqi installations with 253,000 pounds of bombs.

In June 2002, for instance, the coalition recorded three “threats,” and bombed with 20,800 pounds of munitions. The greatest number of threats during this period was in September 2002, when Iraqis are said to have shot at the U.S.-led forces ten times, and were hit with 109,200 pounds of bombs.

The administration did everything they could to further destabilize & exacerbate a potential, though non-imminent, threat. The more we stepped up bombing, they more they responded so we had no choice but to increase bombing because they had the gall to respond (but not fire back enough to justify an official invasion as required by BushCo). If they hadn't responded with fire, would the US sorties have discontinued? The entire purpose of this exercise was to incite an Iraqi response so BushCo could claim Iraq was an imminent threat and an invasion was necessary. Of course, they didn't quite get the ammo they needed, so they fixed the intel - that's patriotism.

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