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Wednesday, June 29, 2005 

Blair Lies Again on Pre-War Bombing

From the Prime Minister's press conference earlier today:

Q: ...There has been confirmation that in the run-up to the war, in the autumn of 2002, there was an increase in bombing activities in Iraq by both the USAF and the RAF, either to provoke or to prepare for the coming war, did you authorise that and if so why?

Prime Minister: ...No as far as I am aware the No Fly Zone, which of course had been operating over Iraq for ages, continued as it was. Of course as the tension rises, inevitably there may be more missions flown, but this wasn't part of a sort of policy decision to go and ramp it up or provoke or anything else.

OK, just to refresh everyone's memory, in the July 23, 2002 meeting summarized by the DSM, UK Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said the US had begun "spikes of activity to put pressure on the regime." We also know that in May of that year, Donald Rumsfeld greatly expanded the parameters of the No-Fly Zone patrols to include offensive strikes against communications facilities. The evidence of these raids is made plain by the RAF's own bombing statistics.

Maybe Mr. Blair was out of the loop in 2002, but it's clear that his military was taking part in the same covert air war that the Americans were waging.

Let's keep in mind that the purpose of the No-Fly Zones was to prevent Saddam's military from attacking Shiites in the south and Kurds in the north. And that's all they were for. Pilots had specific orders to engage only when engaged, to attack only those radar or antiaircraft installations that targeted or shot at them.

But in May 2002, this defensive mission was turned on its head when Rumsfeld issued orders to allow the UNPROVOKED attack of "command and control" facilities. Of paticular interest was Saddam's newly installed fiber optic communications network. Since the lines themselves were underground and impossible to locate, the bombing was directed at the repeater stations. Small problem with that, though--some of these probably shared space with civilian phone networks. That might explain why every so often a telephone exchange would suddenly explode.

The truth is, the US and UK started fighting their war against Saddam in 2002. The "official" start of the war in March of 2003 was just the beginning of major troop movements into the country. By that time, the air campaign--like the one that began the Gulf War--had softened up Iraqi air defenses and allowed special forces units to move into Iraq undetected.

The difference between this and Gulf War I is that Bush and Blair had no authorization for what they were doing--not from Congress, not from the UN, and certainly not from the people, who were kept in the dark about the change in character of the no-fly zone missions.

 posted by ukiyo1  # 6:49 PM  
Any command and control facilities used in Iraq's air defense infrastructure were fair game. We could go after the missile launchers, the radar, and even the HQ's where the attacks on coalition aircraft were planned and coordinated from.

And why would Iraq use money to build a fiber-optic infrastructure for their air defense systems? We all know that between building palaces for Saddam and his family and giving bribes to corrupt UN officials that there was not much money to go around, so what made Iraq spend $10's of millions to lay fiber-optic cables throughout the country linking different military sites especially air defense sites (this wasn't for free internet for the Iraqi people)?

The answer is simple, it would greatly enhance the command and control abilities of the Iraqi military to coordinate attacks on coalition aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone, and more importantly there is no way to jam those communications if they are using fiber-optic cables. So these fiber-optic cables (and an occasional "telephone exchange" used by the Iraqi military) were legitimate targets. That is unless you want our pilots enforcing the no-fly zone to have their lives greatly jeopardized.

And still no reply to the fact that during the last two years (1999-2000) of the Clinton admin that 535 tons of bombs were drooped on the no-fly zones, but during the "secret" and "illegal" bombing done by the Bush admin during 2001 and 2002 that only about 330 tons were dropped. So during 1999-2000 there were 60% more tons of bombs dropped than during 2001-2002.
And I swear, if one more person posts about a PNAC conspiracy theory this site will have offically gone down hill...
About all the PNAC posts... this site is not about that, and the comments made here going on and on don't change that... don't worry :-)
"About all the PNAC posts... this site is not about that, and the comments made here going on and on don't change that... don't worry :-) "

And if Downing Street Memo is helping reveal the root causes of the problems of Bush Administration, as well as WMD lies?
You folks still at it? I would think you'd get bored rehasing all that spin... either that or dizzy... or should I say dizzier?

Gives me the idea for a song:

"Downing Street Dizzy"

Don't try and steal my idea, I'll SUE!
Another call for mike's america to put up or keep his not too clever "amusing" prose to himself...

You are prime material for the military, they need you NOW! Spending your time posting on blogs (and not even doing that very well) is not the best way a Young Republican such as yourself can support the president... You need to enlist, and soon. Real soon.

At least we are doing something to back what we believe, you see fit to make really lame comments in blogs when you could be fighting for your beliefs.
I hope the hatred stops between the liberals and the conservatives, this is not productive and we must join the Christian & Judaic & Islam religions & other world religions to entreat them to stop this hatred crap... this is not a Republican or Democrat problem, this is a Constitutional and International Law problem. The only winners are the Neo-cons. Everyone is losing sight that Saddam & the Neo-cons are two wargame tyrants making war with each other, but using other REAL PEOPLE as fodder.

Lyndon B Johnson & Richard Nixon both did the Vietnam War, both had a term and a half as President to do something to end it, and both messed Vietnam and our soldiers up more. One was Democrat and one was Republican. This Neo-con stuff is against ALL Americans , Brits, and Iraquis. The Neo-cons are not Republicans in the traditional sense.... Ike would not like the Neo-cons. We true-blue Americans of all parties, races, ethnicities, and religions have to join as righteous and mature forces for the good of all, and truth and peace against our common enemy - TYRANNY.

"If you make yourself a sheep, the wolves will eat you." Benjamin Franklin
".... this is not a rep or dumbocratic problem"

It sounds like the verdict of the hutton whitewash. Going to war is nobody's fault, but the intelligence was bad. In a country that promotes dumbocracy, the subjects probably don't know anything about it. Neither would they be seriously informed about the indiscriminatived radiation of the yellow cakes dumped in an invaded nation.

I am not surprise they would welcome those PNAC posts. The DSM will just come and go. You will see it.
Any command and control facilities used in Iraq's air defense infrastructure were fair game.

Technically, and legally speaking, they were not.

"Only the UN Security Council has the prerogative to authorize military responses to violations of its resolutions; no single member state can do so unilaterally without explicit authorization.

The U.S. bombing campaigns, therefore, are illegal. In addition, the no-fly zones and other restrictions against Iraq’s military activity within its borders were unilaterally imposed by the United States and Great Britain and are not based on any credible legal covenant."

"The no-fly zones allowed the Coalition Allies (originally the U.S., the U.K. and France), to enforce what came to be called "No-Fly Zones" over northern and southern Iraq to protect the rebellious Iraqi minorities (Kurds and Shiite Muslims) in northern and southern Iraq to prevent Saddam Hussein's government from using military aircraft to attack these minorities.

The U.S. bombing campaign and the enforcement of no-fly zones are implemented without authorization from the United Nations."

Legal or not, it was understood that Coalition Allies would only strike targets in response to being fired on (self-defense) by Iraqi forces, and then only additional targets in the immediate area, and only in the Northern and Southern No-Fly zones to protect the Kurds and Shiites.

"Queried at a Sept. 16, 2002, press briefing about a perceived escalation in the number of coalition air strikes, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman, openly acknowledged that tactics had changed."

Other detail regarding this "change in tactics" from:

Therefore, bombing other areas and/or targets in Iraq was not legitimate just because Rumsfeld decided it would be so. That Saddam (Iraq) looked to "greatly enhance the command and control abilities of the Iraqi military" seems to me quite appropriate when it comes to self-defense. They were, and still are, a soverign nation.

The fact remains that the US and UK stepped up military strikes in earnest, during the latter of August, 2002 and continued until March 20, 2003. You can find many references to that fact with a Google search.

As to a comparison of the number of airstrikes by Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II, would you happen to have any links I could visit in order to arrive at the numbers you came up with?
Anonymous said...
".... this is not a rep or dumbocratic problem"

You are missing the point..this elite group of thugs in DC has us quarreling with each other and we have to stop it and join each other... Bush is the enemy of all of us, not just the Democrat Party. He lied to the Republican voters too... Democrats aren't the only ones with ears. Bushco lied to ALL of us...Bushco is the common enemy of ALL the voters in America.
this is a very good link... (see above)
"change in tactics" from:

It is obvious that changes to the Rules of Engagement took place in June 2002. Did those changes include a change in minimum altitude for US / UK aircraft? Iraqi AAA and shoulder-fired SAM-7s were effective at lower altitudes - in Kosovo this was 15,000 feet. Did the ROE lower the altitude floor (the bottom limit) to entice the Iraqis into ineffective shooting, and thence to justify a bombing response? How low was the floor?

Just look at the numbers in the article. 4,000 sorties between June 2002 and March 2003 solely against Iraqi air defense, about 500 Iraqi AAA, rocket or SAM "hostile actions" and 90 "coalition responses" of one or more weapons. In the entire 12 years there were 300,000 total sorties....and NO coalition aircraft losses. US /UK pilots are very good, but they're not perfect nor perfectly lucky. It reads like 'rope-a-dope.'
The legality of the no-fly zones can be argued, but in the end it just shows how worthless the UN has become (ex: Kosovo, Sudan, Congo, Iraq, etc...)

But the question at hand is whether Bush did something unusual / illegal. And the answer is no. It had been US policy to enforce the no-fly zones and to respond to attacks and targeting by Iraqi air defense systems.

Any site related to Iraq's air defense system was fair game under US policy (before Bush even came to office). The fiber-optics infrastructure that helped to facilitate the attacks on coalition aircraft to the command and control sites that planned and coordinated the attacks on coalition aircraft were all fair game.

In fact in 1999 the Clinton admin changed the rules of engagement to allow coalition aircraft to target a wider range of air defense and affiliated sites.

I guess that makes sense since the bombing under the Clinton admin was so much greater than under the Bush admin.

1999-2000 (Clinton admin)
535 tons

2001-2002 (Bush admin)
330 tons
The coalition may have more aggressively enforced the no-fly zones, but Iraq more aggressivly targeted and attacked coalition aircraft during the run up to the Iraq war. No one forced the Iraqis to do that, well except for the bounty Saddam put on the heads of coalition pilots...
anonimous said you're so called facts are not rite. sadam wuld not put booty on coalicious pilots bc he new that bushitler (KKK/PNAC) wuld just use taht as a excuse for going ro war for blood-oil. anonimous sauces dont lye.
"anonimous said you're so called facts are not rite. sadam wuld not put booty on coalicious pilots bc he new that bushitler (KKK/PNAC) wuld just use taht as a excuse for going ro war for blood-oil. anonimous sauces dont lye."

Don't know about the KKK , but it's a fact most political appointees of the Bush Administration are members of the PNAC , including governor of Florida and W's brother Jeb Bush ... potential 2008 Presidential candidate?

Bush's only pick for UN, John Bolton, is member of PNAC as well.
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