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View Diary: The myth of "precision bombing" (115 comments)

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  •  Interesting statistics though, it does show the (10+ / 0-)

    the real reasons behind the precision bombing bullshit.  
    Nice diary.

    S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 04:36:50 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  thanks, the key is the bombs kill more people (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt, mookins, Marie

      at a much lower cost in lives to the bombing power.  There's really no precision other than the actual targeting itself, which is of course a matter of whom does one which to kill?

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 04:51:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think a very important point is being missed (9+ / 0-)

        here and I apologize in advance for ruffling feathers.

        Accuracy and precision in bombing matters. Yes, it is true that it becomes more palatable to the bomber but also to the bombee.

        To take Big Al's example above, Libya. NATO dropped an incredible number of bombs on Libya. Yet very few people died. A lot of regime tanks were blown up but almost no civilians and precious few actual soldiers.

        I would point you to Dresden, Tokyo and Coventry to see what untargeted bombing looks like, forget Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

        When someone it shooting at me, I'd prefer they kill just me and not the whole city.


        I refuse to believe corporations are people until Texas executes one.

        by Athenian on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 05:43:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem is the Amiriyah attack shows (7+ / 0-)

          a very large number of people can be killed by a very accurate bomb.  This was a deliberate and accurate attack, it was only later that the idea of blaming Saddam for having people go into an air raid shelter was dreamt up.

          At no time since then has anything like that been attempted by the US or any other power so far as I know.  Rather we have this or that bombing here and there, and just who was killed and why, is almost impossible to determine.  

          So, rather than incinerate 400 people all at once, we have predators killing 10 people at once in 40 separate incidents.

          You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

          by Cartoon Peril on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 05:51:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If any one on the US side was aware there were (4+ / 0-)

            civilians in the Amiriyah bunker then that is clearly a war a crime and needs to be prosecuted as such. (good luck with that as they say, but still)

            However, without precision weapons and a target of the same size, we would simply have dropped ten times the munitions, killed even more people and been less culpable because we are not responsible for "dumb" ordinance.

            Yes, that strike was a crime and it was a crime precisely because it was so accurate, but the crime was, I hope, inadequate information rather than willfully putting a bomb in a shelter.

            In the era of precision weaponry, bad intelligence can be a war crime, witness the attack on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. I'm not certain :  )  but I really hope that was a fuck up and not deliberate.

            I refuse to believe corporations are people until Texas executes one.

            by Athenian on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 06:03:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The entire war was a crime (10+ / 0-)

              Good luck, indeed. The current administration is as war prone as the last.

              They always demand the biggest carrot and then offer to rent us the stick. Occupy!

              by chuckvw on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 11:03:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  From a legal perspective... (0+ / 0-)

    's only a war crime if you were intentionally targeting civilians.  There's an issue of "proportionality" but to my knowledge no one has ever been charged under the principle.

              It's actually a war crime to use civilians as human shields, which was (allegedly) what the Iraqis were doing.

              Once the bomb turned the bunker into an oven, it was pretty much impossible to identify who was in there, as the diarist details.

              •  So is it a war crime for civilians to (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Marie, Cartoon Peril

                operate the drones from the DC suburbs.

                Such that when someone eventually comes for one of these (for all intents and purposes) combatants and blows up his or her entire family - and maybe their neighbors if they're living in a townhouse - is the drone operator's commander a war criminal?  It would seem that way.

                •  Uh... no, for obvious reasons I stated. (0+ / 0-)

                  Just killing civilians by accident is not a war crime.

                  •  Accidental on purpose (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    "Just killing" is an interesting locution.
                    As in "I was just killing some civilians and then the phone rang......"
                    It takes generations of continual warfare for modern Spartans to talk this way.

                    •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

                      it's the International Committee of the Red Cross that speaks that way. You really should read the Geneva Conventions and the authoritative commentary provided at .

                      •  The Conventions require.... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Cartoon Peril

                        that Parties damn well distinguish combatants and civilians. If you think drones do that you're smoking something powerful. If you think US conduct of war in the past half century has met the requirement  you've got some groovy alternate universe going there.
                        When pattern of conduct establishes that it's no fucking accident but rather policy to sustain a high level of civilian casualties it's war crimes.
                        ICRC has extremely limited capacity to prosecute or to initiate process leading to prosecution. That's politics. If you read the Conventions the intent is plain as day. The sort of imperial "accident" alluded to in comments above is not glossed over. Except by Dr. Pangloss.

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