Victims of the Amiryah bomb shelter destruction
A $2 million cruise missile destroyed a cemetery
George Bush's version of "family values"
January 19, 2011
The goal of Desert Storm was to destroy
the country of Iraq under the guise of liberating Kuwait. In February 1991, during the height of U.S.
bombing, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark visited Iraq
and reported his findings. At that time, few photos had come from Iraq
showing the devastation. Most reporters left Iraq on the eve of the bombing
campaign and spent their time in Saudi Arabia listening to the daily propaganda
given by the U.S. military. They became
so bored that they began to interview each other.
saw was not pretty. He stated:
The effect of the bombing, if continued,
will be the destruction of much of the physical and economic base for life in Iraq.
The purpose of the bombing can only be explained rationally as the destruction of Iraq as a viable state for a generation or more.
Clark’s message was not widely
reported. After all, the U.S. version of events stated that the only reason
for the aggression was to remove Iraqi soldiers from Kuwait.
The lack of coverage of what was occurring in Iraq was convenient for the
U.S. because it allowed the destruction of Iraq to continue with no world outcry.
After the bombing ceased, pictures
began making their way to the outside world. When this information reached the U.S.,
the administration called it lies and propaganda. At other times, it accused Iraq
of destroying its own institutions and blaming it on U.S.
bombs. Once people from outside Iraq began to visit the country, the blatant
U.S. lies were exposed. The following
is a list of the numbers of facilities destroyed during the 42-day bombing campaign. It was compiled and published by the
Iraqi Reconstruction Bureau:
· Schools and scholastic facilities — 3960
· Universities, labs, dormitories — 40
· Health facilities (including hospitals, clinics, medical
warehouses) — 421
· Telephone operations, communication towers, etc. —
· Bridges, buildings, housing complexes — 260
· Warehouses, shopping centers, grain silos — 251
· Churches and mosques — 159
· Dams, pumping stations, agricultural facilities —
· Petroleum facilities (including refineries) —
· General services (shelters, sewage treatment plants,
municipalities) — 830
· Houses — 10,000 to 20,000
In April 1991, a fact-finding team
from Greenpeace visited Iraq and nobody
was prepared for the display of massive devastation. When Greenpeace issued its report, it said Iraq had been bombed back to a pre-industrial era. The report added, "New
technology did not make the U.S. military
better at preventing destruction, it just made it more efficient at destruction itself."
press ignored most of the reports by various groups that visited Iraq
after Desert Storm. The few words reported, along with the absence of photos, assured a lack of public outcry condemning the
The massacre should not have surprised
those who followed incidents leading to Desert Storm. As early as September 1990, a high-up military person mapped the plans
for the invasion. On September 16, 1990, General Dugan stated that the proposed plans for combat included the destruction
of the Iraqi civilian economy and infrastructure. At that time, no one could envisage the U.S.
attacking Iraq because the Iraqi soldiers were in Kuwait
and the U.S. demanded their exit. Most
people thought, if there was to be a war, it would be conducted in Kuwait,
not Baghdad. General Dugan was immediately removed from office.
The Bush administration negated Dugan’s claims and discredited him. In hindsight, we see that Dugan’s testimony
was about the only truth we heard from the U.S.
government or military at that time. He let the cat out of the bag, but government damage control quickly led the people to
believe he made up the scenarios he predicted.
For the first week of Desert Storm,
everyone seemed to be mesmerized by the "smart bombs" that were going down chimneys and smashing through the windows
of weapons warehouses. When the odd person asked about civilians being hit, the standard response was, "We’re
not targeting civilians." What we were not told was that 93% of the bombs dropped were "dumb bombs" and
the civilian infrastructure of Iraq was
being destroyed. Only about 30 to 40% of the dumb bombs hit their targets. The others randomly created havoc by killing civilians
and destroying Iraq’s cities and
After Desert Storm, some military people
admitted the real nature of the attacks. Air Force General Tony McPeak stated on March 20, 1991, "I’ve got photographic
evidence of several where the pilot just acquired the wrong target." When asked why that information had not come forth
earlier, he added, "It ain’t my call. I made some recommendations about this; it got turned around, quite frankly."
Those who questioned the U.S. government’s reports of only hitting military targets
had their fears verified on January 22, 1991. Pictures of a destroyed baby milk factory in the region of Abu Ghraib were broadcast
worldwide. Many people were aghast at the bombing of a civilian industry crucial for the existence of youngsters.
The Pentagon immediately went into
high gear to try to dispel the protests of those who questioned such barbaric actions. The administration stated that it was
a biological weapons plant. Colin Powell said"
It is not an infant formula factory,
no more than the Rabta chemical plant in Libya
made aspirin. It was a biological weapons facility, of that we are sure — and we have taken it out.
The administration came up with the
excuse that "Baby Milk Factory" signs around the plant were written in English and Arabic and they had just been
mounted after the bombing to try to make people think it was a baby formula factory. The American public bought the excuse.
The public never researched to discover
that many signs in Iraq included both English and Arabic versions because
of the substantial English-speaking population who worked in Iraq
prior to Desert Storm. The sign at the baby milk factory had been in place for several years prior to its bombing. Peter Arnett
of CNN stated after Desert Storm that the same factory and sign were evident in a documentary that CNN produced in the late
Nestlé of Switzerland is a leading
producer of infant foods. A spokesman for the company said, "We know this was a state-built infant formula plant."
Company officials said they had regularly observed its construction in the past, "because we like to be aware of the
U.S. audiences rarely heard or saw what other countries reported concerning Desert Storm. A British
TV show, "Panorama," was broadcast on March 25, 1991 which included an interview with General Leonard Perroots,
a consultant to U.S. intelligence in Desert
Storm. He addressed the bombing of the baby milk factory and he quickly put the matter to rest as he said, "We made
The bombing of the baby milk factory
put the world on alert that the information broadcast at the daily military briefings was untruthful. At that time, those
who opposed Desert Storm were shocked at the widespread destruction in Iraq.
They wondered how the U.S. public, which
usually would have treated such barbaric designs with disdain, had acquiesced to cheering such actions. The answer lies in
the demonizing of Iraq and its president,
In George Bush’s Thanksgiving
speech to U.S. troops in Saudi
Arabia in 1990, he stated:
Every day that passes brings Saddam
one step closer to realizing his goal of a nuclear weapons arsenal, and that’s why more and more your mission is marked
by a real sense of urgency. You know, no one knows exactly who they may be aimed at down the road, but we know this for sure,
he’s never possessed a weapon he didn’t use.
At the time of his speech, Bush knew
that Iraq was at least five years away from developing its first crude
atomic weapon, yet he made it sound as though Iraq
was on the verge of obtaining a comprehensive nuclear arsenal. In further speeches, he suggested that in six months, Iraq would be a nuclear threat to the world. The myth of an
Iraqi nuclear warehouse was a prime excuse for Bush II invading Iraq
in 2003. And, to this day, many U.S. citizens believe Iraq possessed nuclear weapons.
Even after the bombing of the baby
milk factory, the U.S. denied bombing
civilians or buildings used in civilian industries. When the Iraqi government stated that a village or suburb was hit, the
U.S. government would say the Iraqis weren’t
telling the truth. Because of the demonizing of Iraq,
most Americans thought all Iraqi information consisted of lies.
On January 31, an independent source
announced that the U.S. was bombing civilians.
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry stated that coalition planes had bombed oil trucks and civilians moving along the highway from
Iraq to Jordan.
Again, the U.S. denied the allegations,
but some eyes were being opened.
reports were made stating that the bombing was so intense that the ground in Iran
was shaking. On February 5, 1991, an official in Basra described "a hellish nightmare" of fires and smoke so dense
that eyewitnesses say the sun had not been clearly visible for days at a time; that the bombing was leveling entire city blocks;
and that there were bomb craters the size of football fields and an untold number of casualties.
On February 7, the military still denied
that civilians were being targeted. When asked about the allegations, General Richard Neal told the press, "It’s
a target-rich environment and there’s plenty of other targets we can attack."
While Neal was making his statement,
Ramsey Clark was traveling throughout Iraq
but his assessment differed greatly from that of the general. In describing the reality in Iraq,
Over the 2,000 miles of highway, roads
and streets we traveled, we saw scores, probably several hundred, destroyed vehicles. There were oil tank trucks, tractor
trailers, lorries, pickup trucks, a public bus, a mini bus, a taxi cab and many private cars destroyed by aerial bombardments
and strafing. We found no evidence of military equipment or supplies in the vehicles.
Along the roads, we saw several oil
refinery fires and numerous gasoline stations destroyed. One road-repair camp had been bombed on the road to Amman
(Jordan). As with the city streets in
residential and commercial areas where we witnessed damage, we did not see a single damaged or destroyed military vehicle,
tank, armored car, personnel carrier or other military equipment, or evidence of any having been removed.
Basra was probably the hardest-hit
city during Desert Storm. There was evidence of weapons that are normally used against military personnel having been deployed
in civilian areas of Basra: cluster bombs. Clark
saw this evidence and reported:
Small, anti-personnel bombs were alleged
to have fallen here (Basra) and we saw what appeared to be
one that did not explode imbedded in the rubble. We were shown the shell of a "mother" bomb which carries the
small fragmentation bombs.
When he left Iraq
in February 1991, Clark gave an overview of the situation:
United States annual military expenditures
alone are four times the gross national product of Iraq.
The use of highly-sophisticated military technology with mass destructive power against an essentially defenseless civilian
population of a poor nation is one of the greatest tragedies of our times.
A few days after Clark left Iraq, an incident occurred that astonished the world. On February
13, a pair of Stealth F-117 bombers dropped two 2,000-pound laser-guided bombs on a concrete building in the Amiryah section
of suburban Baghdad. The case-hardened bombs were directed
to penetrate the steel reinforced roof and detonate inside. It was a civilian bomb shelter.
The reports of the number of civilians
killed in the building — more than half were children — ranged from 400 to more than 1,000. Because the bodies
were so badly burned and melted, no one will ever know the exact total.
The U.S. administration first proclaimed that the target was an Iraqi command-and-control
post and the dead were Iraqi military personnel. The cameras eventually showed charred bodies of women and children, so the
U.S. story had to be revised. The administration
then said that the building was a military target in which Saddam Hussein placed civilians to protect the military personnel.
Dick Cheney, then the U.S. Secretary of Defense, stated, "Saddam might be resorting to a practice of deliberately placing
civilians in harm’s way."
The U.S. government scrambled to try to explain the massacre of so many people inside
a civilian bomb shelter. General Neal stated the government’s case as he said, "From a personal point of view,
I’m outraged that civilians might have been placed in harm’s way, and I blame the Iraqi leadership for that."
Unfortunately, many Americans believed Neal’s twisted excuse of blaming the Iraqi leadership for the incineration of
hundreds of people by deadly superbombs.
Within a few hours, the truth emerged.
The Amiryah bomb shelter was built for civilian defense during the Iran-Iraq War. The engineer who designed it appeared on
television and told the world there was no way it could be a military asset.
After the lies were put to rest, it
became evident that the U.S. had either
mistaken the target as a military venue, or it had deliberately destroyed it knowing it was a bomb shelter. Since February
14, 1991, the subject of the bombing of the Amiryah bomb shelter has been left unspoken in the U.S.
Those inside the bomb shelter died
horrific deaths. First, a 2,000-pound bomb crashed through the shelter, creating a massive tunnel in which the second 2,000-pound
projectile entered. Then, both exploded, leaving a huge hole. Those who died saw the first bomb and had a few seconds of life
left before the second burrowed its way into the shelter and discharged.
Despite the ensuing international outcry
about the destruction of the Amiryah shelter, the U.S.
did not cut back on the bombing. Actually, the bombing of the Iraqi infrastructure increased. According to Greenpeace in a
report called On Impact::
Despite numerous statements of U.S. military leaders that the Iraqi army had been defeated, as well as some confidence that
contact between Baghdad and the front in the south had been
severed, communications targets, mostly serving civilian functions, continued to be struck and re-struck to the end. If fact,
according to Air Force Times, during the final ground phase, "Baghdad was targeted for some of the heaviest bombardments since January
The cease-fire did not solve all the
problems for the civilians of Iraq. Shortly
after, George Bush called for the Iraqi people to "take matters into their own hands" in ridding Iraq of its government. For the next few weeks, some Shi’ites in the south,
heavily aided and infiltrated by Iranians, wreaked havoc, while certain Kurdish factions started an insurrection in the north
of Iraq. There was bloody fighting and at one time, the Shi’ite and Kurdish elements controlled 16 of Iraq’s 18 provinces. Both movements eventually were
brought under control by the Iraqi government. Not content with destroying Iraq
by bombing it back to a "pre-industrial era," Bush prompted even more destruction by urging factions within Iraq to overthrow the government. He promised both groups
military assistance from the U.S., but
In April 1991, the outside world saw
Iraq for the first time since it had been destroyed by U.S. bombs and missiles. The nightmarish pictures started
to appear. They showed a country that was bombed so heavily that the most common sites were craters and twisted, melted and
Ramsey Clark made another trip to Iraq to document the devastation. Once there, he noticed an
ongoing operation that was meant to terrorize the population: