Civilian Casualties in Baghdad From US Precision Bombing? Denial and Deception Used By Both Sides
30 March 2003
International TV crews have shown horrific footage of civilian areas destroyed by Donald Rumsfelds precision weaponry in Baghdad.
The Iraqi information ministry has shown pictures of a passenger bus which it claims was strafed by forces from the US/UK coalition and claims that a market in Baghdad was struck by a missile yesterday, in which 51 civilians were murdered. Neither of these claims has been admitted by the Pentagon, which began the war claiming that 8,000 Iraqi prisoners of war had been taken. Nearly two weeks later, it admits that it has 4,000.
The denial and deception is evidently being used on both sides. The Iraqi information ministry claims that around 400 civilians have been murdered since the beginning of this illegal attack by coalition forces, while around 3,650 have been wounded. It is impossible to verify these figures but since the beginning of the conflict, the Iraqi Information Ministry has proved to be far more reliable than the risible misinformation provided by the Pentagon.
The Pentagon, for example, claims that 1,500 Iraqi forces have been killed in close fighting, while the US forces lost only 6 soldiers, five to a suicide bomber and one to a sniper. The Iraqi Information Ministry claims that several hundred US soldiers have been killed, which would seem to be more in accord with the increased activity in US army hospitals in Germany.
In the south, in Basra, the camera does not lie. A ten-year-old Iraqi boy was presented to British medical forces by his screaming mother. He had been hit in the stomach by a stray bullet fired when coalition forces were shooting into the city.
Bullseye, Mr. Rumsfeld!