In the 1920s Winston Churchill bombed Iraqis who were resisting British rule. The issue was oil. This established a policy that would lead to massive World War II bombing campaigns and now the vast aerial attack by the U.S. and its colonially-minded partners that is devastating the lives of millions of people across swaths of the Middle East and Afghanistan, and to a lesser degree Libya and Somalia.
This linked article provides an extremely important analysis of the thinking behind the racist, 1920s British air war and how this thinking lives today in drone war as well as the overall U.S. aerial killing policy.
In these remarkable - must watch - linked videos it is hard to see any difference between the ideas expressed by RAF pilots who bombed Iraqis in the 1920s and U.S. policy now. The reports of the Iraqi witnesses to the RAF attacks are almost identical to the comments of victims of drone attacks now.
It is impossible to know the full human and environmental cost of what can only be described as an atrocity of historic proportions, which includes bombing by B-52s, but information from Air Wars.org, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and other sources suggest that the U.S.-led air aerial assault campaign across Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and Libya, including assisting Saudi Arabia’s air attacks in Yemen, has caused:
At least 20,000 civilian deaths and tens of thousands more wounded.(My estimate based on information in the above sources; I think this is very conservative.)
Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of refugees.
Famine and cholera threatening more than 17 million in Yemen alone.
Massive destruction of homes, communities and infrastructure.These photos of Mosul in Iraq can be taken in many, many places that are being subjected to “coalition” air attack.
U.S. drone operators have been a key part of this campaign, apparently involved in identifying targets for conventional bombers as well as undertaking their own attacks. This extremely informative linked article speaks of drone operators working to minimize civilian casualties, but given what is happening, one can only wonder at this kind of commentary.
These links give specifics on the more than 13 “coalition” nations involved in the bombing campaign, as well as Russia and Iran, and on specifics of U.S. aircraft involved and munitions dropped per type of aircraft, including drones.
However, these links do not provide specifics on U.S. air attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which are likely increasing along with the invasion of more U.S. troops into Afghanistan and the likelihood of pursuit of Taliban fighters into Pakistan.
The expansion of the U.S. troop invasion in Afghanistan, of course, gives the lie to the notion that drones keep U.S. troops from having to put boots on the ground in war zones. The U.S. drone assassination campaign began in Afghanistan in 2001.