Tuesday, January 22, 2008

BDA Based on BDS

I'm sure you've heard the accusations of our brutality in Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed during the war and the vast majority are from our bombing campaigns. People seriously believe this. Bush Derangement Syndrome has made a mockery of Bomb Damage Assessment.

The problem is that this charge of mass murder is ridiculous on the face of it. The vast majority of casualties in Iraq among Iraqi civilians have been caused by the enemy. You know, the ones who send suicide bombers against school children and send out death squads at night? Their rules of engagement target civilians. Our ROE seek to protect civilians.

The second problem is that we haven't dropped enough bombs on Iraq to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Strategypage has a useful post on how air power has worked in this war:

The coalition air forces in Iraq (mainly the U.S. Air Force, but also U.S. Navy, Marines and British Royal Air Force), dropped a lot more bombs in 2007 (over 1,500) compared to 2006 (under 200). ...

Despite the increased use of aerial bombing, civilian casualties were miniscule. By historical standards, there has never been a war this intense, that produced so few civilian casualties. Over 90 percent of Iraqi civilian deaths have been at the hands of Islamic terrorist groups, who use suicide bombers and death squads to slaughter those who disagree with them. While Vietnam saw thousands of civilians dying each month, for years on end, as "collateral damage" from aerial bombs, Iraq gets a few dozen such deaths a month, at most. Until the development of smart bombs, you had to drop a hundred or more bombs to hit one specific target. In Vietnam, over ten million bombs were dropped, that's over a million bombs a year. In Iraq, about a thousand bombs a year were dropped. It makes a difference.

The ability of those opposed to the war to make the most outlandish accusations about our brutality in defiance of all evidence just astounds me.

The willingness of Americans to believe this rot depresses me.