The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

What U.S. Military Leaders “Forget” to Mention

May 23, 2022

The New York Times just won a Pulitzer Prize for a series reporting on civilians killed by U.S. bombing in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, and on how the U.S. military essentially covered up these deaths. That’s worth remembering when U.S. military leaders—starting with Biden—have the nerve to express dismay about civilians killed by the Russian military in Ukraine.

To give just one example: in March of 2019, the U.S. bombed and killed dozens of people including women and children gathered by a riverbank in Syria. A military analyst said on an internal chat: “We just dropped on 50 women and children." Yet the military did nothing about it until the New York Times broke the story two years later.

Only then did the military carry out an “investigation” which did not dispute the basic fact that U.S. planes killed dozens of people, women, and children among them. But this “investigation” found no wrongdoing by anyone in the U.S. military. A military spokesperson had the nerve to say "Yes, we killed some innocent civilians, women and children. We actually do feel bad about this." But he added: "It was in the midst of combat, in the fog of war."

This case was no exception. A Times reporter investigated the sites of hundreds of airstrikes in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. She found evidence of huge numbers of civilian deaths, many of them children. And yet, when she went over the U.S. military’s official accounts, she found that "Not a single record provided includes a finding of wrongdoing or disciplinary action."

Of course, the U.S. military has no interest in investigating or punishing anyone for all those ordinary people it has killed across a wide swath of the world. The sheer numbers the U.S. has murdered show that thousands of civilian deaths are essential to these types of wars of imperialist domination, carried out by the most modern fighter jets and drones against cities and villages full of people. Any real list of those responsible for blowing up and burning to death these thousands of children and adults over the last twenty years would have to start with Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden.