US aircraft doubled bombing raids on Iraq in 2002 to provoke Saddam Hussein
by : Michael Smith
Sunday May 29, 2005 - 16:49
THE RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war, new evidence has shown.
The attacks were intensified from May, six months before the United Nations resolution that Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, argued gave the coalition the legal basis for war. By the end of August the raids had become a full air offensive.
The details follow the leak to The Sunday Times of minutes of a key meeting in July 2002 at which Blair and his war cabinet discussed how to make “regime change” in Iraq legal.
Geoff Hoon, then defence secretary, told the meeting that “the US had already begun ‘spikes of activity’ to put pressure on the regime”.
The new information, obtained by the Liberal Democrats, shows that the allies dropped twice as many bombs on Iraq in the second half of 2002 as they did during the whole of 2001, and that the RAF increased their attacks even more quickly than the Americans did.
During 2000, RAF aircraft patrolling the southern no-fly zone over Iraq dropped 20.5 tons of bombs from a total of 155 tons dropped by the coalition, a mere 13%. During 2001 that figure rose slightly to 25 tons out of 107, or 23%.
However, between May 2002 and the second week in November, when the UN Security Council passed resolution 1441, which Goldsmith said made the war legal, British aircraft dropped 46 tons of bombs a month out of a total of 126.1 tons, or 36%.
By October, with the UN vote still two weeks away, RAF aircraft were dropping 64% of bombs falling on the southern no-fly zone.
Tommy Franks, the allied commander, has since admitted this operation was designed to “degrade” Iraqi air defences in the same way as the air attacks that began the 1991 Gulf war.
It was not until November 8 that the UN security council passed resolution 1441, which threatened Iraq with “serious consequences” for failing to co-operate with the weapons inspectors.
The briefing paper prepared for the July meeting - the same document that revealed the prime minister’s agreement during a summit with President George W Bush in April 2002 to back military action to bring about regime change - laid out the American war plans.
They opted on August 5 for a “hybrid plan” in which a continuous air offensive and special forces operations would begin while the main ground force built up in Kuwait ready for a full-scale invasion.
The Ministry of Defence figures, provided in response to a question from Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, show that despite the lack of an Iraqi reaction, the air war began anyway in September with a 100-plane raid.
The systematic targeting of Iraqi air defences appears to contradict Foreign Office legal guidance appended to the leaked briefing paper which said that the allied aircraft were only “entitled to use force in self-defence where such a use of force is a necessary and proportionate response to actual or imminent attack from Iraqi ground systems”.
Click here to read the Iraq memo
Much better than the molotov coctail : the money off cocktail!
Thursday 24 - 21:35by Yann Bourhis
"THIS AIN’T NO GAME SHOW!" Elder Abuse Blog
Thursday 24 - 12:33by Monica Post
Why Americans Are Complacent About War Crimes and Mother Fracking Oil
Thursday 24 - 12:23by Timbre Wolf
Exposed: horrendous pro-Zionist, Zionist and Apartheid Israeli child abuse
Monday 21 - 15:42by Dr Gideon Polya
JUDGE ROSEMARY COLLYER: SOCIOPATH AND MURDERER
Monday 21 - 13:00by David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
Much more better than the molotov coktail: the money off cocktail!
Monday 21 - 10:07by Yann Bourhis
Launch of the ABUJNA Abu Jihad Palestinian News Agency
Saturday 19 - 02:39by News Palestine
SURROUND THE EUROPEAN BUSINESS SUMMIT!
Friday 18 - 12:15
"Renewable ethanol" is utterly false Lobbyocracy and Corporatocracy greenwash
Friday 18 - 09:44by Dr Gideon Polya
Survival Is the Saudi Key Word
Friday 18 - 08:46by Nicola Nasser
THE SECOND MYSTERY AROUND MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT MH370
Thursday 17 - 17:45by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Judge Asked To Recuse Himself In EU Human Rights Case
Thursday 17 - 13:41by WireNews+Co
Thursday April the 17th is the Palestinian Prisoners Day
Wednesday 16 - 10:20
Disaster Draws Nigh : A Great Choice Beckons
Tuesday 15 - 11:55by SON OF A BUSH
A Cacaphony of Paltry Frogs : It’s all over but the shooting
Monday 14 - 22:40by Daniel Patrick Welch
HURTLING INTO DARKNESS: AMERICA’S GREAT LEAP TOWARDS GLOBAL TYRANNY
Monday 14 - 19:16by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Voices of Ukraine: ’Kiev, People Are Not Cattle!’
Saturday 12 - 03:10by Johnny Canuck
Nuclear Dangers in Ukraine Crisis
Thursday 10 - 09:30
Fifty years after the overthrow, in Brazil, of democratically elected president Joao Goulart, Washington’s support to the coup must not be forgotten
Thursday 10 - 08:52by TOUSSAINT Eric
The Red Line and the Rat Line
Thursday 10 - 08:44by Seymour M. Hersh
Assad Is There to Stay
Wednesday 9 - 11:33by Nicola Nasser
THE LIMP LEFT CLING TO REL-LIE ABLE OBAMA
Monday 7 - 18:55by Son OF A BUSH
Putin Flushes the US Dollar: Russia’s Gold Ruble Payments System Delinked from Dollar?
Monday 7 - 09:46by Umberto Pascali
South Sudan Facing Famine Crisis
Sunday 6 - 05:51by Brian McAfee
Climate inaction from explict denialism and effective climate change denialism
Saturday 5 - 17:42by Dr Gideon Polya
Saturday 5 - 10:40by
Drugs and politics: how Rafael Louzán played his opponent
Friday 4 - 19:19by libertavigo
AMERICA: THE MOST CORRUPT DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY
Friday 4 - 03:44by David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
Current Philippine Government And Military Using ongoing Extra-Judicial
Wednesday 2 - 01:29by Brian McAfee
letter of april to Obama.
Tuesday 1 - 19:19by kakine
Western hypocrisy re Crimea-Russia re-union versus Israeli Occupation & genocide
Tuesday 1 - 05:12by Dr Gideon Polya
Rafael Louzán and Hermelino Alonso: opening the doors for drugs
Monday 31 - 11:24
Tens of Thousands First Nations Children Died in Canada’s Residential Schools
Sunday 30 - 10:59by Johnny Canuck
UKRAINIANS SOON TO SCREAM : " I M F ’ D "
Sunday 30 - 04:15by SON OF A BUSH
Japan Stops Treating Radioactive Water
Friday 28 - 22:34by Bob Nichols, Project Censored Award Winner
Casablanca-Morocco: Stop union-busting at Total Call.
Wednesday 26 - 19:30by U.M.T.
Confirming the Tony Benn commemoration
Wednesday 26 - 10:48by Stop the War Coalition
Time to grab guns and kill damn Russians – Tymoshenko in leaked tape
Tuesday 25 - 11:37
We should find better heroes than Meir Har-Zion
Monday 24 - 11:15by Yossi Sarid
OBAMA IS A PEACH : VERY IMPEACHABLE
Saturday 22 - 19:35by SON OF A BUSH