Recalling the Slaughter of Innocents

by Ray (updated from the original publication on Feb. 14, 2011)

The quarter-century anniversary of an early U.S. war crime in Iraq passed largely unnoticed this week, the bombing of a civilian air-raid shelter in Baghdad during President George H.W. Bush’s Persian Gulf War, an atrocity that killed more than 400 women and children, as Ray McGovern recalled in 2011.

Recalling the Slaughter of Innocents


(Ray suggests that those of you, who may have missed the NYT article, not to forget to click on the first link embedded in the above intro:

As for the original article of Feb. 14, 2011, when Bob Parry emailed him this morning to let him know he was updating and reposting it, Ray added this comment at the site:

Thanks, Bob, for digging this article out of the archive. I had forgotten I wrote it, perhaps because the day after I wrote it I was moved to stand up and turn my back on then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ended up beaten, in jail, the ER, and then dealing with my wounds. I have also been a bit preoccupied dealing with my most recent arrest on Jan. 28 at Hancock Air Force Base in Syracuse, NY, giving witness with upstate Catholic Worker folks, “The Jerry Berrigan 12,” against the vaporizing of people – this time with drones.

Thanks, too, for reminding me how the White House blamed the incineration of people at Amiriyah on Saddam Hussein. A decent respect for the opinions of mankind would require that Bush and Cheney be brought to justice, rather than given a pass by their timid successors.

With respect to the key question regarding what the “intelligence” was/is worth – well, Gen. Glosson was, and still is, correct. Drones are now killing folks by using highly sophisticated NSA algorithms that, truth be told, are worth no more than the targeting “intelligence” of 25 years ago – their worth so aptly described by Glosson.

“Actually, Brigadier General Buster Glosson, who had overall responsibility for targeting, later commented that the ‘intelligence’ pointing to military use was not ‘worth a shit.’”

Sadly, the glib – actually, the unconscionable – attitude regarding the worth of the targeting “intelligence” also reflects the attitude of U.S. administrations (plural) re. the worth of those targeted. It is an unconscionable attitude tinged with racism and disdain for the “small people” of this world – people who can easily be dehumanized and diminished by White House “Strategic Communications” – with the full cooperation of the Fawning Corporate Media.

These are moral – one might even say theological – questions. I am indebted to the late Dean Brackley, S.J., a New Yorker who taught at Fordham and then quit to go down to San Salvador to replace one of the Jesuits slain there on Nov. 16, 1989. It was Dean who gave me concise words to my theology.

The words do not sound very profound, but they are solidly anchored not only in Hebrew and Christian scripture, but also in Islam and other faith traditions. Brackley: “It all depends on who you think God is, and how God feels when little people get pushed around.”

Brackley’s obituary can be found at: