The scope of the murderous assault by U.S. imperialism on the Iraqi city of Mosul—with its genocide-scale war crimes—was beginning to filter into the mainstream media. And then—just as Trump, the Democratic Party, the Joint-Chiefs of staff, and the U.S. intelligence apparatus were about to be indicted for these war crimes before world public opinion—came the April 4 chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province in northwestern Syria.
for launching this attack was immediately placed on Bashar al-Assad,
though no evidence was provided to back this claim. No matter. The
U.S. government seized upon this tragedy to shift the blame from its
war crimes in Mosul to the Syrian government for its alleged
sarin-gas assault in Khan Sheikhoun.
International published a devastating report on March 28 charging
U.S. rulers with war crimes, specifying “disproportionate and
indiscriminate” saturation bombing of residential areas of Mosul
that slaughtered hundreds of civilian men, women, and children on
March 17. Over the course of the following week, the Iraqi Civil
Defense Department announced that 531 further bodies were dug out,
with more to come.
March 28, Lt. General Stephen Townsend, U.S. Commander in Iraq and
Syria, admitted to Pentagon reporters: “We probably had a role in
later attempted to blame the victims, claiming that there was no
reason for civilians to congregate inside buildings targeted by U.S.
war planes, and going on to blame ISIS for using civilians as “human
shields.” Independent media outlets, however, told another story,
based on interviews with survivors: Entire families had congregated
in the basement of neighborhood homes to escape the relentless
bombing by U.S.-trained forces. Their personal accounts are
horrendous was the carnage that even Iraqi Vice President Osama
al-Nujafi, who is from Mosul and serves as the most senior Sunni
official in Iraq, responded to Townsend by designating the U.S.
targeting and bombing of Mosul as “a humanitarian catastrophe”
resulting “in the martyrdom of hundreds of civilians.” He called
for an emergency session of the Iraqi parliament and an official
investigation of the slaughter.
charged that these ongoing mass civilian casualties were the result
of new and “changed rules of engagement” by the U.S.-led
coalition that minimized any attempt to protect the lives of unarmed,
men, women, and children trapped in Mosul. Iraqi officers cited by
York Times on
March 28 noted that, “the American-led coalition has been quicker
to strike urban targets from the air with less time to weigh the
risks for civilians, a change reflecting a renewed push by the U.S.
military under the Trump administration to speed up the battle for
from the scene of the devastation, The New
York Times account
assumed ominous proportions for the Trump administration and U.S.
rulers. It described: “A panorama of destruction in the
neighborhood of Jadida so vast one resident compared the destruction
to that of Hiroshima, Japan, where the United States dropped an
atomic bomb in World War II. There was a charred arm, wrapped in a
piece of red fabric, poking from the rubble; rescue workers in red
jumpsuits who wore face masks to avoid the stench, some with rifles
slung over their shoulders, searched the wreckage for bodies.”
Amnesty International report confirms that the war crimes in Jadida
are only the bloodiest in a series of attacks carried out by U.S.-led
gathered on the ground in East Mosul points to an alarming pattern of
U.S.-led coalition airstrikes which have destroyed whole houses with
entire families inside,” reports Amnesty’s senior crisis response
adviser Donatella Rovera following field investigations in the
war-ravaged city. The high civilian toll suggests that coalition
forces leading the offensive in Mosul have failed to take adequate
precautions to prevent civilian deaths, in flagrant violation of
international humanitarian law.”
March 21, the monitoring group Airwars recorded over 1000 “civilian
casualty events” resulting from airstrikes by the United States and
its allies in Iraq and Syria.
surprisingly, the changed “rules of engagement” enacted by the
Pentagon under the Trump administration have not elicited any
protests from the leadership of the Democratic Party. This is because
the war escalation in Iraq and Syria enjoys full bipartisan support.
In fact, as the Amnesty International report documents, the carnage
in Mosul was already well under way before Barack Obama left the
of course, never became a household word in the United States.
Reports were only beginning to make their way into the corporate
media about the extent of the U.S.-sponsored carnage in Mosul. The
sarin attack in Syria came just at the right moment to enable Trump
and his Democratic Party allies to shift the blame for their war
crimes in Mosul to the Assad regime, all the better to justify the
U.S. missile attacks against the sovereign nation of Syria.
>> The article above was written by Ralph Schoenman, and is reprinted from The Organizer newspaper.