my blakean year
photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images

radio baghdad

A Year Ago in Iraq

A little after nine o'clock in the evening on March 20, 2003, the United States began bombing Baghdad. B-2 Spirit bombers, F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter bombers, Tomahawk sea-launched cruise missiles, and missiles launched from B-52s set off a ferocious display of advanced firepower in Saddam Hussein's palaces and other targets in the city. This was the "Shock and Awe" tactic that the Pentagon had been talking about for months. The explosions that first night were spectacular, and the bombing continued for twenty days, as the American army advanced toward Baghdad from the south. On April 4th, U.S. troops took the Baghdad airport, and the city fell five days later.

On May 1, 2003, George Bush declared that combat operations were over in Iraq. By then, 138 American soldiers had been killed and an estimated 5,000 Iraqis. Five hundred more American soldiers have been killed since then and another 5,000 Iraqis. Over 3,000 soldiers have been wounded and many Iraqi civilians have been burned and maimed. Both Americans and Iraqis continue to be killed every day. The weapons of mass destruction that were Bush's casus belli have not materialized, and the war on terrorism that he invokes constantly as a justification for his various infringements on our civil liberties has only created more terrorism.

A year ago, George Bush announced a war that would "defend the world from great danger." But the world is not a safer place today. It is more dangerous for everyone.

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