Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Carpet Bombing


In December’s GOP debate, CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked Ted Cruz: "You have said you would, 'carpet bomb ISIS into oblivion,' testing whether: 'sand can glow in the dark.'  Does that mean leveling the ISIS capital of Raqqa in Syria, where there are hundreds of thousands of civilians?"
Senator Cruz answered: "What it means is using overwhelming air power to utterly and completely destroy ISIS.”  He pointed to the Persian Gulf War with roughly 1,100 air attacks a day, and claimed: "We carpet bombed them for 36 days, saturation bombing, after which our troops went in and in a day-and-a-half mopped up what was left of the Iraqi army."
The first Gulf War was the beginning of the growing use of precision-guided weapons.  Unlike today’s fight against ISIS, our military was going against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's large numbers of conventional armed troops in the field and readily detectable targets separate from civilian populations.
Lt. General MacFarland directs the coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and has firmly rejected the idea of "carpet bombing."  He explained: "Indiscriminate bombing where we don't care if we are killing innocents or combatants is just inconsistent with our values.
"We are the United States of America, and you know we have a set of guiding principles and those affect the way we, as professional soldiers, airmen, sailors, marines conduct ourselves on the battlefield.  We are bound by the laws of armed conflict...  Right now we have the moral high ground and I think that's where we need to stay."
Recently, Cruz was asked again about the idea.  He replied: "You know, you claim it is tough talk to discuss carpet bombing.  It is not tough talk.  It is a different, fundamental military strategy than what we've seen from Barack Obama."

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