National Catholic Reporter
The Independent Newsweekly
Cover Story: At war
Issue Date:  April 4, 2003

Americans in Baghdad question ‘precision’ bombing

Precision bombing, it seems, depends on one’s perspective.

Writing on the Web site of the Iraq Peace Team -- Americans who have remained in Iraq not, they say, as “human shields” but as peace advocates “standing in solidarity” with Iraqis -- Lisa Ndjeru wrote that one person’s precision is another’s destruction.

“We get many phone calls from the media wanting to know casualty numbers and information about places hit. There’s a lot of talk about precision. Are the Americans hitting precise targets? Are they keeping casualties to a minimum? It makes me very angry. Even if it were precision bombing, precision being that not a single civilian or home were hit, it still doesn’t make this war legitimate. …

“It isn’t that precise. We’ve gone to a hospital to see the civilian casualties. We’ve gone to visit bombing sites. There are civilian homes that are being hit. It makes me angry. I wonder how many people, little girls, little boys, mothers, fathers, grandparents, do we need to see either dead or maimed in order to say this is wrong.

“I watched TV yesterday and I saw some American casualties, some prisoners of war and some dead, and it breaks my heart to see those young soldiers stripped of their gear and their teams and their armaments and their weapons and their certainties, alone in the enemy camp. It shouldn’t come to that.”

-- Joe Feuerherd

National Catholic Reporter, April 4, 2003

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