The Barrel Bomb Conundrum 364

Virtually every mainstream media article or broadcast on the United States aerial massacre of Syrian government troops, manages to work in a reference to barrel bombs as though this in some way justifies or mitigates the US action.

It is a fascinating example of a propaganda meme. Barrel bombs are being used by Syrian government forces, though on a pretty small scale. They are an improvised weapon made by packing conventional explosive into a beer barrel. They are simply an amateur version of a conventional weapon, and they are far less “effective” – meaning devastating – than the professionally made munitions the UK and US are dropping on Syria, or supplying to the Saudis to kill tens of thousands of civilians in Yemen, or to Israel to drop on children in Gaza.

If a bomb were to drop near me, I would much prefer it to be a barrel bomb as it would be less likely to kill me than the UK and US manufactured professional variety. If however my guts were to be eviscerated by flying hunks of white hot metal, I would not particularly care what kind of bomb it was. The blanket media use of “barrel bomb” as though it represents something uniquely inhumane is a fascinating example of propaganda, especially set beside the repeated ludicrous claims that British bombs do not kill civilians.

It is of course only part of the media distortion around the Syria debacle. Western intervention is aimed at supporting various Saudi backed jihadist militias to take over the country, irrespective of the fact that they commit appalling atrocities. These the media label “democratic forces”. At the same time, we are attacking other Saudi controlled jihadists on the grounds that they are controlled by the wrong kind of Saudi. You see, chopping off the heads of dissidents and gays is OK if you are one of the Saudis who directly controls the Saudi oil resources. It is not OK if you do it freelance and are one of the Saudis who is merely acting at the covert behest of the other Saudis who control the Saudi oil resources.

I do hope that is clear.

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364 thoughts on “The Barrel Bomb Conundrum

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  • michael norton

    The Big Moment is at hand

    FRENCH fighter jets took off from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle on Friday for an operation against the Islamic State jihadist organisation (IS) in its Iraqi stronghold of Mosul, an officer said.

    So in a short time there will be an election.
    President Francois is the least popular ever.

    Atomic aircraft carrier to be used to squash a few rebels.

    • michael norton

      The Big Moment is at hand

      700,000 will need aid once Mosul offensive starts

      The UN said Thursday it expected at least 700,000 people in Mosul would need assistance once the expected offensive on the Islamic State group stronghold begins.

      “Mosul has the potential to be one the largest… disasters of many, many years,” warned Bruno Geddo, the United Nation’s refugee agency’s main representative in Iraq.

      Iraq is already facing one of the world’s biggest displacement crises, with around 3.3 million people forced to flee their homes in the country since 2014.

      • michael norton

        All kicked off by The Americans, who provoked Sadam to go to battle with Iran and so on through the years.

        • michael norton

          The Iran – Iraq war cost both sides in lives and economic damage: half a million Iraqi and Iranian soldiers, with an equivalent number of civilians, are believed to have died, with many more injured; however, the war brought neither reparations nor changes in borders. The conflict has been compared to World War One in terms of the tactics used, including large-scale trench warfare with barbed wire stretched across trenches, manned machine gun posts, bayonet charges, human wave attacks across a no man’s land, and extensive use of chemical weapons such as sulfur mustard by the Iraqi government against Iranian troops, civilians, and Kurds. Many Muslim countries along with Western countries supported Iraq with loans, military equipment and satellite imagery during Iraqi attacks against Iranian targets.

          maybe one million dead

  • Paul Barbara

    VIDEO: Syria White Helmet Savagery Hand in Hand with Nusra Front aka Al Qaeda:

    ‘….One might ask Mr Le Mesurier, and also Mr Boris Johnson, UK Foreign Minister who just awarded the White Helmets a further £ 32 million for their “selfless bravery” and humanitarian valour, to perhaps explain the following video…..’

    Yes, indeed, and at the same time the DFID remove CIIR’s £2m yearly funding, leading to their dissolution.
    My own experience with CIIR has been they are a truly great supporter of poor peasants and workers wherever they are deployed, or wherever they support other local groups, unlike the murderous NATO puppet ‘White Helmets’.

    • Paul Barbara

      Ahrar Al-Sham plans to launch chemical attack on civilians, blame it on Syria govt – Syrian UN envoy’:

      ‘ Militants from Ahrar Al-Sham, a hardline Islamist group, are planning to use white phosphorus in an attack on civilians to later blame it on Syrian armed forces, UN envoy Bashar Ja’afari told a UN Security Council emergency meeting on Sunday.

      “I have information that Ahrar Al-Sham terrorists intend to mount attacks on civilian population using white phosphorus for the sake of fabricating accusations against the Syrian state and its army,” the diplomat said at the meeting as cited by TASS.

      To falsify the evidence and make their claims sound more credible, the militants plan to pose as Syrian army troops as they deploy the banned substance, Ja’afari said, adding that imposters are going to put on Syrian army uniforms and film the whole incident on camera. He did not elaborate on the source of the intelligence.

      White phosphorus is an extremely poisonous toxic agent able to inflict severe burn injuries and is banned from use in civilian areas, according to international law. It is only legitimate to deploy the chemical to create a smokescreen, make signals, or markings for friendly troops. The US has repeatedly used this loophole to use white phosphorus during Middle Eastern campaigns while claiming the indiscriminate weapon is only used as a smokescreen for advancing troops. Most recently, US military deployed white phosphorus shells in Iraq, saying they were used to “obscure” Kurdish fighters’ offensive against Islamists.

      Speaking of the alleged upcoming provocation, Ja’afari mentioned the suspicious activity by American experts, who, he claimed, had visited one of the chemical munitions depots in the rebel-held town of Saraqib in the northwestern Idlib province. Upon examining the site, the experts departed Syria for Turkey, he claimed…..’

  • Andy Moore

    What total BS. The point is, barrel bombs arent accurate. Laser guided bombs are accurate.

  • John Hodson

    Someone has commented here that this article is BS; according to him, ‘the point is that barrel bombs aren’t accurate’ and that ‘laser guided bombs’ are. If the point is concerning accuracy and the fact that US bombs are accurate, that would mean that the bombing of a hospital in Yeman which killed several MSF staff was deliberate and not an accident. The commenter can’t have it both ways! These hi-tech marvels that are often described as being capable of carrying out ‘surgical strikes’ aren’t as haphazard as barrel bombs and therefore those that you kill with them must therefore be the intended victims. Or is it a case that any exploding thing, by its nature (splinters of hot metal flying in all directions at supersonic speed) aren’t really accurate at all? By thge way, every time if hear the term surgical strike I wonder how thge person advocating this concept would feel if they were about to go into thge surgery and they were told that the surgeon would be abandoning the use of scalpels and using explosives instead.

    • Tedz

      Strange comment. Of course modern munitions are more capable of being targeted than, say WW2. This can be proven by looking at the ratio of civilians killed to military targets, in recent wars versus in earlier times. Highlighting one counter-example (Yemen) does not disprove this. All war is ghastly, but if you cannot ethically distinguish combatants by their relative effort to minimise civilian casualties, more fool you.

  • michael norton

    Syria conflict: Russia sends missile system to Tartus base

    Russia has confirmed it has sent an S-300 air defence system to its naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus.

    Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the purpose of the system was to guarantee the security of the base from the air.

    The news comes amid tensions with the West, a day after the US suspended talks with Russia to try to coordinate air strikes against jihadist groups.

    A truce brokered by Washington and Moscow collapsed last month.

    Profile: Russia’s S-300 missile system

    “Let me remind you that the S-300 is a purely defensive system and poses no threat to anyone,” Maj-Gen Konashenkov said.

    “It is unclear why the deployment of the S-300 caused such alarm among our Western partners.”

    The spokesman said the system was similar to one deployed at sea on the cruiser Moskva.

    Fox News reported earlier quoting unnamed US officials that the system had been deployed at the weekend.

    • michael norton

      I expect the Syrians / Russians
      are hardening up their defences for the forthcoming onslought

  • michael norton

    3rd Russian Black Sea fleet ship leaves for Mediterranean to join anti-ISIS op
    A third Russian warship – the corvette ‘Mirage’ – has left the port of Sevastopol and set sail for the Mediterranean Sea to assist in Russia’s anti-Islamic State operations, the Russian Black Sea Fleet has confirmed.

    “The fast-attack guided missile craft (FAC) of the Black Sea, ‘Mirage’, has left Sevastopol and set out on a long Mediterranean journey, after having completed a round of preparations,” the interim head of the information department for the Black Sea fleet, Captain 2nd-rank Nikolay Voskresensky said.
    “It is planned that the vessel will go via Black Sea straits and enter the Mediterranean, where it will join the standing naval force of the Russian Fleet in the region,” he added.

    The ‘Mirage’ is aimed at protecting sea communications and convoys, and can also fight attack vessels in coastal areas. It is equipped with Malakhit cruise missile launchers and the Osa-M air defense system and artillery.

    ‘Mirage’ is well-known due to its participation in the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict back in 2008.

    This month, ‘Mirage’ went on a two-week trip to the Mediterranean, taking part in the Black Sea drills.

    The latest news about ‘Mirage’ comes just a day after the Russian Navy announced that two ships had joined the Russian sea force in Syria: the ‘Serpukhov’ and the ‘Zeleny Dol’.

    In September, the Russian Navy said that the aircraft carrier ‘Admiral Kuznetsov’ would be joining up with the country’s naval group operating in the eastern Mediterranean as well, and is to set sail in the middle of October.

    • michael norton

      Boeing receives order for 40 planes form Qatar
      It is the US aerospace giant’s newest plane and doesn’t go into service until next year.

      And politics may also be at play.

      There was a suggestion that the Qatar government may have delayed the Boeing passenger jet order to put pressure on the US to approve a deal for Boeing fighter jets to the Middle Eastern country – a deal which the Americans now look set to approve.

      Well even though some “may” suspect Qatar of being corrupt and supporting “militants” in Syria, Qatar and U.S.A. are now bosom buddies.

  • michael norton

    Air strike ‘kills 82’ at Yemen funeral
    Saudi-led coalition air strike has hit a funeral hall in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, killing 82 people according to officials.

    More than 500 people were injured, the rebel Houthi-run government said.

    Coalition sources have denied the air strike to Reuters news agency.

    Houthi rebels are at war with the internationally-recognised Yemeni government, which is backed by a Saudi-led military alliance.

    No doubt the Saudi pilots were flying aircraft, sold to them by the Americans?

    • michael norton

      Nearly three million people have been displaced in Yemen, one of the region’s poorest countries, since the war began in 2014.

    • michael norton

      it is increasingly looking to me like Russia is in Syria for the long term.
      I even suspect Syria will be become part of Russia, like happened in the Crimea.
      I also suspect that that would be to the great advantage of most Syrian people.

      • michael norton

        I am also beginning to understand that Isis has been formed with the intention of destabilizing Iraq and Syria
        To allow the overthrow of their governments to prevent a Russian / Post Soviet / Iranian Arc of influence / transit
        coming into being from The North Asian continent, through Iran to the Gulf of Persia, through Iraq, through Syria linking with the Mediterranean sea.

        This is why the destabilization has happened.
        This is perceived as being a reduction of influence for America / Nato / Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.

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