HOUSES HIT

HOUSES HIT: Reuters breathlessly reports that a few homes near Saddam’s palace got destroyed during the massive bombing and missile raids:

When Shafa Hussein returned from taking her sick son to a Baghdad hospital, she found her home in ruins, destroyed in U.S.-British air strikes.

Her house in the Qadissiya residential area of central Baghdad was reduced to rubble and all her belongings, including money, food and furniture, were buried under heaps of concrete.

“Thank God that my husband, my child and myself were not hurt,” said the distraught 39-year-old woman.

Five other houses were demolished and 12 damaged in the raid, which residents said took place at 7:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m. EST) on Saturday. They said several people had been wounded and taken to the nearby Yarmouk hospital, but no one had been killed.

The target of what residents said had been cruise missiles was not clear. President Saddam Husssein’s Salam palace, hit in air strikes on Friday, is about two miles away.

Shafa stood in the rubble of her home, trying to salvage some pictures from the wreckage and wondering where to go next.

“I’m going to flee Baghdad but I don’t know where to go because I have no money and no place to go,” she told Reuters.

“I hope that they will not attack power stations,” she said, thinking about her husband who works in one.

Now, why report this without comment? Obviously, we’re not intentionlly targetting the houses. And if the power plants were a target, wouldn’t they have been blown to smithereens three days ago? I think they would.

“This is real terrorism. Innocent people are sitting in their homes and bombs fall on their heads. I ask America, isn’t this terrorism?” said Hulayel al-Jekhafi, whose house was damaged in the attack on the Qadissiya neighborhood.

No, it isn’t. While I’m truly sorry this has happened, it is hardly surprising. Indeed, that it has happened so infrequently is a marvel. We’re spending billions of dollars extra in using precision weapons that are much more expensive than needed for fighting this adversary and taking all manner of extra risks and precautions to avoid collateral damage. But this is still, after all, a war zone. I understand a woman whose home has just been destroyed reacting this way; it’s natural. I don’t understand it being reported without so much as a response by the US government.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.