by John Pilger
The American and British attack on Iraq has already begun. While the Blair government continues to claim in Parliament that "no final decision has been taken", Royal Air Force and US fighter bombers have secretly changed tactics and escalated their "patrols" over Iraq to an all-out assault on both military and civilian targets.
American and British bombing of Iraq has increased by 300 per cent. Between March and November, according to Ministry of Defence replies to MPs, the RAF dropped more than 124 tonnes of bombs.
From August to December, there were 62 attacks by American F-16 aircraft and RAF Tornadoes - an average of one bombing raid every two days. These are said to have been aimed at Iraqi "air defences", but many have fallen on mostly populated areas, where civilian deaths are unavoidable.
Under the United Nations Charter and the conventions of war and international law, the attacks amount to acts of piracy: no different, in principle, from the German Luftwaffe's bombing in Spain in the 1930s as precursor to its invasion of Europe.
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