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<nettime> The art of bombarding retreating troops: Kuwait 1991 ~ Libya 2
Tjebbe van Tijen on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 06:38:06 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> The art of bombarding retreating troops: Kuwait 1991 ~ Libya 2011

The art of bombarding retreating troops: Kuwait 1991 ~ Libya 2011

October 22, 2011 by Tjebbe van Tijen

An illustrated version with links can be found at The Limping Messenger:


Some side images of the killing of Gaddafi near Sirte, of the alleged bombing by NATO of a retreating/escaping convoy of Gaddafi (*), reminded me of the Highway Of Death in Kuwait in 1991, the bombarding of retreating Iraqi troops… a massacre not only of soldiers and their equipment but also of civilians related to the Iraqis that tried to make their way out of Kuwait City. Kicking your adversary in the ass… there is a ‘virtual black book of military history’ to which a page seems to have been added by NATO. Do you let your enemy escape or will you destroy him? What are the long lasting effects of such non glorious  military acts of revenge, ‘the bombing of retreating troops’? The pictures I choose are not the most gruesome that exist. The Kuwait highway bombing photographs include charcoaled faces of  people burnt alive by the aerial strike, images that have burnt themselves in my memory as a reminder that the art of surrender should be exercised instead.

[two photographs: Kuwait highway April 1991 and Libya Sirte November 21 2011, with a header "The art of bombarding retreating troops"]

Let me give one example of historical back firing: the massacre of the retreating Croatian troops of the fascist regime of Ante Pavelic in May 1945, near the town of Bleiburg at the Slovenian/Austrian border by partisan troops (40/50.000 killed). This megative event has remained a rallying point for Croatian nationalist ever since and played its role in the much later enfolding new Balkan War at the end of the 20th century..

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