Neue Zweifel am Hightech-Krieg

--- Die New York Times greift die nicht erfolgreichen "Enthauptungsschläge" der Amerikaner gegen Saddam Hussein und seine engsten Mitstreiter zu Beginn des Irak-Kriegs im März 2003 noch einmal auf und entdeckt zahlreiche Pannen und "Kollateralschäden": he United States launched many more failed airstrikes on a far broader array of senior Iraqi leaders during the early days of the war last year than has previously been acknowledged, and some caused significant civilian casualties, according to senior military and intelligence officials. Only a few of the 50 airstrikes have been described in public. All were unsuccessful, and many, including the two well-known raids on Saddam Hussein and his sons, appear to have been undercut by poor intelligence, current and former government officials said. ... The broad scope of the campaign and its failures, along with the civilian casualties, have not been acknowledged by the Bush administration. A report in December by Human Rights Watch, based on a review of four strikes, concluded that the singling out of Iraqi leadership had "resulted in dozens of civilian casualties that the United States could have prevented if it had taken additional precautions." The poor record in the strikes has raised questions about the intelligence they were based on, including whether that intelligence reflected deception on the part of Iraqis, the officials said. The March 19, 2003, attempt to kill Mr. Hussein and his sons at the Dora Farms compound, south of Baghdad, remains a subject of particular contention. A Central Intelligence Agency officer reported, based primarily on information provided by satellite telephone from an Iraqi source, that Mr. Hussein was in an underground bunker at the site. That prompted President Bush to accelerate the timetable for the beginning of the war, giving the go-ahead to strikes by precision-guided bombs and cruise missiles, senior intelligence officials said. But in an interview last summer, Lt. Gen. T. Michael Moseley, of the Air Force, who directed the air campaign during the invasion, acknowledged that inspections after the war had concluded that no such bunker existed.