In the aftermath of Israel's assault on Lebanon and continuing threats by the US against Iran, Beau Grosscup looks at the history and politics of aerial bombardments.
Shock and Awe! Shock and Awe! With this by now familiar, celebrated phrase, the Bush administration announced its intention to topple Saddam Hussein from power in March 2003. The Pentagon plan was to blast the so-called "axis of evil" nation with 3,000 bombs and missiles over 48 hours for the purpose of "shocking the Iraqi leadership" into quick submission. If, said Pentagon officials, Saddam didn't capitulate immediately "the political imperative to keep civilian casualties to a minimum will have to be put to one side... There will not be a safe place in Baghdad."