Thomas Wictor

Yemen: Tyler Hicks up to his old tricks

Yemen: Tyler Hicks up to his old tricks

In Gaza, New York Times photographer Tyler Hicks was deeply involved in the Hamas military deception operation that claimed the lives of Ismail Bakr, Mohammed Bakr, Ahed Bakr, and Zakaria Bakr.

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Now Hicks and writer Kareem Fahim have teamed up for the New York Times’ misleading and utterly nonfactual piece “Airstrikes Take Toll on Civilians in Yemen War.”

HAJJA, Yemen — The airstrike slammed into Al-Sham water-bottling plant at the end of the night shift, killing 13 workers who were minutes away from heading home.

Standing among the strewn bottles, smoldering boxes and pulverized machines a few days after the airstrike here, the owner, Ibrahim al-Razoom, searched in vain for any possible reason that warplanes from a Saudi-led military coalition would have attacked the place.

Nothing in the ruins suggested the factory was used for making bombs, as a coalition spokesman had claimed. And it was far from any military facility that would explain the strike as a tragic mistake: For miles around, there was nothing but desert scrub.

This was written for pro-Houthis and idiots. Those of us who know about military matters laugh at this kind of stupidity. No air force in the world would deliberately target tiny groups of civilians. A bombing mission involves great risk to nearly irreplaceable assets: pilots. In the US, it costs $6 million per year to train one fighter pilot. Each aircraft costs $100-$150 million. Since the Coalition uses the same aircraft and training methods, we can compare defense budgets to determine the price of a Saudi Arabian pilot.

Fiscal year 2014: US defense spending was $610 billion.

Fiscal year 2014: Saudi defense spending was $81 billion.

If we convert Saudi defense dollars to American, the $6 million that the US spends per year to train each jet pilot becomes $48 million. That $100-$150 million jet fighter becomes $800 million to $1.2 billion. Why would the Saudis risk their massively expensive pilots and aircraft to kill thirteen civilians here and seven there? If the Saudis wanted to terror-bomb Yemen, they’d kill thousands of civilians every night.

Writer Kareem Fahim links to a fact-free report by Amnesty International.

Near the ruins of the mosque Amnesty International found the unexploded bomb which had struck the mosque earlier that morning. The bomb, US-manufactured Mark 83 (MK 83), fitted with a US-manufactured delay fusing system, appeared to have malfunctioned, as it failed to explode. It is not clear whether the bombs used in this attack and in the attack against the school described above were fitted with precision guiding devices or not.

Why didn’t Amnesty International take a photo of this MK-83 bomb? When I make claims, I provide photographic evidence. And if the Amnesty International investigators were unable to determine whether or not the MK-83 was a precision-guided munition, they’re incompetent clowns who need to be fired.

Here’s the MK-83 “dumb” bomb. It’s not precision guided.

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When the MK-83 is fitted with the joint-direct attack munition (JDAM) kit, it becomes the GBU-32.

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“GBU” stands for “guided bomb unit.” See the difference? Now you know more than the Amnesty International investigators.

So what about Tyler Hicks’ photos? Here’s the first one.

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All that damage was caused by a pressure wave, not fragmentation. If an aerial munition had been dropped close enough to cause pressure damage, there would also be extensive evidence of fragmentation. We see no little holes anywhere. That means the explosion was a weapons cache going up. Either a Coalition bomb struck the cache, or the Houthis accidentally set it off. Note the teddy bear. It was obviously placed there for the photo, because it could not have remained on the table after being hit by a pressure wave strong enough to destroy window frames.

Next.

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Two weapons caches exploded. The lower floor of the building on the right collapsed, but the roofs and ceilings are intact. There’s no evidence of fragmentation. Down the street, there’s a giant hole caused by explosives inside the building going off. If the Coalition dropped bombs, these were two incredibly precise hits. There’s no fragmentation damage, and the building between the targets is untouched. Read the caption: Has that neighborhood been completely flattened?

The press has gone insane. They’re publishing photos that refute their own stories.

Next.

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Look how fat that woman’s hand is. How is it that she’s well fed, but her baby is starving? Obviously the child has an illness not related to malnutrition.

Next.

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In my opinion, that photo is fake. The man in the bed has completely healed burn scars on his neck and face.

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What are the odds that he was severely burned twice in his life? Also, his hair is intact. If he suffered the facial burns along with the injuries to the rest of his body, why does he have a full head of hair, and why isn’t his face bandaged?

The “doctor” is holding a chest X-ray upside down, and he’s crumpling the other X-ray, ruining it.

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Why would a doctor hold a chest X-ray upside down?

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Next.

The inside of a destroyed building; note the stain on the support column (red arrow).

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Now the outside of the building; note the same stain on the support column (red arrow).

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Again, read the caption. Why are they telling us a blatant lie that they debunked themselves? That wasn’t a multi-storied building; it had only one floor. See the overturned car behind the head of the woman on the left? That was caused by a massive pressure wave coming from inside the building. It was another arms cache. The Coalition drops warning leaflets before it bombs such caches.

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Yemenis tell me that when these leaflets are dropped, the Houthis put hostages they’ve kidnapped into the targets, making sure that the people will be killed. Palestinians said the same thing about Hamas. I believe it. The more I read about Ansar Islam, the more depraved it becomes.

Next.

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Coalition aircraft circle the city, attacking with “bewildering and terrifying frequency.” Yes. That’s why ARMED HOUTHIS ROAM AROUND IN THE OPEN, casually chewing their khat. And why do they need checkpoints? Could it be that the people of Sana’a don’t want them there?

Last.

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All of them are military-aged males. The Coalition said it was an IED factory, not a bottling plant. Those of you who know nothing about military matters should do some research or shut up. Each bombing mission is carefully planned. The Coalition doesn’t go out and pick civilian targets at random. If you think that, you’re living in a childish fantasy world.

One of the reasons I debunk lies about the Middle East is because westerners treat the people there with such contempt, as if you’re not human. This is all a game to Tyler Hicks. He doesn’t care about anyone except himself. It makes me ashamed that so many people from my part of the world are so heartless. I’m driven to differentiate myself from sick, uncaring bastards who see Middle Easterners as props to be used and thrown away.

The Coalition spokesman is Saudi Brigadier General Anwar Asseri, a member of the Special Forces.

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He’s easily one of the best military spokespeople I’ve ever seen. When asked about the “massive number” of civilians killed in air strikes, this is what Brigadier General Asseri said.

“Why would we acknowledge something that doesn’t exist?”

Exactly.


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