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“Even in Vietnam I didn’t see anything like this. It’s pathetic.“

— Major Bob Nugent
Army intelligence officer

The Highway of Death

Photo of a dead human burned completely black; he is frozen in place in an upright position as he leans on the edge of some metallic surface of a vehicle, perhaps the door or hood. His face is melted and his lips are burned away so that his teeth are revealed in a hideous grimace; the skin is peeling off his charred skull, his hands and arms are burned and melted to the bone.
Photo © 1991 Kenneth Jarecke / Contact Press Images

From the WAR CRIMES Report
of the International War Crimes Tribunal

[The above photo is of the] incinerated body of an Iraqi soldier on the “Highway of Death”, a name the press has given to the road from Mutlaa, Kuwait, to Basra, Iraq. U.S. planes immobilized the convoy by disabling vehicles at its front and rear, then bombing and strafing the resulting traffic jam for hours. More than 2,000 vehicles and tens of thousands of charred and dismembered bodies littered the sixty miles of highway.

The clear rapid incineration of the human being [pictured above] suggests the use of napalm, phosphorus, or other incendiary bombs. These are anti-personnel weapons outlawed under the 1977 Geneva Protocols. This massive attack occurred after Saddam Hussein announced a complete troop withdrawal from Kuwait in compliance with UN Resolution 660.

Such a massacre of withdrawing Iraqi soldiers violates the Geneva Convention of 1949, common article 3, which outlaws the killing of soldiers who “are out of combat”.

There are, in addition, strong indications that many of those killed were Palestinian and Kuwaiti civilians trying to escape the impending siege of Kuwait City and the return of Kuwaiti armed forces. No attempt was made by U.S. military command to distinguish between military personnel and civilians on the “highway of death”. The whole intent of international law with regard to war is to prevent just this sort of indiscriminate and excessive use of force.

Photo of a chaos of broken-down vehicles in a parched white desert, most of them in two parallel lines as on a highway . There are all kinds of vehicles - mostly passenger cars and pickup trucks, a couple of buses, tanker trucks, cargo trucks; not a single military vehicle.
Photo courtesy of Cassandra Garner

“There are also indications that some of those bombed during the withdrawal were Palestinians and Iraqi civilians. According to Time magazine of March 18, 1991, not just military vehicles, but cars, buses and trucks were also hit. In many cases, cars were loaded with Palestinian families and all their possessions.”

— Joyce Chediac
Report presented at the New York Commission hearing
May 11, 1991

“Shooting in a sheep pen”

The above photo of wreckage on the infamous “Highway of Death” was taken in March 1991, in southern Iraq. The road went from Kuwait to Safwan, at the Iraqi border, and on to Basra. Tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians were fleeing desperately, many in civilian vehicles. They were obviously no military threat to anyone. And yet inhuman American forces gleefully massacred them all, joking that it was as easy as “shooting in a sheep pen.”

On many occasions Iraqi soldiers tried to surrender to American forces. It didn’t make any difference. U.S. Air Force and Navy pilots were under orders to mass-murder every last human being in cold blood.

What kind of sadistic, subhuman devils are in the dirty U.S. military?

true American flag - swastika and stripes - symbol of American state terrorism

Related pages

Satanic American/British Babykillers: State Terrorism of the Iraqi People

The 3 BIG LIES About Iraq
by John Pilger

The Fire This Time: U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf
by Ramsey Clark

Desert Slaughter: The Imperialist War Against Iraq
by the Workers League

Neighborhood Bully: American Militarism
interview with Ramsey Clark

American/British Terrorism and Genocide of the Iraqi People

Iraq’s Poisoned Water:
The deliberate genocide of the Iraqi people by America and Britain

American Sanctions Against the Iraqi People

America: the Ultimate Terrorist
by John Pilger

Related sites

U.S. Bombing Watch
When was the last time the U.S. Bombed Iraq?

A huge list which provides information on the latest bombings of innocent civilian people in Iraq in the last two years.

Fire and Ice:
The Devastation of Iraq by War and Sanctions

by Ramsey Clark

“There was no war. No combat. There was only a deliberate, systematic genocide of a defenseless population while barely setting foot on Iraqi soil. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1967, ‘The greatest purveyor of violence on earth is my own government’, he could not have dreamed in his worst nightmare what the U.S. did to Iraq.”


“A Report on United States War Crimes Against Iraq to the Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal.” By Ramsey Clark and others.

The Massacre of Withdrawing Soldiers on “The Highway of Death”
by Joyce Chediac

“I want to give testimony on what are called the ‘highways of death’. These are the two Kuwaiti roadways, littered with remains of 2,000 mangled Iraqi military vehicles, and the charred and dismembered bodies of tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers, who were withdrawing from Kuwait on February 26th and 27th 1991 in compliance with UN resolutions.

“U.S. planes trapped the long convoys by disabling vehicles in the front, and at the rear, and then pounded the resulting traffic jams for hours. ‘It was like shooting fish in a barrel’, said one U.S. pilot. The horror is still there to see.”

Report presented at the New York Commission hearing, May 11, 1991.


The Fire This Time:
U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf
by Ramsey Clark

Desert Slaughter:
The Imperialist War Against Iraq
by the Workers League

Pirates and Emperors, Old and New:
International Terrorism in the Real World
by Noam Chomsky

The Real Terror Network:
Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda
by Edward S. Herman

Rogue State:
A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower
by William Blum

Killing Hope:
U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since WWII
by William Blum

Apocalypse 1945:
The Destruction of Dresden
by David Irving

Western State Terrorism
Alexander George, editor; essays by Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman, Gerry O’Sullivan and others

Terrorizing the Neighborhood:
American Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War Era

by Noam Chomsky
Pressure Drop Press, 1991

The Culture of Terrorism
by Noam Chomsky

Bloody Hell:
The Price Soldiers Pay
by Daniel Hallock

Against Empire
by Michael Parenti

The Sword and the Dollar:
Imperialism, Revolution and the Arms Race
by Michael Parenti

What Uncle Sam Really Wants
by Noam Chomsky

Derailing Democracy:
The America the Media Don’t Want You to See
by David McGowan

The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media:
Decoding Spin and Lies in Mainstream News
by Norman Solomon

Inventing Reality:
The Politics of News Media
by Michael Parenti

Manufacturing Consent:
The Political Economy of the Mass Media
by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky

War, Lies & Videotape:
How media monopoly stifles truth
edited by Lenora Foerstel; multiple authors

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