Must be an exhilarating feeling to fly relaxed over Mediterranean Sea, countryside and towns without fear of meeting defending warplanes, and then watch your missiles explode below on target.
Maybe some of the pilots that flew, or are still flying, in a war against Libya, or against the Libyan government, flew as well over the many miles long column of Iraqi soldiers retreating from Kuwait, and left a line of burning vehicles and 100,000 corpses that stretched over the desert sand to the horizon. Much of media described it as a turkey shoot.
Back when the Soviet Union was around to provide air support and accurate anti-aircraft guns for small nations under U.S. invasion and attack, as in Korea and Vietnam, flying bombing missions was less of a sport. Presidential candidate Senator McCain can testify to that, having been shot down while bombing the city of Hanoi and doing time in prison. But, by his ever cocky attitude upon his release, we might assume he rather enjoyed his twenty-three flights over Hanoi and Haiphong. In one of his autobiographies McCain wrote that he was going to bomb a power station in 'a heavily populated part of Hanoi' before forced to bail out.
(Gen. Telford Taylor, a chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials told a CBS interviewer in 1966, that he would be proud to lead the prosecution of U.S. pilots captured in Vietnam for violation of the Geneva conventions that specifically forbid indiscriminate bombing that could cause incidental loss of civilian life or damage to civilian objects.)
In April, 1945, Howard Zinn, flying as a bombardier, participated in an early military use of napalm over a seaside town in Western France, having previously survived runs over Berlin. Zinn took the trouble to learn that the aerial bombing attack in which he participated had killed more than 1000 French civilians as well as some German soldiers hiding near that seaside resort when the war was essentially over and only three weeks before the official announcement.
Not McCain, nor any other American bombers of any of the fourteen or fifteen small nations are known to have taken the trouble to find out how many people their bombs killed and maimed.
And regarding casualties from the present USNATO bombing of Libya, the cartel of conglomerate media has gone to absurd extremes to portray Libyan government reporting deaths as an attempt to put the US and NATO in a bad light - certainly would not want USNATO pilots to have something to feel bad about. That would spoil their feeling of achievement and inhibit their enthusiasm during flight.
Bombardier Howard Zinn when on to become a peoples historian and activist-advocate of civil dIsobedience to war, imperialism and the predatory capitalism behind both. He specialized in exposing information blocked from public awareness regarding Korea, Guatemala, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Dominica Republic, Panama, Cuba, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.
Zinn questioned the justifications for military operations that inflicted massive civilian casualties during the Allied bombing of cities such as Dresden, Royan, Tokyo, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, Hanoi during the War in Vietnam, Baghdad during the war in Iraq and the civilian casualties during bombings in Afghanistan, and wrote on the bombing of an air raid shelter in Baghdad killing 400 to 500 men, women, and children who were huddled to escape bombs.
What a fantastic invention the flying machine is - to soar through the sky above the earth and clouds. How criminally insane the leaders of dominating military powers have been to use the marvel of man's ability to fly to easily slaughter fellow human beings.
"McCain: War Hero or War Criminal?" by Robert Richter, CounterPunch , 10/14/2008
"When I passed along Gen. Taylor's comments to my network superiors the program was scrapped: too hot to handle. Instead Air War Over the North was telecast, about "precision bombing" North Vietnam military targets by U.S. pilots."
Robert Richter was political director for CBS News from 1965 to 1968.