Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Did The U.S. Use Chemical Weapons In Fallujah?

Democracy Now hosted an intense debate this morning among an Army Lieutenant stationed in Baghdad, a U.S. soldier who fought in Fallujah and an Italian film producer about the American Military's use of White Phosphorus in Fallujah in the siege one year ago.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/08/1516232

The Lieutenant was the kind of opposing witness every lawyer loves having on the stand. His evasion is subtle, but the conclusions are startling. He admits that the U.S. Military used white phosphorus, but then argues it is a legal weapon. He then claimed that it is not a chemical weapon. When that doesn't work, he says that they used it to destroy buildings, not against people.

But he never offers a credible explanation of how Fallujah was littered with dead bodies that had been dissolved to the bone, but with clothes intact. You can watch or listen to the debate.

18 Comments:

At 11:15 AM, November 08, 2005 , Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

Incredible. We are freakin' Nazi nation. I watched some of that debate this morning. In addition to all this, I was reading in the LA Times about some of the things are gov't did in Latin America over the past century. Geez!!! After we divided Panama and Columbia, used near-slave labor to build the canal that we 'owned', we littered the area with military ordinance! WTF??

 
At 11:37 AM, November 08, 2005 , Blogger jj said...

This is from Crooks and liars and half way through two US soldiers talk about it. Some Graphic video

Video-WMP low res received the video of the Italian broadcast about Fallujah that this Daily Kos diary talks about. I haven't seen it yet so I don't know how much truth is behind it. You can decide the merits of this documentary for yourself.

 
At 1:24 PM, November 08, 2005 , Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

Congratulations, you beat me to it. There's more on this story on The Christian Science Monitor.

If this is indeed true, it's illegal and grounds for prosecution. Of course, the BushBots will argue - as they always do - that it's not true, and if or when their claim is disproven, will switch to saying it does not matter, and even raising the issue is evidence of, take your pick, hatred of the military or support of tayruhrists.

:-), StS

 
At 1:37 PM, November 08, 2005 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

One commenter on the Bulldog Manifesto website said that white phosphorus isn't a chemical weapon. We all know that if Saddam has used it, those same reichers would argue to the death that it was a chemical weapon, even if it made you sprout flowers from your ears. Here is the Wikipedia discussion about white phosphorus:

This is a particularly poisonous element with 50 mg being the average fatal dose (white phosphorus is generally considered to be the lethal form of phosphorus while phosphate and orthophosphate are essential nutrients). The allotrope white phosphorus should be kept under water at all times and therefore presents a significant fire hazard due to its extreme reactivity to atmospheric oxygen, and it should only be manipulated with forceps since contact with skin can cause severe burns. Chronic white phosphorus poisoning of unprotected workers leads to necrosis of the jaw called "phossy-jaw". Ingestion of white phosphorus may cause a medical condition known as "Smoking Stool Syndrome". Fluorophosphate esters are among the most potent neurotoxins known but most inorganic phosphates are relatively nontoxic. Phosphate pollution occurs where fertilizers or detergents have leached into soils.

 
At 4:39 PM, November 08, 2005 , Blogger Crankybro said...

I think we could argue all day over was is legal/illegal ethical or not. The real question is what to do now that we are waist deep in Iraq. This area of the world is a snake pit. Sadaam was a killer and a thug, should we bring him back? We will never fight a war that meets the standards of the left - should we never fight? Don't get me wrong - If the leadership of this country were running a public company - they would have been out on their butts long ago for overachieving incompetance. Still, were do we go from here? let the U.N. govern the world ? Look how effective they have been with Iran and nuclear proliferation...

 
At 7:15 PM, November 08, 2005 , Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

11 08 05

How sad. War is sad and thus, consequences. I have never understood those who would restrict what weapons can be used in wartime, as I thought in war, we want to win and that is why we nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But the human side of me is highly disturbed by this series of actions. Since many innocents were killed, I just don't think the use of this kind of force was necessary. But I don't know, it is a war after all...Good post, and I am conflicted!

 
At 12:31 PM, November 09, 2005 , Blogger St Wendeler said...

Willie Pete isn't a chemical weapon, it's an incendiary, in the same category as napalm. However, it is not nearly as damaging as napalm.

If you want to educate yourself on Willie Pete and the fact that it is not a prohibited weapon and can be used by the US military, please refer to these two WikiPedia entries:

Entry discussing the uses of White Phosphorous - It's primarily used as a smoke screen, due to the great amount of gray smoke that it generates. In fact, WP cannisters are attached to every M1A1 Abrams tank for just this purpose.

This entry on the UN Convention on Conventional Weapons. Use of Incendiaries (which includes White Phosphorous and Napalm, among other weapons) is restricted under Protocol III. By the way, the US has not signed this protocol (Jimmy Carter has some sense, afer all.)

Amy Goodman disingenuously read Protocal III on her radio program, even though the US is not a signatory to it.

Facts - Occasionally they come in handy.

Regards,
St Wendeler
Another Rovian Conspiracy post on this subject

 
At 1:08 PM, November 09, 2005 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

St. Wendeler,

Thanks for the information. Does the fact that the US did not sign Protocol III affect whether something is classified as a chemical weapon? Should it? If something has the capacity to dissolve someone's skin on contact, shouldn't that be prohibited? Was the American soldier lying about what he saw?

I would bet money that if Saddam used WP on his citizenry, the spinmeisters would call it a chemical weapon in a heartbeat. What do you think?

 
At 2:49 PM, November 09, 2005 , Blogger James Manning said...

I posted on this today. I think we are splitting hairs we say that the MK 77 is not a chemical weapon. If you come in contact with it, you will burn - and you will continue to burn because it has an oxidizing agent that makes it damn near impossible to extinguish. And I do believe it is different than what they call willie pete, but I will research that more.

 
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