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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

American forces using white phosphorus in Iraq

Posted by: Jambo / 11:46 PM

I remember my high school chemistry teacher, a USMC veteran of the Korean War, telling me about phosphorus weapons. It was awful enough to be just about the only thing I remember from the class 25 years on. A recent report says we have been using them in Iraq.

In a documentary to be broadcast by RAI, the Italian state broadcaster, this morning, a former American soldier who fought at Fallujah says: "I heard the order to pay attention because they were going to use white phosphorus on Fallujah. In military jargon it's known as Willy Pete.

"Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone ... I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 metres is done for."

-- The Independent, US forces 'used chemical weapons' during assault on city of Fallujah

I have tried to avoid blog using cliche's like "So and so nails it" and "Indeed." But over at Daily Kos (contains a graphic image) Hunter nails it.
I think we need to take a step back from the newest Fallujah revelations. There's been a lot of confusion over what is or isn't a "chemical weapon" vs. an "incendiary"; what aspects of the Geneva conventions the United States is or is not signatory to; and whether or not the United States is still bound by rules of warfare that they are not direct signatories to.

Allow me to try to clear things up, if I can.

First, I think it should be a stated goal of United States policy to not melt the skin off of children.


But all that aside, there are very good reasons, even in a time of war, not to melt the skin off of children.

First, because the insurgency will inevitably be hardened by tales of American forces melting the skin off of children.

Second, because the civilian population will harbor considerable resentment towards Americans for melting the skin off of their children.




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