Tuesday, November 15, 2005

We Used Chemical Weapons In Iraq

And some units in the armed forces have admitted it.

Did US troops use chemical weapons in Falluja? The answer is yes. The proof is not to be found in the documentary broadcast on Italian TV last week, which has generated gigabytes of hype on the internet. It's a turkey, whose evidence that white phosphorus was fired at Iraqi troops is flimsy and circumstantial. But the bloggers debating it found the smoking gun.

The first account they unearthed in a magazine published by the US army. In the March 2005 edition of Field Artillery, officers from the 2nd Infantry's fire support element boast about their role in the attack on Falluja in November last year: "White Phosphorous. WP proved to be an effective and versatile munition. We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with HE [high explosive]. We fired 'shake and bake' missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out."

{snip}

White phosphorus is not listed in the schedules of the Chemical Weapons Convention. It can be legally used as a flare to illuminate the battlefield, or to produce smoke to hide troop movements from the enemy. Like other unlisted substances, it may be deployed for "Military purposes... not dependent on the use of the toxic properties of chemicals as a method of warfare". But it becomes a chemical weapon as soon as it is used directly against people. A chemical weapon can be "any chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm".


So, yes we used chemical weapons, but since we are not talking sarin here, will anyone notice, and are we still using them?


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2 comments:

Patrick said...

That is a thin line If not used against people they are OK, when used against people they are not

ust once I would love to see us do the right thing and quit trying to be sea lawyers

Adam P. Short said...

Behold the Geneva Convention.

Please pass the preceding link around to all antiwar blogs you frequent. The relevant excerpt is as follows:

"Protocol III - Geneva Conventions
...
Article 2.
...
2. It is prohibited in all circumstances to make any military objective located within a concentration of civilians the object of attack by air-delivered incendiary weapons."

The "White Phosphorous is not a banned munition" meme is already taking root in the print media. We must shame them into telling the truth about this.

The Ape Man