News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: US "fire-bombed" Falluja: Chemical Weapons Found?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

US "fire-bombed" Falluja: Chemical Weapons Found?

Update 11/15: The fog of war: white phosphorus, Fallujah and some burning questions By Andrew Buncombe and Solomon Hughes in Washington

Update 11/15: An attempt to excuse the inexcusable

Update 11/15: The US used chemical weapons in Iraq - and then lied about it by George Monbiot

Update 11/15: I treated people who had their skin melted' By Dahr Jamail

Update 11/12: “Falluja-The day After” shows the total devastation of the Iraqi town, the corpses of the victims, the mass graves, the exhumation of many corpses by local rescue teams in order to try to recognize some of the victims. The last corpse shown in this video belongs to a 14 year old girl. The video lasts 18 minutes and 20 seconds.

Update 11/12: WaPo Confirmed U.S. Used White Phosphorus In Fallujah by Hunter

Update 11/12: Falluja, One Year Later by Doug Pritchard, Electronic Iraq

Update 11/11: A name that lives in infamy, by Mike Marqusee The Guardian

No, those are not fireworks in the photo to the left. It's a napalm-like substance that the US Marines used in their attack against Iraqu insurgents. As you, will note, the napalm spreads a layer on the ground. Anyone caught up in that wave of inextinguishable fire as flesh and skin burned from their bodies and children [WARNING: This photo is very graphic and disturbing].

Reports on Italian TV show a former US soldier telling how he saw this chemical used and others report the effects--not just on insugents but also innocent men, women, and children who had not left Falluja when the attack began. The report has contributed to a growing disgust with and calls for investigation of US military tactics in Iraq.

Now, reports that the US Army has admitted using the chemica; weapon in Falluja. There you will also find a description of how the weapon works on those exposed to it. While not explicitly banned, the weapon is enough like nalaplm that it is covered by international conventions which the US has rfused to sign.

You will note that this story goes back some time. Indeed, according to the following article, the British admitted they were lied to by the US about having used this weapon:

US lied to Britain over use of napalm in Iraq war By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor, 17 June 2005

Video of the bombing can be found on this site. See the link: "Fallujah, 8-9 Novembre 2004 - Bombardamento al fosforo bianco" on the right side of the webpage.

For background information on this weapon and the collaboration of UK forces, see the this article.

The following article also provides some "context" for the use of chemical weapons in Fallujah and it notes:

" Dr Rafa’ah al-Iyssaue, director of the main hospital in Fallujah reported to the UN after the invasion that more than 700 bodies had been recovered from the rubble in 9 out of the city’s 27 neighbourhoods. 550 were women and children."

The La Republica article provides more information about the video: U.S. Used Chemical Weapons In Iraq: Veteran admits: Bodies melted away before us.
To quote the Daily Kos:

And I know it is true, there is some confusion over whether the United States was a signatory to the Do Not Melt The Skin Off Of Children part of the Geneva conventions, and whether or not that means we are permitted to melt the skin off of children, or merely are silent on the whole issue of melting 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.

And, unless Saddam Hussein had a brigade or two consisting of six year olds, we can presume that children, like perhaps nine tenths or more of their immediate families, are civilians. ....

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