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A U.S. Air Force Douglas A-1E Skyraider drops ...

A U.S. Air Force Douglas A-1E Skyraider drops a white phosphorus bomb on a Viet Cong postion in South Vietnam in 1966. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

US used white phosphorus in Iraq

16 Nov 2005 US troops used white phosphorus as a weapon in last year’s offensive in the Iraqi city of Falluja, the US has said. “It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants,” spokesman Lt Col Barry Venable told the BBC – though not against civilians [Yeah, right!], he said. The US had earlier said the substance – which can cause burning of the flesh – had been used only for illumination. BBC defence correspondent Paul Wood says having to retract its denial is a public relations disaster for the US.

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US denies illegal use of weapons in Iraq 18 Nov 2005 (The Sydney Morning Herald) The Pentagon has acknowledged using incendiary white phosphorus munitions in a 2004 counterinsurgency offensive in the Iraqi city of Falluja, but defended their use as legal. A Pentagon spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Barry Venable, said on Wednesday that the US military had not used the highly flammable weapons against civilians, contrary to an Italian state television report this month that said the weapons were used against men, women and children in Falluja who were burned to the bone. “We categorically deny that claim,” Colonel Venable said. “It’s part of our conventional weapons inventory and we use it like we use any other conventional weapon,” said another Pentagon spokesman, Bryan Whitman. Colonel Venable said white phosphorus was not outlawed or banned by any convention. However, a protocol to the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons forbids using incendiary weapons against civilians or against military targets amid concentrations of civilians. The US did not sign the protocol.

US defends use of white phosphorus weapons in Iraq 16 Nov 2005 (Reuters) The Pentagon on Wednesday acknowledged using incendiary white-phosphorus munitions in a 2004 ‘counterinsurgency’ offensive in the Iraqi city of Falluja, but defended their use as legal. Army Lt. Col. Barry Venable, a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. military had not used the highly flammable weapons against civilians, contrary to an Italian state television report this month which said the weapons were used against men, women and children in Falluja who were burned to the bone.

UK used white phosphorus in Iraq 16 Nov 2005 (BBC) UK troops have used white phosphorus in Iraq – but only to create smokescreens [?!?], Defence Secretary John Reid has said. MPs are worried by the admission by US forces that they used the controversial substance in the Iraqi city of Falluja – something they had previously denied.

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Hypocrite Central: U.S., Britain and Israel have Used Chemical Weapons within the Last 10 Years

Hypocrite Central U.S Britain and Israel have Used Chemical Weapons within the Last 10 Years

But the U.S. used chemical weapons against civilians in Iraq in 2004. Evidence here, here, here, here, here, here.

Israeli also used white phosphorous in 2009 during “Operation Cast Lead” (and perhaps subsequently).  Israel ratified Protocol III of Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (“Protocol III”) – which outlaws the use of incendiary devices in war – in 2007. So this was a war crime.

Moreover, the 1925 Geneva Protocol (which is different from Protocol III) prohibits “the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases”.

The use of White phosphorus (“WP”) may also be a war crime under other international treaties and domestic U.S. laws. For example, the Battle Book, published by the U.S. Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, contains the following sentence: “It is against the law of land warfare to employ WP against personnel targets.”

The U.S. National Safety Council states that “White phosphorus is a poison . . . If its combustion occurs in a confined space, white phosphorus will remove the oxygen from the air and render the air unfit to support life . . . It is considered a dangerous disaster hazard because it emits highly toxic fumes. The EPA has listed white phosphorus as a Hazardous Air Pollutant.

Indeed, it is interesting to note that the U.S. previously called white phosphorous a chemical weapon when Saddam used it against the Kurds.  Interestingly, it has just come out that the U.S. encouraged Saddam’s use of chemical weapons.

Moreover, the U.S. and Britain have been dropping depleted uranium in virtually every country they fight, which causes severe health problems. See this, this, this and this.

University of California at Irvine professor of Middle Eastern history Mark LeVine writes:

Not only did the US aid the use of chemical weapons by the former Iraqi government, it also used chemical weapons on a large scale during its 1991 and 2003 invasions of Iraq, in the form of depleted-uranium (DU) ammunition.

As Dahr Jamail’s reporting for Al Jazeera has shown, the use of DU by the US and UK has very likely been the cause not only of many cases of Gulf War Syndrome suffered by Iraq war veterans, but also of thousands of instances of birth defects, cancer and other diseases – causing a “large-scale public health disaster” and the “highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied” – suffered by Iraqis in areas subjected to frequent and intense attacks by US and allied occupation forces.

And Israel has been accused of using depleted uranium in Syria.

Two wrongs don’t make a right.  But it is hypocritical for the U.S., Britain and Israel to say that we should bomb Syria because the government allegedly used chemical weapons.

Note: The U.S. sprayed nearly 20,000,000 gallons of material containing chemical herbicides and defoliants mixed with jet fuel in Vietnam, eastern Laos and parts of Cambodia. Vietnam estimates 400,000 people were killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with birth defects as a result of its use.   The Red Cross of Vietnam estimates that up to 1 million people are disabled or have health problems due to Agent Orange. But that was some 50 years ago.

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I wonder if there would ever be another war,
if, 

instead of mass slaughtering civilians, civilian homes, schools, and critical infrastructure… only heads of state would be bombed. If the innocent civilian populations of all countries were strictly off limits in times of war, not to be touched by violence or destruction and instead only those directly responsible for war, those crying out and clamoring for war, would be the only ones targeted by the machines of war… I wonder, would we ever see another war? If only the presidential estates, the war think tanks, the political institutions, the highest seats of governments, parliaments and congresses were the sole targets of cluster bombs and land mines, if only the luxury homes and neighborhoods of the wealthiest and most powerful people were bombed to oblivion, if only the major corporations and major financial institutions and financial districts would be singled out for bunker busting, targeting by drones and D.U. munitions, which is only fair and right because these are the people responsible for war, if this was the way that wars were fought, do you think we would ever see another war?

And what if the nation’s capitol was in flames after being brutally bombed into ruins, after white phosphorous bombs were liberally dropped from the sky, as the guys in thousand dollars suits and ties were burning and screaming in agony, (at least the ones who survived), along with the ladies in high heels wearing those huge Pebbles and Bam Bam pearl necklaces, if these utterly important worldly men and women were trapped and bleeding underneath smoking rubble, skin burning unstoppably, limbs torn off, brains on the walls, instead of sending in help, we sent in heavily armed troops and police, not to assist these people, but to point machine guns at them, at the politicians and heads of state, you know, to prevent looting. I wonder how well that would go?

I wonder if the bombed and injured politicians would applaud us and tell us we did the right thing in looking out for “stuff” in the midst of incalculable human suffering and need, instead of bending over backwards to save lives and help people. I’m sure they’d say it was the right thing to do. They’ve told us such behavior is the exact right thing to do, in Haiti, after Katrina, all over America, they’ve said so over and over again.

CONTINUED HERE

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 I remember being a young Marine recruit at Parris Island, August of 1966, running, running, boots thumping on the grinder, exulting in the sense of power and communion that comes of men acting in unison, shouting, “Luke the Gook comes marching by, stick your bayonet in his eye, lef rye lef rye lef….” Only an idiot goes to PI—Third Batallion, Disneyland, in my case—in August. I was one. It goes with being nineteen.

Under a leaden sun that beat down like a soft rubber truncheon, we unlearned civilization. How to clap a hand over a sentry’s mouth while inserting your Kbar in his kidney; agony, shock and instant blood loss prevent a struggle. We ran in formation shouting Kill! Kill! Kill! We learned that it is better to shoot an enemy in the bowels than the head because trying to keep him alive would strain the enemy’s medical resources, and the man would probalby die anyway. Peritonitis is your friend, we learned. The other guy’s peritonitis.

Months later at Lejeune we slogged day after day, on three and a half hours sleep, through the greasy clay mud of a North Carolina autumn, from range to range. We learned flame throwers, which if you haven’t you don’t know what hell is, and how to burn the enemy alive. Again, that sense of power. We learned to use white phosphorus, WP, Willy Peter or other names less printable, to cover enemies in burning goop that you can’t put out. We learned to be what human beings shouldn’t be. We felt an exhilarating freedom, of not being subject to moral constraints. We learned to suppress conscience, morality, and empathy. This, more than the use of weapons, is the goal of military training.

It works. Generations of study of psychological conditioning have gone into making it work. It plays to all the animal instincts of the young male, the desire to belong, for adventure, to prove himself, to win.

The love of combat, or the love of a highly romanticized idea of combat, runs deep in the race. Go to a movie in the style of Star Wars and watch the audience as the hero’s starfighter twists, dodges, fires, closes in on the villain. They will be on the edge of their seats, almost orgasmic. What proportion of movies, of video games, turn on war, gunfights, and the like?

  More Fun Atrocities     

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(But the New York Times was not confident enough to allow comments on this story!) 

Given that the document that claimed Iraq was buying Yellowcake uranium from Niger was also a forgery, I side with Ahmadinejad on this one.

Since the 1979 Iranian revolution and the downfall of the US Puppet Ruler the Shah, Iran has been an Islamic state. In that interval of time, 1979 to the present, Iran has not invaded anyone. Not once. People of all religions live in peace in Iran, even Jews, who find life so comfortable in Iran they refused an offer by the government of Israel to emigrate!

In the same period of time, Israel, a self-declared Jewish state, attacked Iraq in 1981, bombing the power station at Osirik, claiming it was a clandestine weapons factory. Subsequent examination of the ruins following the 2003 invasion proved Israel had lied. In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon. This led to the Massacres at Sabra and Shatilla. In February 2003 Israel stages incursions into Gaza and Nablus. In September 2007 Israel bombs Syria, again insisting they are destroying a clandestine weapons laboratory. Again there is no evidence to support Israel’s claims. In 2006, Israel attacks Lebanon, killing 1200, mostly civilians, several UN observers, and littering the landscape with land mines on their way out.In February 2008 Israel again raids Gaza, killing over 100. HAMAS agrees to a cease fire and keeps it for 6 months until November 4, when Israel again attacks, killing 6 HAMAS members, launching operation CAST LEAD. 1300 Gazans, mostly civilians, are killed. Israel loses 13 soldiers. Violations of international law include the use of White Phosphorus incendiary bombs against civilians and non-military targets. The United Nations investigates, but Israel refuses to cooperate. In May 2010, Israel attacks an international aid flotilla bring food and medical supplies to Gaza in international waters. 9 people are murdered including an American from New York. Add to it the numerous assassinations such as last year’s embarrassment in Dubai, and you get the picture, even without the overtly racist and apartheid statements coming from Israel’s rabbis.

In the same period of time, the United States, officially a secular nation but predominantly Christian, attacked El Salvador (1980), Libya (1981), Sinai (1982), Lebanon (1982 1983), Egypt (1983), Grenada (1983), Honduras (1983), Chad (1983), Persian Gulf (1984), Libya (1986) , Bolivia (1986), Iran (1987), Persian Gulf (1987), Kuwait (1987), Iran (1988), Honduras (1988), Panama (1988), Libya (1989), Panama (1989), Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru (1989), Philippines (1989), Panama (1989-1990), Liberia (1990), Saudi Arabia (1990), Iraq (1991), Zaire (1991), Sierra Leone (1992), Somalia (1992), Bosnia-Herzegovina (1993 to present), Macedonia (1993), Haiti (1994), Macedonia (1994), Bosnia (1995), Liberia (1996), Central African Republic (1996), Albania (1997), Congo/Gabon (1997), Sierra Leon (1997), Cambodia (1997), Iraq (1998), Guinea/Bissau (1998), Kenya/Tanzania (1998 to 1999), Afghanistan/Sudan (1998), Liberia (1998), East Timor (1999), Serbia (1999), Sierra Leon (2000), Yemen (2000), East Timor (2000), Afghanistan (2001 to present), Yemen (2002), Philippines (2002) , Cote d’Ivoire (2002), Iraq (2003 to present), Liberia (2003), Georgia/Djibouti (2003), Haiti (2004), Georgia/Djibouti/Kenya/Ethiopia/Yemen/Eritrea War on Terror (2004), Pakistan drone attacks (2004 to present), Somalia (2007), South Ossetia/Georgia (2008), Syria (2008), Yemen (2009), Haiti (2010), etc. etc. etc. etc.

 So, who is the danger to world peace? BJ

The world’s global nuclear inspection agency, frustrated by Iran’s refusal to answer questions, revealed for the first time on Tuesday that it possesses evidence that Tehran has conducted work on a highly sophisticated nuclear triggering technology that experts said could be used for only one purpose: setting off a nuclear weapon.

CONTINUED HERE

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Map of Gaza Strip, Stand December 2008 (SVG ve...

Image via Wikipedia

Ihab Keheal, head of the justice department’s medical examiner’s office in the Gaza Strip, has stated that examinations conducted by his office have unveiled evidence indicating that the Israeli army used white phosphorous and other internationally prohibited weapons in its latest operation in Gaza.

Making his comments in a press statement released Monday, Keheal said that the bodies of Palestinians killed in the latest escalations were torn apart and charred to the extent that they were barely recognizable.

Keheal added that his office was conducting delicate tests to discover the instruments used by the occupation army in its operations on civilians, including weapons and chemical munitions forbidden under international law.

CONTINUED HERE

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