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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old Nov 16th, 2005, 11:09 AM        US now admits to using Phosphorus bombs as weapons
This deserves it's own thread.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pentagon officials acknowledged Tuesday that U.S. troops used white phosphorous as a weapon against insurgent strongholds during the battle of Falluja last November.

At the same time, they denied an Italian television news report that the spontaneously flammable material had been used against civilians.

Lt. Col. Barry Venable, a Pentagon spokesman, said that while white phosphorous is used most frequently to mark targets or obscure positions, it was used at times in Falluja as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants.

"It was not used against civilians," Venable said.

The spokesman referred reporters to an article in the March-April 2005 edition of the Army's Field Artillery magazine, an official publication, in which veterans of the Falluja fight spelled out their use of white phosphorous and other weapons. The authors used the shorthand "WP" in referring to white phosphorous.

"WP proved to be an effective and versatile munition," the authors wrote. "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)" munitions.

"We fired `shake and bake' missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out."

The authors added, in citing lessons for future urban battles, that fire-support teams should have used another type of smoke bomb for screening missions in Falluja "and saved our WP for lethal missions."

The battle for Falluja was the most intense and deadly fight of the war, after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003. The city, about 35 miles west of Baghdad on the Euphrates River, was a critical insurgent stronghold. The authors of the "after action" report said they encountered few civilians in their area of operations.

Italian communists held a sit-in Monday in front of the U.S. Embassy in Rome to protest the reported use by American troops of white phosphorous. Italy's state-run RAI24 news television aired a documentary last week that alleged the United States used white phosphorous shells in a "massive and indiscriminate way" against civilians during the Falluja offensive.

The State Department initially denied that U.S. troops had used white phosphorous against enemy forces. "They were fired into the air to illuminate enemy positions at night, not at enemy fighters," a department Web site said.

The department later said the statement had been incorrect.

"There is a great deal of misinformation feeding on itself about U.S. forces allegedly using `outlawed' weapons in Falluja," the department said. "The facts are that U.S. forces are not using any illegal weapons in Falluja or anywhere else in Iraq."

Venable said white phosphorous shells are a standard weapon used by field artillery units and are not banned by any international weapons convention to which the United States is a signatory.

White phosphorous is a colorless-to-yellow translucent wax-like substance with a pungent, garlic-like smell. The form used by the military ignites once it is exposed to oxygen, producing such heat that it bursts into a yellow flame and produces a dense white smoke. It can cause painful burn injuries to exposed human flesh.
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Dr. Boogie Dr. Boogie is offline
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Old Nov 16th, 2005, 12:20 PM        Re: US now admits to using Phosphorus bombs as weapons
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Originally Posted by mburbank
Venable said white phosphorous shells are a standard weapon used by field artillery units and are not banned by any international weapons convention to which the United States is a signatory.
The first time I read this, I could have sworn there were elipses after "convention".
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GAsux GAsux is offline
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 01:06 PM       
Max,
As far as the mixed messages go, I do believe it's as sinister as you suggest. When a Pentagon spokesman says "They aren't using it", you're likely talking about a PA without any actual experience in the region, fielding questions based on what he's got from talking points, etc.

I guess in my mind anyway on the totem pole of bad shit going on, WP's in Fallujah are on the bottom end of the spectrum.
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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 02:40 PM       
That's harder to say when you're on fire.
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GAsux GAsux is offline
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 04:04 PM       
Assuming WP's are not banned weapons, and assuming they weren't targeting civilians, then any unintended consequences in my mind are no different then conventional bombs, shootings, etc.

Certainly it's regrettable and I'm not trying to downplay suffering and all of that. But simply that under those two assumptions, it's no more horrific to me then having bombs fall on my house, being caught in the crossfire of a shoot out, etc.

Unless there was specific intent to cause undue pain and suffering to non-combantants, it's not that sinister to me.
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Baalzamon Baalzamon is offline
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 04:45 PM       
Quote:
Certainly it's regrettable and I'm not trying to downplay suffering and all of that. But simply that under those two assumptions, it's no more horrific to me then having bombs fall on my house, being caught in the crossfire of a shoot out, etc.

Unless there was specific intent to cause undue pain and suffering to non-combantants, it's not that sinister to me.

Oh great, so now a chemical weapon is only bad if you "intend to cause undue pain and suffering with it".


The US army used WP and napalm in Iraq, and they've been denying it since the war started. Now that they admit it, its not a big deal? Bullshit, they used this stuff as a weapon, and whether WP is specifically banned or not its still wrong.


Personally, on the list of ways to die I would pick a bullet to the brain or a conventional bomb taking out my house any day over white phosphorous melting my flesh off my bones.
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ziggytrix ziggytrix is offline
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 05:18 PM       
Ya know, I think unless you experienced both, it'd be harder to say which was worse: a slow, agonizing death from blood loss or organ failure due to shrapnel throughout your torso OR a swift, yet incredibly painful death from having your skin melted off by napalm or WP.

If I were betting, I'd say the latter would acutally be less painful, but only because you'd die from shock long before all your nerve endings finished reporting their horrifying discoveries.

And I think either is a particularly shitty way to go.
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GAsux GAsux is offline
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 05:22 PM       
Oh I get it. This is the part where you take something someone says and then stretch it into something more than it was in order to make it look absurd right? I get it.

Because what I said clearly is the same thing as saying it's ok to use chem and bio agents as long as you didn't mean to hurt anyone right? WP's, anthrax. Same same. Clearly that's what I was getting at.

Also, did you add the napalm part in Iraq because it sounds fun or do you have some kind of rational reason to assume that's true?
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Royal Tenenbaum Royal Tenenbaum is offline
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 07:38 PM       
Americans? Hyprocritical? Wha?
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Preechr Preechr is offline
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 07:47 PM       
Now now... We all know that when you drop a regular bomb on a house, only the bad guys get killed, and it's painless for them. Regular bombs are packed with candy and flowers, not bad stuff like phosphorus. When a bad guy gets killed by a regular bomb, all the children he was holding hostage get the candy that's left over, instead of being horribly disfigured by sticky, burny chemicals.

There are also no chemicals in low-yield tactical nukes... just concentrated sunshine!
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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VinceZeb VinceZeb is offline
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Old Nov 18th, 2005, 11:34 AM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preechr
Now now... We all know that when you drop a regular bomb on a house, only the bad guys get killed, and it's painless for them. Regular bombs are packed with candy and flowers, not bad stuff like phosphorus. When a bad guy gets killed by a regular bomb, all the children he was holding hostage get the candy that's left over, instead of being horribly disfigured by sticky, burny chemicals.

There are also no chemicals in low-yield tactical nukes... just concentrated sunshine!
Exactly. And when suicide bombers blow up at mosques, weddings and such, their bombs are designed with special "Infidel killer" powder that only blows up the non Islamic facists and gives everyone else a nice healthy tan and white teeth.
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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Nov 18th, 2005, 11:42 AM       
And when Vince posts it's also topical and original.
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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old Nov 18th, 2005, 12:28 PM       
You guys are right. There's nothing at al wrong (or more wrong anyway) with using WP as a weapon. That's why the Pentagon lied about it. Thank god now they are telling the %100 truth and we no longer have to concern ourselves with what weapons they use or how indiscriminate the death toll was in Fallujah. Nuff said.

And Vinth, you half man. Lets see. You don't care how we kill them, you don't care if innocents get killed, you're not interested in nation building or spreading democracy, your certain your God is the true God and and wants us to kill all these terrorists even if women and children die in the bargain, because after all, that's what they want to do to us... apart from the 'They hit us first' argument, in what way are you any different than them? Thank God your just a hideous little creep who's never faced violence and never will, and not a representative American. Put your turban on, Abdullah. You'd be a terrorist yourself if you had a sack.
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