View Full Version : The U.S. Used Chemical Weapons In Iraq, And Lied About It

11-15-2005, 09:38 AM
The US used chemical weapons in Iraq - and then lied about it
Now we know napalm and phosphorus bombs have been dropped on Iraqis, why have the hawks failed to speak out?


George Monbiot
Tuesday November 15, 2005
The Guardian

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."

The second, in California's North County Times, was by a reporter embedded with the marines in the April 2004 siege of Falluja. "'Gun up!' Millikin yelled ... grabbing a white phosphorus round from a nearby ammo can and holding it over the tube. 'Fire!' Bogert yelled, as Millikin dropped it. The boom kicked dust around the pit as they ran through the drill again and again, sending a mixture of burning white phosphorus and high explosives they call 'shake'n'bake' into... buildings where insurgents have been spotted all week."

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".

White phosphorus is fat-soluble and burns spontaneously on contact with the air. According to globalsecurity.org: "The burns usually are multiple, deep, and variable in size. The solid in the eye produces severe injury. The particles continue to burn unless deprived of atmospheric oxygen... If service members are hit by pieces of white phosphorus, it could burn right down to the bone." As it oxidises, it produces smoke composed of phosphorus pentoxide. According to the standard US industrial safety sheet, the smoke "releases heat on contact with moisture and will burn mucous surfaces... Contact... can cause severe eye burns and permanent damage."

Until last week, the US state department maintained that US forces used white phosphorus shells "very sparingly in Fallujah, for illumination purposes". They were fired "to illuminate enemy positions at night, not at enemy fighters". Confronted with the new evidence, on Thursday it changed its position. "We have learned that some of the information we were provided ... is incorrect. White phosphorous shells, which produce smoke, were used in Fallujah not for illumination but for screening purposes, ie obscuring troop movements and, according to... Field Artillery magazine, 'as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes...' The article states that US forces used white phosphorus rounds to flush out enemy fighters so that they could then be killed with high explosive rounds." The US government, in other words, appears to admit that white phosphorus was used in Falluja as a chemical weapon.

The invaders have been forced into a similar climbdown over the use of napalm in Iraq. In December 2004, the Labour MP Alice Mahon asked the British armed forces minister Adam Ingram "whether napalm or a similar substance has been used by the coalition in Iraq (a) during and (b) since the war". "No napalm," the minister replied, "has been used by coalition forces in Iraq either during the war-fighting phase or since."

This seemed odd to those who had been paying attention. There were widespread reports that in March 2003 US marines had dropped incendiary bombs around the bridges over the Tigris and the Saddam Canal on the way to Baghdad. The commander of Marine Air Group 11 admitted that "We napalmed both those approaches". Embedded journalists reported that napalm was dropped at Safwan Hill on the border with Kuwait. In August 2003 the Pentagon confirmed that the marines had dropped "mark 77 firebombs". Though the substance these contained was not napalm, its function, the Pentagon's information sheet said, was "remarkably similar". While napalm is made from petrol and polystyrene, the gel in the mark 77 is made from kerosene and polystyrene. I doubt it makes much difference to the people it lands on.

So in January this year, the MP Harry Cohen refined Mahon's question. He asked "whether mark 77 firebombs have been used by coalition forces". The US, the minister replied, has "confirmed to us that they have not used mark 77 firebombs, which are essentially napalm canisters, in Iraq at any time". The US government had lied to him. Mr Ingram had to retract his statements in a private letter to the MPs in June.

We were told that the war with Iraq was necessary for two reasons. Saddam Hussein possessed biological and chemical weapons and might one day use them against another nation. And the Iraqi people needed to be liberated from his oppressive regime, which had, among its other crimes, used chemical weapons to kill them. Tony Blair, Colin Powell, William Shawcross, David Aaronovitch, Nick Cohen, Ann Clwyd and many others referred, in making their case, to Saddam's gassing of the Kurds in Halabja in 1988. They accused those who opposed the war of caring nothing for the welfare of the Iraqis.

Given that they care so much, why has none of these hawks spoken out against the use of unconventional weapons by coalition forces? Ann Clwyd, the Labour MP who turned from peace campaigner to chief apologist for an illegal war, is, as far as I can discover, the only one of these armchair warriors to engage with the issue. In May this year, she wrote to the Guardian to assure us that reports that a "modern form of napalm" has been used by US forces "are completely without foundation. Coalition forces have not used napalm - either during operations in Falluja, or at any other time". How did she know? The foreign office minister told her. Before the invasion, Clwyd travelled through Iraq to investigate Saddam's crimes against his people. She told the Commons that what she found moved her to tears. After the invasion, she took the minister's word at face value, when a 30-second search on the internet could have told her it was bunkum. It makes you wonder whether she really gave a damn about the people for whom she claimed to be campaigning.

Saddam, facing a possible death sentence, is accused of mass murder, torture, false imprisonment and the use of chemical weapons. He is certainly guilty on all counts. So, it now seems, are those who overthrew him.

11-15-2005, 09:43 AM
Isn't that a WMD????

11-15-2005, 11:52 AM
Yes, but AMERICAN WMD... that's ok.

11-16-2005, 02:48 PM
Shake and Bake

Pentagon Admits Using Phosphorous Bombs on Fallujah


What kind of country is this?

Not only does America use grotesque chemical weapons in its "War of Liberation"--in this case white phosphorus bombs that are as nasty as anything Saddam Hussein could have dreamt up, with the ability to eat their way into a body and liquefy flesh--but our shameless leaders, when caught in the act, try to lie their way out of their own atrocious behavior.

When an Italian documentary producer released a film exposing this war crime committed in the course of the destruction of Fallujah, the honchos at the Pentagon and the White House lied through their teeth, claiming that the scenes of cascading phosphorus bombs blanketing the city, incinerating fighters and civilians alike, which were depicted clearly in the film, were just flares being used for night lighting.

But the Italian journalists, who had done their homework, rebutted those lies with Pentagon after-action reports that detailed the deliberate use of the phosphorus weapons--both bombs and mortars, all clearly manufactured for the purpose of incineration, not illumination.

Now the fall-back limited hang-out excuse from the Pentagon is that okay, the military did use phosphorus bombs, but only on military targets, not civilians. Check out the photos of raining phosphorus when you read the word "target".

This latest war crime dwarfs the earlier reports of officially sanctioned torture.

Countless civilians--including women and children--were cruelly burned to death (whether incidentally or in a deliberate attempt to terrorize scarcely matters) in the most agonizing of ways. Enemy fighters were killed through the use of weapons that have been outlawed by the civilized world--a world that America can not claim to be a part of.

American troops even have a term for the barbaric technique -- "Shake and Bake"--clear evidence that this was no one-off affair.

No wonder journalists have been barred from Fallujah, except when safely embedded and under the control of U.S. military units. No wonder there were reports of whole blocks being bulldozed clear of soil and hosed down after the fighting ended. No wonder the U.S. took control of hospitals in the area and barred the media. No wonder the U.S. military avoided doing body counts.

The U.S. now stands unequivocally condemned as an outlaw terror nation.

The only bright spot in this horror show is that President Bush, our strutting, god-communing commander-in-chief, will now end his career (hopefully sooner than anticipated) confined to the U.S., lest he be arrested and tried in a cage like Saddam for the crime of using chemical weapons against civilians in Iraq.

What a grand irony that would be.

01-29-2007, 10:32 PM

01-30-2007, 10:35 AM
What's the big deal?......we never signed the UN treaty banning these explosives use. I don't agree with war but a better mouse trap IS a better mouse trap. They never banned th Maxim machine gun even though it was deemed to be resposible for some 57,000 British infantry deaths in ONE day.

01-30-2007, 12:06 PM
Whiskey Peter for the win.

09-08-2007, 10:17 AM

09-08-2007, 10:35 AM
Hey man, it IS a war. I don't agree with being there. But I DO agree with doing what is neccasary to stay alive and kill if you DO have to go. I'd use about whatever I had to to get home. Now if they were just doing it to get "extra" kills. (cuz believe it or not, they do have like spread sheets of #'s they expect to be made. A death goal if you will) THAT I don't agree with. If I was the flare guy, and my position were compromised, I would shoot the enemy right in the face with a WP round.

I was never a big one for the Geneva Conventions. Fuck politically correct war.

09-08-2007, 10:38 AM
The Geneva Conventions were put in place to make sure that... for instance, one of our soldiers is captured. If it is found out Americans tortured, murdered, etc... kidnapped soldiers from the other side. What's to stop them from torturing, murdering our guys?

09-08-2007, 10:40 AM
Exactly. NOTHING is going to stop them or us. The Geneva Conventions was a fuckin joke from the get go.

09-08-2007, 10:40 AM
Plus... the sheer hypocrisy of the usage of Chemical Weapons. We invaded Iraq under the pretext that they had WMD, and were going to kill us with them. What do we do? We invade Iraq, and use Chemical Weapons on them first. Even though they didn't have any.

09-08-2007, 10:42 AM
There needs to be something that says what is "right", and what is "wrong." Killing civilians is wrong... that kind of thing.

09-08-2007, 10:43 AM
Plus... the sheer hypocrisy of the usage of Chemical Weapons. We invaded Iraq under the pretext that they had WMD, and were going to kill us with them. What do we do? We invade Iraq, and use Chemical Weapons on them first. Even though they didn't have any.This I agree with.

09-08-2007, 10:44 AM
There needs to be something that says what is "right", and what is "wrong." Killing civilians is wrong... that kind of thing.Like the civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

09-08-2007, 10:46 AM
Some argue that the bombings of those cities was wrong. However, the end result was "good" because it ended the war.

Bottom line is Mr. AuGmENTor is that war is "wrong", period.

09-08-2007, 10:47 AM
Some argue that the bombings of those cities was wrong. However, the end result was "good" because it ended the war.

Bottom line is Mr. AuGmENTor is that war is "wrong", period.Well, DUH. But it is a fact. There is no way to stop it.

Uber Commandante
09-10-2007, 01:16 PM
I thought you all might find this interesting, given the discussion of right/wrong, treaties, lawbreaking, and hypocrisy (and all in one thread!).

Article VI
All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

So...this is Ariticle 6 of the US Consititution. As you can clearly see in RED, any treaties that are signed by the US are to be considered as US laws: "the supreme law of the land", and elected officials are bound to uphold them. By breaking the various treaties that needed to be broken in order to invade iraq and torture people, George W, as the commander in chief, made a voluntary choice to ignore these treaties. In doring so, he unequivocally broke the law - there is NO question about this - read it yourself right there in the Article -and he should be brought to justice by congress.

Instead, what we are witnessing is a deliberate move by a DEMOCRATICALLY controlled congress to systematically ingnore this clear-cut law breaking, and thereby facilitate the atrocities that are taking place.

So who you gonna vote for next time, suckas???

Uber Commandante
09-10-2007, 01:32 PM
and for my follow up post: the US signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993, and ratified it in 1997. In it, they and the other signatories pledge to (among other things), neither develop nor use chemical weapons.

Here is a link to the CWC fact sheet about chemical weapons: http://www.opcw.org/docs/fs4.pdf

and here is one to the full text: http://www.opcw.org/docs/cwc_eng.pdf