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NEWS: US Used White Phosphorus in Iraq

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posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
I can't believe that all this hoopla is being made over Willie Peter. It has been used, as someone said, since WWI, at least. It was used in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. It is used in flares, as smoke to screen troops, and as marker rounds for airstrikes.


But Grady,



"It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants," spokesman Lt Col Barry Venable told the BBC - though not against civilians, he said.


The WP wasn't used as a flare, marker or smokescreen. It was used as a weapon.

I had this posted on WAR: US Used White Phosphorus on Iraqi Civilians-Report.


www.atsdr.cdc.gov...
White phosphorus is a waxy solid which burns easily and is used in chemical manufacturing and smoke munitions. Exposure to white phosphorus may cause burns and irritation, liver, kidney, heart, lung, or bone damage, and death

...

White phosphorus is used by the military in various types of ammunition, and to produce smoke for concealing troop movements and identifying targets.

...

How can white phosphorus affect my health?
...
Breathing white phosphorus for short periods may cause coughing and irritation of the throat and lungs. Breathing white phosphorus for long periods may cause a condition known as "phossy jaw" which involves poor wound healing of the mouth and breakdown of the jaw bone.

Eating or drinking small amounts of white phosphorus may cause liver, heart, or kidney damage, vomiting, stomach cramps, drowsiness, or death. We do not know what the effects are from eating or drinking very small amounts of white phosphorus-containing substances over long periods of time. Skin contact with burning white phosphorus may burn skin or cause liver, heart, and kidney damage.


When using WP as a weapon it is a chemical weapon.




posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 09:51 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky

from Harlequin Zaphod , all 4 of those contradict each other : `burns cooly` to ` incinderary agent` - those 2 just don`t work together , same as adding `smoke itself is not dangerous` when clearly there is plenty of evidence to say otherwise.


And don`t forget , what of Red Phosphorus as well , that was used.

Yes, I'm sure there is plenty of Red Phosphorus in use in Iraq...

from Wikipedia
White phosphorus is used in military applications as incendiary bombs, for smoke-screening as smoke pots and smoke bombs, and in tracer ammunition.
Red phosphorus is essential for manufacturing matchbook strikers, flares, and, most notoriously, methamphetamine.





White Phosphorus and Red Phosphorus burn to produce a hygroscopic smoke containing phosphoric acids. Red phosphorus (RP) is not nearly as reactive as white phosphorus. It reacts slowly with atmospheric moisture and the smoke does not produce thermal injury, hence the smoke is less toxic.


taken from here

red phosphorus could be used if all they wanted to do is make smoke.

obviously they don`t want to so they use white phosphurus.

im waiting for the time they deploy black phosphorus and electrically charge the smoke.



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 09:53 AM
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I can't understand how some people can become so obsessed with their "point of view" on a topic that they can defend things like using this substance - NO MATTER WHAT IT WAS USED FOR - over a civilian population center.

I realize we're discouraged from associating certain names to certain member actions, but I'd like to point out that...

when you chew like a jack-ass, tow like a jack-ass, and bray like a jack-ass, please don't get all defensive and upset when some of us mistake you...

for a jack-ass.



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 09:55 AM
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Originally posted by Smokersroom
"This is war, remember? Because somebody mentioned making friends and influencing people... "

JSOBecky, Wasn't it bush who said winning this 'war' involved winning the hearts and minds of the iraqi people?

Well hes done a cracking job with that, hasn't he?

The people he was referring to didn't plant IEDs to kill soldiers AND innocent civilian Iraqis. Intentionally.

Not the nutjobs you are so worried about offending.

Btw, you screwed up with my name there. I'm sure it wasn't an intentional puerile personal attack; we're mostly adults here. So I'll just chalk it up to human error.



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 10:01 AM
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Originally posted by Umbrax
When using WP as a weapon it is a chemical weapon.


That might be what you say, but the use of Willie Peter as a weapon is not prohibited by international treaty to which the US is a signatory. This is a tempest in a teapot. Willie Peter is horrific, but few weapons aren't.



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 10:03 AM
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from Harlequin im waiting for the time they deploy black phosphorus and electrically charge the smoke.

I know that WP is supposed to be most effective as a smokescreen, but can't they use BP as a daytime smokescreen? I'm not that well versed...



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 10:04 AM
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I would like to point out that my previous post was the use of an indiscriminate incendiary fly-by posting... if anybody in this thread got by burned by it just because you were posting in the near vicinity - or braying like a jack-ass - that's your problem. Also, I didn't sign any agreements so I guess I can spray flaming crap all over anybody I want...

right?

I wouldn't think anybody in this thread I was aiming at has a problem with it anyway.

EDIT: fixed typo

[edit on 11-16-2005 by Valhall]



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 10:08 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky

Originally posted by Smokersroom
So what if it is not a WMD? So what if its not officially designated as a chemical weapon? Its still a pretty horrific way of attacking people.


So is a rusty knife applied along the Adam's apple, while videotaping.
Did you complain about that?


Yes I did smartarse.

Your government should learn to tell the truth. If they keep backpedalling and u-turning, sooner or later they are going to fall over.

[edit on 16/11/05 by Smokersroom]



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 10:22 AM
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G_O_L_D_Y



“I entered Fallujah near the Julan Quarter, which is near the General Hospital,” he said during an interview in Baghdad, “There were American snipers on top of the hospital shooting everyone.”


This eyewitness sees this as a bad thing, but it was actually part of the "strategy" for Fallujah:


U.S., Iraqi troops mass for assault on Fallujah
STRATEGY: U.S. to employ snipers, robots to cut down casualties
Matthew B. Stannard, Chronicle Staff Writer

Snipers



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 10:29 AM
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Here you go. Defend this...





digitaljournalist.org...

and for those in this thread who are the few and the proud over this kind of activity...there's some marines who don't agree with you.


"White phosphorous explodes like a blossom. It spreads out brilliant white petals, whiter than anything else, with crimson tips. It's a gorgeous sight. When white phosphorus touches flesh, however, it burns down to the bone; you can't put it out with water. In Vietnamese civilian hospitals Vann and I visited, I'd seen children who had been burned by it and others who had been burned by napalm, which leaves a different kind of scar. You can't put napalm out with water either. I'd seen both of these in the Marines, in demonstration exercises, and I know they're very effective weapons. We think of them as saving the lives of our troops, especially when we're the only side using them, as in Vietnam, but when I was a Marine, I didn't want to be saved by them, any more than I wanted to be saved by nuclear weapons. And that was before I'd seen firsthand what they did to humans"


www.ellsberg.net...

Most likely those who have actually been some where it was used, versus those who like to talk like they know "it's just another weapon".



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 10:36 AM
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At the present rate , the forces under the command of George Bush will have killed more people using chemical weapons by this time next year , than Sadam Hussein did during his entire reign.


Now that makes you wonder , or it should do.



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 10:37 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky

Originally posted by Smokersroom
So what if it is not a WMD? So what if its not officially designated as a chemical weapon? Its still a pretty horrific way of attacking people.


So is a rusty knife applied along the Adam's apple, while videotaping.
Did you complain about that?


The whole world decried all of those moves...why would you be comparing apples to oranges anyway? Comparing a rusty knife to the throat of 1 civilian hostage is not exactly the same as as massive coordinated effort to eradicate a fractional group of people by targeting ALL in an area (largely cilvilian population) with YES CHEMICAL weapons. If you think about it, the rusty knife to the throat was more humane in one REAL LARGE aspect, that the captors GAVE opportunity for those in captivity to survive...the US and the coalition of the killing decided that it wasnt in their best interest. At least those at the knife point were GIVEN the chance to survive; by showering a civilian population with WP, they were given NO chance...not at any time do i remember the coalition getting on a bullhorn and stating "Ok, all you bad bad insurgents have a choice here, either come out, live and let the civilians around you live, OR we will shower you AND the civilians with WP and ensure that none of you leave!" .... im sure had that option been given, then maybe the comparison could be on par.

[edit on 16-11-2005 by alphabetaone]



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
G_O_L_D_Y



“I entered Fallujah near the Julan Quarter, which is near the General Hospital,” he said during an interview in Baghdad, “There were American snipers on top of the hospital shooting everyone.”


This eyewitness sees this as a bad thing, but it was actually part of the "strategy" for Fallujah:


U.S., Iraqi troops mass for assault on Fallujah
STRATEGY: U.S. to employ snipers, robots to cut down casualties
Matthew B. Stannard, Chronicle Staff Writer

Snipers



I fail to understand how snipers can be used "to cut down casualties" if they are shooting at everyone... not 2 mention using a hospital for the cover.



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 10:50 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall


Most likely those who have actually been some where it was used, versus those who like to talk like they know "it's just another weapon".



I think that pretty much sums up a vast majority of the posters here, unfortunately...grab a few key words off the internet, from news clips, or from Wikipedia, all of a sudden, now they're foremost authorities on the affects.

Furthermore simply using SEMANTICS that automatically states that "hey WP is ok to use" is unconscienable to me...those of you posting in here that believe just because the US didnt ascirbe to its NON use, do you seriously believe that its ok to use? If so, I pray to God that you never find yourself in a position where you'll have no choice but to just "roll with the punches" when it gets used on YOUR family at some time in the future.

[edit on 16-11-2005 by alphabetaone]



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 10:55 AM
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G_O_L_D_Y

Read the article. It explains everything.


[edit on 16-11-2005 by jsobecky]



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 11:20 AM
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Okay, WP munitions were used for incendiary purposes. But is it wrong to do so?
Let us have a look at the govening protocols;
According to the Geneva Protocol:


Protocol Obligations: The Geneva Protocol prohibits the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous, or other gases, and of bacteriological methods of warfare.
Verification and Compliance: The Protocol recognizes the significance of bringing together controls on chemical and biological weapons. While it prohibits the use of such weapons, it does not prohibit their production, development, and stockpiling hence the need for further treaties the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention and the 1991 Chemical Weapons Convention. There is no verification mechanism contained within the Protocol and compliance is voluntary. The Geneva Protocol, implicitly, does not cover internal or civil conflicts.
Reservations: Upon ratification or accession to the Protocol, some States declared that it would cease to be binding on them if their enemies, or the allies of their enemies, failed to respect the prohibitions of the
Protocol.
Countries that continue to hold reservations to the Protocol are:
China, Fiji, India, Iraq[former state], Israel, United States.....

So from this we can gather that the Protocol doesnt cover internal conflicts, which the battle of Fallujah could possible constitute as Iraq was officially under US control before the battle of Fallujah. It is also clear that the US has declared that the Protocol would not be binding if their "enemies" were not to abide by the same rules. So technically, the Islamic Fundamentalists in Iraq could be considered an "enemy" that clearly doesnt abide by the Geneva Protocol and thus the Protocol would not need to be applied to them.
Also the protocol extends to cover the BWC and the CWC as requirements that need to be met by the ratifing states.

According to the Chemical Weapons Convention: www.nti.org...


The Convention defines a chemical weapon as the following, together or separately:
a)Toxic chemicals and their precursors, except where intended for purposes not prohibited under the Convention, as long as the types and quantities are consistent with such purposes; specifically designed to cause death or other harm.

The CWC states that to be called a chemical weapon, thus a WMD, it should not be prohibited under the convention- which it isnt. As for the types and quantities, this is debatable. The purpose was clearly to flush out insurgents and to eliminate them with HE munitions, these insurgents were spread through out Fallujah-thus the quantity used must have been liberal but the exact amount cannot be determined correctly. The type of chemical used is WP which is an allotrope of Phosphorus and not present in Schedules 1 - 3 of the CWC thus NOT making it a chemical weapon.
Schedule 1Schedule 2 & 3

According to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons: www.armscontrol.org...


The operative provisions of the CCW are contained in several protocols annexed to the convention.[2] Currently, there are four protocols in force (see below) and a fifth that has been negotiated and adopted, but has not yet entered into force.
Protocol III: Incendiary Weapons

Protocol III regulates the use of weapons designed to set fire to or burn their target. The protocol proscribes targeting civilians with incendiary weapons and restricts the use of air-delivered incendiary weapons against military targets in close proximity to concentrations of noncombatants. It also prohibits parties from targeting forests or other plant cover unless the vegetation is being used to conceal military forces. The protocol only covers weapons created intentionally to set fire or burn, such as flamethrowers. Weapons that ignite fires or burn as a side effect are not subject to the protocol.

This quite clearly states that the WP which is used to flush out militants is not prohibited by this protocol.
The official statement given confirms the fact that the WP was used as a "obscurant" and was not "created intentionally to set fire or burn".
From the BBC:


Col Venable told the BBC's PM radio programme that the US army used white phosphorus incendiary munitions "primarily as obscurants, for smokescreens or target marking in some cases."
He said US forces could use white phosphorus rounds to flush enemy troops out of covered positions.
"The combined effects of the fire and smoke - and in some case the terror brought about by the explosion on the ground - will drive them out of the holes so that you can kill them with high explosives," he said.

Therefore WP is NOT a WMD and is NOT illegal .


The morality of using this weapon however is debatable.



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 11:24 AM
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All I can say is that there are some who are better off not thinking about war. There are no humane weapons. Napalm and WP have their uses and it is far better that 10,000 enemy die than even one friendly. I'm sorry that sometimes civilians and even babies get in the way, but that's the way it is. It's not right, but no one has found a way to totally prevent such things from happening.

Oh, and Valhall, I've been there.

[edit on 2005/11/16 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 11:29 AM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
All I can say is that there are some who are better off not thinking about war. There are no humane weapons. Napalm and WP have their uses and it is far better that 10,000 enemy die than even one friendly. I'm sorry that sometimes civilians and even babies get in the way, but that's the way it is. It's not right, but no one has found a way to totally prevent such things from happening.

Oh, and Valhall, I've been there.

[edit on 2005/11/16 by GradyPhilpott]




Fair game huh?



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by IAF101

Therefore WP is NOT a WMD and is NOT illegal .


The morality of using this weapon however is debatable.



So, to put things in perspective then, lets say there's a gang of around oh, i dont know, 100, that arent harming anyone around them lets says, oh i dont know, in the middle of NYC and they are fighting against occupation by lets say the Chinese, because the Chinese now are the dominant world power and they deem it necessary to remove George Bush from power because he is a threat to the world and his own people. Now to ensure you get those hundred out of the way so they arent trouble any longer, you figure the best thing to do is a massive sweep with lets say a CHEMICAL WEAPON for the sake of argument lets call it White Phosphorous...blanket it across Manhattan (because lets fact it it IS a small island), and there ya have it...for certain you will ensure those 100 dont make it. As hard as the rest of the CIVILIANS who were aiding them by just being humane and trying to keep them from harm, they couldnt in the face of that.


Hmmm you know what? Youre right ive now COMPLETELY changed my mind, and I now think there's not a damn thing wrong with it.

Sorry for the sarcasm, but seriously I start to question the morality of some of you people sometimes....then we wonder why these horrific things take place? Because no one sees any thing wrong with em!



posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 11:39 AM
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Nice find Harlequin. I posted a link to the Washington Posts story yesterday about them using WP on the fallujah thread.

So the naysayers cant say, "oh thats not an american source" LINKY

hmm, funny how the ones that say they didnt use them, now have traded up to oh they aren't wmd's. Seems the flipflop doesnt stop at the white house.



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