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NEWS: US Used White Phosphorus in Iraq

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posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 06:52 AM
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Originally posted by cavscout


Val, its Amnesty International! What did you expect them to say? maybe you thought they would say "both parties did a good, nice, moral job of destroying human life today."


Well, since their mandate is to be a watchdog against inhumane acts, and the military used an indiscriminate incendiary device over a civilian population, I would expect them to say exactly what they said.

By the way, it looks like the Iraqi government is going to investigate the U.S. military.

news.independent.co.uk...


Iraq's acting Human Rights minister, Narmin Othman, said last night that a team would be dispatched to Fallujah to try to ascertain conclusively whether civilians had been killed or injured by the incendiary weapon. The use of white phosphorus (WP) and other incendiary weapons such as napalm against civilians is prohibited.

The move by the Iraqi government and the growing concern at Westminster follows the Pentagon's confirmation to The Independent earlier this week that WP had been used during the battle of Fallujah last November and the presentation of persuasive evidence that civilians had been among the victims.

The size or scale of the inquiry to be undertaken by the Iraqi government is unclear, and it is not known when its investigators will arrive in Fallujah. An official with the human rights ministry said that while it was also not known how long the inquiry would take, "the people of Fallujah will be fully consulted".

The Pentagon says the use of incendiary weapons against military targets is not prohibited.

But the article two, protocol III of the 1980 UN Convention on Certain Weapons bans their use against civilians.

Perhaps of crucial importance to the Iraqi investigators, the treaty also restricts their use against military targets "inside a concentration of civilians except when such military objective is clearly separated from the concentration of civilians".

But last night MPs were openly dismissive of Mr Reid's comments and called for an inquiry, saying they had previously been misled about the US's use of napalm in Iraq. The US had drawn a distinction between conventional napalm and updated Mk 77 firebombs, which experts say are virtually identical.

If an Iraqi investigation provides evidence that civilians were killed by white phosphorus as a weapon, there is no recourse under the Conventional Weapons Convention.

However, the 1977 first protocol to the Geneva Conventions could be invoked. The United States has signed but not ratified the protocol which relates to the 4th Convention which considers the treatment of civilians.

Article 35 of the protocol makes it clear that the use and methods of use of "weapons of warfare are not unlimited." Any weapon or use of weapon that causes "superfluous or unnecessary suffering" is outlawed. The indiscriminate use of phosphorus on a civilian population would be covered.

Breaches of the Geneva Conventions are brought by individual countries and are usually heard by the United Nations at Security Council level, or in the International Court of Justice.

Peter Carter QC, an expert in international law and chairman of the Bar's human rights committee, said the latest US admissions raised serious concerns about whether white phosphorus was indiscriminately used against civilians. He called for an independent inquiry, possibly through the United Nations, into the use of white phosphorus in Iraq.




posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 06:57 AM
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Val

The residents of Fallujah were pre-warned of the impending assault in November '04:


The much-anticipated assault on Fallujah could begin any hour now. Iraqi PM Allawi has stated that the window for negotiations is closing, and US and coalition forces are amassed on the outskirts of Fallujah awaiting orders to begin the assault. Most civilians have already left the city, and those that haven't are being urged to leave.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Some chose to stay, for various reasons. Unfortunately, this resulted in civilian casualties, which nobody likes to see.

The insurgents were also pre-warned, btw.

If it were a sneak attack, then we own the responsibility for the civ casualties. But pre-warned, they own it.



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:09 AM
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so , if a civilian cannot leave there home because they are injured , or too old or too young , then its there problem when they get blown up and melted??



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:13 AM
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That argument always comes up as a response to an evacuation order, most recently in NOLA.

I don't know what to say. I'd find a way. Flag down the nearest US soldier, ask your neighbor to get a message to them. Use Iraq's resources.

If someone were that infirm, then they would already have someone assisting them day-to-day. Use them.

[edit on 17-11-2005 by jsobecky]



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:19 AM
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Who are "they" jsobecky? Are "they" the civilians of Fallujah who had no place else to go? Kind of like citizens of New Orleans who had no place to go, or no money to get there?

Let's lay the blame on them - but not all of it - because we'd have to prove they knew they were running the risk of being burned to death by a shower of weapons that can't tell civilian from enemy combatant. That's a lot different risk than deciding to hide in your house and wait out an attack on strongholds - which happen to not be your house.

There's no defense of this.



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:20 AM
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Originally posted by maidenwolf
This continuous attempt to justify the use of WP or napalm or DU is sickening. There is such a thing as humanity and decency.
Yes, and part of that humanity is not killing other people. Would you rather see Iraqis get shot? would it make you happy if we killed them with swords? You are wasting your time arguing against Willie Pete. How about all was is bad, all killing sucks.

Now, I do not support this war. I was there, on the ground, in the begining. I have GWOT-E (Global War on Terrorism-Expiditionary Medal) to prove it. We should not be there, that is where you should make your stand, not on the type of weapons we are using. War is about killing, get over it. I hope if the U.S. ever fights a legit war (see: on American soil) you arent arguing over what type of weapons we use to protect your backside, and the backside of those you love.


As a country that is supposed to be a leader of the world, we are just showing over and over again that we cannot responsibly hold that position. The world is watching, and they aren't impressed.
Since when do we as Americans care what the world thinks? If you want to throw around the Constitution as you did above, how about looking into how much (or little) those guys who signed it cared about the rest of the world. I am an AMERICAN; as such, I dont care what the world thinks of us. We do what is good for AMERICA because we are AMERICANS. Let Russia worry about Russia and France worry about France. If they really care that much, let them invade us. Now for that, I would dust off the old M-14 and give 'em hell, just like the Arabs are giving us over there. And guess what, I wouldnt think twice about choping off their heads or using Willie Pete or draging them behind my pickup. Remember, ther eis no honor amongst theives.



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:21 AM
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And you know what the biggest evidence is that the U.S. military did something inhumane here, and knew they were when they did it?

THEY'VE LIED ABOUT IT FOR A YEAR.

Case closed.



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:33 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall
Who are "they" jsobecky? Are "they" the civilians of Fallujah who had no place else to go? Kind of like citizens of New Orleans who had no place to go, or no money to get there?

Let's lay the blame on them - but not all of it - because we'd have to prove they knew they were running the risk of being burned to death by a shower of weapons that can't tell civilian from enemy combatant. That's a lot different risk than deciding to hide in your house and wait out an attack on strongholds - which happen to not be your house.


The "they" was in response to Harlequin's question, Val .
I don't know where the other residents, who decided to leave, went. I do know that there were Iraqi medical staff around.

I don't know the exact wording of the warnings, so I can't answer your next comment.

There are some similarities between NOLA and Fallujah. They both had warning, for example. NOLA was more tragic in a way, because those left behind were let down by an incompetent state government who could have prevented it.



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:37 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
NOLA was more tragic in a way, because those left behind were let down by an incompetent state government who could have prevented it.


OUCH! Man are you going to draw flame for that.



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:37 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky


There are some similarities between NOLA and Fallujah. They both had warning, for example. NOLA was more tragic in a way, because those left behind were let down by an incompetent state government who could have prevented it.



Yeah, versus being attacked by that same government. I'm not sure I'd pick the same as you.



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:40 AM
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and the iraqi medical staff are amoungst the ones reporting the use of WP *everywhere* and they stayed to treat the burned and wounded.


but i guess thats wrong as well , in your opinion.



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:47 AM
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Accordingly, I would presume it would depend on the source used for interpretation? Yeah, apparently so.



White phosphorus is not banned by any treaty to which the United States is a signatory. Smokes and obscurants comprise a category of materials that are not used militarily as direct chemical agents. The United States retains its ability to employ incendiaries to hold high-priority military targets at risk in a manner consistent with the principle of proportionality that governs the use of all weapons under existing law. The use of white phosphorus or fuel air explosives are not prohibited or restricted by Protocol II of the Certain Conventional Weapons Convention (CCWC), the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects.

White Phosphorus (WP), known as Willy Pete

As for the battle of Fallujah, besides the book I linked, there are other such sources giving account of what transpired at Fallujah:


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

Did the U.S. Use "Illegal" Weapons in Fallujah?


Further sources:
The Fight for Fallujah
U.S. Broadcast Exclusive - "Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre" on the U.S. Use of Napalm-Like White Phosphorus Bombs
A Debate: Did the U.S. Military Attack Iraqi Civilians With White Phosphorous Bombs in Violation of the Geneva Conventions?





seekerof

[edit on 17-11-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:49 AM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
and the iraqi medical staff are amoungst the ones reporting the use of WP *everywhere* and they stayed to treat the burned and wounded.


but i guess thats wrong as well , in your opinion.

Why do you say that, Harlequin? I'll take hits when I deserve it, but I usually know beforehand why I'm getting tagged.



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:52 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky

Originally posted by Harlequin
and the iraqi medical staff are amoungst the ones reporting the use of WP *everywhere* and they stayed to treat the burned and wounded.


but i guess thats wrong as well , in your opinion.

Why do you say that, Harlequin? I'll take hits when I deserve it, but I usually know beforehand why I'm getting tagged.



its in reply to:


Originally posted by jsobecky
The "they" was in response to Harlequin's question, Val .
I don't know where the other residents, who decided to leave, went. I do know that there were Iraqi medical staff around.



The iraqi medical staff stayed to treat the wounded and burnt - they could have left but didn`t.



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 08:16 AM
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And this is the 'they" I thought we were talking about:

so , if a civilian cannot leave there home because they are injured , or too old or too young , then its there problem when they get blown up and melted??



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 08:24 AM
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yes , `they` being civilians (non military) , which doctors and nurses also fall into that area.



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 08:29 AM
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You know, I really thought the whole issue was a non-issue, but I have to pass this along, as my father spent 22 years in the service, was in the Korean war as well as Vietnam, and his opinion holds more weight than mine.

When I spoke with him last night, he said that WP should never have been used against soldiers, EVER, as it is too horrific, and the fact that they did it again is unspeakable. It sickened him to no end.

There, a war vet of more than one wars, 22 year career soldier, and that is his opinion.

I'm leaving it at that.



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 08:49 AM
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Sorry TC, but I have to disagree with your father. The saying 'if it aint worth doing right, it aint worth doing at all' would seem to fit here. If it is necessary to wage war, give it all you got. If that means making the enemy realize that their demise may not be as quick and merciful as a bullet to the head, all the better. Fear can be a weapon.

In the end, using weapons that scare the crap out of the enemy may actually save lives. Remember how many combat experienced Iraqis surrendered to us the first time we initiated hostilities against their nation? Every one of them who was too afraid to fight was one we didn't have to kill.

So, to use a little doublespeak, Willie Pete helps save lives.


[edit on 17-11-2005 by cavscout]



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 08:58 AM
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cavscout
I AM against the war, but that isn't the topic here. The topic is the use of WP. I spend a lot of time in anti-war issues actually. I'm glad you are home and are safe. I also support our troops....I think that wanting the killing to stop and wanting them home asap IS supporting them. Inhumane treatment of ANYONE is wrong.



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 09:05 AM
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Originally posted by maidenwolf
Inhumane treatment of ANYONE is wrong.


if u wrote the Geneva convention i wouldnt be surprise u identify bullets as WMD and must be banned.
not to mention in yer view as inhumane.



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