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U.S. denies using phosphorous against civilians (Willie Pete)
MSNBC.com ^ | 11/16/05 | AP

Posted on 11/16/2005 8:39:27 AM PST by Airborne1986

WASHINGTON - Pentagon officials say white phosphorous was used as a weapon against insurgent strongholds during the battle of Fallujah last November, but deny an Italian television news report that it was used against civilians.

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

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.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: callforfire; crispy; denial; iraq; phosphorus; terror; whitephosphorus; wp

Caption: This image from an Italian documentary allegedly shows U.S. forces using white phosphorous in Iraq in November 2004. The documentary alleges troops used white phosphorous shells "in a massive and indiscriminate way" against civilians during the offensive in Fallujah.

This photo looks to me like a gunship dropping flares - not WP. Either way, there should be a law against journalists who don't know their ass from their elbows writing about weapon systems. WP is a legal and effective weapon - especially against an entrenched enemy. The same people that are up in arms (sorry about the pun) about the lack of armor on light vehicles now apparently would prefer that we deny this weapon to our soldiers and make them dig insurgents out of covered positions with entrenching tools.

1 posted on 11/16/2005 8:39:29 AM PST by Airborne1986
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To: Airborne1986
white phosphorous was used as a weapon against insurgent strongholds during the battle of Fallujah

Could have killed somebody!

2 posted on 11/16/2005 8:41:22 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: Airborne1986

Does it really matter how you die? Whether it is a .223 ripping through your gut or a 20mm? Whether you are burned or blown up? Can we still use bayonettes? Dead is dead.


3 posted on 11/16/2005 8:45:25 AM PST by rey
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To: dead

I would be happy to all of Iraq coated with a thick layer of this stuff. Wipe it free of vermin!


4 posted on 11/16/2005 8:45:30 AM PST by Kjobs
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To: Airborne1986

The book "No True Glory" which is an extensive account of the liberation of Fallujah, and a very fair-minded accounted showing our follies as well as our triumphs, makes no mention of the "massive use of phosphorous" against anyone, much less civilians. This charge comes from a Eurotrash newspaper. We know their agenda. What would it gain us to even use phosphorous against civilians? Nothing. Not to mention, there were not many civilians left in Fallujah by the time we went in last November because we gave them weeks of warnings to get out. And with them, many of the terrorist vermin escaped with them. What other military power would do that?

I don't know, this just goes to prove we need to stop waging a P.C. war because we'll be attacked by the Eurovermin and other leftist fools no matter what we do, whether we hurt our own interests by giving so many warnings even the terrorists get away or if we just go in with both barrels blazing and don't care who gets wacked.


5 posted on 11/16/2005 8:46:17 AM PST by MikeA
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To: Airborne1986

I do believe you have to be really close to it or touching it to actually get burned by it. The primary use of phosphorus is to produce the smoke.

A chemistry teacher in high school dropped a stick of phosphorus on the floor and smoked out the building. Ironically, I was in a history class next door where the teacher was discussing the use of phosphorus on the battlefield when the white smoke drifted past our windows.


6 posted on 11/16/2005 8:53:20 AM PST by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: Airborne1986

I don't understand why the use of WP was initially denied outright, then confirmed against insurgents only after this Italian rag went after them about it. If they had been honest from the beginning I don't think anyone would be making a big deal out of this, since it isn't a big deal otherwise.


7 posted on 11/16/2005 9:01:11 AM PST by Sols
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To: MikeA
Bing West bump!


8 posted on 11/16/2005 9:07:15 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: Airborne1986

This is silly. In the foreign press this is a big deal right now, because the spin it like WP is some quasi-legal, chemical weapon loophole which is blantly untrue.

It's really easy for liberal press to whip the masses into a frenzy. They've found yet another "scaring sounding term," white phosphorus, to use to villify the US.


9 posted on 11/16/2005 9:07:50 AM PST by Sax
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To: Airborne1986

The liberals won't be happy till our soldiers are armed with nothing but harsh (yet politically correct) language.

Screw them. Anytime they bring this up, they should be immediately confronted and demanded to explain their problem with American soldiers defending themselves with legal battlefield weaponry.


10 posted on 11/16/2005 9:13:35 AM PST by Dreagon
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To: Airborne1986

CNN has been runing daily stories accusing the US of torturing gitmo and iraqi prisoners.

And get this, the ACLU is going to represent insurgents who claim they were tortured by US troops at iraqi prisons. And it gets even better, they are trying to sue Donald Rumsfeld.



11 posted on 11/16/2005 9:15:01 AM PST by Proud_USA_Republican (We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good. - Hillary Clinton)
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To: Sols

There in lies the crux of the problem - the denial is just another tick under the "Bush Lies" column. This administration and the Pentagon really need to work on their PR campaigns.

Of course there would still be people spreading the "US used chemical weapons" BS, but the denial is just fanning the flames.


12 posted on 11/16/2005 9:24:42 AM PST by elc
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Have you read those yet? No True Glory was a book I just could not put down. Bing West is one hell of a story teller and because he was a Marine he really gets it. Great book!


13 posted on 11/16/2005 9:27:54 AM PST by MikeA
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To: Airborne1986

If WP is in the inventory, use it.


14 posted on 11/16/2005 9:41:48 AM PST by caisson71
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To: MikeA

Not yet. Both are on my "to read" shelf. Perhaps this winter.


15 posted on 11/16/2005 9:56:21 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Definitely read No True Glory. I've not read The March Up. But if it's as great as No True Glory, that book will be a real treat as well.


16 posted on 11/16/2005 10:00:14 AM PST by MikeA
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To: dead
It can cause painful burn injuries to exposed human flesh.

Ouch! That HURTS!

17 posted on 11/16/2005 10:06:25 AM PST by Great Caesars Ghost (Islamism = Islamic Supremacism & = racist ideology, not political.)
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To: coconutt2000

Course when they used to drop the willie peter grenades in the tunnels in Vietnam that had to be not fun for the people down there, but now that I think about it the idea there must really have been to smoke'm out much further down the tunnel


18 posted on 11/16/2005 10:21:49 AM PST by Great Caesars Ghost (Islamism = Islamic Supremacism & = racist ideology, not political.)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

How is this book? No True Glory.

They are making a movie of it with Harrison Ford.
That makes me nervous. Is it supportive of the war on terror and the war in Iraq?


19 posted on 11/16/2005 10:29:44 AM PST by Names Ash Housewares
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To: Airborne1986

A mortar illumination round uses WP as its incendiary device does it not? I believe it does. It doesn't matter, it's legal like that and also legal in use for smoke missions or to burn and destroy equipment. As far as personnel go- use HE and WP to get a Shake and Bake. The HE kills 'em and the WP destroys their equipment (uniforms, LBVs, rucksacks, boots, weapons etc) ;-) Now if the enemy is holding onto to his weapon when Mr Willie Pete comes along and burns it up- that's just his bad luck...

What we have here is a few pinheads trying to make a big deal out of absolutely nothing. What they're hoping is that the public doesn't realise a WP round is a standard item. Sure we use it 'indiscriminately'. You can fire up a lot of rounds on a smoke mission or an illuminatin mission. Nothing wrong or unusual about that.


20 posted on 11/16/2005 11:37:54 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: MikeA
This charge comes from a Eurotrash newspaper.

I would hardly call the US Army's Field Artillery Magazine a "Eurotrash newspaper".

From the USA FA Magazine (linked to above):
"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. We fired 'shake and bake' missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out."

To be honest, it doesn't bother me at all that a US Army publication openly admits to it - I would much rather we use WP than suicide bombers, and I'd rather we fight them in Iraq with anything and everything including WP, than fight them in the US.
21 posted on 11/16/2005 11:46:27 AM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: af_vet_rr
fyi, bottom of page 26 is where you'll find soldiers discussing it.

You'll also see that it probably saved their lives. Anything that can bring more Americans home alive is a good thing.
22 posted on 11/16/2005 11:55:26 AM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: Airborne1986
there should be a law against journalists who don't know their ass from their elbows writing about weapon systems.

I like your idea. Of course, if journalists can't write when they're ignorant, then newspapers would be empty.

23 posted on 11/16/2005 12:00:13 PM PST by 68skylark
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To: af_vet_rr

"I would hardly call the US Army's Field Artillery Magazine a 'Eurotrash newspaper'."

I was referring to the claim that these weapons were used against civilians in a massive way, or in any way, that the Italian newspaper made. I never denied they were used against enemy positions. And like you, I say good! We should have used them a lot more than we did against the terrorist vermin in Fallujah.


24 posted on 11/16/2005 3:12:37 PM PST by MikeA
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To: Airborne1986

“Civilian” – a terrorist who has accidentally dropped his weapon.


25 posted on 11/16/2005 3:14:57 PM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
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To: Airborne1986

one of these days reporters might find out we use real bullets in our guns over there.

this shocking news has to be revealed sometime soon.


26 posted on 11/16/2005 7:30:38 PM PST by kpp_kpp
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