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White (Phosphorous) Lies - Antiwar accusations arenít as hot as critics think.
NRO ^ | November 29, 2005 | Michael Fumento

Posted on 11/29/2005 3:03:36 PM PST by neverdem

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White (Phosphorous) Lies

Antiwar accusations aren’t as hot as critics think.

By Michael Fumento

Time again to try to cripple the U.S. military effort in Iraq. It's not enough that it sometimes seems like whenever we bomb a terrorist safe house we're accused of killing 40 civilians and no terrorists. (Why is it always 40?) Nor that we're told we must turn the prisons at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay into genteel facilities fit for Martha Stewart. Now the defeat-niks are screaming about our use of white phosphorus during the bloody battle for Fallujah last year.

Capable of being packed into a huge array of munitions, WP burns on contact with air and is highly useful for smoke-screening, smoke-marking, and as an anti-personnel weapon.

WP is hardly new, having been first used in the 19th century and subsequently in both world wars. Nor should it be news that it was used at Fallujah. An article in the March-April 2005 issue of Field Artillery explicitly details the use of WP during the battle.

Yet it's being treated as a major new revelation because of an Italian documentary, now available on the Internet, titled Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre." It's as if the use of WP necessarily involves a massacre, or as if there haven't been awful massacres in recent years using nothing but machetes and clubs.

Further, there's no proof of any wrongdoing in the video itself. Rather it relies on "explanations" exclusively from the narrator and other anti-war zealots.

This includes the infamous Giuliana Sgrena, the reporter for the Italian Communist-party newspaper Il Manifesto, allegedly seized by courteous kidnappers. In turn for her release they conveniently demanded what she had also been demanding: Italy's withdrawal from the war. Her articles are so viciously anti-American they'd make Al Jazeera blush.

There are several accusations against our WP usage.

Some allege that it is outlawed by the Geneva Convention as a chemical weapon. Therefore our using it puts us in the same category as Saddam Hussein — or so claims the hugely popular far-left blogsite Daily Kos. But according to the more authoritative GlobalSecurity.org, "White phosphorus is not banned by any treaty to which the United States is a signatory."

Is it a chemical? Sure! So is something else you may have heard of called "gunpowder." And those chemicals used in high explosives? Yup, they're chemicals too.

Another charge is that contact with WP can cause awful and sometimes fatal burns. But painless ways of killing and destroying such as Star Trek's beam weapon phasers have yet to be developed. On the other hand, the vipers we cleaned out of Fallujah were just days earlier sawing off civilian heads with dull knives. Sound like a pleasant way to die?

Fact is, the soldier's weapon of choice remains high explosives. WP's best uses aren't against personnel at all, but to the extent it is employed this way its most practical application is flushing the enemy out of foxholes and trenches so that they can either surrender or be killed.

It's also claimed that civilians were "targeted" with WP, and the Italian video does display dead civilians. But how does this show they were the intended victims, rather than accidental casualties? It's not like when terrorists detonate bombs in crowded marketplaces or at weddings, where the intent is pretty clear.

Regardless of the weapon, how can you possibly avoid noncombatant deaths when the enemy not only hides among civilians but hides as civilians — in total violation of the Geneva Convention, for those of you keeping track?

Further, the dead civilians in the video are wearing clothing. Both the film's narrator and another of those defeat-nik "experts," former Marine Jeff Englehart, try to explain this away by saying WP can burn flesh while leaving clothes intact. But true weapons experts, such as GlobalSecurity.org Director John Pike, say there's no such black magic. "If it hits your clothes it will burn your clothes," he told reporters.

As daily news reports illustrate in brilliant red Technicolor, the greatest threat to Iraqi civilians are the terrorists. If we want to save civilians, our soldiers must be free to use the best legal equipment available to kill those terrorists and to continue liberating Iraq.

Michael Fumento is a former paratrooper who was embedded with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force this year at Camp Fallujah. He's also a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.


 

 
http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/fumento200511290832.asp
     



TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iraq; oif; whitephosphorous; wp
NY Times' barf alert Shake and Bake
1 posted on 11/29/2005 3:03:38 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

I've always found the entire concept of regulations governing conduct during war to be somewhat odd. War isn't a game like golf where the stronger or more skilled adversary handicaps themself to make it a more even contest.


2 posted on 11/29/2005 3:09:53 PM PST by MarcusTulliusCicero
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To: neverdem
The only reason that we ever incur civilian casualties in military operations is because the enemy makes a practice of surrounding their combatants with civilians.

We would be abhorred at the thought of using women and kids as human shields. We would never do that in a million years. They would. They do.

3 posted on 11/29/2005 3:11:14 PM PST by Sender (Team Infidel USA)
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To: neverdem

I think it was Golda Meir who once said "We can forgive you for killing our children, but we can never forgive you for making us kill yours."


4 posted on 11/29/2005 3:13:00 PM PST by Sender (Team Infidel USA)
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To: wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; King Prout; ..
Our Troops Must Stay (Joe Lieberman The New Zell Miller Alert)

The “Moral Authority” Canard

From time to time, I’ll ping on noteworthy articles about politics, foreign and military affairs. FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.

5 posted on 11/29/2005 3:14:23 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

Fifth Column exposing BTTT.

Cheers,

knews hound

http://knewshound.blogspot.com/


6 posted on 11/29/2005 3:15:05 PM PST by knews_hound (i know my typing sucks, i do it one handed ! (caps are azy.e crespecially tough))
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To: neverdem

bttt


7 posted on 11/29/2005 3:16:22 PM PST by nopardons
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To: MarcusTulliusCicero

Some are absolutely ridiculous. Like the prohibition on sharpening a bayonet.


8 posted on 11/29/2005 3:21:27 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: neverdem
It's not enough that it sometimes seems like whenever we bomb a terrorist safe house we're accused of killing 40 civilians and no terrorists.

I've always found these claims odd. Some victims of an attack, children and so forth, are obviously innocent.

Beyond these definite cases, how anybody can tell whether a dead guy was a terrorist or not is perplexing. By definition, they don't wear insignia.

Even some women are terrorists themselves and many more support them.

9 posted on 11/29/2005 3:27:01 PM PST by Restorer (They want to die. We want to kill them. Cool!)
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To: neverdem

thank you. this will be of use.


10 posted on 11/29/2005 4:21:21 PM PST by King Prout (many accuse me of being overly literal... this would not be a problem if many were not under-precise)
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To: neverdem

Teargas, mace, and pepper spray is routinely used to disperse crowds here in the U.S. Why aren't people complaining about those "chemical weapons" used by police? I'm really shocked that Jackson, Sharpton, or Farrakahn hasn't objected to the fact that "white" phosphorous is being used against brown people.


11 posted on 11/29/2005 4:33:29 PM PST by edpc
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To: neverdem
WP burns on contact with air and is highly useful for smoke-screening, smoke-marking, and as an anti-personnel weapon.

As opposed to bullets which tickle and make one laugh.

The first hint of BS should have been detected with 'Italian Documentary Maker'. Lord knows a documentary maker would never lie or mislead.....


12 posted on 11/29/2005 4:37:05 PM PST by proud_yank (Experience Tolerance: tell a liberal you own guns and drive an SUV!)
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To: edpc
I'm really shocked that Jackson, Sharpton, or Farrakahn hasn't objected to the fact that "white" phosphorous is being used against brown people.

Naahhh... They only get uppity when chemicals are used as explosives to blow up levees.
13 posted on 11/29/2005 4:38:09 PM PST by proud_yank (Experience Tolerance: tell a liberal you own guns and drive an SUV!)
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To: neverdem

Just another big lie application.


14 posted on 11/29/2005 9:45:10 PM PST by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: MarcusTulliusCicero
War isn't a game like golf where the stronger or more skilled adversary handicaps themself to make it a more even contest.

No handicap? But... but.. that would ruin the quagmire! It would be like having a mudhole without mud! /sarc

15 posted on 11/29/2005 9:50:05 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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