Monday, November 07, 2005
The United States' Weapons of Mass Destruction
Mon Nov 07, 2005 at 05:55:26 PM PDT
That the US has used white phosphorus to firebomb civilian targets with MK77 ordinance in assaults on Fallujah has been well known and leaking out around the edges of the US corporate media for more than a year.
It also has been admitted to, indirectly, by the Pentagon.
In June of 2005, the Independent/UK ran an article titled "US lied to Britain over use of napalm in Iraq war." Excerpt follows:
Despite persistent rumours of injuries among Iraqis consistent with the use of incendiary weapons such as napalm, Adam Ingram, the Defence minister, assured Labour MPs in January that US forces had not used a new generation of incendiary weapons, codenamed MK77, in Iraq.
But Mr Ingram admitted to the Labour MP Harry Cohen in a private letter obtained by The London Independent that he had inadvertently misled Parliament because he had been misinformed by the US. "The US confirmed to my officials that they had not used MK77s in Iraq at any time and this was the basis of my response to you," he told Mr Cohen. "I regret to say that I have since discovered that this is not the case and must now correct the position."
Mr Ingram said 30 MK77 firebombs were used by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in the invasion of Iraq between 31 March and 2 April 2003. They were used against military targets "away from civilian targets", he said. This avoids breaching the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), which permits their use only against military targets.
Of course Ingram was still being fed a load of crap by the Pentagon. MK77 is a 750-lb bomb consisting of an aluminum container filled with 75 gallons of kerosene-based jet fuel, polystyrene and benzene. When detonated it creates a sticky combustible gel that cannot be exstinguished. As if this type of weapon was not dangerous enough, there is no stabilizing tail or fin on the MK77, thus making the bomb very imprecise. In military parlance it is what's called a "dumb bomb." Used against any densely-populated area it is an indiscriminate killer.
On the rare occasion where the US media has touched on the story, it has obscured it by burying it. Consider the following excerpt from a San Francisco Chronicle report on the attack on Fallajuah from 2004, beginning with graph 26:
"Usually we keep the gloves on," said Army Capt. Erik Krivda, of Gaithersburg, Md, the senior officer in charge of the 1st Infantry Division's Task Force 2-2 tactical operations command center. "For this operation, we took the gloves off."
Some artillery guns fired white phosphorous rounds that create a screen of fire that cannot be extinguished with water. Insurgents reported being attacked with a substance that melted their skin, a reaction consistent with white phosphorous burns.
Kamal Hadeethi, a physician at a regional hospital, said, "The corpses of the mujahedeen which we received were burned, and some corpses were melted."
Some independent journalists have had the courage to expose what the US has been up to.
Dahr Jamail, who has reported aggressively on the US assaults on Fallujah, has authored numerous articles on the use of unconventional weapons and what amount to war crimes by the United States. The articles entitled Covering up Napalm in Iraq; 'Unusual Weapons' Used in Fallujah; An Eyewitness Account of Fallujah; Iraq: The Devastation; Odd Happenings in Fallujah; More Evidence Indicts US; The Failed Seige of Fallujah; US Claims Over Seige Challenged; and Media Held Guilty of Deception can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
The long-term significance of the RAI News 24 documentary is that the story of US war crimes in Iraq, while still untold by a compromised US media, won't stay buried.
It's sure to come back again and again as the secrets behind the greatest foreign policy disaster in American history spill out.
There can be no effective inoculation against a virus attacking the soul a nation other than truth.