Friday, November 18, 2005
Caught in a lie when it initially denied using phosphorus bombs in the assault on Fallujah, the Pentagon had to concede it used the weapons. It fell back on the claim that it only used the incendiary defices on militants, not civilians--but then, in that assault, the Pentagon trapped all males in the city, considering them all insurgents.
Now that the Iraqi government has been forced to investigate the US military's criminal use of phosphorus incendiary bombs during the November 2004 assault on Fallujah, it is important to note how slippery the Pentagon is being about its claim not to have used this dreadful weapon against "civilians."
As I wrote during the assault (see the November 13 article on the 2004 Archive page of my website) two years ago, before the assault began on this city of 300,000, the US military ringed the doomed city. Civilians were ordered to leave, but US troops turned back all men and boys of "fighting age,"--a term that was not defined, but that reportedly was set at 14!--trapping them in what itself was a war crime (civilians must be allowed to flee a war zone under the Geneva Conventions).
So in other words, all adult and adolescent males in the city of Fallujah were considered by the US military to be "insurgents," not "civilians." Ergo, if they were bombed with phosphorus weapons, it wasn't a case of bombing civilians.
This grim history, so reminiscent of the way the Nazis herded jews into villages in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union before leveling the entire village, gives the lie to the latest effort to dodge a charge of war crimes in Iraq.
For other stories by Lindorff, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .