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(Note: updated and expanded from original post 2005-11-08 15:47:17)
Iraq's government yesterday offered the leaders of rebel-held Fallujah a "last" chance to negotiate as an American military commander described the city as a cancer that had to be dealt with.November 2004:
Iyad Allawi, the Iraqi prime minister, indicated that time was fast running out for those who were harbouring insurgents there.
"This chance could be the last," he said in a statement, imploring "the leaders and notables of Fallujah to use it to find a political solution".
But with military preparations at an advanced stage and American officials suggesting a major offensive could begin next week, there appeared little hope of a deal.
"Fallujah is a cancer," said Maj Gen Richard Natonski, commander of the 1st Marine Division, who would lead any ground attack. "We can't have a sanctuary for the enemy and expect to make progress."
FALLUJAH, Iraq: The U.S. and Iraqi forces who entered this militant stronghold on Monday were prepared for days of fierce street fighting with insurgents who have been building defenses for months."Insurgents" respond:
Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said he had given his approval for the operation, which is being waged by an undisclosed mix of U.S., Iraqi and international forces. He also announced a round-the-clock curfew in Fallujah and in Ramadi, another insurgent stronghold about 40 miles west of here. Iraq is also temporarily closing its borders with Syria and Jordan. Only trucks carrying food and other emergency supplies will be allowed to cross those borders.
"The people of Fallujah have been taken hostage ... and you need to free them from their grip," Allawi told Iraqi soldiers on Monday during a visit to the main U.S. base outside Fallujah.
"May they go to hell!" the soldiers shouted. Allawi replied: "To hell they will go."
Falluja's defenders says they will use chemical weaponsA Marine speaks:
Insurgents in the rebel Iraqi city of Falluja claimed yesterday that they had added chemicals to mortar rounds and missiles that they intend to fire at American forces preparing for an all-out assault.
Cell commanders said some of the weapons could cause high-temperature fireballs and others were filled with cyanide.
Summary executions are common. Think about that. Summary executions inside Fallujah happen with sobering frequency. We have been witness to the scene on a number of occasions. Three men are taken from the trunk of a car and are made to walk to a ditch where they are shot. Bodies are found in the Euphrates without heads washed downstream from Fallujah. To date we have been allowed to do nothing.In the city:
I have no idea the numbers of beheadings that have occurred in Fallujah since I have been here. I have no idea the number of hostages that have ended up in Fallujah since we have been here. I just don't know that Americans would be able to comprehend the number anyway. Unfortunately, the situation has only gotten worse. There is no hope for any type of reasoned solution with an enemy like this.
Once again, we are being asked by citizens who have fled the city to go in and take the city back. They are willing for us to literally rubble the place in order to kill the terrorists within. Don't get me wrong, there are still many inside the town that support the terrorists and we cannot expect to be thanked publicly if we do take the city. There is a sense of de ja vu with the refugees telling us where their houses are and asking us to bomb them because the muj have taken them over. We heard the same thing in April only to end up letting the people down. Some no doubt have paid with their lives. The "good" people who may ultimately buy into a peaceful and prosperous Iraq are again asking us to do what we know must be done.
The battle was an intensely personal, face-to-face fight inside individual rooms where the screams often muted the gunfire and the crawl spaces muted the American technological edge. This meant that a Marine had to burst into a room with his rifle shouldered, steady his barrel on a concealed target, then break the trigger before the screaming lunatic trying to ambush him could manage an aimed shot and a proper "Allahu Akbar!"December, 2004:
If anything, the madness of it just made the Marines angrier. Everything in Fallujah was upside-down. Religious leaders demanded violence. Stray cats feasted on fallen men. Zarqawi had constructed a torture chamber twenty-five feet away from a small amusement park.
FALLUJAH, Iraq - U.S. Marines have almost completely cleared this former insurgent stronghold of insurgents and weapons, setting the stage for the return of the civilian population before next month's elections, a senior commander said yesterday.In the city:What really happened in Fallujah (Complete with slideshow).
Sattler cited the Iraqi commander of Fallujah, Lt. Gen. Abdul Khadar, as saying he would like to start bringing some of the 250,000 displaced people back by Dec. 24. By then, measures will be in place to guard against insurgents slipping back into the city, Sattler said.
As I traveled through the slowly repopulating city - about half of the original 250,000 are believed to have returned - I saw awesome scenes of destruction. But I also saw thriving markets, stores selling candy and ice cream, and scores of children delighted to see Americans. I did more waving than the beauty queen in the 4th of July parade and the kids squealed with delight when I took their picture - or pretended to.November 2005:
"We're mostly known for killing the bad guys" says Lt. Col. Harvey Williams, a reserve officer with the Marine 5th Civil Affairs Group. But killing alone can't defeat the insurgency. Win over the populace or lose the war.
Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack on the city in November 2004, killing insurgents and civilians with the appalling burns that are the signature of this weapon.Where to begin?
Ever since the assault, which went unreported by any Western journalists, rumours have swirled that the Americans used chemical weapons on the city.
How about with "Ever since the assault, which went unreported by any Western journalists".
The November 2004 attack on Fallujah was undoubtedly the most widely telegraphed punch ever thrown in the history of warfare. I collected and posted links to virtually every major media story done on the events of those days in a series I called "All Eyes on Fallujah" given the intense media scrutiny the battle received. I think you'll have a tough time finding a more comprehensive round up. As I noted at the time
As we've seen in the week since, stories and photos from those many journalists were delivered rapidly and regularly from the frontlines throughout the battle for Fallujah. Regardless of your thoughts on the results of their efforts, the risks taken by these individuals were real, and their results were often outstanding and always worth noting.
Here are links and quotes from 17 articles in the New York Times.
Here's the same for 13 articles in the Washington Post.
When you've finished those check out these 17 stories from the LA TImes.
And then finish with 18 stories from the London papers - The Times, Financial Times, and Telegraph.
As for the rest, the BBC debunks many of the instant myths surrounding this story, noting that White Phosphorous is an incendiary weapon (also used to create smoke screens), not a chemical weapon, and that although the US is not a signatory to any international treaty restricting the use of white phosphorus devices the military has stated they were used to illuminate combat areas at night.
(Update: Thanks to Nicholas in comments - the State Department has this response to accusations of "chemical weapon" use by US forces in Fallujah, pointing out that WP is not classified as a chemical weapon by any treaty. However, the BBC claim that the military said WP was used only for illumination may be in error - I've seen no source specified for the BBC claim. In fact, the updated State Dept link notes the US military has stated long before this Italian documentary story that WP rounds were used against entrenched enemy forces, an authorized use for military purposes.)
And finally, here's your white phosphorous scandal trivia question of the day. Ready?
Which of these quotes comes from Jeff Englehart, the ex-soldier now starring in the Italian documentary about White Phosphorous use in Iraq?
a) ...a former US soldier who served in Falluja, tells of how he heard orders for white phosphorus to be deployed over military radio - and saw the results.
"Burned bodies, burned women, burned children; white phosphorus kills indiscriminately... When it makes contact with skin, then it's absolutely irreversible damage, burning flesh to the bone," he says.
b) "White Phosphorous was used, which is definitely, without a shadow of a doubt a chemical weapon".
c) When I joined the United States Army I swore an oath to "serve and protect the Constitution of the United States", not an ignorant greedy little fuck like George Bush or any of his court jesters in the White House. And by writing and speaking against his policies and his war and his grossly high death tolls, I know in my heart that I am still, to this day, fighting to protect all the constitutional rights that his administration is robbing from us everyday.
d) The Iraqi insurrection, in itself, is what I believe to be an honest rebellion. Because it is a guerrilla war against an illegal occupation enforced by our conventional military force, with far superior weapons and technology, it seems obvious that acts of terrorism are also acts of desperation.
The answer is "all of the above".
You can find even more quotes in his interview with Socialist Worker Online.
Oh, for crying out loud. Why don't these people give it a rest already.Posted by MaryAnn at November 8, 2005 05:38 PM
The misstatement about the reporting of the war was made by the Independent, no by RAI, who is airing the documentary alleging the use of white phosphorus.
I find it curious that, without watching the documentary, you are attempting to debunk "myths" about it. You don't seem to have any curiousity about the facts and have done no investigating. Just a link to a BBC article.
What is your point of view on this issue? Is it not ok to use white phosphorus as a weapon? Is it ok to use as a weapon as long as it isn't considered a chemical weapon? is it ok to use it regardless, as long as we haven't signed any treaties?
If the latter is your answer, I would like to follow that logic further. Is torture ok as long as we can redefine the word to make it legal? Is it ok even if we can't redefine it and/or it is illegal based on treaties that we have signed? Is it ok even if it leads to our men and women being tortured by the enemy (not just the current one, but future ones...)?
I ask the second set of questions because I see them as linked with the first set. Both question how we should govern ourselves in war. Both impact how we are viewed throughout the world which in turn affects our ability to impact the rest of the world. Both may have an impact on how future enemies govern themselves against us.
I look forward to a more thoughtful discourse on this subject.
PS I'll keep an open-mind about whether we used white phosphorus as a weapon or not. Unlike our current administration, I believe in the American system of justice: innocent until proven guilty. My gut reaction is that we didn't or we would have heard about it before now.Posted by Chatterbox at November 8, 2005 06:56 PM
"The misstatement about the reporting of the war was made by the Independent, no by RAI, who is airing the documentary alleging the use of white phosphorus."
I don't know - I haven't seen the documentary while apparently you have. I never claimed the documentary said anything, I addrssed the myths surrounding it. The documentary is in Italian - and I doubt anyone commenting about it (other than you) has seen it.
The myths are that White Phosphorus is a chemical weapon - it is not. That it's use is outlawed - it is not. Even the agreements (that the US hasn't signed) don't ban WP.
The post above is a simple presentation of facts, not opinion. My opinion? In general WP is just another weapon. If you are nearby when a HE bomb falls you are going to die horribly. Same with weapons designed to fragment, ditto if a stray bullet sets off a gasoline fire in your vehicle. War is all about people dying in horrible ways. That's what makes me one of the most fervent anti-war types around.
There is an issue worth debating in this story, but you missed it.
As for torture, I have numerous posts regarding that topic all through this blog, and it in no way "logically" follows anything in this discussion.
However, I'll add that those who want to pretend White Phosphorous is a chemical (ie mass destruction) weapon are the same sorts who want to define torture as making someone wear panties on their heads. Neither argument would be made by anyone serious about the issue, thus both claims reveal the true motivation of those who make them.Posted by Greyhawk at November 8, 2005 07:33 PM
One way to claim that you're not using chemical weapons is to change the definition, just like one way to claim you're not torturing people is to change the definition. If WP was used for purposes beyond illuminating the battlefield, then it became a chemical weapon.
There are two ways to make the determination. One is to ask those who used it, but in wartime that's an unrealistic means of ascertaining the truth at least by itself. Which means you have to bring in the next method of determination, which is to examine the pattern of usage and see whether it's consistent with the stated use, i.e., illumination.
Of course, there is a third way out, which is Greyhawk's way: You click your heels, shout "Jawohl, mein Fuhrer!" and raise the ol' stiff-armed salute.
Now, as it concerns torture, if it was simply panties on people heads it would be ridiculous but not a lot more than that. But Greyhawk full well knows that a whole lot more happened on the torture front. So much so that even Bill O'Leilly of FauxNews, who once called it "fraternity hijinks" now begs and snarls at the ACLU to not force the release of the rest of the photographs of what really happened at Abu Ghraib.
And then, of course, there is the question of what the widespread use of torture in Iraq has done to this country's core values and our standing in the world. Talk about your hearts and minds. It takes a Republican to tell people that we're torturing you for freedom's sake.
Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 8, 2005 10:18 PM
Thinks the following might have anything to do with the public's willingess to entertain the possibility that the military is lying about Fallujah?
Or maybe Jeccica Lynch, Pat Tillman, WMD, Saddam-Terror links, the original lies about torture, you name it. That's the problem with you do a lot of lying. People start to look at you this way:
"One way to claim that you're not using chemical weapons is to change the definition, just like one way to claim you're not torturing people is to change the definition."
One way to claim that the people you don't like are using chemical weapons and torture is to change the definitions. Funny that.Posted by Patrick Chester at November 8, 2005 11:38 PM
"One way to claim that you're not using chemical weapons is to change the definition, just like one way to claim you're not torturing people is to change the definition."
Well, duh. Thanks for making Greyhawk's point.
"If WP was used for purposes beyond illuminating the battlefield, then it became a chemical weapon."
And duh, again. If a weapon intended to illuminate the battlefield does so by producing heat... it burns anything it hits. The purpose is light. That stuff other than light happened does not define the purpose.
The quoted bits... "Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah..." Are deliberately worded to encourage some assumptions... "powerful new evidence" virtually screams that this is a secret that no one wants you to know. Something is being *hidden* and this new evidence, so powerful it can't be denied! (as certainly the less powerful evidence *was* denied) will reveal the truth no one wants you to know. And "white phosphorus" just sound's scary. They didn't say "flares"... that doesn't sound scary. "White phosphorus" is ominous... who knows what it does? It could be anything.
I remember pictures of Falluja at night... raining fire pretty much describes it. The whole place glowed. (And if I'm remembering a picture of a city that wasn't Falluja, it was definately in Iraq.) Do I have any way of knowing what all that glowing stuff was? I don't have any reason to think it was something other than WP since no one who might know off hand has said that the US military is more likely to use something else for battlefield illumination.
This is *all* about twisting definitions. Purpose isn't defined by purpose or even by intent anymore. Apparently it's defined by what happens.
If Falluja is lit up like day, but WP falls on some people, then it was used against people. If the US drops a crate of food out of a plane and it falls on someone's cow it would prove that our purpose was to kill cows.
Wilson Kolb, Your writing makes me laugh, until I realize you are serious! You are more dangerous than WP.Posted by Lucille at November 9, 2005 01:05 AM
Jeez, what I'm reading elsewhere is that no WP was used at all. Unless you can get somebody in the open it's pretty useless. Its not going to be helpful against concrete buildings.
On the other hand I'm reading that the Marines used a lot of MK-77's. Thats a napalm type weapon which is useful to suck the air out of bunkers as well as set things on fire.
And, here's the deal. The women and kids could leave Fallujah as long as the insurgents would let them. By the time the Marines went in about 90% of the city was evacuated. As far as the fighters themselves... so what?
Not being a signatory to the convention banning use of incendiary weapons against civilians is not something of which you should be proud.
The only reason you could have had for refusing to sign the convention was that you intended to use incendiary weapons* against civilians.
Now, we find civilians burned by your weapons, confirming the US's status as a rogue nation. Yeah, I would count that as 'newsworthy'.
(*If you were always going to re-define your weapons as 'devices', you would surely have signed the declaration against 'weapons'.)
Insofar as WP goes, the facts aren't in. I'm not saying the U.S. used it as a chemical weapon, but I am saying that a mere denial by the U.S. military is not enough given how many lies they've told about other subjects.
Patrick, the only people who have changed the definition of torture in the Iraq War is the liars in the White House. The International Committee of the Red Cross, which started the whole idea of inspections of P.O.W. camps in the late 1800s, and the FBI called it torture. Oh, but of course the Red Cross is a bunch of commies and the FBI, well, they're commie symps. Right, Patrick?
Oh, and according to your logic the U.S. Marine Corps -- they were nothing but a bunch of pansies in 1943.
Ah, the personal attacks. How quaint.
Care to point out where I said anything about people being "commie" or whatever, Wilson? Ah, that's right: I didn't.
WP is not a chemical weapon, even if it's not used for illumination purposes. It can be used as an incendiary device, but that is not a chemical weapon. I think you know this, but are deliberately twisting the definition and claiming your opponents are the ones doing the twisting. But then, you have a tendency to project your own flaws upon the ones you don't like.
The rest you've tried before under the handle "Willysnout" and I believe Rich Casebolt pretty much destroyed you before you started spewing tons of obscenities and got yourself banned (deliberately, I suspect since you were whingeing about Greyhawk's "censorship" before that). I believe readers searching June 2005 or around that time will reveal the comments that weren't banned. Maybe start in May just in case he showed up before then.Posted by Patrick Chester at November 9, 2005 02:00 AM
Greyhawk, I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to drop in a comment that I'd left on another site regrding this issue (and specifically, the UK Independent version of the story) that is still just as valid here:
White phosphorous is not a chemical weapon.
White phosporous may been used in Fallujah consistent with its primary purpose, illumination of targets, but exactly zero evidence is presented for the claims that is was used widely and purposefully, as a weapon. In fact, the Independent provides no direct evidence at all.
And then there is simply the application of logic.
WP is not very useful in an urban, close quarters battle environment that the Fallujah battlespace was. High explosives are much more effective in most environments but especially in close quarters, and pose far less of a threat to your own troops who are constantly moving forward into the areas where these weapons would have been used. Do you really think Marines would have poured hundreds of rounds of such an agent into an area that they would then immediate occupy? The story shows a complete ignorance of tactics or even a shred of logic.
A corresponding point is readily available video from inside Fallujah that ALL of you have likely seen.
Does ANYONE remember Kevin Sites? Ignore the blowhard from the Independent that said no reporters were present. Kevin Sites was the embedded video-journalist that shot video of a Marine shooting a wounded insurgent inside a mosque as he followed them through Fallujah (as a side note, the Marine was cleared).
You will notice, as you watch the film, that NONE of the Marines had the chemical protective gear needed to survive in the WP-saturated environment that the Independent claims existed. The story is easily proven false by the video evidence provided by journalists who were there.
You have a simple choice: do you believe a story that provides no direct evidence, or do you trust your lying eyes?
Posted by Confederate Yankee at November 9, 2005 02:07 AM
Patrick, I was just anticipating your line of attack. You know, the typical wingnut screeds against the Red Cross being a (horror of horrors) international organization, and the FBI being a bunch of PC whiners. Just the typical crapola.
So, CY, what is acceptable direct evidence? I remember when the wingnuts were making the same complaint about torture. Now the Bill O'Leillys of the FauxNews world are panicked that there IS "direct evidence." Fact is, there's absolutely nothing you people won't deny. Nothing at all.
Which is why the majority of Americans have turned against your war and your phony lying preznit.Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 9, 2005 02:18 AM
"Patrick, I was just anticipating your line of attack. You know, the typical wingnut screeds against the Red Cross being a (horror of horrors) international organization, and the FBI being a bunch of PC whiners. Just the typical crapola."
Hm. My response said NOTHING about the Red Cross nor the FBI, actually. Or were you using a sock puppet to play my role so you could make your little sneering reply?
Do you even read the responses to your postings, or do you have a cut'n'paste file full of strawmen, slanders and other attacks? Now I know why I usually don't bother responding to you. You'll just ignore my reply, manufacture something I didn't say and respond with such righteous indignation to it. Usually with some long quote or obscure link.Posted by Patrick Chester at November 9, 2005 02:37 AM
News just in - the US has used many terrible chemical weapons to kill thousands of people!
These chemical weapons include RDX, PETN and Cordite. They inflict terrible injuries including burns and gaping wounds, and are indiscriminate in who they kill.
They work by reacting rapidly, releasing the chemical energy they contain as heat. This can horribly burn people nearby, but the expanding gasses also typically propel fragments of metal or sometimes slugs, piercing flesh and causing terrible pain. Even in the absense of flying fragments, the pressure wave caused can cause massive internal injuries.
Let's all band together to ban these terrible chemicals worldwide! If nobody had these so-called "explosives", many thousands of lives would be saved.
For those who haven't bothered to do any research before they sound off on this issue, this is from Wikipedia on Chemical warfare (and hence weapons) - emphasis with * added by myself:
Chemical warfare is warfare (and associated military operations) using the *toxic properties* of chemical substances to kill, injure or incapacitate the enemy.
There are other chemicals used militarily that are not technically considered to be "chemical weapon agents," such as:
o Defoliants that destroy vegetation, but are not immediately toxic to human beings. (Agent Orange, for instance, used by the United States in Vietnam, contained dioxins and is known for its long-term cancer effects and for causing genetic damage leading to serious birth deformities.)
o *Incendiary or explosive chemicals* (such as napalm, extensively used by the United States in Vietnam, or dynamite) because their destructive effects are primarily due to fire or explosive force, and not direct chemical action.
o Viruses, bacteria, or other organisms, or their toxic products. Their use is classified as biological warfare.
"Or were you using a sock puppet to play my role"
No, but now that you mention it ...Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 9, 2005 05:57 AM
I linked Kevin Sites yesterday in my Dawn Patrol. He's been in Africa and now is on his way back to Iraq.Posted by Mrs Greyhawk at November 9, 2005 08:31 AM
Patrick Chester ... I do tire of jousting with the Wilsons of the world, as you do.
However, I find I am compelled to do so again, for the attitudes of people like Wilson are a big reason why legislation like that supported by Senator McCain, codifying our opposition to torture, is so dangerous.
People like Wilson ... allied by dullards in the activist judiciary ... would stretch such a law to fit their definition of "torture" -- truth and common sense be damned -- almost, if not to, the point that even the incarceration of enemy combatants would be proscribed as "torture".
This flies in the face, not only of truth and common sense, but the Geneva Conventions themselves. As has been extensively discussed here, they are a two-way street ... treatment according to the Conventions is contingent upon captured combatants' compliance to its requirements, because the objective of the Conventions includes not only protecting captured combatants, but protecting the noncombatants in their midst.
When you get right down to it, the concern of Wilson and his fellow-travelers in the anti-war movement is not for peace, or the eradication of torture ... for if it was, they would be protesting the terrorists with at least an equal level of ferocity as that directed against our current President.
They instead see a powerful (yet rights-respecting, represenative/limited/checked-and-balanced) America as the primary threat to their concept of peace ... and seek to tie it down like Gulliver, by any means necessary.
Even with lies ... how ironic that, from Wilson, to Cindy Sheehan, to Joe Wilson, to Jimmy Massey, "lies" of a government are being "opposed" by emulating Goebbels' technique of the Big Lie.
They do so, not just because this President went to war, but because he doesn't soak the rich enough to suit them ... or because he doesn't support their "right" to get high ... or because he doesn't endorse their libertine ideas on sexuality in our society ... or because he might just oppose the taking of human life in the womb.
For such as these, the war is just a convenient club to beat him with ... regardless of the truth.
My concise response to such as these can be found here.
BTW, I'm still waiting for Wilson to find evidence of rape in the Taguba report on Abu Grahab ... something Wilson cited as part of our "policy of torture".
Some answers for Rich, a member of the pro-torture caucus.
1. The Taguba report is one of many descriptions of what happened at Abu Ghraib. The U.S. Senate went into closed session to see the rest of the pictures and films that weren't disclosed, and the senators came out and confirmed that rape was among the tortures committed there.
2. Torture is defined as the intention infliction of physical or mental anguish. Look it up. The U.S. has carried out a policy of torturing enemy combatants and civilians in Iraq. It is a war crime under the principles established in the Nuremberg Trials of 1946.
3. Torture is what frustrated losers do. Acts of torture occur in all wars and in fact in civilian life as well. But a torture policy is a different kettle of fish. That's new for the United States, thanks to George W. Bush and his crew.Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 9, 2005 04:30 PM
Oh, I forgot something.
4. Abu Ghraib isn't the only place torture is happening. The U.S. has tortured people in Guantanamo Bay, elsewhere in Iraq and in the CIA's global gulag archipelago.Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 9, 2005 04:32 PM
Odd - the last torture post that was up Wilson commented about everything but torture - now that we're talking about something else he just wants to talk about torture.Posted by Old Soldier at November 9, 2005 05:21 PM
WP is not chemical. It is used for illum, cover and screening (especially in windy conditions) as it is heavier than other smoke rounds in our inventory, and can also be used as "shake and bake". In other words used with HE rounds on targets (usually vehicle convoys, fuel trucks ect..). How do I know this...I am an artillery officer.
How much WP did I use in Iraq...0 rounds. (except for training). I was not at Fallujah though.
How many would I have used on the enemy if needed.... as many as it would have taken. Those assholes were trying to kill my friends and I and we did the same thing right back. It's called war.
As for your lame and tired "torture argument". IT IS NOT US MILITARY POLICY TO TORTURE. Period. Yes some assholes did, and I am ashamed that they wore the uniform of my country, but the US is notorious for showing compassion and quarter to enemy POW's. Beleive it or not, compassion is one of the good byproducts of war. You have to maintain your humanity. The asshats in GITMO live and eat better than coalition soldiers. Period. No tortue dude, get over it.
I am speaking from direct knowledge of events (except GITMO, I wasn't there). You are simply finding articles that back your side of the argument and ignoring ones that don't. You'll ignore me too, and frankly I don't care. IMHO you are biased and blinded by your absolute hatred of Bush. He's in office, deal with it and vote in the next elections. Stop disrespecting the military and it's soldiers to advance your misguided agenda.Posted by rick at November 9, 2005 05:23 PM
rick, the only change I've noticed among the wingnuts is that now they admit that torture happened. I suppose that's progress. A year ago they were calling it "fraternity pranks," but you don't hear too much of that anymore. Now what you hear is Bill O'Leilly screaming that we can't actually reveal the evidence because it's too horrible.
It will take another year or so for the wingnuts to admit what everyone else knows, which is that torture has been U.S. policy. The same tactics were used at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. Cheney is lobbying to preserve torture.
I don't "hate" Bush, but I do think he's a liar, an incompetent pseudo-leader, and a war criminal along with Cheney, Rumsfeld and other senior leaders who went to war on a series of lies and then ordered torture and/or carried out those orders.
As for WP, in my mind the jury's out. I haven't reached any conclusion on it. The military says they used it for illumination in Fallujah and nothing else. Let's see if their story changes like it has on so many other things.Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 9, 2005 06:23 PM
Although the assault on Fallujah was well covered there were only two unembedded journalists there. One of them, Mark Manning, had his footage stolen from a hotel room when he got back into the US.
The question isn't about what kind of weapon WP is. Obviously it is both incendiary and chemical. The documentary showed bodies of women and children that had been badly burned while their cloths were not. This indicates that WP was used as a weapon and not just for lighting.
The real question is if the weapons was used on a large scale against a civilian population. The soldiers going into the city were told that everyone there was an enemy combatant. That is hard to believe in a city of 350,000 people. It is possible that many civilians did not get out before the city was destroyed.
The documentary does not prove that this happened. It only showed a handful of bodies that were burned by WP and there is no way to know if that is the substance that killed them (they could have been killed by something else then BBQed). It does make a convincing argument that the military is covering up the number of civilian casualties.
The significance of this is the talking point that Saddam gassed his own people. It doesn't have the same punch when we are frying them with WP.Posted by John Gillnitz at November 9, 2005 06:47 PM
I will try once again. I also was the XO in HHC 101st Airborne Division (AASLT). For those that aren't military, this is the CG's (Commanding General Petreus) company. All leadership of the 101st Airborne Division is in this Company and ALL orders and missions are diceminated from here. They receive directives from V Corps and pass them on.
I was at many OPORDS and briefings to the leadership of the Division. I say again that ROE and Laws of Warfare were covered multiple times. Stress was put on following the Geneva Convention to the detailed level of no "double taps." Torture IS NOT PERMITTED and violaters are punished to the FULL extent of UCMJ. I know you don't want to hear this but soldiers DO NOT torture POW's (except for the two assholes in Afghan and the ones at Abu G). It has never been denied that torture happened there and the trials were public. Why don't you bitch at your "freedom fighters" that are chopping of heads on video.
As for the civilian casualties. All efforts are made to avoid them (once again briefed multiple times in ROE, Rules of Engagement). We don't carpet bomb, and even avoid firing back if humans are being used as shields and I personally saw casualties that stemmed from not returning fire at a mosque (yes those assholes use schools, mosques and hospitals). While innocents are killed and it is tragic, your "freedom fighters" kill civilians indiscriminately and without mercy.
What is your problem? Why won't you listen to someone who was there? If the CIA tortures people I don't know, but I am telling you yet again, from a person that lived this, that the military and it's soldiers DO NOT TORTURE. It's that simple.
As for the heavy bombardment of Fallujah. All fires go through a series of checks and balances before they can be fired. You have to do this with a fluid battlefield (don't want to kill your own troops). You also MUST have a Forward Observer, or someone that directs the fire. The only time missions are fired is when you are receiving enemy fire or have verified an enemy position. While it is possible that civilians were killed (I'm sure it happened), it was b/c they were within the killzone of the terrorist shooting at American troops. Also seeing pictures of dead poeple in civilian clothes does not mean they are civilians. The terrorists don't have uniforms. Guess what they wear...
Finally, WP is legal. Chemical weapons being used on your own people and Iranian troops is NOT. Only someone who is trying to find blame in everything the coalition does would even think to compare the two. It's ludicrous how thoroughly our military is scrutinized (although I think it is a good thing). Every move a "kid" in combat makes is analized and hundreds of thousands of troops are doing good things. We are the "best behaved" and professional military in history. We don't rape, pillage or TORTURE.
GreyHawk, great blog brother. Thanks.Posted by rick at November 9, 2005 07:56 PM
Sorry rick, but you're wrong. You might have told your people not to torture anyone and they might not have followed those orders. No one, including myself, has EVER said that all or even most U.S. military personnel engaged in this activity. But it's been exhaustively documented that your lying, incompetent president's administration ordered torture and that it occurred at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. Same methods, widespread.
You can shout "Jawohl" and raise the stiff-armed salute all you want, but those are the facts. Between cooking up a war on phony stories and ordering the use of torture during war, your Liar in Chief and his top henchmen committed what were defined as war crimes in the Nuremberg Trials of 1946.
I don't blame the soldiers on the ground, other than those who have done the torturing. And even they aren't the ones I especially interested in punishing. The Nuremberg Trials didn't go after sergeants.Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 9, 2005 08:41 PM
There's an error in my prior posting and it changed the meaning, so I'm going to correct it.
I meant to write:
"You might have told your people not to torture anyone and they might have followed those orders ..."
In other words, rick, your troops might not have tortured anyone, but that doesn't change the fact that torture was incorporated as S.O.P. in the war.Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 9, 2005 08:46 PM
If you watch the documentary you'll see that the corpses sure LOOK like they were killed with chemical weapons. It looked like Halabja - but worse.Posted by The Liberal Avenger at November 9, 2005 09:28 PM
Yeah, but LA you know how it is with these right wingers. They're not interested in the truth about anything. In fact, they're outright hostile to it. In their eyes, anyone who doesn't click their heels, shout "Heil!" and give the stiff-armed salute to Fuhrer Bush hates America.Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 9, 2005 09:45 PM
Ok. I have given several concrete first hand accounts that it is not S.O.P.
Give me proof that it is. And if it is proven and so well known, why are any of these people still in office.
Answer: It's bullshit and they can't do anything b/c it isn't true. Don't you think quite a few Vets would have said something by now if torture is so widespread? But Daily KOS and the MSM said it so it must be true....
Just like how we flushed the Koran. That total bullshit article cost people their lives. Thanks for the apology Newsweek...
Prove me wrong. Show me an impeachment. You can't, so sorry Wilson, you are wrong. Just b/c someone keeps saying something doesn't make it true. Your circular, childish, repetitive arguments are tiring and obviously you don't care about facts.
And for the record, I personally don't agree with half the stuff that Bush has done. But the man honestly went to war with the facts that many of your precious Congressmen ect... voted on as well. And the war is just, at least for 25 million people. At least Bush doesn't waffle and sticks by what he does, we need to finish it. Agree or not, that is what a leader is supposed to do.
Instead or the same old tired rhetoric, give some ideas on how to fix the problems.Posted by rick at November 9, 2005 09:50 PM
And yes, not a single one of my soldier's commited torture. Nor was there a single case with the entire 101st ABN Division.
You're right. It's an epidemic of horrendous proportions.
Not. One. Incident.
Definately must be S.O.P.Posted by rick at November 9, 2005 10:20 PM
The 101st was in both Afghan and Iraq by the way. Two of your "hotbeds" of torture.
I say again....Not. One. Incident.Posted by rick at November 9, 2005 10:24 PM
"Also seeing pictures of dead people in civilian clothes does not mean they are civilians."
Some of the burned corpses were two feet tall. Unless Saddam had an army of midgets those were civilians. The documentary had interviews with soldiers who were there. I'm sure is is SOP to take great care to avoid civilian casualties, but in this case someone somewhere decided that the entire city was a killzone.
"Finally, WP is legal. Chemical weapons being used on your own people and Iranian troops is NOT."
I wasn't arguing legality, but honesty. The military is saying that it doesn't use WP as a weapon. The evidence disputes that claim. IF WP was used as a weapon on a large scale against a civilian population (again I didn't see any evidence that proved this to be the case) then I see little moral difference between that and the gassing of the Kurds. They were, after all, gorillas aligned with Tehran so it isn't accurate to call them "his own people."
I'm not looking to "find blame in everything the coalition does," but it is naive to believe that mistakes and atrocities don't happen during war. It was, after all, two botched bombings that killed hundreds of civilians during the first Gulf War that made the city so hostile to Americans to begin with. Shooting 15 unarmed protesters in April 2003 didn't help either.
Is it a distortion to call a person defending their home a terrorist?Posted by John Gillnitz at November 9, 2005 10:27 PM
Pretty much agree with you on almost all points.
Sadly I definately believe civilians were killed.
WP is not used in general on people b/c it is pretty gruesome. (So is what HE does to a person, nasty stuff).
Mistakes happen, but I am sure they didn't use mass quantities to kill combatants or civilians. (like you said we will see). It doesn't make sense to. Our troops have to clear the same areas, and it kills us too. And IF we did, then yes, we have stooped to their level.
As for the last comment however...Absolutely wrong.
I call a terrorist someone who beheads, burns, executes and tortures it's own citizens for it's ludicrous beleifs. And there are two factions of terrorists and the worst are the foreign fighters. They are not defending their homeland. It's not about Iraq for these guys. It is about exterminated all non-beleivers, which is you. They can't be reasoned with b/c the only language they know is fear, death and martydom. I've looked into these guys eyes and it is pure hate and evil shining right back at you. Rarely did I see fear.
Did anybody at least get a GED? White phosphorus is not a chemical weapon. It isn't even a chemical. It is an allotropic form of a multivalent nonmetallic element.
Sure, the stuff works great in smoke pots and tracer rounds; but illuminating your enemy isn't going to force them into surrender. All battles are battles of attrition.
It was always a gas to replace all our rounds with tracers, then race through a village shooting out people's legs with phosphorus rounds. Nice thing is they don't bleed to death or anything. Just hours and hours of horrible agony - mothers, children, old men begging for death. Some trippy shit.
It was a lot cleaner just to call in a napalm strike - burn the fucking lot of 'em all at once. Slant-eyes...towel-heads...what's the difference? They all seem like target practice to me!
The military didn't hand you a gun to make peace boy. They gave you a gun to kill, maim, and destroy. So stop questioning what is right and get back to your job: Killing!
P.S. If your CO starts blabering something about a treaty, just frag his ass. (In my day, we only had to salute the fucker, and enemy snipers would do the work for us.)Posted by Buffalo Bill at November 9, 2005 11:27 PM
There a couple things to deal with, and I'm going to do so in separate postings. First is the "Willy Pete," i.e., white phosphorous. I'm on the fence as to whether it's a "chemical weapon," and I have real sympathy with the argument that it's a war and it's going to be ugly.
However, the U.S. Army issued a statement saying that the stuff was used for illumination purposes only. Now it would appear that this statement was a lie. The Army's own publications contain articles about battles in Fallujah and other Iraq cities in which it was used as a weapon:
To me, if they've got to slink around and LIE about it, this tells me they know something's the matter with it. It is sadly just one more on a long list of lies told by the military during this war. They wonder why a growing majority of Americans is fed up with the war; thinks it started on a lie; thinks it is going badly; thinks it was never worth it to begin with? Well what in hell do they expect when they establish a track record of lying about so many things?Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 10, 2005 12:15 AM
As far as the 101st Airborne and torture, I will accept it for purposes of argument that no one in that outfit tortured anyone. So what? It doesn't contradict anything I've written.
As for evidence of torture as SOP, well it's clear to me that you won't accept anything other than a report on FauxNews. You just don't want to know the truth, because in the words of Jack Nicholson's character, "you can't handle the truth." I could post zillions of articles here from a variety of sources, but you've drunk the Kool-Aid and you'd find a way to deny all of it.
Did you know that there is an organization in Iraq with 40,000 members that exists to do nothing other than testify to what American troops did to them? Yeah, but they're all "terrorists," you'll say.
Well, then why the hell are we talking to them about protecting their freedom? Bush came, conquered and re-opened Saddam's rape rooms under new management. You don't want to know about it. You figure if you squeeze your eyes shut real tight and put your fingers in your ears, it can't be true. Oh well!Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 10, 2005 12:24 AM
Field Artillery Magazine, March-April 2005
b. White Phosphorous. 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....We used improved WP for screening missions when HC smoke would have been more effective and saved our WP for lethal missions.The Liberal Avenger at November 10, 2005 01:01 AM
Field Artillery Magazine, March-April 2005
b. White Phosphorous. 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....We used improved WP for screening missions when HC smoke would have been more effective and saved our WP for lethal missions.The Liberal Avenger at November 10, 2005 01:03 AM
You know what? I would dearly love to find out just what the US policy really is. I would like to know what's really going on. But I can't tell these things.
Because idiots like you are constantly clouding these serious issues with uninformed garbage. WP is a chemical weapon! Civilians were targetted purposefully! Turning down the AC is torture! HaliBush McHitler is a war criminal! 9/11 was ain inside job/Jewish Conspiracy! Blah blah blah...
I can no longer seperate the signal from the noise. In case you haven't noticed here is how it works:
* People make these stupid and obviously untrue claims.
* Those of us with the ability to reason notice that it's complete garbage and either rally against it or simply filter it out.
* Somewhere amongst all the conspiracy theories and agenda-riddled rantings there may be a kernel of truth. But because it's so twisted and garbled there's no way for us to work out what might actually have happened and what is being fabricated.
* We react angrily to the hyperbole and fabrications, and can no longer investigate any serious allegations of wrongdoing because to do so would be to appear to ally ourselves with the people who make these spurious and ultimately counter-prouctive claims.
If you really want us to find out whether bad things are happening, how about you stop writing crap and instead concentrate on what is provably (and not subjectively) the case? What is fact and not rumor? Then maybe we might all learn something.
The only reason I can see to continue with the hyperbole and fabrications is that there really isn't anything more serious to complain about, so you have to make up this stuff in order to seem high-and-mighty.
The real issue I see here is the allegation that US forces used WP rounds in close proximity to large numbers of civilians in such a way that would lead to a large number of injured and/or dead civilians. That could be a problem - it would be negligent. But nobody with a shred of credibility has produced anything even close to being evidence of this.
Let me repeat: allegation. Just because you dearly wish that all Americans are monsters does not make it so.
So, can anyone step up and provide this information?
If not, then find something useful to do please.
Nicholas, fresh from lying in a different thread, comes here and spews. Here, his tactic is the old rightwingnut "reductio ad absurdum," i.e., the phrasing of serious arguments in ridiculous language, including arguments that no one here has made.
As I've noted here and elsewhere, at least for the moment I'm agnostic when it comes to the use of WP. But I do notice that the Army stated that it was used for illumination, when in fact according to the Army's own magazine it was used as an offensive weapon. This strikes me as just one more instance of the U.S. military being congenitally unable to tell the truth in this war.
As for the Nicholases of the world, they are ever ready to shout "Jawohl!" and raise the ol' stiff-armed salute to anything their Fuhrer Bush says or does, even when it constitutes a war crime under the principles established at the Nuremberg Trials of 1946.Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 10, 2005 06:26 AM
Ever heard of "Innocent until proven guilty?"
In your world, it seems to be "guilty until proven innocent".
And, I never lied. I can back up all my statements with sources, and I always qualify third-hand information or heresay. Calling me a liar therefore makes you a liar. Way to slander yourself.
Can someone please clarify whether WP rounds are used for illumination or not?
I'm getting contradictory statements from various members of the military. Perhaps it is that you can use it that way, but you generally wouldn't?
Perhaps when they say illumination they really mean marking targets?
I know illumination flares can contain WP, but I'm not sure if WP rounds can be used for illumination purposes. Since this seems to be so important to Wilson maybe someone can answer this with authority.
OK, I'm convinced it's not used for illumination. Seems like the State Department stuffed up big time. See comments on the more recent article.
Honestly, WP is not usually used for illum. We have illum rounds for that. Someone was misquoted or lied when they said it was only for that in Fallujah.
Probably used for marking and smoke (cover) b/c urban fighting is the worst possible way to battle.
Still doesn't change the fact that you CAN use it to kill. The only real question is was it used on large numbers of civilians. If it was, then that is horribly wrong and the leadership that fired those rounds should be held accountable. Wasn't there, but would say based on my experience it is patently untrue, exaggerated, or misunderstood. (Definately not on purpose).Posted by rick at November 10, 2005 02:38 PM
I call a terrorist someone who beheads, burns, executes and tortures it's own citizens for it's ludicrous beleifs. And there are two factions of terrorists and the worst are the foreign fighters.
Posted by: rick at November 9, 2005 10:42 PM
I'm sure there are many who fit these descriptions, and I agree the terrorist label applies to them. Still there are Iraqis in some areas that would have no beef with the US had we not invaded and occupied their country. One of the biggest mistakes in this misadventure was underestimating the Iraqi sense of nationality. While that works against us during occupation it may be the factor that prevents civil war once we start pulling out.Posted by John Gillnitz at November 10, 2005 03:42 PM
Poor rich 'n Nick. As I keep saying, my issue is NOT (as least thus far) the use of WP in combat. I'm agnostic on it, because at the moment I don't know enough to make a judgment on the "ethics" of using it as a weapon. My issue is that the United States government tells lies like most people breathe.
The State Department issued a press release claiming that "U.S. forces have used them very sparingly in Fallujah, for illumination purposes. They were fired into the air to illuminate enemy positions at night, not at enemy fighters."
Misquoted? The U.S. government "misquoted" itself. Lying? The U.S. government, once again, lied, as confirmed by the Army's own publications. And you wonder why American public support for the war is evaporating? Sorry, children, but most of the public eventually gets tired of this crap.
Here's what happens to liars:
Point taken. It very well might be what saves Iraq. And in a way I empathize with them (the ones who want us to leave, not the terrorists). However, more and more are joining the political process (Sadr, Sunnis alike) and eventually the well will dry up. We shall see....
You sir, quite simply, are an idiot. I tried to maintain some level of maturity with you, yet you call Nicholas and I children. You sir are the child. Although denying your hatred of Bush and Co. you throw in multiple lines about goose stepping and saluting in nearly every post you make. You also claim to have thousands of sources and post one. I now see how your torture epidemic has formed in your mind. To you 1000=1. It is a childish and ridiculous way to argue in a forum where adults are having conversation. Although I don't agree with everything JG says he brings real debatable issues to the table.
Go back to your kiddie table with plastic spoons ect.. and leave the adults to their conversation.
As for your constant "lying" argument I will say one thing. It is wrong and it should be punished. NO administration should lie to it's people. Good thing this "might" be the first one. Oh wait...Bill Clinton is a lying douchebag too. Can't choose when to be mad and when not to be mad at the people in office just b/c you like them. Once again childish. And YES the comparison DOES apply if your High Horse is administrations lying.
To educate yourself on the "going to war" lie, if you care, Greyhawk has a link that debunks every argument about misleading at the top of his site.
I am done discussing anything with you.
Have a nice day sir.
rick, you and the rest the rightwingnut-o-sphere are lost in a conversation with yourselves. You've convinced yourselves that everything is someone's else's fault. Your idiot president lies his way into Iraq. Someone else's fault. He doesn't send enough people to do the job, allowing the insurgents to regroup, steal massive amounts of ammo and for Baghdad to dissolve into chaos. Someone else's fault.
He fails to plan for the aftermath of the blitzkrieg. Billions of dollars vanish into thin air. Someone else's fault. The U.S. is shown to be implementing a policy of torturing enemy combatants and civilians. Someone else's fault. Americans lose confidence in the war and the leadership. Aha! The liberals did it!
You constantly preach "personal responsibility" and "ethics," yet you avoid either of them at all costs. The jig's up, child. The public has taken a long time to open its eyes, but now it's happening and there's nothing you can do about it. The American public is a funny animal. On the one hand we just about demand to be lied to -- plausible deniability and all that -- but if you don't get your story straight and things don't work out, Katie bar the door.Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 10, 2005 06:00 PM
Thanks for proving my point. Once again you "cut and paste" your "left is smarter than right wingnuts, idiot Bushitler" tired reply with absolutely NO facts and NO answers to any of my questions.
Who is talking with themselves again...
And for the record, I am middle of the road. I vote on my administration based on what they stand for (very well might vote Democrat next time, we need balance). You stand for nothing except telling others what they are doing wrong.
Someone once said, "There is no great insight that comes with combat, but I do know that I will never again be aligned with those chill souls that risk nothing and therefore gain nothing." You sir, risk nothing.
Also, if you had actually paid attention to my posts, you would see that in every one I say IF it is proven that lies, allegations or wrongdoings were commited the people RESPONSIBLE need to be held accountable.
How is that shunning blame sir?
Talking in circles to yourself again.Posted by rick at November 10, 2005 06:42 PM
Your declaration that you want people called to account is meaningless, because you wingnuts will ALWAYS set an unattainable standard of "proof." For instance, there is proof that the U.S. has implemented a policy of torturing enemy combatants and civilians, and that this policy came from the highest levels. Yet when your Liar-in-Chief says it was "isolated acts" and then says "we don't torture," what do you do?
Well, naturally, you shout "Jawohl!", click your heels and raise the stiff-armed salute to your Fuhrer who can do no wrong. rick, the U.S. public isn't buying the act anymore. Look around. Barely one-third of the public supports your Lying Sack, and on every war-related question you now have growing majorities that have turned against this misbegotten imperial adventure.
Ah, but it's all because of "media bias." Which is a total crock, just one more wingnut lie. Sorry, kid, but you people wouldn't know responsibility, ethics or the truth if it slithered up behind you and bit you in the ass. The only thing that's changed in the last few months is that now the general public is onto this game and you people are worried.Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 10, 2005 06:54 PM
Do you read what I write?
You and your ilk will rule the world.
You truly are a lost cause. If you don't like America (if you are from America), then move and STFU.
Best wishes.Posted by rick at November 10, 2005 07:05 PM
rick, I won't be leaving. I will be among the growing majority of Americans who will take retribution on your Lying Sack in next year's elections. Once the Democrats have either chamber back in control, the first thing they'll do is hold public hearings on the Liar-in-Chief's war crimes.
You're the one who hates his country. You're in favor of torture, and in favor of launching aggressive war on the basis of a series of lies. The worm's turning, child. It won't be long now.
Meantime, here's a story to warm your wingnut heart. It's about how the CIA, with the connivance of the U.S. military, murdered an enemy combatant by beating him and then using a medieval torture known as "the strappado" to insure that he could no longer breathe. Nice work. Future American P.O.W.s will have George W. Bush to thank when this is done to them.
Haha, did I just read Wilson saying that the US "Went to war on a pack of lies"??
Unbelievable... if there was any doubt that he's ignoring facts, there it is.
I'm sorry but the "Bush Lied" meme has been thoroughly and totally discredited by now.
If you don't see that, then we can't use logic in trying to explain it to you, I think.
Maybe, if you do want to convince us of bad things happening (like torture) you should drop that kind of rubbish and give yourself some kind of credibility, so that we might actually listen to something you have to say which might be valid? Just a thought....
Ah, he calls it a "meme." So the wingnut-o-sphere has joined with the technorati fashionistas to go back to the future a la Goebbels. Sorry, Nicholas, but repeating your lies doesn't make them true. The public is onto the game, child. The jig is up. The WMD story was manufactured. The al-Qaeda terror story was manufactured. The human rights angle was always a sick joke.
This was Bush's good ol' fashioned imperal war, circa 1900. You've wasted nearly 2,100 American soldiers killed; nearly 16,000 wounded; tens of thousands of Iraqis dead and wounded -- and for what? Nothing. Nothing at all.
So tell us: Do you love the smell of death in the morning, or are you just another neocon with stock in the right companies?Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 11, 2005 06:26 AM
WP is not a chemical munition. In urban fighting it is intended primarily as an obscurant. Smoke is pretty handy in an urban fight because it provides concealment for movement, which is very nice when the infantry is crossing open spaces.
WP smoke is not particularly dangerous, and certainly wouldn't cause "carmelized skin" or whatever they were nattering about. WP fragments will happily burn right through clothing. If clothing was intact that would be an argument against death by WP. I quote from a NATO manual:
"Treatment. Generally, treatment of WP smoke irritation is unnecessary. Spontaneous recovery is rapid. For treatment of thermal injury due to large particles of burning WP, see paragraph 9-4b.
Prognosis. No permanent injury results from exposure to WP smoke."
The smoke is not dangerous. Being hit by a WP fragment is dangerous, but that results in very different injuries than those described by the Italian documentry's trained idiots. You'd see straight ahead thermal burns where the WP fragment hit.
It's as much a "chemical weapon" as a fourth of July smoke bomb.Posted by ernst blofeld at November 11, 2005 06:30 AM
If WP is such innocuous stuff, then riddle me this, Batman: Why did the U.S. government, and the wingnut-o-sphere, go out of their way to lie through their teeth about its use in Fallujah? Force of habit, maybe?Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 11, 2005 07:24 AM
Having read this whole thread, I am amazed at Wilson Kolb's lack of intelligence and maturity.Posted by Lugo at November 11, 2005 09:33 PM
Wow, Lugo, I'm just crushed. I am NOT amazed at your lack of integrity or morals.Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 11, 2005 11:52 PM
I am curious as to why so many of you waste your time attempting to show Kolb an alternate point of perception ? After reading a couple of his rants it's obvious his brain is so channeled to hate our military love their enemy, He is a hopeless case. Obviously a socialist looking for a form of government superior to our own.Posted by EzyDuce at November 12, 2005 02:30 PM
EzyDuce -- I understand where you're coming from on this ... the phrase "talking to a wall" comes to mind.
Problem is, if the Big Lie talking points of those who think like Wilson -- including those in the Senate -- are not accompanied by counterpoints based in truth and reason, people will be making decisions based on lies.
That's why I, for one, keep rolling the boulder up the hill ...
Fine, keep on preaching within your shrinking choir. Have you noticed that barely one-third of the public supports your Lying Sack these days, and that 57% of the public thinks he's dishonest? Finally, at long last, the general public is waking up.Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 12, 2005 06:11 PM
...someone really needs to have invoked Godwin's Law by now. And Kolb, I hate to break it to you, but making Nazi comparisons does nothing but make you look like an idiot who can't come up with a real reason to argue so instead you simply dredge up Hitler & co. "Hey, Hitler was bad! If I use him as a comparison, everyone will suddenly agree with me and totally ignore my utter lack of logic!" Try to make your point again, assuming you can, and this go around make it worth our time.Posted by Technocrat at November 13, 2005 12:02 AM
Wilson! Oh, Wiiillllsssoooooon....
He's YOUR president too :)
All of ours!
Have a nice day :)
Hugs and Kisses,
Wilson -- didn't I just catch you recently, twisting what a poll was really saying to fit your Big Lie?
Looks like you're doing the same thing here, replacing your twister with a broad brush (as so many like you have done).
Ever consider that some who "don't support this President" do support the war ... and don't support him because they just maybe think he's not fighting it hard enough?
(BTW, you're also doing the same with O'Reilly, as well ... and you know it).Posted by Rich Casebolt at November 13, 2005 02:14 AM
Do you read what I write? "
No, he doesn't. He just follows a script and regurgitates it.Posted by Patrick Chester at November 13, 2005 02:43 AM
Wilson projected with:
"So the wingnut-o-sphere has joined with the technorati fashionistas to go back to the future a la Goebbels."
A few answers:
- Yes, rick, I read what you write.
- Bill O'Reilly has declared himself to be on al-Qaeda's side. He has endorsed a terror attack on San Francisco, and in particular on the monument to the firefighters who died rescuing the city from the fires started by the 1906 earthquake. He hates America; FoxNews hates America; his right-wing listeners hate America.
- Amanda, the Lying Sack is your president. And for the next three years, he's not going to get much done. Just wait until next November when the Democrats regain congressional majorities. Then the real investigations will begin. Should be fun. Who knows, maybe he'll go AWOL like he did before.Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 13, 2005 03:01 AM
Wilson -- only you, and perhaps those at iraqwarwrong.blogspot.com, could read what O'Reilly said that way. You need to go over there and join them ... you make as much sense as they do.
I wouldn't be looking for Democratic majorities in Congress anytime soon ... "We Were Dupes" isn't a great campaign slogan, y'know.
And if they do launch investigations, we will remind America of the Rockefeller memo that exposed how they planned to play politics with our national security ... and we will also remind them who produced the real intelligence failures, over the last three decades.
Keep in mind that Clinton also had a 37% approval rating at one time ... and finished at 57%. Approval polls mean NOTHING when their demographics and questions are skewed.
...and in other news: White Phosporus is STILL not a chemical weapon.
Darn, Wilson better make more incantations and project his own faults upon the apostates in his midst so the magic will work.Posted by Patrick Chester at November 13, 2005 03:22 AM
"Ding!" We interrupted
this match these comments to bring you a special bulletin. Due to a large spam attack during our upgrade, we regretfully inform you, some comments may have been accidentally deleted. We apologize for any headaches or inconvenience this may have caused. Hopefully this upgrade will put an end to our troubles.
Thank You, you may resume.
Original comment got deleted in the changeover.
No problem ... a newer, better round is now in the inventory.
*** FIRE FOR EFFECT! ***
What a target-rich environment ...
*** ROUND ONE: AWAY! ***
Someone elses' fault ... (I'll spare the rest of us from the repetition of that diatribe.)
Wilson, I'll wager that, if we had fought yesterday's war and implemented the Powell Doctrine ... instead of implementing the changes we have been planning since the end of the Gulf War, well before this President took office, to make our forces both more effective and efficient ... you would be giving us one or more of the following responses:
> Still not enough.
> Behind the times.
> Imperialist oppressors -- standing so heavy on the necks of the innocent Iraqi people and their leader, Saddam Huessein!
Simply put the only reason you oppose this war, is because you hate the man who leads it. Other than that, nothing else matters.
You praise Kosovo -- an example of timely intervention, before the Serbian people were rendered impotent by the thug Milosovec ... something denied to us in Iraq by "Leftists like you", as PBS might put it, for twelve years.
There was killing of civilians going on there ... yet you praise it.
There were mistakes, like bombing the Chinese embassy and losing a expensive and national-security-sensitive F-117 to ground fire ... yet you praise it.
The Kosovo Liberation Army, like the Iraqi National Congress, had its dirty laundry ... yet you praise it.
You praise it ... only because it turned out well for "your man".
Every war we have fought has had similar elements, Wilson ... where are your screeds about FDR, so we don't repeat his "lies" that led us into war, as well?
As I said, Iraq will be like Kosovo, someday ... as long as we do not cut-and-run, but instead act with decisive resolve.
And ... there was NO direct tie to American national security regarding Kosovo ... Old Europe could have handled this, without getting us involved. So, in your little moonbat mind ... WHY did we belong there, but not in Iraq?
Why didn't we blanket Kosovo AND Serbia with troops ... like you say we should have in Iraq?
Ever thought we learned something about how ineffective putting an excessive number of troops in a situation where guerilla warfare is the guerre du jour ... like say, the Soviet experience in Afghanistan, or our own experiences in Vietnam?
Numbers can work against you in such situations. Numbers alone are not enough ... but flexible, adaptive RESOLVE can be, when accompanied by action in the proper quantities.
*** ROUND TWO: AWAY! ***
Just wait until next November when the Democrats regain congressional majorities. Then the real investigations will begin.
Yeah right ... let me correct something I said earlier.
We will be reminding -- WELL BEFORE THE ELECTIONS OF 2006 -- the American people of what these Democrats said BEFORE the war, and compare it to now. As a result, they will be perceived as either liars, or dupes ... neither of which is worthy of being entrusted with leadership.
If, by some miracle, they start "their" investigations -- as opposed to both the GOP-led and independent investigations that already contradict your ravings -- they will wind up investigating themselves, and not just for Iraq ... but for three decades of promoting intelligence failure.
Ain't ... gonna ... happen.
It is more likely that, if they return to power, they will stay the course in Iraq, and dishonestly claim credit for accomplishing something they never would have even attempted on their own.
We will not let that go unchallenged ...
And if they do decide to cut-and-run, and Iraq once again becomes a hellhole like 1970's South Vietnam, we will not let America forget who made that decision.
The Left will not get away with it, this time ... despite your lies. Three network talking heads aren't the only sources this nation listens to in this day and age.
And as I pointed out earlier, you should take no comfort in the polls, for they are unreliable in predicting the true mood of the American people.Posted by Rich Casebolt at November 13, 2005 09:01 PM
*** ROUND THREE: AWAY! ***
The WMD story was manufactured. The al-Qaeda terror story was manufactured. The human rights angle was always a sick joke ... This was Bush's good ol' fashioned imperal war, circa 1900. You've wasted nearly 2,100 American soldiers killed; nearly 16,000 wounded; tens of thousands of Iraqis dead and wounded -- and for what? Nothing. Nothing at all.
Imperial war? Show me ... from any credible source, not your usual Leftist electronic-toilet-paper ... where we are colonizing Iraq.
and "for nothing ... nothing at all"?
> Finally, we can be assured that Saddam Huessein does not have the ability to either directly deploy WMD, or deliver it to terrorist surrogates ... a condition NO ONE, be they President, Senator, Head Spook at any intel agency around the world, UN Secretary General, or weapons inspector was able to achieve prior to this war. Consider this war a comprehensive weapons inspection for any WMD under Saddam's control ... the only comprehensive one, free of the obfuscation, obstruction, and shell-gaming of Saddam & Sons.
> We can also be assured that Saddam no longer has the ability to reconstitute those shelved WMD programs documented in the NON-PARTISAN Duelfer Report. Riddle me this, Boy Blunder ... just how were we going to stop those programs from restarting, once Saddam squeaked by one (non-comprehensive) weapons inspection and got sanctions lifted? Those were every bit as dangerous in the long term as any "stockpile" -- yet you parse words, simply because someone you loathe led the way in permanently stopping them.
> We are also assured that Saddam no longer has access to that 500 tons of uranium -- and that 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium -- for further processing into radiological, or even nuclear, weapons. Don't give me your BS about IAEA seals ... they are only as good as IAEA access to the sealed areas, which was under the control of who? Saddam. No reasonable person would place their trust in such a situation.
> We are also assured that Saddam can no longer stoke the fires of Palestinian terrorism, one $25,000 log at a time ... and we are assured that he can no longer deliver his usual material/logistical/training/medical services to terrorists, including shelter to all those "retired" terrorists who fled to Iraq, the 1993 WTC bomber, and a certain headchopper by the name of Zarqawi. We are also assured that those documented, casual ties between Saddam & AQ will never be turned into a full operational relationship. Of course ... keep in mind, this was always about more than Al Quada ... this is a TOTAL War on Terror, that is being intelligently fought ... with the recognition that not all of the Arab/Muslim world, even in Saudi Arabia, is our enemy.
> By "sick joke", Wilson, do you mean putting an end to the filling of mass graves by Saddam & Sons? Or do you mean the MILLIONS of purple fingers who are pointing the way to taking their nation back ... another FACT that gives the LIE to your assertion that this was "Bush's Imperial War"?
> Finally, if you had your way, Saddam would still be in power ... instead of being on trial, not for the pleasure of George W. Bush, but for crimes against his own people. ... with his successors, Uday and Qusay ...DEAD-AY
This list shows that the issues you say George W. Bush manufactured ... Saddam's dealings with WMD, his terrorist support, and freedom for the Iraqi people ... were REAL ... not "manufactured". And it also shows that George W. Bush ... who this independent is proud to call "my President" ... was good to his word, and addressed them, decisively, by removing Saddam & Sons from control of Iraq.
Keep in mind, Wilson, that all the above was executed, NOT IN YOUR NAME, but in the name of millions of people ... including the killed and wounded you and your fellow moonbats wave like a bloody shirt ... many of whom would, if they had the chance, spit on you for besmirching their sacrifice.
All the above truly is "someone else's fault" ... not yours.
I found two excellent sources on what happens if someone inhales the smoke generated from a WP round, the first based on what happens on a battlefield and the second in a laboratory:
When RP (-ed. red phosphorus) is oxidized, it forms a mixture of phosphorus acids. When these acids are exposed to water vapor, they in turn form polyphosphoric acids, which may be responsible for the toxic injuries to the upper airways. Most of these injuries are mild irritations. No human deaths have been reported from exposure to either white phosphorous or RP smokes. (emphasis added)
At the highest concentration (P2O5 at 514 mg/m3 or H3PO4 at 710 mg/m 3), a 15-min exposure resulted in all subjects reporting tightness in the chest, coughing, nose irritation, and difficulty in speaking. The authors stated that exposure at an average concentration of P 2O5 at 514 mg/m3 (H3PO4 at 710 mg/m3) approaches the maximum concentration that can be tolerated for 15 min without serious effects.
A number of posters have questioned whether willie peter was used in Iraq. Confirmation here:
See "The Fight for Fallujah, TF 2-2 in FSE AAR: Indirect Fires in the Battle of Fallujah", by CAptain James T. Cobb, 1st Lieutenant Christopher A. LaCour, and Sergeant 1st Class William H. Hight.
They talk about using WP against trenchlines in Fallujah.
Posted by zak822 at November 14, 2005 03:42 PM
Wilson Kolb, nice to know you are right and the people in the military who were there are wrong. What are you, an idiot? Are you military or were you ever military? Were you in Iraq, Afghanistan? Don't try to dispute something you know nothing about and only read in the MSM. Torture, maybe you should live in another country that obviously does this, China, N. Korea, Columbia, Iran, Cuba....the problem is that you and those who yell "torture" never see the true picture. They think just because a few morons did some dispicable acts, that we use this as our method. BS...try asking the Vietnamese why they tortured our POW's, oh wait you probably think they treated them like kings. And SU about the hitler bs, you know nothing about what occurred in Germany during that time, unless you were there. I think not, and I know because my father grew up in Nazi Germany. Torture, ask the freakin Russians, and while you are at it the French have a great way of obtaining information; torture. Unless you were there with boots on the ground, leave the BS and get a reality check. And before you ask, Yes I was in the military..Air Force, maybe not boots on the ground but the bond is the same. I am sure that you consider a "beheading" on film just a love pat...so unless you are a general, a military strategist, a logistics person, a CIA, Special Forces, Seal, or any other "real man" then leave your stupid remarks at the door.Posted by Reda at November 15, 2005 09:07 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(82) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)