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Wednesday, November 9

If you watched the documentary it sure looks bad for our side...

I posted a link the other day to the Italian documentary Iraq, La Strage Nacosta which you can watch in English. It claims that the US used White Phosphorus (WP) as a chemical weapon. Normally WP is used to illuminate a battle field but melted bodies found in Fallujah indicate that it was used as a weapon. But the US says that it's wrong to use chemical weapons and that they don't.
The Chemical Weapons Convention:
Article I
General Obligations:
1. Each State Party to this Convention undertakes never under any circumstances:
(a) To develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons, or transfer, directly or indirectly, chemical weapons to anyone;
(b) To use chemical weapons;
(c) To engage in any military preparations to use chemical weapons;
(d) To assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Convention.

Article 2:
Definitions and Criteria
For the purposes of this Convention:
1. "Chemical Weapons" means the following, together or separately:
(a) Toxic chemicals and their precursors, except where intended for purposes not prohibited under this Convention, as long as the types and quantities are consistent with such purposes;
(b) Munitions and devices, specifically designed to cause death or other harm through the toxic properties of those toxic chemicals specified in subparagraph (a), which would be released as a result of the employment of such munitions and devices;
(c) Any equipment specifically designed for use directly in connection with the employment of munitions and devices specified in subparagraph (b).

2. "Toxic Chemical" means:

Any chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals. This includes all such chemicals, regardless of their origin or of their method of production, and regardless of whether they are produced in facilities, in munitions or elsewhere.

You see, WP is not supposed to be used for anything other than battle field illumination so it isn't considered a chemical weapon. But the Army admits to using WP as a weapon. Here's an excerpt from The Fight For Fallujah from Fort Sill, Oklahoma (PDF. bottom of p 26):
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.

The military continually denies using chemical weapons in Fallujah. (boston globe)" The use of incendiary weapons against civilians has been banned by the Geneva Convention since 1980. The United States did not sign the relevant protocol to the convention, a UN official in New York said."

Here's the protocol that the US did NOT sign:


Article 1
Definitions For the purpose of this Protocol: 1. “Incendiary weapon” means any weapon or munition which is primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injury to persons through the action of flame, heat, or a combination thereof, produced by a chemical reaction of a substance delivered on the target. (a) Incendiary weapons can take the form of, for example, flame throwers, fougasses, shells, rockets, grenades, mines, bombs and other containers of incendiary substances. (b) Incendiary weapons do not include: (i) Munitions which may have incidental incendiary effects, such as illuminants, tracers, smoke or signalling systems; (ii) Munitions designed to combine penetration, blast or fragmentation effects with an additional incendiary effect, such as armour-piercing projectiles, fragmentation shells, explosive bombs and similar combined-effects munitions in which the incendiary effect is not specifically designed to cause burn injury to persons, but to be used against military objectives, such as armoured vehicles, aircraft and installations or facilities. 2. “Concentration of civilians” means any concentration of civilians, be it permanent or temporary, such as in inhabited parts of cities, or inhabited towns or villages, or as in camps or columns of refugees or evacuees, or groups of nomads. 3. “Military objective” means, so far as objects are concerned, any object which by its nature, location, purpose or use makes an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage. 4. “Civilian objects” are all objects which are not military objectives as defined in paragraph 3. 5. “Feasible precautions” are those precautions which are practicable or practically possible taking into account all circumstances ruling at the time, including humanitarian and military considerations.

Article 2 Protection of civilians and civilian objects 1.It is prohibited in all circumstances to make the civilian population as such, individual civilians or civilian objects the object of attack by incendiary weapons. 2 It is prohibited in all circumstances to make any military objective located within a concentration of civilians the object of attack by air-delivered incendiary weapons. 3. It is further prohibited to make any military objective located within a concentration of civilians the object of attack by means of incendiary weapons other than air-delivered incen- diary weapons, except when such military objective is clearly separated from the concentra- tion of civilians and all feasible precautions are taken with a view to limiting the incendiary effects to the military objective and to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. 4. It is prohibited to make forests or other kinds of plant cover the object of attack by incen- diary weapons except when such natural elements are used to cover, conceal or camouflage combatants or other military objectives, or are themselves military objectives. Entry into Force: 2 December 1983

Bunch of typical double talk, wouldn't you say?

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