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Chemical warfare in Irak

Kevin

Turbo Monkey
This documentary shows about white fosfor being used by US troops in Irak.
It contains pretty disturbing footage so if you have a weak stomache you better not watch.
I think this really shows how big a lie the whole war is and what a hypocrite the US goverment is. Invading Irak looking for weapons of mass destruction and then destroying probably thousands of Iraqiue cyvilians with chemical weapons.
Here is half an hour of your troops serving the flag....

http://videolive.rai.it:8080/asxgen/ran24/fallujah_ING.wmv
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,405
452
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MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,405
452
chez moi
Kevin said:
Dammit I didnt even see a dead horse, my bad.
And gimme a break on the spelling, Im from Holland and it was late. :)
Seriously. I'm the worst of the grammar fascists here, I think, and even I know to lay off a guy located in "da zeg ik lekker niet."
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
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Westy said:
That documentary has pretty much been proven to be false. The only phosphorus used came from smoke markers, perfectly legal and the "charred" bodies are more representative of corpses being left in the sun for several days.
Not true, I'm afraid.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1643680,00.html

US forces yesterday made their clearest admission yet that white phosphorus was used as a weapon against insurgents in Iraq. A Pentagon spokesman told the BBC last night that it had been used as "an incendiary weapon" during the assault last year on Falluja in 2004.

[snip]

A recent documentary by the Italian state broadcaster, RAI, claimed that Iraqi civilians, including women and children, had died of burns caused by white phosphorus during the assault on Falluja. The report has been strenuously denied by the US. But Col Venable said it had been used to dislodge enemy fighters from entrenched positions in the city.

"White phosphorus is a conventional munition. It is not a chemical weapon. They are not outlawed or illegal," he told the BBC. "We use them primarily as obscurants, for smokescreens or target marking in some cases. However, it is an incendiary weapon, and may be used against enemy combatants."

Asked if it was used as an offensive weapon during the siege of Falluja, he replied: "Yes, it was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants. When you have enemy forces that are in covered positions that your high explosive artillery rounds are not having an impact on, and you wish to get them out of those positions, one technique is to fire a white phosphorus round into the position: the combined effects of the fire and smoke - and in some case the terror brought about by the explosion on the ground - will drive them out of the holes so you can kill them with high explosives."
As you know, the Army declared everyone left in Falluja when they attacked as 'Enemy combatants".
 

preppie

Monkey
Aug 30, 2002
379
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Europe
It was me that posted the "phosphorus/napalm" topic in December 2004.
After seeing the news (on several European channels) I took my tin hat off.
I used to post here a lot more then I do now, because I can't stand the ignorance
of some people on this forum anymore.

What bothers me the most is that the US Army and Government get away with it....again.
I shouldn't have underestimated the 'privileges' of a super power. :rolleyes:
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
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452
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Changleen said:
Not true, I'm afraid.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1643680,00.html



As you know, the Army declared everyone left in Falluja when they attacked as 'Enemy combatants".
Actually, I don't know where Westy was coming from, but everyone in the military (and I think this was in the last thread) readliy acknowledges that WP was used as both a weapon and a marker. The 'no WP' statement was a State Department mistake and a knee-jerk reaction to a charge.

White phosphorous/high explosive artrillery and mortar shell mixes are common against targets, and are referred to as 'shake and bake' artillery missions. I learned that at the most basic stage of my military training (which I am no longer in, btw). They're used to get incendiary effects and help get effects on targets with cover; ie, kill and flush out more people in the area of effect...which is the desired result when you drop artillery on an area. They're not launching arty out of mercy for the target. Wp is designed to kill (and mark and screen) just like other weapons. It might hurt more before you die, but it has never been considered a chemical weapon by ANY government or military. Nor has napalm, which to my knowledge also isn't banned in Geneva...it was simply phased out due to the ugly press it created.

The sudden outrage about the use of WP is simple opportunism and a nice bandwagon for those with anti-war feelings to hop on. It's not banned by the Geneva convention from anything I have read. And the declaration of Fallujah as an entirely enemy-held area was well-known. That's why there was warning of the operation...it was public and widespread information that anyone left in the city would be killed.

No American I've known has ever killed civilians out of a desire to do so. They've done it out of 1) being unable to identify who an individual was, but feeling threatened and attempting to protect their lives (this IS a war) 2) being forced to fire on a home, school or hospital to respond to direct fire coming from the structure or 3) bombing such a structure or bombing a designated target that turns out to not be of a military nature.

Not saying that Iraqi civilians would be dying in these numbers or by American hands if we weren't there...but the argument is about the use of these weapons in theatre, not about whether the war is right, wrong, smart, or dumb. And that's a line that few people seem willing to draw in their thinking.
 

valve bouncer

Master Dildoist
Feb 11, 2002
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MikeD said:
No American I've known has ever killed civilians out of a desire to do so. They've done it out of 1) being unable to identify who an individual was, but feeling threatened and attempting to protect their lives (this IS a was) 2) being forced to fire on a home, school or hospital to respond to direct fire coming from the structure or 3) bombing such a structure or bombing a designated target that turns out to not be of a military nature.
.
You forgot number 4) couldn't give a rats arse who or what the target was, just gonna bomb the crap out of it anyway.:mumble: ;)
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,405
452
chez moi
valve bouncer said:
You forgot number 4) couldn't give a rats arse who or what the target was, just gonna bomb the crap out of it anyway.:mumble: ;)

That's #1, man. Sorry to say, but neither of us is in a position to judge how we'd be feeling and acting in an environment where you're constantly threatened on all sides by an enemy you can't see and who hides among and behind civilians.

It's a political argument against the war, sure...I'll buy that. I'll buy it a lot. But to say it's the US fighters on the ground that are the issue is missing the point, and it's pretty misguided and judgemental.

MD
 

preppie

Monkey
Aug 30, 2002
379
0
Europe
MikeD said:
...but it has never been considered a chemical weapon by ANY government or military. Nor has napalm, which to my knowledge also isn't banned in Geneva...it was simply phased out due to the ugly press it created.
Oh come on, at least get your facts straight


Incendiary devices like white phosphorous and the mark 77 firebomb were banned by the Geneva Convention.
The U.S. did not sign the relevant protocol to the convention a U.N. official in New York said.
The same thing happened with the landmine ban...the US refused to sign in 1998.


An incendiary device, white phosphorus is used by the military to conceal troop movements with smoke, mark targets or light up combat areas.
The use of incendiary weapons against civilians has been banned by the Geneva Convention since 1980.

You know I don’t know what disturbs me more the fact that the U.S. used these weapons or the fact that every time the U.S. doesn’t like what is the right thing do to they just ignore it and do what they want, Geneva Convention or not.
This seems to be the American way.
Every time the world agrees on the best thing to do like banning these weapons the U.S. just uses them anyway.
And then they expect every other country in the world to do what they want?
I’ve always been taught that your suppose to lead by example, and id have to say that so far the U.S. isn’t setting a very good example.
 

DRB

unemployed bum
Oct 24, 2002
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preppie said:
Oh come on, at least get your facts straight

Incendiary devices like white phosphorous and the mark 77 firebomb were banned by the Geneva Convention.
The U.S. did not sign the relevant protocol to the convention a U.N. official in New York said.
The same thing happened with the landmine ban...the US refused to sign in 1998.
You need to get your facts straight. The protocol you are referencing does not ban indendiary weapons nor their use. So whether it was signed is not relevant to this discussion.

What is relevant is in the second article item 3 and this is quote verbatim.

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 incendiary weapons, except when such military objective is clearly separated from the concentration 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.
Now in the end this is a judgement call by commanders on the ground. You want to debate whether they took the necessary precautions go ahead.

But to say its illegal is not factual.
 

fluff

Monkey Turbo
Sep 8, 2001
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MikeD said:
Seriously. I'm the worst of the grammar fascists here, I think, and even I know to lay off a guy located in "da zeg ik lekker niet."
You are clearly a very poor grammar-fascist. You have compassion for those for whom English is not their mother tongue. Shame on you.

Still, it's good to see this horse's corpse is still being whipped.
 

Kevin

Turbo Monkey
Well, apparantly the horse is not even dead yet...

Asked if it was used as an offensive weapon during the siege of Falluja, he replied: "Yes, it was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants. When you have enemy forces that are in covered positions that your high explosive artillery rounds are not having an impact on, and you wish to get them out of those positions, one technique is to fire a white phosphorus round into the position: the combined effects of the fire and smoke - and in some case the terror brought about by the explosion on the ground - will drive them out of the holes so you can kill them with high explosives."
This to me is reason enough to have some people think real hard on how to handle these types of situations in the future.
These kinds of weapons should be banned from the battle field in my opinion, even if used only against non-civilian targets.
This makes the U.S. Army no better then the "terrorists" they're fighting in the first place.
Not that that is anything new...

And I'm sorry for the bad spelling. Even though English is not my native language I do tend to think it's pretty good. Probably even better then some of the English speaking monkey's around here so I will try and pay more attention to my postings in the future.
 

DRB

unemployed bum
Oct 24, 2002
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Kevin said:
This to me is reason enough to have some people think real hard on how to handle these types of situations in the future.
These kinds of weapons should be banned from the battle field in my opinion, even if used only against non-civilian targets.
This makes the U.S. Army no better then the "terrorists" they're fighting in the first place.
Not that that is anything new...
Exactly how would you get them out of their holes? Would they be anyless dead if they had to be engaged individually out of every single fighting position by hand? Or maybe just use a tank to run the positions over crushing them? Airstrikes with bomblets?

Its all ugly, painful and gruesome. The fact of the matter is that getting killed by any means sucks.

You wanna make the arguement that the Army is no better than the terrorists they are fighting fine. But I'm pretty sure that no one was shooting back at the mosques that seem to be the favorite target of the "insurgents".
 

fluff

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Sep 8, 2001
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I would have thought the important point was that everything possible should be done to avoid civilian casualties.

Although it sounds ****ty, soldiers are there to fight and kill each other and therefore some will get killed. Does it matter exactly how they get killed, after all not all deaths resultant from bullets/artillery are instant and clean.

It does raise the question of what is so bad about, for example, lethal gas as opposed to high explosives? After all if it's OK to kill these people does it really matter how it's done?
 

Kevin

Turbo Monkey
So it doesnt matter how a war is fought out? Why not nuke the whole middle east then to get those bastards "out of their holes"?
Have you ever heard of the "Geneve Convention" maybee?
I don't even think the war is justified in the first place but even if it is, everything possible should be done to prevent civillian casualties.
These people are not a part of the war. In fact you are talking about the same people who the U.S. want's to protect against their own goverment (or so they say...) by invading their country.
Little kids are being burned down to the bone by chemicals and you say all is fair as long as we can smoke those "insurgents" out?
I just dont understand how someone can be so ignorant.
 

fluff

Monkey Turbo
Sep 8, 2001
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Kevin said:
So it doesnt matter how a war is fought out? Why not nuke the whole middle east then to get those bastards "out of their holes"?
Have you ever heard of the "Geneve Convention" maybee?
I don't even think the war is justified in the first place but even if it is, everything possible should be done to prevent civillian casualties.
These people are not a part of the war. In fact you are talking about the same people who the U.S. want's to protect against their own goverment (or so they say...) by invading their country.
Little kids are being burned down to the bone by chemicals and you say all is fair as long as we can smoke those "insurgents" out?
I just dont understand how someone can be so ignorant.

Civilians, dude. Did you read the post? No one here is justifying targetting civilians (which the insurgents most definitely do).
 

Kevin

Turbo Monkey
He said using chemical weapons in those areas is legit. That is basically the same thing.
I remember the U.S. goverment being all pissed of at a chief commander of Sadam for using chemical weapons on the Kurds and now the U.S. are doing the same thing.
I dont think it is justified to use these kinds of weapons on anyone, Napalm was forbidded because of that and WP has the same effect as Napalm. They just haven't made a law against it yet.
 

fluff

Monkey Turbo
Sep 8, 2001
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Kevin said:
He said using chemical weapons in those areas is legit. That is basically the same thing.
I remember the U.S. goverment being all pissed of at a chief commander of Sadam for using chemical weapons on the Kurds and now the U.S. are doing the same thing.
I dont think it is justified to use these kinds of weapons on anyone, Napalm was forbidded because of that and WP has the same effect as Napalm. They just haven't made a law against it yet.
Saddam used them against civilians. The US did do a lot to warn people that Fallujah was not going to be a healthy place to be. There is a big difference

Killing people is ****ty, but that's what war is.
 

fluff

Monkey Turbo
Sep 8, 2001
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Kevin said:
Yes killing people is ****ty, and sometimes inevitable. But using chemical weapons is another story.
But as we have established, WP is not categorised as a chemical weapon.

What is your point?
 

DRB

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Kevin said:
Yes killing people is ****ty, and sometimes inevitable. But using chemical weapons is another story.
WP is not a chemical weapon. And neither is Napalm (which wasn't used in Fallujah). Nor is the use of napalm illegal.

However, Peter Kaiser, a spokesman for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which enforces the convention, said the convention permitted the use of such weapons for "military purposes not connected with the use of chemical weapons and not dependent on the use of the toxic properties of chemicals as a method of warfare". He said the burns caused by WP were thermic rather than chemical and as such not prohibited by the treaty.
Or are you saying that smoke screens are illegal according to the 1927 accords?
 

Kevin

Turbo Monkey
You sure the use of Napalm isnt illegal? And how is WP not a chemical weapon? Because the U.S. doesn't acknowledge it as one?
Anyways. I couldnt care less if it's restricted by law or not. If a smoke screen burns little kids and innocent civilians then it should be prohibited.
The fact that it is not yet prohibited by law doesn't make it right.
That is my point.
You don't have to agree with me. That is your choice.
 

DRB

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Kevin said:
You sure the use of Napalm isnt illegal? And how is WP not a chemical weapon? Because the U.S. doesn't acknowledge it as one?
Anyways. I couldnt care less if it's restricted by law or not. If a smoke screen burns little kids and innocent civilians then it should be prohibited.
The fact that it is not yet prohibited by law doesn't make it right.
That is my point.
You don't have to agree with me. That is your choice.
I'm positive on both accounts. The person I quoted works for the organization that oversees the Chemical weapons treaty.

But all weapons are going to kill little kids and innocent civilians. Again folks don't get anyless dead from an HE round then they do a WP round. If anything they are more likely to survive a WP round then they are an HE round. To use your definition ALL weapons should be illegal.
 

fluff

Monkey Turbo
Sep 8, 2001
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Kevin said:
You sure the use of Napalm isnt illegal? And how is WP not a chemical weapon? Because the U.S. doesn't acknowledge it as one?
Anyways. I couldnt care less if it's restricted by law or not. If a smoke screen burns little kids and innocent civilians then it should be prohibited.
The fact that it is not yet prohibited by law doesn't make it right.
That is my point.
You don't have to agree with me. That is your choice.
I would have to understand your position before I could agree or disagree.

I agree that civilians should not be killed.
I agree that being killed by WP would be a nasty way to die.
I agree that war is horrible.
I do not agree that WP falls under the accepted definition of a chemical weapon.

Any closer?
 

Silver

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Jul 20, 2002
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fluff said:
Saddam used them against civilians. The US did do a lot to warn people that Fallujah was not going to be a healthy place to be. There is a big difference
From Saddam's point of view, the Kurds were insurgents, weren't they? Trying to overthrow his regime and all that fun stuff?

I'd argue that when the best argument we can come up with for doing things in Iraq is that at least we aren't as bad as Saddam, we've already slipped into the abyss...
 

DRB

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fluff said:
It does raise the question of what is so bad about, for example, lethal gas as opposed to high explosives? After all if it's OK to kill these people does it really matter how it's done?
Now this is interesting. What is the line that defines "good" from "bad"? Dead is dead which is what a weapons ultimate goal is so who cares.

Some of it has to do with the scope and controllability. A cloud of lethal gas can't be controlled and even in small amounts can have a widespread effect. The orginial reasoning behind the outlawing of poison gas was the horrific and widespread effect it had on the battlefields during WWI. But in the end most agreed to ban its use because it simply isn't a very good weapon.

I'd think that complication of treatment would be something that should be considered. Fragments undectable by x-ray, rounds that which expand or flatten easily in the human body, and the treatment requirements for poision gas have all been addressed within the conventions.

For me the arguement against naplam and WP lies more in the convention that speaks against conventional weapons that are excessively injurious.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
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DRB said:
The orginial reasoning behind the outlawing of poison gas was the horrific and widespread effect it had on the battlefields during WWI. But in the end most agreed to ban its use because it simply isn't a very good weapon.
Those two sentances don't quite add up...
 

DRB

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Changleen said:
Those two sentances don't quite add up...
Sure they do. The originial reasons behind the discussion of banning poison gas was the effects on the battlefield. The reason that folks agreed to it is that in the end they were giving a weapon away that was just as likely to cause "friendly fire" casualities as it was enemy casualities. IF the use of gas could have been effectively employed as a weapon on the battlefield, it is unlikely that the parties involved would have agreed to it being banned regardless of the numbers of casualties it caused.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
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OK, So let's clear a few things up here:

Wikipedia:

Use of white phosphorus against military targets (and outside civilian areas) is not specifically banned by any treaty. However, there is a debate on whether white phosphorus is a chemical weapon and thus outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) which went into effect in April of 1997. The Convention is meant to prohibit weapons that are "dependent on the use of the toxic properties of chemicals as a method of warfare" (Article II, Definitions, 9, "Purposes not Prohibited" c.)). The Convention defines a "toxic chemical" as a chemical "which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals".(CWC, II). Strictly speaking, since white phosphorus's primary effects are not actually due to its toxicity, but its spontaneous ignition in the presence of oxygen, many believe it has more in common with incendiary weapons instead. [6]

The 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (Protocol III) prohibits the use of air-delivered incendiary weapons against civilian populations or indiscriminate incendiary attacks against military forces co-located with civilians. [7] However, the protocol also specifically excludes weapons whose incendiary effect is secondary, such as smoke grenades. This has been often read as excluding white phosphorus munitions from this protocol, as well. The United States is among the nations that are parties to the convention but have not signed Protocol III.
So if you use it as a smoke grenade, it's fairly legit, however if you use it as an antipersonel weapon, as it undoubtedly was in Falluja, then you are relying on the chemical and incendiary effects as your primary purpose for the weapon, are you not? That makes it a Chemical or incendiary weapon.

Now the US is arguing WP is not a Chemical weapon, because it has chosen to use it. However, (hypocracy alert) it seems when Saddam used it it was:
February 1991: The Iraqi military itself was accused of using WP as a chemical weapon against both combatants and non-combatants. A declassified 1995 US Department of Defense document, titled "Possible use of phosphorous chemical weapons by Iraq in Kurdish areas along the Iraqi-Turkish-Iranian borders," states that "Iraqi forces loyal to President Saddam (Hussein) may have possibly used white phosphorous chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels and the populace in Erbil and Dohuk."
So the US Dept. of Defence has itself classified it as a chemical weapon, and now admitted to using it as an antipersonnel weapon in Falluja, making use of both the weapon's chemical and incendiary effects rather than it's use as a smoke grenade. I don't really care that WP happens to be able to squeak past the guidelines of treaties because of it's multiple possible reasons for use, in this case it was used as a chemical weapon by the US against a city full of people. Whoever ordered that should be tried for warcrimes.
 

DRB

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You are clearing things up?

Chemical and incendiary weapons are two different things.

WP is not a chemical weapon. The organization that enforces the chemical weapons treaty has said it isn't.

From the Independent:
Peter Kaiser, a spokesman for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which enforces the convention, said the convention permitted the use of such weapons for "military purposes not connected with the use of chemical weapons and not dependent on the use of the toxic properties of chemicals as a method of warfare". He said the burns caused by WP were thermic rather than chemical and as such not prohibited by the treaty.
WP can be an incendiary weapon depending on its stated use. I use stated because that's important. The use of WP in these shake and bake methods is identical to its use as an illumination or smoke round. An airburst approximately 50 to 100 feet off the ground.

The quote of the convention leaves out a very important part:

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 incendiary weapons, except when such military objective is clearly separated from the concentration 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.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
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Changleen said:
So if you use it as a smoke grenade, it's fairly legit, however if you use it as an antipersonel weapon, as it undoubtedly was in Falluja, then you are relying on the chemical and incendiary effects as your primary purpose for the weapon, are you not? That makes it a Chemical or incendiary weapon.

Now the US is arguing WP is not a Chemical weapon, because it has chosen to use it. However, (hypocracy alert) it seems when Saddam used it it was:
No one's ever criticized Saddam's use of WP, have they?? Sulphuric acid and blister/nerve gas, yes.

WP is indeed an incendiary, but it's not a chemical weapon. WP kills by burning, not by the 'effects of the substance' itself. (ie, non-ignited WP doesn't kill you.) Chemical weapons are divided (in general western military parlance) into 3 main categories: blood, nerve, and blister agents, with industrial-type chemicals like acid often considered an informal 4th (but militarily ineffective) category. WP is none of these; it's very clearly an incendiary.

Protocol III of 1980 (which we all know the bad old US didn't sign anyhow) actually allows the use of air-delivered incendiaries, for some odd reason, on military targets in civilian areas. Basically, though, it's trying to prevent horrible civilian casualties like those seen in Vietnam through the use of napalm against targets in or around villages, or against the villages themselves. (Again, why allow air-delivered weapons like napalm and the firebombs that erased Dresden if you're going to ban incendiaries??)

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 incendiary weapons[??], except when such military objective is clearly separated from the concentration 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.


The US position is obviously that they gave ample warning, telling everyone in Fallujah that anyone in the city would be a military target, thus negating its status as a 'concentration of civilians.'


Changleen said:
So the US Dept. of Defence has itself classified it as a chemical weapon
where?

Changleen said:
and now admitted to using it as an antipersonnel weapon in Falluja, making use of both the weapon's chemical and incendiary effects rather than it's use as a smoke grenade. I don't really care that WP happens to be able to squeak past the guidelines of treaties because of it's multiple possible reasons for use, in this case it was used as a chemical weapon by the US against a city full of people. Whoever ordered that should be tried for warcrimes.
City full of people? You make it sound like the US snuck up on Fallujah and tried its hardest to vaporize the place before anyone could escape. I'll buy not liking the US's tactic of "get out of your house because we're going to level this place in a week", but the Geneva regs so casually thrown around in this argument specifically mention taking "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."

Warning people in healthy advance about the coming battle is about the most feasible precaution you can take, and when an enemy holes up in a civilian area, it is the holder of the ground who's making the decision to turn a formerly civilian area into a legitimate military target. It sucks when the insurgent is hiding in your house, but when he's in there, that house is, even by the strictest Geneva standard, a military target.

And even during the battle, WP was NOT used as a method of eradicating city areas wholesale, Dresden or Vietnam style. It was used as a weapon in directed artillery strikes against entrenched troops, and in rocket form (FFAR 2.75" rockets with WP payloads) as a marker for fixed-wing air attacks, precisely to help airstrikes be more accurate.

My personal view, as I've said many times, is that this sort of argument is inevitable and insurgencies like this are never going to be concluded in a totally satisfactory manner to the occupying power...so the US should have never started this in the first place. There were and are many more useful and legitimate fights we could have started prior to this one. I don't think the war has served the US or the Iraqis well. It may turn out with a mediocre outcome, which will be touted as incredibly positive, but the Saddam situation (as there was one, which wasn't much IMHO) could have been handled with some patience as the minor issue it was rather than turned into the giant cluster**** that it is.

But the small-scale tactical nitpicking that goes on by armchair Geneva convention experts is still pretty laughable. Most of them never heard of white phosphorous (there are other kinds of phosphorous, by the way, like red phosphorous) prior to seeing that fairly insipid little 'documentary', and I don't really hold their opinions in high regard.

MD
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,405
452
chez moi
DRB said:
The use of WP in these shake and bake methods is identical to its use as an illumination or smoke round. An airburst approximately 50 to 100 feet off the ground.
Actually, WP artillery or mortar missions can be fuzed for airburst, contact (quick), or delay effects.

And WP is not an illumination round. Illum rounds are magnesium flares which deploy on parachutes. They are designed to burn out before hitting ground, but sometimes do land and set fires.

Sorry; I'm being Mr. Details today for some odd reason.
 

DRB

unemployed bum
Oct 24, 2002
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MikeD said:
Actually, WP artillery or mortar missions can be fuzed for airburst, contact (quick), or delay effects.

And WP is not an illumination round. Illum rounds are magnesium flares which deploy on parachutes. They are designed to burn out before hitting ground, but sometimes do land and set fires.

Sorry; I'm being Mr. Details today for some odd reason.
But most of the time they would be airburst against dug in emplacements.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
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chez moi
DRB said:
But most of the time they would be airburst against dug in emplacements.
Hm. I'd want quick or delay. Entrenched troops would get overhead cover from an airburst, and you'd get the WP burning on top with no effects from the actual detonation. Might start them on fire, but you'd get better effects from the projectile hitting the actual entrenchments and destroying them and hopefully those underneath...delay fuzes are standard against troops under cover.

HE rounds with high fragmentation are used against troops with no overhead cover or those in the open to attack from above, but the delay fuzes are designed to get the projectile through the overhead cover before detonating.