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I must admit when I first started hearing reports about the US using White Phosphorus in their attack on Falluja I was hoping it was untrue but had a gut feeling that the Bush Regime could very easily have allowed/authorised it. Then I saw some of the photos taken, primarily of civilians including children and babies, which were undeniably victims of a chemical attack - but again photos unfortunately doesn't make it certain that the events were actually from Falluja.

Today however The Pentagon has admitted that US Troops used White Phosphorus after the US State Department and Military have been denying the fact. The Pentagon have claimed that the State Departments original statement denying it's use was old and based upon "poor information".

The US is not a signatory of an international agreement banning the use of White Phosphorus and upholds the claim that it is used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants to bring them out of hiding places other more traditional weapons can't reach.

US Used White Phosphorus in Iraq (BBC News Online; Tuesday 15th November 2005)

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
angusabranson
Nov. 16th, 2005 12:00 am (UTC)
I certainly didn't see it on CCN's site when I was checking for other reports of it earlier. Although saying that it is a fairly fresh story.
heliograph
Nov. 15th, 2005 11:59 pm (UTC)
This is surprising? Bush was threatening to veto a senate bill that passed 91-9 banning torture!
silver_blue
Nov. 16th, 2005 03:41 am (UTC)
...upholds the claim that it is used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants....

Well, essentially it is considered as an incendiary weapon - and not a chemical weapon - under international law. I don't hold with RAI's claim that it becomes chemical when used against civilians. It becomes banned when used in "areas with a significant civilian presence" if you're a signatory to part III of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (the US is a signatory to two of the four clauses, but not part III).

Chemical vs incendiary might come down to an issue of semantics, but not legally it seems. RAI's accusation that it amounts to the use of chemical weapons is ingenuous. It detracts from the wider argument regarding the use of incendiary weapons by instead focusing on the idea that the US did something illegal (which as far as I can tell from a bit of research on the Convention, and international law on the subject, they didn't).

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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