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U.S. Lies About Use of Chemical Weapons

 
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 11:45 am
Heck, it ought to be part of every kid's chemistry set.
0 Replies
 
rodeman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 01:46 pm
I get it Fedral, but quite frankly I don't think the women and children of Falluja (who were burned to the bone) give a rats ass what category the weapon that killed them came from.

I know.................collateral damage
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 01:46 pm
They weren't ever really alive, anyways, not being American and all.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Fedral
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 03:19 pm
rodeman wrote:
I get it Fedral, but quite frankly I don't think the women and children of Falluja (who were burned to the bone) give a rats ass what category the weapon that killed them came from.

I know.................collateral damage


One issue has nothing to do with the other ...

People who lie by screaming 'CHEMICAL WEAPONS' as loud as they can until the world believes it are the issue, not the horrors of war which are a completely different issue.

Claiming that the US is using Chemical Weapons in Falluja (sp.) is patently false.

Regardless of what weapons are used, war is a brutal and ugly thing.

Only slightly less ugly is people using the freedom of the press to spread lies that they KNOW are false for their own political ends.
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 03:58 pm
Falluja is perfectly acceptable, but some prefer to use the spelling Fallujah. Basically, as long as people can read it and pronounce it so that it approximates what the Arabic name is, it doesn't matter.

This entire debate is about semantics really. WP should be classed as a chemical weapon, because although it is incendiary it burns people through a chemical reaction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_phosphorous

Look under Arms Control Status. It is listed in the Convention on Conventional Weapons, which prohibits its use against civilian populations or against military forces located within concentrations of civilians.

Frankly, all this call about WP being a chemical weapon is absolutely understandable. It is a chemical. It kills and wounds through chemical actions and it's a weapon. Why on Earth it was never classed a Chemical Weapon is beyond me.

Perhaps nations liked the idea of retaining chemical weapons, despite the treaty, and thus classified WP as an incendiary device instead of what it really is (all because it can be used differently).

Looks to me like the Chemical Weapons Treaty needs to be updated to include WP.
0 Replies
 
Fedral
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 04:09 pm
How about the definition as per the Chemical Weapons Convention:

Home > Chemical Weapons Convention > Article II

Article II
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.

(For the purpose of implementing this Convention, toxic chemicals which have been identified for the application of verification measures are listed in Schedules contained in the Annex on Chemicals.)

3. "Precursor" means:

Any chemical reactant which takes part at any stage in the production by whatever method of a toxic chemical. This includes any key component of a binary or multicomponent chemical system.

(For the purpose of implementing this Convention, precursors which have been identified for the application of verification measures are listed in Schedules contained in the Annex on Chemicals.)

4. "Key Component of Binary or Multicomponent Chemical Systems" (hereinafter referred to as "key component") means:

The precursor which plays the most important role in determining the toxic properties of the final product and reacts rapidly with other chemicals in the binary or multicomponent system.

5. "Old Chemical Weapons" means:

(a) Chemical weapons which were produced before 1925; or

(b) Chemical weapons produced in the period between 1925 and 1946 that have deteriorated to such extent that they can no longer be used as chemical weapons.

6. "Abandoned Chemical Weapons" means:

Chemical weapons, including old chemical weapons, abandoned by a State after 1 January 1925 on the territory of another State without the consent of the latter.

7. "Riot Control Agent" means:

Any chemical not listed in a Schedule, which can produce rapidly in humans sensory irritation or disabling physical effects which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure.

8. "Chemical Weapons Production Facility":

(a) Means any equipment, as well as any building housing such equipment, that was designed, constructed or used at any time since 1 January 1946:

(i) As part of the stage in the production of chemicals ("final technological stage") where the material flows would contain, when the equipment is in operation:

(1) Any chemical listed in Schedule 1 in the Annex on Chemicals; or

(2) Any other chemical that has no use, above 1 tonne per year on the territory of a State Party or in any other place under the jurisdiction or control of a State Party, for purposes not prohibited under this Convention, but can be used for chemical weapons purposes; or

(ii) For filling chemical weapons, including, inter alia, the filling of chemicals listed in Schedule 1 into munitions, devices or bulk storage containers; the filling of chemicals into containers that form part of assembled binary munitions and devices or into chemical submunitions that form part of assembled unitary munitions and devices, and the loading of the containers and chemical submunitions into the respective munitions and devices;

(b) Does not mean:

(i) Any facility having a production capacity for synthesis of chemicals specified in subparagraph (a) (i) that is less than 1 tonne;

(ii) Any facility in which a chemical specified in subparagraph (a) (i) is or was produced as an unavoidable by-product of activities for purposes not prohibited under this Convention, provided that the chemical does not exceed 3 per cent of the total product and that the facility is subject to declaration and inspection under the Annex on Implementation and Verification (hereinafter referred to as "Verification Annex"); or

(iii) The single small-scale facility for production of chemicals listed in Schedule 1 for purposes not prohibited under this Convention as referred to in Part VI of the Verification Annex.

9. "Purposes Not Prohibited Under this Convention" means:

(a) Industrial, agricultural, research, medical, pharmaceutical or other peaceful purposes;

(b) Protective purposes, namely those purposes directly related to protection against toxic chemicals and to protection against chemical weapons;

(c) 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;

(d) Law enforcement including domestic riot control purposes.

10. "Production Capacity" means:

The annual quantitative potential for manufacturing a specific chemical based on the technological process actually used or, if the process is not yet operational, planned to be used at the relevant facility. It shall be deemed to be equal to the nameplate capacity or, if the nameplate capacity is not available, to the design capacity. The nameplate capacity is the product output under conditions optimized for maximum quantity for the production facility, as demonstrated by one or more test-runs. The design capacity is the corresponding theoretically calculated product output.

11. "Organization" means the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons established pursuant to Article VIII of this Convention.

12. For the purposes of Article VI:

(a) "Production" of a chemical means its formation through chemical reaction;

(b) "Processing" of a chemical means a physical process, such as formulation, extraction and purification, in which a chemical is not converted into another chemical;

(c) "Consumption" of a chemical means its conversion into another chemical via a chemical reaction.

http://www.opcw.org/html/db/cwc/eng/cwc_frameset.html
0 Replies
 
Fedral
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 04:11 pm
But perhaps a person much more elloquent than myself:

November 09, 2005
It's NOT Chemical Warfare!
Our liberal brethern (such as Hullabaloo, Daily Kos, Juan Cole, and many smaller blogs such as National Debunker and others) are in an uproar over an Italian investigative team's reporting that U.S. troops are using chemical warfare against Iraqis in Fallujah. Many newspapers (to include Reuters and the Christian Science Monitor) are picking up the story, also, and rather than CHECKING THE DAMN FACTS, they all rush to judgement and assume that the story is true - that the evil American military imperalist dogs are deliberately targeting Iraqi noncombatants with phosphorus bombs and napalm.

People, get a grip. This is exactly what Repubs want to see - they like it when you swallow this swill, when you blindly attack the alleged actions of military troops without understanding what you are reading. Yes, drive those of us with military backgrounds out of the liberal camps and back into the safe, comforting arms of the national security Repubs. You idiots. Actually, there are a few sane liberals over at Kos, like Ernest here.

Let's lay down the facts. First, there are no phosphorus bombs. There are white phosphorus smoke projectiles or cartridges - and they are not incendiary devices. The purpose of the 120-mm Mortar Smoke (WP) Cartridge is to provide a white smoke cloud to obscure the enemy's view of your troops' position or their movement. We like WP because when you're under fire by snipers or groups of hostile people that you can't immediately reach out and touch, you can call for fire and get a nice, thick smoke screen between you and them very, very quickly. Yes, WP has some nasty qualities, and maybe particles of the WP fall off and hit people, but it's quick and it saves U.S. military lives. Because the fighting is in an urban area, some of those people hurt might be noncombatants. But we don't use "phosphorus munitions" to target and hurt civilians. Not only is it very inefficient (why not just drop HE?), it's not moral. And our soldiers (relatively speaking) are better than that.

I blogged back in June about the Mark-77 Mod 5 incendiary munition. The MK-77 Mod 5 uses kerosene-based jet fuel and a polystyrene thickener, instead of the older composition of benzene, gasoline, and polystyrene. The term "napalm" comes from a combination of the words naphthalene and palmitate, which were added to gasoline in World Wars II to create the fuel for fire bombs and flamethrowers. As technology developed, better formulas were developed, and modern incendiary munitions (Viet Nam-era and later) did not use either component. Much like the term "Xerox" has been used as a generic term for any copier, the term "napalm" has nonetheless stuck to these types of "fire bombs," more because of the similarity of the flame component caused by the use of these munitions.

Second point. Neither napalm or WP munitions are chemical warfare munitions. They have chemical fills, but the effectiveness and utility of the munitions do not rely on the physical properties of the chemical fills. Chemical warfare agents, such as mustard, sarin, and VX, are super-toxic chemicals that will kill you upon exposure. The U.S. military has made a clear distinction between chemical-filled munitions and chemical warfare munitions since World War II, and the funny thing is, most of the world's nations agree with us (check out the Chemical Weapons Convention sometime). IT'S NOT CHEMICAL WARFARE. It's conventional warfare, period, when a military force uses an incendiary weapon to attack an adversary's position. There is nothing like flame to scare the crap out of the enemy, and it's very effective.

Third point. If you believe this crap, this propaganda (warning, graphic photos), that this news team got, that there are burned and "melted" bodies of women and children, without questioning the forensics data or motives of either the journalists or the Iraqi sympathizers, well, I can't help you there. But honest to god, do you have even an ounce of skepticism in your heads? When you see pictures of illumination flares floating down on parachutes and the story is saying (or suggesting) that those are chunks of WP falling, you have to say, "huh? maybe this guy is misleading me..."

The guys and gals fighting in Iraq aren't hired by the Bush administration. Lord knows I don't like how the Bush administration got us into Iraq, but I don't question the motives and training of the military men and women over there (well, except for a few frustrated MPs and MI types, maybe). I do know my boys wouldn't do this crap - they came from the same towns and cities you all did. Let's not start by assuming the worst of them. Let's see the evidence, be unbiased and question the findings, talk to some people that know their asses from holes in the ground chemical warfare from conventional warfare, and be civil about this issue.

We don't use illegal or immoral weapons in war. We're the good guys. Now try to remember that we Dem-leaning types have a national security position too, and we're going to be working with the same military leaders and people that you're questioning now. Get wise. Otherwise it's going to be a very long three years - or more - if you don't.

http://armchairgeneralist.typepad.com/my_weblog/2005/11/its_not_chemica.html
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 05:30 pm
Fedral
Fedral, unintended consequences or whatever the US military used it for, it became a deadly weapon when it made contact with human bodies.

BBB
0 Replies
 
Fedral
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 06:01 pm
Re: Fedral
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Fedral, unintended consequences or whatever the US military used it for, it became a deadly weapon when it made contact with human bodies.

BBB


BBB,
I'm not arguing with you about the horror of war, or the tragedy of people being blown apart by the weapons of modern war.

What I am objecting to is the characterization of conventional weapons as Chemical Weapons (WMD's)

This is blatantly false.

In my day, when night vision goggles were only issued to Special Forces/Rangers and other elite units, we used to be issued glowing tritium front sights for our M-16's. (Tritium is a nuclear byproduct material that causes the sight to glow so you could aim at night). We also were issued extra tracer rounds for night fire which allowed us to see where our weapons were firing. (Tracer rounds use a glowing, burning chemical incidiary effect when fired which can result in idcindiary effects at the target point)

By the measure of the original article, my M16A1 rifle which I used in the late '80's would be considered both a nuclear and chemical weapon and I would have needed an ok by the President and Joint Chiefs of Staff to fire each round. I also would have been in violation of several treaties by the mere act of firing my weapon at the firing range.

I can see the headlines:
Alpha Battery / 3 of the 9th Field Artillery privates, using hundreds of nuclear weapons, fired THOUSANDS of Chemical Weapons at Fort Sill today!!
(Night fire used to happen a LOT when I was in)


Can you see how the spin and mischaracterization of conventional weapons as something different can reflect something totally different than the actual event???
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 06:26 pm
Fedral,

I agree, I wouldn't call it "Chemical Warfare". Nevertheless, I wonder if the way WP was used in Fallujah, it couldn't be described as a chemical weapon.

I just read "The Fight for Fallujah", from the March-April 2005 issue of Field Artillery magazine. There, you can read this:

Quote:
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.



Now, let's again look at the definition from the Chemical Weapons Convention

Fedral wrote:
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;

[...]

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.



Now, I think that WP can acurately described as a "chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals." That is, if it is fired directly at the enemy, instead of being used for screening purposes.


What I find strange was the statement of the US government:

Quote:
Finally, some news accounts have claimed that U.S. forces have used "outlawed" phosphorous shells in Fallujah. Phosphorous shells are not outlawed. 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.


The US government should have had the relevant information. Therefore, claiming that WP was only used for "illumination purposes" basically constitutes a lie.

And that's what I really take issue with.
0 Replies
 
goodfielder
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 06:42 pm
Good points but doesn't this "except where intended for purposes not prohibited under this Convention" give an out? If wp is "not intended..." when it's manufactured then its status must be that it is not a chemical weapon. The question is where it's used as a chemical weapon does that change its status or is that a separate war crime or is it within the rules of war?
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 06:47 pm
(Oy! GF, wotcha doing online? Thought you'd be off defending the unspeakable!!!! Damned helicopters circling as I speak. Thought they might even make you wear blue? I notice Mike K's rally is being allowed to go ahead. May hie me to the barricades if I can leave work early enough...)
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 07:01 pm
I'd say that the "purposes not prohibited under this Convention" would be using it to produce smoke, for screening purposes. Nada mas.

I agree that that would have been the purpose those WP shells were produced for. On the other hand, it's not the way they were used. Instead, they were fired right at the enemy.

Interesting question, though. I have no idea whether WP would change its status. You could argue that for example a kitchen knife, when used to murder somebody, would "change its status" and become a weapon, nonwithstanding the fact that it was not 'intended for that purpose'.

Anyways, I guess the government smelt that something's foul. Why else lie about it? And claiming that it was used for illuminating purposes was a lie...
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 07:04 pm
I imagine having one's flesh burn away would provide illumination of a kind......


Not that there are any kind weapons, as such, that know of.

Excepting ones that kill instantly.
0 Replies
 
goodfielder
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 07:08 pm
dlowan wrote:
(Oy! GF, wotcha doing online? Thought you'd be off defending the unspeakable!!!! Damned helicopters circling as I speak. Thought they might even make you wear blue? I notice Mike K's rally is being allowed to go ahead. May hie me to the barricades if I can leave work early enough...)


Didn't get the call dlowan. I did all the legal work for them and I don't get to join in Mad Very Happy

I hope it goes well though, last thing I want to see is major aggro.
0 Replies
 
goodfielder
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 07:11 pm
old europe wrote:
I'd say that the "purposes not prohibited under this Convention" would be using it to produce smoke, for screening purposes. Nada mas.

I agree that that would have been the purpose those WP shells were produced for. On the other hand, it's not the way they were used. Instead, they were fired right at the enemy.

Interesting question, though. I have no idea whether WP would change its status. You could argue that for example a kitchen knife, when used to murder somebody, would "change its status" and become a weapon, nonwithstanding the fact that it was not 'intended for that purpose'.

Anyways, I guess the government smelt that something's foul. Why else lie about it? And claiming that it was used for illuminating purposes was a lie...


That's what I was getting at. I can see the debates revolving around specific definitions of words when what should be looked at are actions. Following your point, it's irrelevant if the murder weapon was a knife or a croquet mallet - it's still a weapon used to murder.
0 Replies
 
englishmajor
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 07:28 pm
But it becomes a chemical weapon as soon as it is used directly against people. A chemical weapon can be "any chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm". (Quoted from article)


Guess I have to state the obvious again. What part of the above don't you get? Would you like some of this stuff on YOUR backside? Thought not.
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 07:37 pm
Why so agressive, englishmajor? That was exactly the point stated here.
0 Replies
 
englishmajor
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 07:40 pm
It would appear that Europe and the Netherlands, in short, all countries except America who have posted here, have more information and sensibility about the use of chemical weapons. Of course, all other countries have access to the REAL news, which America lacks or varnishes to suit their current lie.

If it is directed, DIRECTED, at a human being, it is classified as a chem. weapon, Fedral. Do YOU get it? Put some on your arse and see what happens. Don't try and tell me it doesn't hurt.

I should have figured you were in the armed services. What did they do with your brain?
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 07:47 pm
goodfielder wrote:
old europe wrote:
I'd say that the "purposes not prohibited under this Convention" would be using it to produce smoke, for screening purposes. Nada mas.

I agree that that would have been the purpose those WP shells were produced for. On the other hand, it's not the way they were used. Instead, they were fired right at the enemy.

Interesting question, though. I have no idea whether WP would change its status. You could argue that for example a kitchen knife, when used to murder somebody, would "change its status" and become a weapon, nonwithstanding the fact that it was not 'intended for that purpose'.

Anyways, I guess the government smelt that something's foul. Why else lie about it? And claiming that it was used for illuminating purposes was a lie...


That's what I was getting at. I can see the debates revolving around specific definitions of words when what should be looked at are actions. Following your point, it's irrelevant if the murder weapon was a knife or a croquet mallet - it's still a weapon used to murder.



Good point. It's the crime that gets punished, not the weapon. Even if you'd kill somebody with a frying pan, you would (if caught) get sentenced for murder.

Couldn't therefore the act of firing WP shells right at an enemy fighter in a battle rightfully be characterized as chemical warfare?
0 Replies
 
 

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