Monday, November 07, 2005

Breaking video on the offensive in Fallujah

The Italian TV network RAI is airing a special called La Strage Nascosta (The Secret Massacre) on the American use of incendiary weapons on civilians in Fallujah, specifically white phosphorus and a new variant on napalm(!) called MK-77.

White phosphorus, ostensibly used for "illuminating the battlefield" (sorta like how napalm was used in Vietnam as a "defoliant"), doubles as an effective way to torch everything (or everyone) in a 150 meter swath. Once it touches skin, it attaches and burns all the way to the bone, sometimes leaving the clothing around the wound intact.

And if you try to wash it off, it re-ignites.

WP and MK-77 can't be targetted precisely, however, so they wreak indiscriminate destruction wherever they are dropped. Thus, the use of such incendiaries against civilian populations is prohibited by Protocol III of the Geneva Convention.

Here's the video (it's available in Italian, English, and Arabic). It includes interviews with American soldiers and Iraqis, video footage of Americans using white phosphorus, and pictures of Iraqi dead killed by WP and MK-77. Warning: the video is very graphic. Put your kids to bed before you watch it.


TioChuy said...

Although I can't say that horrible things haven't happened in Iraq I would hesitate to believe everything that is shown in this video. The Italians certainly were upset by the accidental shooting of one of there reporters, understnadably. I think this bit goes a touch farther into conspiracy theory than most. As you know I was there. I never heard a call for napalm or WP. Although MK-77 still exists I never saw it used (not to say it wasn't) napalm though was not used as a defoliant in Vietnam, that was agent orange which would qualify better as a "chemical weapon." Napalm was used for clearing people not vegitation, which is why we decided to for the most part stop using it.
There are a few delivery systems for "Willie Pete" none of which I believe look anything like the one in this video. There are grenades and warheads for mortars that I know of although I wouldn't be surprised to find that they come in much larger shells. What appears in the video looks a little more like anti-missle flares ( being used in a rather odd fashion.
The point was made in this video that the attack on Fallujah was held back until after the election. This probably is a fact but when you considered the circumstances it doesn't seem "as" black. No one in their right mind that close to an election would want that kind of report coming across the air at that time regardless of whether or not they intended to use so called "WMD's."
Anyway my point is not to condone anything wrong that might have happened, it is war, bad things do happen it's human nature. But I wouldn't be so quick to think the whole armed services establishment has gone as mad as the "ministration."

El Ranchero said...

Oops, yeah my bad, you're right it was AO that was the "defoliant."

My question is, then, how do you explain the corpses they showed, which seemed to corroborate their evidence? What about the fact that they have US soldiers saying that they used WP? Also, is it possible for "the entire Armed Services [to] have gone mad" if they were ordered to use those weapons? My impression was that the soldiers could've been ordered to use WP by higher-ups.

TioChuy said...

Yeah they whole "ordered" thing is one thing I'm not getting. I mean I know in a stressful situation the last thing you want to do is question an order, but if the order is questionable you have every right to do so. I would like to think if I knew I was going to be killing civilians intentionally I would.
As far as the pictures go I can only tell you that I've seen dead people that look the same from almost any munition they all cause horrible burns that don't always melt away clothing. Anyway I don't know what happened in Fallujah it just seems to me that if you can do this (;jsessionid=47CCE2C17F0A6784C368F11DA3DEC2F1?displayContent=79806) Also the film in nightvision at the end is a helo shooting a bunch of guys who were attempting to set up a road side bomb I know that because that was our air asset and we weren't anywhere near Fallujah.
I guess what upsets me is perhaps there were some things done there that shouldn't have been, but then make your point with facts and not fascinating video's that are unrelated.