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Fallujah: 21st Century My Lai?

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  • Fallujah: 21st Century My Lai?

    Fallujah

    Grim.

    RAI News Video Report:
    http://www.rainews24.rai.it/ran24/inchiesta/video.asp
    http://www.unknownnews.org/0511111107Napalm.html

    New improved napalm "melts the body right down to the bone"
    U.S. used chemical weapons in Fallujah siege


    La Repubblica [Italy] Nov. 7, 2005
    Translated by Christopher Cellerano, Unknown News


    In the jargon of American soldiers, it is called "Willy Pete." The technical name is white phosphorus. Its designated purpose, in theory, is to illuminate enemy positions in the dark. In practice, it has been used as a chemical weapon in the rebel city of Fallujah. And not only against enemy combatants and guerrillas, but also against un-armed civilians.

    The American military is responsible for a massacre using unconventional weapons, the same charge for which Saddam Hussein stands accused. An investigation by RAI News 24, the all-news channel, has pulled the veil from one of the most carefully concealed secrets from the front in the entire US war in Iraq.

    "I received the order, and I'm not supposed to tell you, but we used white phosphorus on Fallujah. In military slang it is called 'Willy Pete'. Phosphorus burns the human body on contact -- it even melts it right down to the bone."

    This is what a US veteran of the Iraq war told RAI News 24 correspondent Sigfrido Ranucci. "I have seen the burned bodies of women and children," the former American soldier adds. "The phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone who finds himself with 150 meters is dead."

    RAI News 24's investigative story, Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre, will be broadcast tomorrow on RAI-3. It will contain eyewitness accounts from US military personnel who fought in Iraq, and beyond that, accounts from Fallujah residents.

    "A rain of fire fell on the city, the people struck by this multi-coloured substance started to burn, we found people dead with strange wounds, the bodies burned but the clothes intact," Mohamad Tareq al-Deraji, a biologist from Fallujah.

    "I had collected peoples' accounts of the use of phosphorus and napalm from some refugees from Fallujah, people I met before I was kidnapped," says Giuliana Sgrena, a reporter for Manifesto who was kidnapped in Fallujah last February, in an interview for RAI News 24. "I had intended to report all this, but my kidnappers would not allow it."

    RAI News 24's Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre will show an array of video and photographs in the Iraqi city during and after the strafings of November 2004. The report will prove, contrary to a December 9 statement from the US State Department, that the American army did not use phosphorus to illuminate enemy positions (which would have been legal), but instead dropped white phosphorus indiscriminate and in large quantities, on the city's residential neighborhoods.

    In the investigative story, produced by Maurizio Torrealta, dramatic footage reveals the effects of this bombardment on the civilians, women and children of Fallujah, many of whom were sleeping when they were attacked.

    The investigation will also broadcast documentary proof of the use in Iraq of an experimental new napalm formula named MK77. The use of such incendiary substances on civilians is forbidden by a 1980 UN treaty. The use of chemical weapons is prohibited by a treaty which the US signed in 1997.

    Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre will be shown on RAI News 24 on November 8th at 07:35 (on the satellite Hot Bird, Sky Channel 506, and RAI Three), and rebroadcast by Hot Bird and Sky Channel 506 at 17:00, and over the next two days.

    As originally published

    US forces 'used chemical weapons' during assault on city of Fallujah

    by Peter Popham, The Independent [London, UK]

    Nov. 8, 2005

    Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack on the city in November 2004, killing insurgents and civilians with the appalling burns that are the signature of this weapon.

    Ever since the assault, which went unreported by any Western journalists, rumors have swirled that the Americans used chemical weapons on the city.

    On 10 November last year, the Islam Online website wrote: "US troops are reportedly using chemical weapons and poisonous gas in its large-scale offensive on the Iraqi resistance bastion of Fallujah, a grim reminder of Saddam Hussein's alleged gassing of the Kurds in 1988."

    The website quoted insurgent sources as saying: "The US occupation troops are gassing resistance fighters and confronting them with internationally banned chemical weapons."

    In December the US government formally denied the reports, describing them as "widespread myths". "Some news accounts have claimed that US forces have used 'outlawed' phosphorus shells in Fallujah," the Usinfo website said. "Phosphorus shells are not outlawed. US 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."

    But now new information has surfaced, including hideous photographs and videos and interviews with American soldiers who took part in the Fallujah attack, which provides graphic proof that phosphorus shells were widely deployed in the city as a weapon.

    In a documentary to be broadcast by RAI, the Italian state broadcaster, this morning, a former American soldier who fought at Fallujah says: "I heard the order to pay attention because they were going to use white phosphorus on Fallujah. In military jargon it's known as Willy Pete.

    "Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone ... I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 meters is done for."

    Photographs on the website of RAI TG24, the broadcaster's 24-hours news channel, show exactly what the former soldier means. Provided by the Studies Center of Human Rights in Fallujah, dozens of high-quality, color close- ups show bodies of Fallujah residents, some still in their beds, whose clothes remain largely intact but whose skin has been dissolved or caramelized or turned the consistency of leather by the shells.

    A biologist in Fallujah, Mohamad Tareq, interviewed for the film, says: "A rain of fire fell on the city, the people struck by this multi-colored substance started to burn, we found people dead with strange wounds, the bodies burned but the clothes intact."

    The documentary, entitled Fallujah: the Hidden Massacre, also provides what it claims is clinching evidence that incendiary bombs known as Mark 77, a new, improved form of napalm, was used in the attack on Fallujah, in breach of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons of 1980, which only allows its use against military targets.

    Meanwhile, five US soldiers from the elite 75th Ranger Regiment have been charged with kicking and punching detainees in Iraq.

    The news came as a suicide car bomber killed four American soldiers at a checkpoint south of Baghdad yesterday.

    As originally published
    RAI News Video Report:
    http://www.rainews24.rai.it/ran24/inchiesta/video.asp

    BBC News Online Report:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/mid...st/4417024.stm

  • #2
    Re: Fallujah: 21st Century My Lai?

    That's really grim. And here was me trying to think peaceful, armistice thoughts. :(
    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

    Comment


    • #3
      This war is horrible. Makes me sick to think that I'm an American even though I do not stand by this war at all. This is just very fucked-up and wrong in every way. :x

      Comment


      • #4
        That is disturbing. I don't think the average soldier realizes the effect of the chemical. The people in charge should know better, that is the same as bombing the entire city, civilians and all. They are careful not to outright bomb them so they should really watch what weapons they employ. I don't even know how effective the lighting would be anyway, the enemy would be sheltered in buildings so they probaly can't really see them anyway, so why use the chemical? They could use regular flares. So, there might be something to it that they are using it as an intentional weapon, I hope that is not the case, I hope it was a mistake and an after effect, or else things are even worse than everone thinks. They need to evacuate the cities or find some other way to isolate the enemy before they order an all out attack. There must be some way to protect the troops and at the same time protect the civilians.

        Anyway, have a good Veteran's Day.


        P.S. I'm not going to get on here and be an arm chair general, I don't really know what is going on in that part of the world, but looking at past wars, one would think they could plan things better and know what not to do.

        "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
        - Michael Moorcock

        Comment


        • #5
          Didn't we go to war against Saddam because he was an evil man who used chemical weapons against civilians (and we knew all about it because we'd sold them to him in the first place?) At least, that was the tale after the 'WMDs' turned out to be hoax.

          I don't know whether to laugh or cry about the 'humanitarian' case for war. Bush and Blair are a pair of self-deluded psychos. It's unspeakable. I'm ashamed.
          \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mikey_C
            Didn't we go to war against Saddam because he was an evil man who used chemical weapons against civilians (and we knew all about it because we'd sold them to him in the first place?) At least, that was the tale after the 'WMDs' turned out to be hoax.
            It's very disturbing on many levels. Don't forget that W also criticized Saddam for "torturing his own people", as well. How quickly become what we hate.

            I forgot. In W-world, torture is fine if it isn't against your own people :twisted:

            When the chemical weapons story finally gets some traction in the mainstream media, I'm sure that we will hear many speeches about how "this is a different kind of war. These are terrorists, not nations. We need different rules." We heard it with respect to suspending due process, prison camps, and then torture. Why should we expect anything different with this situation?

            Comment


            • #7
              And so we see the reality of their war. Sadly it seems that society has started to forget about it. It's happened, a lot of people are saying, and sure it was a bad thing but look at all the good it has done... Utter tripe! One promising thing, today I was on a march organised by the Stop the War Coalition up here in Edinburgh and there was a very heartening turnout. So the resistance hasn't given up yet!

              Comment


              • #8
                My Lai was something of a wake-up call, wasn't it? Perhaps if we aren't too blase these days this could blow thos 'humanitarian' arguments out of the water. And at least Blair has suffered a setback at last with his draconian 'terror' bill with its unjustified call for 90 days detention of the innocent (until proven guilty). That was too much even for the Tories! (I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming at least some of them voted out of principle...)
                \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                Comment


                • #9
                  Khaf-ka

                  Can't believe the number of letters / editorials saying the (defeat of the 90 day bill) is 'a victory for Terrorism' - in what way?

                  So what we've got is a case where something has proven to be a flop - the 28 days thing has largely resulted in people being held and released, after the police fail to find evidence. There have - of course - been people arrested and charged under the Terrorism Act but mostly these have been immediate - i.e. the cases where there actually has been evidence before acting.

                  Where would you stop - 'Well, we've been arresting these people and still not found any evidence after 90 days - we'd better extend it to 180 - we're bound to turn up SOMETHING by then'.

                  'Sarge - got him - look at this CCTV footage, that Mars wrapper didn't actually go in the bin'.

                  The argument of course is always that 'would you let another 7/7 or 9/11 happen'. Erm, no, but I don't see how picking people up and then looking for evidence would help, as opposed to catching them red handed with a bomb factory, or distributing/owning DVDs of beheading.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think if any justification at all could have been found for the 90 days figure, then Parliament would have supported it. None of them would have risked being 'soft on terrorists' if there was any likelihood that some ghastly event in the future could have proved them wrong.

                    I think this is Blair's hubris come to undo him at last. But I suspect he'll get over it; it's not as severe as some of the papers have been making out. Unfortunately.
                    \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      find one more source to corroborate this please.

                      if the U.S. news media found this to be accurate they'd be all over it and so far they're not. likewise the BBC. i'll check it out on my own as well.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Poetgrrl
                        find one more source to corroborate this please.

                        if the U.S. news media found this to be accurate they'd be all over it and so far they're not. likewise the BBC. i'll check it out on my own as well.
                        Sorry Poetgrrl, you should take another look at my original Post. There are actually several sources, with hyperlinks, apart from the original RAI video, in English (grim viewing), including the BBC and The Independent newspaper, from the UK.

                        In this case the system of embedding reporters and careful management of the Media, seems to be working against the Public interest. If the RAI report is true, then the few independent journalists that make it past the Military censors may be taking huge personal risks.

                        It may even be a case of The Elephant in the Living Room, where the enormity of the implications of such an action against the Iraqi population are too great to take in, compared to what we have been led to believe about the aims and objectives of Allied operations. Cognitive dissonance.

                        Of course, the report may be exaggerated. It would be a relief to be able to think so.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There's an official denial, from USInfo.State.Gov, on the use of napalm in Fallujah, here:

                          http://usinfo.state.gov/media/Archiv..._Fallujah.html

                          Did the U.S. Use "Illegal" Weapons in Fallujah?
                          Media allegations claim the U.S. used outlawed weapons during combat in Iraq

                          The fighting in Fallujah, Iraq has led to a number of widespread myths including false charges that the United States is using chemical weapons such napalm and poison gas. None of these allegations are true.

                          Qatar-based Internet site Islam Online was one of the first to spread the false chemical weapons claim. On November 10, 2004, it reported that U.S. troops were allegedly using "chemical weapons and poisonous gas" in Fallujah. ("US Troops Reportedly Gassing Fallujah") It sourced this claim to Al-Quds Press, which cited only anonymous sources for its allegation.

                          The inaccurate Islam Online story has been posted on hundreds of Web sites.

                          On November 12, 2004, the U.S. Department of Defense issued a denial of the chemical weapons charge, stating:

                          "The United States categorically denies the use of chemical weapons at anytime in Iraq, which includes the ongoing Fallujah operation. Furthermore, the United States does not under any circumstance support or condone the development, production, acquisition, transfer or use of chemical weapons by any country. All chemical weapons currently possessed by the United States have been declared to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and are being destroyed in the United States in accordance with our obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention."

                          To its credit, Islam Online ran a Nov. 25, 2004, story carrying the U.S. denial.

                          In both stories, Islam Online noted that U.S. forces had used napalm-like incendiary weapons during the march to Baghdad in the spring of 2003. Although all napalm in the U.S. arsenal had been destroyed by 2001, Mark-77 firebombs, which have a similar effect to napalm, were used against enemy positions in 2003.

                          The repetition of this story on Islam Online’s led to further misinformation. Some readers did not distinguish between what had happened in the spring of 2003, during the march to Baghdad, and in Fallujah in November 2004. They mistakenly thought napalm-like weapons had been used in Fallujah, which is not true. No Mark-77 firebombs have been used in operations in Fallujah.

                          On Nov. 11, 2004, the Nov. 10 Islam Online story was reposted by the New York Transfer News Web site, with the inaccurate headline "Resistance Says US Using Napalm, Gas in Fallujah."

                          The headline was wrong in two ways. First, as explained above, Islam Online was incorrect in claiming that U.S. forces were using poison gas in Fallujah. Second, the New York Transfer News misread the Islam Online story to mean that U.S. forces were currently using napalm-like weapons in Fallujah. But Islam Online had never claimed this; it had only talked about napalm use in 2003.

                          The false napalm allegation then took on a life of its own. Further postings on the Internet repeated or recreated the error that the New York Transfer News had made, which eventually appeared in print media. For example, on Nov. 28, 2004, the UK’s Sunday Mirror inaccurately claimed U.S. forces were "secretly using outlawed napalm gas" in Fallujah.

                          The Sunday Mirror story was wrong in two ways.

                          First, napalm or napalm-like incendiary weapons are not outlawed. International law permits their use against military forces, which is how they were used in 2003.

                          Second, as noted above, no Mark-77 firebombs were used in Fallujah.

                          The Sunday Mirror’s phrasing "napalm gas" is also revealing. Napalm is a gel, not a gas. Why did the Sunday Mirror describe it as a gas?

                          It may be that, somewhere along the line, a sloppy reader read the inaccurate New York Transfer News headline, "Resistance Says US Using Napalm, Gas in Fallujah," and omitted the comma between napalm and gas, yielding the nonsensical "napalm gas."

                          Next, the Sunday Mirror’s misinformation about “napalm gas� was reported in identical articles on Nov. 28 by aljazeera.com and islamonline.com. These two Web sites, which are owned by the same company – Al Jazeera Publishing – are deceptive look-alike Web sites that masquerade as the English-language sites of the popular Qatar-based Arabic-language satellite television station al Jazeera and the popular Islam Online Web site, which is islamonline.net.

                          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.

                          [November 10, 2005 note: We have learned that some of the information we were provided in the above paragraph is incorrect. White phosphorous shells, which produce smoke, were used in Fallujah not for illumination but for screening purposes, i.e., obscuring troop movements and, according to an article, "The Fight for Fallujah," in the March-April 2005 issue of Field Artillery magazine, "as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes …." The article states that U.S. forces used white phosphorous rounds to flush out enemy fighters so that they could then be killed with high explosive rounds.]

                          There is a great deal of misinformation feeding on itself about U.S. forces allegedly using "outlawed" weapons in Fallujah. The facts are that U.S. forces are not using any illegal weapons in Fallujah or anywhere else in Iraq.


                          Created: 09 Dec 2004 Updated: 10 Nov 2005
                          How does this tie in with the RAI report? The admission of the use of 'white phosphorous rounds to flush out enemy fighters so that they could then be killed with high explosive rounds', in the 10th November update, is revealing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            still researching. appreciate all the info i can get. thank you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I saw the English-laguage version of the RAI documentary at an activist conference in Oxford yesterday. The footage of the corpses of Iraqis who had been killed by white phospherous was truly appalling. They also interviewed two US ex-servicemen who had been expelled from the military for reporting on their direct experiences of the fighting in Fallujah. One said that he had on certain occasions killed Iraqi civilians who had been trying to flee the city, and the other said that he had heard orders issued over the radio to use white phosporous. Another interviewee, a British former MP had managed to wring an admission from the UK Ministary of Defence that the US military had admitted to using MK-77 in Fallujah.

                              Would it be worth trying to track down a link for the English-language documentary? I should say that some of the footage mentioned above is very graphic indeed.

                              Comment

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