[eDebate] obama's IG Farben roots: using phosphorus weapons on afghani civilians

Old Strega oldstrega
Fri May 15 18:28:11 CDT 2009

what an asshole.
Caught in a Lie: US Uses Phosphorus Weapons in AfghanistanFri, 05/15/2009 - 15:23 ? dlindorffWhen doctors started reporting that some of the victims of the US bombing of several villages in Farah Province last week?an attack that left between 117 and 147 civilians dead, most of them women and children?were turning up with deep, sharp burns on their body that ?looked like? they?d been caused by white phosphorus, the US military was quick to deny responsibility.US officials?who initially denied that the US had even bombed any civilians in Farah despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, including massive craters where houses had once stood?insisted that ?no white phosphorus? was used in the attacks on several villages in Farah.Official military policy on the use of white phosphorus is to only use the high-intensity, self-igniting material as a smoke screen during battles or to illuminate targets, not as a weapon against human beings?even enemy troops.Now that policy, and the military?s blanket denial that phosphorus was used in Farah, have to be challenged, thanks to a recent report filed from a remote area of Afghanistan by a New York Timesreporter.C.J. Chivers, writing in the May 14 edition of the NY Times, in an article headlined ?Korangal Memo: In Bleak Afghan Outpost, Troops Slog On,? wrote of how an embattled US Army unit in the Korangal Valley of Afghanistan, had come under attack following a morning memorial service for one of its members, Pfc. Richard Demeter, who had been killed the day before by a mine.Chivers wrote:?After the ceremony, the violence resumed. The soldiers detected a Taliban spotter on a ridge, which was pounded by mortars and then white phosphorus rounds from a 155 millimeter howitzer.?What did the insurgents do? When the smoldering subsided, they attacked from exactly the same spot, shelling the outpost with 30-millimeter grenades and putting the soldiers on notice that the last display of firepower had little effect. The Americans escalated. An A-10 aircraft made several gun runs, then dropped a 500-pound bomb.?It is clear from this passage that the military?s use of the phosphorus shells had not been for the officially sanctioned purpose of providing cover. The soldiers had no intention of climbing that hill to attack the spotter on the ridge themselves. They were trying to destroy him with shells and bombs. In fact, the last thing they would have wanted to do was provide the enemy spotter with a smoke cover, which would have helped him escape, and which also would have hidden him from the A-10 ground attack planes which had been called in to make gun runs at his position. Nor was this a case of illuminating the target. The incident, as Chivers reports, took place in broad daylight.
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