November 10, 2005

Be Careful What You Wish For

Diarist Steven D at Daily Kos, citing the Altercation peice without bothering to put his brain in gear, parroted the same argument, cuasing a gleeful kos to make the challenge:

Let's see them deny this shit now -- kos

Bad move, cupcake.

In a post titled "US Army Admits Use of White Phosphorus as Weapon," Steven D starts off with the following claim:

That's right. Not from Al Jazheera [sic], or Al Arabiya, but the US fucking Army, in their very own publication, from the (WARNING: pdf file) March edition of Field Artillery Magazine in an article entitled "The Fight for Fallujah":
"WP [i.e., white phosphorus rounds] 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."
In other words the claim by the US Government that White Phosphorus was used only for illumination at Fallujah had been pre-emptively debunked by the Army. Indeed, the article goes on to make clear that soldiers would have liked to have saved more WP rounds to use for "lethal missions."

Steve D seems to have an issue meshing reading comprehension with tactical knowledge, as exposed by the paragraph that he cites as "proof" of chemical weapons attacks.

A primary use of white phosphorous is indeed creating smoke screens. But Steve D somehow manage to transmutate the use of white phosphorous as a "potent psychological weapon" into that of a chemical weapon. WP was used to scare the enemy, so that the enemy would run, where he would then be cut down by high explosive fragmentation ammunition.

Am I to believe that he takes issue with scaring the enemy before we kill him?

Steve D then repeats an untruth from emailer Mark Kraft at Altercation, who wrongly claims:

. . . there is no way you can use white phosphorus like that without forming a deadly chemical cloud that kills everything within a tenth of a mile in all directions from where it hits. Obviously, the effect of such deadly clouds weren't just psychological in nature.

Unequivocally this is false information. Altercation's commentator Kraft is totally, completely wrong. White phosphorous has been used for over 60 years by the United State military, and is most often deployed to screen the movement of troops from specific enemy positions. As these soldiers assault the position screened by the white phosphorous cloud of smoke, they must often maneuver directly through that smoke to taken their objective. I have been unable to find one instance dating from World War II to the present where a soldier has become a casualty as the result of the "deadly chemical cloud" Kraft relates to. As one of my readers, a retired Army Lt. Colonel related to me via email, "I'm sure breathing the smoke isn't the best thing for you, but Sarin it ain't."

Sadly, it just gets worse for Steve D. and others on the left that would like to forge ahead with this false story.

Military experts have debunked all claims made about white phosphorous weapons. The Italian filmmakers who started this left-wing meltdown have had their credibility shredded, and their American soldier witness was found to be an anti-war activist who never got closer to the battle than a radio.

Now even kos is trying to backtrack and shift focus. Too little, too late.

Consider you anti-American hatred forcefully, and conclusively, denied.

Update: More background on the Italian television station at the bottom of this left-wing fiasco from Captain Marlow.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at November 10, 2005 11:36 PM | TrackBack

CY, I found this online.
Direct quote is below.

Kinda hard to kill everything within a 150 metre radius when it dissapates within minutes. Not much of a chemical weapon if you ask me.

Collateral damage is regrettable and always unacceptable, but it is also a feature of war. Maybe he would be happier if the people were killed by HE, napalm or good ol'fashioned bullets?

And why don't you hear these people complaining about the collateral damage and innocents being killed by the suicide bomners? That would be a great blog article! Sounds fishy if they don't criticize equally, when equal harm is (supposedly) being done.


"In the air, white phosphorus reacts rapidly with oxygen to produce relatively harmless chemicals within minutes.
In water, white phosphorus reacts with oxygen within hours or days.
In water with low oxygen, white phosphorus may degrade to a highly toxic compound called phosphine, which eventually evaporates to the air and is changed to less harmful chemicals."

Marshall Neal

Posted by: Marshall Neal at November 11, 2005 12:02 AM

See my post on the Italian politics behind it.
All the best,

Posted by: Captain Marlow at November 11, 2005 07:06 AM

"It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants," spokesman Lt Col Barry Venable told the BBC.

How 'bout them cupcakes?

The Ape Man

Posted by: The Ape Man at November 15, 2005 07:02 PM