My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Friday, November 25, 2005

Some light on white phosphorus...

Michael Fumento tells us the truth about white phosphorus...
There are several accusations against our WP usage.

It’s allegedly outlawed by the Geneva Convention as a chemical weapon. Therefore its use puts us in the same category as Saddam Hussein – or so claims the hugely popular leftist blogsite Daily Kos. But according to the authoritative think tank, “White phosphorus is not banned by any treaty to which the United States is a signatory.”

Is it a chemical? Sure! So is something else you may have heard of. It’s called “gunpowder.” And those chemicals used in high explosives? Yup, they're chemicals too.

Another charge is that contact with WP can cause awful and sometimes fatal burns. But painless ways of killing and destroying such as Star Trek’s beam weapon phasers have yet to be developed. On the other hand, the vipers we cleaned out of Fallujah were days earlier sawing off civilian heads with dull knives. Sound like a pleasant way to die?

Fact is, the soldier’s weapon of choice remains high explosives. WP's best uses aren’t against personnel at all, but to the extent it is employed this way the most practical application is flushing the enemy out of foxholes and trenches where they can then either surrender or be killed.

It's also claimed that civilians were “targeted” with WP and the Italian video does display dead civilians. But how does this show they were the intended victims, rather than accidental casualties? It’s not like when terrorists detonate bombs in crowded marketplaces or at weddings, where the intent is rather obvious.

Regardless of the weapon, how can you possibly avoid non-combatant deaths when the enemy not only hides among civilians but hides as civilians – in total violation of the Geneva Convention, for those of you keeping track.

Further, the dead civilians in the video are wearing clothing. Both the film’s narrator and another of those defeat-nik “experts,” former Marine Jeff Englehart, try to explain this away by saying WP can burn flesh while leaving clothes intact. But true weapons experts, such as Director John Pike, say there’s no such black magic. “If it hits your clothes it will burn your clothes,” he told reporters.

As daily news reports illustrate in brilliant red Technicolor, the greatest threat to Iraqi civilians are the terrorists. If we want to save civilians, our soldiers must be free to use the best legal equipment available to kill those terrorists and to continue liberating Iraq.


Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Look, I agree that WP isn't TECHNICALLY a chemical weapon. But it is still true that the U.S. condemned Saddam when he used it, and that they refered to it as a chemical weapon back then (but of course, it's OK to misidentify the nature of a weapon in some cases, but not in others).

And I don't think that the Americans deliberately used WP against civilians. But it seems clear that they used it in the proximity of civilians, and that civilians were killed, and also horribly injured by it. And it seems to me that if a weapon is questionable enough that many civilized countries refuse to use it, and there are international treaties strictly governing when where and how it can and can't be used, then you ought to be extra carful when using it (in the Americans defence, they aren't actually signatories to the treaties that ban the use of white phosporous against civilians, and ban it's use for other than it's legitimate purpose as a smoke screen and misdirection tactic).

Napalm isn't a chemical weapon either, but if the U.S. had killed civilians with Napalm in Iraq, we wouldn't even be having this discussion. And I don't think that just because the Americans haven't come to the same moral conclusion about WP as they have about Napalm means that we shouldn't hold their feet to the fire over it's use in this way. It's not just about blaiming the Americans for how they used WP. It's about making sure they never use WP that way again.

1:59 PM  

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