The anti-war people have got their panties all in a twist again. This time they’re outraged, outraged, that US troops use live ammunition. The anti-war blog whatREALLYhappened.com takes it a step further and hallucinates a media conspiracy to cover up the blindingly obvious war crime that’s been commited:
CHALLENGE TO THE US MEDIA
These last few weeks we have endured the mainstream media’s proclamations about how sorry they were they did not report the truth that there were no WMDs in Iraq; how the media was deceived along with everyone else (ignoring the fact that pretty much everyone else knew what was going on), and how you would all try to do a better job.
Well, here is your chance to prove that. Italian TV just aired a documentary that proves the US used chemical weapons against civilians in Fallujah, and how Giuliana Sgregna, the Italian Journalist who was kidnapped, then nearly assassinated by US troops following her release, had been reporting on that very story along with one other journalist who was killed by US troops at the time. The British Press picked up the story this morning. The rest of the world is picking up the story. So, where is the US mainstream media on this?
Chemical weapons. Oh my. Of course the only people who consider white phosphorus a chemical weapon are the psychics (AKA "pretty much everyone") who knew, just knew, all along that Saddam didn’t have WMDs. Never. Except the ones Rummy sold him. Oh, and his white phosphorus. Which isn’t a WMD if it belongs to Saddam. Can you imagine the reaction if Bush pointed at a captured stockpile of Republican Guard WP and said "here are Saddam’s WMD"? Oops, did the peaceniks think of that before they lowered their standards? How long before they figure out gunpowder and TNT are "chemical weapons"?
Media Lies did a good job of deflating this story several days ago. The best part was a quote from Balloon Juice:
I’m a combat veteran of Iraq. Mostly Ramadi. I’m an infantry officer.
I have got to tell you guys that the knuckleheads who are tearing their hair out about WP being an illegal chemical weapon are some of the stupidest, most ill-informed, hysterical people on the planet right now. You guys are making idiots of yourselves.
Yes, I’ve seen the pictures. And I’ve seen similar effects in real life.
Not from WP, but from good old fashioned HE, which can “caramelize skin” and “leatherize skin” and cause severe flash burns.
I saw their effects because I saw what happened to Iraqi civilians after HE IEDs went off. Sometimes it happened to the guys who were setting them up.
Doctrinally, WP is used as a marking round. You pop off one or two WP rounds on the target, and then you call the air to fire up the WP round with whatever ordnance is appropriate.
You can also use WP if you desire lethal effect but a smaller blast radius. For example, if there is a structure nearby you don’t want to damage. It’s conceivable to use WP in order to minimize collateral damage, while still getting steel on the target.
It’s standard to use WP as the initial part of a smoke obscuration, and even as a navigational aid (though that’s unlikely in Iraq thanks to GPS.)
WP can also be used to force the enemy to abandon a ditch, to escape the burning bits of phosphorus. He can then be engaged with direct fires or DPICM.
There is nothing prohibiting a commander from using WP rounds against an armed enemy in the field, nor should there be. This idea that DPICM is somehow more humane than WP is a feel-good illusion propogated by people who lead sheltered lives.
Others are simply reaching for any argument, no matter how outlandish, with which to slander our troops with vile and ill-informed accusations in order to score cheap political points.
The fact is that Sherman was right: War is Hell, and you cannot refine it. The best you can do is put your head down and get the nightmare over with quickly.
Oops again. whatREALLYhappened.com should have waited until their knew what really happened. Days have passed and the Kossacks still busy themselves with "research". They must use search engines that don’t extend outside their anti-war bubble.
The mainstream media, in spite of its bias, is at least smart enough not to call white phosphorus a chemical weapon. The US media that is. So far.
UPDATE: Confederate Yankee has more on Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre, the "documentary" that added white phoshorus to the anti-American lexicon. The fradulently edited helicopter footage reminded me of the techniques used in another disinformation masterpiece lauded by indignant leftists.