November 13, 2005

Statement and Proof 

Besides all the technical considerations and the useless discussion with many on the Left, what was the point of the RaiNews documentary?

That the Americans used prohibited chemical weapons during the Battle of Fallujah, and this resulted in massive casualties among civilians.
And to prove this statement, the documentary features some explosion footage, the images of decomposing corpses and the statements of a fallujahn doctor and an ex-US Marine.

But in reality, these aren't proof of the statement above.

First of all, WP (and napalm) are not prohibited chemical weapons. You can think that using WP is evil, but it is still leagal under all the treaties that the USA is part of. So no prohibited chemical weapons here, unless you reserve yourself the right to redefine international treaties as you please at each given moment.

The explosion footage isn't damning evidence either. The idea that loose WP was dropped manually from helicopters is too ridiculous to be taken into consideration. An Italian blogger did some research, and found that the images in the documentary are remarkably similar to the pictures of exploding M825A1 smoke shells.
Moreover, the publicily available US Artillery Doctrine states clearly that WP munitions can be used to drive hostiles out of entrenched positions. No secret weapon at all.

Regarding the corpses, callous as it may seem showing two dozens dead does not demonstrate that hundreds or thousands were actually killed. It's simple mathematics: 24 ≠ 3000. And if we want to go to the bottom of it, we cannot be sure that all of those deads were civilians, and also the type of injuries they have is not really consistent with the use of incendiary weapons - some even present other kind of injuries, which are more likely the cause of death (like missing arms). Some of those people may have died as result of inhalation of phosphorous smoke, but that is not immediately evident.

Indeed, the witnesses confirming these stories come one from the Studies Centre of Human Rights in Fallujah, while the other is an ex-Marine turned anti-war activist - who even reported what is called hearsay, not things he actually saw. I think that the credibility of the second source is seriously impaired; the first one I don't know, but the whole thing sounds just like another anti-american enterprise. Isn't it at least remotely possible that some Sunnis may have a vested interest in making the Americans look bad? Apparently, for the Left only White Western Males are capable of lying; anyone else is always, in any circumstance, honest-to-goodness.

Ah well, whatever. Enjoy this recipe, if you like, and welcome the new entries: Dennis the Peasant and Wellington.


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