Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Falluja Should Have Been Leveled

I read where there’s a serious investigation going on in Washington regarding reports that the United States Military used White Phosphorus (WP) as a weapon against the enemy in Falluja. According to earlier reports by the Pentagon “WP” had only been used to illuminate targets. In this latest acknowledgment there has been evidence that it was also used to flush out enemy troops that were heavily entrenched or those who would not respond to high explosives while hidden in “spider holes”.

“The battle for Falluja was the most intense and deadly fight of the war, after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003. The city, about 35 miles west of Baghdad on the Euphrates River, was a critical insurgent stronghold. The authors of the "after action" report said they encountered few civilians in their area of operations.”
Given the manner in which this was reported by CNN ( linked via title bar ) there was a question in my mind, not being familiar with the rules of conduct as to the use of White Phosphorus in war time against the enemy; had our forces stepped over the line and used some illegal or banned weapon. I recall the use of Mustard Gas and other biological weapons having been used by Saddam Hussein against his own people, something which may have been forgotten by those critics of US involvement that led to the overthrow of that regime. I had to go to the end of the CNN article to find that WP is not on the list of inhumane or banned weapons; so then, why is this even news worthy?

“Venable, (Lt. Col. Barry Venable, a Pentagon spokesman), said white phosphorous shells are a standard weapon used by field artillery units and are not banned by any international weapons convention to which the United States is a signatory.”

Our military forces are involved in a difficult struggle to remove enemy combatants, call them insurgents, terrorists or whatever; their intent is to kill American troops through unconventional and often suicidal tactics. In WWII there were countless numbers of Japanese soldiers, uniformed combatants entrenched within caves and tunnel systems who were incinerated by our troops use of flame throwers. The point being that a decision on how to remove the enemy from their strong holds with the least amount of danger to our own troops has to be left up to those military leaders in the field; with the added stipulation that the means used be in accordance with those treaties and limitations which apply to our engagement of troops in time of war.

“Italian communists held a sit-in Monday in front of the U.S. Embassy in Rome to protest the reported use by American troops of white phosphorous. Italy's state-run RAI24 news television aired a documentary last week that alleged the United States used white phosphorous shells in a "massive and indiscriminate way" against civilians during the Falluja offensive.”
What can you expect from a group of folks who can’t stand the United States, our way of life, our superior form of government or the fact that we make a better pizza that can be “delivered in less than 30 minutes or it’s free”. Personally, I think the military should have leveled the entire town of Falluja, not one building left standing, as a means of stripping any possible use of that area by terrorists intent on waging a cowardly war against US troops and their own people.

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