The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #129840 Message #2952306
Posted By: Emma B
26-Jul-10 - 05:36 AM
Thread Name: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
"The witness, cited by Emma, explained how they found WP effective for "screening," "flushing", and "psycholgical" effects.
For inflicting casualties they used weapons."
Please don't 'skip' what I said Keith
The article I quoted from written by a captain, a first lieutenant and a sergeant, was a review of the attack on Falluja in November 2004 and in particular of the use of indirect fire, mainly mortars.
It makes quite clear that WP was used as a weapon not just as illumination or camouflage
"This tactic of forcing opponents out of cover is not new and should not really have come as a surprise. An article looking back at the Vietnam war published in 1996 by a US armoured unit (1st Battalion, 69th Armor) referred to "Willie Pete" weapons and their use in getting North Vietnamese troops to leave their positions:
"Our normal procedure was to fire these things at a hillside as soon as possible in order to get them out of the fighting compartment."
One wonders of course if, in Falluja, WP was used more directly to kill insurgents and not just to flush them out. In battle, soldiers take short cuts and this seems an obvious one.
Evidence that this happened in Falluja comes from an article by a reporter, Darrin Mortenson of the North County Times in California, who was embedded with US marines there.
He wrote about a mortar unit receiving coordinates of a target and opening fire:
"The boom kicked the dust around the pit as they ran through the drill again and again, sending a mixture of burning white phosphorus and high explosives they call 'shake 'n bake' into a cluster of buildings where insurgents have been spotted all week."
The tactic therefore seems to have been not to flush them out first but to bombard them simultaneously with the two types of weapons.
THE DEBATE ABOUT WP CENTRES PARTLY THOUGH NOT WHOLLY ON WHETHER IT IS REALLY A CHEMICAL WEAPON. SUCH WEAPONS ARE OUTLAWED BY THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION (CWC) TO WHICH THE UNITED STATES IS A PARTY. "
Even if it is NOT classified as a Chemical weapon the debate continues..................
White phosphorus: weapon on the edge