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    Invasion of Iraq: U.S. forces 'shake and bake' Iraqi civilians!
    Posted on Friday, November 11 @ 18:16:35 UTC
    Topic: Chemical Weapons
    Chemical Weaponsby Dennis Rahkonen, smirkingchimp.com

    Recognizing its devastating significance, progressive websites have been quick to headline the shocking story that a recently run Italian television documentary quite compellingly and gruesomely shows U.S. forces used the chemical terror weapon white phosphorous during their withering assault on Fallujah, Iraq.

    Confirmation of this comes from one of our own Army's publications, Field Artillery Magazine, in its March issue, in a piece entitled "The Fight for Fallujah":
    "WP proved to be an effective and versatile munition. We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with HE. We fired 'shake and bake' missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out."
    What the article fails to mention is that white phosphorous generates a lethal cloud that kills anything and everything within its dispersed proximity. It's hardly akin to a sniper's bullet to the brain.

    More like an enveloping, inescapable, burn-to-the-bone horror that doesn't differentiate between armed rebels moving about in the streets...or families cowering many yards away.

    Broadcast by the Italian state media outlet RAI, the documentary, "Fallujah: the Hidden Massacre," asserts that women and children were among those hideously killed.

    Writing about the disclosure a day later, Andrew Buncombe of the Independent/UK said the accusatory video "suggested the shells were commonly used and killed an unspecified number of civilians. Photographs obtained by RAI from the Studies Centre of Human Rights in Fallujah, show the bodies of dozens of Fallujah residents whose skin has been dissolved or caramelised by the effects of the phosphorus shells. The use of incendiary weapons against civilian targets is banned by treaty."

    This is reminiscent of the glossy color photos of sickeningly deformed napalm survivors -- young girls, babies, etc. -- published by Ramparts magazine during the Vietnam war, verifying the awful weapon was actually being indiscriminately used.

    Bush administration spokesmen are calling it all a propaganda ploy by the Iraqi insurgency, saying white phosphorus served only as an illuminating agent. That claim, however, doesn't square with the Army information cited above.

    The white phosphorous story broke in the same week that leaked revelation of secret CIA prisons in a number of third countries became a full-blown scandal.

    Anyone with basic connect-the-dots capabilities can safely assume that Abu Ghraib-style abuse of "terrorism detainees" is occurring at those "camps," which can't help but be associated in our troubled minds and pained hearts with similarly secret Nazi facilities the world ultimately came to know as the chief mechanism for holocaust.

    George Bush categorically asserts we're not torturing anyone, even as Dick Cheney is leading an aggressive push to exclude the CIA from legal torture culpability.

    Banned chemical weapons? A global network of hidden gulags?

    For those who've long contended that America under Bush is becoming decidedly fascistic, the past few days have certainly bolstered their case.

    When we abuse and kill people, in furtherance of an increasingly rightwing foreign policy, in ways that can't easily be separated from methods employed by the Germans more than sixty years ago, shouldn't we all be extremely alarmed?

    Shouldn't our love of democracy and decency force us to stand up, and express condemnation with one, resounding voice?

    We've silently sat behind false patriotism and yellow "Support Our Troops" magnets for far too long.

    We've permitted wicked, prevaricating misleaders to take our country to an evil place: that dark, historical spot where humankind's most morally indefensible actions are shamefully recorded.

    Together with a wide variety of well-organized protests, we must flood our elected representatives with outraged calls, letters and e-mails. Congress, after all, is in a different mood in the aftermath of the Scooter Libby situation.
    "Bush lied, they died" can routinely be seen emblazoned on placards at antiwar rallies. The true significance of Libby's Treasongate indictment means those placards could validly be changed to "Bush conspired, they expired."
    When ambassador Joseph Wilson debunked the Niger yellowcake aspect of the thoroughly bogus weapons-of-mass-destruction charade, the administration set out to punish him for speaking truthfully. Wilson's wife, CIA agent Valerie Plame was outed in retribution.

    Libby had long sought to invade Iraq.

    As a member of the Project for a New American Century, he joined Paul Wolfowitz and other neo-con hardliners in unsuccessfully urging President Clinton to depose Saddam and transform Iraq into a puppet-run, friendly base for U.S. transnational corporate interests. Once ensconced within George Bush's circle of top advisors, he emerged as a leading advocate of preemptive aggression.

    Such niceties as honesty or respect for law -- domestic or international -- aren't a part of Libby's reactionary makeup (or that of his ethically challenged cohorts).

    That's why civilian, Iraqi flesh has been transformed to a burnt, leathery consistency by outlawed white phosphorus.

    That's why our sons' and daughters' lives are being perpetually endangered in a desert quagmire.

    This completely sinister war must stop! Support our troops by insisting that they be brought home...now!

    Dennis Rahkonen, from Superior, Wisconsin, has been writing progressive commentary for various outlets since the '60s. He can be reached at dennisr@cp.duluth.mn.us

    This article comes from The Smirking Chimp

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    U.S. forces 'shake and bake' Iraqi civilians!

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