December 17, 2005
Last month, the broadcast of a shattering new documentary provided fresh confirmation of a gruesome war crime covered by this column nine months ago: the use of chemical weapons by American forces during the frenzied, Bush-ordered destruction of Fallujah in November 2004.
Using filmed and photographic evidence, eyewitness accounts, and the direct testimony of American soldiers who took part in the attacks, the documentary "Fallujah:
The Hidden Massacre" catalogues the American use of white phosphorous shells and a new, "improved" form of napalm that turned human beings into "caramelized" fossils, with their skin dissolved and turned to leather on their bones. The film was produced by RAI, the Italian state network run by a government that backed the war.
Vivid images show civilians, including women and children, who had been burned alive in their homes, even in their beds. This use of chemical weapons at the order of the Bushist brass and the killing of civilians are confirmed by former American soldiers interviewed on camera. "I heard the order to pay attention because they were going to use white phosphorous on Fallujah," said one soldier, quoted in the Independent. "In military jargon, it's known as Willy Pete. Phosphorous burns bodies; in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone. I saw the burned bodies of women and children.
Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 meters is done for."
The broadcast is an important event: shameful, damning, convincing. But it shouldn't be news. Earlier this year, as reported here on March 18, a medical team sent to Fallujah by the Bush-backed Iraqi interim government issued its findings at a press conference in Baghdad. The briefing, by Health Ministry investigator Dr. Khalid ash-Shaykhli, was attended by more than 20 major American and international news outlets. Not a single one of these bastions of a free and vigorous press reported on the event. Only a few small venues such as the International Labor Communications Association brought word of the extraordinary revelations to English-speaking audiences.
Yet this highly credible, pro-American official of a pro-occupation government confirmed, through medical examinations and the eyewitness testimony of survivors including many civilians who had opposed the heavy-handed insurgent presence in the town that "burning chemicals" had been used by U.S. forces in the attack, in direct violation of international and American law. "All forms of nature were wiped out" by the substances unleashed in the assault, including animals that had been killed by gas or chemical fire, said Dr ash-Shaykhli. But apparently this kind of thing is not considered news anymore by the corporate gatekeepers of media "truth."
As we noted here in March, Dr ash-Shaykhli's findings were buttressed by direct testimony from U.S. Marines filing "after-action reports" on websites for military enthusiasts back home. There, fresh from the battle, American soldiers talked openly of the routine use of Willy Pete, propane bombs and "jellied gasoline" (napalm) in tactical assaults in Fallujah. As it says in the scriptures:
by their war porn ye shall know them.
This week, as in March, the Pentagon said it only used white phosphorous shells in Fallujah for "illumination purposes." But the documentary's evidence belies them. Although there are indeed many white bombs bursting in air to bathe the city in unnatural light, the film clearly shows other phosphorous shells raining all the way to the ground, where they explode in fury throughout residential areas and spread their caramelizing clouds. As Fallujah biologist Mohamed Tareq says in the film: "A rain of fire fell on the city, the people struck by this multi-colored substance started to burn, we found people dead with strange wounds, the bodies burned but the clothes intact."
As word of the documentary spread across the Internet and into a very few mainstream media sources, intrepid investigators dug out even more confirmation of how Bush's battalions whipped out the Willy Pete and flayed Fallujah's heathen devils with flesh-eating fire. A Daily Kos diarist, Stephen D., dug up one of the U.S. military's own publications, Field Artillery Magazine, which eagerly related the use of white phosphorous, which "proved to be an effective and versatile munition," the article said. "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."
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