A Pentagon spokesman, Lt Col Barry Venable, confirmed to the BBC the US had used white phosphorus “as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants” – though not against civilians, he said.
Lets compare, shall we?
(click the image for a larger version)
I’m sorry I couldn’t get any more recent photos… but “unfortunately” the last time these chemicals were widely used, was in WWI and by the Nazis… in experiments too horrible to imagine. (edit: I find it highly ironic? Or perhaps just poignant, that this admission comes only a few days after the 87th anniversary of the end of the Great War)
One is banned…
The other is not explicitly banned.. though there is a treaty.. that the US has not signed.
You tell me whether both are “Chemical Weapons”?
I do not usually address my anger toward the American people because I know that for the most part they are good, and caring and only want the best for themselves and the world… I am very careful to always be clear that my beef is with the current US Administration.
But today, I say this to any American reading my webpage.
How can you support a government that would inflict these types of wounds on ANY enemy combatant? If you still blindly support your government then shame on you.
Here are some more Facts, from the Center for Disease Control
Even a small drop of sarin on the skin can cause sweating and muscle twitching where sarin touched the skin.
Exposure to large doses of sarin by any route may result in the following harmful health effects:
Loss of consciousness
Respiratory failure possibly leading to death
Exposure to sulfur mustard is usually not fatal. When sulfur mustard was used during World War I, it killed fewer than 5% of the people who were exposed and got medical care. [and yet it is still a banned chemical weapon?]
People may not know right away that they have been exposed, because sulfur mustard often has no smell or has a smell that might not cause alarm.
Phosphorus, Elemental, White or Yellow
Ingestion of elemental white or yellow phosphorus typically causes severe vomiting and diarrhea, which are both described as “smoking,” “luminescent,” and having a garlic-like odor. Other signs and symptoms of severe poisoning might include dysrhythmias, coma, hypotension, and death. Contact with skin might cause severe burns within minutes to hours (1-4).
I bet “smoking” diarrhea feels just great!
In the comments the predictable, if simpistic, response has come up.
“White Phosphorus is not banned.”
Which is correct… but yet… neither is dropping 10M Hydrochloric Acid from the sky… which would basically have very similar effects to people struck by it.
From a BBC piece: (emphasis added)
The CWC is monitored by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based in The Hague. Its spokesman Peter Kaiser was asked if WP was banned by the CWC and he had this to say:
“No it’s not forbidden by the CWC if it is used within the context of a military application which does not require or does not intend to use the toxic properties of white phosphorus. White phosphorus is normally used to produce smoke, to camouflage movement.
“If that is the purpose for which the white phosphorus is used, then that is considered under the Convention legitimate use.
“If on the other hand the toxic properties of white phosphorus, the caustic properties, are specifically intended to be used as a weapon, that of course is prohibited, because the way the Convention is structured or the way it is in fact applied, any chemicals used against humans or animals that cause harm or death through the toxic properties of the chemical are considered chemical weapons.”
And actually, according to Mr Kaiser (now that’s an ironic name!) 10M** Hydrochloric Acid being dropped from the sky whether over an enemy or civilian position, would be classified as chemical warfare. And BANNED.
**Molarity is a measurement of purity (strength) of Hydrochloric acid in solution
How to Justify yourself out of all responsibility for anything
courtesy: the US Administration….
If you want to invade a Country.
Designate them as part of an “Axis of Evil” and give them impossible conditions with which to comply and rely on dusty documents from decades gone by.
If you want to avoid being called Torturer..
Designate captives as “enemy combatants” or better… blame it on the solder from Kansas.
If you want to avoid being called War Criminal…
Give 2 days for “civilians” to leave a city… then designate the entire city a “military objective” and all remaining men of fighting age “enemy combatants”… and level the city using chemical weapons and cluster bombs.