BBC and Fallujah: War Crimes and Media Lies

Media coverup on the use of White Phosphorous bombs

November 9, 2005 on the BBC News website, under the title US ‘uses incendiary arms’ in Iraq I could still read:

Italian state TV, RAI, has broadcast a documentary accusing the US military of using white phosphorus bombs against civilians in the Iraqi city of Falluja.

Rai says this amounts to the illegal use of chemical arms, though the bombs are considered incendiary devices.

Eyewitnesses and ex-US soldiers say the weapon was used in built-up areas in the insurgent-held city.

The US military denies this, but admits using white phosphorus bombs in Iraq to illuminate battlefields.

Yesterday I wrote on why the BBC NEWS is wrong when (in its article: “though the bombs are considered incendiary devices” and with an email to me: “White Phosphorous is not a chemical weapon”) it denies that the white phosphorus is a chemical weapon.

According to international law, any chemical used to harm or kill people or animals is considered a chemical weapon. In the words of Peter Kaiser (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons):

“Any chemical that is used against humans or against animals that causes harm or death through the toxic properties of the chemical, ARE considered chemical weapons and as long as the purpose is to cause harm – that is prohibited behaviour.” (You can listen to his words directly by following this link and click the “Play” under the photo on the right at the bottom of the page)

The BBC NEWS article goes on

“The US military denies this, but admits using white phosphorus bombs in Iraq to illuminate battlefields.”

The US Government had already denied the claims in the past. In Did the U.S. Use “Illegal” Weapons in Fallujah? Media allegations claim the U.S. used outlawed weapons during combat in Iraq the US Department of State writes:

“Finally, some news accounts have claimed that U.S. forces have used “outlawed” phosphorus shells in Fallujah. Phosphorus shells are not outlawed. U.S. forces have used them very sparingly in Fallujah, for illumination purposes. They were fired into the air to illuminate enemy positions at night, not at enemy fighters.

There is a great deal of misinformation feeding on itself about U.S. forces allegedly using “outlawed” weapons in Fallujah. The facts are that U.S. forces are not using any illegal weapons in Fallujah or anywhere else in Iraq.” (Created: 09 Dec 2004 Updated: 27 Jan 2005)

Obviously nobody would expect the truth about war crimes and mass murders coming from those accused of committing such crimes against humanity. Nobody but the BBC and most of the media. Obviously everybody would expect independent and honest information to be sceptical towards military and governmental sources and to investigate, investigate, investigate. Everybody but the BBC and most of the media.

They do not believe independent journalism. They do not trust independent sources. They do not see their job as discovering the truth, investigate, questioning the official version. They have sold their souls for a brilliant career and – as Noam Chomsky has recently said – “to make sure they are respectable enough to be invited to the right dinner parties.”

OK, here it’s the challenge! If the BBC (and most of the media) trust only military sources, then a military source they’ll have. From US Army’s “Field Artillery Magazine”:

9. Munitions. The munitions we brought to this fight were 155-mm highexplosive (HE) M107 (short-range) and M795 (long-range) rounds, illumination and white phosphorous (WP, M110 and M825), with point-detonating (PD), delay, time and variable-time (VT) fuzes. (…) White Phosphorous. 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. (…) We used improved WP for screening missions when HC smoke would have been more effective and saved our WP for lethal missions. (…)

SOURCE:

THE FIGHT FOR FALLUJAH – TF 2-2 IN FSE AAR: Indirect Fires in the Battle of Fallujah By Captain James T. Cobb, First Lieutenant Christopher A. LaCour and Sergeant First Class William H. Hight”

More about the SOURCE:

Captain James T. (Tom) Cobb has been assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery (1-6 FA), 1st Infantry Division, and served as the Fire Support Officer (FSO) for Task Force 2d Battalion, 2d Infantry, (TF 2-2 IN) in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) II, including during the Battle of Fallujah. He also deployed with Kosovo Force (KFOR) 4B.

First Lieutenant Christopher A. LaCour, assigned to 1-6 FA, has been the Targeting Officer for TF 2-2 IN in OIF II, including during the Battle of Fallujah. Also in OIF II, he was a Platoon Leader for 2/C/1-6 FA and, previously, a Fire Direction Officer in the same battery.

Sergeant First Class William H. Hight, also assigned to 1-6 FA, has been TF 2-2 IN’s Fire Support NCO since September 2003, deploying in OIF II and fighting in the Battle of Fallujah. He also deployed to Bosnia as part of the Implementation Force (IFOR) and to Kosovo as part of KFOR 4B.

Here it’s what Darrin Mortenson of the North County Times wrote in April 2004

Fighting from a distance

After pounding parts of the city for days, many Marines say the recent combat escalated into more than they had planned for, but not more than they could handle.

“It’s a war,” said Cpl. Nicholas Bogert, 22, of Morris, N.Y.

Bogert is a mortar team leader who directed his men to fire round after round of high explosives and white phosphorus charges into the city Friday and Saturday, never knowing what the targets were or what damage the resulting explosions caused.

“We had all this SASO (security and stabilization operations) training back home,” he said. “And then this turns into a real goddamned war.”

Just as his team started to eat a breakfast of packaged rations Saturday, Bogert got a fire mission over the radio.

“Stand by!” he yelled, sending Lance Cpls. Jonathan Alexander and Jonathan Millikin scrambling to their feet.

Shake ‘n’ bake

Joking and rousting each other like boys just seconds before, the men were instantly all business. With fellow Marines between them and their targets, a lot was at stake.

Bogert received coordinates of the target, plotted them on a map and called out the settings for the gun they call “Sarah Lee.”

Millikin, 21, from Reno, Nev., and Alexander, 23, from Wetumpka, Ala., quickly made the adjustments. They are good at what they do.

“Gun up!” Millikin yelled when they finished a few seconds later, grabbing a white phosphorus round from a nearby ammo can and holding it over the tube.

“Fire!” Bogert yelled, as Millikin dropped it.

The boom kicked 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.

They say they have never seen what they’ve hit, nor did they talk about it as they dusted off their breakfast and continued their hilarious routine of personal insults and name-calling. (from VIOLENCE SUBSIDES FOR MARINES IN FALLUJAH by DARRIN MORTENSON, North County Times, April 10, 2004)

The silence and the lies of the mainstream media have resulted in war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Iraq war has started with lies and with lies it’s been continuing since. We shall never forget the words used at the Nazi criminals’ trials:

“To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” – Judgment of the International Military Tribunal for the Trial of German Major War Criminals – Nuremberg, Germany 1946

Now, it’s up to us…

Thanks to Mark Kraft for sending me important information used for this article.

Update:

EXCLUSIVE: US DEPARTMENT OF STATE FORCED TO CORRECT ITS OFFICIAL VERSION

After my last article (see above), the US Department of State changed its version. The following note was added the day after it was reported on The Cat’s BlogGlobal Research, Uruknet, US Labor Against the War, Global Echo and others) that a US military publication admitted the use of white phosphorous as a “versatile munition”:

[November 10, 2005 note: We have learned that some of the information we were provided in the above paragraph is incorrect. White phosphorous shells, which produce smoke, were used in Fallujah not for illumination but for screening purposes, i.e., obscuring troop movements and, according to an article, "The Fight for Fallujah," in the March-April 2005 issue of Field Artillery magazine, "as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes …." The article states that U.S. forces used white phosphorous rounds to flush out enemy fighters so that they could then be killed with high explosive rounds.]

However the correction of the State Department doesn’t include interesting details from THE FIGHT FOR FALLUJAH (pdf) published on the Field Artillery magazine:

9. Munitions. The munitions we brought to this fight were 155-mm highexplosive (HE) M107 (short-range) and M795 (long-range) rounds, illumination and white phosphorous (WP, M110 and M825), with point-detonating (PD), delay, time and variable-time (VT) fuzes. (…) White Phosphorous. 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. (…) We used improved WP for screening missions when HC smoke would have been more effective and saved our WP for lethal missions. (…)


Articles by: Gabriele Zamparini

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author's copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected]

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]