War crimes : US Army Admits Use of White Phosphorus as Weapon


Richard Moore


US Army Admits Use of White Phosphorus as Weapon in Iraq 

by    Daily Kos 
November 10, 2005 

That's right. Not from Al Jazeera, or Al Arabiya, but the
US Army, in their very own publication, from the (WARNING:
pdf file) March edition of Field Artillery Magazine in an
article entitled "The Fight for Fallujah":

"WP [i.e., white phosphorus rounds] 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."

In other words the claim by the US Government that White
Phosphorus was used only for illumination at Fallujah had
been pre-emptively debunked by the Army. Indeed, the
article goes on to make clear that soldiers would have
liked to have saved more WP rounds to use for "lethal

However, as Mark Kraft, an emailer to Eric Alterman's
blog, Altercation , points out today, the Field Artillery
Magazine article fails to inform its audience that

. . . there is no way you can use white phosphorus like
that without forming a deadly chemical cloud that kills
everything within a tenth of a mile in all directions from
where it hits. Obviously, the effect of such deadly clouds
weren't just psychological in nature.

Furthermore, (from a link provided by Mr. Kraft , thank
you very much) testimony about the use of these "shake and
bake" techniques of WP usage are detailed in an account by
an embedded Journalist regarding the April 2004 attacks on
Fallujah by the Marines:

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,

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

"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

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

So who are you to believe? The US Department of Defense or
the US Army and the US Marine Corps? Decisions, decisions


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reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

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