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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

This Is Not America, Nov. 9th Edition

From diarist Steven D over at Daily Kos, proof (dating from before the recent allegations by Italian TV) that the US Army was in fact using White Phosphorous as a weapon in the assault on Falujah last Fall. As Steven shows, the 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 missions."

Go read Steven's whole diary. Some reporting from an embed gives context of these "shake and bake" missions, by way of a glimpse of two Marines in action:
"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.

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