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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Grim17's worries about US in eyes of world

    Dear Grim17,
    Thank you for inviting me to start a thread on your worries regarding how the rest of the world views the US.
    Perhaps it would be best if you would expand those worries first of all, I hope with particular reference to your commander in chief's authorisation of the use of phosphorous chemical weapons in Iraq, or conversely, and in anticipation of our being told of his lack of knowledge, his failure to know that they were being used?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Re: Grim17's worries about US in eyes of world

    dont ya just love the sound of crickets............that vacumn in which the right is always found lacking.they have to go lookin for a pre made script.like our fearless leader.but they have a plan!we(the public) are all dreadfully aware of that! :eek: :eek: :rolleyes:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    SW United States

    Re: Grim17's worries about US in eyes of world

    Quote Originally Posted by gordon
    Dear Grim17,
    Thank you for inviting me to start a thread on your worries regarding how the rest of the world views the US.
    Perhaps it would be best if you would expand those worries first of all, I hope with particular reference to your commander in chief's authorisation of the use of phosphorous chemical weapons in Iraq, or conversely, and in anticipation of our being told of his lack of knowledge, his failure to know that they were being used?

    Sorry it took a while to respond, but I had to get educated on the issue first and found out from somebody who is in special forces what the weapon is all about.

    This is a very educational article I found, that might shine a different light on "WP":

    One of the best writers and analysts on the web and now the MSM has lost his way and needs some help. Radley Balko writes as The Agitator, works at the libertarian Cato Institute, writes columns and appears on many news shows. I have been reading him since he was just a puppy, web geek for Cato and seen him carve out an impressive soap box which he has used admirably. I consider him as close to an honest broker as you will run across, but he now needs assistance finding the clue bag regarding our use of White Phosphorous in Fallujah.

    Once again the press has manufactured an atrocity to pin on the evil Americans, and we are forced to confront misrepresentation, misunderstanding and in a number of cases outright lies. Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette has a comprehensive view of the entire media circus, and shows how much of a contrived farce this actually is. I will stick with the very simple fact that WP is not a chemical weapon, or even similar, and our use of it was more humane than using high explosives or other munitions. Unlike the vast majority of people flapping their gums on this issue, I actually know WTF I am talking about. My bona fides, Special Forces Weapons Sergeant, which means I have trained on and used all US and many foreign weapons from the leatherman pocket tool up to the 120 mm mortar, this includes all munitions used including WP mortar rounds and grenades. I trained with them, used them and have taught many US and allied troops their employment and effects.

    Calling them chemical weapons is not only incorrect but foolishly harmful to our troops and our reputation overseas and at home. The only people rolling this ball of dung along are established anti-war media outlets and groups looking for anything to smear the American imperialists with.


    Here are the five points he thinks seem to be clear:

    1) White phosphorus (WP) isn't on any banned weapons list, nor is it widely considered to be a "chemical weapon".

    Correct but incomplete, a better statement would end "nor is it considered a chemical weapon by any group not actively anti-war, it is properly classified as an incendiary or obscurant device"

    2) But that's because it's largely used as a diversion, to light up battlefields, or for other purposes not directly related to killing people.

    No, that is because it is an incendiary rather than a chemical weapon. Neither it's composition, employment or effects would qualify it as a chemical weapon. The statement is correct in characterizing it's use however.

    3) If it is used for killing people, it's some pretty nasty stuff. It burns straight through anything it touches, and once lit, it's nearly immpossible to extinguish. In that sense, it's indiscriminate, making it more similar to a chemical weapon like Napalm than to conventional weapons.

    Anything that kills people qualifies as pretty nasty stuff. Traumatic amputation of a limb, or disembowelment by a high explosive (HE) or chunk of shrapnel would make it quite nasty in my mind and certainly indiscriminate as I am aware of no guided shrapnel. Since our WP rounds are not designed or useful as chemical weapons, the burst and initial explosion rapidly vaporizes into a cloud of irritating, but non-fatal smoke. Someone within a few yards of impact might be killed but the deadly blast radius is minimal compared to an HE round. The particles that didn't immediately vaporize can land on bystanders and cause burns, but once again much less lethal than the rain of shrapnel in a large area around an HE impact. As I mentioned the smoke produced is an irritant, but so is all smoke and it could only kill if a round impacted an enclosed space which contained the smoke causing suffocation, not chemical death.

    4) Given number three, raining white phosphorus down over a city may not violate the letter of chemical weapons treaties, but it certainly appears to be morally questionable, particularly if used by a country that cited the immoral, indiscriminate use of chemical weapons by Iraq as one reason for going to war in the first place.

    No again, since we have determined that it doesn't rain down and kill as a poison gas or bathe anyone not very near in flesh sizzling chunks, your entire grandiose moral equivalence is pointless. We did not and don't use it indiscriminately. We use it in situations where the Rules of Engagement allow the use of far more deadly munitions to accomplish the objective. We do so to minimize casualties, not fry civilians. This constitutes a miniscule percentage of the times the munition is employed, as the vast majority are illumination missions where the round explodes high in the sky and floats peacefully to the ground under a parachute, extinguished or barely burning when it reaches the ground.

    When we did use it to flush bad guys out of trenches or other hiding spots, the smoke disoriented and confused them, it did not kill them via chemical means. We could have simply destroyed their hideouts and greatly increased the possibility of civilian casualties, instead we throttled back and now we are catching truly undeserved crap about it.

    5) The U.S. military is using white phosphorus as a weapon. Whether we've careful to use it only against clusters of enemy solidiers (as I believe we've generally been careful to do throughout the war with other weapons, despite my objections to it) or more broadly against targets like Fallujah, where insurgents are more interspersed with civilians, seems to be the source of contention.

    No for the last time. The source of contention begins with whether we should even have had to listen to this flagrantly false defamation repeated by any credible source. It is so easily debunked and yet, news outlets have mouthed the anti-war propaganda and once again created damage to our reputation out of whole cloth. Maybe we even strapped Korans to these rounds so the poison gas would be sacrilegious too.

    Where is any credible evidence we even used it more broadly in Fallujah than anywhere else? We acted under more stringent rules than any Army in history and now we face unfounded accusations that actions taken to safeguard civilians constitute chemical warfare.

    I expect this kind of dung to be flung by the usual suspects, but Radley you have shown too much gumption in everything else I have seen you tackle to put you stamp of clarity on something you were certainly obscured from seeing clearly. If for some reason you have questions regarding these issues I will certainly help satisfy them as there is just no there, there in this sordid calumny. We have done damage to our reputation without doubt, but allowing false defamation to stand and even vouchsafing parts of it is wrong. You are a more informed writer than this, so do the right thing and fix it. If you would like I can verify my bona fides and point you to a number of other professionals able to speak decisively regarding this.

    Full Article

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: Grim17's worries about US in eyes of world

    "It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants," spokesman Lt Col Barry Venable on an inter view with BBC.

    Chapter 5, Section III. http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/army/.../c5/5sect3.htm
    Battle Book published by US Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, “It is against the law of land warfare to employ WP against personnel targets.”
    (Credit to David Traynier)

    Official US Department of Defence Document which can be found at
    (credit to Gabrielle Samparini)

    So according to the US armed forces they are “chemical weapons” whose use against personnel targets is “against the law of land warfare“, and they were so used according to Lt Col Barry Venable.
    THEIR words - not mine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: Grim17's worries about US in eyes of world

    New Rules will soon be in affect. Please aquaint yourselves with them.



    Lady Mod

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: Grim17's worries about US in eyes of world

    Further to the above we have an Army fanzine ,

    which states that the munitions used were
    “150mm……..white phosphorous (WP,M110 and M825) with point-detonating (PD), delay, time and variable-time (VT) fuzes”

    Note that point detonation fuzes are inappropriate for air-burst illumination, their name tells you their method of initiation.

    Also used were, “For the 120mm mortars we had HE, illumination and WP with PD, delay and proximity fuzes.”
    Note the phrase, "illumination and WP", not WP for illumination.

    Most worrying is the following phrase found in the conclusions section;
    “We used improved WP for screening missions when HC smoke would have been more effective and saved our WP for lethal missions”
    So even though they had a munition which was designed for screening and it was also a more effective munition, they chose to use White Phosphorous. The question is obvious.

    The article goes on to say "saved our WP for lethal missions", indicating their effectiveness against "lethal" targets, and remembering that this comes from the conclusions section this is an implied recommendation for future actions.

    We all know where the buck stops.
    What action has the commander in chief taken on this issue?
    What statements has he made on this issue?


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: Grim17's worries about US in eyes of world

    Colonel James Alles, commander of the US Marine Air Group II, commenting on a video,. "We napalmed both those bridge approaches," he said. "Unfortunately, there were people there.... you could see them in the cockpit video... It's no great way to die. The generals love napalm. It has a big psychological effect."

    I would say that its effects are a little more than psychological.

    There can be no argument about the nature and status of napalm.

    What news from the CinC? Martial Court convened? Full inquiry? Order for immediate cessation of use? Total silence? Or perhaps he is busy with a particularly engrossing goat story.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    SW United States

    Re: Grim17's worries about US in eyes of world

    War Is Hell!

    I understand that no military is perfect. I also understand and truly believe that there is no other army on the face of the earth that does more to avoid killing innocent civilians than the United States Army.

    Do you agree with that statement Gordon?


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: Grim17's worries about US in eyes of world

    I was going to go into a long discussion on patriotism and war and crimes? and most importantly, who? and why? but would it have got me, (sorry I should have said us) anywhere? I think you know that I believe that ultimate responsibility, for anything, rests with those in charge. They must be held accountable.

    For the ordinary Joe on the ground, same as everybody in any situation,
    conditions determine consciousness.

    Category: News & Opinion (Specific) Topic: Warfare and Conflict: Iraq
    Source: http://iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/article/71703
    Published: November 28, 2005 Author:
    For Education and Discussion Only. Not for Commercial Use.

    Christian Science Monitor | November 28, 2005
    BROOK PARK, OHIO - Cpl. Stan Mayer has seen the worst of war. In the leaves of his photo album, there are casual memorials to the cost of the Iraq conflict - candid portraits of friends who never came home and graphic pictures of how insurgent bombs have shredded steel and bone.

    Yet the Iraq of Corporal Mayer's memory is not solely a place of death and loss. It is also a place of hope. It is the hope of the town of Hit, which he saw transform from an insurgent stronghold to a place where kids played on Marine trucks. It is the hope of villagers who whispered where roadside bombs were hidden. But most of all, it is the hope he saw in a young Iraqi girl who loved pens and Oreo cookies.

    Like many Soldiers and Marines returning from Iraq, Mayer looks at the bleak portrayal of the war at home with perplexity - if not annoyance. It is a perception gap that has put the military and media at odds, as troops complain that the media care only about death tolls, while the media counter that their job is to look at the broader picture, not through the soda straw of troops' individual experiences.

    Yet as perceptions about Iraq have neared a tipping point in Congress, some Soldiers and Marines worry that their own stories are being lost in the cacophony of terror and fear. They acknowledge that their experience is just that - one person's experience in one corner of a war-torn country. Yet amid the terrible scenes of reckless hate and lives lost, many members of one of the hardest-hit units insist that they saw at least the spark of progress.

    "We know we made a positive difference," says Cpl. Jeff Schuller of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, who spent all but one week of his eight-month tour with Mayer. "I can't say at what level, but I know that where we were, we made it better than it was when we got there."

    It is the simplest measure of success, but for the Marine, Soldier, or Sailor, it may be the only measure of success. In a business where life and death rest on instinctive adherence to thoroughly ingrained lessons, accomplishment is ticked off in a list of orders followed and tasks completed. And by virtually any measure, America's servicemen and women are accomplishing the day-to-day tasks set before them.

    Yet for the most part, America is less interested in the success of Operation Iron Fist, for instance, than the course of the entire Iraq enterprise. "What the national news media try to do is figure out: What's the overall verdict?" says Brig. Gen. Volney Warner, deputy commandant of the Army Command and General Staff College. "Soldiers don't do overall verdicts."

    Yet Soldiers clearly feel that important elements are being left out of the media's overall verdict. On this day, a group of Navy medics gather around a table in the Cleveland-area headquarters of the 3/25 - a Marine reserve unit that has converted a low-slung school of pale brick and linoleum tile into its spectacularly red-and-gold offices.

    Their conversation could be a road map of the kind of stories that military folks say the mainstream media are missing. One colleague made prosthetics for an Iraqi whose hand and foot had been cut off by insurgents. When other members of the unit were sweeping areas for bombs, the medics made a practice of holding impromptu infant clinics on the side of the road.

    They remember one Iraqi man who could not hide his joy at the marvel of an electric razor. And at the end of the 3/25's tour, a member of the Iraqi Army said: "Marines are not friends; Marines are brothers," says Lt. Richard Malmstrom, the battalion's chaplain.

    "It comes down to the familiar debate about whether reporters are ignoring the good news," says Peter Hart, an analyst at Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, a usually left-leaning media watchdog in New York.

    In Hit, where Marines stayed in force to keep the peace, the progress was obvious, say members of the 3/25. The residents started burning trash and fixing roads - a sign that the city was returning to a sense of normalcy. Several times, "people came up to us and said: 'There's a bomb on the side of the road. Don't go there,' " says Pfc. Andrew Howland.

    Part of the reason that such stories usually aren't told is simply the nature of the war. Kidnappings and unclear battle lines have made war correspondents' jobs almost impossible. Travel around the country is dangerous, and some reporters never venture far from their hotels. "It has to have some effect on what we see: You end up with reporting that waits for the biggest explosion of the day," says Mr. Hart.

    To the Marines of the 3/25, the explosions clearly do not tell the whole story. Across America, many readers know the 3/25 only as the unit that lost 15 Marines in less than a week - nine of them in the deadliest roadside bombing against U.S. forces during the war. When the count of Americans killed in Iraq reached 2,000, this unit again found itself in the stage lights of national notice as one of the hardest hit.

    But that is not the story they tell. It is more than just the dire tone of coverage - though that is part of it. It is that Iraq has touched some of these men in ways that even they have trouble explaining. This, after all, has not been a normal war. Corporals Mayer and Schuller went over not to conquer a country, but to help win its hearts and minds. In some cases, though, it won theirs.

    __Schuller, a heavyweight college wrestler with a thatch of blond hair and engine blocks for arms, cannot help smiling when he speaks of giving an old man a lighter: "He thought it was the coolest thing." Yet both he and the blue-eyed, square-jawed Mayer pause for a moment before they talk about the two 9-year-old Iraqis whom members of their battalion dubbed their "girlfriends."

    The first time he saw them, Mayer admits that he was making the calculations of a man in the midst of a war. He was tired, he was battered, and he was back at a Hit street corner that he had patrolled many times before. In Iraq, repetition of any sort could be an invitation of the wrong sort - an event for which insurgents could plan. So Mayer and Schuller took out some of the candy they carried, thinking that if children were around, perhaps the terrorists wouldn't attack.

    It was a while before the children realized that these two Marines, laden with arms to the limit of physical endurance, were not going to hurt them. But among the children who eventually came, climbing on the pair's truck and somersaulting in the street, there were always the same two girls. When they went back to base, they began to hoard Oreos and other candy in a box.

    "They became our one little recess from the war," says Mayer. "You're seeing some pretty ridiculous tragedies way too frequently, and you start to get jaded. The kids on that street - I got to realize I was still a human being to them."

    It happened one day when he was on patrol. Out of nowhere, a car turned the corner and headed down the alley at full speed. "A car coming at you real fast and not stopping in Iraq is not what you want to see," says Mayer. Yet instead of jumping in his truck, he stood in the middle of the street and pushed the kids behind him.

    The car turned. Now, Mayer and Schuller can finish each other's sentences when they think about the experience. "You really start to believe that you protect the innocent," says Schuller. "It sounds like a stupid cliche."

    "But it's not," adds Mayer. "You are in the service of others." __

    For Mayer, who joined the reserves because he wanted to do something bigger than himself, and for Schuller, a third-generation Marine, Iraq has given them a sense of achievement. Now when they look at the black-and-white pictures of Marines past in the battalion headquarters, "We're adding to that legacy," says Schuller.

    This is what they wish to share with the American people - and is also the source of their frustration. Their eight months in Iraq changed their lives, and they believe it has changed the lives of the Iraqis they met as well. On the day he left, Mayer gave his "girlfriend" a bunch of pens - her favorite gift - wrapped in a paper that had a picture of the American flag, the Iraqi flag, and a smiley face. The man with the lighter asked Schuller if he was coming back. He will if called upon, he says.

    Whether or not these notes of grace and kindness are as influential as the dirge of war is open to question. But many in the military feel that they should at least be a part of the conversation.

    Says Warner of reaching an overall verdict: "I'm not sure that reporting on terrorist bombings with disproportionate ink is adequately answering that question."

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