From the Independent:
Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack on the city in November 2004, killing insurgents and civilians with the appalling burns that are the signature of this weapon. [link]
Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, a Pentagon spokesman, admitted on Democracy Now! that the US had used white phosphorus during the assault on Fallujah, but insisted that it was not a chemical weapon and that its use was perfectly legal.
Wikipedia seems to confirm his assertion:
Use of white phosphorus is not specifically banned by any treaty [link]
the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (Protocol III) prohibits the use of incendiary weapons against civilian populations or by air attack against military forces that are located within concentrations of civilians. The United States is among the nations that have not signed this protocol. [link]
Colonel Boylan appears to be a complete idiot. Technical hairsplitting about the legality of weapons simply doesn’t work when pictures of their horrific effects are right there. He couldn’t even lie effectively. This wasn’t some uniform-worshipping media wretch like CNN’s Aaron Brown: it was Amy Goodman. The woman who wouldn’t give Clinton a bye. Why did he agree to be interviewed by her in the first place?
Rushdie made a telling point yesterday. He said that never before in history had the truth been such a debated quantity. Never before had reality itself been so fiercely contested. Of course, he was talking about the worldviews of terrorists and states, but the point holds in general. A new documentary alleging the use of chemical weapons by US troops in Fallujah will be broadcast by Italian state TV today. The news will barely make a ripple in mainstream US media. How different will reality be for Italians and Americans tomorrow?
Watch the segment or read a transcript here. Try the Rai news website for the documentary. The CS Monitor has a summary of related media reports.