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White phosphorus: the Pentagon admits it

November 16th, 2005 (01:25 pm)
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The Pentagon has admitted to using white phosphorus as a weapon. They claim they didn't use them on civilians; but there were certainly civilian casualties.

Not surprisingly, few US news organizations are covering it. Some exceptions: the San Jose Mercury News, NPR/WBUR's Here and Now, the San Diego Daily Transcript.

Edit: the BBC has another article describing the effects of white phosphorus on the body. Irregular Times summarizes it as follows:

Now, ask yourself this question - do these effects sound like the kind of effects caused by a conventional weapon?

A conventional weapon, like a bullet, or a bomb, or a knife, causes physical damage by piercing or rending the body apart. Not a nice thing, but on a totally different level from what a chemical weapon does. A chemical weapon causes chemical damage to the body - by poisoning or burning. Now, from the description above, white phosphorus not only burns through skin and flesh - like napalm, but also burns the lungs if inhaled - like mustard gas, and poisons the body - like arsenic.

How, then, is white phosphorus NOT a chemical weapon? If it burns like a chemical weapon and poisons like a chemical weapon and is used like a chemical weapon, then I say it’s a chemical weapon.