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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

War crimes

La Repubblica, November 7:

"In soldier slang they call it Willy Pete. The technical name is white phosphorus. In theory its purpose is to illumine enemy positions in the dark. In practice, it was used as a chemical weapon in the rebel stronghold of Fallujah. And it was used not only against enemy combatants and guerrillas, but again innocent civilians. The Americans are responsible for a massacre using unconventional weapons, the identical charge for which Saddam Hussein stands accused. An investigation by RAI News 24, the all-news Italian satellite television channel, has pulled the veil from one of the most carefully concealed mysteries from the front in the entire US military campaign in Iraq."

A truly explosive revelation but sadly unsurprising. America has long used chemical weapons in its arsenal and yet condemns other nations for doing so.

America is a rogue state, but then, that's a view shared by many across the world and growing daily.

UPDATE: Watch the documentary here.


Blogger Shabadoo said...

Yeah, and I'm sure they went through all the sort of fact-checking and double-sourcing the media did before they fell for Massey's lies...this doco will have all the credibility of a Michael Moore film. In other words, 10% facts, 90% proper lefty attitudes and emotion.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 11:06:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Ah Shab, can't face reality? Your beloved freedom lovers may use chemical weapons? Actually, I'm sure you won't care, they're only Arabs anyway.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 11:16:00 am  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Anty, you're the one who can't face reality: your side is so full of hacks and liars and opportunists and ghouls that you can't trust anything that comes out of your side's mouthpieces. Nice avoiding of the Massey story, by the way: I don't know if they used this stuff or not, they probably did in a way that has been completely taken out of context by these filmmakers (not the first time it happened).

Note also that things are getting better in Iraq - and if you note the bit about "strangers". It's outsiders, not Iraqis, that are causing problems. And they are being dealt with. But of course if it doesn't appear in CounterPunch or Z-Mag or Fourth Reich Weekly, you probably won't believe it's true.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 11:36:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

You're right. The Left is to blame for all the lies, distortions and deaths, not the actual governments in power and the military.
shab, your worldview is simply boring and redundant. your inability to see anything other than through the left/right paradigm says a lot. Pathetic, really.
How does it feel fighting a new battle about THE LEFT every day? Brave soldier.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 11:44:00 am  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Oh please. It's not about left and right. It's about right and wrong, and trying to change the world for the better - before it's too late. You want to talk cultural battles? All anyone has to do is say the right things about Bush and the US and they get your support: if Chavez was pulling his garbage and was pro-American, you'd be on him like flies on shit. But you can happily say the Taliban should never have been overthrown in spite of it being an evil regime that destroyed every freedom the left cares about. Much easier to post another racist Bill Leak cartoon that you need explained to you.

Your posts are so telling for what they leave out...right now a bunch of dictators are trying to take over the Internet and suppress free speech under the auspices of the UN, but you say nothing because they're putting a thumb in the eye of Washington.

Your blog is Noam Chomsky on the 12th carbon. You bitch about sycophantic journalists yet have the balls to do a piece like this.

Joker, chuckle at thyself.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 12:06:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

"Your blog is Noam Chomsky on the 12th carbon."

I'll take that as a compliment, freedom fighter and bid you farewell. And really, stick around if you like getting angry, but you won't be missed if you, well, disappear.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 12:13:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Shab, a few days ago mention was made here of William Blum. He has written extensively on the history of US foreign policy and its conduct during military intervention abroad. Before you make any more embarrassing attacks on those who don't share your blinkered pro-war views, I suggest you read Blum's Killing Hope or Rogue State and explain to us all where he is wrong.

It's time you realised that the petty online thrills you obtain through your comments here represent precisely the kind of knee-jerk defence of power that your right-wing heroes demand. Mock Ant for his respect of Chomsky if you wish, but the fact remains that Chomsky is not responsible for centuries of war, repression, and conquest, and nor is he defending the power elite at every opportunity he gets.

And mock me for being young and/or naive - that's your current theme - for as long as you wish. Despite all of your moral and intellectual posturing, your comments show that you are nothing more than an ignorant and gullible defender of the powerful. As if they need your moral support! Your naivete is the real issue here, Shab.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 1:07:00 pm  
Blogger Human said...

When the 1st reports of the burns suffered I was pretty sure it was white sulphur. I was convinced of around 6 months ago after reading some medical reports on the victims.

For myself I do not believe one weopon is "worse" or more "evil". This whole War is wrong. All the dead, maimed and heart break has been caused by a big fat bloody pack of lies.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 2:13:00 pm  
Blogger boredinHK said...

For a web site trying to hold itself out as questioning of the media and seeking the truth you do have a heavy hand on the editorial choices you make.
"All alternative voices are correct all MSM stories are lies!" is what reading this site leads all to conclude.
This is idiotic nonsense and telling other people who are also searching for the truth they have "redundant world views" is simplistic in the extreme.
I note that your diary entries on China attract no comments - at least you and some and some of your school chums have some idea of your limitations.
Try to be a bit more jaded and cynical at least and dissect all the stories in the media -they all come with spin and deceit.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 3:07:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Yeah, AL, Chomsky stood up for Pol Pot and denied massacres in Bosnia; you turn a blind eye to the outrages of your own set of pet causes. But maybe if you play your anti-capitalist cards right you'll get to be a millionaire like him too someday.

Clearly you're out of intellectual gas here, mate, since you resorted to the R-card in your very first response, ignored a legitimate question about Massey, and told me to sod off.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 3:48:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Shab, Bored, how does any of what you have said here contradict the report that chemical weapons have been used by the US? Shab, how does your reference to Massey (not mentioned in the post or the linked article) impact upon the report?

You can do better than that, boys and girls, surely.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 7:14:00 pm  
Blogger boredinHK said...

It doesn't contradict the claim - but then I don't think the US has ever said it wouldn't use such weapons. So accepting that they have them and say they will use them ,the story is that they do as they say ?
Same goes for landmines/antipersonnel mines .
These weapons are repulsive but from what I have gathered that doesn't mean some people won't use them. As Human said they are all weapons.
So the deal is we should be outraged ? At what - the fact things are as they are said to be ?
I don't buy into the whole premise that this war is worse than others or more evil .
I had watched and followed with some interest the actions of Abdul Shah Massood.This is from 1990 onwards after the collapse of the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. This also developed into an interest in the Taliban and the associated actions of various groups in East Africa and the Gulf States.
Massood's death was the prelude to 9/11, and the removal of the most threatening enemy in Afghanistan for the Taliban. But after the attack on New York , the US administration clearly stated that the gloves are coming off, we are going to go back to dealing with all the evil scum we used to use (harking back to the CIA of the 1980's ) we will have allies whose morals are corrupt and objectionable and finally that Saddam had better watch himself.
This was clearly stated and if you can go back to those pre internet days will be stored somewhere .
I have said before, the Iraq war is about regime change and stuff the consequences .The attitude was "hey will still have to sell oil to someone ".
The US administration was perfectly happy to go into this venture alone - The Brits tried to get the second resolution up at the UN , they stalled the attack to try and build a UN united in this matter . This lead to the wholesale fabrication of the WMD threat . The US administration must have wondered what sort of allies it had picked.
On another thread I mentioned that I thought Howard had no real idea about why the US was going , and they probably couldn't be bothered telling him . He was stuck in this role after the US backed us going into East Timor.
So I don't worry about the garbage about WMD because it was OBVIOUSLY a cover and only an IDIOT would believe it.
Oh and by the way politicians often lie.
Is it an outrage that Fallujah was attacked - of course . But no-one is innocent in war and the Sunnis in Iraq have decided to put themselves in the way of an empire which has decided , rightly or wrongly to destroy it's enemies.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 9:07:00 pm  
Blogger J F said...

The article Ant links to is a crock.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 9:55:00 pm  
Blogger Pete's Blog said...

Looks like the Italian article is a beatup to present something that is "new" and dangerous and therefore American.

White phos or WP is recorded as being first used by Irish nationalists in the 19th century. It had limited use in WWII and extensive use as a grenade or aerial bomb in Vietnam. (see How do you use hyperlink's here?)

WP causes smoke and explosion and is an incendiary. It is not a true chemical weapon just as smoke isn't.

It may have been all new and easily categorised by inexperienced journalists but they are not experts or merchants of death.

If they want something truly gruesome good old napalm pored into tunnels, say in Afghanistan, can cause slow asphyxiation.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 10:52:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...


You know you're onto something when Shad and jf start foaming a the mouth.

jf, get as pedantic as you want, but the article you linked to does nothign to disproive the effets of White phosphorus on the human body. And in case you misse id, napalm was also used in Fallujah, though you probabyl never bothered to watch the doco.

There were also reports comming from unembedded reporters that the US were revoving large areas of soil after the assault which suggests the there were nastier substances used in the assuayl than even this doco aaludes, to.

Shab, if you need even more evidence of US sponsored genocide, and if you know a little or nothing about El Mozote, read Mark Danner's report (
on it and weep knowing that the land of the free financed what is considered the largest mass murder in Latin American history.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005 1:44:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

What? The West conducts state terrorism? America is a terrorist state? Get out of town.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005 9:55:00 am  

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