I’ve been trying all day to think of something to post around the news that the United States — your country and mine — used chemical weapons in Iraq; specifically, in Fallujah, with devastating effects on insurgents and civilians.
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.
Ever since the assault, which went unreported by any Western journalists, rumours have swirled that the Americans used chemical weapons on the city.
… In a documentary to be broadcast by RAI, the Italian state broadcaster, this morning, a former American soldier who fought at Fallujah says: “I heard the order to pay attention because they were going to use white phosphorus on Fallujah. In military jargon it’s known as Willy Pete.
”Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone … I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 metres is done for.“
Photographs on the website of RaiTG24, the broadcaster’s 24-hours news channel, www.rainews24.it, show exactly what the former soldier means. Provided by the Studies Centre of Human Rights in Fallujah, dozens of high-quality, colour close-ups show bodies of Fallujah residents, some still in their beds, whose clothes remain largely intact but whose skin has been dissolved or caramelised or turned the consistency of leather by the shells.
I saw those pictures that the article references long ago, back when the rumors were spreading that the U.S. was using napalm in Fallujah. The news was there for anyone who cared to look. I looked. It just happened that most of America was happily looking the other way.
I feel like I’ve been watching a movie with a friend who’s slept through most of it, has finally awakened and is now loudly catching up with the plot. Meanwhile I’ve been watching the whole damn thing.
The problem is they picked the movie.
It’s just irritating. Honestly, I wish they’d just go back to sleep.