US forces yesterday made their clearest admission yet that white phosphorus was used as a weapon against insurgents in Iraq. A Pentagon spokesman told the BBC last night that it had been used asan incendiary weaponduring the assault last year on Falluja in 2004.
But it’s not, technically speaking, a
chemical weapon. And it doesn’t violate any international treaties. That the U.S. has ratified, anyway.
WASHINGTON, Nov 16 (Reuters) — The Pentagon on Wednesday acknowledged using incendiary white-phosphorus munitions in a 2004 offensive against insurgents in the Iraqi city of Falluja and defended their use as legal, amid concerns by arms control advocates.
It’s part of our conventional-weapons inventory and we use it like we use any other conventional weapon,added Bryan Whitman, another Pentagon spokesman.
Emphasis is mine.
Here are some legal uses of conventional weapons.
Napalm. Tokyo, 10 March 1945.
Napalm and white phosphorus. Trang Bang, Vietnam, 8 June 1972.
White phosphorus. Fallujah, November 2004.
White phosphorus firebombing of Fallujah
This is conventional aerial warfare using conventional weapons adhering to the letter of all the treaties that the goverment of the United States is a party to. This is imperial power in its fullest glory, restrained by all the civilized restraints that it deems necessary and proper for itself. This is its morality. This is its justice. This is its law.