What kind of country is this?
Not only does America use grotesque chemical weapons in its “War of Liberation”–in this case white phosphorus bombs that are as nasty as anything Saddam Hussein could have dreamt up, with the ability to eat their way into a body and liquefy flesh–but our shameless leaders, when caught in the act, try to lie their way out of their own atrocious behavior.
When an Italian documentary producer released a film exposing this war crime committed in the course of the destruction of Fallujah, the honchos at the Pentagon and the White House lied through their teeth, claiming that the scenes of cascading phosphorus bombs blanketing the city, incinerating fighters and civilians alike, which were depicted clearly in the film, were just flares being used for night lighting.
But the Italian journalists, who had done their homework, rebutted those lies with Pentagon after-action reports that detailed the deliberate use of the phosphorus weapons–both bombs and mortars, all clearly manufactured for the purpose of incineration, not illumination.
Now the fall-back limited hang-out excuse from the Pentagon is that okay, the military did use phosphorus bombs, but only on military targets, not civilians. Check out the photos of raining phosphorus when you read the word “target”.
This latest war crime dwarfs the earlier reports of officially sanctioned torture.
Countless civilians–including women and children–were cruelly burned to death (whether incidentally or in a deliberate attempt to terrorize scarcely matters) in the most agonizing of ways. Enemy fighters were killed through the use of weapons that have been outlawed by the civilized world–a world that America can not claim to be a part of.
American troops even have a term for the barbaric technique — “Shake and Bake”–clear evidence that this was no one-off affair.
No wonder journalists have been barred from Fallujah, except when safely embedded and under the control of U.S. military units. No wonder there were reports of whole blocks being bulldozed clear of soil and hosed down after the fighting ended. No wonder the U.S. took control of hospitals in the area and barred the media. No wonder the U.S. military avoided doing body counts.
The U.S. now stands unequivocally condemned as an outlaw terror nation.
The only bright spot in this horror show is that President Bush, our strutting, god-communing commander-in-chief, will now end his career (hopefully sooner than anticipated) confined to the U.S., lest he be arrested and tried in a cage like Saddam for the crime of using chemical weapons against civilians in Iraq.
What a grand irony that would be.
DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org