Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Willie Pete

The scandal of the use of white phosphorus against people by the US military in Iraq has been brewing for some time. It has reached the British mainstream media over the last week or so including, yesterday, a column by George Monbiot (see footnotes here for references). A couple of quick points:

  • The use of such a weapon in such a way is appaling (if not exactly suprising). Also, it is likely to prove to be "worse than a crime: ... a mistake". In that regard it is entirely consistent with other actions and tactics by the US-led coalition (not to mention torture being used by the Iraqi government etc).
  • It ill serves the Iraqi people, or anyone else, to use the issue to make misleading comparisons. Making an equation between the coalition governments and US-led forces on the one hand and the government of Saddam Hussein on the other is gross. We need more sophisticated critiques.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

White Phosphorous is nowhere near as bad as a new class of weapons entering the field. Google up ' thermobaric weapons '... and weep.

(from Craeg Bennett)