How eager is Think Progress to claim that out troops used chemical weapons and are thus, as Kos states, no better than Saddam himself? So much so that the declassified intel they used yesterday as ‘proof’ that the Pentagon and US military ‘classify’ White Phosphorus as a ‘chemical’ weapon is little more than a transcription of two Kurdish brothers speaking too each other on the phone:
Yes, their “classified Pentagon document” boils down to a single brief phone call between two Kurdish brothers. Not so impressive now, is it?
And why does Think Progress also leave out the warning the report that forcefully states:
WARNING: (U) THIS IS AN INFORMATION REPORT, NOT FINALLY EVALUATED INTELLIGENCE. REPORT CLASSIFIED
Just to make this clear: the Pentagon NEVER referred to white phosphorus rounds as “chemical weapons” in this report. Only the conversation of two Kurdish brothers mentioned the term “chemical weapons” and that characterization was never accepted by the military.
Think Progress completely misrepresents the core element of their article.
Ask yourself- why are some on the left so willing to believe every awful thing they are told about our troops?
And then ask yourself why Think Progress, a project of the left-wing American Progress Action Fund, doing opposition research against our troops, digging through declassified intel, hopingto find anything they can use to portray our troops as monsters and this administration as evil?
I should probably note, my instincts are a little bit better than our credulous lefties:
I should probably add what I think this intel memo really is. I would bet my left nut it is unedited raw intelligence (or something similar) from some asset on the ground who has no idea about anything related to the military. He/she was probably told WP was being used, and knowing nothing, simply thought it was a chemical weapon, given the other weapons used on Kurds and Shi’ites.
Pretty damned close.
You better not question their patriotism, it stings for some reason.
Because they can no longer distinguish between the lies and the truth, and feel if they are being lied to, they will feel the opposite is true.
If someone you consider a blatant liar tells you the sky is blue, do you instinctually believe or disbelieve it?
Why are they looking for proof? Because they believe the administration is evil and is looking for the proof. About the same as the Administration did for the lead-up for the war.
Instead of hypothesis: [Administration is Evil/Saddam Hussein has WMD and is an immediate threat to the U.S.] you get the decision that the hypothesis is true, and evidence to the contrary is pushed aside/ignored/etc.
So in short, they are looking to prove the item of faith [Administration is evil/Saddam Hussein has WMD] is true not evaluate the quality of that item of faith.
They want us to lose for pure political gain. Whatever damage they do to the troops and the country is worth it as long as they can pick up some seats in 06 and the WH in 08.
It really is as simple as that.
Maybe they made the mistake of thinking that the people at the DIA who wrote this up knew what they were talking about. And it’s not like this is the only declassified DIA information report mentioning white phosphorus in the context of a chemical weapon. But when you’re dealing with a distinction that is “largely technical and legalistic”, people make mistakes, I suppose.
By your standards, PB, the difference between me driving my car to work and me driving my car to work but running over pedestrians at every crosswalk would be a ‘largely technical and legalistic’ distinction.
And your answer to this query is what, John?
I’m sticking with my original *thoughts on this whole mess. WP is a chemical weapon or isn’t a chemical weapon depending on which hair you want to split. I’m still of the mind that chemical weapon or incendiary whatever or lighting flair, it’s still depressing that we used it as a weapon and some civilians got fucked up from it.
How about this, two headlines..
The US used chemical weapons on civilians in Iraq.
I think that would be a horrible and misleading thing to say, and if someone wrote it they should be called out.
The US used WP as a weapon in Iraq
As far as I can tell, that would be a fair and accurate headline, and one which angers and depresses me. I think a lot of the strife is coming from the fact that even though both headlines are more or less saying the same thing, they give very different impressions.
*I don’t know shit about shit about any of this other than what I’ve read on various blogs over the last few weeks. Feel free to straighten me out.
Matt- Some on the far left think this administration is more evil than Saddam Husssein, so anything they do or say is alright, as long as it helpos the ‘good guys’ regain domestic political power.
Others, I don’t know, which is why I asked. Fencesitter has a plausible explanation.
Matt, The answer to your query is that the left has a long history of “Kerrying” our soldiers.
WP is a chemical weapon in the same way you chemically assault water when you boil it using natural gas.
And heck, if you get your power from a nuclear power plant boiling water constitutes a nuclear attack on your stove!
I wish we’d had an honest national dialogue on chemical weapons before the Iraq adventure. If we had, this kind of stuff wouldn’t be coming up now.
Personally, I don’t think WP is a chemical weapon in the commonly used sense, but I also don’t think it’s appropriate for use in an urban environment with a big noncombatant population. It’d be really nice if we could decouple the two issues.
The difference between napalm or white phosphorus as a weapon vs., say, mustard gas, VX gas, etc., largely technical and legalistic distinction.
Actually, it is a pretty fucking stupid question. But if you insist on an answer here it is:
There will always be some people who believe so strongly that power corrupts that they will always question the acts and intentions of authority, including the U.S. military.
It is rather absurd that you think this is a characteristic of “the left”. 10 years ago, when “the left” had the executive power in America, there was a not insignificant number of people on “the right” who were calling FBI agents “storm troopers,” including G. Gordon Liddy, who infamously advised the militia-types to aim for the head when taking out federal agents.
The point is that there will always be some people who question authority so strongly that it appears they instinctively think the worst. The number of people who appear to “blame the troops first” will increase during periods such as this, when institutions of authority have been shown to have abused their power.
On the other hand, there are also those who “blame America never”. People who refuse to ever accept the wrongdoing of American institutions are just as dangerous, if not more so, than those who automatically blame the troops.
For instance, after the U.S. accidentally shot down an Iranian airliner George H.W. Bush infamously said, “I will never apologize for America. I don’t care what the facts are.” Think about that. You just killed hundreds of innocent people and you wont even say you are sorry? What kind of fucked up shit is that?
But the real reason Cole’s question is so stupid is that the vast bulk of Americans belong in neither camp. Most people hold America to a high standard and are proud of having a high standard. When wrongdoing happens, it may be embarrassing, but it is better to admit it and fix the problem than to deny that it exists.
Which brings me to what “the left” really hates about Republicans who have been in power since 1980: They fucking make everything up as they go along. It isn’t that WP is or isn’t a chemical weapon, or that it is or isn’t moral to use. It’s that it should be an objective question and the answer should not depend on who has it and who is using it.
Oh, I see that today’s memo calls for every Bushbot to start using “Kerrying” as a verb. Have fun with that, guys.
Jason Van Steenwyk
Look, you guys are still utterly clueless.
White phosphorus has a doctrinal role to play that’s critical.
White phosphorus helps to control fires. White phosphorus has a much smaller lethal radius than HE or DPICM, and is much better suited for marking rounds. Because we have a more visible and less lethal round, we do not have to use HE for marking rounds.
White phosphorus also helps TAC air from accidentally firing up friendlies, or concentrations of noncombatants.
Because we have effective marking and fire control measures, we can be more precise in our application of firepower. It eliminates the need for more indescriminate barrages using grid square erasers.
The reality that I’m trying to get across to these idiots who get everything they know about this from what they read from other idiot commenters on blogs is that on the modern battlefield, White Phosphorus SAVES lives, both friendly and noncombatant.
I think it’s a pretty safe bet that there is nobody who’s dead now who would have been alive had we just used DPICM an HE rather than White Phosphorus. And what the italian propaganda presentation cannot show, because it cannot be readily quantified, are the large numbers of noncombatants who are alive now who would have been dead had we not had WP rounds at our disposal to use in lieu of HE and DPICM.
Most of you guys are trying to argue about brain surgery with a qualified brain surgeon, based on the fact that you audited a high school level anatomy class.
What drives me crazy about this bullshit WP “debate” is that you guys are so ignorant that you cannot even grasp how ignorant you are.
Jason (or John),
I’m not trying to be obtuse, I’m just trying to understand how the military uses WP. How does your explanation relate to the use of WP in “Shake & Bake” missions? In this tyoe of mission, isn’t WP used to blanket an area to drive insurgents out of their hiding places to then be killed in a barrage of HE rounds? How would this save the lives of noncombatants?
I believe it is a response to the lefty/democrats use of the term “swiftboating” for every time someone on the right points out inconvenient facts about a beloved lefty icon.
Ambassador Joseph Wilson
I’m puzzled by who you think you’re arguing with.
This debate, such as it is, is about the use of WP as a weapon, particularly in urban warfare. It has nothing to do with the long-accepted uses of WP as a marker, etc. Not only are you arguing with a strawman, but the strawman is not smart enough to understand all your big words anyway.
I guess I have a claim against the Army then for exposing me to a chemical weapon without proper protection. I fired 40mm WP grenades from the M203 at least once a year in training. We never had to get into MOPP4 to do it or be sure we were upwind. Pure neglect I guess. Thankful to be alive and mostly un-mutated 20 years later.
You are, or you simply don’t have the background to understand it when Jason just very clearly explained it.
Scenario: – Bad guys in a ditch. Several structures possibly inhabited by civilians within 100 ft. of the bad guys.
Option A: WP over or in the ditch. Bad guys scramble to get away from it and are killed by directed fire. All bad guys dead, zero civilian casualties.
Option B: HE over or in the ditch. Bad guys dead. Nearby structures destroyed with resultant civilian casualties.
What is your choice?
Very few on the Left believe the worst of our troops. Very many on the Left believe the Admistration strives to hide whatever actual malfeasance there is.
After reading all the WP posts, I am starting to doubt this. Added to all the lefties screaming torture all the time really makes me doubt this statement. It is sad when you are losing me, since I don’t blanket people as anti-troops when they disagree with policy.
Hem and haw, ignore what you have just said, sputter that “It is Bush’s fault we are in this mess anyway,” and then refine it and say “See what this administration has done- they have turned our troops into war criminals!”
Missing completely that the real war crime was the insurgents using civilians as shields.
Only an idiot would really think this is an attack against our troops. Seriously a class A idiot.
They are clearly looking for ways to show that Bush is the biggest ass clown of a president we’ve ever had and he is fucking up this war beyond all recognition. It would be harder to knock over some of our inner city crime lords than Saddam yet Bush fucked it all up and down and is making it worse daily.
But thats OK because as long as we have ex military types like JC running around we will never have this discussion because the administration yells ‘troop hater’ and John attacks.
John constantly rails about the republicans using the religious right yet can’t see when they are using him.
This site is beginning to resemble a sewer filled with al Qaeda supporters.
I believe you, which is why I’ve pretty much stayed out of the discussion. But man, this is precisely how I feel every time a righty blogger tries to discuss economics.
What drives me crazy is that instead of having the debate I’m shouted down with terms like troop hater. The reason this debate goes on and on is because its constantly deflected.
We can have this debate just like JC did with the Plame thing but not until JC can control his military reflex that the administration keeps tapping with a hammer.
I’m a fast learner and love learning military stuff but I can’t learn if the ‘teacher’ makes me want to punch him in the eye.
Just search Goggle News for “white phosphorus” right now. 611 stories. Scroll through and note where:
That’s the first few pages. THEN correlate how the lefties pushing this meme are also the first to decry how our stature in the world has fallen, how nobody respects us or likes us anymore. Any possible connection here? Take a story that is total BS but push it to the hilt to damage the reputation of the troops and the nation. Then spew the “nobody likes us anymore” crap in the same damned breath.
Then for the home crowd, make sure your base is on board:
New York Times
Bay Area Indymedia
World Peace Herald
Muslim American Society
How many people on the home front read this crap (at least in the NYT and Globe) and with no other source of information take it at face value? That’s OK though because it may help decrease public support for the war.
As I keep repeating: Any damage to the troops, the country, hell the world is OK as long as they can get back in power.
How many people only listen to Rush and take what he says at face value, same with FOX? Are they better because they are all pro-war? Shouldn’t they be neutral and just tell us whats going on (all of it) and let us figure out what we support?
Even though I think you have been steadfastly full of crap throughout this multiple-thread WP thing, I have to agree with you here, at least in principle.
What you are witnessing here is the complete willingness of each “side” in a debate be used by the other side in a ploy to make each other look completely stupid and ridiculous. In that regard, both sides are succeeding beyond their wildest dreams. All of this WP stuff is blahsphere material. The average person out there doesn’t know or care about this tempest in a blogteapot.
And the issue itself is phony. WP is a technical issue. If it’s to become a policy issue, which I don’t buy but let’s say it is for the sake discussion …. then cut the gratuitous bashing on both sides and have the policy discussion. As long as it can be had without impairing the readiness of the troops or endangering them in any way.
“What is your choice?”
Option C: Change the tactical situation by allowing any civilians to leave the area before the fighting starts, or by luring the opposing fighters into a stand-up fight in a more exposed position somewhere in the country. The larger failure in this case came from choosing to engage the enemy in an urban environment, and then virtually ensuring collateral damage by manning checkpoints at the city exits and turning back noncombatants because they might be potential insurgents.
The only way to defeat a guerilla force is by winning the hearts and minds of the population as a whole, and while urban warfare and a big insurgent body count might be satisfying on a visceral level, they suck as means toward that particular end.
Once you’re in the situation, I agree that WP is a better option than getting shot, and vastly preferrable to a large conventional explosive that’d suck all the air out of a whole city block (talk about respiratory distress!), but those really weren’t the only choices available.
“Missing completely that the real war crime was the insurgents using civilians as shields.”
That’s heinous behavior, unquestionably, but in and of itself it’s yet another reason to question our tactics in this situation. Atrocities by the insurgents are exactly what we need to win the general populace over to our side, and by hitting the city as hard as we did in this case, we forfeited the opportunity to use their behavior to our own advantage.
“And the issue itself is phony. WP is a technical issue. If it’s to become a policy issue, which I don’t buy but let’s say it is for the sake discussion …. then cut the gratuitous bashing on both sides and have the policy discussion. As long as it can be had without impairing the readiness of the troops or endangering them in any way.”
Ding ding ding!
Ask yourself- why are some on the left so willing to believe every awful thing they are told about our troops?
Maybe because everything that this administration tells us (and that include our troops’ COMMANDER IN CHIEF) is completely suspect. Always.
What is going to stop the insurgents from hiding in the civilians or taking them hostage?
Option D: Change the tactical situation by using magic fairy dust on insurgents to turn them into peace-loving hippies.
It has been reported that US forces used 5.56-mm ball M855 (A059) ammunition in the battle of Falluja. This ammunition has a lead alloy core bullet with a steel penetrator. There are reports that this bullet has a weight of 62gr and may have a velocity as high as 3025fps. Individuals struck by these bullets would likely be seriously injured or even die.
It has also been reported that these bullets tumble and fragment after penetration, thereby greatly compunding the damage that might be done by other types of ammunition.
Some civilians were killed in the battle. After announcing that all civilians should leave the city (and that men of fighting age would be detained) there were still more than 1,000 civilians believed to be in the city. Some of these civilians were killed or wounded in the battle.
Some civilians who were wounded but survived reported intense pain from these bullets.
There are also believed to be cases of lead poisoning.
I’m still waiting for Slide’s approved Kind and Gentle Weapons list.
I assume that spitwads will be on it.
I’m quite relieved. I was worried that we were acting in an immoral fashion in using white phosphorus in our war effort, but now that I understand that it isn’t a chemical agent, I can rest easy.
I am glad the War on Terminology continues to be successful.
“What is going to stop the insurgents from hiding in the civilians or taking them hostage?”
The civilians themselves, once you’ve convinced enough of them of the rightness of your cause. They won’t enjoy being taken hostage or used as human shields, and a guerilla movement truly depends on only one thing: the good will (or at least tacit acceptance) of the population that harbors it. People who are on the fence will shy away instead of joining, neighbors will start phoning in anonymous tips, and eventually you’ll reach a tipping point.
To defeat an insurgency, you have to take an extremely long view, which often involves enormous sacrifices of blood and infrastructure while you convince the population-at-large that you brought butter along with the guns. It sucks and it’s frustrating as hell to pursue, but it’s really the only way to win these things, and if we weren’t prepared to do it that way we shouldn’t have invaded in the first place.
Great idea but couldn’t magic fairy dust be considered a chemical weapon? And if we turn them into peace loving hippies why would the soldiers stop killing them? LOL
Nominated for best comment of the week. Too funny.
Jason Van Steenwyk
Oooh. I guess maybe it worked on an episode of Hogan’s Heros once!
Seriously, you watch too much TV.
You cannot rely on your enemy to be stupid. The moojies would be beyond idiotic to try to pick a fight in the open desert.
So they never will.
Your course of action relies on the enemy doing you a favor. It also requires you to cede every population center in the country too him, whenever he wants.
Vlad, stop dreaming, and stop living in fantasy land.
You have to fight the enemy you’re faced with, not the enemy you wish you had. If the enemy is in the city, and has no compelling reason to leave, then in the city you must attack him. Why on earth would he leave the city when he can take shelter among noncombatants, nullify much of the US firepower and technology advantage in the city, and count so reliably on drooling morons to criticize US troops for everything they do regardless, and therefore let the media win for him the battles he could not win in the field.
Compared to your plan, at least the “pixie dust” plan is plausible.
“Ask yourself- why are some on the left so willing to believe every awful thing they are told about our troops?”
This rhetorical gambit would have been far more effective before Abu Ghraib, before that American soldier at Gitmo was brain-damaged by fellow soldiers in an exercise in which they thought he was an inmate.
Why do we believe awful things about our troops? Because we’ve already seen our troops doing things more awful than we’d imagined them capable of.
This whole “hate the troops” meme is such an obvious canard that I doubt John even believes it. Since when do the troops get to decide what weapons will be deployed and in what fashion? Criticism of the use of white phosphorus, whatever the merits, isn’t anti-troops since the troops don’t get a vote in such matters. They get to follow orders. The whole business is nothing but an attempt to distract attention from the actual targets of criticism; those who set the policy and issue the orders.
BTW, did the GI’s ever get the body armour they were promised?
Its Forward Observers (E-3 to E-6), Squad leaders, and Platoon Sergeants (E-5 to E-7) and Platoon Leaders (O-1 and O-2) that make the decision as to what they call for. The type of round is a part of the call for fire. The assumption is that the individual making the call, knows best what is best for the situation they are trying to deal with.
It’s a Skill Level 1 task, thus every soldier between E-1 and E-4 is supposed to be trained on it.
No one has been with out body armor.
Even those who purchased, or had purchsed for them, body armor were issued body armor before crossing the LD.
So you think no one is going to blame the troops? Read the post right before yours.
I’m glad you posted the intel caveat I put in the comments of your earlier WP post. Most folks don’t understand how the intelligence community does it’s business.
Sorry to self promote, but I have a basic explanation of intelligence collection on my blog. Please feel free to check it out. If more people understand the way we play the game, the better prepared they will be to debunk the bullshit coming out of the left.
Actually I did read it. I assumed the poster was refering to Abu Ghraib. You remember the case? That’s the one where blaming the troops, ie “bad apple” grunts, is the official policy of both the Pentagon and the White House. Of course I might be mistaken about the reference. However, I never said that no one would blame the troops. What I do say is that criticizing the tactics and strategy ordained by the political and military leadership is in no way synonymous with attacking the enlistees who are forced to carry out their edicts.
So are you suggesting that if they called for a tactical nuke they’d get one? Of course not. You know as well as I do that such calls are subject to command and policy decisions as to what ordinance will be authorized. The presence of WP in the military arsenal and its approval for use in combat in Iraq was not determined by E-1s or E-4s or Platoon level personel.
Placing the responsibility for the use of such munitions on the ranks strikes me as both dishonest and dishonorable. It serves no purpose other than shielding the upper echelons from culpability. Call it the Lydie England defense.
You know not of which you speak…
America has the greatest military in the world precisely because the 1st Lt., the NCO, even the lower enlisted are empowered to make such decisions. The armed forces in other countries are at a disadvantage because they do rely on such decisions being made further up the chain of command. While they are waiting word on what to do a US E-4 calls in an artillery barrage or air strike (and calls for the munitions he believes will be most effective) and wipes them out.
As an E-4 carrying a grenade launcher, my squad leader could order me to fire a particular munition at a particular target – but if he was not right there I was completely empowered to make the call. As a lowly E-4 being paid below the poverty line I would decide if the round I fired would be WP, HE, air or ground burst. (note that in my case it was in training scenarios – I never saw combat.)
“Why on earth would he leave the city when he can take shelter among noncombatants, nullify much of the US firepower and technology advantage in the city, and count so reliably on drooling morons to criticize US troops for everything they do regardless, and therefore let the media win for him the battles he could not win in the field.”
Note: I didn’t say to abandon the cities, just that actively looking for a stand-up fight inside one is unwise. Pick a few selected cities, build and maintain a large police presence, bribe the local population with order and infrastructure, and then turn things over to local administrators and move on to the next city. Start small and easy, then work up to the big jobs. If insurgents want to hide within their “host cities” until you get there, so be it. They won’t have any targets of opportunity to hit, they’ll be alienating the locals by behaving badly, and when you come it’ll be with support from actual local units based elsewhere in the country. If they decide to come and hit you where you are, even better, because they’ll demonstrably be outsiders coming in to destroy things the locals don’t want destroyed, and their reception will be cold.
Open urban warfare isn’t conducive to winning hearts and minds. Contrary to pre-war expectations, the people of Iraq did not want us there. The deck was stacked against us from the beginning, and if we wanted to convince them to accept our presence, we needed to be like Caesar’s wife (i.e. obviously pure beyond reproach) until we could give them reasons to want us there (public works, public order, etc.).
Tossing around grenades in an occupied city is pretty much the opposite of that approach. Pretty soon, everybody’s going to know someone’s cousin’s friend’s daughter (real or imaginary) who lost her leg because of those godless Americans, and they’re going to see you knocking things down instead of building them, and then it’s all over except for the helicopter extraction. Even if there were perfectly reasonable justifications for doing the things you did, nobody is going to want to hear them.
I don’t know that a more traditional approach to counter-guerilla operations, like the one I’m proposing, would have been successful at the time we concentrated our strength in Falluja. We’d already dug a pretty deep hole by that time. I’m nearly certain, though, that if there WAS a winning approach, it didn’t involve the sort of tactics we used in Falluja.
As for luring insurgents into a more exposed position, there are lots of ways of doing that. An example: Insurgents need two types of targets: logistical infrastructure and soft civilian targets. If you deliberately concentrate your construction and civilian interactions disproportionately in the sticks or in smaller areas you’ve already converted to your side (factories, power plants, pay stations for policemen, etc.), one of two things will happen. Either the insurgents will be forced to fight you on ground that’s not to their advantage, or they’ll be forced to concentrate their efforts on targets of minimal value, in which case you’ll gradually chew through them with the strategy I described earlier.
This isn’t some crazy Hogan’s Heroes idea (though it’d sure be easier if war worked like that); there’s a ton of historical precedent for taking pains to fight the enemy on the ground of your choosing.
If it’s used as intended (for illumination, smoke) it is not a chemical weapon. If it is used to start fires, it is an incendiary weapon.
If it it used as an antipersonel weapon to demoralize and disrupt in a manner which relies on its chemical effects, it is being used as a chemical weapon.
And if it used in either of the last two ways in an urban environment where civilians ar eknown to be present that is a violation of international conventions.
Tell us Mr. Cole; how is it less evil for the United States to use those methods to put down a violent rebellion in Fallujah than it was for Saddam to use exactly the same methods against a violent Kurdish rebellion? (And no, I’m not condoning it Saddam’s case. I am, unlike many on the right, being consistent and condemning the method regardless of who is using it).
Jason Van Steenwyk
Congratulations. Your stupid strategy just gave them every city they want.
Why not give them nukes, too? THAT’LL show’em.
I pose you the same question. Are you suggesting that if he called for a tactical nuke he’d get one? Is the order of battle determined by 1st Lt.s, NCOs and enlistees? Ultimate responsibility for the use of any weapon in combat lies with those who decide what munitions will be deployed and available to the troops in the field. Talking about the descretion exercised by troops under fire is simply a way of dodging the issue. That being, whether this weapon should have been deployed for such operations in the first place. That’s not a decision troops in the field get to make. They work with what they’re given.
The only reason I can see for attempting to obscure this reality is a desire to protect the higher echelons, both military and political, by shifting the onus onto the troops on the ground. Like I said, the Lydie England defense. Hypocritical and loathesome.
What’s loathsome are the brigades of sheer drooling idiots who get everything they know about ordnance from politics blogs and communist documentaries, and then decide they know better about what ordnance should be used than the professionals in the field.
White phosphorus belongs in the caissons.
White phosphorus preserves lives.
White phosphorus limits collateral damage.
White phosphorus allows more Americans to come home alive.
Those arguing for banning it will not save a single innocent life. Rather, the policy they advocate in their ignorance will have precisely the opposite effect they intend.
More noncombatants will be shredded with HE fragments, not fewer.
Jason has apparently forgotten that in the US the Civilians run the military, not the reverse. This is particularly ironic in relation to Iraq, where the ruling clique of politicians have held the reins from day one. You could describe this gang in many ways but military “professionals” is not one of them. Criticizing their policies and the events that result from them is the inalienable right of every citizen. Or would jason prefer that Civil discourse be subordinate to military dictates?
How about the fact that the Army teaches senior officers that it is “against the law of land warfare to employ WP against personnel targets”? (http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article327926.ece)
One could parse words and say that its use as a munition is not illegal because the U.S. never signed on to a certain section of the chemical weapons treaty (although most major powers did), but the Army, to their credit, believed its use in this manner was the wrong thing to do. No one is blaming the troops–they follow orders. Stop hiding behind them. It is Rumsfeld and the civilian leaders at the Pentagon who are prosecuting this war in an immoral fashion through the use of torture and weapons that burn skin to the bone and lungs from the inside out (you can decide whether to call that a ‘chemical weapon’ or not). Posters on this site no longer represent the majority of the American people, who increasingly see through the rhetoric of this Administration and its ‘noble’ war. What is next for you guys, blowing up news agencies in allied countries?
But they don’t. That is a lie fabricated and promoted by the left.