Shake and Bake Missions with White Phosphorous
November 9, 2005 2:52 PM   Subscribe

Shake and Bake Missions [PDF document]. Page 26 (fifth page) describes the use of explosive rounds and white phosphorous in the fight for Al Fallujah for "shake and bake" the insurgents. Use WP to bake them out of hiding, and then explosive rounds to shake them out of existence.
posted by jmccorm (44 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: posted last week



 
NOTE: Actually, I'm not sure I find anything wrong with the use of WP like this. I'm sure others do. But it made for an interesting data point. Thanks for Fipi's friend, RayPride, who sent me looking for this document.
posted by jmccorm at 2:53 PM on November 9, 2005


In a populated city where there are civilians there are big, big problems. My question is why *don't* you find anything wrong with this. What if it were an american city or town this was happening to?
posted by mk1gti at 3:01 PM on November 9, 2005


...this is kind of morbid and dehumanizing, but I think that it's probably the other way 'round, counterintuitive as that may seem. Shake them up and then bake them. As in flush them out and then blow them up.
posted by spiderwire at 3:23 PM on November 9, 2005


Ah yes...the ol' "flush-n-blow"...
posted by darkstar at 3:37 PM on November 9, 2005


Yesterday's Democracy Now!
Post on Kos claiming the military has lied.

From the interview on Democracy Now...

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to read to you from the Geneva Convention on certain conventional weapons, protocol three. “Protocol and Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons. Geneva, October 10, 1980. Article I, definitions for the purpose of this protocol. One, incendiary weapon means any weapon or munition which is primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injury to persons through the action of flame, heat or combination thereof, produced by a chemical reaction of a substance delivered on the target. (a) Incendiary weapons can take the form of, for example, flame throwers, fougasses, shells, rockets, grenades, mines, bombs and other containers of incendiary substances.” Lieutenant Colonel Boylan?

LT. COL. STEVE BOYLAN: I know of no cases where people were deliberately targeted by the use of white phosphorus. Again, I did not say white phosphorus was used for illumination. White phosphorus is used for obscuration, which white phosphorus produces a heavy thick smoke to shield us or them from view so that they cannot see what we are doing. It is used to destroy equipment, to destroy buildings. That is what white phosphorus shells are used for.
posted by VulcanMike at 3:37 PM on November 9, 2005




Recently covered, and recently deleted.
Not a comment, just lettin' people know.
posted by Chuckles at 3:42 PM on November 9, 2005


I love to wake and bake! Oh.. sorry.
posted by Onanist at 4:28 PM on November 9, 2005


This post was more in response to the US denial of using WP in this particular method. Not to shed light on the whole WP issue, as was in previous links. But those are good reading.
posted by jmccorm at 4:31 PM on November 9, 2005


The definition of chemical weapons is essentially, chemicals that kill via toxicity. Neither napalm, nor the new version of napalm (the Mark 77 incendiery bomb), nor white phosphorous kill via toxicity.

They kill via burning, which is a horse of a different color.

Accordingly, they're not chemical weapons.

The U.S. uses weapons that kill-via-burning anywhere they're appropriate. Like any other area-effect weapons, they're used anywhere that there is a high concentration of enemies to noncombatants. If there's one enemy in a town square with 100 noncombatants, they're not going to get napalmed. If there's 100 combatants with one noncombatant, they may very well.

Nothing in the Geneva Conventions forbid(s) killing noncombatants. What it forbids is targeting noncombatants as the primary objective. Blowing up a munitions factory surrounded by homes is fine. So is killing the one guy surrounded by 100 combatants. Etc., etc. The 1980 convention which mentions incendiary weapons forbids targeting civilians with them as the primary objective. That's it. So probably firebombing Tokyo would be considered a violation of that 1980 convention. But dropping a few WP rounds on Fallujah - presumably a part of it with a very high combatant to non-combatant ratio - would not be.

Incendiaries are horrible. I'd rather be nerve-gassed than burned to death. But they're not forbidden.
posted by jellicle at 4:50 PM on November 9, 2005


Yeah, claming that phosphorus can't be used because they're chemical, is like claiming bullets can't be used because they're made out of lead.

We can't be moral unless we kill people with LAZERS, which is totally ok.
posted by delmoi at 4:56 PM on November 9, 2005


Recently covered, and recently deleted

This is very irritating. The deleted post was NOT a dupe. The first WP post was a media allegation. Now we have a dot mil confirmation. This fpp better not get deleted. Or if it is, then undelete the original follow-up.
posted by 3.2.3 at 5:00 PM on November 9, 2005


I think we should kill them by tickle fight or bad comedy, let that weapon make it through DARPA . . .
posted by mk1gti at 5:23 PM on November 9, 2005


Video is available at crooksandliars, further discussion available at americablog.
posted by odinsdream at 5:47 PM on November 9, 2005


I think we should kill them by tickle fight or bad comedy

If such a weapon were developed I'm sure we would all find it to be far scarier than any chemical.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:48 PM on November 9, 2005


dropping a few WP rounds on Fallujah

I urge you to watch the video I linked to and observe just exactly what "a few" looks like in reality.
posted by odinsdream at 5:51 PM on November 9, 2005


I think we should kill them by tickle fight or bad comedy

If such a weapon were developed I'm sure we would all find it to be far scarier than any chemical.
-------------------------

Imagine Carrot Top air-dropped over a large city . . . *shudder* . . .
posted by mk1gti at 5:57 PM on November 9, 2005


To me, the issue isn't whether or not white phosporus is a chemical weapon or not (even though we said it was when we accusing Iraq of trying to make it). To me, the issue is that the Pentagon said they had only used white phosporus for illumination, then it was revealed that they used it as an antipersonnel weapon. They denied using napalm, but did use Mark 77 incendiery bombs, which technically aren't napalm, but are used in exactly the same way.

I think we should kill them by tickle fight or bad comedy.

The British did that during World War II, but joke warfare was banned at a special session of the Geneva Convention.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:47 PM on November 9, 2005


Melting the skin off of Children [Graphic]
I know, as well, that we do not drop "chemical weapons" on Iraq. We may, in the course of fighting insurgents in civilian neighborhoods, drop "incendiaries" or other airborne weaponry which may melt the skins off of children as an accidental side effect of illuminating their neighborhoods or melting the skins off their neighbors. In that this still can be classified as melting the skins off of children, I feel comfortable in stating that the United States should not condone the practice. (This may mean, when fighting in civilian neighborhoods, we take nuanced steps to avoid melting the skin off of children, such as not dropping munitions that melt the skin off of children.)

And I know it is true, there is some confusion over whether the United States was a signatory to the Do Not Melt The Skin Off Of Children part of the Geneva conventions, and whether or not that means we are permitted to melt the skin off of children, or merely are silent on the whole issue of melting the skin off of children.

But all that aside, there are very good reasons, even in a time of war, not to melt the skin off of children.

* First, because the insurgency will inevitably be hardened by tales of American forces melting the skin off of children.

* Second, because the civilian population will harbor considerable resentment towards Americans for melting the skin off of their children.

* Third, BECAUSE IT FUCKING MELTS THE SKIN OFF OF CHILDREN.

And, unless Saddam Hussein had a brigade or two consisting of six year olds, we can presume that children, like perhaps nine tenths or more of their immediate families, are civilians.
That's what's wrong here. We know exactly what dropping masses of WP on cities does. And, of course, we did it anyway. Then, of course, we came up with a cute name for it. "Shake and bake." Finally, of course, we have people proud of this name, and people defending the idea based on the fact that they aren't "chemical weapons", they are "incediaries."
posted by eriko at 7:22 PM on November 9, 2005


It all goes back to what future generations around the world are going to think of the generation in the U.S. and what they did. I know there were germans in WWII Germany that didn't support Hitler's actions but just waited it out until the end of the war. They still had to suffer under the bombardment from allied bombs in the end, still had to endure the loss of loved ones, still had to suffer through reconstruction or in the case of East Germany, being separated from families for generations never knowing if they would experience freedom again.
I am sure that there are many people across the world today hoping for the people of the U.S. or Israel to undergo a similar punishment. Like others I wait for the other shoe to drop.
If there is justice the people responsible for these and similar crimes will face justice, if not here in this world than in the next. In the next they may be those children lying in the destroyed rubble of their homes as phosphorous burns through their flesh down to the bone. Over and over again throughout eternity.
posted by mk1gti at 9:39 PM on November 9, 2005


I guess here's another reason for Mid Eastern rhetoric to refer to Amerca as "Satan" - fire and brimstone and all.

This is a seriously depressing progression. Conventional military might was slowly being whittled away by guerilla tactics so the American forces turned to heavy handedness. I'm predicting that, through fitness selection (ie., evolution), the guerilla tactics are going to shift into even deeper cover (and [inadvertently?] cause more civilian and formerly-presumed civilian [women, children, & men past "fighting age"] causualties).

Hearts and minds indeed.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 9:43 PM on November 9, 2005


If there is justice the people responsible for these and similar crimes will face justice, if not here in this world than in the next. In the next they may be those children lying in the destroyed rubble of their homes as phosphorous burns through their flesh down to the bone. Over and over again throughout eternity.
mk1gti
By "these crimes" are you referring to the WWII bombings in Germany, or the WP attacks?
posted by Sangermaine at 10:28 PM on November 9, 2005


WP attacks specifically and the entire mid-east adventure as a whole as it's been practiced since the late 1940's onward. . .

It's not a proud time to be a 'white guy' . . .
posted by mk1gti at 10:37 PM on November 9, 2005


Like others I wait for the other shoe to drop.

The United States has far too many private gun owners, and by now, most every high school grad knows how to make ANFO. Couple those with suburban sprawl and urban gangs, anyone invading this country is going to have their hands full.
posted by mischief at 11:11 PM on November 9, 2005


most every high school grad knows how to make ANFO.

.. and how many will blow themselves up because they didn't pay attention in chem class?

anyone invading this country is going to have their hands full.

Naw, haven't you learned from the Iraq experience? Hearts and minds! Just got to have the right rock bands and reality TV shows to back the attackers, is all.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 11:40 PM on November 9, 2005


Hearts and minds? You kidding? Hell, every redneck with a deer rifle will be jumping in their pickups hoping to pick 'em off for sport.
posted by mischief at 12:02 AM on November 10, 2005


This post was more in response to the US denial of using WP in this particular method.
Denial on this subject is such B.S. I wish they would just be straight with it. Yes it's used. Yes it's a problem. Yes we try to be careful, but it's damned effective.
Ignoring it or covering it up always makes it worse and makes the problem itself worse. It's a tacit wink that it's ok to use more often. I'm not going to say that if I've got to lay down some serious hell I'm going to think twice about using whatever is at hand, but at least they should send the message that it isn't to be used as a matter of course.

Hearts and minds indeed.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 9:43 PM PST on November 9 [!]

Actually, it's exactly what they're not doing. Being honest, telling the truth, creating order and using fair play is part and parcel in one of the best books written on the subject of fighting guerrillas.
The Marine Corps Small Wars manual:
"Torture only creates more recruits for the rebels....In small wars, tolerance, sympathy and kindness should be the keynote to our relationship with the mass of the population."
Looks to me like they're not following the playbook.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:10 AM on November 10, 2005


Hearts and minds? You kidding? Hell, every redneck with a deer rifle will be jumping in their pickups hoping to pick 'em off for sport.
posted by mischief

I think we're already in the process of being conquered. If there was someone to shoot, I'd shoot 'em. Reminds me of the old chestnut: 'If you could go back in time and kill Hitler, would you?'
Wouldn't make a difference. The machine was there, the masses were in motion, all they needed was a mojo. And the specifics on the mojo isn't all that important.
People who change minds and teach and build things and reinforce principles are the real strength. Guys like me? We can just hit things with bullets from a long way off when everything goes to hell.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:20 AM on November 10, 2005


Imagine Carrot Top air-dropped over a large city . . . *shudder* . . .

Shudder? Nay, delight!

Add white phosphorous to my rants in other threads tonight. Gahd, I wish this shit would just stop. It must be nice to be uninformed.

Couple those with suburban sprawl and urban gangs, anyone invading this country is going to have their hands full.

No one will need to invade the USA: your own government is going to achieve its failure from within.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:28 AM on November 10, 2005


WillyPete is so old and venerated within American Armed Forces that it was only a matter of time before it got lobbed somewhere.

It oxidizes with such rapidity and violence that it's used to create great white scrims to allow troop and mechanical movement.

And in WWII the British protested its use as a violation of one of the Geneva Conventions, but the Americans prevailed upon them.

So it was used in Vietnam, but no photographer managed to capture a naked Vietnamese girl with WP on her skin, so the Armed Forces still stock it.

If you are anywhere near one of these blinding clouds, you've got no oxygen. If you're in a WP cloud, pray that you get 1/10th of a second for it to react with the atmosphere, or it will get into your lungs and blister and melt them. If you're pelted with it, it burns just like napalm, right down to the bone.

Thank God we prevented the use of WMDs.
posted by toma at 2:56 AM on November 10, 2005


WillyPete is so old and venerated within American Armed Forces that it was only a matter of time before it got lobbed somewhere.

So how long before the B-52s start to hit Syria? :(

FFF: It must be nice to be uninformed.

This is one of the problems really. We are convinced that we need to know what is going on in the world as if we could make a difference. If we paid more attention to what goes on locally and said 'screw it' to everything else... Of course I am a committed news junky.


Anyway, I just want to re-affirm that I didn't think the thread should be deleted, I just wanted people to know that there was some other content, and other discussion.
posted by Chuckles at 3:12 AM on November 10, 2005


If you stopped using napalm and WP you'd just use something else. The USA likes to innovate before it immolates!
posted by longbaugh at 5:04 AM on November 10, 2005


"your own government is going to achieve its failure from within"

No, the current administration will achieve ITS own failure. The infrastructure will remain in place just fine and the exchange of power will continue, for the next few centuries anyway.

Politics in America serves one vital purpose; it allows the population to divide into two teams who mock each other. Nothing more.

All you foreigners are just the audience before whom we perform.
posted by mischief at 5:20 AM on November 10, 2005


The solution seems obvious, someone needs to equip the guerrillas with a few thousand WP mortar rounds.
posted by Mitheral at 6:49 AM on November 10, 2005


I think the USA is running straight at economic collapse, mischief. I'm not sure how you figure the USA is going to not fail.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:18 AM on November 10, 2005


Economic collapse from what? The real estate bubble? Perhaps, but that's just part of the economic cycle. We've dealt with depression before and learned from it. Politically speaking, we will just overhaul the legislatures and the executives, and then, start all over again. No biggie.
posted by mischief at 9:57 AM on November 10, 2005


i just want to make sure: no one is proposing that there's an ethical way to invade and occupy a country, right?

On another note, I'd like to ask people to just assume I'm invoking Godwin whenver talking about the US government from now on, because to actually do it every time it's needed - and then respond to people pointing it out - would waste valuable hours every month.
posted by poweredbybeard at 11:10 AM on November 10, 2005


Economic collapse from what? The real estate bubble? Perhaps, but that's just part of the economic cycle. We've dealt with depression before and learned from it. Politically speaking, we will just overhaul the legislatures and the executives, and then, start all over again. No biggie.

Dude - all the money's in war. Social security is out the door. There is no real industrial base to speak of. Most wealth is speculative, in credit, or based on debt. And there is that oil crisis as well.
posted by poweredbybeard at 11:12 AM on November 10, 2005


I'm glad that someone reposted this, after my post was deleted.

It's worth mentioning that I (and Daily Kos, and every other source out there...) wouldn't have gotten news of this article if it weren't for a soldier who served in Fallujah who knew about the article and passed it on to me.

He also said the following after I showed him the U.S. State Department's claim that white phosphorus was used "very sparingly", for "illumination" only, with all the shots fired into the sky and not at targets :

"I read the link you gave me to the State department and I am quite in awe myself. My only explaination I can think of is that whoever is their PR guy just isn't too bright or was trying to cover their own asses. I said it once, and I'll say it again, WP isn't used for illumination. It's a weapon, it kills."

Interestingly enough, even the Pentagon spokesman that Democracy Now had on their show the other day made it very clear that white phosphorus was used in Fallujah, though he "couldn't recall" if it was used in offensive missions. He did, however, clearly indicate that it isn't used for illumination. Illumination rounds are used for that. They're magnesium-based, with more light, and without all the potentially deadly smoke.

In other words, the U.S. State Department lied through it's teeth. It's a transparent lie that apparently any person in today's military who knows the basics of artillery should catch.
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:14 AM on November 10, 2005


"all the money's in war. Social security is out the door. There is no real industrial base to speak of. Most wealth is speculative, in credit, or based on debt. And there is that oil crisis as well."

To me, that spells o-p-p-o-r-t-u-n-i-t-y.
posted by mischief at 12:03 PM on November 10, 2005


Knowing when the operational details of that raid were declassified could go far to explain why the Pentagon said what it did when it did.
posted by mischief at 12:06 PM on November 10, 2005


To me, that spells o-p-p-o-r-t-u-n-i-t-y.

Hm. I can appreciate that take on the situation, but I wonder if you aren't about a decade too late.

Of course, it spells the same thing to me too, but probably for very, very different reasons.
posted by poweredbybeard at 12:28 PM on November 10, 2005


i just want to make sure: no one is proposing that there's an ethical way to invade and occupy a country, right?
Tough one. Yeah, sorta. This particular case? No. But we can get fuzzy on the invasion of Normandy during WWII. That wasn't strictly speaking an occupation. I suppose the Peloponnesian wars from the anti-Athens side, perhaps the Illyrian war (an invasion to supress piracy basically), the conquest of Sindh liberated people from caste rule and the new Arab rulers brought equality and education to the region (of course, that's the "official" story). Was the invasion of Palestine ethical? Was the creation of the state of Israel ethical?
I dunno, what's happening with us in Iraq is more akin to what happened in the Gallic wars.
I don't think it's out of line to point out Rome fell eventually.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:56 PM on November 10, 2005


I don't see how the creation of Israel was any more or less ethical than the creation of Jordan, or Iraq, or what not. The country certainly has some answering to do, as its treatment of palestinians has been bad -- but the surrounding Arab nations have treated them just as poorly. They're more valuable as a propoganda tool than as individuals.
posted by verb at 4:15 PM on November 10, 2005


« Older Sounds Cool!   |   This Night Has Opened My Eyes Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments