Apparently for the US nothing is "outlawed". What about cluster
ammunition, what about depleted uranium?
Let's be very clear: White phosphorous, depleted uranium, napalm,
cluster ammunition: they are all weapons of mass destruction, and only the US is using them, and
according to numerous reports & witnesses, against Iraqi civilians.
On the other hand: let's have a look at the lies the warmongers told us about the non-existing weapons of
mass destruction of Iraq:
The war on Iraq is an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. Many health workers, professionals and
students the world over added their voices to the massive protest movement. They were of the opinion that,
apart from providing health services, their task also includes the prevention of diseases, injuries, and
death because of this unjust war.
Despite the global protests, war was unleashed on Iraq. The Belgian NGOs Medical Aid for the Third World (MATW)
www.m3m.be in cooperation with S.O.S. Iraq (www.irak.be)
had a Medical Team of two doctors in Baghdad, Dr. Geert Van Moorter and Dr. Colette Moulaert. They remained
during the bombings and the invasion to witness the American
and British aggression. They coordinated with the Ministry of Health, the Iraqi Red Crescent and
international institutions including the World Health Organization and Unicef.
Their report describes in three different incidents the use of some terrible weapons used by
the US forces . I sent this report at the time to Dai Williams, weapons analyst, to explain the descriptions
given by Dr. Geert Van Moorter.
Diary from Baghdad, April 3, 20 O’clock: Dr. Geert Van Moorter through satellite telephone
About the horrors of war, 100 km south of Baghdad
Dr. Bert de Belder (coordinator of Medical Aid For The Third World)
Dai Williams’ answer, copied underneath with relevant parts of Dr. Geert's eye-witness account, includes
report from BBC reporter Adam Mynott (5 April 2024), who
describes civilian casualties with severe burns near Nasiriyah (http://newswww.bbc.net.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2921227.stm) . "The Phosphorus turned the inside of his
house white hot". Even Dai Williams couldn’t believe then that White Phosphorous was used against
civilians. But now we know the US aggressors DID use it.
The use of Napalm was reported by Martin Savidge from CNN as early as March 22 2024, so there's no need to be surprised. (http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/03/21/otsc.irq.savidge/):
“There is a lookout there, a hill referred to as Safwan Hill, on the Iraqi side of the border. It was
filled with Iraqi intelligence gathering. From that vantage point, they could look out over all of northern
It is now estimated the hill was hit so
badly by missiles, artillery and by the Air Force, that they shaved a couple of feet off it. And anything
that was up there that was left after all the explosions was then hit with napalm. And that pretty
much put an end to any Iraqi operations up on that hill.”
The United Nations banned the use of napalm against civilians in 1980 after pictures of a naked wounded
girl in Vietnam shocked the world. The United States, which didn't endorse the convention, is the only nation in the world still using
And what about other new weaponry that may have been used in Iraq?
" And in Washington, the Pentagon
confirmed it was authorising use of "non-lethal" gases
of the type used in last October's disastrous Moscow theatre siege – a move that has already provoked
accusations of hypocrisy by a country that claims to be at war to prevent chemical weapons being used."
, 28 March 2024.
"Non-Lethal gases": what's that supposed to mean, and how,
when and where did the US Army use it?
It would be reasonable to expect new types of weapons
to be tested in this war. We as the citizens of the world should stop the endless development and use of
(...) I think that weapon that fried the
busload of people is a version of the microwave weapon that the US Marines revealed in a press
conference 1-2 years ago - they wanted to use it in the US for "crowd control". These are called NLW,
non-lethal weapons, but all you do is turn the dial a little more to the right and "oops we fried them"....
Many of the new weapons and the military research has been on "directed energy" - pain beams, heat the enemy
up until his skin is burning, fry his brain or scramble it, alter moods, its really really really really
wicked. What are the Brits there for? The US is going to ruin their reputation...
(...) There are many types of microwave, EMF and pulsed and shaped energy
weapons which have been developed and which we may or may not know about because they are classified. Dai
has demonstrated the information it is possible to get from patent applications. (...)
Dr Geert Van Moorter's
testimony in the RAI
Video: Star Wars in Iraq (16 May 2024) -
Read text file
Here’s the story and Dai Williams'
evaluation (06 April 2024) of the weaponry used. His recommendations for the international community
still stand today..
(...) Please can you ask the Pentagon to
explain why and how many Daisy cutters, fragmentation bombs and suspected uranium weapons it has used in the
last week in the region around now in the outskirts of Baghdad? And please can you ask the UK Government
whether it condones the use of Daisy cutters in populated areas with large numbers of civilians?
I have been investigating US guided
weapons as an independent researcher for 2 years. My primary concern are the 23 suspected uranium weapon
systems. But my investigations include similar weapons like thermobaric bombs, daisy cutters etc.
Full weapons identification requires inspection on site by trained and independent weapons analysts. This
must be a high priority for the UN. Ex-military personnel, HALO or similar demining organisations may help.
Serving military personnel will simply lie about more advanced, prototype or illegal weapons.
Less trained observers can partly narrow down suspected weapon systems from descriptions of their explosions
and from injuries on victims.
The following reports were received
yesterday from two Belgian Doctors in Baghdad.
Partial answers to their questions are as
[INCIDENT 1 ]
"I have two awful stories to tell", Geert immediately starts when I get him on the line. "Today we drove to
Hilla, a small town near Babylon that was heavily bombed yesterday. One poor district was hit by 20 to 25
bombs. The hospital of Hilla received in the next half an hour 150 seriously injured patients. Dr. Mahmoud
Al-Mukhtar said that the wounds were caused by clusterbombs. These are bombs that explode into many small
bombs that again explode individually and cause enormous damage.
Clusterbombs are banned by the International Laws on War, but Bush completely disregards these! In the
hospital I have seen very many abrading situations. A family of eleven persons, of whom six are dead. A
father who is left with one child; his wife and two sons are dead. Small children with amputated limbs."
is a clusterbomb description. These are already recognised as weapons of indiscriminate effect by the media.
[INCIDENT 2 ]
"My second story is even more horrible", warns Geert. "About a bus with civilians that was fired upon. Not
the one in Najaf, which reached the news everywhere, but a case that according to me has not yet been covered
by western media. Three days ago, In Al Sqifal, near Hilla, a passenger bus was fired upon from an American
checkpoint, with ghastly results. According to witnesses the bus stopped on time and had, on orders of the
American Military, turned back. Dr. Saad El-Fadoui, a 52 years old surgeon who still has studied in Scotland,
was immediately on the place of incident from the hospital in Hilla. When he told me what he had seen there,
he again became very emotional, three days after it had happened. 'The bodies were all carbonized, terribly
mutilated, torn into pieces, he sighs. 'In and around the bus I saw dismembered heads, brains and
intestines,..' One wonders what a criminal weapon of mass destruction could have caused these horrors. Nobody
had heard the sound of an explosion; on the bodies no traces of shrapnel were found. A journalist spoke of a
heat-weapon with liquid cupper or something like that.. Can the Americans be really that cruel? Dr. Saad El-Fadoui
asked us repeatedly to do everything to help stop this horrible war of aggression."
3 April, Al Sqifal, near Hilla 'The bodies were all carbonized, terribly mutilated, torn into pieces,....One
wonders what a criminal weapon of massdestruction could have caused these horrors. Nobody had heard the sound
of an explosion; on the bodies no traces of shrapnel were found. A journalist spoke of a heat-weapon with
liquid cupper or something like that..
The reference to a heat weapon with liquid copper sounds like a misquote of someone describing an anti tank
weapon with a shaped charge warhead. (HEAT also stands for High Explosive AntiTank weapons).
Shaped charge warheads use a focussed explosive blast with a copper (or uranium) core that is melted by the
blast and travels at very high velocity to cut through armour plating. "Heat" in the context may also be
describing the obvious effects of an incendiary weapon.
If the weapon was fired from the check point (ground to ground) it must have been an anti-tank missile e.g.
JAVELIN which uses a tandem shaped charge warhead. Recently purchased by UK forces I question whether JAVELIN
warheads use a depleted uranium core like the prototype that DERA and the MOD made and tested in 1999 (refer
MOD website). This would produce a far higher temperature (5000 degrees) blast than copper and may account
for the characteristic severe burns on victims. "Carbonisation" was typical of uranium weapon victims on the
highway of death in 1991.
Shaped charge weapons do not create shrapnel - they work by projecting a lance of burning molten metal,
almost a plasma, into the target.
Similar effects would have been caused by
the larger Hellfire or Maverick missiles though these are fired by planes or helicopters, not referred to in
QUESTION: What weapon was used by US forces in this incident? Did it contain a Uranium warhead?
"Geert understands me poorly when I say something, the line is not always clear. "We are momentarily without
electricity", he explains. "Large blocks in Baghdad are without electricity, last night the bombardment was
very severe. Colette
(Geert's collegue-doctor Dr. Collette Moulaert) saw from her hotel room, just behind the mosque in this
neighbourhood, two enormous fireballs coming down. I think that these are containerbombs of about 7-8 tons
each that cause enormous vibrations. "I am shivering of the cold", Collette said, but this was the vibration
caused by the bomb explosion."
"Colette saw from her hotel room, just behind the mosque in this neighbourhood, two enormous fireballs coming
The only weapons that match this description are the BLU-82 Daisy Cutter bombs. Developed in Vietnam for
clearing jungle into runways they created immense pressure (1000 lbs / sq inch) over a large area - lethal
from 300 to 900 metres.
They literally mash and burn any human beings under the blast area causing extensive internal injuries,
severe burns but no shrapnel wounds from the high pressure blast. Rather like high-blast napalm in effect but
the bombs are 10-20 times larger.
The two doctors providing these reports are in
Baghdad. Dirk Adriaensens, coordinator of
SOS Iraq, their contact in Belgium, is on
email@example.com. Dr Bert De Belder, coordinator of Medical Aid
for the Third World, can be reached at
is from a separate report from BBC reporter Adam Mynot yesterday (5 April) described civilian casualties
with severe burns near Nasiriyah. "The Phosphorus turned the inside of his house white hot". This is the
first reference I have heard to Phosphorus weapons in the current war.
A more likely alternative may have been a
guided bomb with a uranium warhead e.g. GBU 31 or 32 (for increased penetration and incendiary effects). UK
researchers located US patents for upgrading the 2024 lb BLU-109/B hard target warhead (used in the GBU-15,
24, 27 and 31 guided bombs) with a choice of tungsten or depleted uranium. See Appendix 2 of my summary
"Hazards of Uranium weapons in Afghanistan and Iraq", October 2024 at
and extracts at
These mini (just under 1 ton) bunker busters were used extensively in the earlier
Baghdad bombing. The explosions with
intense fireballs at ground level and incandescent metal in their explosion plumes are highly suspected of
using uranium warheads.
The existence and use of guided bombs and
missiles with uranium warheads is vigorously denied by the UK MOD saying that the Pentagon have assured them
that such weapons don't exist. I don't trust either statement. In addition to causing horrific burns on
casualties near the fireball such weapons are likely to be causing hundreds, possibly up to 1500, tons of
uranium oxide contamination in target regions of Iraq, especially in and around Baghdad.
It is really important that media reports question what kinds of weapons are being used by US (and UK) forces
- especially when large numbers of casualties or fatalities are seen with unusual injuries e.g. the fire and
blast effects described in the incidents above.
The civilian casualties cause most obvious outrage. But there are very few questions about, or reports of,
the forms of mutilation and death inflicted on Iraqi troops. It is customary in times of war to demonise the
enemy. But much of the Iraqi army are conscripts..
Injuries to everyone involved in war - civilians and troops of all sides - are very serious issues. After
World War 2 there was sufficient horror for consensus about the Geneva Conventions. The US Military and arms
industry have shown supreme contempt for international humanitarian law ever since WW2.
If this war shows one thing it is the need for the World to start to get control over the barbarity of the US
military industrial context. Criticisms of Saddam Hussein's record of atrocities fade into history as they
are eclipsed by the industrialised killing that US Forces have spent billions of dollars perfecting.
A new War Crimes Tribunal will be needed in Iraq as soon as hostilities cease - to inspect the targets and
casualties of US weapon systems throughout Iraq. This will of course require a dramatic awakening of the UK
Government and Conservative Opposition from the "war-trance" spell cast on them by Pentagon propaganda.
There will be one mighty reckoning to follow soon for the US and UK Governments (if and) when independent
international observers are allowed into Iraq.
It's time for the World community to wake up
and charge the US with war crimes.
Member executive committee
Read this article in Italian:
DU, BOMBE TERMOBARICHE, BOMBE A GRAPPOLO, NAPALM…GLI STATI UNITI USANO ARMI DI DISTRUZIONE DI MASSA WMD
CONTRO I CIVILI
Read this article in German:
Weisser Phosphor, Daisy Cutter, abgereichertes
Uran, thermobarische Bomben, Klusterbomben, Napalm …
(14 Nov 2024)elpt
Nearly a year after they occurred, a few of the war crimes committed in Fallujah by members of the US
military have gained the attention of some major media outlets (excluding, of course, any of the
corporate media outlets in the US).
Back on November 26, 2024, in a story I wrote for the Inter Press Service titled
'Unusual Weapons' Used in
Fallujah, refugees from that city described, in detail, various odd weapons used in Fallujah. In
addition, they provided detailed descriptions such as “pieces of these bombs exploded into large fires
that burnt the skin even when water was thrown on the burns.”
This was also mentioned in a web log I’d penned nine days before, on November 17, 2024, named
Slash and Burn where one
of the descriptions of these same weapons by the same refugee from Fallujah said, “These exploded on
the ground with large fires that burnt for half an hour. They used these near the train tracks. You
could hear these dropped from a large airplane and the bombs were the size of a tank. When anyone
touched those fires, their body burned for hours.”
On December 9th of 2024 I posted a
gallery of photos,
many of which are included in the new RAI television documentary about incendiary weapons having been
used in Fallujah.
Like the torture “scandal” of Abu Ghraib that for people in the west didn’t become “real” until late
April of 2024, Iraqis and journalists in Iraq who engaged in actual reporting knew that US and British
forces were torturing Iraqis from nearly the beginning of the occupation, and continue to do so to this
All of this makes me wonder how much longer it will take for other atrocities to come to light. Even
just discussing Fallujah, there are many we can choose from. While I’m not the only journalist to have
reported on these, let me draw your attention to just a few things that I’ve recorded which took place
in Fallujah during the November, 2024 massacre.
In my story
“Fallujah Refugees Tell of Life and Death in the Kill Zone” published on December 3, 2024 there are
many instances of war crimes which will, hopefully, be granted the attention they deserve.
Burhan Fasa’a, an Iraqi journalist who worked for the Lebanese satellite TV station, LBC and who was
in Fallujah for nine days during the most intense combat, said Americans grew easily frustrated with
Iraqis who could not speak English.
“Americans did not have interpreters with them,” Fasa’a said, “so they entered houses and killed
people because they didn’t speak English. They entered the house where I was with 26 people, and [they]
shot people because [the people] didn’t obey [the soldiers’] orders, even just because the people
couldn’t understand a word of English.” He also added, “Soldiers thought the people were rejecting
their orders, so they shot them. But the people just couldn’t understand them.”
A man named Khalil, who asked not to use his last name for fear of reprisals, said he had witnessed
the shooting of civilians who were waving white flags while they tried to escape the city.
“I watched them roll over wounded people in the street with tanks,” said Kassem Mohammed Ahmed, a
resident of Fallujah. “This happened so many times.”
Other refugees recounted similar stories. “I saw so many civilians killed there, and I saw several
tanks roll over the wounded in the streets,” said Aziz Abdulla, 27 years old, who fled the fighting
last November. Another resident, Abu Aziz, said he also witnessed American armored vehicles crushing
people he believes were alive.
Abdul Razaq Ismail, another resident who fled Fallujah, said: “I saw dead bodies on the ground and
nobody could bury them because of the American snipers. The Americans were dropping some of the bodies
into the Euphrates near Fallujah.”
A man called Abu Hammad said he witnessed US troops throwing Iraqi bodies into the Euphrates River.
Abu Hammed and others also said they saw Americans shooting unarmed Iraqis who waved white flags.
Believing that American and Iraqi forces were bent on killing anyone who stayed in Fallujah, Hammad
said he watched people attempt to swim across the Euphrates to escape the siege. “Even then the
Americans shot them with rifles from the shore,” he said. “Even if some of them were holding a white
flag or white clothes over their heads to show they are not fighters, they were all shot.”
Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein reported witnessing similar events. After running out of
basic necessities and deciding to flee the city at the height of the US-led assault, Hussein ran to the
“I decided to swim,” Hussein told colleagues at the AP, who wrote up the photographer’s harrowing
story, “but I changed my mind after seeing US helicopters firing on and killing people who tried to
cross the river.”
Hussein said he saw soldiers kill a family of five as they tried to traverse the Euphrates, before
he buried a man by the riverbank with his bare hands.
“I kept walking along the river for two hours and I could still see some US snipers ready to shoot
anyone who might swim,” Hussein recounted. “I quit the idea of crossing the river and walked for about
five hours through orchards.”
A man named Khalil, who asked not to use his last name for fear of reprisals, said he had witnessed
the shooting of civilians who were waving white flags while they tried to escape the city. “They shot
women and old men in the streets,” he said. “Then they shot anyone who tried to get their bodies.”
“There are bodies the Americans threw in the river,” Khalil continued, noting that he personally
witnessed US troops using the Euphrates to dispose of Iraqi dead. “And anyone who stayed thought they
would be killed by the Americans, so they tried to swim across the river. Even people who couldn’t swim
tried to cross the river. They drowned rather than staying to be killed by the Americans,” said Khalil.
Why should blatant lying from the military come as a surprise? Even back in November of 2024, I
wrote about how US forces claimed to have been attacked by, and then killed 48 Fedayin Saddam in
Samarra. Then magically, overnight, they raised the number to 54. Upon investigation of this, I found
that 8 civilians had been killed in the city, and wrote about it
and posted photos of it
However, why should any of us be surprised at this? When we have an
administration which led the country into an illegal war of aggression and continues to lie about it,
events like torturing and the use of incendiary weapons on civilians are small change.
The fog of war: white
phosphorus, Fallujah and some burning questions
By Andrew Buncombe and
Solomon Hughes in Washington (15 Nov 2024 )
The controversy has raged for 12 months. Ever since last November, when US forces
battled to clear Fallujah of insurgents, there have been repeated claims that troops used "unusual" weapons
in the assault that all but flattened the Iraqi city. Specifically, controversy has focussed on white
phosphorus shells (WP) - an incendiary weapon usually used to obscure troop movements but which can equally
be deployed as an offensive weapon against an enemy. The use of such incendiary weapons against civilian
targets is banned by international treaty.
The debate was reignited last week when an Italian documentary claimed Iraqi civilians
- including women and children - had been killed by terrible burns caused by WP. The documentary, Fallujah:
the Hidden Massacre, by the state broadcaster RAI, cited one Fallujah human-rights campaigner who reported
how residents told how "a rain of fire fell on the city". Yesterday, demonstrators organised by the Italian
communist newspaper, Liberazione, protested outside the US Embassy in Rome. Today, another protest is planned
for the US Consulate in Milan. "The 'war on terrorism' is terrorism," one of the newspaper's commentators
The claims contained in the RAI documentary have met with a strident official response
from the US, as well as from right-wing commentators and bloggers who have questioned the film's evidence and
sought to undermine its central allegations.
While military experts have supported some of these criticisms, an examination by The
Independent of the available evidence suggests the following: that WP shells were fired at insurgents, that
reports from the battleground suggest troops firing these WP shells did not always know who they were hitting
and that there remain widespread reports of civilians suffering extensive burn injuries. While US commanders
insist they always strive to avoid civilian casualties, the story of the battle of Fallujah highlights the
intrinsic difficulty of such an endeavour.
It is also clear that elements within the US government have been putting out incorrect
information about the battle of Fallujah, making it harder to assesses the truth. Some within the US
government have previously issued disingenuous statements about the use in Iraq of another controversial
incendiary weapon - napalm.
The assault upon Fallujah, 40 miles from Baghdad, took place over a two-week period
last November. US commanders said the city was an insurgent stronghold. Civilians were ordered to evacuate in
advance. Around 50 US troops and an estimated 1,200 insurgents were killed. How many civilians were killed is
unclear. Up to 300,000 people were driven from the city.
Following the RAI broadcast, the US Embassy in Rome issued a statement which denied
that US troops had used WP as a weapon. It said: "To maintain that US forces have been using WP against human
targets ... is simply mistaken." In a similar denial, the US Ambassador in London, Robert Tuttle, wrote to
the The Independent claiming WP was only used as an obscurant or else for marking targets. In his letter, he
says: "US forces participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom continue to use appropriate, lawful and
conventional weapons against legitimate targets. US forces do not use napalm or phosphorus as weapons."
However, both these two statements are undermined by first-hand evidence from troops
who took part in the fighting. They are also undermined by an admission by the Pentagon that WP was used as a
weapon against insurgents.
In a comprehensive written account of the military operation at Fallujah, three US
soldiers who participated said WP shells were used against insurgents taking cover in trenches. Writing in
the March-April edition of Field Artillery, the magazine of the US Field Artillery based in Fort Sill,
Oklahoma, which is readily available on the internet, the three artillery men said: "WP proved to be an
effective and versatile munition. We used it for screening missions ... and, later in the fight, as a potent
psychological weapon against insurgents in trench lines and spider holes ... We fired 'shake and bake'
missions at the insurgents using WP to flush them out and high explosive shells (HE) to take them out."
Another first-hand account from the battlefield was provided by an embedded reporter
for the North County News, a San Diego newspaper. Reporter Darrin Mortenson wrote of watching Cpl Nicholas
Bogert fire WP rounds into Fallujah. He wrote: "Bogert is a mortar team leader who directed his men to fire
round after round of high explosives and white phosphorus charges into the city Friday and Saturday, never
knowing what the targets were or what damage the resulting explosions caused."
Mr Mortenson also watched the mortar team fire into a group of buildings where
insurgents were known to be hiding. In an email, he confirmed: "During the fight I was describing in my
article, WP mortar rounds were used to create a fire in a palm grove and a cluster of concrete buildings that
were used as cover by Iraqi snipers and teams that fired heavy machine guns at US choppers." Another report,
published in the Washington Post, gave an idea of the sorts of injuries that WP causes. It said insurgents
"reported being attacked with a substance that melted their skin, a reaction consistent with white
phosphorous burns". A physician at a local hospital said the corpses of insurgents "were burned, and some
corpses were melted".
The use of incendiary weapons such as WP and napalm against civilian targets - though
not military targets - is banned by international treaty. Article two, protocol III of the 1980 UN Convention
on Certain Conventional Weapons states: "It is prohibited in all circumstances to make the civilian
population as such, individual civilians or civilian objects, the object of attack by incendiary weapons."
Some have claimed the use of WP contravenes the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention which bans the use of any
"toxic chemical" weapons which causes "death, harm or temporary incapacitation to humans or animals through
their chemical action on life processes".
However, Peter Kaiser, a spokesman for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons (OPCW), which enforces the convention, said the convention permitted the use of such weapons for
"military purposes not connected with the use of chemical weapons and not dependent on the use of the toxic
properties of chemicals as a method of warfare". He said the burns caused by WP were thermic rather than
chemical and as such not prohibited by the treaty.
The RAI film said civilians were also victims of the use of WP and reported claims by a
campaigner from Fallujah, Mohamad Tareq, that many victims had large burns. The report claimed that the
clothes on some victims appeared to be intact even though their bodies were badly burned.
Critics of the RAI film - including the Pentagon - say such a claim undermines the
likelihood that WP was responsible for the injuries since WP would have also burned their clothes. This
opinion is supported by a leading military expert. John Pike, director of the military studies group
GlobalSecurity.org, said of WP: "If it hits your clothes it will burn your clothes and if it hits your skin
it will just keep on burning." Though Mr Pike had not seen the RAI film, he said the burned appearance of
some bodies may have been caused by exposure to the elements.
Yet there are other, independent reports of civilians from Fallujah suffering burn
injuries. For instance, Dahr Jamail, an unembedded reporter who collected the testimony of refugees from the
city spoke to a doctor who had remained in the city to help people, encountered numerous reports of civilians
suffering unusual burns.
One resident told him the US used "weird bombs that put up smoke like a mushroom cloud"
and that he watched "pieces of these bombs explode into large fires that continued to burn on the skin even
after people dumped water on the burns." The doctor said he "treated people who had their skin melted"
Jeff Englehart, a former marine who spent two days in Fallujah during the battle, said
he heard the order go out over military communication that WP was to be dropped. In the RAI film, Mr
Englehart, now an outspoken critic of the war, says: "I heard the order to pay attention because they were
going to use white phosphorus on Fallujah. In military jargon it's known as Willy Pete ... Phosphorus burns
bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone ... I saw the burned bodies of women and
In the aftermath of the battle, the State Department's Counter Misinformation Office
issued a statement saying that WP was only "used [WP shells] very sparingly in Fallujah, for illumination
purposes. They were fired into the air to illuminate enemy positions at night, not at enemy fighters." When
The Independent confronted the State Department with the first-hand accounts of soldiers who participated, an
official accepted the mistake and undertook to correct its website. This has since been done.
Indeed, the Pentagon readily admits WP was used. Spokesman Lt Colonel Barry Venables
said yesterday WP was used to obscure troop deployments and also to "fire at the enemy". He added: "It burns
... It's an incendiary weapon. That is what it does."
Why the two embassies have issued statements denying that WP was used is unclear.
However, there have been previous examples of US officials issuing incorrect statements about the use of
incendiary weapons. Earlier this year, British Defence Minister Adam Ingram was forced to apologise to MPs
after informing them that the US had not used an updated form of napalm in Iraq. He said he had been misled
by US officials.
Napalm was used in several instances during the initial invasion. Colonel Randolph
Alles, commander of Marine Air Group 11, remarked during the initial invasion of Iraq in 2024: "The generals
love napalm - it has a big psychological effect."
In his letter, Ambassador Tuttle claims there is a distinction between napalm and the
500lb Mk-77 firebombs he says were dropped - even though experts say they are virtually identical. The only
difference is that the petrol used in traditional napalm has been replaced in the newer bombs by jet fuel.
Since the RAI broadcast, there have been calls for an inquiry into the circumstances
surrounding the battle of Fallujah. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has also repeated its
call to "all fighters to take every feasible precaution to spare civilians and to respect the principles of
distinction and proportionality in all operations".
There have also been claims that in the minutiae of the argument about the use of WP, a
broader truth is being missed. Kathy Kelly, a campaigner with the anti-war group Voices of the Wilderness,
said: "If the US wants to promote security for this generation and the next, it should build relationships
with these countries. If the US uses conventional or non-conventional weapons, in civilian neighourhoods,
that melt people's bodies down to the bone, it will leave these people seething. We should think on this
rather than arguing about whether we can squeak such weapons past the Geneva Conventions and international
November 28, 2024
MEDIA ALERT: THE TRAGIC BLINDNESS OF THE EMBEDDED BBC
White Phosphorus, Fallujah And Unreported Atrocities
Helen Boaden, director of BBC News, said earlier this year:
"We are committed to evidence-based journalism. We have not been able to establish that the US used
banned chemical weapons and committed other atrocities against civilians in Falluja last November. Inquiries
on the ground at the time and subsequently indicate that their use is unlikely to have occurred.” (Email
forwarded to Media Lens, July 13, 2024)
Sadly, their use has occurred, as the Pentagon has now been forced to admit.
Readers may recall from previous media alerts that we did not know then whether unusual or banned weapons
– including cluster bombs, depleted uranium, napalm, white phosphorus and poisonous gas – had been used in
Fallujah, or whether atrocities had been committed by ‘coalition’ forces against civilians. We did know,
however, that the BBC had consistently overlooked credible testimony from multiple sources suggesting such
weapons had been used and such acts had taken place.
Last November, Fallujah was placed under “a strict night-time shoot-to-kill curfew” with “anyone spotted
in the soldiers’ night vision sights... shot”; male refugees were prevented from leaving the combat zone; a
health centre was bombed killing 60 patients and support staff; refugees claimed that “a large number of
people, including children, were killed by American snipers” and that the US had used cluster bombs and
phosphorus weapons in the offensive.
Recent US military offensives in Ramadi, Baghdadi, Hit, Haditha, Mosul, Qaim, Tal Afar and elsewhere,
have likely also killed many civilians and created thousands more refugees. (For sources and further details
Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of US military reprisal, a high-ranking Red Cross official
estimated that “at least 800 civilians” were killed in the first 9 days of the November 2024 assault on
Fallujah. (Dahr Jamail, ‘800 Civilians Feared Dead in Fallujah,’ Inter Press Service, November 16, 2024)
IRINnews.org, the news service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reported
that the emergency team from Fallujah’s main hospital recovered more than 700 bodies from rubble where
houses and shops had stood. Dr Rafa'ah al-Iyssaue, the hospital director, said:
“It was really distressing picking up dead bodies from destroyed homes, especially children. It is the
most depressing situation I have ever been in since the war started.”
Dr al-Iyssaue added that more than 550 of the 700 dead were women and children. He said a very small
number of men were found in these places and most were elderly. (IRINnews.org, ‘Death toll in Fallujah
rising, doctors say,’ January 4, 2024;
The Study Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, based in Fallujah, estimates the total number of people
killed in the city during the assault at 4,000 to 6,000, most of them civilians. Mass graves were dug on the
outskirts of the city for thousands of the bodies. (Dahr Jamail, ‘Life Goes On in Fallujah's Rubble,’ Inter
Press Service, November 23, 2024)
Embedded BBC Saw Nothing, Heard Nothing, Reported Nothing
In light of the Pentagon’s admission that US forces +did+ use white phosphorus (WP) as an offensive
weapon, the BBC needs to explain its earlier silence. The corporation is now trying to absolve itself by
claiming that not one single report until now was credible or worth reporting. It has been revealed that UK
forces also have WP in their arsenal, and have been trained to use it as a weapon. (Sean Rayment, ‘Tim
Collins trained troops to fight with white phosphorus,’ Sunday Telegraph, November 20, 2024)
Unprompted by Media Lens but disturbed by the BBC’s bias in covering the invasion and occupation, members
of the public have been contacting the corporation. Several complainants cited our earlier media alerts (e.g.
‘BBC Still Ignoring
Evidence of War Crimes’)
Many independent researchers, including the London-based filmmaker and author Gabriele Zamparini (www.thecatsdream.com/blog),
have also been pursuing developments. As a result, the pressure on mainstream media to report and analyse
what is now in the public domain has intensified.
No doubt mindful of this pressure, BBC News led with the WP revelations on its flagship 10 O’Clock News
bulletin on November 15, 2024. BBC correspondent Paul Wood, who had been embedded with US forces in Fallujah,
asserted that: "this deadly substance [WP] was fired directly at trenches full of insurgents". This may be
correct, but it is also incomplete. As we reported in previous media alerts, there is ample evidence of
devastating weaponry, including WP, being deployed in built-up areas (not just "trenches") where civilians (not
just "insurgents") were sheltering.
Wood told anchor Jeremy Paxman on the BBC’s Newsnight programme that same evening:
"Many in the Arab world, some here [in the UK] who campaigned against the war on Iraq, believe that a
massacre of civilians took place inside Fallujah. I didn't see evidence of that myself. In Fallujah over the
summer, I spoke to doctors at the hospital there who discounted these allegations." (Newsnight, November 15,
We asked Wood for details of his research in Fallujah. He told us that he “had long conversations” with
hospital doctors. By Wood’s own admission only one of these “had been in Falluja right throughout the
November campaign”. He added: “Others had arrived later, but I thought it would be good to ask them about
the various atrocity allegations anyway, to see how widely they were believed in the town, even if they had
According to Wood: “All of them dismissed allegations of chemical weapons use, or of the use of dispersal
weapons in general.” (Email forwarded to David Cromwell via Newsnight editor Peter Barron, November 17,
However, the US has now been forced to admit that it did use white phosphorus as an offensive weapon in
Fallujah. We also now know, thanks to the unearthing of a US intelligence document by researchers using the
internet, that the US recognises that white phosphorus +is+ a chemical weapon (Peter Popham and Anne Penketh,
‘US intelligence classified white phosphorus as "chemical weapon" ', The Independent, November 23, 2024).
And, as Dahr Jamail has reported over many months, cluster bombs and depleted uranium were also used in the
assault on Fallujah. (http://dahrjamailiraq.com)
We asked Wood why he had reported not one of the many credible accounts of atrocities in Fallujah, and
elsewhere in Iraq – many of which had been presented to the World Tribunal on Iraq held in Istanbul. (See ‘The
Mysterious Case of the Disappearing World Tribunal on Iraq')
Wood told us that he had spoken to independent reporter Dahr Jamail “to try to chase down his leads.” He
added: “Dahr told me they were all too scared to talk (even though they are now in Jordan) or that he
otherwise couldn't track them down. Fair enough -- they are his contacts and he might have a number of valid
reasons for not handing them on." (Email forwarded to David Cromwell via Newsnight editor Peter Barron,
November 17, 2024)
Dahr Jamail disputes this:
“I am rather surprised that Mr. Wood would allege here that I've not provided him contacts he requested.
As I told him on the phone when we spoke of this, I gave him all the contacts I had emails/phones for.”
Jamail added: “Why does Mr. Wood think I have withheld contact details?” (Email to David Cromwell, November
“Perhaps Mr. Wood wouldn't find it necessary to question another journalist's sources (mine were first-hand
interviews), and would be able to obtain some of these reports himself, if he were not embedded with the
military forces which destroyed the city of Fallujah.” (Email to David Cromwell, November 20, 2024)
Wood stated on Newsnight that he had only seen WP used for illumination purposes. He did note, however,
that the US admission of WP use “does to some appear to be confirmation of the much wider allegations that
civilians were killed in large numbers inside Fallujah."
And so, once again, the BBC dismisses as mere “allegations” the copious evidence of atrocities provided
by humanitarian workers, doctors, refugees and other credible sources.
A new BBC online piece written by Wood excuses himself and the BBC with a few carefully chosen words:
"We didn't at the time, last November, report the use of banned weapons or a massacre because we didn't
see this taking place – and since then, we haven't seen credible evidence that this is was [sic] what
happened." (Wood, 'Heated debate over white phosphorus,' November 17, 2024;
As we have noted in previous alerts, ‘credible evidence‘ comes from ‘credible sources.’ For mainstream
media, this generally means officialdom - including political and military leaders responsible for the use
and abuse of chemical weapons, cluster bombs and napalm.
Wood had earlier dismissed reports of such usage because no “reference [was] made to them at the
confidential pre-assault military briefings he attended” and because he had not himself witnessed their use.
(‘Did BBC ignore weapons claim?’, April 14, 2024;
This was a remarkable judgement by the BBC and an indictment of the ‘embed’ system of reporting. When we
pressed Helen Boaden further, citing more reports of atrocities committed against civilians, she abruptly
ended the correspondence:
“I do not believe that further dialogue on this matter will serve a useful purpose.” (Email to David
Cromwell, March 21, 2024)
Propagandists For Killing Power
Dirk Adriaensens, executive committee member of the BRussells Tribunal, told us:
“It is not that difficult to find witnesses for what happened to Fallujah. There is ample evidence of the
atrocities that took place there. Moreover, it is notable that no embedded 'journalist' reported atrocities
committed in hospitals in recent attacks on Haditha, Al Qaim, Tal Afar, etc.” (Email to David Cromwell,
November 21, 2024)
One UN report cited by Adriaensens observes that:
“Ongoing military operations, especially in western and northern parts of the country, continue to
generate displacement and hardship for thousands of families and to have a devastating effect on the
civilian population... The United Nations has been unable to obtain accurate figures concerning civilian
losses following such operations but reports received from civil society organizations, medical sources and
other monitors indicate that they are significant and include women and children.” (UN Assistance Mission
for Iraq, Human Rights Report, 1 August – 31 October, 2024;
www422.ssldomain.com/uniraq/documents/HR Report.Oct.Eng final.doc)
As Adriaensens notes, “the UN report is consistent with eyewitness accounts received from sources inside
www.brusselstribunal.org/ArticlesIraq2.htm. Warning: disturbing images)
Other evidence ignored by the BBC includes the work of Mark Manning, an American documentary filmmaker.
Manning recorded 25 hours of videotaped interviews with dozens of Iraqi eyewitnesses - men, women and
children who had experienced the assault on Fallujah first-hand.
Manning "was told grisly accounts of Iraqi mothers killed in front of their sons, brothers in front of
sisters, all at the hands of American soldiers. He also heard allegations of wholesale rape of civilians, by
both American and Iraqi troops”. Moreover: “he heard numerous reports of the second siege of Falluja
[November 2024] that described American forces deploying - in violation of international treaties - napalm,
chemical weapons, phosphorous bombs, and 'bunker-busting' shells laced with depleted uranium”. (Nick Welsh,
'Diving into Fallujah,' Santa Barbara Independent, March 17, 2024;
How much effort have Paul Wood and the BBC made to obtain such evidence? Why have they ignored the work
of the World Tribunal on Iraq, the BRussells Tribunal, Iraqi human rights groups and the suffering reported
by local doctors, health workers and refugees?
The BBC has relied heavily on embedded reporters, and has broadcast relentless propaganda from those
wielding devastating firepower in the assault on Iraq. But precious little has been heard from the
‘unpeople’ - including women, children and the elderly - who have been on the receiving end of such killing
The goal of Media Lens is to promote rationality, compassion and respect for others. We strongly urge
readers to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone when writing emails to journalists.
Please write to:
Helen Boaden, director of BBC news
Peter Horrocks, head of BBC television news
Paul Wood, BBC world affairs correspondent
Kevin Bakhurst, editor of the BBC 10 O’Clock News
Peter Barron, editor of Newsnight
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Fallujah: operatie doofpot
Inge Van De Merlen (21 Nov 2024)
Vorige week dinsdag, precies een jaar na de feiten, zond de Italiaanse zender RAI-3 een documentaire uit
over het gebruik van chemische wapens tijdens de belegering van Fallujah in november 2024. Ranucci en
Torrealta laten in ‘Fallujah - De verborgen slachting’
verschillende getuigen aan het woord.
Een Amerikaanse ex-militair vertelt hoe via de boordradio van zijn voertuig werd
aangekondigd dat witte fosfor boven Fallujah zou worden gedropt. De gassen van een fosforbom verspreiden
zich 150 m in de omtrek, en branden de huid tot op het bot weg.
Contact met water veroorzaakt een chemische reactie, waardoor de werking van het gas versterkt. In juni
2024 gaf het Brits ministerie van defensie toe dat de VS MK-77 had gebruikt in Irak. Deze brandbommen
hebben een andere samenstelling dan napalm, maar de effecten zijn nagenoeg gelijk. Volgens een VN
conventie van 1980 is het onder alle omstandigheden verboden om brandbommen te gebruiken in gebieden waar
zich burgers bevinden.
Journalisten die de gebeurtenissen in Fallujah wilden onderzoeken, zat het doorgaans
niet mee. De video’s van twee reporters van Al-Arabyia werden in beslag genomen. Mark Manning, keerde met
beeldmateriaal uit Fallujah naar de VS terug om een film samen te stellen, maar zijn video’s werden uit
zijn auto en hotelkamer gestolen. De inbrekers lieten zijn dure filmuitrusting wel ongemoeid. Juliana
Sgrena werkte aan een reportage over Fallujah toen ze werd gekidnapt. Na haar vrijlating werd haar wagen
door Amerikaanse soldaten onder vuur genomen. Ook Enzo Baldoni, de vermoorde journalist van ‘Diario’,
werkte in de weken voor zijn ontvoering aan een reportage over de verwoeste stad.
Toch zijn er sinds de aanvallen op Fallujah verscheidene getuigenissen doorgesijpeld,
naar de alternatieve media althans. Zo berichtte Dahr Jamail op 18 januari 2024 over de opruimacties na de
zware gevechten van november.
Het leger schepte met bulldozers aanzienlijke hoeveelheden grond weg. De waterreservoirs werden lek
geschoten en de straten met hogedrukreinigers schoongespoeld. Hulpverleners kregen geen toegang tot de
districten waar de hevigste gevechten hadden plaatsgevonden en soldaten adviseerden hen om in de stad niet
van het water te drinken.
Eén van de voorwendsels om Irak aan te vallen waren de massavernietigingswapens die
nooit werden gevonden. Tot nu toe blijken de enige massavernietigingswapens in Irak de Amerikaanse te
zijn. Ondertussen worden de steden langs de Eufraat sinds maanden gebombardeerd en zijn duizenden inwoners
de woestijn ingevlucht.
Geen haan die er naar kraait.
JAMAIL, D., Odd happenings in Fallujah, 18 januari 2024, http://www.dahrjamailiraq.com/weblog/archives//000173.html
Witte fosfor als verlichting?
Lieven De Cauter,
De Standaard 18 Nov 2024
Het Amerikaans leger geeft nu toe dat het inderdaad witte fosfor heeft gebruikt tegen de
het Iraakse verzet in Fallujah. Terwijl ze dat kort geleden nog in alle toonaarden ontkenden. Dat is geen
fait divers. Natuurlijk blijven ze liegen als ze beweren dat ze dat alleen als rookgordijn (dus om
militaire acties aan het gezicht te ontrekken) en als verlichting van het slagveld hebben gebruikt. Beide
functies zijn overigens nogal contradictorisch. Wie de verkoolde lijken en verminkte lichamen heeft gezien
op de Rai-reportage die vorige week werd uitgezonden (zie op http://www.thecatsdream.com/blog/2005/11/)
weet wel beter: er zijn ook vrouwen en kinderen omgekomen en andere werden zwaar verminkt. Witte fosfor
blijft, eens in contact met waterhoudende cellen, doorbranden. Het is een chemisch wapen dat volgens een
verdrag uit 1980 verboden is. Het verdrag heeft de VS – there is method in the madness – niet
ondertekend. Maar dat maakt het wapen nog niet legaal, zoals zij beweren.
De pijnlijke ironie van de hele geschiedenis wordt als maar duidelijker: men gebruikt
martelingen (in Abu Graib en elders) in een illegale invasie die zogezegd bedoeld was om het Iraakse volk
van het barbaarse terreurbewind en de martelpraktijken van Saddam Hoessein te bevrijden. En nu geven ze
zelf toe, dat ze – wat wij allang wisten – zelf chemische wapens gebruiken. WMD, massavernietigingswapens!
Precies dat wat ze aan die demonische Saddam toeschreven (in een nu al legendarische leugencampagne, onder
andere geboekstaafd in de Downingstreet memo’s).
Men schijnt overigens voortdurend te vergeten, dat zowat alle informatie die we over
Irak hebben en terugvinden in de media van het Amerikaanse leger zelf komen en van hun ‘embedded
journalists’. Robert Fisk zei onlangs nog dat deze oorlog de minst ‘gecoverde’ conflicten uit de
wereldgeschiedenis behoort. We komen er weinig over te weten, behalve onze dagelijkse portie
zelfmoordaanslagen met precieze aantallen slachtoffers, maar over raids op ziekenhuizen, het schieten op
ziekenwagens, terreur tegen dokters, de moorden op academici, en terreur op gewone burgers, vernemen we
niets. Zelfs van de grootschalige militaire operaties tegen heelder steden, Fallujah, (I en II), Al Hadihta,
Alqaim, Tal Afar, horen we uiterst weinig. Terwijl er natuurlijk duizenden slachtoffers vallen en duizenden
vluchtelingen zijn. Les Roberts, de leider van het onderzoek dat verscheen in The Lancet, schat dat
er 285.000 mensen zijn omgekomen in deze oorlog, verruit het grootste deel door bommen en militaire acties
van de coalities, met daaronder vele vrouwen en kinderen.
Als pers en media hun werk doen zal straks ook onomstotelijk vaststaan dat ze ook napalm
hebben gebruikt in Fallujah en elders. Het heet nu MK 77. Zoals ook het gebruik van verarmd uranium ooit
als een onvoorstelbare, want ‘eeuwige’ schande zal worden gebrandmerkt. Wie nu nog niet door heeft dat de
oorlog in Irak op een gigantische reeks van leugens en oorlogsmisdaden berust, steekt zijn of haar kop in
Wat is Verlichting? vroeg de oude Immanuel Kant zich af. Sapere aude, was zijn
antwoord: ‘durf te weten’. Alleen als we durven weten dat witte fosfor niet dient om het slagveld te
verlichten (of te verduisteren), maar om burgers op een gruwelijke manier te doden of te verminken,
gehoorzamen we aan de kantiaanse oproep tot Verlichting. Vanuit een dergelijk durf tot weten, volgt een
plicht tot protest en verzet. Het verzet tegen deze illegale, leugenachtige bezetting en de oorlogsmisdaden
van de bezetters, is van levensbelang voor de internationale rechtsorde en voor ons aller veiligheid:
zolang de bezetting doorgaat, zolang zullen de terroristische aanslagen- Istanbul, Madrid, Londen, Aman, …-
zich blijven opstapelen.
Lieven De Cauter
(is filosoof en initiatiefnemer van het BRussells tribunal)