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U.S. used napalm in Falluja

By David Hoskins

Nov 17, 2005 - New evidence came to light earlier this month that confirmed reports in Workers World newspaper and elsewhere that the U.S. military had used internationally banned chemical weapons, including white phosphorus and napalm, during its November 2004 attack on Falluja.

The U.S. government adamantly denied these reports at the time. Reports of the alleged U.S. war crimes were notably absent from the pages of most Western newspapers and there was virtually no discussion of the issue on cable news stations or talk radio. Al Jazeera’s facility in Iraq was forcibly shut down in an attempt to stifle journalistic inquiry into these reports.

Now, almost a year later, Italian state television RAI has produced a documentary confirming that U.S. forces in fact used white phosphorus and MK77 Mod 5—a napalm derivative—in Falluja. And the Guardian of London has called Falluja an atrocity on the scale of Mylai and Guernica, estimating 7,000 civilian dead.

While MK77 Mod 5 uses a formula consisting of a smaller concentration of benzene, the effects are exactly the same as napalm. The use of these incendiary wea pons is a violation of the 1980 UN Conven tion on Certain Conventional Weapons.

Workers World newspaper had published an article in its Dec. 2, 2004, issue based on a talk by Workers World Party Secre tariat member Sara Flounders in which she described how the use of illicit chemical weapons, poison gas and bunker busters had virtually destroyed the city of Falluja.

Jeff Englehart, a former soldier in the U.S. 1st Infantry Division in Iraq, says in the Italian documentary that he saw “burned bodies, burned children and burned women.” Entitled “Falluja: The Hidden Massacre,” the film contains video footage showing the bodies of civilian women and children following the U.S. air and artillery bombardment.

The innocent victims appear to have been burned to the bone. Others have partially melted flesh hanging from their bodies. These chemical weapons primarily affect the flesh of their targets. The evidence leaves no doubt that the victims were unarmed and in civilian clothing at the time of their deaths.

Orders to shoot children

Describing the United States’ intention to target civilians in Falluja, Englehart states that he was told by military superiors going into Falluja that “every single person that was walking, talking, breathing was [an] enemy combatant. As such every single person that was walking down the street or in a house was a target.” Englehart confirms that soldiers had orders to shoot children as young as 10 years old.

The use of white phosphorus and napalm in Falluja is just another example of criminal action and conspiracy to hide the truth. It fits into a domestic and international agenda to reshape world politics in favor of the extreme right wing of the U.S. ruling class. The breakup of the Soviet Union emboldened the most conservative sector of U.S. imperialism and its allies to try to assume for themselves absolute control of the world.

Recent news reports have provided myriad instances of criminality, corruption and conspiracy. Since 2004 alone, troops directed by the Bush administration have been caught committing torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, desecrating the Koran in the concentration camp in Guantanamo in occupied Cuba and now using internationally banned chemical weapons in Falluja.

The U.S. government first lied in 2002-2003, claiming the existence of massive amounts of chemical weapons in Iraqi hands, to justify the invasion of Iraq. The same U.S. government then turned its own arsenal of chemical weapons against innocent civilians in Falluja and has now been caught lying in an attempt to cover up its criminal actions.

http://www.workers.org/2005/world/falluja-1124/

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Photo: The U.S. used napalm, mustard gas, and nerve gas when it attacked Fallujah in November 2004.