Smells like… election victory

This entry was posted on
Friday, June 17th, 2005
4:47 pm and is filed
under It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!.

Independent – US lied to Britain over use of napalm in Iraq war: American officials lied to British ministers over the use of “internationally reviled” napalm-type firebombs in Iraq. Yesterday’s disclosure led to calls by MPs for a full statement to the Commons and opened ministers to allegations that they held back the facts until after the general election. Despite persistent rumours of injuries among Iraqis consistent with the use of incendiary weapons such as napalm, Adam Ingram, the Defence minister, assured Labour MPs in January that US forces had not used a new generation of incendiary weapons, codenamed MK77, in Iraq. But Mr Ingram admitted to the Labour MP Harry Cohen in a private letter obtained by The Independent that he had inadvertently misled Parliament because he had been misinformed by the US. “The US confirmed to my officials that they had not used MK77s in Iraq at any time and this was the basis of my response to you,” he told Mr Cohen. “I regret to say that I have since discovered that this is not the case and must now correct the position.” Mr Ingram said 30 MK77 firebombs were used by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in the invasion of Iraq between 31 March and 2 April 2003. They were used against military targets “away from civilian targets”, he said. This avoids breaching the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), which permits their use only against military targets.

(Link via this post at Chicken Yoghurt. )

“Persistent rumours”…? Try instead “multiple reports from eyewitnesses”…. and not only about its use in Baghdad:

The Generals Love Napalm
US used napalm in Fallujah

Here’s an early denial:

SMH – March 22 2003: Marine Cobra helicopter gunships firing Hellfire missiles swept in low from the south. Then the marine howitzers, with a range of 30 kilometres, opened a sustained barrage over the next eight hours. They were supported by US Navy aircraft which dropped 40,000 pounds of explosives and napalm, a US officer told the Herald. But a navy spokesman in Washington, Lieutenant Commander Danny Hernandez, denied that napalm – which was banned by a United Nations convention in 1980 – was used. The Pentagon subsequently issued a statement to the Herald: Your story (‘Dead bodies everywhere’, by Lindsay Murdoch, March 22, 2003) claiming US forces are using napalm in Iraq, is patently false. The US took napalm out of service in the early 1970s. We completed destruction of our last batch of napalm on April 4, 2001, and no longer maintain any stocks of napalm.

The secret to this denial is that they don’t call it napalm any more. It’s been rebranded for PR reasons. It’s still fiery, indiscriminating death from above… it just has a different name is all.

So you’d best regard that headline above as US used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Napalm in Fallujah.

But, of course, it was only used selectively in Baghdad. And we have every reason to believe that the US authorities are telling the truth about this

But even if this is the case, you have to consider that they call this kind of thing a ‘dumb bomb’ for a reason. Any military target it’s used against will want to be at least half a mile from civilians. And I hear that Baghdad is a pretty crowded place. People actually live there. (Insert past-tense for people who no longer live there and/or are no longer alive.)

CNN – October 24, 2003: In Iraq, Corporal Casey Brommer remembers the trip along the Tigris River to Baghdad and coming under fire. “We called in with some artillery and some napalm. Some innocent women and child got hit. They came out. We met them on the road and they had little girls with noses blown off and husbands carrying their dead wives,” Brommer recalls.

Hooray for Adam Ingram (contact details), who remained ignorant of this mainly because he stood with his back turned and his fingers in his ears chanting; “La-la-la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you-why-do-you-hate-America?”

About Tim Ireland

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