In her latest post Sharon claimed that I misrepresented her "Man versus Man" post about the Fallujah reportage when I claimed that she seemed to be sceptical about the use of chemical weapons in Fallujah. I quote from Sharon's original post:
"But this documentary relies on the word of two US army men who do not inspire much confidence. It may be my own prejudice clouding my judgment but I would need much more proof of wrongdoing to accept the documentary as having any journalistic merit. My heart may want to believe that the US Army are more than capable of using chemical weapons but my head tells me that this documentary does not constitute proof. The least the report could have done was to try and obtain a scientific explanation for burnt bodies covered in intact clothing."
Now Sharon might find it convenient to couch her political observations in some kind of analysis of journalistic capabilities. Unfortunately, one you join the fray and claim others are "misrepresenting you" the cloak of judge and juror has to be shed and replaced by that of interlocutor. In other words Sharon, whether you are speaking of the way a documentary should be made and what proof it should contain or not, you are still at the end of the day implying that you do not believe them. I did not misrepresent what you said clearly in black and white.
Another issue both Sharon and Fausto seem to really really want to clear out is that of the effect of weaponry on clothing. We have an admission by US Forces that MK77 was used. We have burnt dead bodies. And we still question whether the clothing remains could help us tell something. Sharon mulled about how people could watch war videos with indifference. "I become irrational and angry at the people around me who seemed to be able to handle the visual information so much better than I ever could." says Sharon. Which makes me all the more surprised when she is seeing the pictures and still questioning their veracity. Does she know that her question implies Iraqis burning the bodies of fellow Iraqis in order to doctor an alibi of American atrocities? Could they go that far?
And now for today's news... that UK Independent... the media has continued to report. Here is the header and sub-header, the rest is in the article, the devil is in the detail and the dead are in Fallujah.
Incendiary weapons: The big white lie
US finally admits using white phosphorus in Fallujah - and beyond.
Iraqis investigate if civilians were targeted with deadly chemical
from The Times - article "Propaganda nightmare of chemical hypocrisy":
"No matter the technical explanations of how useful the chemical is in flushing out insurgents from cellars. In using a weapon notorious in Vietnam, with effects on the human body straight from a science fiction film, it has given a gift to its enemies. It is now loudly accused of hypocrisy: justifying the war partly by Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons, but then using particularly nasty ones itself. "
Allegations of unusual weapons have been around since the assault. The US denied them, until internet bloggers unearthed personal accounts by the US military. On Tuesday Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Barry Venable said that the substance had been used as an “incendiary weapon against enemy combatants”, contradicting earlier statements by the London and Rome ambassadors, and the State Department website.
If there was anything that could make perceptions worse, it was the military slang of “shake and bake” attacks, phosphorus being the “bake” part - Bronwen Maddox (Times Quote of the Day)..
I cannot link you to today's Times cartoon since I cannot find the net version. It's an aerial view of the pentagon. In the top left corner is the caption "Choir Practice". A speech bubble coming out of the pentagon has the following text within (and includes musical notes).."I'm dreaming of a White Phosphorous Christmas, Just Like the One's I used to Know".