vendredi, novembre 11, 2005

Tangible Proof

As if further proof was need. Please note there was an admission by the US Government, a confirmation in the UK Parliament - so the mutilated bodies were not 'doctored'. I'm sorry but any further reference to doctoring sounds too much like holocaust denial. I did read your email Jacobin. There are many many answers but not much time right now. In the meantime read this info... it's illuminating.

From Iraq Analysis Group Site.

Update on firebombs

On 17th April 2005, the Iraq Analysis Group produced a report detailing evidence for the use of a new generation napalm weapon known as the ‘MK77 firebomb’ by US forces in Iraq. There was growing concern about this weapon, as the UK is a signatory to a convention banning it on humanitarian grounds. The UK authorities had repeatedly denied that US forces were equipped with it, claiming their US allies had told them so. This was in the face of evidence including statements from the US State Department admitting MK77 use.

On 20th April 2005, Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram was ‘made aware’ of this evidence and contacted his US counterparts for clarification.

On 28th June 2005, with the General Election safely past, Adam Ingram admitted that his three outright denials in Parliament had been incorrect, and US forces in Iraq had indeed used the MK77 Firebomb. Despite the UK commitment to banning these controversial weapons, he showed no concern about our allies using them: ‘Where, and against which targets the weapons were used is a matter for the US authorities.’

The Iraq Analysis Group has submitted a Freedom of Information Request to find out if and when the US Government told the UK it was not using the MK77 firebomb in Iraq. We have not yet had a satisfactory response.

Comment by Dr Robert M. Gould,
Chair of the Security Committee of Physicians for Social Responsibility:

“While Defence Secretary Reid said on British TV that the United States has used MK77 firebombs in Iraq, but that these are not napalm bombs and that their contents do not stick to the skin like napalm, he is being disingenuous at best and misleading at worst. Napalm is a mixture of benzene (21%), gasoline (33%), and polystyrene (46%). A typical bomb will contain about 75 gallons of this combustible material in an aluminium shell. The MK47 bomb, now withdrawn from service, was a napalm bomb.

While the US Department of Defense has denied using napalm claiming instead to be using ‘firebombs’ as Defence Secretary Reid stated, this denial by the US DOD was issued on the technical basis that the incendiaries used consisted primarily of kerosene-based jet fuel (which has a smaller concentration of benzene), rather than the traditional mixture of gasoline and benzene used for napalm, and that these therefore did not qualify as napalm.

The material in the MK77 is not classic napalm, it is a modern version of the substance with an identical purpose. To claim that material from a bomb set to explode in a fireball containing a mix of fuel and polystyrene is not intended to stick to the skin defies all reason. Defence Secretary Reid is attempting to hide the awful reality of warfare in Iraq from the British public, something he cannot be allowed to succeed in.”

Devasting weaponry

Dr Douglas Holdstock of the UK medical charity Medact, said: “Dr Reid is hair-splitting. Both napalm and the MK77 are gel-based firebombs. They both seem likely to breach the basic principle of the international humanitarian law of war that weapons should not inflict “superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering”

More firebombs in production

Meanwhile, new documents discovered by the Iraq Analysis Group, an independent UK research group critical of UK humanitarian policy in Iraq, reveal that the US army has recently been stockpiling large quantities of new MK77 firebombs. Adam Ingram sought to reassure Labour MPs in a letter to Labour MP Harry Cohen last week that US forces had dropped MK77 firebombs only up to 21 April 2003. Nonetheless a Federal Procurement Solicitation issued on January 14 2004, and updated on June 7 2004, solicits manufacturers for a further 993 firebombs.


[1] Quoted in Adam Sparrow, ‘Parliament Misled over Firebomb Use’, Daily Telegraph 20 June 2005

[2] Commons Hansard, 11 January 2005: “Adam Ingram: The United States have confirmed to us that they have not used Mark 77 firebombs, which are essentially napalm canisters, in Iraq at any time”

[3] ‘Officials confirm dropping firebombs on Iraqi troops’, San Diego Union Tribune, 5 August 2003. Compare also the statement by a Pentagon spokesperson in August 2003: ‘MK 77 is called Napalm due to the fact that their impact on targets resembles remarkably the use of Napalm’

[4] Federal Procurement Solicitation for MK77 Mod 5 Firebomb No. W52P1J04-R-0077, 13 January 2004,

Following the UK government admission that US Forces in Iraq have been using the MK77 firebomb, Mike Lewis of the Iraq Analysis Group submitted the following Freedom of Information Request to the UK Ministry of Defence:

"A society whose citizens refuse to see and investigate the facts, who refuse to believe that their government and their media will routinely lie to them and fabricate a reality contrary to verifiable facts, is a society that chooses and deserves the Police State Dictatorship it's going to get."
- Ian Williams Goddard

9 commentaires:

the jacobin a dit…

This evidence is definitely more authoritative, and as I said in my e-mail, I will condemn the U.S forces in question for their conduct, given the present set of facts.

Athena a dit…

Jacobin, thought I'd reply here as the other post seems to be sinking into the archival abyss:-) I should also have been clear, my apologies. What I wanted to say was that the photos clearly show bodies nuked with phosphorus. There are many things you can do to a body and they all leave certain definite traces (don't even get me started on bodies lol or you'd have to sit on my head to make me shurrup).So from the pictures it was clear that those bodies had been mutilated. As for the politics behind it, well that's another story.

Incidentally, archaeologists are often employed on war sites, although thankfully I've never worked on one. During the Bosnia/Serbia/Eastern European fray archaeologists (esp those specializing in forensics) were employed to recover and identify bodies as the pathologists were already very overstretched. Many of the techniques used in archaeology, esp when digging very early sites, are brilliant for forensic work (microstratigraphy being one). I imagine that the job must have been very unpleasant. It's already eerie playing with bones of long-dead people, handling recent corpses must be quite a shock to the system. Archaeologists have also faced the unpleasant task of working in WW2 concentration camps.

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

hmmm... athena... can you "nuke" with phosphorous?

the jacobin a dit…

Athena, thanks for the lesson - I was aware that archaeologists had been used in connection with the excavation of various mass graves throughout the former Yugoslavia, but your words were informative nonetheless. I'd only query your use of the word 'nuke' - would you care to clarify that? The traditional nuclear posture of the American government has been no first strike, and I doubt highly that they would have reversed this for Fallujah, regardless of how bad things got.

(Incidentally I re-printed the e-mail I sent to Jacques on my blog; when you have a spare moment I'd be curious to know your views as to its content)

Athena a dit…

Sorry my word nuke is meaningless, it's like when I get stuck for words and say "thingy" (which always amuses the Poms). There, now you've made me feel linguistically inadequate:P *goes off in search of chocolate, while grumbling about lawyers*

Hsejjes a dit…

*hsejjes hands athena a Mars bar and joins in the grumbling about lawyers*

Fausto Majistral a dit…

What I wanted to say was that the photos clearly show bodies nuked with phosphorus.

Wouldn't seem to be so.

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

fausto fausto. don't slip on the dry. :)

it's not piccante it's mildly hot. so it's good eh? you do not necessarily die of it... you might squirm in pain but that's ok is it? this IS the USA... the world's leading democracy that even conducts surveys about other countries to see how democratic and just THEY are?

quis custodiet ipsos custodies?

Fausto Majistral a dit…

you do not necessarily die of it... you might squirm in pain but that's ok is it?

And why is it any different from any other weapon? I really like the way the American-unfriendly media are referring to this as a "chemical attack". Sure, it involved a chemical reaction but then so does gunpowder: 75% potash, 15% sulphur and 10% charcoal.