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March 21, 2003

US Dropping Napalm

How can we seriously talk about Saddam Hussein using "weapons of mass destruction" when we are now dropping napalm on Iraqis?:

The destruction of Safwan Hill was a priority for the attacking forces because it had sophisticated surveillance equipment...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.
We are attacking a country where we have no proof that they retain chemical weapons, while using napalm and other area weapons denounced as violations of human rights by international bodies.
Here- In 1996, the UN Commission on Human Rights Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities produced a resolution (96/16) urging states to ‘curb the production and the spread of weapons of mass destruction or with indiscriminate effect, in particular nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, fuel-air bombs, napalm, cluster bombs, biological weaponry and weaponry containing depleted uranium’.
The US has blocked formal treaties on banning napalm, an "unreasonable veto" if there ever was one, but for us to fight a war in the name of stopping "bad weapons" with horrific weapons like napalm just adds to our lack of credibility around the world.

Update: The military is denying it has napalm available in this update to the napalm story, despite US military officers telling the original reporter that napalm was used.

Posted by Nathan at March 21, 2003 06:29 PM

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spread of weapons of mass destruction or with indiscriminate effect

Napalm would be a "weapon of indiscriminate effect," not a weapon of mass destruction.

Posted by: Andrew Hagen at March 21, 2003 07:03 PM

Hi,
Mr Newman, I would like to ask where you got that information, because both the U.S. Air Force and Navy have phased out Napalm from there arsenals. Yes, we used it in the first Gulf War, but all sources I have ever heard of say we have gotten rid of Napalm. -Respectfully
-Robert S. Morgan
P.S. I can't wait to see your response when we find case's and case's full of Sarin and Mustard gas in Saddams Bunkers.

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 21, 2003 09:30 PM

Gee, Mr. Morgan, he found it where I did--just click on the bright blue "dropping napalm" in the first paragraph. It takes you right to the article.

Posted by: Emma at March 21, 2003 10:54 PM

Well, the US never signed the anti-napalm treaty in 1980, so we're technically legal.
Frankly I've been wondering about Saddam's WMD, and feeling increasingly doubtful that he has any that work. Him not using any so far increases that doubt, and if we conclude the war without any WMD attack, it won't matter much to a great chunk of the world how much we find in Baghdad, millions will say the CIA just put it there. And it will be awfully hard to prove them wrong.
Of course, with "proof" that Saddam didn't have WMD, the US case for invasion goes down the toilet. And we look really, really bad to 3/4 of the world. Yes, it's possible to look worse than we do now.

Posted by: John Isbell at March 21, 2003 11:22 PM

Of course, with "proof" that Saddam didn't have WMD, the US case for invasion goes down the toilet. And we look really, really bad to 3/4 of the world. Yes, it's possible to look worse than we do now.

Well, even with "proof" that WMDs were found 3/4 of the world won't buy it. Planting evidence of WMDs is a piece of cake. The US adminstration has already destroyed its credibility world wide with actions such as the Nigerian forged document, the duct-tape-and-balsa plane that Powell said was a drone with up to 500 km range, the numerous errors in Powell's UN presentation corrected by the inspectors, etc. etc.

Furthermore, the lumping of chemical, bio, and nuclear weapons into one category is really disingenous. Nukes are by far the most severe, in terms of destructive capability, and Iraq is no where near having any of those. The others are bad, to be sure, but it isn't like Sarin and Mustard gas are going to wipe out a city of millions. The Sarin poisoning in the Japanese subway only killed -- what? 12 people -- and that was helped by it being during peak rush hour and a total surprise to a then-unprepared city. These poisons are heavier than air, so tend to sink to the ground. This is why mustard gas killed so many in the trenches of WW1. This isn't to say they are not very, very bad, but it is very questionable whether a relatively small quantity of Sarin or Mustard gas justifies a war that will kill tens of thousands or more.

Posted by: Z at March 22, 2003 02:36 PM

We will most assuredly find evidence of Iraqi WMD's. We're bringing it with us.

Posted by: Chuck Nolan at March 22, 2003 03:20 PM

it seems that you failed to finish quoting that article. i will finish for you:

"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."

I doubt that the United States military needs to utilize napalm when we have such powerful and acurate artilery. Also i wouldnt be suprised if the person who wrote that article got the sources a bit messed up.. im betting that it wasnt a US Officer. It was probably some kid out there fighting in a war.. and he blerted out napalm.

Posted by: zach at March 22, 2003 09:01 PM

Napalm was also mentioned in a CNN article. Obviously the Pentagon forgot to censor this one -- too busy bombing folks, I guess:

http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/03/21/otsc.irq.savidge/

Here are the pertinent paragraphs:

>We were up moving into the attack positions with the ground forces as they were preparing to head into southern Iraq. They met some resistance up there at the Kuwaiti-Iraq border. Well, that was quickly resolved. They called in Tomahawk strikes and airstrikes that went on all night long.

>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 Kuwait.

>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.

Posted by: Diogenes at March 23, 2003 12:16 AM

Oh, and by the way, Zach, the SMH -- probably under pressure from the Pentagon -- has edited their original story twice.

The first edit, made sometime Friday afternoon Central US time, removed all the napalm references. The second edit, which was done early Saturday US Central time, reinstates the references (probably after they got independent confirmation from other sources that napalm was used), but adds in the comments from the second US officer, the one who denys that napalm was used. This second edit was the one that you saw.
So don't go accusing Nathan of not quoting the whole passage, because that particular passage wasn't in the story when he saw it.

Oh, and yes, as I mentioned before, CNN has also stated that napalm was used.

Face it, Zach. George W. Bush is having our boys commit war crimes. You don't "liberate" people by dousing them with napalm.

Posted by: Diogenes at March 23, 2003 12:32 AM

Hi,
Note to everyone (again!): The U.S. Military HAS NO NAPALM! They even say it at the end of the article! This is poor reporting by Mrs. Murdoch. Can we please just get the facts straight. -Respectfully
Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 23, 2003 02:48 PM

And we don't make the chemical dust either! we are christians who would never drop bad things on anybody. No anthrax, no siree! We are the good guys! Now repeat after me, one nation, under God, with justice and liberty for all. I feel better already.

Posted by: Tin Soldier at March 23, 2003 08:50 PM

Hi,
With all due respect, why does everyone on the left seem to be pesimistic about evrything. We live in the best country in the world and just because someone doesn't agree with your political opinions, that doesn't make them evil. I may not agree with you, Mr. Newman when it comes to politics, but I'm sure you a swell guy. Lets make sure we don't demonize the oppisite side just because of politics. -Respectfully
Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 23, 2003 09:35 PM

Robert,
You open yourself to some (mostly) friendly jabbing when you decide to post on a list peopled mostly by lefties. And let's not mistake critical thinking for cynacism. I'm sure you'll agree that the general level of intelligent discourse found on Nathan's site is superior to that found on similar sites.

By the way, I think we live in a pretty damn good country. But I have no idea if it is really "the best in the world", which is an unthinking conservative's mantra designed to simplistically paint the world black and white. Our government has done horrible things, and continues to do so (not intended as a direct reference to the Iraq war - though I'm reserving judgment).

If you, or anyone else, thinks this adminstration is above using false information to make its case against Iraq, you have already been proven wrong. And if you don't think they will invent and distort information in this war, then you must have a crystal ball.

Any information presented to us by the government and military MUST BE viewed skeptically. This is not to say that unsupported conspiracies should gain credibility. However, to sustain a democratic country it is your charge to not swallow without knowing what you are eating.

Posted by: Eric Bruce at March 24, 2003 01:55 PM

Hi,
First things first, I enjoy posting on this board because it gives me insight into the way the left thinks. I thank everyone who has directly responded to me; critical thinking is a must in a democracy and I am glad Mr. Newman opens his site up for criticsm, my hat is off to you.

Secondly, it is one thing to take things skeptically. It is another to blindly ignore the facts presented in front of you.
-Respectfully
-Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 24, 2003 07:02 PM

Hi,

I live in Spain. I too was living in the best country of the world - so I thought - until president Aznar (the little fellow in a Saddam moustache between Bush & Blair) decided to join the war against Irak against 70-90% opinion of Spanish citizens. Now I am ashamed of him, but I do expect we will kick him in the next ellections.

If you believe what your military spokesmen say about napalm, have a look at http://www.deoxy.org/wc/warcrime.htm

Someone is telling lies!.

Posted by: Colin Dante at March 25, 2003 09:20 AM

Robert -

Not to side track the argument, but it is quite a generalization to say that everyone on the left is pessimistic. During the Clinton years it would have been very easy to label everyone on the right as pessimistic. Political discourse in this country has been rail-roaded by idealogues on both sides of the fence into demonizing and name-calling by people of all political persuasion, so let's do our best to leave it out of our discussion and try to 'rise above' as they say.

Whether or not napalm has been used is open for debate. What isn't is our use of depleted uranium, which has been confirmed to be in use and is also considered a weapon of indescriminate effect. I think the point is that as noble as the aims may be argued to be, being on the side of the angels is off the table...

p.s. I also agree that nuclear and perhaps some biological weapons should be listed as a separate category, if for nothing else than how much harder they are to obtain

Posted by: Dave Latham at March 26, 2003 03:59 PM

The reference to napalm was taken out in the original article. The story (and a link to a CNN correspondant who briefly mentions the napalm as well): http://thunderbay.indymedia.org/news/2003/03/4985.php

In my opinion, most rumors at least have a basis in truth. Just because you don't see the story in the mainstream American media doesn't mean it's not true.

Posted by: M. Murphy at March 28, 2003 02:35 PM

The reference to napalm was taken out in the original article. The story (and a link to a CNN correspondant who briefly mentions the napalm as well): here

In my opinion, most rumors at least have a basis in truth. Just because you don't see the story in the mainstream American media doesn't mean it's not true.

Posted by: M. Murphy at March 28, 2003 02:35 PM

Just happened upon this site and thought I would correct a few errors on the part of Robert S Morgan.


You say that "This is poor reporting by Mrs. Murdoch". Perhaps you should look at the track record of Lindsay Murdoch (by the way, he is a man). He has been a foreign correspondent for many years and his information has proved reliable over a long period of time as The Age newspaper's representative in Indonesia and elsewhere.


You state very strongly that the US has no napalm, yet provide no evidence for this other than to say that the US army says so. Anyone who understands critical theory will see why this is such a shallow and superficial argument. The United States has a long history of misinformation during wartime. So-called 'black information' is used primarily to achieve logistic gains, but it appears that on this occasion they have denied the use of napalm because the Pentagon realises how hypocritical they will look.


You also state that the US is the best country in the world. It isn't. I have travelled across just about every country on earth and I can say that the poverty I saw in New York city was worse than I saw in drought-torn Eritrea, a country battling through a war with Ethiopia. How can a country that fails to feed its own citizens be a good place to live? What you have in the USA is a marketing campaign the cannot be rivalled by any other country on earth. Have you ever wondered why your president is never interviewed one-on-one by a journalist? Every other leader of a Western country is regularly interviewed one-on-one by political pundits.

You country ranks well down the list of the world's most free (just take a look at the latest rankings for press freedom) and it is people like yourself who fail to properly scrutinise your system that has landed you in such a mess.

As for me, I live in Australia, a country also not perfect, but with something called a welfare state that means I get free healthcare, and there are almost no beggars on our streets. (I have seen just one in the past six months).

Posted by: Robert Deane at March 29, 2003 05:13 AM

For future generations the American empire will be remembered by being the most hated through out the world.

American political propaganda will be compared to Nazi propaganda and their people unconditional acceptance to theirs countries hostile actions will be easily related.

Just like the germans who had to face the shameful position of being a threat to world after WW2, someday you americans will be aware of how much suffer, poverty and death costed to the world to keep your 'free society' and the economy of the 'best country in the world'(???). Some have already faced that, but refuse to accept and the majority, supported by media and hollywood blind view, dont have the slightest idea of what is that.

The worst blind is the one who does not want to see.

P.S. you can say you live in the wealthiest country, never the best. NEVER.

Posted by: Guilherme at March 29, 2003 11:28 AM

Hi,
"Since independence from Ethiopia on 24 May 1993, Eritrea has faced the economic problems of a small, desperately poor country. Like the economies of many African nations, the economy is largely based on subsistence agriculture, with 80% of the population involved in farming and herding. The Ethiopian-Eritrea war in 1998-2000 severely hurt Eritrea's economy. GDP growth in 1999 fell to less than 1%, and GDP decreased by 8.2% in 2000. The May 2000 Ethiopian offensive into northern Eritrea caused some $600 million in property damage and loss, including losses of $225 million in livestock and 55,000 homes. The attack prevented planting of crops in Eritrea's most productive region, causing food production to drop by 62%. Even during the war, Eritrea developed its transportation infrastructure, asphalting new roads, improving its ports, and repairing war damaged roads and bridges. Eritrea's economic future remains mixed. The cessation of Ethiopian trade, which mainly used Eritrean ports before the war, leaves Eritrea with a large economic hole to fill. Eritrea's economic future depends upon its ability to master fundamental social problems like illiteracy, unemployment, and low skills, and to convert the diaspora's money and expertise into economic growth." -CIA Worldfactobook
Mr. Deane, if you think Eritrea's poverty is greater than ours in the United States, well, no offense, but you got your head in the sand. I also noticed that the people of Eritrea have not been allowed to vote for there national assembly since 1993(the elections have been posponed INDEFINITELY!).
I'am sorry you can't tell a great country when you see one. I'am proud of your nations support of President Bush and I would very much like to visit Austrailia some day. Please do not compare my home to a dirt-poor country such as Eritrea. Whats next, you gonna compare us to Hati?
-Repectfully
Robert S. Morgan
P.S. Austrailia's unemployment rate is higher than the United States's, just goes to show what a "welfare government" is good for.

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 29, 2003 09:42 PM

Mr Morgan--
I too am from a welfare gov't--Canada. We refused to participate in this sham proudly, and I would never move to the USA--ever. I have free health care--how funny that people from the "best country in the world" feel a need to sneak over and defraud my country because theirs doesn't provide basic medical aid. We have freedom of press here which makes the US's laughable--and it's not even a guarenteed right in our constitution like yours is. I would not trade my peace-keeping welfare country for a hundred million of your "best country"s. Take off the patriotic blinders, sir, and take a good hard look at your (un elected) presdient and illegal terrorist actions in Iraq. THAT'S what will best serve democracy in the long run.

Posted by: M. Suzanne at April 1, 2003 10:42 AM

Robert S. Morgan, did you not read my post right before yours?!?! Go check it out -- it's #9 in the queue.

You are trying to smear Lindsay Murdoch and the SMH, but guess what?

CNN also said that the US used napalm at Safwan Hill. And unlike the SMH, they have yet to back down from that statement. (To the Herald's credit, it reinstated the napalm references after Murdoch talked with more US officers who reiterated that napalm was used. This was also something I mentioned back in post #9.)

How many times do we have to say this? Or will you continue to pretend that the napalm is straight out of Lindsay Murdoch's imagination?

Posted by: Diogenes at April 3, 2003 02:17 PM

Hi,
Maybe if CNN or Murcdoch (and anyone else not in the military on studied in military history) knew what Napalm actually is, I might be skeptical of what the military is telling me. This anti-military sludge just kills me! Yes, we used it in Vietnam...yes, its nasty stuff; BUT WE DONT USE IT ANYMORE! They probobly mistaked a fuel-air bomb for Napalm (which does not maim like napalm did) and claimed that the military was still using Nape' unknowingly. -Repsectfully
-Robert S. Morgan

P.S.- Just in case anyone else had any questions about the effectiveness of Welfare states, Canada ALSO has a higher unemployment rate than the U.S.

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at April 8, 2003 10:52 PM

You just dont get the point, do you Mr. Morgan?

Its just scary how a effective welfare state produces an ordinary american thats mediocre, shortminded and racist person.

P.S. Americans, watchout, If military and news agencies tell you to stuck your head inside toillete and flush it, consider a second time before doing it.

Posted by: guilherme at April 9, 2003 01:13 PM

You just dont get the point, do you Mr. Morgan?

Its just scary how a effective welfare state produces an ordinary american thats mediocre, shortminded and racist person.

P.S. Americans, watchout, If military and news agencies tell you to stuck your head inside toillete and flush it, consider a second time before doing it.

Posted by: guilherme at April 9, 2003 01:15 PM

You just dont get the point, do you Mr. Morgan?

Its just scary how a effective welfare state produces an ordinary american thats mediocre, shortminded and racist person.

P.S. Americans, watchout, If military and news agencies tell you to stuck your head inside toillete and flush it, consider a second time before doing it.

Posted by: guilherme at April 9, 2003 01:16 PM

Hi,
Kinda funny how when you dont like the facts, you had to resort to name calling, eh Mr. Guilherme? -Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at April 9, 2003 11:01 PM

US Military admits using napalm-like weapons - check these stories out:

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/08/08/1060145827920.html

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/08/08/1060145828249.html

Posted by: Mike at August 8, 2003 03:01 AM

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