"War without rules"

I simply haven’t known how to blog even parts of this sickening news. Words fail.

Early last week, Americablog picked up on a story in the Italian media
documenting that white phosphorous had been used on insurgent troops AND Iraqi civilians in the assault on Falluja. CSM then ran the story noting that the US denied the allegations last year, when the rumors started. And the Pentagon continued to deny the Italian stories… until a Daily Kos diarist found an article in AN ARMY PUBLICATION describing the use of White Phosphorous as a weapon! Fascinating – the UK Independent has stayed on the story (also the BBC; a “public relations disaster for the US”? That seems the least of it…). Where is the US press? Did I miss something?

George Monbiot (“War Without Rules”):

We were told that the war with Iraq was necessary for two reasons. Saddam Hussein possessed biological and chemical weapons and might one day use them against another nation. And the Iraqi people needed to be liberated from his oppressive regime, which had, among its other crimes, used chemical weapons to kill them. Tony Blair, Colin Powell, William Shawcross, David Aaronovitch, Nick Cohen, Ann Clwyd and many others referred, in making their case, to Saddam’s gassing of the Kurds in Halabja in 1988. They accused those who opposed the war of caring nothing for the welfare of the Iraqis.

Given that they care so much, why has none of these hawks spoken out against the use of unconventional weapons by coalition forces? Ann Clwyd, the Labour MP who turned from peace campaigner to chief apologist for an illegal war, is, as far as I can discover, the only one of these armchair warriors to engage with the issue. In May this year, she wrote to the Guardian to assure us that reports that a “modern form of napalm” has been used by US forces “are completely without foundation. Coalition forces have not used napalm – either during operations in Falluja, or at any other time.”(16) How did she know? The foreign office minister told her. Before the invasion, Ann Clwyd travelled through Iraq to investigate Saddam’s crimes against his people. She told the Commons that what she had discovered moved her to tears. After the invasion, she took the minister’s word at face value, when a thirty-second search on the internet could have told her it was bunkum. It makes you wonder whether she, or any of the other enthusiasts for war, really gave a damn about the people for whom they claimed to be campaigning.

Saddam Hussein, facing a possible death sentence, is accused of mass murder, torture, false imprisonment, the embezzlement of billions and the use of chemical weapons. He is certainly guilty on all counts. So, it now seems, are the people who overthrew him.

(Emphasis mine, because italics catch the eye, and this paragraph needs to be read.)

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