Independent Christian Voice

Monday

Why doesn't anyone believe the U.S. about phosphorus use?

If you have an established record of half-truths, misrepresentations, distortions and lies, people will (rightly) label you as untrustworthy. On the world stage, many of this administration's past statements have been shown to be misleading or outright wrong — the prime example being the WMD case against Iraq. It should come as no surprise then that the world doesn't believe the administration, specifically the Pentagon, when it comes to its denials, admissions and repeated clarifications regarding its use of white phosphorus in Iraq. The morning's New York Times has an article about just that:
On Nov. 8, Italian public television showed a documentary renewing persistent charges that the United States had used white phosphorus rounds, incendiary munitions that the film incorrectly called chemical weapons, against Iraqis in Falluja last year. Many civilians died of burns, the report said.

The half-hour film was riddled with errors and exaggerations, according to United States officials and independent military experts. But the State Department and Pentagon have so bungled their response - making and then withdrawing incorrect statements about what American troops really did when they fought a pitched battle against insurgents in the rebellious city - that the charges have produced dozens of stories in the foreign news media and on Web sites suggesting that the Americans used banned weapons and tried to cover it up. [...]

Daryl G. Kimball, director of the Arms Control Association, a nonprofit organization that researches nuclear issues, … said the Defense Department, and perhaps an independent body, should review whether American use of white phosphorus had been consistent with international weapons conventions.

"There are legitimate questions that need to be asked," Mr. Kimball said. Given the history of Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons in Iraq, he said, "we have to be extremely careful" to comply with treaties and the rules of war.

At a time when opposition to the war is growing, the white phosphorus issue has reinforced the worst suspicions about American actions.

[Read full article]

An honest administration would allow an independent investigation and hold itself accountable for wrongdoing. But, if the last five years has proven anything, that won't happen.

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