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Outcry Erupts Over Reports That Israel Used Phosphorus Arms on Gazans

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DogPoundPup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:25 PM
Original message
Outcry Erupts Over Reports That Israel Used Phosphorus Arms on Gazans
Source: N.Y.T.

In early January, a week into Israels war in Gaza, the home of Sabah Abu Halima was hit by an Israeli shell. Ms. Abu Halima, the matriarch of a farming family in the northern Gaza area of Beit Lahiya, was caught in an inferno that burned her husband and four of their nine children to death.

But as she lay in a bed on the third floor of an annex to Shifa Hospital here on Wednesday, bandaged all over and in terrible pain, it was less the magnitude of her loss than the source of the fire that was drawing attention, not only from her doctors but also from human rights organizations and even the Israeli military.

Though there has been no independent confirmation, Palestinian officials say her family was hit by white phosphorus, a weapon that militaries use widely to obscure the battlefield but that is also limited under an international convention that bans targeting civilians with it.

The Israeli military issued a short statement on Wednesday, saying it was investigating whether its use of phosphorous weapons was improper and reiterating that it was obligated to international law in the matter. Early in the war, Israeli officials would not confirm whether the military was using white phosphorus at all, but said only that it was using weapons in legal ways.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/world/middleeast/22ph...
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. Correct and BushCo gave those weapons to Israel and said to go ahead
...and use them. That makes all Americans guilty
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Rage for Order Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. You can't be series
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 08:38 PM by Rage for Order
:eyes: and :rofl:
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Trajan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. All Americans are guilty when Israel uses inhumane methods?
Wow .....

Sorry ... I reject that thesis: I never approved of Israel's use of ANY weapon, let alone such awful weapons like this .... and no matter HOW many other Americans might support them, we are NOT stained by this guilt simply be being in the same country ....
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 03:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
14. Who attempted to stop this most recent carnage in Gaza by Israel?
...Was there any action on the part of America beyond a scattering of protests and journalists to hold anyone in the Bush Administration, the Pentagon or the American industries which manufactured and supplied these WMDs which Israel used on Gaza residents? Actions, not intentions! Shoulder shrugs and head shaking doesn't count as actions.
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Trajan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Lazy and imprecise use of language ....
will always lead to 'verbal disputes' ...

You said "ALL Americans are guilty" in the first post ...

Then you said "beyond a scattering of protests" ....

So, you first say 'NONE', and then you admit 'some' ....

IF I recall .... The protests AGAINST the Israeli incursion were actually quite active, in many cities, in America, and across the world ....

I refuse to accept that WHOLE populations are 'guilty', even if they do speak out ....

Whenever we see statements that condemn or praise whole segments of humanity, we are almost always seeing fallacious assertions ....

This is just a lazy composition ....
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GoesTo11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. Hooray for precise language
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. That is correct. n/t
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
19. Claims Of Collective Responsibility, Sir, Are The First Step Towards Collective Punishment....
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Duer 157099 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
3. Wait. There were threads here, on DU, talking about this
with photos.

But lots of people said it wasn't happening.
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. I've said it before and I'll say it again, are you still sleeping well
US Senators and Congressman?...with a few exceptions that is.
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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. If some soldiers go nutso and use it improperly
that doesn't mean that the government ordered or condones it. If it was indeed used intentionally on civilians.

Let's not let our prejudices guide our thinking.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. The government and the military are responsible for what their forces do.
It's not an arguable point. Incompetence is not a defense, particularly when the offense if repeated many times.
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Pastiche423 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I am predjudice against white phosphorus being used
on civilians!

But I bet that's not what you were trying to imply. The Israelis have ALREADY admitting to using it.
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. What prejudice would that be? My statement refers to the complicity
of my government and the consequences of their actions, I hold them accountable. What restraint did they even request? There was none.

http://www.aipac.org/Publications/SourceMaterialsCongre...
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Idealism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. There was an IDF ranking officer being interviewed, boasting about using WP
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 10:49 PM by Idealism
He was a General, I believe. He claimed it was only used as 'smokescreens' for troop movements. Sure, pal.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
10. Outcries now? I read about this weeks ago. Pshaw. nt
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alofarabia Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:30 PM
Response to Original message
12. The primary use of white phosphorus...
is to provide light on a target. It does this by a shell containing WP being air detonated over the target. The white phsophorus burns quite brilliantly and lights up the surrounding area for a period of time. I doubt that it is being intentionally used on civilians but I don't doubt that if civilians are underneath where the shell explodes that they could get burned. Also, if the fuse of a shell doesn't work properly the shell would not airburst but would instead hit the ground and probably explode (I'm not sure of the workings of this specific fuse). In this case it would certainly be possible that civilians could be hurt.
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subsuelo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. Why would you doubt it is being intentionally used on civilians?
Because Israel is so wonderful and so moral?

:shrug:

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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. The arguments by some here are starting to remind me
Edited on Thu Jan-22-09 02:57 PM by azurnoir
of Bart and Lisa Simpson "if I make a windmill with my arms" "if I kick the air" and you just happen to get in the way...........

However when it comes to the Gaza situation the old adage "its one thing to know and another to show" seems to apply
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. Not So, Sir
You are mistaking this for 'star shells', artillery rounds with sub-munitions of parachute flares, usually (at least in the past) burning magnesium.

White phosphorus rounds are legally used to create obscuring smoke, and to create fires to burn off cover to reduce opportunities for concealment available to an enemy. Prior to treaties enacted in the eighties of the last century, it was routinely employed as an anti-personnel round, being extremely effective against entrenched positions lacking over-head cover, and in the clearing of buildings in urban warfare, and in dealing with troops operating in cave systems. It was issued in forms down to hand grenade level.

As a smoke generator, it has characteristics that are excellent for some purposes and less than optimum for others, relative to other methods of producing battle-field smoke screens. The smoke produced is very hot, and so rises quickly; this produces a thinner screen, but a taller one, and so it can be of more benefit in obscuring troops on the ground from an enemy at an elevation, in upper floors of buildings or on hill-tops, but is less effective at obscuring ground to ground observation. The smoke is produced immediately, without requiring the combination of multiple chemicals in a round, which can take a little time. Among other forms of smoke shell used in the twentieth century were combination rounds employing mixtures of chemicals that produced a thick, 'cool' smoke that hugged the ground, and arsenical compounds that were ignited to give off a thick white smoke that was somewhat poisonous to inhale, and left a dangerous residue.


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