Congratulations Kos and ThinkProgress!
You have successfully peddled the phone conversation between two Kurdish brothers to uncritical media outlets, and they are running with it, pretending that this unedited raw intelligence report is actually Pentagon policy:
Sigfrido Ranucci, who made the documentary for the RAI television channel aired two weeks ago, said that a US intelligence assessment had characterised WP after the first Gulf War as a “chemical weapon”.
The assessment was published in a declassified report on the American Department of Defence website. The file was headed: “Possible use of phosphorous chemical weapons by Iraq in Kurdish areas along the Iraqi-Turkish-Iranian borders.”
In late February 1991, an intelligence source reported, during the Iraqi crackdown on the Kurdish uprising that followed the coalition victory against Iraq, “Iraqi forces loyal to President Saddam may have possibly used white phosphorous chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels and the populace in Erbil and Dohuk. The WP chemical was delivered by artillery rounds and helicopter gunships.”
According to the intelligence report, the “reports of possible WP chemical weapon attacks spread quickly among the populace in Erbil and Dohuk. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Kurds fled from these two areas” across the border into Turkey.
“When Saddam used WP it was a chemical weapon,” said Mr Ranucci, “but when the Americans use it, it’s a conventional weapon. The injuries it inflicts, however, are just as terrible however you describe it.”
This is exactly the verbiage used by Think Progress:
In other words, the Pentagon does refer to white phosphorus rounds as chemical weapons — at least if they’re used by our enemies.
Kos, noting his triumph in helping to spread smears from crank websites and anti-war activists into the mainstream media, states:
Apologists of the use of WP continue to hide under the legalistic argument that white phosphorus isn’t classified as a chemical weapon under any treaty signed by the United States, as if our moral standing in the world hinges on legal parsings. In the court of world opinion, if it quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, and burns off the skin of babies like a duck while leaving their clothes intact, well then…
As the United States tries to justify its invasion and occupation of Iraq with moralistic arguments, it would help if we didn’t use the same techniques and tactics Saddam used.
That goes with the use of WP, which the Pentagon labelled a “chemical weapon” when it was politically expedient to do so, as well as the use of torture.
I am sick and tired of defending Kos. His behavior in this affair has been inexcusable, and it is clear he will do or say anything to attack this administration.
Maybe Hunter, another front-pager at Daily Kos, will have the nerve to come back here to this site and state the following again:
Yes, yet another thing Saddam’s regime was known for, and now we’re stuck having to defend when we do it.
We didn’t do what you are charging, WP isn’t a chemical weapon, we didn’t use it indiscriminately against civilians, yet we have to defend against these accusations because lowlifes keep peddling them and giving them legitimacy.
I am so sick of these people pulling this crap. And don’t be confused- this is ALL about bringing down Bush. Whatever the cost. I am so angry I can barely type right now.
The phrase Big Lie refers to a propaganda technique which originated with Adolf Hitler’s 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf. In that book Hitler wrote that people came to believe that Germany lost World War I in the field due to a propaganda technique used by Jews who were influential in the German press. This technique, he believed, consisted of telling a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe anyone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”. The first documented use of the phrase “big lie” is in the corresponding passage: “in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility”.¹
Later, Joseph Goebbels put forth a slightly different theory which has come to be more commonly associated with the phrase big lie. In this theory, the English are attributed with using a propaganda technique where in they had the mendacity to “lie big” and “stick to it”.
Note how Kos, Think Progress, and the Italian documentary crew are sticking to the lies, even as they are refuted, over and over again. Not only are they sticking to it, they add to it, as they have with this latest ‘intel shows the Pentagon classifies WP as a chemical weapon.’
I am livid.
*** Update ***
Amy Goodman from ‘Democracy Now!,’ just brought up the phosphorus in Fallujah bit on Hardball (they have been pimping the Pentagon angle as well). They are intentionally mainstreaming this bullshit.
And read this.
*** Update ***
I hope all you ‘patriots’ are proud:
The U.S. claimed in the run up to Iraq war that the main reason for the invasion is protecting America and the world against the imminent threat of the Weapons of Mass Destruction owned by the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, if they U.S. is that aware of the grieve danger of those weapons, why is it using them in Iraq then?
Saddam’s alleged WMD were never found, but the very same murderous weapons have been used by the occupation forces that came to protect the Iraqi nation.
It’s been revealed last week, on this website as well as on other reputable news agencies that the U.S. occupying Army used white phosphorus against in the Iraqi city of Fallujah during its large scale offensive in 2004.
And here is George Monbiot, asking more pressing questions that could have been written by our patriotic friends at DKos and think Progress:
So the question has now widened: Is there any crime the coalition forces have not committed in Iraq?
They only make these grotesque allegations because they support the troops.
Ranucci is proving this paraphrase of William F. Buckley’s old comment: “saying there is moral equivalence between Western governments and terrorists is like saying that someone who pushes an old lady out of the way of an oncoming bus and someone who pushes an old lady in front of an oncoming bus are both people who push old ladies around.”