Friday, January 16, 2009

White Phosphorus in Gaza: Dante's Inferno

More evidence of Israeli use of white phosphorus (WP), Willy Pete, Whiskey Pete. You are seeing flares shot into the air, but also seeing either artillery shells bursting or invisible in the distance helicopters in the night sky firing bursts of WP. I would tend to think artillery shells, with their telltale tendrils shooting down directly into Gaza. These WP volleys directly into Gaza Strip are likely out-and-out war crimes, I would argue, since the only fig leaf you have of legality is the use of WP for smokescreens and illumination. The bursts are of such velocity, however, that it appears that the bulk of the phosphorus and their casings are smashing into the ground before dissipating in mid-air. This means more concentrated levels of WP may be hitting civilians and their homes, creating greater risks of horrific burns and inhalation of caustic toxins for civilians.

The glows you see in the background could well be buildings set on fire from these attacks. This is like a scene out of Dante's Inferno. Pity the humans that have to live under that barrage. Shame on those that are executing this nightmare.

Now one can begin to understand why Israel doesn't want the international media entering Gaza and investigating all this.

It is really a moot point whether Israel is doing air bursts or ground bursts of WP in legal terms, because the bottom line is that you are endangering the civilian population either way with deadly, deadly substances, and this is a breach of the Geneva Conventions to put civilians in harm's way. So no matter how you cut it, WP usage in or over Gaza is worthy of investigation for war crimes.


Cargosquid said...

Hey Mac,

Since I've been giving you grief over this issue, I thought that I would tell you that this is a decent editorial.

OTH, when are we going to see equal press about the HAMAS war crimes of using human shields and emplacing weapons next to schools.

Mac said...

Answer: when there is some documented proof other than Israeli propaganda pronouncements to cover their rears and infrared images that can be interpreted one hundred different ways, or, by the way, photos from the past that have been doctored or redated. There are many ways to jimmy a photo or even video.

An example of pure CYA was yesterday, after the UN warehouse complex was blasted and largely destroyed by fire, when Olmert immediately stated that there were militants firing from it, absolutely true, he said, no doubt about it. But the UN official in charge said that this is utter bull and that Israel knows his staff doesn't tolerate any militants on the premises and that everyone knows this. Furthermore, he said, he gave the Israelis the exact coordinates so they wouldn't hit his complex. On top of this, the official said, if Israel ever did find that there are militants on his premises, all they have to do is call him, not shell his building full of refugees, and he will get rid of them.

So one has to wonder what is really going on here.

Cargosquid said...

I can't comment with any authority on these allegations.

I do notice an attempt to be more balanced. Thank you.

On the issue of the Palestinian use of human shields, just type in HAMAS or human shields into Google or Youtube and you get video of HAMAS admitting to using them.