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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Emma B BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid (1868* d) RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid 25 Jul 10

"Jim, Don and Emma, your calling WP a chemical weapon does not make it so"

You know Keith I have often wondered if you ever actually read what I ACTUALLY posted rather than what you wanted to read - now I have it confirmed

If you pay me the basic courtesy of reading my posts you will see that no where have I ever referred to WP as a 'chemical weapon'; indeed I have been very careful to refer to it by it's official designation as an 'incendiary weapon' although you have continually denied this universally accepted definition too

Blame my scientific training for this!
I rejoice in the title of 'feminist fact finder' bestowed upon me by another catter although this was intended as a gross insult :)

As I have repeated consistently, there are chemicals used militarily that are not scheduled by the Chemical Weapons Convention, and thus are not controlled under the CWC treaties.
These include Incendiary or explosive chemicals (such as napalm, extensively used by the United States in Vietnam, white phosphorus or dynamite) because their destructive effects are primarily due to fire or explosive force, and not direct chemical action and also biological weapons and defoliants

For the purposes of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Protocol III an "Incendiary weapon" means any weapon or munition which is primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injury to persons through the action of flame, heat, or combination thereof, produced by a chemical reaction of a substance delivered on the target.

There is unfortunately the possibility of fudging this definition as the protocol also maintains that
Incendiary weapons do not include: munitions which may have incidental incendiary effects, such as illuminants, tracers, smoke or signalling systems;

What I have attempted to demonstrate in several posts is that most authorities consider and describe air fired missiles containing white phosphorus which rain 100s of flaming phosphorous soaked pieces of felt as indeed an incendiary weapons

While WP is used as a smokescreen it is also used as an incendiary weapon , BUT can also be deployed as an anti-personnel flame compound capable of causing potentially fatal burns
When used against enemy combatants in this way it is not actually 'illegal' under the existing protocols - hence the 'shake and bake' operation in Iraq I mentioned in a previous post

"During the Vietnam War, the "White Phosphorus (WP), M110, was also used as a marker round. It could be fitted with PD, VT, and MT fuzes. When the situation called for it, white phosphorus became a devastating weapon against personnel". - The 1/92nd Field Artillery Association - Vietnam


Under the Convention on Certain conventional weapons

It is prohibited in all circumstances to make the civilian population as such, individual civilians or civilian objects the object of attack by incendiary weapons.
It is prohibited in all circumstances to make any military objective located within a concentration of civilians the object of attack by air-delivered incendiary weapons.
It is further prohibited to make any military objective located within a concentration of civilians the object of attack by means of incendiary weapons other than air-delivered incendiary weapons, except when such military objective is clearly separated from the concentration of civilians and all feasible precautions are taken with a view to limiting the incendiary effects to the military objective and to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects.
It is prohibited to make forests or other kinds of plant cover the object of attack by incendiary weapons except when such natural elements are used to cover, conceal or camouflage combatants or other military objectives, or are themselves military objectives.

The Israeli government released a report in July 2009 that confirmed that the IDF used white phosphorus in BOTH exploding munitions and smoke projectiles
Contrary to eyewitness testimony and physical evidence, the report argues that the use of these munitions were limited to unpopulated areas for marking and signalling

(Please refer back to my previous post for photographic evidence that in fact WP air fired missiles were fired over densely populated urban areas in Gaza City)

Keith I don't know if your continual assertions against all scientific and military evidence that WP can not inflict harm because it is 'not a weapon' is pathological or simply perverse
It is certainly grossly inaccurate and whether it is your motive or not effectively sabotages any debate on the subject

As someone whose first career was in the chemical industry I really do recommend that you do some simple basic research on the effects of phosphorous

"For your benefit, that is called combustion, or burning.
It can not take oxygen from water. Water puts the fire out."

WP ignites spontaneously when exposed to the air and will continue to smoulder either until it is completely burnt up or when deprived of oxygen.

(While water will put out white phosphorus very temporarily as soon as the phosphorus has access to air, it will start burning again. White phosphorus wounds are very unpleasant, since the phosphorus must be thoroughly washed out with a nonpolar solvent that is also noninflammable, for obvious reasons, before the burn can be treated. Carbon tetrachloride would be suitable, but it is dangerous because of the cancer hazard.)

Wounds resulting from phosphorous burns gradually become whiter and then toxic. Even small burns continue to expand. In some cases, the patient's condition deteriorates and results in death.

A doctor reporting on treating patients in Gaza said
"Some of these patients burn for hours. One of the patients, after two hours we opened the wound and noticed smoke came out of the wound!"
Dr Abu Shaban said he removed some of the particles from the wound and when he held them up and they came into contact with the air "a flame came out".

I await an apology or at least an explanation from you Keith for misquoting me

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