Sunday, October 22, 2006

Israel admits using chemical weapons in conflict with Lebanon

Israel finally admits that it has used chemical weapons in the conflict with Lebanon:

Israel has admitted for the first time to using white phosphorus shells against military targets in southern Lebanon, an Israeli newspaper has reported.

Israel's Haaretz daily newspaper quoted Yakov Edery, the minister for government-paramilitary relations, as saying that the Israeli army used phosphorus shells 'in attacks against military targets in open ground'.


wonderdog said...

Read this very carefully, until you understand: white phosphorous is not a chemical weapon.

WP was falsely characterized as a chemical weapon in an Italian documentary for, to put it bluntly, propaganda purposes.

The fact of the matter is that WP is not a chemical weapon as defined in international law. That is, it does not achieve its effects by acting on its victims body chemistry. Rather, it is an incendiary.

This isn't a matter of interpretation; it's a matter of fact in international law.

Since your blog is called "getting it right," I expect you'll correct it....

Erik Abbink said...

I don't think from a syntax POV there is any question that WP is a chemical weapon; check your dictionary.

You are arguing the international legal status of WP. You are not alone.

Go ahead, argue with Ian MacLeod, if you want about "White Phosphorus" being a "Permissible Chemical Weapon" or not. His email is in the head of the page.

JimBobby said...

White phosphorus is a chemical and it was used as a weapon. While it may not be listed as a chemical weapon under Article 3 of teh Geneva Conventions, that does not make the chemical burns of the victims any lkess severe. Neither the US nor Isarael have signed on to Article 3 so they can use the argument that this particular law of war does not even apply to them.

Using weapons like cluster bombs and phosphorus may be technically legal. Morally, the use of such weapons is indefensible.

fckinstupidog said...

I'm sure wonderdog is pouring through Iain MacLeod's legal brief and will soon enlighten us on where Iain went wrong,...not. More likely he's sticking to his pompous ass conjecture and accusations.

FWIW indescriminate incindiary devices like nepalm have also been banned. And nepalm is a walk in the park compared to WP. That naked vietnamese girl would not have been running had it been WP instead of nepalm. She would have been a fully clothed heap of skeleton.

So wonderdog, Hezbollah would have been legally allowed to rain WP on Israel? You would have been okay with that? Hezbollah and every Israeli adversary ought to be stock piling the stuff so they too can achieve Israel's 95% civilian kill ratio?

Erik Abbink said...

Thanks JimBobby, I couldn't have said it any better!

I do find it interesting how wonderdog considers current international law the "one and only" valid interpretation of chemical weapons (he expects me to "correct it"), especially since he likes to present himself as some kind of an authority on the English language. (example)

English is my second language (I'm Dutch), but I do understand chemical weapons; there's nothing to "correct".

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