A couple of weeks ago I highlighted the fact that declassified documents analyzed by Foreign Policy proved that the U.S. government knew about Saddam Hussein’s egregious use of chemical weapons and in fact we helped him be more effective in their deployment. Well unfortunately that’s just the tip of the American chemical weapons iceberg.
From white phosphorus and depleted uranium (DU) usage in Iraq, to secret radioactive tests in poor black neighborhoods within the U.S. itself (something I previously covered here), the list is pretty horrific. While you might be able to say that this is the reality of war, then what the heck are we doing entering a civil war in a country where chemical weapons are being used that poses no threat to us? Absolutely insane and criminal.
I summarized the Top 10 list here, but I highly suggest also checking out the entire post with pictures from PolicyMic. Summary below:
Washington doesn’t merely lack the legal authority for a military intervention in Syria. It lacks the moral authority. We’re talking about a government with a history of using chemical weapons against innocent people far more prolific and deadly than the mere accusations Assad faces from a trigger-happy Western military-industrial complex, bent on stifling further investigation before striking.
1. The U.S. Military Dumped 20 Million Gallons of Chemicals on Vietnam from 1962 – 1971
Vietnam estimates that as a result of the decade-long chemical attack, 400,000 people were killed or maimed, 500,000 babies have been born with birth defects, and 2 million have suffered from cancer or other illnesses.
2. Israel Attacked Palestinian Civilians with White Phosphorus in 2008 – 2009
White phosphorus is a horrific incendiary chemical weapon that melts human flesh right down to the bone.
In 2009, multiple human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and International Red Cross reported that the Israeli government was attacking civilians in their own country with chemical weapons.
The Israeli military denied the allegations at first, but eventually admitted they were true.
3. Washington Attacked Iraqi Civilians with White Phosphorus in 2004
In 2004, journalists embedded with the U.S. military in Iraq began reporting the use of white phosphorus in Fallujah against Iraqi insurgents. First the military lied and said that it was only using white phosphorus to create smokescreens or illuminate targets. Then it admitted to using the volatile chemical as an incendiary weapon.
4. The CIA Helped Saddam Hussein Massacre Iranians and Kurds with Chemical Weapons in 1988
CIA records now prove that Washington knew Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons (including sarin, nerve gas, and mustard gas) in the Iran-Iraq War, yet continued to pour intelligence into the hands of the Iraqi military, informing Hussein of Iranian troop movements while knowing that he would be using the information to launch chemical attacks.
5. The Army Tested Chemicals on Residents of Poor, Black St. Louis Neighborhoods in The 1950s
In the early 1950s, the Army set up motorized blowers on top of residential high-rises in low-income, mostly black St. Louis neighborhoods, including areas where as much as 70% of the residents were children under 12. The government told residents that it was experimenting with a smokescreen to protect the city from Russian attacks, but it was actually pumping the air full of hundreds of pounds of finely powdered zinc cadmium sulfide.
6. Police Fired Tear Gas at Occupy Protesters in 2011
The savage violence of the police against Occupy protesters in 2011 was well documented, andincluded the use of tear gas and other chemical irritants. Tear gas is prohibited for use against enemy soldiers in battle by the Chemical Weapons Convention.
7. The FBI Attacked Men, Women, and Children With Tear Gas in Waco in 1993
8. The U.S. Military Littered Iraq with Toxic Depleted Uranium in 2003
In Iraq, the U.S. military has littered the environment with thousands of tons of munitions made from depleted uranium, a toxic and radioactive nuclear waste product. As a result, more than half of babies born in Fallujah from 2007 – 2010 were born with birth defects. Some of these defects have never been seen before outside of textbooks with photos of babies born near nuclear tests in the Pacific.
Napalm is a sticky and highly flammable gel which has been used as a weapon of terror by the U.S. military. In 1980, the UN declared the use of napalm on swaths of civilian population a war crime. That’s exactly what the U.S. military did in World War II, dropping enough napalm in one bombing raid on Tokyo to burn 100,000 people to death, injure a million more, and leave a million without homes in the single deadliest air raid of World War II.
10. The U.S. Government Dropped Nuclear Bombs on Two Japanese Cities in 1945
It seems odd that the only regime to ever use one of these weapons of terror on other human beings has busied itself with the pretense of keeping the world safe from dangerous weapons in the hands of dangerous governments.
We have no moral authority. Period.
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