US accused of using CW in Iraq

#1
Folks,

I may be missing something or have suffered brain damage or, more likely, alcohol-induced memory loss but I don't recall the Septics using chemical weapons in Iraq?

Johann Hari, in today's Independent posts:

The US troops cannot be an agent of anything positive in Iraq, after using chemical weapons in cities
I hope I am right and he is (well, he is anyway) a mendacious fool but I will bow to your collective wisdom.

Note: I suppose he could be talking (out of his arse) about DU, WP or (not that I have heard about any) riot agents?
 
#2
He is obviously an expert and has been to Iraq on many occasions to see for himself? Or is he just a fat journo gobbing off from the comfort of his nice chair
 
#4
drain_sniffer said:
He is obviously an expert and has been to Iraq on many occasions to see for himself? Or is he just a fat journo gobbing off from the comfort of his nice chair
From his picture, he is (at the very least) "big boned".
 
#7
RNR_Phil said:
He could be suggesting that tear gas is being used to control rioting civilians ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riot_control_agent ). This is something that is legal against civilians (as the police do in the UK) but becomes a war crime if you us it against opponent military forces.

He could also be being a mendacious fool. Take your pick.
Hmm. A breach of the Chemical Weapons Convention and [spotter]Article 23(a) of the IVth Hague Convention of 1907 - "Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land".[/spotter]. Doesn't this require adherence to Article 1 (actually being an army) or Article 2:

Art. 2. The inhabitants of a territory which has not been occupied, who, on the approach of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading troops without having had time to organize themselves in accordance with Article 1, shall be regarded as belligerents if they carry arms openly and if they respect the laws and customs of war.
which does not apply in the case of the current Iraqi insurgents?

Otherwise you are acting in a law-enforcement capacity therefore ??? As you can read, I am clearly not AGS(ALS) (or, if I am, shouldn't be :D )
 
#8
can i ask why we cant use tear gas against enemy but can against civvies?!??!

also is WP Illegal to use as a weapon? becuase we use WP shells as smoke screens.
 
#9
1140_Sqn said:
can i ask why we cant use tear gas against enemy but can against civvies?!??!
Same way police can use expanding / dum-dum ammo against suspected criminals without it being a war crime but we can't. Because the law was written that way (you expect it to be sensible?)

1140_Sqn said:
also is WP Illegal to use as a weapon? becuase we use WP shells as smoke screens.
Nope. This is covered by the 3rd Protocol to the 1980 Convention on 'Certain' Conventional Weapons:
(b) Incendiary weapons do not include:
(i) Munitions which may have incidental incendiary effects, such as illuminants, tracers, smoke or signalling systems;
Also, DU doesn't seem to be caught by this as its primary purpose is squishing tanks:

(ii) Munitions designed to combine penetration, blast or fragmentation effects with an additional incendiary effect, such as armour-piercing projectiles, fragmentation shells, explosive bombs and similar combined-effects munitions in which the incendiary effect is not specifically designed to cause burn injury to persons, but to be used against military objectives, such as armoured vehicles, aircraft and installations or facilities.
From the Protocol, it actually seems to be legal to use incendiaries, in the anti-personnel role, against military targets. However, I am not AGS(ALS) or any other sort of lawyer, so this may be overtaken by more recent law.
 
#10
Idrach, I think we are saying the same thing in different ways. The original post related to an allegation that the American were using Chemical Weapons and the poster was not aware that they were. I merely pointed out that the Americans could if they were using CS or similar for crowd control purposes. I have no knowledge of whether they are or not, just speculating on what the journo talking about.

Since Iraq surrendered and were are now there at the behest of the UN and the currently elected Iraqi Government, the Americans could use Riot Control Agents (which are Chemicals) quite legally for crowd control. We could not however use them against the Iranian Army as that would be a war crime.

The journo put the comment in for effect, and to confuse civilians (also not a war crime!)

For the spotters amongst you until recently (I think this is changing) the Iranians could use CS against Royal Fleet Auxilliary Ship operating in the Gulf unless they have embarked RN or RM as the RFA are civilians!
 
#11
RNR_Phil said:
The original post related to an allegation that the American were using Chemical Weapons and the poster was not aware that they were.
Indeed, and that poster was me.

Edited to add: this may be linked to this old (2005) article by that other eminent military strategist, George Monbiot.
 
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#12
It's all bout what are CW's - in most cases WP is considered a CW, which it is but it's not a CW like Sarin, Tabun, Mustard etc which is what people who try to make a point of some Western country - ie America "using" CW are trying to infer.
 
#13
RNR_Phil said:
For the spotters amongst you until recently (I think this is changing) the Iranians could use CS against Royal Fleet Auxilliary Ship operating in the Gulf unless they have embarked RN or RM as the RFA are civilians!
Having an exceedingly spotterish head on today, I would point out that rights of RFA (and NAAFI / EFI etc) civilians to be treated with the rights of armed services personnel are fairly fixed in international humanitarian law. See, for example, Article 13 of the Annex to the 2nd 1899 Hague Convention or Articles 13(4) & 13(5) of the 1st 1949 Geneva Convention.
 
#14
This man Hari appears to be carrying out a personal battle with other journos in the blogosphere.Something about him not being the 'expert' that he claims to be!
 

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