May 03, 2005

So what is napalm-like?

Consider this letter in yesterday's Guardian by Ann Clywd MP.
Haifa Zangana (Comment, April 22) accuses the multinational forces in Iraq of using a "modern form of napalm" against the people of Falluja, "a crime that has been met with silence not just by Tony Blair but also by Ann Clwyd, his human rights envoy". In fact I raised the allegations with Foreign Office minister Elizabeth Symons, who told me in her February reply that "the reports are completely without foundation. Coalition forces have not used napalm - either during operations in Falluja, or at any other time." It's a pity Zangana ignores those Iraqis working with great courage to rebuild the country after the horrors of Saddam.
Ann Clwyd
Prime minister's special envoy on human rights in Iraq
Then consider these responses:
I am astonished by Ann Clywd's naivety (Letters, May 2).The Americans admitted in August 2003 that they used a "napalm-like substance" in Iraq. The denial she received, referring to "napalm", is obfuscation typical of this government. "New improved napalm" is based on kerosene rather than petrol, though I doubt it makes significant difference to its victims.
Nigel Smith
London

The US state department website says "mark-77 firebombs, which have a similar effect to napalm, were used ... in 2003", and white phosphorus shells were exploded over Falluja in 2004 (usinfo.state.gov/media/Archive_ Index/Illegal_Weapons_in_ Fallujah.html.) This does not sound much more human-rights friendly than napalm.
Sadakat Kadri
London
In other words, she was lying.

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