We have short memories, but, 40 years ago, this girl got burned by American napalm. Napalm is a form of gasoline with a gel-like consistency that sticks to anything, including human skin. It burns at over 2,000°F. Technically, Naplam is NOT a chemical weapon, even if it has a chemical composition, because its deadly effects are the consequence of the blast, and the burning any contact with it causes, as opposed to exposure to the substance itself. Napalm is an “incendiary”, but this sort of loophole in definition doesn’t make it any less deadly, despicable, or dangerous to civilians. It may not have been “chemical” by strict definition, and it may not have been illegal at the time, but it was “unconventional” (the Vietnamese couldn’t retaliate with napalm) and inhumane.
One of the things we did with napalm was drop napalm bombs from B-52s. We dropped those bombs on Vietnam for eight years, between 1965 (when I was born) and 1973. How much did we drop? At least 388,000 tons. Napalm is estimated to have claimed the lives of two million Vietnamese (And let’s not forget the defoliate “Agent Orange“, which, according to the Vietnamese Red Cross, has disabled a million people).
Meanwhile we continue to use landmines, cluster bombs, and weapons with white phosphorus and depleted uranium, all of which have a significant impact on innocent civilians. Besides, so-called “chemical weapons” and other “unconventional weapons” (to use Obama’s term) are really the poor-man’s poor substitute for world class weapons, including nuclear weapons (the only reason I haven’t mentioned Hiroshima and Nagasaki is that’s just too big of another topic). Why use Sarin gas when you can drop a payload of bombs and call it fair play?
We Americans, when it comes to chemical/unconventional weapons, are like born-again virgins. We never done nothin’, and we are ready to not only point the finger at others, we’re ready to point the missiles.
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