Despite denials during the war that US forces were using napalm, they did so. Well, almost, anyway. They didn’t use napalm, as such, but something real close to it.
That’s right, folks. Our soldiers were using the best weapons they had available, even though some of those weapons can potentially harm enemy troops.
During the war, Pentagon spokesmen disputed reports that napalm was being used, saying the Pentagon’s stockpile had been destroyed two years ago.
Apparently the spokesmen were drawing a distinction between the terms “firebomb” and “napalm.” If reporters had asked about firebombs, officials said yesterday they would have confirmed their use.
What the Marines dropped, the spokesmen said yesterday, were “Mark 77 firebombs.” They acknowledged those are incendiary devices with a function “remarkably similar” to napalm weapons.
Rather than using gasoline and benzene as the fuel, the firebombs use kerosene-based jet fuel, which has a smaller concentration of benzene…
Although many human rights groups consider incendiary bombs to be inhumane, international law does not prohibit their use against military forces. The United States has not agreed to a ban against possible civilian targets.
“Incendiaries create burns that are difficult to treat,” said Robert Musil, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, a Washington group that opposes the use of weapons of mass destruction.
Musil described the Pentagon’s distinction between napalm and Mark 77 firebombs as “pretty outrageous.”
Yeah. I cannot believe that the Pentagon wasn’t completely and honestly forthcoming about our combat operations while they were going on. To be honest, I don’t think that the problem is their distinction, but their statement that they would have confirmed “firebombs” if asked directly.
“You can call it something other than napalm, but it’s napalm,” said John Pike, defense analyst with GlobalSecurity.org, a nonpartisan research group in Alexandria, Va.
Uh, no, it isn’t, technically. But that’s not the point. The point is that, in a war, soldiers kill enemy troops by the most expedient means available. We do not want a “kinder, gentler” US Marine Corps.
There’s a lesson to be learned here. The lesson is “DO NOT FUCK WITH THE USMC.”
Move along. Nothing to see here.
Here’s a link to Global Security’s page on the Mk77. They call it a napalm weapon.