Napalm and FAEs (was Re: [Marxism] US used banned weapons in Fallujah

Carlos A. Rivera cerejota at
Thu Mar 24 02:34:37 MST 2005

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Raymond Chase" <r_chase at>

>  He
> said that research conducted by his medical team proved that American 
> forces
> used internationally-prohibited substances such as mustard gas, nerve gas,
> and other burning chemicals in their attacks in the war-torn city. The
> health official announced his findings at a news conference March 1 in the
> health ministry building in Baghdad which was attended by more than 20 
> Iraqi
> and foreign media networks, including the Washington Post and the
> Knight-Ridder service from the United States.{9} The Associated Press
> reported the story {10}, citing Chavez as the source, but no mainstream
> media appear to have found it newsworthy; this stands in sharp contrast to
> repeated criticisms by conservatives that the American "liberal" media
> report only the bad news from Iraq.

I agree  with the big picture point on the media black out, and offer as 
comment the real importance of "alternative" media efforts, such as 
indymedia and the various small news outfits out there.

Al-Jazera, nevertheless, its usually the mirror image of Fox News. While 
sometimes it reports truthfully things willfully ignored, it is also heavily 
biased towards a counter-imperialist (as opposed to anti-imperialist) point 
of view, and it has been guilty more often than not of exageration, 
misrepresantation and heavy editorializing of Fox News. The blind faith in 
Al-Jazeera some on the USA left have gives me chills, because it just gives 
fodder to the reactionary propagandists over at the USA.

The latest example was the news item on Israel bombing a nuke plant in Iran.

Now, on the more specific point on Fallujah, this is somewhat dated news and 
I will re-hash some of what I have said previously.

I highly doubt that the USA has used any sort of chemical weapons, besides 
CS/CA (riot gases), in Fallujah or anywhere else in Iraq. I am not so sure 
about Afghanistan.

Furthermore, the USA doesn't use widely use napalm anymore, and whatever 
stocks it has is legacy stock (ie, they aren't ordering more of the stuff). 
This is because napalm has been rendered obsolete by a much more terrifying 
weapon, the Fuel-Air Explosive (FAE) or thermobaric bomb. FAEs were used in 
Vietnam in much lesser numbers than Napalm bombs, but where the main trench 
busting weapon used in the Desert Storm, and have grown technologically to 
the point of going from specialized weapon to a standard weapon in US 

This point might be discarded by some as being too "technical", but in 
developing a case for truth, it is easy for our enemies to deny they used 
Napalm while conviniently forgeting they used FAEs. It is a critical point 
of credibility.

I have insisted ever since the war started that it is important to be 
correct on this point, specially while dealing with the press.

Morever, even if I have every reason to trust Dr. Khalid ash-Shaykhli when 
he describes "melted" bodies, massive life extermination (including strays 
and other urban wildlife), etc etc etc, such an scenario is not consistent 
with napalm or any nerve agent.

Napalm burns to a char, not melt, simply because it burns at a constant 
temperature and a relatively low one at that. And Napalm explodes with much 
lower blast force than what conventinal explosives do. A concrete building 
would char but otherwise remain intact.

Now, everything Dr. Khalid ash-Shaykhli describes is consistent with FAEs.

FAEs burn very high, for relatively short periods of time, and has a blast 
power that mirrors that of a tactical nuke (reports of nuke explosions 
during Desert Storm most probably where FAEs). They are probably the most 
evil of all non-nuclear weapons alive. Not only do they "melt" organic 
matter (humans, other animals etc), but they suck all air (not just a large 
quantity of it, like napalm or conventional explosives) in a hundred yards, 
exploding lungs and killing any form of aeroibic life, including 
microorganisms, even if they are not directly touched by flame or the blast.

They are Dresden concentrated into a football field, but unlike conventional 
incendiaries, they use so much oxygen so quickly, that it almost 
extinguishes itself after the explosion, unlike Dresden that burned for 

This would explain why there are no reports or evidence of widespread 
wildfires in Fallujah, in spite of there being no fire figthing 

As a matter of fact you could in theory use a FAE to extinguish a fire out 
of control, using the same principle that oil well firefigthers have used 
since oil has been exploited, which is exploding all the oxygen out of the 

The USA most definitely used them in Fallujah, and has openly admited to 
using them in Afghanistan; these are the (in)famous "cave busters".

And so far the USA and Russia, the only two countries with heavy investments 
and research on FAEs, and the only ones to have used them in combat, have 
managed to keep the lid on this weapon. Napalm, while very bad, its a baby 
next to the FAEs. It does have a certain psychological connotation to the 
Vietnam war, but it is no longer a useful weapon of war.
On FAEs:

Backgrounder on Russian Fuel Air Explosives ("Vacuum Bombs")
(but has a good explanation of the principle of FAEs/thermobaric bombs)

And finally, a news item that point in the direction of FAEs. This item was 
published in on December 22, 2001 but was done by Agence 
France Presse

"Experts say such bombs tend to be far more powerful than conventional high 
explosives, and are more likely to kill or injure people hiding in caves, 
bunkers and similar shelters because they can suck the air out of such 
Earlier versions of thermobaric bombs were used in Vietnam by the United 
States and in Chechnya by Russia.

The new version, called the BLU-1186, was developed specifically for use in 
the war against terrorism, officials here said."


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