Nov 17, 2005

Of Willie Pete and Italian Commies 

Now, I’m not in the artillery, but I know some arty guys, and am the son and nephew of quite a few cannon-cockers. And I can assure you of the following: white phosphorus – for lack of a better term – is the shiznit.

“Shake and bake” is to the artillery what “snake and nape” used to be to the air wing before we decided to hamstring ourselves and find friendlier ways to kill people. And any Italian Communist who has a problem with that can go straight to hell. Sorry, but we have yet to invent the Nerf missile with armor-piercing/bunker-busting capability.

This recent attempt at causing public outrage is being spearheaded by quite the motley crew of jackassery: Italian commies, jihad-media, and a former soldier who I seriously doubt the credibility of (he has been labeled a Marine in some media reports, but by his own admission on his blog he is not). Besides, anybody who thinks that WP is “the modern-day napalm” needs to think again… THIS stuff is the modern-day napalm. As far as I know not a single canister has been used in OIF. Afghanistan to dig some Taliban out of Tora Bora maybe… but, I digress…

The overall allegations are pure lunacy to begin with. If there are cameras around, you can’t shoot one confirmed enemy combatant with an M-16 who may be going for an IED to kill you and your squad without unleashing a media firestorm. But we’ll drop a “Battery Three” on SCORES of civilians with WP and HE/VT from M198 howitzers and think we can get away with it even though it’s the SINGLE MOST HEAVILY MEDIA COVERED BATTLE OF THE WHOLE WAR. Sure… we can pull that off. Add 200, left 100, FIRE FOR EFFECT! Idiots…

Right now there are Marines fighting and dieing in Operation Steel Curtain up north. The towns they are in now are much like Fallujah was last year. By which I mean, they are largely empty of civilian presence and the only people around are the ones who want to kill Americans and/or die trying. We’ve dropped 500lb laser and GPS guided bombs, shot Maverick and Hellfire, rolled in the tanks and put 120mm high explosive rounds into buildings full of bad guys... GOD FORBID we smoke the bastards out with a little Willie Pete. Couldn’t do that. Might be painful for ‘em. But put the GBU-12 right through the roof of that building… See? MUCH more humane.

I’m not going to go as far as saying that removing WP from our stockpiles would severely hamper our ability to conduct battle. I will say that if we don’t have it as an option, there are a handful of situations where many good Americans will die trying to clear an area door to door and hole to hole when a couple rounds of WP followed by air-bursting high-explosive (a “shake and bake”) could have done the trick. Why should we limit ourselves? Because Italian commies said so? Because one disgruntled soldier claims to have seen something that nobody else saw? I think not.

If you had any idea how much we, the US military, already limit ourselves due to “collateral damage” concerns, you would be shocked. But it’s all part of the “touchy-feely” approach that is required when you are trying to – in the end – reconstruct a country instead of just blast the crap out of it. There are plenty of reasons to take off and nuke the place from orbit, just to be sure (to steal a line from Aliens). Plenty of reasons to do it, and just one not to: we’re Americans, and that’s not how we do business. If we actually DID all the crap we’re accused of doing, the Mongol hoards of Genghis Khan would look like chumps. So cheer up Italian Commies... if we lived up to your expectations, YOU would be next.

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