Anyway, the New York Times is now covering itself for past misreporting, in the final paragraphs of a recent story on Gaza:
Mr. Kellenberger of the Red Cross said that Israel had facilitated his trip to Gaza and added that he had seen no evidence of the use of white phosphorus, an obscurant used in military conflicts that can be dangerous for civilians under certain circumstances. Palestinians say Israel is using it in Gaza.This news was discussd by Marty Peretz in his blog (ht:contentious centrist), one of whose anonymous commenters writes:
Last week, the Red Cross issued an unusually harsh condemnation of Israel for refusing to allow its personnel into Gaza to rescue people trapped in battle. On Wednesday, Mr. Kellenberger said that although the situation remained critical, rescue missions had not been entirely shut down. The organization rescued 100 people trapped in Jabaliya, north of Gaza City, on Tuesday.
As a Navy Seabee veteran with experience on 60mm and 81mm mortars, I have fired my share of white phosphorus ("willy peter") shells. WP was used during vietnam for illumination for night fighting and for brush clearing, and rounds were fired directly at the enemy as well. WP burns at 5000 degrees F. and will not extinguish until it completely burns up--it will even burn under water. If it gets on you it will burn right through you. Hence the danger to civilians "under certain circumstances."Wouldn't it be nice if our media could fill their stories on war with a few sober military experts and not the sentimentalization of (and hence encouragment to produce more) victims that we get from the NGOs?
Having seen the footage in question I can say that in my estimation, having seen WP up close and personal many times over, Israel is NOT using WP based on that footage.