Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre is a documentary film by Sigfrido Ranucci
and Maurizio Torrealta which first aired on Italys RAI state television network
on November 8, 2005. The film documents the use of weapons that the documentary
asserts are chemical weapons, particularly the use of incendiary bombs, and alleges
indiscriminate use of violence against civilians and children by military forces of
the United States of America in the city of Fallujah in Iraq during the Fallujah
Offensive of November 2004.
The film's primary themes are:
* Establishing a case for war crimes against civilians committed by the United States.
* Documenting evidence for the use of chemical devices by the US military.
* Documenting other human rights abuses by American forces and their Iraqi counterparts.
The primary theme of the film is its establishment of a case for war crimes committed by the
United States in its military offensive against Fallujah in Iraq. The film documents the use
of weapons based on white phosphorus and other substances similar to napalm, such as Mark-77,
by American forces.
Interviews with ex American military personnel who were involved in the Fallujah offensive back
up the case for the use of weapons by the United States, while reporters who were stationed in
Iraq discuss the American government's attempts to suppress the news by covert means.
Incendiary weapons used against personnel and civilians
Hand of Iraqi woman said to have been incinerated by American weapons while praying with misbah (Islamic prayer beads).
The film states that the use of napalm and similar agents was banned by the United Nations in
1980 for use against civilians and also for use against military targets in proximity to civilians.
White phosphorus, when used for screening or as a marker, is not banned by Protocol III of the
1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. But if used as a weapon, it would be prohibited.
The protocol specifically excludes weapons whose incendiary effect is secondary, such as smoke grenades.
This has been often read as excluding white phosphorus munitions from this protocol, as well.
The United States is among the nations that are parties to the convention but have not signed Protocol III.
The March-April 2005 online Field Artillery magazine has confirmed the use of WP (white phosphorus)
in so-called "shake'n'bake" attacks, so the use of white phosphorus is substantiated by US Army sources
only for screening and psychological effects: "WP proved to be an effective and versatile munition.
We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological
weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with HE.
We fired “shake and bake” missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out.
Graphic visual footage of the weapons being fired from helicopters into urban areas is displayed, as well
as detailed footage of the remains of those apparently killed by these weapons, including children and women.
The filmmakers interview ex US military soldier Jeff Englehart of Colorado who discusses the American use of
white phosphorus, nicknamed "Willie Pete" (codification of "WP" - White Phosphorus) by U.S. servicemembers,
in built-up areas, and describes the Fallujah offensive as "just a massive killing of Arabs."
Following pressure from former Labour MP Alice Mahon, the British Ministry of Defence confirmed the use of
MK77 by US forces during the initial invasion of Iraq.
The film alleges that the US military deliberately targeted Iraqi civilians and children during the Fallujah
offensive as part of its campaign to exterminate opposition to its occupation. The filmmakers interview former
US Army scout Garret Reppenhagen, also from Colorado, claimed that civilian deaths were common and intentional.
However this claim, and the vast majority of the claims made in this documentary are unsubstantiated due to the
fact that those being interviewed had no part in the fighting in November 2004 in Fallujah.
The US military responded by stating that they gave civilians several days of advanced warning of the assault
and urged them to evacuate the city.
Critics of the film point out that white phosphorus may not be considered a "chemical weapon" under the Chemical
Weapons Convention but just an incendiary weapon banned under Protocol III of the Convention on Certain Conventional
Weapons, making the distinction that white phosphorus does not poison but burns its subject. White phosphorus is also
commonly used and accepted by many military powers around the world however, the article cited does classify direct
skin contact by white phosphorus as either a thermal or chemical burn, and that the chemical burn can "result from several
different compounds produced through white phosphorus reactions. These include phosphorus pentoxide which can react with
the water in skin and produce corrosive phosphoric acids." Putting the burn in context, the article says "In addition,
bathing the area in a bicarbonate solution will neutralize any phosphoric acid that may have been produced. Remaining WP
particles should be immediately removed surgically. Removal requires care to prevent further contamination of the person
or responders. After complete removal, the patient can be treated as a burn victim."
A subsequent documentary, Star Wars in Iraq by Sigfrido Ranucci and Maurizio Torrealta, accounts for human heads being
burned, without their bodies, clothes and nearby equipment suffering damage by alleging the use of US experimental weapons.
These journalists have no technical explanation of how the weapons might have caused the unusual effects, and the quoted
article did not reference comments from forensic pathologists or specialists in weapons effects.
Crucially, [the US] statement that white phosphorus had been used as an incendiary was not an admission that a
chemical or otherwise illegal weapon had been deployed. Still less was it evidence that a massacre of civilians
had taken place in Falluja.
– Paul Wood (The BBC's defence correspondent) 17 November 2005
The media couldn't have made a bigger pig's ear of the white phosphorus story. So, before moving on to the new
revelations from Falluja, I would like to try to clear up the old ones. There is no hard evidence that white
phosphorus was used against civilians. The claim was made in a documentary broadcast on the Italian network RAI,
called Falluja: the Hidden Massacre. It claimed that the corpses in the pictures it ran "showed strange injuries,
some burnt to the bone, others with skin hanging from their flesh ... The faces have literally melted away, just
like other parts of the body. The clothes are strangely intact." These assertions were supported by a human-rights
advocate who, it said, possessed "a biology degree".
I, too, possess a biology degree, and I am as well qualified to determine someone's cause of death as I am to
perform open-heart surgery. So I asked Chris Milroy, professor of forensic pathology at the University of Sheffield,
to watch the film. He reported that "nothing indicates to me that the bodies have been burnt". They had turned black
and lost their skin "through decomposition". We don't yet know how these people died."
– George Monbiot in The Guardian November 22, 2005
In the article Monbiot went on to claim the assault on Fallujah was in fact a "massacre."
Fallujah - The Hidden Massacre.txt
Fallujah - The Hidden Massacre.wmv
America a democracy? i dont remember saying it was !!
You act as if this were something new? You are quite naive.
Act as if this is something new? ... this video is new, yes ... and the info it gives is new to, well at least for a lot of folks! ... do you have something against other folks seeing this? who dont really know what its all about?