"Shake and Bake"

BBC (If I missed it, cough me, but I don't think I did)

A friend sent me this link as an apparent "ah-ha! I'm right" attempt at the evils of the administration.

Which is sort of irritating. The Pentagon lied? I'm shocked. I'm sure the War Department reported right away how poorly Market Garden went.

This is not a Bush thing, or a Republican thing, or even a Rumsfeld; this is a Pentagon thing. The US Military's number one objective has been, and always will be, to maximize casualties on the opposing side, and minimize casualties on the friendly side, through any means necessary.

Should it be reported? Yes, absolutely. But the idea that this is somehow proof of an administration's hypocrisy is about as naive as the people who are willing to believe anything the Pentagon says.

The US Military's number one objective has been, and always will be, to maximize casualties on the opposing side, and minimize casualties on the friendly side, through any means necessary.

Not "through any means necessary". The Geneva Conventions are the law of the land, and there are penalties for violating them.

Not that the use of white phosporus violates them. But then, the question comes up - why deny the use of something that is allowed? The whole situation is just a really badly done attempt at PR damage control (as well as someone in the press thinking this was a violation).

Not sure why you compared a failed large-scale operation with a tactical use of a particular munition. But of course under wartime press restrictions, I'm pretty sure the new about an on-going operation would have been delayed, and then spun to cushion the blow. That has nothing to do with whether the Pentagon admits to the use of a particular weapon. More relevant was the denial that napalm was used in the Iraq invasion, followed by the admission that Mark 77 incendiaries were used (yes, a gel incendiary that is an improved napalm). That is, they have been reluctant to admit this sort of thing in the recent past.

And yes, it leads to questions about whether they tell the truth about even bigger issues. But that's come up before, and will again, as you note.

Robear wrote:

Not that the use of white phosporus violates them. But then, the question comes up - why deny the use of something that is allowed? The whole situation is just a really badly done attempt at PR damage control (as well as someone in the press thinking this was a violation).

Yeah, that's really the thing, isn't it? The denial and the subsequent admission lent weight to all the hysterics from the European press on this subject--calling WP a "chemical weapon", claiming civilians were deliberately targeted, etc. The press will pounce on anything these days, and the public is increasingly ready to believe the worst. The Pentagon can't afford to keep shooting itself in the foot like this.

On the other side of the coin, when I used to play the Morrow Project RP game, WillyPeter was ALWAYS our weapon of choice...just a beautiful damage weapon...oh yes, it was!

That said...this is just bad PR, but given the fog of war, not unexpected. Using WP is common and planned, so some pr guy just put his foot in his mouth, as PR guys who don't know what goes on in the front lines tend to do...

Nothing to see here folks, move along...