Tag: white phosphorus

Nike and Kaepernick are Unimportant. Focus on Real Issues.

By Jack Parkos | @refoundinfather

Recently, Nike’s new ad campaign “Just do it” was celebrating its 30-year anniversary. Nike chose former quarterback Colin Kaepernick as their spokesperson. This caused major controversy, upsetting conservatives who opposed his prior kneeling for the national anthem. This was a hot topic last year, and the campaign only brought it back.

The debate sparked as two sides asked very different questions. By taking a knee, was Kaepernick showing free speech? Was it an appropriate cause to protest? Or, was it disrespectful to veterans and active military? These questions were not only cultural questions but political as well. Many politicians got involved, and even the president was in on it. Trump, as usual, decided to take to Twitter to voice his thoughts.

The irony of this is that back in 2013, Trump tweeted about Obama paying too much attention to the NFL.

Trump’s second tweet, though hypocritical, has truth to it. Politicians need to stop focusing on nonsense. What football players do on the field is up to the NFL, not D.C. Of course, we can all (politicians included) can have an opinion on it, but this shouldn’t be an issue brought to the government. This should not decide who you elect.

More Important Things are Happening

While all of this occurred, Russia accused America of using white phosphorus bombs against civilian targets in Syria. This is banned by the Geneva Convention. Both sides of the Syrian Civil War have faced accusations of this, but the mainstream media rarely mentions it. Instead, they debate about what to do during the national anthem. Essentially, the media prioritized a song during a game over chemical warfare.

It is time for Fox and CNN to stop acting like ESPN and start focusing on the tragic losses of life that occur daily due to dangerous American foreign policy.  The level of attention given to minor issues is blasphemous! Israel has nukes and Syria is more war-torn than ever, but the focus still goes to football players.

Meaningless Debate

While it may seem crazy that this is happening, politicians love it. Think of all of the minor issues people debate over. Liberals and conservatives will go at it for hours debating about Trump and Stormy Daniels but never will mention that the Federal Reserve is inflating our currency and wrecking the economy. Congress passes bill after bill without reading them, but the people are debating about female superheroes.

Politicians love this because it is a great example of the divide and conquer tactic. They can easily pit the liberals and conservatives against each other on minor issues. They will hate each other so much, they won’t pay attention when Democrats and Republicans work together to increase the budget and further the debt. Note that none of these trivial issues affect the state in a significant way, regardless of the outcome. But as long as the state can keep the people occupied, they will not rise up against the government’s real injustices.

This is a threat to our freedom. The government is slowly slipping away our liberties not because they win the fight, but because nobody cares.  Every day the debt goes up, but we keep talking about the national anthem protest. The people don’t realize how reckless American foreign policy is. Would they even notice the early signs of another war? More sickeningly, would they care? It’s a question we must ask, and it can be very hard to believe either to be true.

While issues like the national anthem protest deserve some media time, there are bigger, more important issues that should have the focus. What happens if the players do or do not kneel? Likely nothing. What happens if we continue to go into debt and constantly wage war overseas? We do not know for sure, but it will be worse than anything that could happen during the anthem.

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Russia Alleges U.S. Dropped White Phosphorus Bombs on Syrian Village

By Ryan Lau | @agorisms

Late Sunday night, Russia accused the United States of dropping bombs containing white phosphorus in a raid in Syria. The Kremlin alleged that two planes flew over a small town in Syria’s Deir Ez-Zor province. At that point, says Russia, they released the white phosphorus bombs, which caused massive fires.

Russian Lieutenant General Vladimir Savchenko said Sunday that Washington carried out a similar raid with the white phosphorus bombs on Saturday. “Following the strikes, large fires were observed in the area”, he told RT. Information regarding deaths and injuries for both alleged attacks is not yet available.

What is White Phosphorus?

White phosphorus is a war chemical with a number of purposes. The smoke is usable for both offense and defense. When lit, it burns very quickly and brightly, serving as a useful smokescreen to hide behind. These blankets of smoke are quite common and are generally legal.

However, it can also be highly deadly. When used offensively, the gas can burn through skin, all the way down to the bone, in a short timeframe. Because of this, the Geneva Conventions placed heavy regulations on the incendiary white phosphorus missions. Essentially, the substance is legal as a smokescreen, but not as an instrument of death. To ensure this, they barred all use of it against civilian targets, as well as against military targets in civilian areas. The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons also bars the use of incendiary weapons against civilians.

The Pentagon’s Denial

Despite the harsh allegations, the U.S. is denying that either strike used white phosphorus. In fact, Commander Sean Robertson said Sunday that such an attack would be impossible because he did not have the chemical. “None of the military units in the area are even equipped with white phosphorus munitions of any kind”, the U.S. official declared.

However, Russia is not without controversy of its own in regards to the matter. In March, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British organization, accused the Kremlin of using incendiary bombs against a rebel base near Damascus. Russia has since denied these accusations in full. Neither country, however, has denied entirely the use of military force against largely civilian targets.

A History of Misuse

This is not the first time that the U.S. is coming under fire over chemical weaponry. In 2005, they admitted to using white phosphorus as a weapon in efforts to secure Fallujah in Iraq. “It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants”, said Lieutenant Colonel Barry Veneable, speaking on behalf of the U.S. The country also admitted to using it for incendiary purposes just one year earlier, in the First Battle of Fallujah.

Before admitting this, however, they had denied using the substance. They claimed, on the other hand, that they were only using it as a smokescreen. When the truth came to light, it was a major mishap for the country’s public relations. Questions rose in regards to what else the military was hiding from the people and the world.

Just last year, controversy arose again about the banned incendiary. In June, the Washington Post reported that the U.S. had used the gas twice in Syria as an incendiary. The New York Times, on the other hand, gave a different look. A military official told the paper that the U.S. had used the gas, but only in legal methods.

Mass Casualties in Syria

While Russia and the U.S. continue their patterns of denial, the evidence is growing that Syria is also using banned tactics in their civil war. Residents reported this weekend that President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces had used barrel bombs in Southern Idlib, where rebel forces reside. According to the report, at least two children died as a result of the attacks.

Syria has also faced questions regarding their own use of white phosphorus and other chemical weapons in the past. In total, over 350,000 people have died since the dawn of the war, many of whom were civilians.


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