The Korean War: Horrors of Incendiary Weapons
The use of napalm entered the scene during WWI. It was a weak form hosed from flamethrowers. It did not burn hot enough, long enough, and did not deplete the surrounding area of oxygen.
The ingredients to make napalm are composed of naphthenic and palmitic acids. When mixed together, they form a soap-powder-like substance. When mixed with ordinary gasoline that is used in automobiles, a jelly-like substance is created.
That jelly-like substance, now napalm, burns for a longer time, burns hotter than regular bombs, and sucks out the oxygen within and in close proximity of the blast area (s), thus creating carbon monoxide.
The new and improved napalm was then used in WWII, specifically in the Pacific campaign, on the island of Tinian. It was dropped on the city of Tokyo on March 9, 1945. Fires burned at about 1800 hundred degrees (lava reaches at about 2100 degrees Fahrenheit) and destroyed approximately 15 sq. miles.
Napalm is cheap to manufacture — a real gesture towards the goodwill of man and woman.
Napalm rained down on Korea during the Korean War in 165-gallon containers from U.S. aircrafts doing dive-bombing at about twenty-five feet for maximum effect.
Early in the Korean War, the use of atomic bombs was considered to contain the fighting, as it was used to attain Japanese surrender.
Remember, the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th, 1945, respectively, along with the napalm bombing of the islands in the Pacific and Tokyo, were used to stifle the will of the Japanese to continue fighting. They achieved the desired effect, the Japanese surrendered finally.
Denied the use of one type of monster, hell was unleashed in the form of napalm. The conscience of the international community was assuaged by its use, as opposed to the atomic bomb, by convincing itself, probably, that napalm was somehow more humane.
The physical effects of napalm after combustion, besides death by asphyxiation, are burns and poisoning.
There are five levels of burns: first-degree (characterized by a painful reddening and swelling of the epidermis), second-degree (damage extending in to the dermis, accompanied by blistering), and third-degree (destruction of the epidermis and dermis extending in to the deeper tissue with loss of pain receptors), fourth degree (extending in to the deepest hypodermic tissues), and fifth-degree (the muscles).
Napalm burns are always fourth-or fifth-degree, especially if the victim is in very close proximity of the blanket area. The flame is like a surf breaking upon a shore.
Survival means living with excruciating pain and keloid (fibrous tissue overgrowth) of scar tissue.
Napalm combustion produces also carbon monoxide by eating up the oxygen within and outside the surrounding blast area. Carbon monoxide combines with hemoglobin and displaces oxygen in the blood that is essential to running vital organs like the heart and the brain.
Deprivation of oxygen is a toxic condition that paralyzes victims, who, even if they manage to escape the serious burns, will collapse, and, thus, be burned to death.
Loss of oxygen will make anyone gasp for breath but in the toxic environment, inhalation of the carbon monoxide would sizzle the windpipe.
Then there are the after-effects of carbon monoxide poisoning; dizziness, nausea, fatigue, headaches, convulsions, and insomnia.
Even if napalm was not deemed illegal or inhumane in conflicts involving the U.S. after the Vietnam War, there have been reports that incendiary bombs were used in Iraq during the early stages of the invasion.
To summarize, the properties of napalm evolved over time. During WWII, napalm was composed with naphthenic and palmitic acids mixed with gasoline. During Vietnam and the Korean War, napalm — a misnomer by then — contained benzene and polystyrene plus gasoline.
In Iraq, 2003, napalm bombs, the MK-77 Mod 5, is composed of kerosene-based jet fuel and polystyrene.
Unlike the moral and necessary outrage heard during the Vietnam War-era, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, which is referred to often as the “forgotten war,” as well as the current occupation and fighting in Afghanistan and in Iraq, there seems to be a lack of/or effective necessary outrage to formally end the Korean War and to end the U.S. siege of the Middle East and Muslim countries.
The North Korean situation is being sold to the American public like a showdown at the O.K. Corral in which America is Wyatt Earp (defending America’s and world peace ) and North Korea branded as an outlaw (using WMDs to threaten world peace and security).
If North Korea continues to be stigmatized as the bad guy, then no dialog, even at the Six-Party talks, would be productive to resolve the differences between the two states.
In the U.S. media, North Korea is lambasted for antagonizing the U.S. and its neighbors in Northeast Asia by conducting missile and underground nuclear tests, by selling its nuclear technology and weapons to enemy states of the U.S., and by ending sentences with words like “plutonium,” “nuclear,” and “uranium,” then the American public will regress in a defensive way and say to its government, “Let’s bomb them!”
Why a peace treaty now? Can think of five reasons: 1. to end the isolation of the DPRK. 2. To reunite families separated sixty years ago. 3. To alleviate any suffering the North Korean masses are/have been experiencing. 4. Allow all Koreans to be reunited so that North Korean citizens could join the world community. And 5, To end U.S. influence (military and economic, specifically) on the Korean Peninsula.