Napalm Death

A piece in The Chronicle this morning says that U.S. Marines dropped napalm on Iraqis during the war. The Pentagon has claimed that they destroyed all their napalm stockpiles two years ago, and that this wasn’t napalm. Turns out all they’ve done is tweak the benzene concentration. The director of Physicians for Social Responsibility says that trying to distinguish between these incendiaries and traditional napalm is “pretty outrageous.” Said one Marine, “The generals love napalm. It has a big psychological effect.”

Bonus surprise: The U.S. has not agreed to an international ban against using incendiaries against civilian targets.

Music: King Crimson :: The Talking Drum

8 Replies to “Napalm Death”

  1. We were talking about this in work yesterday (not the article, but this new napalm). (

    In the service they call this “environmentally friendly” napalm. Its less costic, etc, than the previous iterations of napalm.

    What’s important here is that they only used this new stuff when they wanted to clear a hardened area and follow up quickly with strike teams on the ground. The key here –> Normally, to clear such an area they would use cluster bombs, however, the “dud” rate of cluster bombs is around 30% (if memory serves). That means you essentially have a mine field of “live” bombs in place after a cluster bomb strike. Do you really want to send your men into a minefield (before ordance clearance can go in and clean up?). No.

    Now what does this tell you about the military’s opinion of cluster bombs?

  2. hmmmmm….. i wonder if Napalm was trademarked? patented? “General, we can’t call this Napalm (TM) unless we want to get sued”.

    how convenient.

    and did you really think your bonus “surprise” was a surprise? :)


  3. I’m saddened and disgusted that the US military is still using napalm, or whatever they’re calling it these days.

    It’s also very disturbing to think that US forces in Iraq are setting up minefields all over the place. Landmines are horrible things. I’m concerned that the new US minefields are not the new biodegradeable, “safe” mines that become duds after X years. Maybe some day we’ll have a better goverment, or perhaps the UN will pressure the US military to face war crimes charges for using landmines. The US is probably the only “modern” that hasn’t signed any anti-landmine treaties.

    But anyway, here’s a neat historical tidbit: Naplam has not been made of actual _Napalm_ in a long, long time. The term was a contraction of the two original additives, NAptha and PALMitate. They quit using that blend long ago… WW2 or Korea i think. Ever since then the stuff has been made from gasoline (aka benzene) mixed with polystyrene.

    You can make your own modern-recipe napalm by dissolving styorofoam in a jar of gasoline until is thickens into goopy syrup. And yes, it does stick to kids.

  4. Love the smell of Napalm in the morning,
    but hate the fattening side effects?

    “I can’t believe its not Napalm” smells like Liberation in the morning, and smells like Democracy at dinner!

    Try some on the whole family!

    “I can’t believe its not Napalm” TM – KRAFT Cheeseskins.

  5. Where did you get information that US forces in the Middle East were setting landmines? If they are they must be the some of the thousands that we were removing from Afgan.


  6. Sorry gang – birdhouse is not going to be responsible for hosting napalm manufacturing tips. I’m deleting several comments and closing comments on this entry.

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