Toxic Jihad: Our Hidden Bombs

  • From: "Muslim-News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Oct 2002 12:58:24 +0100

In these days of doublespeak war hysteria, it seems oddly appropriate
that a parallel universe has suddenly been discovered, a world of energy
and annihilation hiding behind hydrogen's confrontation with its evil
twin, antihydrogen... 

The impending war belies a mirror world of a different sort - one of
destruction and annihilation concealed behind lies and omissions
masquerading as truth. 

It's the tortured logic "President" Bush recently used to justify the
unlimited war powers he craves: "If you want to keep the peace, you've
got to have the authorization to use force." 

But as our leaders rally for another Persian Gulf blowout, they seem to
have forgotten the unspoken world of toxicity our troops were exposed to
in the 1991 Gulf War - and the increased dangers awaiting today's
service members. 

While 147 US troops were killed in action in the Gulf War, almost 7,800
have since died and close to 200,000 (or a whopping 28%) have filed
claims for medical and compensation benefits. The UK figures are
proportionately similar, and shockingly, of the 537 UK vets that have
died since the Gulf War ended, a full 70% killed themselves. 

The suspected culprit? A deadly syndrome called Gulf War Illness which,
despite $150 million and years of studies, remains elusive. Potential
causes could be the unproved vaccines and drugs that were forced on
troops, oil-well fire pollution, radiation from allied-forces Depleted
Uranium Munitions, or an especially horrific case of friendly fire, the
exposure of more than 100,000 service members to chemical warfare agents
when US forces conducted demolition operations at Khamisiyah. 

Despite the debilitating physical and emotional consequences of Gulf War
Illness, however, vets were denied treatment for many years and still
face an uphill battle in getting proper support or compensation. The US
Department for Veterans' Affairs has been accused of withholding death
and disability statistics so as not to undermine the administration's
case for another Gulf war, and only a few weeks ago, almost 12 years
after the fact, was a study finally published stating that Gulf War
Illness is not "just in the minds" of sufferers. 

But factors such as veteran disability and suffering are not part of the
administration's world-domination equation: an unlimited number of fresh
young troops is necessary for an unlimited war and if the toxic dangers
they will face are even greater than those before them (given the
emphasis on ground warfare) then so be it. Simple message: service
members are heroes when fighting but when not, they are an expendable

It's interesting to note a similar laissez faire attitude regarding
toxicity happening right here at home, and vicariously coming from a
familiar source: truth and justice's evil twin, US "Vice President" Dick

As CEO of oil-field services company Halliburton, Cheney engineered the
purchase of a number of companies which later got hit with
asbestos-related claims, a liability that is now estimated will run
Halliburton $2.2 billion over the next 15 years. Cheney has pushed for
legislation limiting workers' rights to file claims for asbestos-related
illnesses, but he is not alone in the fight - 250 of the world's largest
corporations recently petitioned the US Supreme Court to make it harder
for victims to sue. 

With the number of claims in the hundreds of thousands and rising every
day, however, it is clear the asbestos time-bomb can't be denied. Fred
Baron, a Dallas-based trial lawyer representing asbestos victims, has
said "there will be a jihad" against those individuals and corporations
trying to limit a victim's right to sue, and adds "we will fight them
with everything we've got." 

At issue are toxic dangers (at home and abroad) linked by governmental
and corporate denial regarding their deadly effects on the population.
But the hazards and suffering this toxicity brings can no longer be
relegated to some unacknowledged separate world; we must expose our
hidden bombs for what they are, then demand justice for those afflicted
and fight to prevent new casualties. 

Source:  Freelance Writer

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