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---------- From: "u11434" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: "al-awda unity" <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Iraq Action Center" <email@example.com> Subject: [al-awda-unity] Published Op-Ed opposing Iraq Invasion Date: Wed, Aug 28, 2002, 10:46 pm My op-ed on Iraq was published today. See below. I'm unable to send my usual email messages. In addition to the increasing fraud and spam attacks, my new "improved" SPC-SNET internet service won't let me send more than 20 copies per post. Anyone know of a good ISP that allows mass mailings? http://www.newhavenregister.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=5176218&BRD=1281&PAG=46 1&dept_id =7581&rfi=6 Cost of making war on Iraq needs a close look Stanley Heller August 28, 2002 A U.S. Senate committee recently held a two-day hearing on going to war with Iraq. One day on the problem, one day on the cost. All done. U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., now says we're on a path for war. Perhaps we should take a little more time to think about this before we put U.S. soldiers in harm's way. The Gulf War was not nearly as casualty free as we are led to believe. True, only about 140 soldiers died, but the number who got sick from the war is little short of astounding. Last December, the New York Times reported about South Windsor native Michael Donnelly, who has won a six-year fight to get the Veterans Administration to declare that his ALS was a result of his Gulf War service. ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a devastating ailment. Donnelly is forced to use a ventilator and feeding tube to stay alive. A study has found Gulf War veterans had nearly twice the risk for ALS as those who were not in the war. The increased numbers of ALS victims is just the tip of the iceberg. Since the war, more than 100,000 veterans have complained of an array of symptoms - from joint pain to muscle aches, rashes, chronic fatigue, and gastrointestinal ailments - that have collectively come to be called Gulf War illness. Seymour Hersh, who exposed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, wrote about the illnesses in his book, "Against All Enemies" in 1998. His judgment is that the suffering vets were "friendly-fire" casualties, victims of military incompetence and military overkill. The main problem was the military blew up "dozens of Iraqi weapons depots without taking any precautions against fallout." One of them was Khamsiyah weapons depot, which stored shells filled with sarin nerve gas. A Senate report revealed that 100,000 U.S. soldiers were in the path of the "chemical plume." Besides exposure to nerve gas, another suspect in Gulf War illness are pyridostigmine bromide (PB) pills, a experimental drug that was supposed to ward off some effects of nerve gas. Every soldier in the Gulf was forced to take them and some GI's immediately got sick. Finally there's the matter of DU, depleted uranium, which was used to coat anti-tank shells. Six hundred thousand pounds of radioactive DU munitions were fired during the war. Donald Fahey, a naval officer during the war, estimates that as many as 400,000 soldiers may have been exposed to "low level" radioactivity. This is not all ancient history. NATO soldiers on the ground in Kosovo have been coming up with serious illnesses and are blaming it on DU shells used there. Who knows what risks soldiers will face from side effects of our own weapons in a new Gulf attack. Besides the costs to soldiers of a new Gulf War, there are the straight financial costs. In today's money, the last Gulf War cost about $80 billion, but it was mostly paid for by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. There's no prospect of any such help in this war. With the U.S. economy teetering on another recession, an $80 billion to $100 billion hit could help push it over the brink. Finally, there are the costs to the Iraqi civilians. Relying on United Nations sources, a recent article in the Detroit Free Press states "the ongoing collateral damage of the ('91) war and sanctions on Iraqi civilians has totaled more than 1 million deaths, half of which are children under age 5." Most of this was due to the bombing campaign that destroyed the Iraqi electrical grid and water purification system. Because of economic sanctions, the purification system has never been adequately repaired and large numbers still die monthly. A new war would certainly doom tens of thousands more. Our government has no right to risk U.S. soldiers' lives without some vital necessity. It has no right to launch an invasion in a region that is at peace without evidence of some new Iraqi aggression. The mere fact that the tenth rate Iraqi army "may" possess chemical weapons is not nearly reason enough. Our politicians should start honesty talking about the true costs of an attack before unleashing the dogs of war. Stanley Heller is chairman of the Middle East Crisis Committee, a 20-year-old human rights organization based in New Haven. He can be reached at MECC, Box 3626, Woodbridge 06525 or e-mail@TheStruggle.org . İNew Haven Register 2002 [Non-text portions of this message have been removed] ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor ---------------------~--> 4 DVDs Free +s&p Join Now http://us.click.yahoo.com/pt6YBB/NXiEAA/MVfIAA/xYTolB/TM ---------------------------------------------------------------------~-> Views are those of the owners. Views may not be construed as reflective of the Palestine Right to Return Coalition. If you're Jewish please support the Jewish statement supporting Palestinian refugee rights especially the Right to Return. 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