MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH


December 26, 2002

Defeating the U.S. War Plans Series #11: Vital Perspectives on the U.S. War Machine


Hello everyone

This is really the cherry on the cake!

An absolute MUST!

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com

This compilation is archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2002/DefeatingUSWar11.htm


CONTENTS

1. In the Shadow of the Bomb: Growing Up in the War Machine
2. THE SECRET WAR ON IRAQ




1.

SEVERAL PEOPLE FORWARDED ME THIS - One of them introduced it this way: "THIS SHOULD BE READ BY EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA!" And another one wrote: "This really is EXCELLENT!! A fantastic summing up of the monstrous hubris, the God-playing sorcery of the global power monopolists, as expressed through their chained Beast, America. I can't think when I've seen it expressed in a more clear and riveting manner!

I cannot agree more! This is really worth your undivided attention...


21 Dec 2002

In the Shadow of the Bomb: Growing Up in the War Machine

"You raised that same hand which made the genocide. Are you blind to the blood of the holocaust that circulates through your hand!"

- Yoko Hamada in "Outcry from the Inferno"

Having been born in a military hospital in the United States, my childhood is one of intimate relationship with the weaponry of war. My earliest memories are filled with large ships, submarines, jets and missiles. My identity is integrally tied to tools of annihilation, and my destiny is inseparable from their use.

The men who launch the bombs, who order the killing, who design the destruction, are not twisted demons, but friendly family. Those who feel the wrath of the military cannot see the intimate affection and concern that causes their murder. This is the enduring irony of warfare: for an empire to maintain its security, others must suffer and die. For all of the goodness and lofty ideals an empire professes, those beyond its borders must endure the opposite end of the sword.

Throughout my life I have been awestruck and horrified at the unspeakable immensity of the U.S. military machine. As a small boy, of course every machine seems immense and powerful, but how many Americans have walked around an aircraft carrier, lined with jet fighters? Stood next to a Trident submarine, filled with the most deadly weapons ever devised? How many of people who vote for, and pay for these weapons systems know the overwhelming and colossal forces they are unleashing on the world? Sadly, I must report, very few.

As a child, I moved around the "Pacific Theater of Operations," from military base to military base, and everywhere I went I explored the nooks and crannies behind the machinery. These bases, and the weapons they harbor, are in constant flux, a never-ending deployment of policing and preparation. People have been given impressive titles and badges, and intimidating uniforms, and they have no choice but to keep busy arming themselves against an enemy.

Think about it for a minute: every hour of every day, at thousands of bases across the globe, in tens of thousands of aircraft, ships and submarines, a civilization ofwarfare is moving, burning fuel, drinking coffee, polishing weapons, aiming themselves toward domination. It literally boggles the mind to calculate the amount of human resources that are being expended on this Orwellian enterprise, and the environmental and social consequences are beyond calculation.

While attending grade-school in Japan, at the height of the Vietnam War, I was confronted with the ghosts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This nefarious event haunts the American culture, as surely as slavery and the JFK assassination. As a child, I could see the wickedness of empire and its effects on the psychology of a nation, both the perpetrator and abused. The deep trauma due to lack of admission and apology is like a cancer eating at the heart of our culture.

A useful tool for those who find themselves so intimately involved with the machinery of war is to step back in history. Leap back a century or a millennium, and then analyze the activity around you. What would the Greek philosophers have to say, or the "Founding Fathers" of the United States? This is also a very effective tool for generating meaningful dialogue, and editorials such as this one. In the eyes of humankind, what constitutes a "Crime Against Humanity?"

It is obvious that every military empire, from the Romans to the Nazis, did not believe their actions to be criminal, but deeply patriotic. They justified the slaughter and repression of their chosen "enemies" with their own cultural biases, and often ideals of beauty and truth. Is America any different? Where is our "liberty and justice for all," in the poverty-stricken outlands, the bomb-riddled landscapes, the victims of land-mines, the mourning villages?

It is time to put the proper labels on U.S. military activity, in the grand perspective of history. Hiroshima was a holocaust. The deployment of weapons of annihilation is genocide. There is nothing noble about incinerating people wholesale, and history will judge us just as harshly as we do the Nazis. We are evolving as a society toward telling the truth, no matter how brutally difficult it may be. Privilege can only insulate us from consequences for a limited time, and this is the lesson history provides.

My mind was deeply troubled as a child, trying to resolve such moral issues with what I witnessed around me. As the night exploded with warplanes taking off to deliver bombs to the jungles of Vietnam, I lay awake wondering how sane people could justify such slaughter, when it was obvious even to a child's mind that it was the rich and powerful imposing their will upon the underdeveloped and vulnerable. As an American, I had the advantage of seeing the shadows of the "National Security" state in my travels to Thailand and the Philippines, where curfews were imposed under strict military regimes and the people kept under control for the benefit of industrial expansion and American hegemony. Even at that early age I could see that this police state culture would eventually have to be imposed on the United States, regardless of our privilege and luxury.

Needless to say, I had a very cynical worldview as a child, and I believe this attitude has slowly spread across the American landscape, with the growing influence of the military establishment and its demands on the lives of ordinary Americans. It is becoming obvious to the millions that this scheme of arming the world with intensely lethal weaponry is a scandal for which there is no precedent, and it is endangering all of us.

America has moved from an idealistic, colonial movement to an oppressive empire of corporations, sweeping up the rest of the world in our smoggy wake. There is no corner of the globe left untouched by the industrial "growth" economy of the United States and the corporations which operate from our land. Increasingly, America has become the safe harbor for elitist organizations, organized criminals, and global monopolists. Our influence would leave the Roman emperors awestruck and envious.

Yet while we allow these elitist groups to dominate and use our government and economy as a sword and shield, we maintain an illusion that we are acting for the benefit of all humanity, defending freedom and democracy, and generally are wonderful. This illusion is in the process of being shattered, but at great cost. Our sanity, our children's safety, and the world's health are now threatened by the denial of the consequences of our privilege, and the military force it requires.


"We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace - more about killing than we know about living."

-- General Omar Bradley


At the fall of Saigon, and the evacuation of American forces from Vietnam, I was living on a Navy base in Guam, directly across the street from what became the largest "quarantine camp" America has ever built, a euphemism for concentration camp. At its height of operation, it held over 100,000 Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian refugees. Because my father was a friend of the base commander, and I was a 1st Class Boy Scout, I was allowed the privilege of working as a relief worker inside the camp, the only American child given that clearance.

I saw the direct consequences of a corrupted foreign policy on the lives of many thousands, faces pressed against the barbed wire, possessions and country lost, crowded into sweltering tents, at the mercy of the American military. How many countless millions have endured a similar fate since then, from Guatemala to Angola, from Afghanistan to Indonesia? Are Americans aware that this is the cost of their having so much wealth and excess? That a few strategists with a global agenda have charged them for the cost of brutalizing entire cultures?

Like the genocide of the Native Americans and Native Hawaiians, the effects of the American war machine are an unspoken, "necessary evil" which the average American refuses to discuss. Sadly, most are oblivious to the fundamental issues of empire and its consequences, and rely entirely on the mass media for their information. A recent survey by the National Geographic channel showed that a majority of Americans have no idea where America fits in the world, how many of us there are, who our "enemies" are. We are slouching toward oblivion with the barest clue that we have unleashed doom upon the rest of the world.

It is time to expand the definitions, to tell the truth, to expose the symptoms, to call annihilation murder, nuclear weapons holocaust. What our country is doing in Afghanistan and Iraq is nothing short of extermination. It is no longer a mechanism of "warfare" that America is deploying, but calculated and precise extermination. Our media have been bought by the same monopolists and corporations who make the weapons, and so we are conditioned toward the glory of what our military is doing. Yet we are insulated from the details, the human effects. We do not see the burned bodies, the shattered landscape, the pits filled with victims. We have no list of names of those our weapons have killed this week, which would quickly grow into the thousands.

One technology that puts U.S. policy and the state of humanity into a historical perspective from which we MUST take action is atomic weaponry. From the unleashing of horror at Hiroshima to our current stockpile, the very concept of using radiation weapons is cause for questioning sanity. All rational and educated humans who have addressed this unthinkable danger have concluded that it is an evil idea, with no possibly positive outcome. It is the ultimate terrorism, if we are to truly address a threat of "terror," as our politicians are trumpeting.

How can Americans justify the use of nuclear weapons in the face of overwhelming global disgust? How can we arm Israel with bombs and then allow our leaders to stir up strife all around them? Will we be able to pull back from the brink of nuclear holocaust before the entire surface of our planet is adversely, and irrevocably, impacted? After all, when we address the threat of nuclear weapons, we are no longer simply speaking from one culture or one nation, we are speaking for all of humankind, and the rest of the species on Earth as well.

The challenge of global warfare, in other words, has now transcended all precedents, all boundaries previously held by humans as self-evident. We Americans are forcing the world into a toxic and terrorized corner, so why do we act surprised when some groups begin to fight back? It has been obvious for a generation that the repercussions of CIA covert operations were turning back against our country. Yet, instead of addressing this danger and correcting it, we have allowed our government to be even further dominated by these secretive and elitist warmongers, with the son of Bush, CIA headquarters bearing his name, occupying the White House.

Rather than pulling back from the brink of nuclear war, we are allowing a small and extremist group of people, for the benefit of a very few and very wealthy, to drive us further toward the likelihood of the use of nuclear weapons. In fact, the current U.S. administration has talked openly about pre-emptive first-strike use of weapons of mass destruction, all the while decrying the dangers of their use by developing nations. Are these politicians now elevated to the status of gods, where they can decide the correct application of mass murder?

This is the horrifying reality every thoughtful person must confront when addressing the American war machine, that our culture has endowed itself with such importance as to be equal to God. Our government, "one nation under God," claims the right to decide the fate of all the rest of the nations and cultures of the world. Our economy demands the sacrifice of the environment, the resources, and the well being of all of the creatures of the world. Our culture is based on the exploitation and stereotyping of the entire world, for our entertainment. We have become an empire of excess and ignorance, obsessed with dieting while expending our credit to the limit.

As H.G. Wells said a century ago, "Human civilization becomes increasingly a race between education and catastrophe." We must expose the U.S. military machine to the world, and be honest in its portrayal. And this exposure begins with self-disclosure.

Since the American identity is so intimately woven with militarism, it is imperative that disarmament must begin within our self. Each of us can find the way that these weapons have lodged themselves into our minds, our values, and our projections. By exposing our own prejudices and privileges to the world, we begin a process of cultural healing, and trust which can transcend borders and battle lines. This also presents a challenge to the elite agenda, since any American exposing the corruption of our system is another hole in the "Emperor's clothes."

When confronted with the issue of patriotism, we can reference the ideals of the original founders of our country, who would be horrified by the current thrust toward fascism in America. What is true patriotism, we can ask, if one is willing to give in to brutal dictatorship and criminal schemes for global domination? Is that what America was founded upon? Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, justice, these are the values of the true patriot. Most veterans can attest that the American war machine has very little to do with these human values.

Disarming the world necessarily must begin with the United States, since our country currently spends more on weapons than all the other nations of the world combined. We are the threat that most of the rest of the world must address as their greatest challenge, in weaponry, in resources, and in culture. We export so much violent influence we can no longer keep track of where it begins or ends. From video games to weaponry our culture exploits and corrupts nearly every other culture in the world today.


"You are mortal men. You are capable of error. You have no right to hold in your hands - there is no one wise enough and strong enough to hold in his hands - destructive powers sufficient to put an end to civilized life on a great portion of our planet. No one should wish to hold such powers. Thrust them from you. The risks you might thereby assume are not greater - could not be greater - than those you are incurring for us all."

-- George F. Kennan


With a new perspective of hope and health, we can find the inspiration to speak out and confront the corrupting influences within our own culture, and demand that our politicians do the same. We can create dialogues and challenge our neighbors to reconsider their values, and write editorials to call for a greater vision of our future. We will be able to talk honestly with our children, and offer diplomacy to the damaged. All of these actions begin with honesty, and authenticity.

To cure a cancerous tumor, you can try drenching it with poison, which will surely destroy much of the healthy tissue as well. To recover your immune system in the process, however, you must get at the root cause of the cancer. By changing the fundamentals of behavior and nourishment, attitude and values, the entire person can be transformed, and the immunity strengthened. Healing medicine can be found to restore the person to balance.

So too we can address militarism in America and our world by finding the root causes, and changing the society. We have allowed a few rogue groups of people to steer our entire world toward a terrible fate from which we may not recover, for no rational reason other than their rapid rise to power. Like cancer, we can boost the immunity of our culture with the truth, and education. We can find the healing balm of dialogue and diplomacy, trust and dignity, to cure the illness. By addressing militarism as a disease, a realistic diagnosis can be made.

This is the approach toward many maladies in our society, which had previously been thought incurable, like alcoholism, domestic abuse, and drug addiction. One can argue that militarism is both a form of domestic abuse and an addiction. In the case of America, it is also the most profitable scandal in the history of empire. Arming the world for fast profit is leading to the breakdown of the social fabric. The human family is suffering from this disease, which is malignant and contagious.

As the child grows out of obsessions with power and control, he adopts coping strategies, or solutions. My coping mechanism has been sarcasm and humor, and my greatest challenge is the deep cynicism, which seems to overshadow our entire culture. If not addressed, this cynicism can lead rapidly toward self-destructive ideas and behaviors.

Open a window of adventure on the world, and the child will follow. I look at the challenge of our corrupted and brutalized world as the greatest adventure ever offered to humankind. We live in a time of heroes, a future which is calling for the best in us to rise, a world of revelation such as the human species has yet to imagine.


"War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace."

-- Thomas Mann


Bryan Craeg Evans
Planetary Rescue Corps
http://metamagic.org/worldnews
(808) 969-3765 Big Island

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"As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air -- however slight -- lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness."

- William O. Douglas, 1939 - 1975 US Supreme Court Justice

NOTE FROM JEAN: Also recommended to your attention...

Growth of Nazism in the USA: World on the Brink of Armageddon
http://www.earthportals.com/Portal_Messenger/mercieca3.html

Wolves Guarding the Sheep: What Lies Behind Bush's Warfront?
http://geocities.com/worldnewsinvestigation/bushwarfront.html

... especially the segment beginning with...

Total Space Dominance: Welcome to Planet Warzone

Under the Bush regime, while Americans and the rest of the world were otherwise preoccupied with terrorism and a collapsing economy, the US military forces have been busy accelerating toward orbital velocity with what they officially term “Total Space Dominance.” If you read carefully, this includes outer space and inner space, as in orbiting space-based weapons and nuclear submarines. In other words, absolute control of the entire planet militarily. I wish I could say this is a science fiction scenario from a B-movie festival, but it’s the actual US military-industrial-complex agenda, to the tune of TRILLIONS of dollars. (...) Another somewhat obscure, but extraordinary angle of this space-based war front is the Disclosure Project, currently being deployed via DVD and the Internet. Over 400 US and British military officers, scientists, and pilots give expert testimony that the US military and secret agencies are violently suppressing evidence that EXTRATERRESTRIAL CIVILIZATIONS are interacting with humanity, and have been for at least 50 years. Can you feel your cultural conditioning kick in?: “Oh that crazy talking bunch of conspiracy nuts…” Well, in this case the expert testimony would convince any court in the world. Some of these officers, who worked on space-based weapons projects, claim that the US is unilaterally attempting to militarize Earth's orbit with directed energy weapons to shoot at Extraterrestrials, who obviously have technology far in advance of anything on Earth. Apparently the US military is extremely pissed off because the ETs keep stealing their nuclear weapons! I’m not sure this can be considered a violation or angelic intervention… (...) Another facet of the Disclosure Project is revelations of free-energy technology. This group of scientists, researchers and doctors claim that the technology exists to replace all of the obsolete, polluting energy technology currently being forced on humanity. Every square inch of the atmosphere contains an unlimited amount of free atomic energy, if one can tap into it… and apparently these devices have existed since the days of Tesla! Again, consider for a moment what oil barons might DO to keep free-energy from going global…and to keep us all addicted to their gas nozzles. CLIP

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And to help effect positive changes to all of the above, give a look at http://www.truemajority.com/




2.

Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" <mgraffis@vitelcom.net>

From: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/page.cfm?objectid=12463182&method=full&siteid=50143

The Mirror December 18, 2002

THE SECRET WAR ON IRAQ

John Pilger

THE American and British attack on Iraq has already begun. While the Blair government continues to claim in Parliament that "no final decision has been taken", Royal Air Force and US fighter bombers have secretly changed tactics and escalated their "patrols" over Iraq to an all-out assault on both military and civilian targets.

American and British bombing of Iraq has increased by 300 per cent. Between March and November, according to Ministry of Defence replies to MPs, the RAF dropped more than 124 tonnes of bombs.

From August to December, there were 62 attacks by American F-16 aircraft and RAF Tornadoes - an average of one bombing raid every two days. These are said to have been aimed at Iraqi "air defences", but many have fallen on mostly populated areas, where civilian deaths are unavoidable.

Under the United Nations Charter and the conventions of war and international law, the attacks amount to acts of piracy: no different, in principle, from the German Luftwaffe's bombing in Spain in the 1930s as precursor to its invasion of Europe.

The bombing is a "secret war" that has seldom been news. Since 1991, and especially in the last four years, it has been unrelenting and is now deemed the longest Anglo-American campaign of aerial bombardment since World War Two.

The US and British governments justify it by claiming they have a UN mandate to police so-called "no-fly zones" which they declared following the Gulf War. They say these "zones", which give them control of most of Iraq's airspace, are legal and supported by UN Security Council Resolution 688.

This is false. There are no references to no fly zones in any Security Council resolution. To be sure about this, I asked Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who was Secretary General of the United Nations in 1992 when Resolution 688 was passed. "The issue of no fly zones was not raised and therefore not debated: not a word," he said. "They offer no legitimacy to countries sending their aircraft to attack Iraq."

In 1999, Tony Blair claimed the no fly zones allowed the US and Britain to perform "a vital humanitarian task" in protecting the Kurds in the north of Iraq and the ethnic Marsh Arabs in the south. In fact, British and American aircraft have actually provided cover for neighbouring Turkey's repeated invasions of northern, Kurdish Iraq.

TURKEY is critical to the American "world order". Overseeing the oilfields of the Middle East and Central Asia, it is a member of Nato and the recipient of billion of dollars' worth of American weapons and military equipment. It is also where British and American bombers are based.

A long-running insurrection by Turkey's Kurdish population is regarded by Washington as a threat to the "stability" of Turkey's "democracy" that is a front for its military which is among the world's worst violators of human rights. Hundreds of thousands of Turkish Kurds have been displaced and an estimated 30,000 killed. Turkey, unlike Iraq, is "our friend".

In 1995 and 1997, as many as 50,000 Turkish troops, backed by tanks and fighter aircraft, occupied what the West called "Kurdish safe havens".

They terrorised Kurdish villages and murdered civilians. In December 2000, they were back, committing the atrocities that the Turkish military commits with immunity against its own Kurdish population.

For joining the US "coalition" against Iraq, the Turkish regime is to be rewarded with a bribe worth $6billion. Turkey's invasions are rarely reported in Britain. So great is the collusion of the Blair government that, virtually unknown to Parliament and the British public, the RAF and the Americans have, from time to time, deliberately suspended their "humanitarian" patrols to allow the Turks to get on with killing Kurds in Iraq.

In March last year, RAF pilots patrolling the "no fly zone" in Kurdish Iraq publicly protested for the first time about their enforced complicity in the Turkish campaign. The pilots complained that they were frequently ordered to return to their base in Turkey to allow the Turkish air force to bomb the very people they were meant to be "protecting".

Speaking on a non-attributable basis to Dr Eric Herring, a senior lecturer in politics at Bristol University and a specialist on Iraqi sanctions, the pilots said whenever the Turks wanted to attack the Kurds in Iraq, RAF patrols were recalled to base and ground crews were told to switch off their radar - so that the Turks' targets would not be visible. One British pilot reported seeing the devastation in Kurdish villages caused by the attacks once he had resumed his patrol.

AMERICAN pilots who fly in tandem with the British, are also ordered to turn their planes around and turn back to Turkey to allow the Turks to devastate the Kurdish "safe havens".

You'd see Turkish F-14s and F-16s inbound, loaded to the gills with munitions," one pilot told the Washington Post. "Then they'd come out half an hour later with their munitions expended." When the Americans returned to Iraqi air space, he said, they would see "burning villages, lots of smoke and fire."

The Turks do no more than American and British aircraft in their humanitarian guise. The sheer scale of the Anglo-American bombing is astonishing, with Britain a very junior partner. During the 18 months to January 1999 (the last time I was able to confirm official US figures) American aircraft flew 36,000 sorties over Iraq, including 24,000 combat missions.

The term "combat" is highly deceptive. Iraq has virtually no air force and no modern air defences. Thus, "combat" means dropping bombs or firing missiles at infrastructure that has been laid to waste by a 12-year-old embargo.

The Wall Street Journal, the authentic voice of the American establishment, described this eloquently when it reported that the US faced "a genuine dilemma" in Iraq. After eight years of enforcing a no fly zone in northern (and southern) Iraq, few targets remain. "We're down to the last outhouse," one US official protested.

I have seen the result of these attacks. When I drove from the northern city of Mosul three years ago, I saw the remains of an agricultural water tanker and truck, riddled with bullet holes, shrapnel from a missile, a shoe and the wool and skeletons of about 150 sheep.

A family of six, a shepherd, his father and his wife and four children, were blown to pieces here. It was treeless, open country: a moonscape. The shepherd, his family and his sheep would have been clearly visible from the air.

The shepherd's brother, Hussain Jarsis, agreed to meet me at the cemetery where the family is buried. He arrived in an old Toyota van with the widow, who was hunched with grief, her face covered. She held the hand of her one remaining child, and they sat beside the mounds of earth that are the four children's graves. "I want to see the pilot who killed my children," she shouted across to us.

The shepherd's brother told me, "I heard explosions, and when I arrived to look for my brother and family, the planes were circling overhead. I hadn't reached the causeway when the fourth bombardment took place. The last two rockets hit them.

"At the time I couldn't grasp what was going on. The truck was burning. It was a big truck, but it was ripped to pieces. Nothing remained except the tyres and the numberplate.

"We saw three corpses, but the rest were just body parts. With the last rocket, I could see the sheep blasted into the air."

It was not known if American or British aircraft had done this. When details of the attack were put to the Ministry of Defence in London, an official said, "We reserve the right to take robust action when threatened." This attack was significant, because it was investigated and verified by the senior United Nations official in Iraq at the time, Hans Von Sponeck, who drove there specially from Baghdad.

He confirmed that nothing nearby resembled a military installation.

Von Sponeck recorded his finding in a confidential internal document entitled, "Air Strikes in Iraq", prepared by the UN Security Section (UNOHCI).

HE also confirmed dozens of similar attacks and these are documented - attacks on villages, a fishermen's wharf, nearby a UN food warehouse. So regular were the attacks that Von Sponeck ordered UN relief convoys suspended every afternoon.

FOR this, Von Sponeck, a senior United Nations civil servant with a distinguished career all over the world, made powerful enemies in Washington and London.

The Americans demanded that Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, sack him and were surprised when Annan stood by his chief representative in Iraq.

However, within a few months, Von Sponeck felt he could no longer run a humanitarian programme in Iraq that was threatened both by the illegal bombing and by a deliberate American policy of blocking humanitarian supplies.

He resigned in protest, just as his predecessor, Denis Halliday, a Deputy Under Secretary of the UN, had done. Halliday called the US and British-driven embargo "genocidal".

It is now clear from official documents that the United States is preparing for a possible slaughter in Iraq. The Pentagon's "Doctrine for Joint Urban Operations" says that unless Baghdad falls quickly it has to be the target of "overwhelming firepower". The resistance of Stalingrad in World War Two is given as a "lesson".

Cluster bombs, deep penetration "bunker" bombs and depleted uranium will almost certainly be used. Depleted uranium is a weapon of mass destruction. Coated on missiles, and tank shells, its explosive force spreads radiation over a wide area, especially in the desert dust.

Professor Doug Rokke, the US army physicist in charge of cleaning up depleted uranium in Kuwait told me, "I am like most people in southern Iraq. I have 5,000 times the recommended level of radiation in my body. What we're seeing now, respiratory problems, kidney problems, cancers are the direct result.

"The controversy over whether or not it's the cause of these problems is a manufactured one. My own ill-health is a testament to that."

THE most devastating weapon of mass destruction was briefly in the news last week when Unicef, the United Nations children's Fund, released its annual State of the World's Children report.

The human cost of the American-driven embargo of Iraq is spelt out in statistics that require no comment.

"Iraq's child mortality rate has nearly tripled since 1990 to levels found in some of the world's least-developed countries, " said the report.

"The country's regression over the past decade is by far the most severe of the 193 countries surveyed. Unicef said that a quarter of Iraqi babies were now underweight and that more than a fifth were stunted from malnutrition."

Under the rules of the embargo, Iraqis are allowed less than 100 pounds per person with which to sustain life for an entire year.

To date, the cost of the current, "secret" and illegal British bombing of Iraq is a billion pounds.




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