"This malady (from uranium munitions), that thousands of our military have suffered and died from, has finally been identified as the cause of this sickness, eliminating the guessing. The terrible truth is now being revealed."
A serious question arises from this report. Are our leaders insane? How can anyone in their right mind nuke our own troops? How can we send our young men and women into a nuclear hell hole knowing that many will sicken and eventually die from radiation exposure? We don't know how many American troops have died in Afghanistan and Iraq from nuclear poisoning. The numbers reported to us by the government of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan are limited to those killed in combat. However, Italy announced that over 900 of it's troops died from exposure to depleted uranium. No figures are available about the number of American troops that have died from depleted uranium, but obviously we have many more troops there so likely the American deaths far exceed Italy's.
The prospect of more of our sons and daughters being shipped to Iraq is clearly present. Representative Rangel has re-introduced a bill creating a draft which could be enacted and effective by summer. It is bad enough that our young people who enlist are subjected to this, but soon our children will be forced into service in radioactive areas in Iraq, Afghanistan and where ever else Mr. Bush decides to invade.
A recent article about depleted uranium is attached. Articles about the draft are provided at the end of this message.
Heads roll at Veterans Administration
Mushrooming depleted uranium (DU) scandal blamed
by Bob Nichols
Project Censored Award Winner
Considering the tons of depleted uranium used by the U.S., the Iraq war can truly be called a nuclear war.
Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter charged Monday that the reason Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi stepped down earlier this month was the growing scandal surrounding the use of uranium munitions in the Iraq War.
Writing in Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter No. 169, Arthur N. Bernklau, executive director of Veterans for Constitutional Law in New York, stated, "The real reason for Mr. Principi's departure was really never given, however a special report published by eminent scientist Leuren Moret naming depleted uranium as the definitive cause of the 'Gulf War Syndrome' has fed a growing scandal about the continued use of uranium munitions by the US Military."
Bernklau continued, "This malady (from uranium munitions), that thousands of our military have suffered and died from, has finally been identified as the cause of this sickness, eliminating the guessing. The terrible truth is now being revealed."
He added, "Out of the 580,400 soldiers who served in GW1 (the first Gulf War), of them, 11,000 are now dead! By the year 2000, there were 325,000 on Permanent Medical Disability. This astounding number of 'Disabled Vets' means that a decade later, 56% of those soldiers who served have some form of permanent medical problems!" The disability rate for the wars of the last century was 5 percent; it was higher, 10 percent, in Viet Nam.
"The VA Secretary (Principi) was aware of this fact as far back as 2000," wrote Bernklau. "He, and the Bush administration have been hiding these facts, but now, thanks to Moret's report, (it) ... is far too big to hide or to cover up!"
"Terry Jamison, Public Affairs Specialist, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs, at the VA Central Office, recently reported that 'Gulf Era Veterans' now on medical disability, since 1991, number 518,739 Veterans," said Berklau.
"The long-term effects have revealed that DU (uranium oxide) is a virtual death sentence," stated Berklau. "Marion Fulk, a nuclear physical chemist, who retired from the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, and was also involved with the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in the soldiers (from the 2003 Iraq War) as 'spectacular . and a matter of concern!'"
When asked if the main purpose of using DU was for "destroying things and killing people," Fulk was more specific: "I would say it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people!"
Principi could not be reached for comment prior to deadline.
1. Depleted uranium: "Dirty bombs, dirty missiles, dirty bullets: A death sentence here and abroad" by Leuren Moret, http://www.sfbayview.com/081804/Depleteduranium081804.shtml
2. Veterans for Constitutional Law, 112 Jefferson Ave., Port Jefferson NY 11777, Arthur N. Bernklau, executive director, (516) 474-4261, fax 516-474-1968.
3. Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter. Email Gary Kohls, email@example.com, with "Subscribe" in the subject line.
Email Bob Nichols at firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Christian Science Monitor:
February 22, 2005, updated 12:00 p.m.
Will there be a draft?
As military recruiting stumbles and needs grow, some say draft may be impossible to ignore.
By Tom Regan | csmonitor.com
The US Army is beginning to face the same sort of recruiting problems that have already plagued the National Guard and Reserve, The Washington Post reported Monday. Since the Army's fiscal year began last October, it has only signed 18.4 percent of its target of 80,000 new recruits. That's less thanlast year's and well below the 25 percent target the Army had set for itself to meet by this time.
"Very frankly, in a couple of places our recruiting pool is getting soft," said Lt. Gen. Franklin L. Hagenbeck, the Army's personnel chief. "We're hearing things like, 'Well, let's wait and see how this thing settles out in Iraq,' " he said in an interview. "For the active duty for '05 it's going to be tough to meet our goal, but I think we can. I think the telling year for us is going to be '06."
While Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush have repeatedly said there is no need for a draft, and one of the military's top recruiters said only last week that a draft "would not improve the quality" of soldier, Delaware Online reports that several well-known conservatives and moderates sent congressional leaders a letter in January that said, "the United States military is too small for the responsibilities we are asking it to assume."
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In that letter, retired military leaders such as Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey joined with defense analysts such as Michele Flournoy and political commentators such as William Kristol in asking Congress "to take the steps necessary to increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps. ... it is our judgment that we should aim for an increase in the active-duty Army and Marine Corps, together, of at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years."
While the letter contained no explicit call for a draft, peace activists in particular say there is no way for the military to reach these numbers without instituting a draft. Some have started campaigns to teach young people of military age about "conscientious objection, the possibility of a draft, and countering military recruitment in schools."
Rolling Stone magazine reported in late January that two of Mr. Rumsfeld's deputies met with the head of the Selective Service Agency in February of 2003 to " debate, discuss and ponder a return to the draft." According to a memo from that meeting made public under the Freedom of Information Act:
"Defense manpower officials concede there are critical shortages of military personnel with certain special skills, such as medical personnel, linguists, computer network engineers, etc." The potentially prohibitive cost of "attracting and retaining such personnel for military service," the memo adds, has led "some officials to conclude that, while a conventional draft may never be needed, a draft of men and women possessing these critical skills may be warranted in a future crisis." This new draft, it suggests, could be invoked to meet the needs of both the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.
Meanwhile, US military recruiters are trying a variety of new options to entice more recruits into both the active force and the National Guard and Reserve. The Connecticut National Guard is planning to start a magazine, launch a show on local cable TV, double its current 32 member recruiting team, and make many more visits to local high schools in its efforts to "boost its ranks." Recruiters say they are ready to promise that new recruits won't be sent overseas for a year.
USA Today reported Monday that the US Army and some elite commando units "have dramatically increased the size and the number of cash bonuses they are paying to lure recruits and keep experienced troops in uniform." For some special elite units, the Pentagon is offering up to $150,000 in bonuses, while more than 49 percent of the job categories in the Army can now receive $15,000 bonuses, and "16 hard-to-fill job categories, including truck drivers and bomb-disposal specialists" are eligible for $50,000 bonuses.
But Rolling Stone also reports that military recruiters agree that, unless "America's elites" are willing to join the military, it will be harder for them to persuade "average Americans" to make the same sacrifices.
In a recent meeting with military recruiters, [Charlie Moskos, a professor of military sociology at Northwestern University] discussed the crisis in enlistment. "I asked them would they prefer to have their advertising budget tripled or have Jenna Bush join the Army," he says. "They unanimously chose the Jenna option."
Recruiters face other problems in convincing National Guard and Reserve soldiers in particular to reenlist or for new recruits to join. The Baltimore Sun reports that 41 percent of these soldiers are losing "thousands of dollars" through a pay gap between civilian salary and military pay.
And National Public Radio's Morning Edition reports that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says "hundreds of injured Army reservists and National Guard members - including many wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan - have lost medical care and pay because they were dropped from active duty status."
Finally, Time Magazine Canada looks at US troops who have chosen not to return to Iraq or Afghanistan and have fled to Canada instead. Still, the US military notes that the actual number of deserters has fallen to less than one percent of the total force, the lowest total since 1998.
Now That Election Is Over, Expect to See Conscription
By Greg Szymanski
Within a matter of weeks, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), plans to try and re-institute the military draft, saying the present voluntary system places an unfair burden of war among lower- and middle-class Americans while giving the rich a free ride from military service.
Rangel's statements are unpopular among most lawmakers and government watchdog groups. But they came on one of the bloodiest days of the Iraq war with over 35 Marines killed, bringing the total military casualties to more than 1,400 with over 10,000 injured or maimed.
Although the liberal Democrat has been an outspoken critic of President Bush's war policies, he said this week "the burden of war should be shared among all social groups," including the children of the wealthy and privileged.
"Sometime soon Rep. Rangel is preparing to reintroduce legislation to reinstitute the military draft since he strongly feels everyone should share the burden of war," said Emile Milne, Rangel's press representative and legislative director Wednesday from his Washington office. "He is essentially reintroducing legislation that failed to gain support last session. However, this time around, I think, it has a better chance of passing."
Milne was referring to H.R. 163, Rangel's previous pro-draft piece of legislation, which became a Democratic embarrassment and a political football during the 2004 presidential campaign. When charges started flying that Bush would bring back the draft if elected, Rangel's bill became an obvious political liability for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who was taking a strong anti-draft position.
OBVIOUS POLITICAL REASONS
In a political move, Democrats quickly rushed the bill to the House floor, where it was summarily rejected by an overwhelming majority. Rangel even voted against his own legislation, for obvious tactical political reasons.
With the election now over, opponents of the draft claim the path is now clear for politicians from both sides of the aisle to get behind the draft, with Rangel obviously leading the charge.
In the face of strong criticism, Rangel still strongly supports a nationwide military draft, saying it is both a deterrent to war and a mechanism to force privileged Americans to share the war's burden.
However, Bill Galvin, head of a group called the Center of Conscience and War, said both arguments are totally wrong since the draft has never made the Armed Services more equitable, racially or economically.
"The affluent had and still have the means to gain medical deferments or to serve soft, safe positions," Galvin said, referring to people like President Bush, who served stateside in the National Guard and Vice President Cheney who avoided service completely in Vietnam by obtaining a deferment. "If Rep. Rangel and other pro-draft progressives really wanted to fix social and racial inequities, they'd be advocating for jobs, education and opportunity, not equal opportunity war making."
Whether the draft becomes a reality is still in political limbo. However, no one would argue that Bush's aggressive foreign military policies need more warm bodies and boots on the ground.
In a recent Los Angeles Times article, former security advisors Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski were quoted as saying the U.S. requires at least 500,000 more troops to sustain the war in Iraq and reinstatement of the draft may be unpopular but necessary.
"At best, Rangel's bill merely plays into Bush's hands," said Galvin. "At worst, it's a stealth measure intended to supply progressive political cover for pro-draft Democrats."
A White House spokesman this week refused to comment on Rangel's initiative, but said Bush has publicly opposed any legislation to reinstitute the draft. Privately, however, Galvin and others fear Bush is just waiting for the right moment "to spring the draft back on the American people" since he no longer has to worry about getting re-elected.
Greg Szymanski is a freelance investigative journalist and feature writer based in Ventura California. A law school graduate from Glendale University College of Law, he also specializes in constitutional issues as well as judicial indiscretion and injustice. Visit Szymanski's news web site at arcticbeacon.citymaker.com.