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Play It Again, George
July 24, 2002
By Bob Volpitto

Headline: New York Times, July 19, 2002 - "Bush Renews Pledge to Strike First to Counter Threat."

Bush was speaking to the 10th Mountain Division, repeating his pledge of July 4th at West Point to strike first and ask questions later. A member of the famed 10th responded with what was made to look like an unrehearsed response - "Let's get Saddam!" - wrote David Sanger, reporter for the Times and author of the article. Now, I ask you, what soldier would have the audacity to interrupt his commander-in-chief with an unstaged comment? Sanger notes Bush approvingly smiled at the soldier. In show business, timing is everything.

General Tommy Franks, America's top commander in the Mid East, asserts it will take a fighting force of 250,000 men and women, the cooperation of Jordan, Turkey, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as well as the complicity of Syria, Yemen, Egypt and several other Arab states to bring down Saddam Hussein. We would probably have to cancel our commitments to peace keeping, bringing those troops home to form a cadre to instruct and lead raw recruits and those snared in a limited, temporary revival of military conscription. Yes, we've already got them registered at the Post Office, why not put those youngsters in uniform, give them six weeks of basic, three months at Ft. Benning and ship them over there? By early to mid December our 250,000-man force will be ready to jump off into Iraq and, with the 10th Mountain in the van, topple Saddam in thirty days of intense land, air and sea combat.

Look back at what George H. W. Bush, General Colin Powell, General "Stormin" Norman Schwartzkopf and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger did in merely 24 hours back in 1991. Surely George W. Bush, Colin Powell (again) and General Franks can finish the job in 30 days.

I've always contended that war leaders following World War II had three motives in mind. First, we need to test the latest technology in weaponry. Second, we need to test the latest crop of generals and admirals. Third, and most important, we need to test the troops. Now we can add a fourth test - chemists. We did this to a limited scope in Afghanistan, but its time for the full scale trial.

Play it again, George.

In Gulf War I we boasted that we "eliminated" 100,000 Iraqis and lost only 150 of own soldiers, many to friendly fire. We saw on the evening news long lines of burned out enemy vehicles that were destroyed during Saddam's retreat from Kuwait en route to the sanctity of their homeland. We were fed videos of Iraqi troops, dressed in scruffy field uniforms, squatting in the sand with their hands clasped behind their heads - what a sorry lot of POWs. Standing over them were victorious GIs, their M16s ready should any try to escape to rejoin his comrades in Baghdad. How proud we were of our valiant boys and girls in uniform. How proud we were of our trustworthy president, George H. W. Bush. So proud we gave him a 90% approval rating.

We were in a state of euphoria. Our self-righteousness covered us with reflected glory. We were a chosen people living in a united nation, determined to rid the world of tyrants like Saddam Hussein and save the innocent women and children of tiny Kuwait. Glory to our God above and how grateful we were to Him to have George H. W. Bush as our national leader; a president inspired by His word to do with the aid of His terrible swift sword justice and honor in this Godless part of the world we spoke of with contempt, Iraq. Hallelujah!

Little did we know that Kuwait was drilling for oil at a slant under its border with Iraq and stealing Saddam's petroleum. Little did we know how much this fight for honor and glory was in the name of that black liquid gold that lubricated America's industrial might and kept billions in profits flowing into the coffers of America's super wealthy - oil, oil, oil.

And little did we know the long term effects on our troops in that righteous war. Cultivated in the heat of battle were the seeds of what we now call Persian Gulf War Syndrome. In a copyrighted article posted November 27, 2000, CNN revealed that among Gulf War vets symptoms such as memory loss and dizziness resulted from dying brain cells due probably to chemical exposure. Brain cell loss, the article states, is comparable to diseases like Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Some Gulf War I veterans, the article states, "suffer from impaired sense of direction, memory lapses and depression." Others have medical complications like "more general confusion including difficulty in understanding instructions, reading, solving problems and making decisions," the article continues.

"As many as 100,000 of the 700,000 U. S. soldiers who served in the Gulf War complain of symptoms, which many attribute to exposure to chemicals," the article concludes.

An Internet posting of eight pages from Think Twice, out of the Global Vaccine Institute, documents many Gulf War I health problems with interviews from combatants, including: spots on legs spreading to other parts of the body, eyes swelling shut, lips bloating until the skin splits, aching joints, swollen lymph nodes, unsteadiness in standing and walking, disorientation, inability to drive and work, unable to open a soft drink can or stay awake long enough to read a book.

Other Gulf War I vets complain of bleeding rashes, swollen joints, diarrhea, hair loss, chronic fatigue, severe headaches, nerve damage, confinement to wheel chairs and hospital beds. "Over time," Think Twice reports, " the symptoms tend to become more acute."

Worse, the conditions are contagious. Spouses of vets contract them thorough sexual transmission. Intercourse becomes a painful experience, some vets say. If the union results in children, some babies are born with extra toes and fingers. One child was born without a thyroid gland and another with undeveloped lungs. A new mother had dozens of tumors all over her body and in her mouth. Another spouse was found to have a thinning of the skull threatening to destroy her brain. She suffered splitting headaches and painful genital infections, Think Twice reports.

These problems, Think Twice has avowed, came from injections given to combatants by military medical personnel who, according to the source, "...threw caution to the winds, ignoring all warnings of potential harm." Ain't science wonderful?

According to Think Twice, Gulf War I veterans are having a difficult time proving their claims for benefits because in many instances these injections were not included in the vet's medical records. Also, says Think Twice, there is proof that many medical records were systematically destroyed.

Then there's the other side of the argument.

The presumably prestigious New England Journal of Medicine disputes veterans' claims, arguing the invalidity of Gulf War Syndrome. It contends the symptoms are psychosomatic or, at worst, false claims to gouge money from the government without medical justification. British combatants are told by their superiors that "they are weak and wimps, told they haven't got any guts, or moral fiber, that sort of thing." They tell their Gulf War I vets it's "all psychological."

You haven't heard anything yet.

According to a Covert Action Quarterly article: "Gulf War Syndrome Cover Up" by Dennis Bernstein, disclosed the following shocking revelation, which I quote verbatim:

"In 1987, then Vice President George Bush met with Iraqi Ambassador Nizar Hamdoom and assured him that Iraq could continue to purchase sensitive dual use technology from the U. S. Senior Bush administration officials continued this policy, despite opposition from within the administration and Congress, and despite clear evidence the Iraqis were actively working on the development of nuclear and chemical weapons.

In the five years leading up to the Gulf War, the Commerce Department licensed more than $1.5 billion of strategically sensitive U. S. exports to Iraq, from companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Honeywell, Rockwell and Tektronix. Many of these dual use exports were delivered directly to chemical and nuclear plants in Iraq."

In other words, according to Covert Action Quarterly, the United States government under George H. W. Bush permitted, no abetted, Saddam's Iraq to manufacture chemical and biological weapons (CBWs) that forever destroyed the health and well being of troops he personally sent into battle to guarantee the nation's petroleum industry's health and well being. All these dastardly deeds were permitted while, like President Ronald Reagan, the American people were napping.

It has been often said and often proved that the apple doesn't fall from the tree. If George I and George II are of the same mind set - and they are - the latter will invade Iraq with the same motive and the same results as his father a decade ago. This time we expect a total destruction of Saddam and his government and the installation of a puppet regime willing to further enrich the oil giants and to capture all that wonderful wealth for ourselves, sharing it with no other country - not even our great allies in the war against terrorism, Britain, China and Pootie Poots' Russia.

But, ask yourself is it worth it?

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