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Digging Our Graves
February 1, 2003
By Bridget Gibson

Have you heard about the latest plan the Pentagon is considering for bodies of American troops killed in combat in Iraq? Because of the possibility of biochemical contamination, those who make the ultimate sacrifice may end up in mass graves, closed with the loving touch of a bulldozer, their no longer needed bodies receiving no sentimental fare thee well and Hail Marys,just a final cleanup pass of heavy earth-moving equipment. Those who loved them can never say goodbye and never cast them that last look of love and longing.

Their bodies may be contaminated. Contaminated with the chemicals that American corporations supplied to the Iraqi government during the 1980s when Saddam was our friend.

Remember the days when Reagan and Cheney and Rumsfeld had personal friendly chats with Saddam Hussein, and this particular segment of the Axis of Evilwas held in high esteem? After the siege of the embassy in Iran, it was important for the United States to round up and arm its allies (you know, those who may be convenient one moment but embarrassing the next, like Osama bin Laden).

So American corporations, eager for a profit (corporations, of course, are driven by but one imperative - to make profits), and blessed by Reagan/Cheney/Rumsfeld, rushed to supply Saddam with some very interesting weapons - not just the conventional bomb-them-to-hell kind - but the kind that linger and destroy in a more insidious fashion.

Heres a list of chemical and biological weapons (and potential):

Bacillus Anthracis (cause of anthrax)
Clostridium Botulinum (a source of botulinum toxin)
Histoplasma Capsulatam (cause of a disease attacking lungs, brain, spinal cord, and heart
Brucella Melitensis (a bacteria that can damage major organs)
Clostridium Perfringens (a highly toxic bacteria causing systemic illness)
Clostridium tetani (a highly toxigenic substance)
Escherichia coli (E. coli)

Add to this list, genetic materials, human and bacterial DNA, and dozens of other pathogenic biological agents.

The following is a list of American corporations that decided to sell equipment, materials, chemicals or biological agents to Saddam:

Honeywell
Spektra Physics
TI Coating
UNISYS
Sperry Corporation
Rockwell
Hewlett Packard
American Type Culture Collection
Alcolac International
Carl Zeis - U.S.
Bechtel

Then there is the specter of nuclear weaponry. Quite a few American corporations decided that those should be passed around, also. Among those corporations that provided equipment and/or materials to Saddam, we find:

TI Coating
UNISYS
Tektronix
Leybold Vacuum Systems
Finnigan-MAT-US
Hewlett Packard
Dupont
Consarc
Cerberus
Canberra Industries Inc.
Axel Electronics Inc.

You may have noticed that a few of these corporate suppliers of death double-dipped in the poisonous well. Anyone with even a shred of conscience must wonder why these corporations would choose not just to make such weapons, but supply them, without a care in the world, to a foreign country.

Why? Because we have a system within our country that encourages the worst imaginable behavior of corporate entities, and leaves the inevitable mess for us ordinary humans to sort through. Corporations have been granted vast leeway to make poor choices in the guise of making profits.

Who would think that a machine (for that is what a corporation actually is) would be able to make a choice for life? Have you ever seen a tractor or a car or a motor that knew when to stop on its own? Of course not - the operator of any machine must make those decision for it. But when it comes to corporate behavior, the humans operating it are never held responsible for the actions of their machine.

If you were to drive a car directly into a crowd and injure someone, at the very least, you would be charged with a crime. You would have to defend your actions and take responsibility for the consequences of them.

A corporation and its operators - the CEO, CFO and the Board of Directors - are not being held responsible for the actions that are taken while the are operating the machine.

Knowingly supplying someone with the means to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands and walking away patting your wallet is a crime. In most criminal courts, such actions would constitute murder and be punishable under the laws of this country. If supplying deadly chemicals and weapons designed to kill or sicken another human being doesn't constitute criminal intent, at the very least, it is immoral and despicable.

Our own government has encouraged this reckless and negligent behavior and is now considering burying our honest and bravest servicemen and women in mass graves dug by bulldozers while these corporations can reward their top brass with obscene salaries and additional compensation.

Are we absolutely mad? Have we not had enough? We need to take our country back from these murderous corporations and from politicians that line their pockets with the deaths of our brothers and sisters.

No war is just or kind. But the war that we have waged upon ourselves for money has now come home to roost.

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