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
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
American Type Culture Collection
Carl Zeis - U.S.
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:
Leybold Vacuum Systems
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.