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Gulf War II Syndrome? Military Equipment and "Pneumonia", Stan Goff

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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 01:58 PM
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Gulf War II Syndrome? Military Equipment and "Pneumonia", Stan Goff

Gulf War II Syndrome?
Military Equipment and "Pneumonia"

To understand the official military response to the mysterious "pneumonia" breaking out among American troops in Iraq, we have to understand that troops are equipment.

To the unremitting vexation of Donald Rumsfeld and his "network-centric" techno-groupies, troops are articles of equipment whose preparation and maintenance prove troublesome. They have to be coaxed into "service" with Army-of-One-style Madison Avenue pitches and educational bribes, enculturated to discipline and punctuality, taught how to perform their various functions, then kept in the job through a system of economic and psychological rewards. Troops are the only part of the "tables of organization and equipment" (TO&E is the military's term to describe its units, not mine) that have to be indoctrinated.

There are a couple of troublesome aspects to this for the politicians who control the military. First, troops are not equipment. Second, indoctrination narratives are perishable as circumstances change.

I tend to harp about this, having been military for so long and now being a very politically active leftist, but no member of the armed forces is ever transformed into the unthinking, unfeeling, lethal robot that thrills the right and haunts the left. These men and women start and end as human beings exactly like all of us. They experience the same range of emotions, desire the same outlets for their creativity, seek the same human companionship, and are driven by the same intellectual curiosity. They are not computers that can be programmed. They feel loneliness, awe, pain, lust, confusion, mirth, dread, appetites, and obsessions just like every last one of us, and they exist in the same uncontrollable mix of potentially subversive facts that we do. They are the same combination of goal-directed willfulness and unmanaged acting-out as the rest of us. They are part of the same system as you and me, in which Wal-Mart workers and soldiers are both necessary and expendable. Like the rest of us, they can also get mad when they find they've been had.


more from Stan Goff at
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peace4all Donating Member (428 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 02:29 PM
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1. support our troops?
these people are screwing them.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:04 PM
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2. Thanks G_j
Goff is an incredible speaker.

Here's more

They have to be given a special status, reinforced by popular media, that equates their subservience to heroism. They are dressed up in crisp uniforms so they can be properly recognized and adored, and rewarded with colorful medals and badges that hang like fetishes all over those uniforms, and convinced that they are serving some sacred purpose even when they are only staking Wall Street and the Dollar with their blood and sweat.

What troops often haven't had yet, and what many don't have until after their tours of duty, is the epiphany that they are equipment. Equipment with an experation date.

Now there is a "pneumonia" breaking out among the troops, which may be related to inhalation of microscpic patricles of the highly toxic and radioactive depleted uranium, a heavy-metal slag used in another bit of expendable military equipment, US anti-tank ammunition.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Equipment with an experation date.
just ask the victims of Agent Orange & Gulf War I "syndrom".
Everyone knew that depleted unanium would hurt people for years to come. The Iraqis have to live with this. Is there any method of cleaning up? Not that I know of..
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:59 PM
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4. Victim of Agent Orange
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 05:01 PM by seemslikeadream
in my immediate family. We've lived with the truth for a long time.

Kathy Kelly of the Voices in the Wilderness will appear in the Heritage Room of the Holmes Student Center, Northern Illinois University on Thursday September 25th, at 7:00pm. She will have just returned from a humanitarian trip to Iraq and thus will present an up-to-date, eye-witness view of conditions in Iraq now.

VITW has sponsored more than 70 humanatarian missions to Iraq, focusing their efforts on Iraq children by delivering shipments of medicine and toys in open defiance of the sanctions. Their current "Spotlight Iraq" campaign aims to ensure U.S. compliance with Geneva Convention requirements of U.S./U.K. troops with international peacekeepers, promote the cancellation of Iraqi debt from the first Gulf War, and stop the corporate looting of Iraq's resources.

Last time I heard her speak it was on the DU problem. She knows it well.
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peace4all Donating Member (428 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. didn't I read that Voices in the Wilderness
are having charges pressed against them by Ashcroft of something? Anyway, they do great work. We're blessed for their voices of compassion and conviction. VITW for sure.

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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. probably this story
In July, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the Chicago group Voices
in the Wilderness for not paying a $20,000 fine for trips to Baghdad in 1998. ...
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:03 PM
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5. The UK has agreed to asist in cleanup of DU in Iraq.
in areas for which they are responsible.

How successful it will be I guess remains to be seen. The Pentagon as expected has said, "To hell with it, its not our job."

A spokeswoman for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) told BBC News Online: "Legally, we have no obligation to clean up the remains of the DU we used. It's the responsibility of the new regime in Baghdad

"But morally we do recognise an obligation, as we have in the past. We helped in the removal of DU from Kosovo


Pentagon spokesman said on 14 April he believed the US had no plans for a DU clean-up in Iraq. The British initiative is an unusual departure from a common Anglo-American approach.

Iraqis blame 1991 DU for many ills
The United Nations Environment Programme's Post-Conflict Assessment Unit has published a report on DU contamination found in Bosnia-Herzegovina up to seven years after the conflict there.

It recommends collecting DU fragments, covering contaminated points with asphalt or clean soil, and keeping records of contaminated sites.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:24 PM
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6. IRAQ: Experts Warn of Radioactive Battlefields

Katherine Stapp, Interpress Service News Agency

NEW YORK, Sep 12 (IPS) - Concerns are growing about the presence of depleted uranium and other toxins in Iraq following a rash of illnesses among U.S. troops and the discovery by a reporter that radiation levels in parts of Baghdad are extremely elevated.

So far, according to figures obtained by the 'Washington Post', more than 6,000 soldiers have been pulled out of Iraq for medical reasons since the start of the war. About 1,400 of them were injured in combat or non-combat incidents, such as vehicle accidents, meaning the majority were evacuated for various physical or psychological illnesses.

No further breakdown has been released. In July, the U.S. Army announced that two soldiers had died of severe pneumonia and more than 100 were hospitalised for the illness. The deaths are still being investigated

These fears were heightened when a correspondent for the 'Christian Science Monitor' took a Geiger counter to parts of Baghdad that had been subjected to heavy shelling by U.S. troops. He found radiation levels 1,000 to 1,900 times higher than normal in residential areas where children were playing nearby.

One explanation is the presence of depleted uranium (DU), the trace element left over when uranium is enriched and the most radioactive types have been removed for use as nuclear fuel or nuclear weapons. DU munitions vaporise on contact, dispersing particles over wide areas, where they settle as dust that can be inhaled or ingested.
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