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Friday, February 03, 2006

The symbol turns

This is US Marine Lance-Corporal Blake Miller in a famous photo taken during the battle of Fallujah by Luis Sinco. He was dubbed the "Marlboro Marine" and came to represent the supposed nobility and bravery of the US troops fighting the Iraqi insurgency. He was, however, soon forgotten, just another "hero" of the occupation.

He has started speaking out about his war experiences. Suffering from mental trauma, he now questions US tactics and advocates withdrawal:

"When I was in the service my opinion was whatever the Commander-in-Chief's opinion was. But after I got out, I started to think about it. The biggest question I have now is how you can make a war on an entire country when a certain group from that country is practising terrorism against you. It's as if a gang from New York went to Iraq and blew some stuff up and Iraq started a war against us because of that."

The US federal Veterans Affairs department recently revealed that up to a third of US troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan - around 40,000 - suffer mental health issues. Red tape is also an issue for returned veterans. Supporters of war focus on "liberation" and rarely examine the long-term effects of those actually involved in the fighting. It is unsurprising, therefore, that many former soldiers end up questioning their original missions.


Blogger smiths said...

an interesting cartoon given the targets and the players, published may 1941

of course hitler attacked russia before they did both join in carving up the middle east,
point is though, they were strategic assets then, and they are now

Friday, February 03, 2006 3:12:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

And these casualties don't even take into account the untold nubers that will come with ailmnet sfrom exposure to DU.

Some soldiers are even comiming back owing money to the government. Unbeliebvable.

Friday, February 03, 2006 3:18:00 pm  
Blogger smiths said...

Arthur N. Bernklau, executive director of Veterans for Constitutional Law in New York, stated... "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!"

Friday, February 03, 2006 5:12:00 pm  

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