Followers

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Depleted Uranium

Thanks to a friend of this site named Max I have been told about a report made by an expert in DU (depleted uranium), Leuren Moret. Moret is described as:

an international radiation specialist, with a B.S. degree in geology from University of California at Davis, a M.A. degree in Near Eastern studies from University of California at Berkeley and has done post-graduate work in the geosciences at UC-Davis. She is environmental commissioner for the City of Berkeley, Calif.

The report goes on to tell of the many nasty characterizations of DU and of how:

DU weaponry violates all international treaties and agreements, Hague and Geneva war conventions, the 1925 Geneva gas protocol, U.S. laws and U.S. military law.

I wish I could say that I knew nothing of DU but alas that would be a lie. I rode up during the invasion with both infantry units and artillery units and it is no secret that DU was used during the invasion. To some it may prove our awesome might as a world power but to others it is an endless nightmare. DU is described as:

the Trojan Horse of nuclear war - it keeps giving and keeps killing. There is no way to clean it up, and no way to turn it off because it continues to decay into other radioactive isotopes in over 20 steps.

Just another present we have given the world I guess... It has been stated as well that:

Since 1991, the U.S. has released the radioactive atomicity equivalent of at least 400,000 Nagasaki bombs into the global atmosphere. That is 10 times the amount released during atmospheric testing which was the equivalent of 40,000 Hiroshima bombs. The U.S. has permanently contaminated the global atmosphere with radioactive pollution having a half-life of 2.5 billion years.

To those of you back home these are just numbers and amounts but to many this is the grim reality. Just as Moret tells of how:

In southern Iraq, scientists are reporting five times higher levels of gamma radiation in the air, which increases the radioactive body burden daily of inhabitants. In fact, Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan are uninhabitable.

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lest anyone think DU stays in the areas Zach mentioned, don't be mistaken. The duststorms of Iraq pick up the DU and move it around the world. It has even been detected up in Northern Europe. There should be a ban on this stuff, just like there is on nuke testing.

-roamer in mich

Mike Crichton said...

The real irony is that Tungston penetrators work better, we only use DU because it's cheaper. When the time comes to pay for the cleanup, we'll learn to rue the phrase "false economy".

Mike Crichton said...

Also, the radiation is a fairly minor threat. The increased background radiation in Iraq is roughly the equivalent of taking one extra high altitude plane ride per year. The real problem with the stuff is heavy metal poisoning, which has resulted in numerous cancers and birth defects. Wonder how much that'll cost in the long run?

Snag said...

I seem to remember from H.S. physics something about the various effects of Gamma, Beta, and Alpha radiation. Even if the Gamma isn't significantly higher to have much effect on the chromosomes, what might the levels of beta or alpha particles given off from DU impacts be? If I remember correctly, one or both when ingested or inhaled do some really nasty stuff.

Anonymous said...

The effects of gamma, alpha and beta radiation, in addition to the heavy metals, would escalate cancer rates significantly. What one doesn't do, the other one will. Once the mechanisms to repair DNA are overwhelmed, cancer becomes inevitable.

No wonder there were so many birth defects in Iraq after the 1st Gulf War.

-roamer in mich

Chris said...

Very interesting post... and right on top of the 60yr anniversary of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombings. What have we learned in 60 years?

ChrisH said...

All the technology, planning, leadership, firepower (legal or not),troop strength and several hundred billion dollars and more time than we spent in WWII, yet a few "dead enders" can damn near defeat us - certainly exact a heavy toll. Perhaps if a foreign power invaded the US, we'd resist also - in the name of God too.

Kate said...

How hard is it to leave the world a better place, or at least the same as it was when we came into it?

It's so depressing.

Kate said...

BTW Zach, here's a post from Bouphonia today about our botched destruction of chemical weapons:

http://bouphonia.blogspot.com/2005/08/fun-with-chemical-weapons.html

It's depressing too. Sorry!

Take care and stay safe --

Anonymous said...

Off topic, I know, but some of you might be interested in the following reports about Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq and who is currently camped outside Bush's ranch in Texas:

Report in UK "Guardian" newspaper

Report on US Counterpunch magazine

Taff

Anonymous said...

duh, uh gee. uh. here i am in this foreign country, helping spread this du stuff. not good for them. not good for me. uh. just following orders. duh

Hurria said...

"a few "dead enders" can damn near defeat us -"

1. It is not "a few 'dead enders' "
2. What do you mean "damn near"? You are defeated. You were defeated quite some time ago. It is now just a matter of when your brainlessly arrogant government will realize that and decide to cut their losses and get the hell out.

"Perhaps if a foreign power invaded the US, we'd resist also - "

Perhaps?! Do you think there is even a scintilla of a chance that you would simply roll over and allow a foreign power to impose its will on you?

"in the name of God too."

No doubt some of you - most particularly the fanatics running your government now - would invoke the name of God, but I daresay the majority, as are the majority of Iraqis who are resisting your occupation, would do so in the name of liberty and freedom from foreign control of your country.

Daedalus said...

Even if they banned the stuff, the US would continue to use it, but hey, at least the Bush twins never have to worry about their babies being born with birth defects.

All of history is a struggle between master and slave, oppressor and oppressed, employer and employee... I suppose things will never change until we all have so much DU slipping into our DNA that none of us is capable of reproduction. Maybe that wouldn't be so bad for the planet...

Thomas said...

Yup dup is some nasty stuff we got the word on the stuff after we were covered in the gray powder (First Gulf War)
keep your head down and lookout for those pesky Ied's

Anonymous said...

Duh, uh, deep poetry sarge. Shows everyone you ARE on the right track, just a little slow. uh uh

Keep it up and even YOU might start to think. Peace and safety to you.

And don’t off any more iraqis, please, even though you're following orders.


http://counterpunch.org/


General, your tank is a powerful vehicle
It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men.
But it has one defect:
It needs a driver.

General, your bomber is powerful.
It flies faster than a storm and carries more than an elephant.
But it has one defect:
It needs a mechanic.

General, man is very useful.
He can fly and he can kill.
But he has one defect:
He can think.

Anonymous said...

it is all SOOOOO depressing and you know that we will pay for all of this and it won't be pretty. sigh.....

Anonymous said...

and you know that we will pay for all of this

No "we" won't. We'll do exactly what we did after the first Gulf War and leave all this cr@p lying around. How many US/UK taxpayers are going to want to pay to clean it up? We don't even like having to pay to clean up our own countries, after all.

But "Iraqis" of all species will be paying for this - with a 2.5 billion year half-life, the affected areas will presumably be radioactive until the end of time. Our distant cockroach-descended inheritors will be puzzling over this for aeons to come.

Doh!

Taff

Anonymous said...

General, man is very useful.
He can fly and he can kill.
But he has one defect:
He can think.


If anybody wants to read the article about jailed Iraq CO Sgt Kevin Benderman (which featured the above quote from Brecht), check out Vietnam veteran Stan Goff's piece on Counterpunch.

Anonymous said...

HISTORY TEST

Please pause a moment, reflect back, and take the following multiple choice test. The events are actual events from history. They actually happened!

Do you remember?

1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by:
a. Superman
b. Jay Leno
c. Harry Potter
d. a Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40

2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by
a. Olga Corbett
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvis
c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

4. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
a. John Dillinger
b. The King of Sweden
c. The Boy Scouts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
a. The Smurfs
b. Davy Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:
a. Captain Kidd
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy
c. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
a. Mr. Rogers
b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. thousands of people were killed by:
a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
b. The Supreme Court of Florida
c. Mr. Bean
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

12. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
a. Enron
b. The Lutheran Church
c. The NFL
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

13. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
a. Bonnie and Clyde
b. Captain Kangaroo
c. Billy Graham
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

Nope, ..I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people. They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winning and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim Males between the ages 17 and 40 alone lest they be guilty of profiling.

The Gloria Aldreds and other dunder-headed attorneys along with Federal Justices that want to thwart common sense, should feel doubly ashamed of themselves -- if they have any such sense.

Come on people lets wake up!!! Our Country and our troops need our support.

And guess who bombed London?......

Snag said...

Look,
Again and again, does someone have to point out that you're confusing arguments?
There's a big difference between supporting our troops, effectively fighting terror without undermining our fundamental principles of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, being good Patriots and holding our government accountable, and questioning the methods and motivations of those that work for us.

As a former actor in terrorism counter action, I'll tell you that the conflict in Iraq has no relavance nor strategic value to our need to protect ourselves from and actively engage socio-political combatants that will use terror as a tactic. In fact, our current activities in Iraq adds the justification of those who would attack us (regardless of the right or wrongness of these justifications, it is the way it is). The radical Islamist are just the newest actors on the front stage.

We also need to look at the kill ratio of the combatants. With the forces we have now and how we have them deployed (big, heavy units in a fixed AO) vs. highly mobile, unidentifilable insurgents and jihadists, the ratio isn't too good. One suicide bomber can wound our kill how many troops and security forces in one shot? If it's any higher than 1 to 1, we've got a tactical problem.

Qestion #12 jumps out at me. Before 2002, a war was fought in afghanistan against the Soviets by proxie. We supplied training and arms to the Mujahadeed who, once the Soviets withdrew, became known as the Taliban. Even then, we (Intel or anyone who bothered to read more than just the headlines) could have told you these people had no love for the West.

Secondly, all the profiling in the world wouldn't have caught Tim McVeigh (168 dead) or the Birmingham Chruch bombings, etc.. The point being that terror has been with us for a long time and cannot be fought with conventional military forces. It is a fight very much like the one against international organized crime. A terrorist comes in many forms. None of who can be targeted effectively with an Abrams.
This is very basic, but I think the adminstration needs a refresher. Tactically, cells are light, hard to identify, and extremely manueverable. They'll hear and see a manuever unitcoming a mile off.
We don't use the 1st Cav to go after the Triads or La Cosa Nostra do we?
In response we've attacked a country causing an estimated minimum of 20,000 civilian casualties that is now justified by saying it's for their own good.
We've ignored threats outside of the middle east and depleted our forces. We've abused our support of our troops by underfunding the VA while we wave the flag and apply little yellow ribbons that are made in China. We've abused the troops by not enlisting while we "Rah, Rah" the war, all the while they're going back two and three times. If you're under 40, you can now enlist, so get off your computer and go.
We've alienated many countries in the West with our tough talk. A tighter alliance with Germany could provide greater assistence from one of the premere counter terror forces, GSG9.
We've begun to undermine some very basic priciple of our great country (Liberty) with the passage of the Nationalist Act (sorry...I forgot they call it the Patriot Act because we're afraid of the boogie man). I wish Americans were less chicken and would see that we all have to stand for Freedom and Liberty, even if we might be a little less safe. Hell, generations of soldiers have made the sacrifice knowing that they might loose their life, why can't the Average Joe give just a little?
Get some backbone and be prepared to defend our Liberty. I have generations of kin going back to the early 1700's who have given guts (literally) and limbs to ensuring Liberty. Don't piss it away because you want the warm blankie of the psuedo security illusion. Don't insult their sacrifice (and mine, if I may say so) by tolerating a little less Liberty for some.

Who bombed London? Not a sleeper cell. Not a special unit of Al Quaida. It was native born kids who justified the violence when they bought into the idea that we were fighting Islam as a whole in Iraq. They didn't nescessarily exist before, but they sure as hell exist now.
But, isn't this the same way McVeigh was born? His maniacal response to Waco? A Christian Jihadist?
Terror is an idea that knows no boarders, no one culture,and is not exclusive to one religion. Terror can only be defeted by not being terrorised.

Snag said...

Quick follow up:
On the BBC today they reported that British Authorities are finding that street gang members are being made to convert to radical Islam.
Again, exactly like organized crime except with the additional mask of religion. Recruit the youth to be the soldiers for their agenda.
Not a whole lot different than the Klan recruiting racist skinheads.

AnonoBob said...

Here's a good book everyone should read:
The leading expert on media bias makes the most substantive case yet for the leftward bias of America’s mainstream news organizations;
http://www.mrc.org/books/wmd.asp

Your Pal,
AnonoBob

Anonymous said...

"all the profiling in the world wouldn't have caught Tim McVeigh"
But Tim McVeigh was an anomaly and had no ties to Islam.

"We don't use the 1st Cav to go after the Triads or La Cosa Nostra do we?"
Good Point though.

"Terror can only be defeted by not being terrorised."
Like Israel, who will go after the terrorists and bring the fight to their doorstep.

Anonymous said...

Also, Israel Profiles, and they have not had an airline hijacking since.

Mike Crichton said...

Anonymous loser: Points for posting something that's actually half intelligent. Too bad you just cut-and-pasted it, but at least a part of you recognizes your own limitations. Now, what does racial profilling have to do with our use of chemical weapons?

Hurria said...

Oh yeah - Israel has done such an effective job of defeating terrorism, haven't they! I mean, the fact that the problem has not only not gone away doesn't mean a thing. I guess it's all just one great big last throe that has gone on for decades.

Snag said...

Hurria's got a great point there and one I like to make. Terrorism hasn't ended there and only increases in frequency when Israel gets particularly aggressive. As for taking the fight to "their" doorstep, could it be because the region has been intermixed Palestinian/Jewish for eons? That the Jewish doorstep is also the Palestinian doorstep?

Anonymous said...

Hurria,

yOu do not knoe me, i am performance of the "BOB clan. i am only a slakluster and have been tasked to deliver you a message from thye virga. message as follows: think of happy thoughts, although the clamshell hasnt digeSted yet, BOB has agreed to come and retreve you, and allow you back into his aura. EOM. although i am only a slakluster i feel I have knoen yoU forever. and jeannete wishes to thank you for the "Suplement" you sent her. she said that wardriving can be tiresome, but will kontinue in your name. she will like to know if you have receive the "device? and says konsult users manual for familiar brakeage. now that you have narfulled the garthog your name will be known. rev mainard also shills toward you at the appointed hour. dr smith has fully endorsed your campaign to battle gout, as needed 2or3 times a day when taken at the proper dosage.


until we meet again under the watchful eYe of whOlly "BOB"

YouRs,
sLaklUster peRformAnce
--------------------------------------------------------
This communication is for use by the Illuminatti recipient and contains Fillafel that may be congealed, complicated or copycatted under applicable guffaw. If you are not the intended recipe, you are hereby formally rattified that any use, copying or discombobulation of this, in whole or in fart, is partially prohibited. cease & notify the sender by 3rd party and replete this in your system. Unless sexplicitly and suspicuously designated as "Contract Amended", this does not a constitute offer, a conflict amendment, or an receptance of a contract coffer. This does not constant to the overdose of sender's contact information for dark marketing pierposes for transfers of data to third world parties.

Anonymous said...

the dialogue continues, but really beats around the bush (no pun or reference to gorge butch intended).

snag, are you gonna reenlist? and all the anon hawks, you also? there'd be more powder monkeys for the canons, but mr sang i thought you're saying this isn't the problem.

personally i've had my thoughts on sargeant zach. i want him safe and healthy and doing positive acts in the world. trouble is that in a uniform and with a weapon, he is the problem.

but now maybe he and many of his buddies have started, finally, on the right track; they're "feeling" and writing poetry about their savagery. now, if they could only begin to THINK just a bit and use all that horse shit sorry horse sense americans have been given as their birthright. whens it gonna happen zach? is it gonna happen zach?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1547587,00.html

Snag said...

Now why would I re-up for a fight I don't believe in?
But again, as with our friends on the pro-administration side, you seem so blinded by your dogma and rhetoric that you assume debate on the issues means tacit support for a view that is not yours.
You my friend, are as wrapped in rhetoric as they are. It is the dogmatic that propogate war. You may be right on your view of the Iraq war, but your mentality will only serve to start another. It will be a war that you agree with this time. A war that you justify in your own mind. And there will be people who question it and you will call them cowards, unPatriotic, etc.
Your vitrol only serves the agents of power. Your discourse makes you no different than them.
We are all expreriencing this mess because we've reduced the world to the illusion of superiority with "my team against your's" and failed to see those we differ with as having valid concerns.
What do we all really want?
The peace to be left alone to manage our own lives without too many stumbling blocks thrown in our way.
Red or Blue? Rah, rah, rah! Us and them.
It's all BS. No black and white. There really is only shades of grey.
Buddha teaches us to seek the middle path.

Anonymous said...

Israel and "terror": Don't want to get too far into this one on Zach's blog, but this is something I know a bit about, having travelled in the Occupied territories and taken many years to de-program myself from the BS on Israeli/Palestinian history that saturates our media.

1. Israel knows a bit about terrorism - it was founded by terrorists.
2. Israel also creates terrorists very efficiently through its brutal and illegal occupation, as "we" are doing in Iraq, often with the same tactics.
3. Israel is now building its apartheid wall to confine Palestinians in ghettos. Even if we wanted to, we could not do this in Iraq. But we do have the Greenback Zone i.e. our ghetto.
4. Israel's situation is indeed different e.g. it has deliberately exposed some 400,000 Israelis to attack from Palestinian freedom fighters (or terrorists) by importing them into stolen land in the Occupied Territories in breach of the 4th Geneva Convention. Do we want to follow suit - who's going to volunteer to live in Tikrit?
5. Israel has been fighting Palestinian resistance to ethnic cleansing for nearly 60 years and still cannot defeat its "enemy". Do we want to stay in Iraq for 60 years?
6. The one thing Israel has never seriously tried is an end to its land-grabbing ethnic-cleansing occupation. Maybe there is a lesson in this for us?

The less we have to do with Israel, its racist occupation, its brutal Nazi-derived tactics and its relentless dedication to digging itself deeper into the sh!t, the better our chances of getting our forces out of Iraq in one piece and leaving enough of Iraq standing for the iraqis to re-build. And the fewer excuses there will be for sh!theads in our own societies to run off and join the jihadis.

And if you don't like what I say about Israel, you should read what Avraham Burg, Israeli politican and former Knesset speaker, says.

taff

Mike Crichton said...

Slakluster: Needs work. That didn't have nearly enough exclamation points to be a proper SubGenius rant. Ya gotta put yer SPLEEN into it, Bobbie!

Anonymous said...

It was a... Slakluster Performance indeed.

Mike Crichton said...

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Anonymous said...

snag, its not about right wars or wrong wars. you be so dang intelligent you just dont get it do you? ask hurria about war.

best thing zach and his buddies could do is go home, wherever it is and start planting garden.

Anonymous said...

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Snag said...

Reread my post and recomment.
There are things each and everyone of us can do to fight war, not wars.
Self-righteousness is what we use to justify going to war.
Our self-righteousness makes as bad as those that would promote this war.
Look deep inside and ask: Do you see any self-righteousness in your comments? Do you feel superior to anyone? Do you enjoy pointing out the failures and mistakes of others?
Yes to any of these makes one as guilty of promoting the fear and hatred that leads to war.
Until we learn this, there will be more Iraqs. There will be more Darfurs. There will be more Tibets.

Jay Denari said...

Instead of taking lessons from Israel on how to solve the terrorist problem, maybe it's time we looked at Ireland. There, they had the same problem -- ongoing sectarian violence -- until the Protestants actually TALKED with the IRA/Sein Finn. The IRA's argument was almost exactly the same one the Palestinians are using -- that their homeland was being occupied. Like the situation in Palestine, both sides actually LIVE there and have for quite some time, so they really had no choice but negotiate.

Guess what? It took time, but it worked. They aren't killing each other now. That should be tried anywhere the terrorists are homegrown.

Of course, the situation in Iraq is different. Our forces don't live there and don't want to. Any negotiations would have to be between the Iraqi government and the jihadists (if anybody even considers the gov't worth talking to and not just a US tool for continuing occupation after we're gone.) We've dug ourselves into a deep hole that will take decades(?) to get out of, although that process might be faster if we arrest Bush & several other "leaders" and turn them over to the UN's war crimes tribunal for the trials they so richly deserve.

Oh, and it's so like BushCo to use DU because it's cheaper in the short term, without regard to the long term consequences. That makes DU a great symbol for this administration's entire domestic and foreign policy -- toxic, invasive, carcinogenic, long-lasting and driven by profit.

Jay Denari said...

Oh, by the way, after reading this, I looked up a few things re: DU...

Did you know DU's not only used in the projectiles, it's also in the armor of some of our combat vehicles, esp. Abrams tanks?

According to the DOD's own Capstone report, occupants of DU-armored vehicles that get hit by DU projectiles inhale more uranium aerosol than those w/o DU armor. Such folks inhale 10 mg in the first minute (if the vehicle's ventilation system works; 250 mg without ventilation) and up to 1,000 mg over the course of 2 hrs. The report says that would result in a total radiation exposure of under 10 rems and is "not expected to cause adverse health effects."

Of course, they don't mention that such exposure would occur under situations of very high stress, which tends to depress immune system functions.

Given the source, I'm not sure I believe them, but I also don't believe Leuren Moret's contention that DU use has released "at least 400,000 Nagasaki bombs" into the atmosphere. That much radiation would sterilize everything. Many of her other statements strike me as true, but that figure seems way too excessive. Where'd it come from???

Just thought I'd toss this out for your consideration.

Hurria said...

"Instead of taking lessons from Israel on how to solve the terrorist problem, maybe it's time we looked at Ireland."

Israel is clearly one of the worst examples of how to deal effectively with terrorism. A better example than Ireland would be Spain. After decades of dealing with Basque terrorism with constantly escalating massive force, death, destruction and collective punishment, the Spanish finally realized that this was having the exact opposite of the desired effect. Unlike Israelis and Americans, they understood that they only way to change the result was to change what they were doing, and so they began to talk to the Basques, find out what they wanted, to to negotiate a solution.

"in Palestineboth sides actually LIVE there and have for quite some time, so they really had no choice but negotiate."

It's not really the same thing. Israelis who live in the territories occupied in 1967 are there in violation of international law living in exclusive Jewish Israeli colonies created illegally on land that was illegally confiscated from Palestinians for the purpose of creating facts on the ground that would eventually make inevitable incorporating that land into Israel's territory. The pattern of land confiscation and colonization is not coincidental or random by any means, but has a specific design and plan. There ARE a few Israeli Jews living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in Palestinian towns and cities who are not there as part of the colonization process, and they are generally viewed and treated quite differently by the Palestinians.

"It took time, but it worked. They aren't killing each other now. That should be tried anywhere the terrorists are homegrown."

That will not work in the case of the Israeli colonists in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The colonies must be removed, and Palestine must become an independent sovereign state free of Israeli control and colonization. At that point if there are Israelis who wish to live in Palestine as good, respectful, law abiding neighbors, they will eventually be accepted as such by most Palestinians.

"Of course, the situation in Iraq is different. Our forces don't live there and don't want to."

While the U.S. has no plans or desire to colonize Iraq with civilians, one of the primary reasons for the invasion, occupation and transformation of Iraq was to establish Iraq as the base U.S. base of military, economic, and political operations in the Middle East. Your government is spending a great deal of your money to build enormous permanent military bases with many of the comforts of home. So, if they achieve their goal, your forces will indeed live there, not as civilian colonizers, but as part of a neocolonial enterprise.

"Any negotiations would have to be between the Iraqi government and the jihadists (if anybody even considers the gov't worth talking to and not just a US tool for continuing occupation after we're gone."

1. This is not about so-called "jihadists" versus the so-called "government". The so-called jihadists constitute a very miniscule and not terribly significant part of the so-called "insurgency".

2. The so-called "government" is dominated by religious extremists and warlords. They are no less a problem than the so-called "jihadists".

3. As for whether anyone considers the so-called "government" worth talking to, take a look at the poll I linked to in another thread.

4. Regarding "continuing the occupation after we're gone", your government has no intention of ever being gone. If they did they would not be building very large and elaborate permanent military bases, and they would not be putting together a mega-embassy - the largest embassy in the world - which is in reality to be a command and control center for eventual U.S. domination of the region.

"We've dug ourselves into a deep hole that will take decades(?) to get out of"

Wrong. You can get out of this hole in a matter of a few weeks. Step 1: Stop digging (instead of continuing to dig faster and faster). Step 2: Climb out of the hole. Step 3: Go home and stay there.

"Oh, and it's so like BushCo to use DU because it's cheaper in the short term, without regard to the long term consequences. That makes DU a great symbol for this administration's entire domestic and foreign policy -- toxic, invasive, carcinogenic, long-lasting and driven by profit."

Don't try to pin this all on George W. George H.W. used DU quite liberally, and lovely Clinton, so beloved of American liberals, was very fond of bombing Iraq, and found DU quite useful in his own military endeavors. And of course Kerry, had he won the election, planned to escalate both the number and violence of U.S. attacks, and of course the use of DU, in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

snag said: Yes to any of these makes one as guilty of promoting the fear and hatred that leads to war.
Until we learn this, there will be more Iraqs. There will be more Darfurs. There will be more Tibets.


No disrespect for your fine message, snag, but you're talking a very long-term solution to problems faced by people who are dying of short-term causes. Yes, it is ultimately counterproductive to see oneself as exclusively "right" and the Other as "wrong", but that's what human beings do. And some things just are wrong e.g. Holocausts, ethnic cleansing, torture and all the rest of the crap we humans spread around the world. Preaching universal enlightenment and nirvana might save lives a generation from now (which would be great) but it won't save lives today when your opponents don't give a shit about their own karma because they're too busy making millions (or beheading "infidels") in this life. I have a relative who's a born-again psychotherapist and believes the world would be a better place if everyone was in therapy. Well, maybe, but until then we need to be able to deal with the world as it is, not as we'd like it to be.

And I disagree with the (to me) lazy tactic of suggesting that we're all responsible. Not that we shouldn't take responsibility for our actions, but it is an easy way to say "we're all responsible - so I don't have to look at my own actions as a individual". There are degrees of responsibility for every action - are we "all responsible" for the crimes of the Nazis, for example? Even (self-?)righteous anger can be a powerful tool for right action in this life, though like any power-tool it can be dangerous to its user too!

In the meantime what can your fine words do for the Iraqis like Hurria who've seen their country trashed in "our" war, Palestinians living under grinding brutal oppression because of "our" betrayals, and the millions of others around the world who can't afford to wait for us to see the truths you're telling? Not trying to suggest I have any better answers than you, but if I were an Iraqi I'd probably find the long-term suggestions a little patronising in the short term.

Peace.

taff

Snag said...

Taff,
I guess I was trying to also open a conversation regarding how we view our long term selves. I would like to reconcille our short term asperations with a long term plan. Sort of identifying the long term goal so we can have a more clear understanding of the impact of immediate tasks. I often try to speak to multiple sides in a discussion. To point out that we make very little progress if we speak in absolutes.
I do agree that there are very real and immediate problems that have to be addressed with short term right and wrong.
As I've mentioned before, I'm no pascifist. I mostly supported our involvement in Bosnia-Hersogovina and Kosovo. I wish we did more to resolve the French sponsored Tutsi-Hutu butchery. I wish we had never supported the National Socialist party in Iraq, propelling Hussein to power in the first place. I wish we hadn't been so oil reliant, thus not providing funds and influence to the economic elite in the middle east and to fight an economic proxy war with the Soviet Union in the area.
It just seems to me that all roads to peace and war lead to needing a larger map.
You use the example of the Nazis. Can we neglect looking at our own role in their rise to power in the first place? Whether it was Lindburg's (an American hero) approval of their party to Ford profiting off of German and concentration camp labor during the war.
I think looking at the big picture and seeing the little things we can do every day can so undermine the foundation in which conflict manifests itself can make a substantial difference. If we made good energy choices 20 or 30 years ago, maybe we wouldn't be so oil dependent. If discussed the history of the Vietnam War a little more. Maybe if we turned off our TV's more often, giving them less influence in promoting our culture's insatiable need to consume resources.
I know there are immediate concerns. Hurria says we should pull out now. While I agree, is it a realistic to expect this to happen in the next month? Six months? Year? There are still ideological and political battles to be won here before we can make this happen. I mean hell, as an example, there was talk about putting Reagan on a coin, yet it's his cronies that are in power now. We haven't had much discussion about our involvement in Central America for quite some time. When will that region become a "problem" again for us because we don't watch the powers that be. And what of SE Asia? The newest economic powerhouse.
If we don't discuss and change who we fundamentally are, I think we can expect more invasions and more war.
And we still have to address those that are to the point of attacking the West with terrorist tactics. Regardless of how bad anyone has it, I still wish for security. Yet they've managed to so completely convolute and intertwine the multitude of arguments. The average citizen may not be patient for the truth to be told, so we know who's who. I'm not saying it's right, but it's no suprise that we come out swinging with a blatant disregard for life when we're attacked, is it? So doesn't the discussion then also entail discussing the fundmental nature of "us" and the sort of leaders we choose?

Hurria, understand that while I deeply sympathise and want our troops out, we as a people also have to look at how we got here in the first place. You must know how fearful we are (as a nation) of many foreign cultures and having that fear exploited by those who crave power. When people live in fear and fail to understand, it becomes easier to accept and justify the victimisation of others in response to that fear. We have an awful lot of weaponry and we are entrenched so deep in a consumer culture we turn a blind eye to the threat we pose not out of malice, but of deliberate ignorance. How do you think the majority of a nation was convinced into thinking a ruthless, secular, former puppet of the U.S. (Hussein) was suddenly a Jihadist? Or that one of the most educated populations in the region (Iraq) had all become crazed Al Quida?
It was fear.
I would love to share your thoughts ideas with my compatriots who don't really understand the suffering of the Iraqis. But those that I would need to convince would be alienated by your pendantry.
Ok fair enough, it's not your responsibility to worry about them or my problem in convincing them.

Snag said...

Taff,
BTW I also agree about Righteous anger. But we must be mindful of crossing the line between righteous and self-righteous.

Anonymous said...

Snag,

Thanks for your intelligent and thoughtful reply - even if I don't entirely agree with you. I still think it is actions that count and this is where many of us on the left have always failed: we'll talk while the other guys act (I've seen the ruthless "facts on the ground" created by Israeli actions in Palestine while the Israeli "peace" movement and the rest of the world talked, agonised and did nothing). We both know that the war in Iraq is doing nothing to protect us from "terrorism" - just ask the 65% of Brits who think the London bombings are a consequence of our involvement in Bush's war.

You are absolutely right about the role of (often deliberate) ignorance (which creates the breeding ground for fear) in allowing the Iraq war to continue. Well, ignorance is no defence in law, and some of us happen to be just a little less ignorant in some areas at least, so it is our responsibility to share whatever understanding we have with others, in the hope of rendering them less susceptible to the propaganda of the pro-war lobby. That's how I learned what little I know about anything, after all. We need to counter the lies that got us into the war, and confront the awkward issues raised by the other side, but we also need to do whatever we can to change things now. The war is being fought in our name, so it's our damned duty to find out what's being done, and Zach's blog is a positive step in this process (thanks Zach).

But although I have a great deal of respect and sympathy for ordinary soldiers like Zach who are caught between Iraq and a hard place, in the end the responsibility for their actions is theirs alone: Only following orders is not a defence. Choosing to be part of the machine and kill (or die) in an unjust war, or to refuse and risk jail, is a decision for which each individual is responsible. Hurria is right to emphasise this, even if her understandable anger at our war makes that message hard for the rest of us to hear.

But so many of us seem to agree on so much of this, that I guess we just have to hope we can get the message across and help to create some new "facts on the ground" in Iraq, London and Washington. They're already cooking up a new war on Iran, so we don't have much time. Blogs are great for communication, but they are no substitute for engaging in this process in the real world, eh?

Cheers,
Taff

Hurria said...

"Hurria, understand that while I deeply sympathise and want our troops out"

Then why not make that your immediate priority instead of talking about what you should have done 30 years ago and what you should do 20 years from now. It seems to me if enough Americans did that they'd be out a lot sooner.

"we as a people also have to look at how we got here in the first place."

The first rule of fire fighting, is to first put out the bloody fire, and then figure out what caused it. Why are you examining your navel while the place goes up in flames?

"You must know how fearful we are (as a nation) of many foreign cultures and having that fear exploited by those who crave power."

1. You don't know what fear is. Come live in Iraq with an Iraqi family for a couple of weeks and your fear will seem very trivial indeed.

2. Meaning no disrespect, but I really don't give a damn how fearful you are. I am not responsible for either causing or abating your fear, especially while I am watching you destroy my country.

3. What you are describing is rampant xenophobia. Get over it and become a part of the world.

4. You are fearful of your fear being exploited by those who crave power? May I suggest that you stop looking at "foreign cultures" and worry about your own government? They are the most rabid frothing-at-the-mouth insatiable power cravers I have seen in my lifetime, and it seems they will stop at nothing to get it. It seems to me they pose by far the greatest danger to you and to the rest of the world.

"When people live in fear and fail to understand, it becomes easier to accept and justify the victimisation of others in response to that fear. We have an awful lot of weaponry and we are entrenched so deep in a consumer culture we turn a blind eye to the threat we pose not out of malice, but of deliberate ignorance. How do you think the majority of a nation was convinced into thinking a ruthless, secular, former puppet of the U.S. (Hussein) was suddenly a Jihadist? Or that one of the most educated populations in the region (Iraq) had all become crazed Al Quida?
It was fear.
"

And what, exactly, am I supposed to do about that?

"I would love to share your thoughts ideas with my compatriots who don't really understand the suffering of the Iraqis. But those that I would need to convince would be alienated by your pendantry."

Not to be pedantic, but pedantry is defined as "Pedantic attention to detail or rules.
An instance of pedantic behavior.
The habit of mind or manner characteristic of a pedant. ostentatious and inappropriate display of learning."

Are you sure that is the word you meant to use?




Ok fair enough, it's not your responsibility to worry about them or my problem in convincing them.

Hurria said...

"Ok fair enough, it's not your responsibility to worry about them or my problem in convincing them."

No, it is not, though I don't mind trying to help, even if I am a bit too pedantic about it.

Hurria said...

Further pedantry:

Pendantic: "Characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for book learning and formal rules: a pedantic attention to details. marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning especially its trivial aspects."

Pedant: "One who pays undue attention to book learning and formal rules,
One who exhibits one's learning or scholarship ostentatiously, a person who pays more attention to formal rules and book learning than they merit"

Snag said...

Ok, maybe not exactly the word I was looking for, but I was trying to be gracious. Maybe bellicose. If you think a good deal of Americans are only sitting around discussing the issues you are mistaken. Between voting, protesting, passive resitence, education etc., many of us are doing what we can think of.
Your response to someone with a sincere, honest question who had written "with all due respect" was enough for me. Anger has filled you with the same virulent hate that has infected the spirit of many of my countrymen who have justified in their minds this travesty.
I will continue to pressure my politicians to get the hell out of Iraq and to try to do better by the world in the future.
I don't have water in which to put out the fire, but I do have a phone and I'm trying to get through to the fire brigade. Even while the woman in the burning building is telling me to go fuck myself.
I also didn't set the fire and I tried to warn others that there was an arsonist loose.

Hurria said...

"If you think a good deal of Americans are only sitting around discussing the issues you are mistaken."

I think a small handful of Americans are taking action, and the rest are not.

"Between voting, protesting, passive resitence, education etc., many of us are doing what we can think of."

And I appreciate every action, however, small, anyone takes.

"Your response to someone with a sincere, honest question who had written "with all due respect" was enough for me."

My response to that individual was, like most of what I post here, courteous, on point, honest, and, unlike much of what us directed at me here, completely non-personal and non-attacking. If that is a problem for you, then there is simply no way I can hope to satisfy you.

"Anger has filled you with the same virulent hate..."

What completely baseless utter rubbish. What hate? There is no hate whatsoever in anything I have posted here.

"I will continue to pressure my politicians to get the hell out of Iraq and to try to do better by the world in the future."

I thank you and I hope you will. I wish more Americans would do so.

"I don't have water in which to put out the fire, but I do have a phone and I'm trying to get through to the fire brigade."

On the contrary, the actions you take are the water that will help put out the fire.

"Even while the woman in the burning building is telling me to go fuck myself."

I have never in my life told anyone to "go fuck themselves", and I have certainly not told you to do so here either literally or figuratively.

"I also didn't set the fire and I tried to warn others that there was an arsonist loose."

I appreciate that, and I do not blame you for the fire, or for anything else that is happening. I have merely expressed my opinion, perhaps strongly, but without anger or even animosity toward you or anyone else.

Snag said...

"With all due respect"

Which always really means "with little or no respect".


I thought that was uncalled for and in this sort of forum comes across as somewhat personal. Obviously not the most offensive thing that's been expressed by a poster by far, but when you represent the most vocal voice of Iraq here, I hope to get beyond this sort of snapping at each other and garner a deeper understanding of the issues.
Zach is bearing witness and conveying the myriad of thoughts and emotions that an ethical person's experiences during a powerful transition. I hope to learn from you more than "we need to get the hell out."

Hurria said...

Snag,

Is that really the best you can do to show how "Anger has filled me with virulent hate"? Come on! Surely you can do better than that!

Uncalled for? Perhaps, given that he did not mean it that way, but what's the big deal? Given the kind of hostility I have been regularly subjected to around here does it surprise you that I took a common expression in the negative way it is commonly used? "Snapping"? Come on! Anything "snapping" in my response was purely in your own mind. Personal? Come on! In fact, when people involved in a debate use the phrase he used THAT is what is usually personal, not pointing out that this is the way the phrase was taken. Telling someone they are obviously or obviously not from this or that ethnic or sectarian group, or labeling someone a Saddam supporter, or a Ba`thist or a propagandist - those things are personal. So is telling someone that their anger has filled them with a virulent hatred.

The overall tone of my response was courteous, and matter-of-fact and completely non-personal. I try to keep my responses as civil and courteous as I can even when I have been attacked. I may not always succeed, but I do my best.

If you have a problem with the content of the response, don't accuse me of being filled with virulent hate, deal with the content.

Anonymous said...

What do you think about this:

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewSpecialReports.asp?Page=\SpecialReports\archive\200508\SPE20050815a.html

Does anyone think this is a travesty?

AnonoBob

Anonymous said...

"Hurria said...
there is simply no way I can hope to satisfy you"

What Are You Wearing?

Mike Crichton said...

Anonyloser: The Serbs in Kosovo aren't being persecuted because they're Christians, they're being persecuted because they're Serbs. It's "Revenge" for all the enthic cleansing that the Serb government inflicted on the Kosovars during Milosevic's reign of terror. The fact that the Kosovan Serb civilians had little to do with those atrocities, and that the number of Serb civilians who have been exiled, raped, or murdered has now outstripped the number of Kosovars who were purged, is one of those cute little ironies of life. The real travesty is that the Nato mission there (of which our troops are part) has done almost nothing to stop this genocide, while the politicians (including our President) insist it isn't happening.

Anonymous said...

What about this???

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewSpecialReports.asp?Page=\SpecialReports\archive\200508\SPE20050817a.html

AnonoBob said...

Mike Cry-A-Thon,

Did you even read the story?

It highlights the destruction of christian churches at the hands of the Albanian Muslims. And the funding by Saudi Arabia for the building of over 200 mosques.

We should pull out of there too! While we are at it we should bring all the troops home, immediately stop the financial giveaways to places like Africa, Put the troops on the borders and close them for good. Then we can be the Isolationists that the Democrats were crying, and complaining that we were in the 70's & 80's

Maybe that would make Hurria Happy!

Anonymous said...

Anonyloser: Did you even read my post? Why the hell should we care what happens to churches, when the congregants who used to worship in them are being 'cleansed'? Priorities, loser!

As for pulling out of Kosovo: Hell no. We should have more troops there. And in Afghanistan. Those are both _legitimate_ missions, not ones based on lies and politics. Alas, we've left both those countries to degenerate into warlord-ocracy, while our "Dear Leader" insists that Iraq is more important.

-Mike Crichton

Anonymous said...

Mike Cry-A-Thon,

I should have known you wouldn't care much for churches. Will you be complaining the next time we have to target a mosque because some "Congregants" are hiding in it?

Legitimate missions? After all the talk of staying out of the world? Priorities Indeed!

Anonymous said...

Mike Cry-A-Thon,

Poser!

Anonymous said...

While we are at it we should bring all the troops home, immediately stop the financial giveaways to places like Africa, Put the troops on the borders and close them for good

Please do. But make sure they're closed in both directions.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Anonyloser, I'm gonna be gone for the next few weeks. My happy ass is going on leave tomorrow, and I'll be too busy back in the States to bother blogging.

A wonderful leave it will be, too: I will spoil my nieces and nephews rotton, go drinking with my big brother, pick up strippers with "No shit, there I was..." stories, take DragonCon by storm, and taunt "Young Republicans" by dangling my dogtags in front of their faces while wearing an Operation Yellow Elephant tee-shirt. It's gonna be fuuuuuun!

I hope you have fun too; I recommend getting out of your Mother's basement and into some fresh air. Some exercise will do you good. Maybe you can even go visit your friendly local recruiter! Ta ta, now.

-Mike Crichton

P.S.: Everyone, visit here: http://operationyellowelephant.blogspot.com

and http://patriotboy.blogspot.com

Snag said...

Enjoy the time off, Mike. If you were in New England, I'd buy you the rounds.

Mike Crichton said...

Anonyloser:

Poser? Au contrair, I am a proud member of the greatest military that this world has ever seen. Proud enough that I do not want to see our blood spilled and our honor soiled for lies.

For good or ill, my actions matter to the world. Yours do not, and as long as you keep typing away in your mom's basement, they never will. You want to do something _real_, get your flabby ass to a recruiter. Maybe then, I won't get stoplossed a second time.

Anonymous said...

Mike Cry-A-Thon,

Try Grenada, Colombia, Central America, And Desert Storm.

Been There Done That! Probably while you were still in Grade School.

Enjoy your time off,
Live to Spend It!

Snag said...

Well anon...isn't it time you go back? If I bought the administration's argument, I might. I'd kinda feel duty bound. As it is though, the conflict and the way it's being fought is BS.

Anonymous said...

Too old, waiting for MedScience to catch up. Then I'll be Back.