Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 17:39:46 +0000 To: •••@••.••• From: Paul Swann <•••@••.•••> Two very disturbing reports...and some hope for united action. Paul http://www.newsunlimited.co.uk/The_Paper/Daily/Story/0,3604,47314,00.html Nuclear war, courtesy of Nato Kosovo, like Vietnam, has liberal support. But what of our weapons? By John Pilger The Guardian, London Tuesday May 4, 1999 The 'just and noble liberal war', in which Nato bombs have now incinerated people on a bus, having already killed passengers on a train, refugees on tractors, the elderly in a hostel, workers in factories and children in their homes, is not the first. Vietnam was a liberals' war, described as a 'righteous crusade' by Bill Clinton's hero, John Kennedy, and a 'noble cause' by Ronald Reagan, a conservative. The labels are important only as illusion, now that Clinton is Reagan and Blair is Thatcher. Nato's 'new vision' is to seek justification for American-led attacks all over the world. When communism retired from the cold war game, the 'war on drugs' was used to justify renewed American military intervention in Latin America. After that, the pursuit of demons took over. Demons are dictators of no further use to Washington. There was General Noriega in Panama, where the US invasion cost 2,000 lives, and Saddam Hussein in Iraq (200,000 lives) and various warlords in Somalia (7,000 lives). Now it is the turn of Milosevic, with whom Clinton and Blair share responsibility for emptying most of Kosovo. Demons as a justification for attacking countries have since been reinforced by Weapons of Mass Destruction, or WMD. These are chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, the possession of which, says Nato literature, 'may require pre-emptive retaliation'. The ferocity of the continuing military and economic assault on Iraq is justified in this way - when the real reason has to do with the policing of an expanded American protectorate from the Gulf to the Caspian Sea. The hypocrisy is on a grand scale. Only one nation on earth has used all three WMDs: the United States. Smallpox was used to ethnically cleanse Native Americans and to spread plague in Cuba. Chemicals were used in Vietnam: between 1961 and 1971, American planes dropped on South Vietnam a defoliant, Agent Orange, which contained dioxin, a poison that causes foetal death, congenital defects and cancer (this was code-named Operation Hades). When a Congressional inquiry revealed that the equivalent of six pounds of dioxin had been dumped on every man, woman and child in South Vietnam, Operation Hades was changed to the friendlier Operation Ranch Hand, and the spraying continued. A pattern of deformities began to emerge: babies born without eyes, with deformed hearts and small brains and stumps instead of legs. I glimpsed these children in contaminated villages in the Mekong Delta; and whenever I asked about them, people pointed to the sky; one man scratched in the dust a good likeness of a bulbous C-130 aircraft, spraying. In the towns and cities, it was not unusual to see deformed children begging. They were known as 'Agent Orange babies'. Recently, at the Tu Do hospital in Saigon, I was shown a group of newborn babies, all of whom had Agent Orange deformities. The war that officially ended in 1975 goes on; contaminated soil and water are poisoning a third generation. Unlike American and Australian veterans of the war, who have been finally compensated by the manufacturers of dioxin, the Vietnamese have received nothing. Now a five-year Canadian study has discovered that dioxin runs right through Vietnam's food chain and has called for international help in decontaminating agricultural land, forests and waterways. The cost of one F-16 bomber would pay for this. 'Can you imagine pilots from a democratic country doing such a thing deliberately?' said Jamie, the Nato spin doctor, following the craven killing of refugees by an F-16 pilot. Today, the same pilots are spreading over Serbia and Kosovo a poison potentially as cataclysmic as Agent Orange. It is carried in depleted uranium, which makes missiles and shells more destructive. This is how Rosalie Bertell, a Canadian specialist, describes the effects on humans: 'Depleted uranium comes from radioactive waste produced for nuclear weapons and the nuclear industry. It can pierce tanks and release a deadly radioactive aerosol of uranium, unlike anything seen before. This lies in the dust or is suspended in the air, or carried in the wind. It penetrates the lung tissue and enters the blood stream, storing in the liver, kidney and bone and irradiating all the delicate tissues. It can initiate cancer or promote cancer.' The truth is that the US and Britain are engaged in a form of nuclear warfare in the Balkans. In 1996, the United Nations Human Rights Tribunal called depleted uranium a WMD. Like the Agent Orange babies of Vietnam, the deformed and cancer-stricken children of southern Iraq, where depleted uranium was tested by British and American forces during the 1991 Gulf war, bear witness to the true nature of righteous Western crusades. Civilised people should speak out urgently before the latest noble cause claims more expendable victims and beckons a world war. No amount of specious moralising will conceal the scale of the crime. Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 1999 _____________________________________________ Delivered-To: pswann From: "Janet M. Eaton" <•••@••.•••> To: •••@••.••• Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 12:52:25 +0000 Subject: Balkan Ecologists Sign Joint Declaration vs NATO Bombing & Pollu Cc: •••@••.••• ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE (ENS) ECOLOGISTS ACROSS THE BALKANS SIGN JOINT DECLARATION MAY 5, 1999 http://ens.lycos.com/ens/may99/1999L-05-05-02.html Ecologists Across the Balkans Sign Joint Declaration By Natasa Dokovska SKOPJE, Macedonia, May 5, 1999 (ENS) - All the ecological groups of the warring Balkan countries have joined in signing a Declaration against NATO bombing and pollution in the region. At the initiative of the Macedonian environmental movement, the document was sent around for everyone to sign. It has now been signed by Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Declaration asks that NATO stop the bombing immediately for the safety of the world. If the bombing is not stopped, environmentalists from across the Balkans intend to organize a massive demonstration of solidarity that transcends the conflict. In the Declaration the environmental movements say that depleted uranium, which NATO forces are using in the attack on Yugoslavia, is being dispersed with intensive clouds of flame and scattering radioactive particles across the region. Depleted uranium is a waste product of the uranium enrichment process used for making atomic bombs and nuclear fuel. It is used in the creation of shell casings because its extreme density increases the shells' armor-piercing capability. Depleted uranium is categorized as a low-level radiation hazard. In a United States Defense Department briefing on May 3, Major General Wald confirmed that A-10 Warthog jets have been firing shells with casings made of depleted uranium. These low-flying slow planes can carry numerous armaments and are used against tanks. NATO admits it is using depleted uranium in shells, but says the amounts of radioactivity released are too low to affect human health. Major General Wald downplayed the risk from depleted uranium. "I know that I see the munitions handlers put these bullets in the aircraft, holding on to them for 20 years, so they've done a lot of scientific studies on these things, and there doesn't seem to be a problem," he said Monday. But many people across the Balkans do not believe these assertions. In their joint Declaration, the ecologists say depleted uranium has a serious effect on the health of military personnel, and on that of the ordinary people. The Balkan environmentalists have support in the United States for their campaign against depleted uranium (DU). Sara Flounders, a contributing author of the book "Metal of Dishonor: Depleted Uranium" and co-director of the New York based International Action Center, said, "The use of Warthogs with DU shells threatens to make a nuclear wasteland of Kosovo. The Pentagon is laying waste to the very people, along with their children, they claim to be saving. This is another reason for fighting to end NATO's attack on Yugoslavia." Balkan ecologists believe that NATO has taken up arms against the Serbs without thought for the environment and the effects on human health. <remainder of article snipped> c Environment News Service (ENS) 1999. All Rights Reserved.