The Peacemakers

~ ~ ~

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called the children of God.

– Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 5:9


Sightings from The Catbird Seat

~ o ~

March 26, 2004

Crossing Lines

By Kathy Kelly, Voices in the Wilderness

This weekend, I’m preparing for an April 6, 2004 entry into the Pekin FCI (Federal Correctional Institute) in Peoria. I’m one of several dozen people who, on November 22, 2003, crossed the line at the US Army’s military combat training school in Fort Benning, Ga….

I could be harmed in prison, but that certainly could have happened to me while in Bagdad or several other places I’ve traveled by choice. I don’t feel anxiety beyond normal fear of the unknown….

I’ve felt somewhat insulated from attacks on self-esteem while in prison. I’m proud of line-crossings that protest pouring money into the Project ELF nuclear weapon facility in northern Wisconsin that fast tracks Tomahawk Cruise missiles to maim and kill people in Iraq. Likewise, it’s good to be part of the growing group who’ve crossed the line at a military combat training school in Fort Benning, GA. Graduates of the school have been responsible for massacres, assassinations and tortures. People should be crossing these lines every day of the week. No shame, no stigma here.

But I do feel troubled because I’ve been so distanced, in recent years, from some of the poorest people in our country. I need to better understand what’s happening to them. Am I right when I guess that the media successfully pressures young people in inner cities to consume, to buy, to have brand name this and that? Does this corporate push to buy certain lines of clothing, cosmetics, and cars push people further into an underground economy because they cant’ get a stake in the above ground economies after our education system has badly failed them?

Thinking of how George Fox, who helped found the Quaker faith, would stand on church pews during sermons and urge people to trod gently over the earth, seeing that of god in everyone, I’ve nurtured a fantasy related to court rooms. Suppose one were to stand up on a courtroom bench, risk contempt of court, and ask, “Could we just take a minute to analyze how many are “the raw material” feed this system? I’ll bet that the people making money would be, primarily, white and well educated. They’re the lawyers, the judges, the courtroom personnel.

And I’ll bet that the people feeding the system, keeping the well paid criminal justice system employees in business, would be African American, Hispanic, and Asian. If convicted, the “criminals” could find themselves earning 18 cents per hour laboring, within the prison industrial complex, for major US corporations who can hire prison labor without ever having to worry about paid vacations, benefits, overtime, hiring supervisors, or renting workspace. The prison industrial complex resembles enslavement and might be a precursor to fascism.

I want to nonviolently defy this system….

In our world, many of us who live in the US are perched, quite by accident, amidst inordinately luxurious surroundings, relative to the rest of the world. We’re the luckiest. We’re the most blest. And we have the greatest responsibility to build a better world.

My own logic tells me that when US troops “crossed the line,” in March 2003, they trespassed into a sovereign country, Iraq, based on the theory and argument that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction posed an imminent threat to people in the US. Now it’s clear that Iraq didn’t pose even a distant threat to people here.

At Fort Benning, GA, we crossed a line onto two feet of government grass at a place where it’s beyond dispute that graduates of the military combat training school have participated in torture, maiming, disappearance, massacre and assassination when they returned to their own countries….

On Monday, March 29, I’ll go to Madison, WI to face a one-month jail sentence for refusing to pay a $150 fine after twelve of us walked two feet across the line onto the Navy’s ELF/Trident transmitter site located in the northern woods of Wisconsin. ELF (extremely low-frequency waves) is used to trigger nuclear missiles. The ELF system is also used to trigger Cruise missiles. Cruise missiles were the weapon of choice among war planner as the Shock and Awe campaign against Iraq was developed.

On January 26, 2003, the Sun-Herald of Sydney, Australia reported, “The US intends to shatter Iraq ‘physically, emotionally and psychologically’ by raining down on its people as many as 800 cruise missiles in two days.”

“There will not be a safe place in Baghdad,” a Pentagon official told CBS News Feb. 8, 2003. “We want them to quit, not to fight,” said Harlan Ullman, author of the “shock and awe” attack plan, “so that you have this simultaneous effect – rather like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima – not taking days or weeks but minutes.”

Mr. Ullman told the Sun Herald, “You take the city down. By that I mean you get rid of their power and water. In two, three, four, five days they are physically, emotionally and psychologically exhausted.”

I felt deep dismay, in Baghdad, during that war, as the bombs thundered down on the city, morning, noon and night. I also promised myself a nonviolently defiant visit to a military facility that helped launch those bombs, at the earliest opportunity, upon return to the US….

Not all peace activists can be part of civil disobedience actions resulting in prison sentences. But for those who can, entering the prisons offers an opportunity to better understand how the once lauded war on poverty has become a war against the poor.

Those of us who ‘do time’ for crossing lines at Fort Benning and at Project ELF will be away from our desks, but we won’t be away from our work.

Kathy Kelly is a co-ordinator of Voices in the Wilderness – ph. 773-784-8065

For the complete article, and much more, visit

To learn more about the campaign to shut down Project ELF, visit

For more about private prison abuses, GO TO > > > Privatizing Hell

* * *

Philip Berrigan, Anti-War activist, Dies at Home in Baltimore

From Veterans for Peace

“We got off the train. Tall, strong hard-muscled Americans. Our drill instructor taught us how to march, and how to crawl through machine gun fire. They taught us how to rip out the enemy’s throat and how to fire bullets into his brain. Some of these trainees would actually come home like Trumbo’s Johnny. Others would die crying for their girlfriends or mothers, mouths clogged with blood and snow, eyes frozen open. All of this would change us. Not for just awhile, but for the rest of our lives. War does that. Gets inside. Doesn’t want to leave. I carry it. A discovery, a wound, a challenge. A face that cries for mercy in the world where more than forty armed conflicts are raging.”

– Philip Berrigan


Phil Berrigan’s Final Warning, “The Times are Ominous!”

By William Hughes, Veterans for Peace

It was a Christian Wake service for Phil Berrigan, Dissenter Emeritus. They were all there, the usual suspects. Paying their respects to the deceased, on Dec. 8, 2002, were the kind of people that just love to say “No” to authority, any authority. In the old days, these spirited folks would have filled the rank and file of the legendary “Wobblies,” the long-forgotten source of the modern trade union movement in America. Protesting is something they do. It’s simply part of who they are. It is their identity. And, for over 30 years, Berrigan was their mentor.

To this overflow crowd, Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz is a “Dr. Strangelove,” belonging not in the Pentagon, but in a straitjacket. They think George W. Bush Jr. is in way over his marginal intellect. That V.P. Dick Cheney is a lapdog for “Big Oil” and the military-industrial complex. That Israel’s deranged Ariel Sharon is the worst thing that’s happened to the Jewish people, since the Roman General Titus sacked Jerusalem in 70 A.D. And, that the U.S. Congress represents the best politicians that money can buy.

Paying homage: Former Attorney General Ramsay Clark.

The setting was St. Peter Claver’s R.C. Church, located in West Baltimore. It’s a working class neighborhood, where Berrigan was once stationed as a young parish priest back in the late 60s. The Church was dedicated in 1888, to the African-American community.

Berrigan’s “No” to authority had always rung out loud and clear; whether it was his opposition to the Vietnam War, to the U.S. Establishment’s nuclear arms race and misuse of depleted uranium; the death penalty; or, to the latest menace, known as the “New World Order.”

He knew early on that his conscience couldn’t permit him to live within a Church that was being led mostly by careerists. He became a master, too, at resisting the power of an LBJ or a Richard Nixon.

No wrongdoing-from Apartheid in South Africa; to British colonialism in the north of Ireland; to the violence of the death squads in Central and South America; or, to the evil of Israeli state’s terrorism against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories-avoided his wrath.

The mourners had really come to “celebrate” Berrigan and his prophetic life mission of justice seeking. They knew the deceased was half Irish, and that a traditional “Wake” served that purpose. And besides, he wouldn’t have wanted any tears shed over his death. He was laid out in the middle aisle, in a plain wooden box, with his distinguished poet brother, the Rev. Daniel Berrigan, S.J., greeting each viewer.

There were funny stories, and nostalgic songs, too, from his many close colleagues, during a sharing period in the service. One friend from Florida said, “Phil told me, ‘prayer is great, but you need action, too.'” Another recalled how at a protest action at the Pentagon, he was doing a sit-down, but in the wrong place! Phil had to come over and physically tow him 40 yards away “to the right spot.”

“Phil helped us to be peacemakers,” said one man.

A young woman added, “Phil was wonderful, he would let anyone get arrested. I called him, ‘General Berrigan.'” He was remembered as “courageous,” “kind,” “thoughtful,” “the most righteous man,” and “modest.” Associates came from as far away as Florida and the West Coast to bid their fond good-byes.

The first sign I saw when walking into the church was a huge banner that read, “Stop Bombing the Children of Iraq.” Another sign blared out, “Plowshares vs. Depleted Uranium.”

When one of the speakers asked if another activist was present in the church, she added, “Oh well, if I know her she’s probably sitting in front of a bulldozer in Hebron.”

Berrigan made a lot of powerful enemies in this life by speaking out on controversial issues. Henry Kissinger, America’s Iago, was one of them. But Berrigan retained his soul, while the repulsive Kissinger is still looking for his. Berrigan gained a deeper kind of life that reflected his commitment to social justice. It also cost him 11 of his 79 years spent behind bars and resulted in him living near or below the poverty line.

Unlike his ideological opponents, Berrigan loved the American Republic. The fact that Elliott Abrams, a cheerleader for the Contra thugs, will soon be NSO’s Condoleeza Rice’s gofer for Near East and North African Affairs, would have brought the best out of him. Berrigan wanted America to live up to its highest values, while wire pullers like Abrams intend to use it for their own ends. Terry Allen was right on target when he labeled Abrams a “public serpent” (In These Times, 08/01 issue).

As a soldier in WWII, Berrigan had seen conflict at its bloodiest, from the beaches at Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge. His anti-war and anti-nuke philosophy didn’t come out of any textbook or a Steven Spielberg Hollywood movie. He earned it the hard way–in the trenches.

In one of his last public appearances, on 03/19/02, Berrigan spoke at a Society of Friends’ office in Baltimore. I had an opportunity to do a two- minute narrated film of that event. His final remarks deserve repeating. After expressing his deep concerns about our country slipping away from us, he warned:

“This is supposed to be a representative democracy, but less and less of that is happening. We’d better start using (our First Amendment Rights), because the times are ominous and they are critical.”

© William Hughes 2002. Hughes is the author of Andrew Jackson vs. New World Order (Authors Choice Press) and Baltimore Iconoclast (Writer’s Showcase), which are available online. He can be reached at

* * *

Date: Sun, 04 Jul 2004 00:22:50 -0400

From:         “James Finkelstein for U.S. Senate from Georgia”


Subject:     Investigation of Lockheed Martin re: James Finkelstein for U.S. Senate in Georgia

Dear “Catbird”

I would very much appreciate it if you would respond to let me know if you have any further information by from or about the “Lone Engineer” report about Lockheed that you posted- specifically whether this is real or bogus, and whether any investigation has been launched by any official U.S. government agency or Congressional committee.

I am a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate from Georgia for Zell Miller’s soon to be vacated seat. The Senate primary is July 20, 2004, and there are two upcoming televised debates. Lockheed Martin has contributed thousands of dollars to two candidates in this race, both Representatives in Congress, and I have raised the issue of conflicts of interest in their taking this contributions from defense contractors. Obviously, any information you have may be of help.

Also, I have a brief message about my campaign which will give you some insight on who I am and why I am running in this race. If you think my campaign has merit, please pass it along or post it, as you will. Thank you!

Jim Finkelstein

Message to cut and paste:


In March of 2003, when this country sent over a hundred thousand Marines and soldiers based in Kuwait to war in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of parents, spouses, and children back home had to endure indescribable emotions for weeks on end, waiting to hear any word from their loved ones- and dreading a knock on the door. I was one of those parents. When the combat phase of the war ended and I finally heard from my son Ben, a Sergeant in the Marine Corps, and found out he was safe, I can’t tell you how grateful I felt. Last August Ben and the members of his unit came home, and if you want to see how he looked at his homecoming at LeJeune, go to

But over 5,000 wounded American soldiers and Marines didn’t come home safe, and over 800 more were flown back in flag draped coffins. I decided when my son came home last summer that if this war was still going on, if American lives were still being lost, that I would take a stand- not as a politician, but as a parent. I have no overwhelming desire to be a politician- my life is fulfilled. But I do have an obligation- a duty- to those who didn’t return in one piece, to the soldiers and Marines who are there now or who will be sent there soon, and to their parents, spouses, children, and other loved ones. That duty is to be a voice for them. At the very least, I will be a choice for Georgia voters on July 20th, for those who want to wrap up our mission in Iraq within the next six months and bring the troops home safe. We can accomplish this while leaving the Iraqis the means to retain their newly found freedom under the rule of law. To see how I propose doing this, go to

I also believe that at this moment in time, it is important to the United States of America and to the State of Georgia to have a person running for a national office who recognizes that the phrase “support our troops” means more than lip service. For that reason, I have discussed at debates and candidate forums the equipment, materials, and provisions for the families left behind that the troops in the field have been lacking. I have not hesitated to publicly embarrass three sitting members of the House of Representatives who are running for this Senate seat by revealing that they voted to provide billions of dollars to the defense contractors who funded their campaigns while sending our troops to war in canvas covered humvees that can’t stop a rock, let alone a bullet or RPG, vests without the ceramic inserts that make the body armor work, the wrong boots for desert warfare, inadequate eye protection from the desert sand and wind, the wrong rifles for urban combat (M-16’s instead of M-4’s), and poor or nonexistent communications equipment for individual soldiers and Marines. In addition, they failed to provide for the families of reservists and national guardsmen who were left without medical insurance or other essential benefits.

I am not a “one note” or “one issue” candidate. If you click on “MY PLATFORM” at the website, you will see some proposals that I think would make this a better country and a better state. These include my “litmus test” for approving federal judges and Supreme Court justices, which is a profound respect for the Constitution of the United States, and, most importantly an understanding and appreciation for the Bill of Rights and the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. These also include proposals to provide catastrophic health insurance for American families, to use corporate profits from outsourcing jobs to educate, retrain, and if necessary employ laid off workers, and to provide a system that will eliminate all medical malpractice insurance premiums for doctors while fairly compensating injured patients without regard to fault.

If you want to read the Coastal Courier’s June 18, 2004, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s June 25, 2004, feature articles on this campaign, click on:

For those who want to see and hear the U.S. Senate candidates, there will be two televised debates: July 11, 2004 at 4:00 P.M. on WSB TV 2 in Atlanta and July 18, 2004, 7:00 P.M. on GPTV. I hope that my presence in this campaign will mean that the debate will focus on issues of importance to this nation and to the State of Georgia.


Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate



Campaign Headquarters: 606 Baldwin Drive ~ Albany, Georgia 31707

PHONE: (229) 436-7824; Toll Free: (888) 436-8445; Home: (229) 435-0533; Cell: (229) 894-0376; Fax: (229) 436-5657

* * *

April 4, 2003


PARIS – French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said yesterday the United States erred morally, politically and strategically by going to war with Iraq.

“It should be said, there was an alternative to war,” Raffarin said in a television interview. Going to war was a moral error, the said, when “one can disarm in other ways.”

Raffarin spoke a day before the foreign ministers of France, Russia and Germany – the three countries most vocal in their opposition to the war – were to meet in Paris.

* * *

April 4, 2003


TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s reformist president warned yesterday that terrorists would view the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq as a “green light” to attack U.S. interests and called on Americans to “wake up” and stop the war.

“Those who drop bombs and missiles on Iraq will harvest nothing other than destruction and people’s hatred,” state-run Tehran television quoted President Mohammad Khatami as saying.

“If this war is not contained, its consequences for the world and the region will be many times more dangerous than the Vietnam tragedy.”

* * *

March 31, 2003


The Courier-Journal

CAIRO, Egypt – Egyptian university students called for holy war against allied “aggression” in Iraq, and Indonesians accused America of terrorism as hundreds of thousands around the world staged more rallies yesterday denouncing the war.

In Alexandria, Egypt, more than 15,000 students burned U.S. and British flags, demanded boycotts of goods from both countries and called for jihador holy war“to deter the oppressive American aggression.”

In Spain, protesters condemned their government for allowing coalition forces to use Spanish air space and bases for refueling.

One of the largest rallies was in Jakarta, Indonesia, where more than 100,000 people chanted “America imperialist, No. 1 terrorist!” and peacefully marched a mile from the British Embassy to the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta.

* * *

February 16, 2003


Estimated 750,000 gather in London to show opposition

By Glenn Frankel, The Washington Post

LONDON – Several million demonstrators took to the streets of Europe and the rest of the world yesterday in a vast wave of protest against the prospect of a U.S.-led war against Iraq.

The largest rallies were in London, Rome, Berlin and Paris – the heart of Western Europe – where the generally peaceful demonstrations illustrated the breadth of opposition to U.S. policies among traditional allies. But there were also protests in dozens of other cities on five continents in an extraordinary display of global coordination.

In London, a sea of protesters estimated by police at more than 750,000 flooded into Hyde Park and clogged streets for several miles in what observers and organizers said was probably the largest political demonstration in British history. It was aimed not just at President Bush but also at Britain’s prime minister, Tony Blair, who has been Bush’s staunchest ally in the campaign against Iraq but who is besieged by opposition at home from virtually every part of the political spectrum….

Nearly 1 million people turned out in Rome, where Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has also supported the U.S. position. Between 300,000 and 500,000 people demonstrated in Berlin, at the largest rally since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. About 100,000 demonstrators poured through the streets of Paris. Germany and France have emerged as the most vocal opponents of military action against Iraq.

In Brussels, tens of thousands of protesters braved freezing temperatures and fierce winds. Many residents placed white handkerchiefs in windows of homes, stores and pubs as an expression of support.

Patricia Tarabelsi, 23, an American student, said she couldn’t help but feel uneasy as anti-American sentiment has intensified in Europe. “It makes you feel like your country’s a target,” she said, “and I don’t really think Americans back home realize just how angry the world is at us right now.”

There were also demonstrations in Ukraine, Bosnia, Cyprus, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Greee, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Japan, India, Bangladesh, Hungary, South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand….

In Baghdad, tens of thousands of Iraqis, some carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles, demonstrated in support of Saddam Hussein. “Our swords are out of their sheaths, ready for battle,” read one of the hundreds of banners….

In Damascus, Syria, protesters chanted anti-U.S. and anti-Israel slogans as they marched to the People’s Assembly building.

About 2,000 anti-war protesters, both Jews and Palestinians, marched in a peaceful procession in central Tel Aviv that lasted about 90 minutes.

Many waved Israeli and Palestinian flags and carried pictures of gas masks and placards reading:

“Drop Bush not Bombs.”

* * *

February 16, 2003


Associated Press

NEW YORK – Thousands of anti-war demonstrators packed more than 20 blocks near the United Nations headquarters yesterday, the largest of an estimated 150 peace rallies across the nation that filled city streets with banners, chanting and people from all walks of life.

“Just because you have the biggest gun does not mean you must use it,” Martin Luther King III told demonstrators in New York as he stood before an enormous banner reading: “The World Says No To War.”

Protests were held across the nation, from Maine to Hawaii, and from Texas to Minnesota.

And around the world – including many in the capitals of America’s traditional allies – similar rallies drew well over a million people in protest of possible U.S. military action against Iraq.

“Peace! Peace! Peace!” Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa said as he walked from a church service to a meeting with Kofi Annan at the United Nations.

“Let America listen to the rest of the world – and the rest of the world is saying, ‘Give the inspectors time.’”

Organizers of the New York rally estimated the crowd at anywhere from 375,000 to 500,000. New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly said about 100,000 people were in the crowd….

Other demonstrators, including about 1,000 in Manhattan, supported the possibility of U.S. military action.

“I want him to defeat the evil in Iraq, no matter what it takes,” said Gerry Timler, 72, who carried a sign reading, “God Bless America and President Bush.”

* * *


Veterans Working Together for Peace & Justice Through Non-violence.

Wage Peace!

Veterans for Peace, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational and humanitarian organization dedicated to the abolishment of war. VFP was founded in 1985 by ex-service members committed to sharing the horrors they experienced.

We know the consequences of American foreign policy because once, at a time in our lives, many of us carried it out. We find it sad that war seems do delightful, so often, to those who have no knowledge of it. We will proudly, and patriotically, continue to denounce war despite whatever misguided sense of euphoria supports it.

Wage Peace!

* * *

March 30, 2003

Pope Makes Fresh Appeal for End to Iraq War

New York Times On-Line

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope John Paul, making a fresh appeal for an end to the war in Iraq, said on Sunday the conflict was undermining humanity’s hope for a better future.

The 82-year-old Roman Catholic leader, who is firmly opposed to the conflict, asked for prayers for peace during his weekly address to pilgrims and tourists in St Peter’s Square.

Speaking from his window overlooking the square, the pope said “painful armed conflicts are ensnaring the hope of humanity for a better future.”

He appealed for prayers “for the victims of the ongoing conflict.”

On Saturday the pope said he hoped the human tragedy of the war in Iraq would not set Christians and Muslims against each other and spark “a religious catastrophe.”

The pope led the Vatican in a diplomatic campaign to try to avert the war. Before it started, he sent envoys to both President Bush and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

The Iraq conflict has put the Vatican on a collision course with Washington because the pope has refused to bless the conflict as a “just war.”

The Vatican is very concerned that the war could cause problems for Christians living in mainly Muslim countries….

* * *

Effects of Sanctions

From Iraq Water Project

“What we are doing is destroying an entire society. It is as simple and terrifying as that.”

– By Denis Halliday (former UN coordinator of the Oil-for-Food Program and Nobel Peace Prize nominee)

The lack of clean water is the biggest killer of children, the sick, and the elderly. The majority of patients in Iraq’s hospitals are stricken with amoebic dysentery, gastroenteritis and other waterborne diseases. The effect of the 1990 Persian Gulf War was the destruction of much of the water delivery and sewage treatment infrastructure.

The U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the country’s water supply after the Gulf War ended….

Hundred thousands of Iraqi people died as a consequence of military attacks and sanctions against the country. And still they are dying every day because of simplest diseases. Mostly those who can least resist the combined pressures of malnutrition, infections and diseases – the elderly and young children, women during pregnancy and childbirth. Perhaps the most tragic causes have been the unavailability of clean water and medicine….

For more, GO TO > > > Iraq Water Project

* * * * *

September 21, 2003


By Tim Premore

The writer is on active duty with the 101st Airborne Division near Mosul, Iraq.

FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS, I have participated in what I believe to be the great modern lie: Operation Iraqi Freedom.

After the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001, and throughout the battle in Afghanistan, the groundwork was being laid for the invasion of Iraq. “Shock and awe” was the term used to describe the display of power the world was to view upon the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was to be a dramatic show of strength and advanced technology from within the arsenals of the American and British militaries.

But as a soldier preparing to take part in the invasion of Iraq, the words “shock and awe” rang deep within my psyche. Even as we prepared to depart, it seemed that these two great superpowers were about to break the very rules they demanded that others obey. Without the consent of the United Nations, and ignoring the pleas of their own citizens, the United States and Britain invaded Iraq.

“Shock and Awe?” Yes, the words correctly described the emotional impact I felt as we embarked on an act not of justice but of hypocrisy.

From the moment the first shot was fired in this so-called war of liberation and freedom, hypocrisy reigned. After the broadcasting of recorded images of captured and dead U.S. soldiers over Arab television, American and British leaders vowed revenge while verbally assaulting the networks for displaying such vivid images. Yet within hours of the deaths of Saddam Hussein’s two sons, the U.S. released horrific photographs of the two dead brothers for the world to view. Again, a “Do as we say and not as we do” scenario.

As soldiers serving in Iraq, we have been told that our purpose here is to help the people of Iraq by providing them the necessary assistance militarily as well as in humanitarian efforts. Then tell me where the humanity was in the recent Stars and Stripes account of two children taken to a U.S. military camp by their mother, in search of medical care. The children had been unknowingly playing with explosive ordinance they had found and as a result were severely burned. The account tells how they, after an hour-long wait, were denied care by two U.S. military doctors. A soldier described the incident as one of many “atrocities” he had witnessed on the part of the U.S. military.

Thankfully, I have not been a personal witness to any atrocities, unless of course you consider, as I do, this war to be the ultimate atrocity.

So then, what is our purpose here?

Was this invasion because of weapons of mass destruction, as we so often have heard? If so, where are they?

Did we invade to dispose of a leader and his regime because they were closely associated with Osama bin Laden? If so, where is the proof?

Or is it that our incursion is a result of our own economic advantage? Iraq’s oil can be refined at the lowest cost of any in the world. Coincidence?

This looks like a modern-day crusade not to free an oppressed dictator relentless in his pursuit of conquest and domination, but a crusade to control another nation’s natural resource. At least to me, oil seems to be the reason for our presence.

There is only one truth, and it is that Americans are dying. There are 10 to 14 attacks on our servicemen and women daily in Iraq, and it would appear that there is no end in sight. I once believed that I served for a cause: “to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Now I no longer believe that, I have lost my conviction, as well as my determination. I can no longer justify my service for what I believe to be half-truths and bold lies.

With age come wisdom, and at 36 years old I am no longer so blindly led as to believe without question. From my arrival at Ft. Campbell, Ky., last November, talk of deployment was heard, and as that talk turned to actual preparation my heart sank and my doubts grew. My doubts have never faded, instead my resolve and commitment have.

My time is almost done, as well as that of many others with whom I serve. We have all faced death in Iraq without reason or justification.

How many more must die?

How many more tears must be shed before Americans awake and demand the return of the men and women whose job it is to protect them rather than their leader’s interest?

– Special to the Los Angeles Times

* * * * *


The last
bird in the world
sits sadly on a broken branch
and sweetly sings a song to the
blue moon.

– James VanHise, Fragments

 * * * * *



U.S. Military Diplomacy – From Wounded Knee to Afghanistan

~ ~ ~

1890 Wounded Knee South Dakota – Lakota Sioux massacred by U.S. Army


a blue-coated motorcycle gang

armed with rifles and pistols

rolled into this peaceful

residential neighborhood at dawn today

community members were herded

together and shot down

unarmed men, women and children were

pulled from their homes

commenting on reports that

those trying to flee were run down and

shot in the back

one biker is quoted as saying

it was great sport

like fish in a barrel

reports of the number killed

range from 150 to 370


1890 Buenos Aires Argentina – U.S. troops intervene to protect U.S. business interests

1891 U.S. troops battle with nationalists in Chile


walking backward

my hidden face

does not go before me

I cannot see

the dogs of war

I hear


blood and tears

dripping down

I hear

children become gravediggers


boy soldiers flung into the dark

I hear

the knife

tearing cartilage between

the ribs

I hear

two lovers

one is walking backward


1891 U.S. Navy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to protect American commerce

1892 U.S. Army kills 12 railroad workers on strike in Chicago

1893 U.S. Marines help overthrow the Kingdom of Hawaii

1894 U.S. Army occupies Bluefield in Nicaragua

1894-95 U.S. Marines land in China during the Sino-Japanese war

1894-96 U.S. Marines present in Seoul Korea

1895 U.S. Navy and Marines land in the Colombian Province which is now Panama

1896 U.S. Marines show the colors in Corinto, Nicaragua during political unrest

1897 U.S. troops suppress a silver miners strike in Idaho


Fathers. Sons.

dig the earth

stand up

we are men

twelve hundred imprisoned

we are men

shot down

we are men


1898-1901 U.S. Navy and Army seized Philippines from Spain killing 600,000 Filipinos

1898 U.S. Navy and Army seized Cuba from Spain, we still have base at Guantanamo Bay

1898 U.S. Navy and Army seized Puerto Rico from Spain; our occupation continues

1898 U.S. Navy and Army seized Guam from Spain; we still have bases there

1898 U.S. Marines land at San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

1899 U.S Army battle Chippewa Indians at Leech Lake, Minnesota

1900 U.S. troops fight to help put down Boxer Rebellion in China

1900 U.S. Marines and Army again at Bluefield, Nicaragua



eastern Nicaragua

tropical homeland

of Miskito, Rama, and Sumu

Spanish seeking gold and souls for God

British with their slavish ways

Afro-caribbean music

Palo de Mayo fertility dance

American commercial interests

afraid the people’s revolution

will inhibit

their Manifest Destiny

on this Caribbean shore


1900 U.S. Army occupies Coeur d’Alene, Idaho silver mining region

1901 U.S. Army fights Creek Indians in Oklahoma

1902 U.S. Army and Navy support the province (now Panama) seceding from Colombia

1903 U.S. Marines intervene in revolution Honduras

1903 U.S. Marines land in Abyssinia

1903-04 U.S. Army intrudes in the Dominican Republic to protect U.S. business interests

1904 U.S. Marines land in Morocco

1904-05 U.S. Marines land in Korea during the Russo-Japanese War

1906 U.S. Marines move into Cuba during their elections


my enemies eat children

my enemies want mine

my enemies double park

my enemies don’t speak American

my enemies cheat on their wives

my enemies are less

my enemies don’t appreciate art

my enemies wear plaids with stripes

my enemies want to kill me

I must kill my enemy first


1907 U.S. Army sets up a protectorate in Nicaragua

1908 U.S. Marines land in Honduras during war with Nicaragua

1909 U.S. Marines intervene in elections in Panama

1910 U.S. Marines land again in Bluefield and Corinto Nicaragua

1911 U.S. Army goes into Honduras during a civil war to protect U.S. business interests

1911-41 30 year continuous occupation of parts of China by U.S. Navy and Army



nationalism is a government of the people


democracy is a government by the people


socialism is a government for the people

these three principles

of the people

are not approved

in America


1912 U.S. Army in Havana, Cuba to protect U.S. business interests

1912 U.S. Marines land in Honduras to protect U.S. economic interests

1912-33 U.S. Army 20 year occupation and war with guerillas in Nicaragua

1913 U.S. Navy intervenes to evacuate Americans from Mexico during revolution

1913 U.S. Marines land during election in Panama

1914-99 U.S. troops annex and occupy Panama Canal zone

1914 U.S. Navy fights with rebels over Santo Domingo in Dominican Republic



after we are the ones to survive

after the chill

after the heat

after we have killed but

before we have loved

we sing a manly song

martial and stirring

not low and blue

we sing

when and because

we are distanced from the front

a reminder to remember

to forget what we want forgotten

we sing our loud song of silence

we sing again

and again

until it is done

until it is gone


1914 U.S Army break miners strike Colorado

1914-18 U.S. Army and Navy in a series of interventions against Mexican nationalists

1915-34 U.S. Army 19 year occupation of Haiti

1916-24 U.S. Marines in 8 year occupation of Dominican Republic

1917-33 U.S. Army 16 year occupation of Cuba

1917-18 U.S. Army, Navy and Marines World War I


the war to end war

confusion to end confusion

hunger to end hunger

death to end death

hope to end hope


1918-20 U.S. Army and Navy land in Russia to fight against Bolsheviks

1918-20 U.S. troops in “police duty” after elections in Panama

1918 U.S. Army enters Mexico chasing ‘banditos’

1919 U.S. Marines intervene in Yugoslavia for Italy against Serbs in Dalmatia

1920 U.S. Marines land in Honduras during election campaign

1920-21 U.S. Army intervenes against mine workers in West Virginia


it’s one world war


Coal Operators lay off miners

reduce the digging man’s wages

actually jazz has

the Man’s money

in the Sheriff’s pocket




those interested in the Union

evictin’ from the Company’s houses

Baldwin-Felts detectives on Money’s side

when the Governor

called in the U.S. Army

three times

we can say that

war existed in Logan County


1921 U.S. Army in 2 week intervention in Guatemala against union organizers

1922 U.S. Army fought against nationalists in Smyrna, Turkey

1922-27 U.S. Navy and Army deployed in China during nationalist revolt

1924-25 U.S. Army landed twice in Honduras during elections

1925 U.S. Marines suppress a general strike in Panama

1926-33 U.S. Marines occupy Nicaragua


I have deemed it my duty to use the powers

committed to me to ensure the adequate protection of all American

interests in Nicaragua, whether they be endangered by internal

strife or by outside interference in the affairs of that republic.

– Calvin Coolidge, 1926


1932 U.S. Navy warships sent to El Salvador during Faribundo Marti revolt

1932 U.S. Army stops WWI veterans bonus protest in Washington D.C.

1933 U.S. Marines land in China at Foochow

1941 Greenland and Iceland taken under U.S. protection

1941-45 WWII; first nuclear strikes; U.S. Army guards camps for Japanese-American citizens


I have known war as few men now living know it. Its very

destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless

as a means of settling international disputes.

– Gen. Douglas MacArthur


1943 U.S. Army puts down Black rebellion in Detroit

1945 50,000 U.S. Marines sent to Northern China

1946 U.S. threatened Soviet troops in Iranian Azerbaijan with nuclear weapons

1946 U.S. Navy responded to shooting down of U.S. plane over Yugoslavia

1947 U.S. nuclear bombers deployed over Uruguay in show of strength

1948 U.S. Marines evacuate Americans from mainland China


cardinals and bishops call it a just war

just because the president said so

just because they hurt us

just because we can

just because no poet said no

just because the snow falls and the shadows grow longer every day

just because we see it on CNN

just because after the bomb falls there is no one left to hear

just because


1948 U.S. nuclear bombers guard Berlin Airlift

1948 U.S. Marines to Palestine

1950-53 U.S. troops fought China and North Korea in Korea; nuclear threat against China; still have bases in South Korea

1953 Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf Sr. helps overthrow democracy and installs Shah of Iran


Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired,

signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not

fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

– Pres. D.D. Eisenhower 1953


1954 U.S. offers use of nuclear weapons to French to use against siege in Viet Nam

1955 U.S. bombs Guatemala from bases in Nicaragua after government nationalizes U.S. businesses

1956 U.S. troops evacuate foreigners; threaten Soviets with nuclear weapons during Suez Crisis Egypt

1958 U.S. Marines occupy Lebanon against rebels

1958- Iraq threatened with nuclear weapons in warning against invading Kuwait

1958- U.S. troops used during protests in Panama

1959 China threatened with nuclear weapons and told not to move against Taiwan

1960-75 U.S. troops used in Viet Nam; nuclear threats in 1968 and 1969


nights he still comes to me

eyes clear

black and white

unlike his body

yellow and red

 this spectre

of a rising tide

of godless communism


amidst the tangled pile

of bodies

the 300 piastres

and the red-starred belt

I took from his body


1961 U.S. military trains commandos for operation against Cuba at Bay of Pigs

1962 U.S threatens use of nuclear weapons in Berlin Wall crisis

1962 U.S. Naval blockade and nuclear threats during Cuban Missile Crisis

1963 U.S. Army shoots Panamanians for protesting about return of canal


madre llorosa

she was last seen

in a photograph


peasant dress

little protection

between her and the roadstones


between her

and the boy soldiers

the body lying there


something like her son


1964 U.S. assists army coup in Indonesia in which one million were killed

1965-66 U.S. Marines land in Dominican Republic during election campaigns

1966-67 U.S. Green Berets intervene in Guatemala against rebels


fortune of war

we move out of the tree line

spread out

surround the huts

the village headman says

two wounded men died

and were buried

several days before

a green black shimmer

rises (after three days;

the sun)

the skin

taut with gangrenous gas


with the weight of a landing fly


pus to dust


we dig

small men’s bones

in a small hole

a soup of khaki straps and steel buckles

stirred and sifted

for intelligence


1967 U.S. Army battles citizens in Detroit killing 43

1968 21,000 U.S. troops on streets in American cities after M.L. King assassinated

1969 U.S. Army and Navy attack North Vietnamese and Viet Cong in Cambodia


a bullet manages to live

without a mind of it’s own

slowed to sixteen frames per second

it barely precedes the out-flowering

crimson and grey

from the back of the skull


dead is still dead

despite the noise of martial music and honor

dead don’t awaken

the bullet acts like it doesn’t care


1970 U.S. troops invade Cambodia

1971 U.S. Air Force ‘carpet-bombs’ Laos while directing South Vietnamese invasion

1972 U.S. Army works with FBI in siege of Lakotas at Wounded Knee, South Dakota

1973 world-wide military alert nuclear threat during Mideast War

1974 U.S. command operation which kills elected marxist president Chile


the people are dumb – mute

they have no voice

that I can hear

except the faint responsorial

of what they’ve been told to say

and think


1975 U.S. bombs Cambodia during attempt to free captured ship Mayaguez

1976 U.S command assists South African rebels in Angola

1978 U.S. Air Force provides logistical support to French in Zaire

1980 U.S. troops in aborted bombing raid/rescue Iran Embassy hostages; nuclear threat Soviets

1981 U.S. Navy shoots down 2 Libyan jets during maneuvers

1981 U.S. troop advisers and over-flights aid anti-rebel war in El Salvador

1982 U.S. Navy mines harbor in Nicaragua as part of support of Contras


We have never interfered in the internal government of a country

and have no intention of doing so, never had any thought of that kind.

– Ronald Reagan 09-28-1982


1982 U.S. Marines expel PLO from Lebanon while U.S. Navy bombs Syrian positions


can a dumb people

create a smart bomb

can a smart bomb



the four month old baby

and the

forty year old general


1983 U.S. military maneuvers used to build bases on border between Honduras and Nicaragua

1983 U.S. bombs and invades Grenada four years after their revolution

1984 U.S. military shoot down 2 Iranian jets over Persian Gulf

1985 U.S. Navy jet forces Egyptian commercial airliner to land in Sicily


does the bomb

value one

less than the other


1985 U.S. Army assist in raids on cocaine region Bolivia

1986 U.S. Navy bombs Libya killing Col. Khaddafi’s daughter

1987-88 U.S. Navy bombs Iran on side of Iraq in their war


blue gulf

grey sand

black oil


green money

brown skin

red blood


1988 U.S. Navy shoots down 2 Libyan jets

1988 U.S. troops invade Panama killing 2,000 while arresting Pres. Noriega

1989 U.S. troops used to put down Black unrest after hurricane Virgin Islands, St. Croix

1989 U.S. jets provided air cover for Marcos government against non-violent coup in Philippines

1990 U.S. troops used to evacuate foreigners from civil war Liberia

1990-91 Gulf war; U.S. still has bases in Saudi Arabia


out here in the desert

golden hot sun

grey sand

made holy

by the footsteps of

the Prophet

from Medina to Mecca

out here in the desert

infidels from the west

foul the air

and land

for the faithful

out here in the desert


1991-2001 U.S. bombs Iraq hundreds of times killing many civilians maintaining no-fly zones

1990 U.S. Army and Marines deployed in Los Angeles during anti-police uprising

1992-94 U.S. Army and Navy bombing and raid in Somalia during U.S.-led U.N. occupation

1992-94 U.S. Navy and NATO blockade of Serbia and Montenegro

1993-95 U.S. jets bomb Serbs in Bosnia


I will teach you how

to perform a war

a clean operation

to remove that alien tissue

which can no longer be controlled

we first name it cancer

we curse it for a bastard

nothing legitimate to be found

the pathologic question

must be asked and answered

will a pound of flesh be enough

shared definitions in hand

we sharpen our knives


chrome and steel

bright lights

remove any shadow

of doubts

patriotic anesthesia dulls the senses

common and other

to the loud cutting

ripping and

bleeding to come

once hidden viscera

bloody red

broken bone white

and hypoxic blue

stare out at us

unexpected collateral damage

can be dressed

with sterile white gauze

although the bloated smell

sometimes remains


we will remove our gloves and

wash our hands


1994-96 U.S. Army and Navy blockade of Haiti

1995 U.S. jets bombed Serb airfields in Croatia

1996-97 U.S. Marines at Rwandan Hutu refugee camp Zaire

1997 U.S. troops evacuate foreigners from Liberia

1998 U.S. troops evacuate foreigners from Albania

1998 U.S. missiles attack pharmaceutical plant Sudan

1999 U.S. missiles attack former CIA training camps in Afghanistan


I think that the targeting of innocent civilians is the worst thing

about modern conflicts today. And to the extent which more and more

people seem to believe it is legitimate to target innocent civilians to reach

their larger political goals, I think that’s something to be resisted at every


– Pres. Bill Clinton, March 21, 2000


2001 U.S forces attack Afghanistan in response to terrorist attack


I heard it on NPR

someone said we’re at war

yeah that’s terror

here in North America

now we get a taste of it


we get to see the other side

now our children die

now we see there are no accidents

only consequence

we gag on the dust and rubble and fumes

in New York

in Washington

in Pennsylvania

in Kabul

in Baghdad

now we gag on the truth


Larry Kerschner

© 2001


* * * * *


From Derailing Democracy: The America the Media Don’t Want You To See, by David McGowan:

The Outlaw Nation

Ironically, in light of its long-stated commitment to upholding human rights at home and in its foreign policy, the U.S. government today poses a threat to the universality of human rights….

– Human Rights Watch “World Report 1999″

Is the United States the number one defender of human rights in the world today, as most Americans have been taught by the schools and the media to believe? Or have the people merely been fooled by the world’s largest and most efficient propaganda machine?

America’s appalling record of ratifying human rights treaties and its all-too-obvious contempt for international law and world opinion reveals a far different face of America than that which is presented to its citizens and to the world community at large….


“Every country on earth has ratified the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits the death penalty for juvenile offenders, with two exceptions: Somalia, which effectively has no government, and the U.S. Even China, one of the world’s most enthusiastic criminal-killers, recently banned juvenile executions.”

– “Wasted Youth,” The Mojo Wire, December 23, 1999

“U.S. contempt for UN authority is shown by its defiance of the recent General Assembly vote of 157 nations versus 2 nations protesting the U.S. criminal blockade of Cuba…”

– Ramsey Clark (former U.S. Attorney General), Letter to the UN, November 1998


“The United States has refused to recognize any regional human rights treaties: it has not ratified the American Convention on Human Rights, adopted by the OAS (Organization of American States) in 1969, and has not even signed the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture, the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons and the Inter-American Convention to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Violence Against Women.”

– Amnesty International, October 1998

“The first UN human rights treaty ratified by the U.S.A. was the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It ratified the Convention in 1988, 40 years after signing it and after 97 other states had already ratified it. The U.S.A. took 28 years to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, after 133 other states had already ratified it. At least 71 other states ratified the Convention Against Torture before the U.S.A. It was only in 1992, after 109 other states, that the U.S.A. ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 26 years after its adoption by the UN General Assembly. The ICCPR is one of two principal treaties protecting human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The other – the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – has still not been ratified by the U.S.A.”

– Amnesty International, October 1998


“The United States has failed to pay its dues on time for the past 13 years… The UN says the United States is $1.69 billion in arrears; the U.S. government disputes the figure, maintaining that it owes about $1 billion.”

– The Los Angeles Times, June 24, 1999


“One of the clearest examples of the U.S.A.’s changing attitude to human rights violations in different circumstances is that of Iraq. During the 1980s Iraqi forces committed gross and widespread abuses… Amnesty International repeatedly appealed for action, yet neither the U.S. authorities nor the UN responded. … After Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990 … the U.S.A. repeatedly cited the Iraqi government’s appalling human rights record to gather support for UN military intervention in the Gulf.”

– Amnesty International, October 1998


“The U.S. blocked international efforts to end the use of child soldiers, arguing against a proposed optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child that would raise the minimum age for military recruitment and participation in armed conflict to eighteen.”

– Human Rights Watch “World Report 1999, United States”

“In the case of landmines, the United States refused to join the 133 nations, including nearly every major U.S. ally, that had already signed the treaty by October 1998.”

– Human Rights Watch “World Report 1999, United States”

(In a seemingly deliberate and arrogant act of defiance of the global ban – set to go into effect on March 1, 1999 – President Clinton, in February 1999, asked Congress to approve expenditures of nearly $50,000,000 to begin production of a new state-of-the-art artillery-fired landmine system.)

~ ~ ~

The U.S. media have become quite adept at sterilizing war, shamelessly blurring the line between war and entertainment. The cable news networks in particular have pioneered the presentation of armed conflict as part video game and part mini-series, complete with theme music and logos. . . .

~ ~ ~



Year: 1990- ?

Estimated Deaths: 1,500,000+

Overview: A six-week aerial bombardment directed at the civilian infrastructure featured the use of fuel-air bombs, depleted uranium, napalm, cluster bombs, cruise missiles, and “smart bombs.” Followed by nearly a decade of exceedingly harsh economic sanctions and periodic bombings.

Bonus Points: Featured extensive use of radioactive DU weaponry, which has resulted in alarmingly high cancer rates and birth abnormalities.

~ ~ ~

“The 6-week war in 1991 resulted in the large-scale destruction of military and civilian infrastructures alike. … The sanctions imposed on Iraq and related circumstances have prevented the country from repairing all of its damaged or destroyed infrastructure … This has affected the quality of life of countless Iraqi citizens … The vast majority of the country’s population has been on a semi-starvation diet for years. … Diseases such as malaria, typhoid and cholera, which were once almost under control, have rebounded since 1991 at epidemic levels, with the health sector as a helpless witness …

— The World Health Organization – March, 1996

~ ~ ~

“Sanctions have taken the lives of well over one million persons, 60% of whom are children under five years of age. The 1991 bombing campaign destroyed electric, water and sewage plants, as well as agricultural, food and medical production facilities. All of these structures continue to be inoperative, or function as sub-minimal levels, because the sanctions have made it impossible to buy spare parts for their repair. The bombing campaign, together with the total embargo in place since August 1990 was, and is, an attack against the civilian population of Iraq.”

 — U.S. Bishops Statement on Iraq – Jan, 1998 – (Signed by 53 Catholic bishops)

~ ~ ~

“4,500 children under the age of five are dying each month from hunger and disease. … Many are living on the very margin of survival.”

— UNICEF – Oct, 1996

~ ~ ~

“One of the clearest examples of the U.S.A.’s changing attitude to human rights violations in different circumstances is that of Iraq. During the 1980s, Iraqi forces committed gross and widespread abuses … Amnesty International repeatedly appealed for action, yet neither the U.S. authorities nor the UN responded … After Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990 … the U.S.A. repeatedly cited the Iraqi government’s appalling human rights record to gather support for UN military intervention in the Gulf.”

Amnesty International – October, 1998

~ ~ ~

“More than one million Iraqis have died— 567,000 of them children— as a direct consequence of economic sanctions … As many as 12 percent of the children surveyed in Baghdad are wasted, 28 percent stunted and 29 percent underweight.”

United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization – Dec, 1995

~ ~ ~

Lesley Stahl: “We have heard that half a million children have died. That is more than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

Secretary of State Madeleline Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice. But the price— we think the price is worth it.”

An exchange on CBS’s 60 MinutesMay, 1996

~ ~ ~

“We are not interested in seeing a relaxation of sanctions as long as Saddam Hussein is in power.

Secretary of State James Baker – May, 1991

~ ~ ~

“There is no difference between my policy and the policy of the (Bush) Administration … I have no intention of normalizing relations with him.”

President-Elect Bill Clinton – Jan, 1993

~ ~ ~

“We do not agree with the nations who argue that if Iraq complies with its obligations concerning weapons of mass destruction, sanctions should be lifted. Our view, which is unshakable, is that Iraq must prove its peaceful intentions … And the evidence is overwhelming that Saddam Hussein’s intentions will never be peaceful.”

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright – March, 1997

~ ~ ~

“Sanctions may stay on in perpetuity.”

U.S. Ambassador Bill Richardson – Aug, 1997

~ ~ ~

“What he has just done is to ensure that the sanctions will be there until the end of time…”

— President Bill Clinton – Nov, 1997

~ ~ ~

Beginning in the Gulf War, U.S. military forces began using a new type of weapon whose attributes are rarely discussed in the American press.

These are sometimes referred to euphemistically as “tank killers” or “anti-tank rounds,” though what it is that renders them so effective for this purpose is never mentioned. These rounds are credited with destroying some 1,400 Iraqi tanks, performing well above Pentagon expectations and thereby assuring their continued use in future U.S. wars of aggression, as their deployment in both Bosnia and Kosovo clearly demonstrates.

Composed of an extremely dense metal, these weapons are able to concentrate an enormous amount of weight at the point of impact, giving them unprecedented penetrating power As an added bonus, the material from which these tank killers are manufactured is pyrophoric, fragmenting and igniting upon impact. And best of all, the material is cheap and readily available. In fact, prior to its recently discovered military use, vast stockpiles of it sat unused for years, decades even.

Of course, in those days it had a different name than it does today. Back then we knew it simply as “nuclear waste.”

Today, the military knows it as DU, or depleted uranium.

It is, in fact, a radioactive byproduct of the nuclear weapons and power industries, which previously had presented these industries with long-term storage problems.

But not anymore. Thanks to the ingenuity of U.S. weapons designers, we are now able to dump our radioactive waste on “rogue” nations such as Serbia and Iraq.

In “Operation Desert Storm” alone, some 940,000 small-caliber DU rounds were fired into Iraq and Kuwait from such aircraft as the A10 Warthog and the Apache helicopter. In addition, anywhere from 6,000 to 14,000 large-caliber DU rounds were fired from U.S. tanks.

All told, anywhere from 40 to 300 tons of radioactive uranium were left lettering the battlefields of the Gulf war, several times the 25 tons that a report by Britain’s Atomic Energy Authority concluded could cause “500,000 potential deaths.” . . .

~ ~ ~

“The Committee concludes that it is unlikely that health effects reports by Gulf War Veterans today are the result of exposure to depleted uranium during the Gulf War.”

Presidential Advisory Committee of Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses, “Final Report.” — Dec, 1996

~ ~ ~

“Inhaled insoluble oxides stay in the lungs longer and pose a potential cancer risk due to radiation. Ingested DU dust can also pose both a radioactive and a toxicity risk.”

U.S. General Accounting Office, “Operation Desert Storm Army Not Adequately Prepared to Deal with Depleted Uranium Contamination” — Jan, 1993

~ ~ ~

“DU is inherently toxic. This toxicity can be managed, but it cannot be changed.”

Army Environmental Policy Institute, “Health and Environmental Consequences of Depleted Uranium Use in the U.S. Army” June, 1995

~ ~ ~

“Short-term effects of high doses can result in death, while long-term effects of low doses have been implicated in cancer.”

 — AMMCOM, “Kinetic Energy Penetrator Long Term Strategy Study”July, 1990

~ ~ ~

“The Pentagon’s assertion that no Gulf War veterans could be ill from exposure to DU … contradicts numerous pre- and post-war reports, some form the U.S. Army itself.”

 — Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI), Sept, 1998

~ ~ ~

“The number of cancer cases and birth defects among Iraqi civilians in Basra, Al-Amarah, An-Nasiriyah and Ad-Diwaniyah has grown at least threefold since the 1991 Persian Gulf War, according to Iraqi doctors and medical records. … Most alarming, doctors say, is a sharp rise in leukemia cases among children, including some who were born more than nine months after the end of the war, suggesting that some environmental carcinogens may have lingered long after the war ended or that some war-related contaminants may be causing genetic damage…”

San Jose Mercury News Mar 19, 1998


Iraq says U.S.-British Air Strike Kills 23; Allies Deny Charge

by Aleksandar Vasovic, Associated Press

June 21, 2001 (AP) – Iraq’s state-run television claimed yesterday that a U.S.-British air strike killed 23 people during a soccer game and showed children reportedly injured in the attack.

U.S. officials blamed a malfunctioning Iraqi anti-aircraft missile.

The Iraqi News Agency said allied planes attacked Tall Afar, 275 miles northwest of Baghdad. The victims were said to be buried yesterday.

Eleven others were injured, the agency said….

# # #



By its past and present actions, by its technological capabilities, by the merciless nature of its regime, Iraq is unique. As a former chief weapons inspector of the U.N. has said, ‘The fundamental problem with Iraq remains the nature of the regime, itself. Saddam Hussein is a homicidal dictator who is addicted to weapons of mass destruction.’…

“We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas. Saddam Hussein also has experience in using chemical weapons. He has ordered chemical attacks on Iran, and on more than forty villages in his own country. These actions killed or injured at least 20,000 people, more than six times the number of people who died in the attacks of September the 11th….

“Iraq is a land rich in culture, resources, and talent. Freed from the weight of oppression, Iraq’s people will be able to share in the progress and prosperity of our time. If military action is necessary, the United States and our allies will help the Iraqi people rebuild their economy, and create the institutions of liberty in a unified Iraq at peace with its neighbors.”…

– George W. Bush, October 7, 2000





National Priorities Project – Cost of War



A Timeline of Oil and Violence in Iraq













An Octopus Named Wackenhut

Birds on the Power Lines

Birds that Drink from Cesspools

Boeing, Boeing, Bong!

Condoleezza & The Chicken Hawks

Down the Rabbit-Hole

First Hawaiian Bank: Conquered by the French in ‘98


Global Crossing

Iraq Peace Team

It’s the OIL, STUPID!

Michael Moore

Nests in the Pentagon

Rand Corporation

The Great Nest Egg Robberies

Tarnished Wings: The Greed at Lockheed

The American Red Double-Cross

The Eagle Awakes

The Eagle Hooded

The Indonesian Connection

The Mercenaries

The Nests of Osama bin Laden

The Nuclear Nests

The Secret Nests

The Sinking of the Ehime Maru

The Stephen Friedman Flock

The Story of Enron

The Strange Saga of BCCI

The United Defense Industries Matrix

Thorns in the Rose Garden

The Torch of Eric Shine

Uncle Sam’s Guinea Pigs

Veterans for Peace

Who’s Guarding the Hen House?



~ o ~




~ o ~


FAIR USE NOTICE. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Last Update August 19, 2006, by The Catbird