May 22, 2006The
Pentagon must surely believe the old, but very foolish, saying that
what you don't know won't hurt you. To prove it they nearly always go
to great lengths to conceal what they do know so we won't find out.
That's especially true when what they know is bad news or hazardous to
our health or that of our troops.
VHeadline.com commentarist Stephen Lendman writes:
That's certainly the case regarding
the real and deadly threat from exposure to the toxic effects of
depleted uranium (DU) poisoning.
The public has precious little information
about this crucial issue because it's been willfully and deliberately
suppressed to conceal just how potentially great and irreversible a
threat it is.
Is it any wonder then that at least one emailer
to VHeadline.com has been seduced by the Pentagon cover-up and stream
of lies and is naive enough to believe what little he's hearing or
reading. I know he never heard of one of the two greatest and most
highly respected US print journalists of the last century ... his name
was I. F. Stone, and I've read nearly all his important books.
Stone once told a class of aspiring
journalists always to remember "All governments are run by liars and
nothing they say should be believed."
Another time he simply said "All governments lie."
If I were asked to address a group of students,
I'd be even more emphatic than Stone and say governments only lie and
never tell the public the truth, especially about the most important
issues affecting us all. I'd also quote Stone and recommend the
students paste his maxim to their bathroom mirrors so they never forget
Government propaganda, lies and deception are
more extreme and sophisticated now than in Stone's day. Those unaware
of it, like our emailer, remind me of a poker player looking around the
table to assess the competition. He doesn't realize when he can't find
who the mark is it's him.
- But in a real life game of high stakes poker
when it's you against the "power structure" and their corporate media
allies, unless you know how the game is played, you surely are their
mark and they'll eat you alive.
I know of nothing more dangerous to a free
society than a deficit of real information on the most vital issues
affecting all of us. It's impossible getting it from government sources
or the dominant corporate media in league with them because supplying
us with it would subvert their interests. It's true on all important
issues without exception.
So, if the public knew the full
truth about the potentially nightmarish effects of exposure to DU
munitions that will only likely get worse unless exposed and stopped,
it would be impossible for the Pentagon to continue using them.
Only their cover-up has allowed them to be able
to recklessly and criminally use them in four wars since 1991 including
the two of them ongoing now. And they couldn't possibly ever consider
raising the stakes further, as they now have claimed the exclusive
right to do, to fight future wars with industrial strength nuclear
weapons that could lead to a nuclear holocaust.
What we already know about the deadly effects
of DU munitions use alone is clear and growing, unreported in the
dominant media, and thus largely concealed from the public. Those
unaware of it, taken in by Pentagon propaganda, or choosing to ignore
the few facts about it they do know should welcome and praise the
impressive work done on this issue by Irving Wesley Hall. He's a man I
personally know and have had contact with. I've also collaborated with
him as he was preparing his extremely important series of articles on
this growing menace that may eventually affect everyone. Irving has
made an important contribution, and I respect and admire him greatly
for it. Instead of demeaning it, readers should champion it and
encourage others to read it all for their own safety and welfare.
Having written on this subject myself, which is posted on this web
site, I know from my own research, how valuable Irving's work is to
expanding the knowledge base about DU and its harmful effects.
What depleted Uranium is and how it's being used
is a derivative of the uranium enrichment process required to produce
fuel for commercial reactors. This process is then followed by gaseous
diffusion in two streams -- one is enriched and the other depleted.
Before a use was found for it, DU was just
stored in vast amounts as a byproduct. All that changed when it was
discovered that solid "dense metal" DU projectiles (in all forms) greatly increased their ability to penetrate and destroy a target.
- That was irresistible to the Pentagon that
wanted to use them in bullets, bombs, shells and missiles and now has
done so freely in four wars since they were first used in the Gulf war
in 1991 (except for one test in the 1973 Yom Kippur war).
There's a problem with these weapons, however
-- a serious downside never discussed and which great pains are taken
to conceal. These weapons in all their forms leave in their wake an
irremediable irradiated and chemically toxic landscape far more deadly
than the death and destruction to the targets struck.
How deadly and toxic the fallout is varies only with the amount of these weapons used.
Hundreds of tons of them were used beginning
for the first time in the Gulf war in 1991. A likely similar amount was
used again in Yugoslavia in 1999 and up to 1,000 or more tons so far in
Afghanistan since 2001. Any use of these weapons is reckless and was
effectively banned by common consent (and common sense) and never used until 1991 in Iraq (except for that one test).
However, their usage ballooned in successive wars to over 3,000 tons so
far since the US introduced them on a large and sustained scale again
in Iraq in March, 2003.
Put in perspective, since first used in 1991,
the US military has released the radioactive atomicity equivalent of
400,000 Nagasaki nuclear bombs into the global atmosphere causing
permanent contamination where the fallout has spread with a half-life
of 4.5 billion years - that's forever by my reckoning. Furthermore,
that amount of radiation is 10 times the amount released by all
atmospheric testing which in total equaled 40,000 Hiroshima bombs.
These numbers are one expert's estimates, but even if a more accurate
conclusion is half what he reported, it should still be mind-boggling
enough to shake and disturb anyone reading them.
One more important fact is these numbers
increase daily as since last December, US forces have been conducting
four to six daily bombings of target sites in Iraq alone that we know
about using DU munitions and an unknown likely less frequent number in
We also have a new
terror weapon we claim the right to use routinely called "bunker-buster
mini nukes" that aren't mini but sure are nukes.
These are industrial strength nuclear bombs
that can be produced to any desired potency but are likely to be used
in strengths of between one-third to two-thirds the destructive force
of a Hiroshima bomb.
Pentagon propaganda falsely says
these are little more than king-sized hand grenades that are perfectly
safe when used as designed.
- They're supposed to penetrate a target site
deeply before exploding on the false theory that their radiation will
be contained underground and thus are environmentally safe.
Testing of these bombs are planned in the
Nevada desert and may be now underway, but at least one already carried
out and observed proves otherwise. What was seen on explosion is hardly
reassuring that the toxic fallout will be contained when used in
combat. Clearly visible was a huge black mushroom-shaped cloud (sound familiar)
that rose thousands of feet in the air and was shown to be deadly and
toxic when ground radiation measurements were taken following at least
this one test. There may have been others as well we haven't heard
The Pentagon always deliberately
spreads false and misleading information on its controversial
activities, but especially something as outrageous as the lingering,
spreading and deadly effects from DU contamination which never end.
Those exposed to it and their loved ones with
whom they have intimate contact and their offspring are henceforth
vulnerable to a vast menu of virtually any illness, disease or
disability imaginable often leading to early death or at the least a
lifetime of pain, suffering and great expense.
It's no exaggeration to say that DU is the deadly and unwelcome gift that keeps on giving, disabling and killing.
DU weapons aren't just toxic and deadly,
they're illegal according to the standards and binding international
law under the Hague Convention of 1907 and 1925 Geneva Protocol and
other succeeding Geneva Weapons Conventions that specifically outlaw
the use of any chemical and biological agents in any form for any
reason in war as well as any poison or poisoned weapons.
DU weapons in all their forms are radioactive
and chemically toxic and clearly fit the definition of poisonous
weapons banned under these binding international laws to which we are
signatories. As such, the US, having used them in four wars, has
violated our sacred treaty obligations which are the supreme law of the
land and is guilty of repeated war crimes. That minor detail doesn't
bother the Bush administration that considers the Geneva Conventions
and all other international laws inconvenient to its plans just
"quaint" and "obsolete."
At least one emailer to VHeadline.com prefers to believe Pentagon propaganda instead of known scientific fact...
That emailer is the same one whose knowledge is
deficient on a range of other issues frequently covered in depth on
this web site and others. This site and those others give their readers
important factual information rather than state approved propaganda,
lies and deception. They also cover the most important information of
all -- the kind the dominant corporate media never report because it's
When it's known it destroys the false messages
they send ... but many people like our emailer only get the
state-approved messages of deceit and choose to believe them alone and
no others. It's very easy to be influenced by them because they're
transmitted ad nauseum round the clock on air and in print.
That repetition has a powerful
effect ... it clouds the mind, blocks out the truth and distracts
enough to prevent those mesmerized by it from seeking it.
Why would you not want to believe the friendly news anchors you've grown to know and love over the years. Would they ever lie to you? Darned right they would if they want to keep their high-paying jobs.
I comment on this often for one reason ... it's
the most important of all issues I know. Unless people know and
understand the truth about what's happening around them on the vital
issues affecting their lives, they're defenseless against the onslaught
of fraud and deceit delivered through the dominant media. It allows
government to get away with the most egregious acts as agents for giant
corporations and the "money changers" who buy and pay for their
This alliance is hostile to the public interest as it allows these corporations and financial institutions (including the US Federal Reserve which is a private for-profit entity and not a government run one as commonly believed) free reign to pursue their predatory quest for greater profits and world dominance and do it at our expense.
The disturbing truths about DU are far different than those believed by our deluded emailer...
Those truths are emerging slowly and convincingly, but emerging they are.
It's quite true we don't have all the answers
yet ... and there's still much more to be learned before we know for
certain just how harmful DU is in all respects and how widespread its
contamination has spread. However, all the new evidence coming out
points in one direction and leads to an increasingly clear conclusion.
It's the same one I first heard told me by an
eminent man in a required college natural science course I took in
1953. The man was George Wald, distinguished professor of biology and
later a Nobel laureate in 1967. Dr. Wald had many admirable qualities I
admired greatly, but I still remember verbatim the dramatic statement
he made one day in class. He told his young students that "there is no
such thing as a safe amount of radiation." He understood what Albert
Einstein did even earlier, and both these men spoke out forcefully
against the genie out of the bottle that emerged once the atom was
split in the late 1930s.
From that time to now, it's been known beyond
dispute how dangerous and deadly radiation is in all its forms and in
any amount to all those coming in contact with it even for short
periods of time ... however, for those exposed to it daily like our
troops in Iraq and Afghanistan where it's contaminated a vast area,
it's a possible death sentence or at the least a lifetime of likely
misery from the poisoning that increases each day.
Some documented facts on the effects of DU poisoning:
The greatest damage from DU comes from the
radiation residue after its use. When a DU weapon strikes a target, it
penetrates deeply and aerosolizes into a fine spray which then
contaminates the air, soil and water around the target area. The
residue is permanent, and its microscopic and submicroscopic particles
are then swept into the air from the tainted soil and are carried by
winds to distant areas as a radioactive component of atmospheric dust.
That dust falls indiscriminately everywhere over the area it reaches.
It causes radiation contamination that affects every living thing and
cannot be re-mediated. As mentioned above, the poisoning from the
contamination causes every imaginable illness and disease from severe
headaches, muscle pain and general fatigue, to major birth defects,
infection, depression, cardiovascular disease, many types of cancer and
brain tumors. It also causes permanent disability and death.
- Months ago I, personally, alerted my own
medical providers to be on the lookout for any inexplicable symptoms in
their patients ... especially if they had served in the military in the
Middle East, Afghanistan or Yugoslavia.
I reported all this in a major, detailed article I wrote on this subject a few months ago
in which I went on to explain that all military and civilian personnel
at or near target areas were and are most adversely affected by DU
contamination, especially if they remained in those areas for an
- During the six week Gulf war about 150 of our forces were killed and 467 were reported injured.
But, out of the approximate 580,000 military
personnel who served in that war, about 518,000 were reported by the
Veteran's Administration (VA) to be on some form of disability in 2004.
However, the VA has been complicit with the Pentagon in the cover-up
about DU and has said very little about how many of this disability
total is from the poisoning from it. They could easily find out by
administering blood tests and doing other proper examinations. Instead
they've done as little as possible just as for years in the 1990s they
denied the existence of "Gulf war" syndrome (most likely from DU poisoning)
and told suffering vets it was all in their heads. They certainly were
there if any of those heads were afflicted with brain tumors or their
We can only speculate about how many of our
military personnel post 2001 are now the victims of DU poisoning, but
it's likely the number is large and growing with more coming down with
disturbing symptoms daily. We know many returning vets are already
seeking treatment for health problems, and that medical professionals
in hospitals and other facilities providing it have been threatened
with $10,000 fines and even jail if they speak out about what those
Think how outrageous this is ... that a nation
that sent hundreds of thousands of its young men and women to fight in
two illegal wars of aggression, then turns its back on them when they
return home with serious illnesses they may never recover from or that
may kill them. And making matters even worse, the Pentagon and VA are
complicit in a cover-up and denial a problem even exists. They might as
well be saying "let 'em suffer and die." So think of it. This is the
"model democracy" we hold up to the world to emulate. In fact, it's a
deadly and sinister model all nations should reject and condemn.
Documented evidence on recent DU fallout!
In February, 2006, after I wrote my article on DU,
Irving Wesley Hall wrote his carefully researched and extremely
important series on DU and its harmful effects. Some of his findings
were posted on VHeadline.com ... and all of it is available on his site.
Irving's work is so important, readers should visit his site, review
his series carefully and likely learn for the first time how serious
and deadly a threat DU contamination is to everyone coming in contact
Here's a sample of the information included in
the series that needs as much resonance as possible. I've added some of
my own comments to it. Irving has made an important contribution, and
I'm proud to be associated with him and his work. He wrote that Dr.
Chris Busby, scientific secretary of the European Committee on
Radiation Risk, reported on official UK radiation levels in the wake of
the "shock and awe" assault against Iraq in 2003. Dr. Busby documented
that uranium particles traveled 2,400 miles in nine days from Iraq to
Aldermaston, England. The invisible cloud quadrupled Europe's
atmospheric radiation clearly showing that despite Pentagon denials, DU
contamination spreads far beyond the target sites struck. Once again
the Pentagon's mendacity and indifference to its forces and the rest of
us is revealed in plain sight for all to see if they'll bother to look.
The widespread contamination is even more
dangerous and deadly than formerly believed. Apparently the emailer who
believes otherwise either reads poorly or can't do proper research. He
also likely has his head filled with the mush the dominant corporate
media are experts at delivering. It appears he's unable to distinguish
between fact and fiction, so my only suggestion to him, and frankly his
only recourse, is to rely on experts with honor who can do it and learn
from them. The facts they reveal clearly contradict virtually
everything he wrote and his conclusions overwhelmingly. It was hard
enough for me just looking at them. The emailer not only put his
ignorance on public display, but he also arrogantly and insolently
attacked the honesty, honor and integrity of a man of the highest
His shameless act reminded me of a
"show-stopping" moment I saw on US TV in June, 1954. It was during the
so-called Army -- McCarthy hearings when chief Army counsel Joseph
Welch gave his famous retort to the soon to be disgraced US senator,
who became infamous from his witch-hunting, self-serving search for
communists in government without ever finding any.
Welch and his reply are still
remembered to this day, and I clearly recall him making it. In defense
of his client under McCarthy's malicious attack he asked the senator on
national TV: "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you
no sense of decency."
Not long after that memorable moment the
McCarthy hearings ended inconclusively, the senator's reputation was
shattered, he was censured by the Senate, and he died a disgraced man a
few years later.
We can only hope for a similar
denouement for the band of rogues in charge of US policy today who are
making so many people around the world the worst for it.
I won't try to match Joe Welch, but I'll just
ask the emailer: aren't you ashamed enough to flaunt your ignorance to
a world audience without compounding it by shamelessly attacking a
distinguished man of the highest integrity and honor. Like
"Tail-Gunner" Joe (a moniker referring to one more dark side of the tainted senator), have you no sense of dignity, or just plain no sense at all?
Additional expert scientific commentary reported by Irving Wesley Hall:
Here's more from Irving's articles on the DU
threat. He learned about the work of Leonard Dietz who's a retired
physicist from the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in New York state.
Dietz pioneered the technology to measure uranium isotopes, and Irving
quoted what he said: "Anyone, civilian or soldier, who breathes these
particles has a permanent dose, and it's not going to decrease very
much over time....In the long run ... veterans exposed to ceramic
uranium oxide have a major problem."
Irving reported an even more dire assessment
that came from another study of the materials currently in the DU
munitions used in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study found that in addition to U-238, today's DU weapons contain plutonium (the most toxic of all known substances),
neptunium, and the highly radioactive uranium isotope U-236. According
to a 1991 study by the UK Atomic Energy Authority, these elements are
100,000 times more dangerous than the U-238 in DU.
- It only takes the most minute, nearly unmeasurable amount of this substance in one's body to be fatal.
One other expert deserves mention as well. His
name is Dr. Doug Rokke who was the director of the Pentagon's Depleted
Uranium Project. He was assigned by the US Army to be their chief
biological, chemical and nuclear weapons safety officer and expert in
the Gulf war. Irving interviewed Doug, and I, too, spoke to and
corresponded with him. Doug's extensive work as director of the project
led him to conclude that "Uranium munitions must be banned from the
planet, for eternity, and medical care must be provided for everyone -
those on the firing end and those on the receiving end."
Rokke understands the problem well from his
expert study of it and his own personal and tragic experience. He and
his staff of 100 were all devastated by exposure to DU contaminated
dust. Thirty of them have since died, and Rokke now suffers from
serious health problems including brain lesions, lung and kidney
damage, reactive airway disease, permanent skin rashes, neurological
damage and cataracts. It's quite clear Dr. Rokke didn't contract this
nightmarish stew of mostly very serious health problems from an
unhealthy life style, bad diet or lack of exercise.
A grim assessment the evidence points to...
So what can we make from all this. From the
Gulf war in 1991, over a half million of the US military forces sent
there for a short period of time are now on some form of disability.
But the worst is yet to come. In the Afghanistan war beginning in late
2001 and the Iraq war from March, 2003, about 1.3 million US military
forces have served in combat and occupation in these countries. They
were all assigned long tours of duty and most of them have served two
or three deployments to what is beyond question the most dangerous and
toxic environments on earth.
About 90% of Gulf war vets so far are now on some kind of disability.
If just that same percentage is applied to the
1.3 million of our military now serving or having served in Iraq and
Afghanistan since 2001, nearly 1.2 million vets may end up on
disability or die from exposure to the far more toxic DU munitions used
in these wars, the many other poisonous pollutants they've been exposed
to, and the much longer and multiple tours of duty they've had to
- In simple terms, it's likely we
can expect a catastrophic human disaster of holocaust proportions and
one being covered up because of its enormity.
And it's in addition to the far greater one
we've inflicted on 26 million innocent Iraqis discussed below. Should
the truth about all this come out fully, what sane young men and women
would ever volunteer for military service knowing they were either
signing their death warrants or at the least likely assuring themselves
a lifetime of devastating and/or debilitating health problems. And add
to that the mass outrage by the US public and the people of other
nations that joined with the US in sending contingents of their
military to be part of an illegal occupying force.
The effect of all this has finally reached the
US Congress, but it's unlikely anything meaningful will emerge there to
reveal how dangerous and deadly exposure to DU contamination really is.
Still on May 11, the House passed legislation that includes an
amendment by Rep. Jim McDermott (himself an MD and once a practicing psychiatrist)
ordering a comprehensive study of possible health effects from DU
exposure on US military forces and their children. It's almost certain
this amendment will never get through the Senate or certainly won't
ever be signed into law by George Bush. Still kudos and an A for effort
to Rep. McDermott even though it's almost certain it will all be for
The devastating toll on Iraqis since 1991:
As bad as it's been and still is for our troops
and their families, try to imagine the nightmare 26 million innocent
Iraqis have been living through since January, 1991. The Gulf war began
the malicious destruction of a once modern state. It caused 100,000 or
more Iraqi deaths in just weeks and destroyed essential infrastructure
like electricity and clean water facilities vital to the health,
welfare and the safety of the people. It also began the spread of
deadly toxic radiation across the country from the first use of DU
munitions in combat as well as a harmful stew of other pollutants
responsible for rampant illness and disease.
This living hell is what US illegal
aggression based on lies and deceit brought to this most highly
developed and well-functioning of all states in the Middle East now
unable to cope against a brutal occupier determined to destroy and
control it for its own imperial purpose and gain.
The sacking and plunder of Iraq began in
January, 1991. But although the war formally ended after six weeks of
one-sided fighting, the bombing and brutality against the people never
did. Air attacks continued sporadically throughout the 1990s destroying
more infrastructure, causing more deaths and adding to the spread of
deadly pollutants including the toxic radiation from the DU weapons
used. What also followed the formal end to hostilities was a dozen
years of brutal economic sanctions that ravaged a population helpless
to cope with their horrific effects.
The result was a humanitarian disaster of epic
proportions that never ended. Besides the physical and human toll, the
economy was destroyed as is evident from the following data. The per
capita income of Iraqis declined from a 1979 level of $2,313 to $255 in
2003 and $144 in 2004. Further, the college of economics at Baghdad
University estimated that unemployment rose to a level of 70%.
- Even the so-called "oil for food" program did little to relieve the crisis prior to the 2003 invasion.
In fact, it was never intended to as the US
planned all along to inflict the greatest possible hardship on the
people hoping their misery would encourage them to rise up and topple
Saddam. It turned out it had the opposite effect despite the severity
of the toll. Instead of blaming Saddam, Iraqis relied on him for
whatever relief they could get. It wasn't much or nearly enough because
the US allowed him little to give.
The combination of war and economic sanctions
caused widespread illness and disease that was devastating and still
is. Even by conservative estimates, it likely caused the death of at
least one million Iraqis including 500,000 children. Some estimates put
the number as high as 1.5 million and some others far higher still.
When Denis Halliday resigned in 1998 as UN head of Iraqi humanitarian
relief he said he did so because he believed he'd been instructed to
implement a policy of genocide and refused to do it. He added that
5,000 Iraqi children were dying needlessly every month. Hans Von
Sponek, who took on the UN relief job after Halliday, also resigned in
frustration and disgust in 2000 voicing similar sentiments when he
But bad as conditions were then, they got far
worse following the US illegal aggression beginning in March, 2003. The
daily toll of death and destruction since then is unknown precisely,
but even conservative estimates are appalling and shocking.
The British Lancet earlier reported by their
"conservative assumptions" an Iraqi toll of about 100,000 "excess
deaths" post March, 2003. They recently updated their initial estimate (three years later) to a now likely 300,000 and rising daily as we all should know.
Other estimates place the number far higher, up
to 500,000 in one estimate I saw a few months ago. Whatever the true
number is, the US inflicted disaster on Iraq and its people for over
the past 15 years is truly of epic proportions. It clearly warrants the
label genocide and makes all those in the US at the highest levels
responsible for it guilty of egregious war crimes and crimes against
What may lie ahead
Iraq and Afghanistan are in ruins, and the US
is hopelessly embroiled in two wars it has no possibility of winning.
Both of them will go on without end as long as we remain occupiers in
countries where we're not wanted and will never be tolerated. Further,
both countries have a long history of expelling invaders regardless of
how long it took them to do it. It will be no different this time, but
it's shocking to imagine the human toll that will result on all sides
before they finally do end, the final tally is estimated years later,
and the many years it will then take to rebuild these shattered
So with two out-of-control wars
ongoing, it would seem unthinkable the US would now be planning one or
two more. How can that be possible, and what sane planners would ever
contemplate such an irrational course?
We don't have the troop strength, and our military budget (on and off the books)
is off the charts and running up huge deficits even the new Fed
chairman is alarmed about. Logic and fiscal sanity should indicate it
would be folly to compound the current mess with a still greater mess.
But that's exactly what appears to be in the works, and the preliminary
and softening up stage of a planned attack against Iran is already
underway just as it was leading up to the March, 2003 "shock and awe"
assault against Iraq.
For many months Iran has known the US has been
flying unmanned aerial surveillance drones to help select target sites.
There have been some scattered but unconfirmed reports that one or more
of these intruders have been shot down. It's also a not so hidden
secret we've sent special forces or combat personnel into Iran under
cover along with reconnaissance teams to collect similar information on
the ground as well as link up with anti-government elements we hope
will help our efforts.
The Iranians know all this, and you can bet
they're trying to snare a few of them, but if they have neither side is
letting on. I wouldn't want to be one of the illegal infiltrators and
get caught in the act. I don't think the Iranians will be very
hospitable or understanding nor should they be. So what's likely to
happen next and when.
I have no timetable, but it's been
responsibly reported ... and I believe the reports ... that George Bush
has signed off on a "shock and awe" attack against Iran and is
intending to do it using industrial strength nuclear weapons.
They're deceptively called "bunker-buster
mini-nukes" which I explained above are nukes but not mini ones --
they're likely to be from one-third to two-thirds as powerful as a
Hiroshima bomb. But they can be produced to any potency and some likely
will be and used. I also explained that the Pentagon has lied (do they ever do anything else) that the radiation emitted from these earth-penetrating munitions will be contained below ground and thus are safe to use...
Not so, and the Pentagon knows it.
Our apparent intentions toward Iran are also
based on more lies and deception as we accuse that country of violating
international law by having a secret nuclear weapons program. There's
no evidence whatever Iran has one, but they'd be irresponsible not to
be taking every measure possible to defend itself against a hostile US
intending to bring down its government by any means including nuclear
Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and so far as known is in full
compliance with it ... as such it has every legal right to enrich
uranium for its commercial nuclear industry as does every other country
following NPT rules.
- US hostility to Iran has nothing to do with
its enrichment policy or even its form of government ... it's the
result of Iran's intent to remain independent of US dominance and go
its own way.
It's been that way since the uprising that
overthrew the repressive and US installed and supported Shah in 1979
after which Iran no longer was willing to continue relinquishing its
sovereignty and remain subservient to US interests. The result has been
continued hostility between the two countries that may now be
culminating with a US planned attempt to oust the country's leadership
forcibly since we've given up trying to achieve that goal by other
means short of war.
The US engages other countries, especially from
the developing world, on the basis of an "our way or the highway"
policy. We can't unleash our full force bullying against most developed
ones in the Global North, but we do that freely and often, directly or
through proxies, against all others that forget "who's boss." When that
happens, that "highway" is usually strewn with unwarranted economic
sanctions, coup attempts, political assassinations, or death and
destruction from war.
The US follows this hostile course to bring
"outlier" nations in line with our policies, but also to deter others
from deviating from them as well. It's a bloodstained legacy that puts
to rest the myth that the US is a peace loving, benevolent democracy
only wanting to spread those principles to other nations that don't
And let me state clearly something I haven't said elsewhere before but should have:
By the US I don't mean the people ... I mean the leadership of both
major political parties and their corporate and elitist allies all of
whom work against the public interest everywhere and only for their
The US and Iranian public interest won't be
served by what our present leadership apparently has in mind for that
country -- regime change the hard way. It looks like the plan is to
make it extra hard by upping the ante to send a clear and decisive
message to the Iranians and all other nations going their own way that
we will nuke you into submission unless you come around willingly. So
far we've only used nuclear weapons below the radar with DU munitions
that alone have caused unspeakable harm.
But should the US go further and attack Iran
with industrial strength nuclear bombs, we will have crossed an
inviolable threshold, moved the nation one step closer to tyranny and
brought the world a lot closer to a possible eventual nuclear
holocaust. In my judgment, that's what's now at stake unless a way is
found to stop this aggressive juggernaut before it goes further and
it's too late to act.
Iran is first in the US target queue followed by Venezuela!
Unimaginable as it may seem, high-level
leadership and planners in Washington may have in mind not just a third
conflict but a fourth one as well. I've written about this several
times, and recently wrote a feature article titled "The US Now Planning A Fourth Attempt to Oust Hugo Chavez."
Based on my knowledge and ear to the ground
observing and listening to the steady and intensifying drumbeat of
anti-Chavez rhetoric coming from top US officials through the corporate
media (all of it the usual litany of lies and deception only), I
have no doubt whatever a fourth attempt to oust President Chavez and
his government is planned and likely now being implemented under the
Precisely how and what will be
unleashed won't be known until the fireworks begin ... but make no
mistake about it, they will begin, and this time they may include
attempted assassinations and open conflict with DU munitions or even
full-scale nuclear bombs if that's part of the plan.
If that happens, the nuclear nightmare will have arrived in the Americas and come ever closer to the US Southern border.
By whatever means the US has in mind in its
latest attempt to unseat Hugo Chavez, its intentions toward him and his
government are clear, unmistakable and written in stone. The US will
settle for nothing less than full control of his country's vast
hydrocarbon reserves and a government willing to hand them over to us.
Those reserves are far more vast than once thought as the best
estimates of the country's oil reserves (including the extra-heavy kind more expensive to refine)
are thought to be about 350 billion barrels or even higher. That
compares to Saudi Arabia's estimated reserves of about 262 billion
barrels of (at least mostly) the preferred and more easily refined "light sweet" crude.
- It takes no mental exertion to see the two
countries at the head of the US target queue have vast amounts of the
essential commodity the US wants most and is willing to go to war if
necessary to secure control over everywhere it feels it's worth the
cost and effort.
There's no doubt the US feels that way about Iran and Venezuela just as it did about Iraq.
The US decided Saddam had to go not because of
his oppressive rule or his "now you see 'em, now you don't" WMDs. It
was because of his unwillingness to surrender his nation's sovereignty
to the US.
Same old story, and it's the same again in Iran and most of all in Venezuela that has to be the greatest prize of the three.
It's especially tricky for the US there as that
nation happens to have a democratic leader loved by the great majority
of his people. It's because Hugo Chavez is fiercely and proudly
independent, as he has every right to be, and puts the needs of his
people ahead of the US and its Big Oil interests.
Chavez was twice democratically elected and then prevailed in an August, 2004 recall referendum (the third coup attempt by ballot box means)
that was a contrived act of desperation cooked up by his right wing
opposition in league with US corporate interests. It was a flop
as Chavez's supporters flocked to the polls giving him a decisive
victory. He deserved and earned it and his other electoral victories as
he proved he's the rarest of political leaders who actually delivers on
his promises to the people.
- Try finding a US politician who's done that,
especially one with any power to follow through. You'll need a
high-powered version of that lamp Diogenes once used used looking for
an honest man.
It's Hugo Chavez' intention to serve the interests and needs of his own people
and not those of his dominant Northern neighbor that has him once again
high on its target list for elimination. Hugo Chavez will remain there
until the US finds a way to remove him which it certainly will keep
trying to do. Chavez is well aware of it and so are the Venezuelan
people who love and support him and are likely to fight to keep him in
office. They know what their lives were like before he became their
president and what a vast difference he made once he came into office.
He promised to serve the people and proved it by instituting a vast
array of social programs the majority of the US public might only dream
about if they knew what's available now to the Venezuelan people.
They include free, comprehensive and
high-quality health and dental care for all as well as free education
through the university level to all those who wish it and can qualify.
Compare that to what's available in the US -- a health care system
available only to those who can afford its high and fast-rising cost
and a deliberately degraded inner-city public education system as well
as a costly one at the university level unavailable to lower income
families that can't afford it for their children.
Now try to imagine what the US has in mind for Venezuelans.
It won't tolerate a developing nation's leader
who'll institute such essential social services for the people and will
try to end them even if it takes nuclear war to do it. Try to think of
appropriate language to describe the leader of a nation who would
unleash such an attack and do it for power and profit. Do the words tyrant and war criminal come to mind?
Get ready for the long knives, the Marines again in action to go along with a little or maybe a lot of "Shock and Awe."
The plans for two "outlier" countries are set,
the wheels are in motion, and we now must wait and see what will unfold
in the next chapter of the ongoing drama of an aggressor and imperial
US against the world with Iran and Venezuela numbers one and two in the
US target queue.
Several times before I spelled out in some
detail what I feels lies ahead unless a way is found to stop it. I fear
two more conflicts are ahead for starters to add to the ones now
ongoing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Still others will follow against other
countries to be named later and by whatever timetable and means we have
in mind. The result may be that the US is near to crossing an
inviolable Rubicon in two deadly and dangerous ways -- first by
unleashing the nuclear genie in an industrial strength way, and second
by suspending the Constitution and declaring martial law at home in the
wake of a likely inevitable second major terror attack that may be as
much an inside job as was the first one on September 11.
Unless the US public awakens to
these very real threats, we face the same fate as did the Germans who
lost their model democratic state after the ascension of Adolph Hitler.
Good German people let him steal it from them
while they weren't paying attention or bought into his false rhetoric
that he was serving their interests and protecting them from an outside
threat -- that never existed.
- We also have no outside threat from any other
nation, but have been effectively scared to death and conned by the
false rhetoric that's made us feel we do.
The result is we're getting too
close for comfort to the point of no return ... there's still time to
act if we're bold enough to do it.
Think of the choice I think we face...
Act together in our collective self-interest or do nothing ... and see us pass from a once proud but now tattered republic to tyranny.
It can happen here as it has elsewhere unless we act to prevent it.
Stephen Lendman: Special guest on Lizz Brown's "Wake-up Call" on WGNU St. Louis