Extract from a review by Philip Berrigan of
Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War, by Sr. Rosalie Bertell

Nuclear war is here, but not as we imagined it.

Meanwhile, the American military is sacrosanct, as untouchable, a
NO-NO, a sacred cow. One can liken it to an obscene priesthood "sacrificing" for our "freedoms". To criticise it strenuously by word and resistance is to incur an immense social ostracism. Suddenly, one is at odds with all the institutions (cf. John 9 - the man born blind tossed out of the synagogue). War is our  #1 business, war is the health of the State, war bonds and unites government, corporations, banks and people, war lends lustre to the capitalist claim that it alone "works".

The military is threat, peril, quick and slow assassin of us and the

In our sad and bloody history, we could never afford it, least of all
now, with its potential for global destruction, nuclear winter, the
extinction of all life. We must dismantle it, transform it into a Conservation
Corps, give it an unarmed peacekeeping role, assign it to environmental
and public works.


It is overwhelming, most of it suppressed by government and media. Dr.
Rosalie Bertell's grim report on the casualties of 56 years of nuclearism
and interventionary war strips the military of its protective coloration.
To my knowledge, she is the only scientist with the competence and
courage to publicise such a study.

She finds that the military, especially the American military, is both
mass killer and global polluter. The nuclear club - led by the U.S. - has
killed, maimed or diseased 1.3 billion people since July 1945, with the
first atmospheric test at Alamagordo, New Mexico.

Since the U.S. initiated the Doomsday Race and led it to the present,
one can safely assume that the American responsibility is roughly half -
approximately 650 million people. Divine that dismal total by 56 years,
and one has a quotient of 12 to 13 million every year, an equivalent
Holocaust every year. (An unspeakable, unprecedented crime.)


- By nuclear wars - three of them: Japan (1945), Iraq (1991), Yugoslavia (1999).

- By 104 nuclear power plants, which have a military function as well
as a commercial one. Moreover, tests have indicated that cancer incidence and birth deformities multiply as one nears these deadly plants. They emit radiation into air, soil and water. Nor can their waste be safely

- By 144 nuclear weapons facilities. According to the Department of
Energy, 109 of them must be isolated as national sacrifice zones because they can't be cleaned up. They sicken workers and poison neighboring soil and water.

- By Depleted Uranium. Its main lethality is not the shell, which
penetrates armored vehicles, but aerosolized dust, radioactive and
gravity free, released on impact. This dust can be inhaled or ingested - it
contaminates air, soil, water, vegetation - it can't be cleaned up and
has a half-life of 4.5 billion years. In war zones, war factories and
testing grounds, Depleted Uranium shells, bombs and cruise missiles have
already killed more civilians and military than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki

- By uranium tailings (low grade ore). In countries mining uranium -
the U.S., Australia, South Africa, Canada - seven to eight million tons of
uranium tailings lie exposed to the elements (wind, rain, frost) leaching
radiation into air, soil, water, vegetation. In addition to the toxins they
spread, these tailings are a reminder that the harm has been done -
once dug up, uranium can't be returned safely to the earth.


- The Love Canal disaster in the 1970s was caused by both uraniu7m
waste from the Manhattan Project and Agent Orange. One soldier returning from war in South East Asia encountered in his backyard the same Agent Orange left behind in Vietnam.

- 2.6 million American Gi's reported sick on return from Vietnam, and
one million Vietnamese were poisoned by Agent Orange.

- The American war in Vietnam ravaged 54% of mangrove and river delta
wetlands. The word ecocide was coined from that destruction.

- The U.S. military plans to use the Earth as a weapon, harnessing the
power of its natural processes for war. (Bertell)

- The 300 megatons of nuclear xplosions set off from 1945 to 1963
reduced the ozone layer by 4%.

- Between 1978 and 1990, the ozone layer in the Northern Hemisphere
decreased another 4-8% and in the Southern Hemisphere by 6-10%. A 20% decrease in the ozone layer causes multiple skin cancers, and
depression of the immune system, allowing the development of other forms of cancer.

- In 1958, the U.S. Navy exploded three atomic bombs 300 miles above
the South Atlantic. About the same time, the War Department exploded two hydrogen bombs 100 miles above Johnson Island in the Pacific. These tests caused a doubling of cancer rates. The explosions also disrupted (perhaps permanently) the Van Allen Belts, which protect the Earth from the sun's rays.

- In April 1964, a U.S. rocket was aborted, scattering 17,000 curies of
plutonium over a large area. At least two more attempts to put nuclear
power in space cattered 34,000 curies of plutonium at the completion of
the mission. NASA's history displays numerous disasters from its space

- The General Accounting Office revealed that the War Department
generates 500,000 tons of toxins annually, more than the five leading chemical companies combined.

- The War Department reported to Congress that 17,484 military sites
can't meet federal environmental standards.

- With Ulysses (another space probe) in 1990, plutonium in space became
routine. When Cassini carried 72 lbs. of plutonium into space in 1997,
scientists estimated 20 million lung cancer victims if it exploded over
populated areas.

- In July 1996, a Navy missile test off eastern Long Island, an area
chosen because of heavy commercial traffic and dense ground cultter went fearfully wrong. Aegid computers aboard a Navy destroyer, locked on TWA 800 rather than a drone, destroyed the plane and killed 240 passengers and crew. The official investigation was certainly a strenuous cover-up.

- HAARP - High Frequency Active Auroral Research program - is a huge
ionospheric heater, built in Alaska between Anchorage and Fairbanks, to
be completed in 2002. with 180 transmission towers. Natural gas from
nearby oil fields powers it. HAARP generates extremely low frequency waves (ELF). It is unabashedly military in nature - theoretically a space shield, a weather modifier, a counter insurgency measure to curb dissent and resistance, a technology to explore the Earth's topography for oil and
minerals. A Federal Environmental Impact Statement, filed by the Air
Force, says this: "Transmission can raise internal body temperatures of
people, ignite road flares in trunks of cars, detonate aerial munitions,
scramble aircraft communications, navigation and flight control systems." Slight increases in transmission can "cause cataracts and leukemia, alter
chemistry, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and heart rates."

- Earthquakes have increased in recent years, said Secretary of War
William Cohen in April 1997: "Others are engaging in eco-terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes and volcanoes remotely through electro-magnetic waves." It is called "blaming the victim" accusing others of doing what we are doing.

- The U.S. spends more than $1/2 trillion on past, present and future
wars, more than a combination of all remaining nations. Conveniently
subtracted from fiscal war budgetting is the more than $100 billion of interest in financing this lunatic sum.

- The U.S. Air Force boasts that it will "own" the weather by 2005.

- The Guardian (English newspaper) reported that the Depleted Uranium
shells fired in Iraq and Kuwait has left at least 40 tons of radio-active dust.

- In Iraq, we gutted that society with our bombing: electrical power
generators, water treatment plants, telephone and radio transmission,
food processing, storage and distribution warehouses, animal vaccination
stations, agricultural irrigation sites, railroads, bus depots, bridges,
public transportation vehicles, oil wells, pipelines, oil storage depots,
gasoline filling stations, sewage treatment and disposal systems, and
factories producing cars and textiles for civilians.

- The Guardian calls the bombing of Yugoslavia "in environmental terms,
thedirtiest war the West has ever fought... a war which targets chemical
factories and oil installations, which deploys radioactive weapons in towns
and cities, ir a war against everyone, civilians as well as combatants,
the unborn as well as the living."

- A conservative estimate of oil consumption in the Iraqi war, a war to
protect accessible and cheap oil: 900 million gallons.

War causes vast death and crippling of the living, the unborn, the human
pool. But after the killing stops and the diaspora of refugees, a

blasted environment remains, sometimes for hundred and thousands of
years. Added to war itself, moreover, research and development of weapons, war games, maneuvers and the general preparation for battle undermines our life support system.

The terrible number of those killed, maimed or diseased, an
irreversibly damaged ecology, the obscene cost of nuclearism and interventionary war over   trillion spent by the U.S., all require harsh conclusions. Whatever
their motivation, the bosses, warriors and arms hucksters are killing
while simultaenously, they kill the environment. The attack on humans
the natural world is indistinguishable. They coincide in an attack on
life itself. For the Earth is our matrix, our womb, our mother. God created
us from the soil and water of the Earth.

The military as an instrument of mass killing is a waste institution -
humans, energy, oil, metals, scientific and technical skills, money -
it consumes all and restores nothing to the resources of the planet. Any
faithful or sane scrutiny would conclude that it must be dismantled. It
kills, threatens and wastes - it is the BIG LIE institutionalized. Its
veneer and untouchability gives new meaning to the demonic.

Is anybody out there listening?

You can read WHAT MATTERS e-mails 1-18 at the WHAT MATTERS web site http:/www.whatmatters.nu/wmemails/wmemailsindex.html

To subscribe to the WHAT MATTERS E-letter:

Boudewijn Wegerif
Torsberget, 669 92, Deje Sweden
Tel: +46.552.21112

Are Americans the Victim of a Hoax?


"Most people prefer to believe their leaders are just and fair even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen aknowledges that the government under which they live is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of a corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all." - Michael Rivero




excerpt from Diane Harvey's "The Dire Straits Chronicles (vol.1)"


"Most of us have our little appointed rounds, like so many donkeys trudging around a world of grindstones, and that has been enough for us. We have long preferred the regular appearance of carrots and grain to any difficult life hewed out in the wilds of a climate of actual freedom. (At this point we can barely go for so much as a simple long walk without running into impassable highways, miles of fences, no trespassing signs, endless asphalt shopping deserts, the exacting of local/state/national fees for the right to move a muscle, bands of loose criminals, streets of suspicious householders, and even more suspicious police asking why any human being might actually want to walk around on the earth these days. This may be a single small example of the loss of practical freedom, and quite immaterial to most people, but it is a telling one all the same.) Freedom is just a word people have been flattering themselves with, on the drive to the mall to buy whatever trinkets television told them to buy for their "lifestyle" this year. Freedom is a wonderful idea, but it died out somewhere along the way, from a general lack of enthusiasm for its rigorous and often positively Spartan requirements.

We have far preferred a life of collecting stuff to a life dedicated to understanding and dealing with the world of conflicting human energies and forces all around us. We have preferred burying ourselves under a mountain of enjoyably addictive substances, activities and materials to fathoming the workings of human consciousness and all its manifestations. We long ago collectively abdicated the responsibility of citizens for keeping an eye on the various criminal and secret operations of our governments and those who bought them. This is exactly what the forces of darkness wanted us to do, and we have dutifully obliged them.

Thoughtless and unexamined addiction to rampant materialism created an overall psychological condition of dense denial about the origin, ownership and manipulation of the world's resources. We want Endless Things, but we don't want to know where they come from, who does what to who in order to grab them in the first place, or how they got into our hands, because that immediately becomes too uncomfortable. In order to shove away all encroaching information about the conveniently hidden sources of our fatty lifestyles, we must choose to become unconscious, extremely arrogant, willfully ignorant, and fatally stupid in order to blot it all out. We have collectively been living the lie of unconscious blind entitlement, and we have liked it like that. And this is one of the root causes of why we find ourselves suddenly in the middle of two kinds of evil, engaged in a struggle for domination of ideologies and resources. Like most people everywhere, always, we have cared nothing for the presence of various kinds and degrees of evil in the world, so long as we were not personally bothered, and now it is all bearing down on us at once.

A truly free society would have required massive collective participation, vigilance, strenuous effort, individual responsibility, and tremendous sacrifice: none of which was remotely attractive to the majority of busy ever-consuming materialistic peoples in the West after World War II. Human beings are not yet free, have never yet achieved any high degree of sustained freedom in any society, and have certainly been far less free for some time now, here in the West, than we are told we are. At least let us not fool ourselves in this regard. Ideology can present itself to unthinking people as anything it likes. In reality, forces and energies are what they are, no matter what they call themselves.

In most of the world, money, corrupt power, and various warring ideologies own everyone. Those who own the physical resources, the sources and means of information and culture, the religious and educational establishments, and the governments and militaries: they own us all, one way or another, and our children, and their future. This bothers most people not at all, since they have long ago been devoured by Authority's aims themselves, and are now separate self-replicating embodiments of corporate/government/military programming."

diane harvey    merak@sedona.net