OUR MILITARY - ASSET OR ALBATROSS
Extract from a review by Philip Berrigan of
Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of
War, by Sr.
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
immense social ostracism. Suddenly, one is at odds with all the
(cf. John 9 - the man born blind tossed out of the synagogue).
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
cleanup and public works.
WHAT OF EVIDENCE?
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
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
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
and one has a quotient of 12 to 13 million every
year, an equivalent
Holocaust every year. (An unspeakable,
HOW DID OUR MILITARY KILL, MAIM OR DISEASE SUCH STAGGERING NUMBERS OF
- 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
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
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)
radiation into air, soil, water, vegetation. In addition to the
spread, these tailings are a reminder that the harm has been done -
once dug up, uranium can't be returned safely to
THE FOLLOWING ARE SAMPLES OF MILITARY DECIMATION OF PEOPLE AND THE RAPE OF 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
- 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%
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
the Van Allen Belts, which protect the Earth from the sun's
- 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
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
routine. When Cassini carried 72 lbs. of
plutonium into space in 1997,
scientists estimated 20 million lung cancer victims if it exploded
- 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
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).
is unabashedly military in nature - theoretically a space shield, a
modifier, a counter insurgency measure to curb dissent and
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,
communications, navigation and flight control systems." Slight
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
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
subtracted from fiscal war budgetting
is the more than $100 billion of interest in financing this
- The U.S. Air Force boasts that it will "own" the weather
- 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,
public transportation vehicles, oil wells, pipelines, oil storage
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
thedirtiest war the West has
ever fought... a war which targets chemical
factories and oil installations, which deploys radioactive weapons in
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
protect accessible and cheap oil: 900 million gallons.
War causes vast death and crippling of the living, the unborn, the human
gene 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
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.
kills, threatens and wastes - it is the BIG LIE institutionalized.
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
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Torsberget, 669 92, Deje Sweden
Are Americans the Victim of a Hoax?
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