gcmvsccmm D E A T H C U L T U R E gvf Part 2: gvf gvfbf/nfg / T h e C o l l a t e r a l C h i l d r e nx / / / fgsdfa hfbnnfgx "The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way. asvxc Greed has poisoned men's souls - has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. asvxc We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in; machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity; More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. dsvv dvsd Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. dvsd ________________________________________ gfgsdfa / gvfn "We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. gvfnm gvf /We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living." cvn -- General Omar Bradley
KURT VONNEGUT: Again: One wishes, for the sake of the whole planet, that the people in and around the White House nowadays truly mean it when they say, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," and that they respect as children of God the losers, the nobodies so loved by Jesus in the Beatitudes, in His Sermon on the Mount: the poor in spirit, they that mourn, the meek, the merciful, the peace makers and so on.
But such is obviously not the case. George W. Bush smirks and gloats unmercifully as he boasts of his readiness to loose more than a hundred cruise missiles, what I call "Timothy McVeighs," into the midst of the general population of Iraq, nearly half of whom are children, little boys and girls under the age of 15."
BBC Thursday 31 March 2005
Increasing numbers of children in Iraq do not have enough food to eat and more than a quarter are chronically undernourished, a UN report says.
Malnutrition rates in children under five have almost doubled since the US-led intervention - to nearly 8% by the end of last year, it says.
The report was prepared for the annual meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
It also expressed concern over North Korea and Sudan's Darfur province.
UN specialist on hunger Jean Ziegler, who prepared the report, blames the worsening situation in Iraq on the war led by coalition forces.
He was addressing a meeting of the 53-nation commission, the top UN rights watchdog, which is halfway through its annual six-week session.
When Saddam Hussein was overthrown, about 4% of Iraqi children under five were going hungry; now that figure has almost doubled to 8%, his report says.
Governments must recognise their extra-territorial obligations towards the right to food and should not do anything that might undermine access to it of people living outside their borders, it says.
That point is aimed clearly at the US, but Washington, which has sent a large delegation to the Human Rights Commission, declined to respond to the charges, says the BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva.
Mr Ziegler also says he is very concerned about the lack of food in North Korea, where there are reports that UN food aid is not being distributed fairly.
In Darfur, the continuing conflict has prevented people from planting vital crops, he says.
Overall, Mr Ziegler says, he is shocked by the fact that hunger is actually increasing worldwide.
Some 17,000 children die every day from hunger-related diseases, the report claims, which it says is a scandal in a world which is richer than ever before.
"The silent daily massacre by hunger is a form of murder," Mr Ziegler said. "It must be battled and eliminated."
A three-month old baby in Iraq, (being treated for diahrea because the water is so toxic). Malnutrition in children has nearly doubled since the start of the war. Children are sick, living in toxic environments, surrounded by violence and death.
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HEAR the song at: http://www.roger-waters.com
Saleh Khalaf, an Iraqi boy maimed in a blast, who used carrier pigeons in his Iraqi village to send messages to friends, holds a white dove, part of his impressive collection of birds in America. His flock, kept at the home of Leslie Troutner of San Francisco, includes three white doves and 12 carrier pigeons.
"Dr. Jay Johannigman opened the back door of the Iraqi ambulance. Inside was a boy. His abdomen was ripped open. His left eye was missing. Both hands -- blown off. A veteran of two Gulf wars, the surgeon at Tallil Air Base near Nasiriya had seen casualties this horrific many times. Few survived. Remarkably, this child was still speaking. "Mister, I need water," 9-year-old Saleh Khalaf said politely in Arabic. It was Oct. 18, 2003, seven months after U.S. forces invaded Saleh's country as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Johannigman knew that his job was to treat only American soldiers, but Saleh's unwillingness to die moved him. The Air Force doctor made a split-second decision that would launch a dramatic mercy mission. The rescue operation would involve an airlift from Iraq to the Bay Area, require dozens of life-and-death surgeries and attract worldwide media coverage. No one could have imagined then that the mission would take so many harrowing turns -- or alter so many lives."
"OPERATION LION HEART": (Full story) gfnfdx gfn "OPERATION LION HEART": An update gfn ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f / Former US diplomat : Bush a 'very weak' man /
Athens - A former US diplomat who resigned over the Iraq war on Sunday described US President George W Bush as a "very weak" man led by the hand into battle by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
John Brady Kiesling, who was political counsellor at the US embassy in Athens at the time of his resignation in February, said in an open letter published by Greek daily To Vima that Rumsfeld exploited the war to increase his own power.
Kiesling - whose warning that US aims in Iraq were "incompatible with American values" struck a chord with the predominantly anti-war Greeks - described Bush as "a politician who badly wants to appear strong but in reality is very weak."
He said Rumsfeld led Bush by the hand into war, marginalised the secret services who had doubts about the war, and emerged as the top politician in Washington.
"Easy to convince, (Bush) blindly believed in Rumsfeld's assurances that the occupation of Iraq would pay for itself," Kiesling said.
"The longer we remain in Iraq, the more the resistance to the American presence is going to be a source of legitimacy for the extremists," he said.
He called for an expanded role for the United Nations and the European Union in the reconstruction of Iraq.
Kiesling said he regretted that US intelligence services had not spoken out about untruths concerning Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, which he added had humiliated the United States and damaged its closest ally, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f / "There's nothing farther from the truth," Bush, June 2005 (CNN): "Somebody said, well, you know, we had made up our mind to use military force to deal with Saddam. "There's nothing farther from the truth," Bush said. "We worked hard to see if we could figure out how to do this peacefully," Bush said. "Nobody wants to commit military into combat. It's the last option." / Bush, March 2002 (CNN):
Those were the words of President George W. Bush, who had poked his head into the office of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. It was March 2002, and Rice was meeting with three U.S. Senators, discussing how to deal with Iraq through the United Nations, or perhaps in a coalition with America's Middle East allies. Bush wasn't interested. He waved his hand dismissively, recalls a participant, and neatly summed up his Iraq policy in that short phrase. The Senators laughed uncomfortably; Rice flashed a knowing smile. The President left the room. A year later, Bush's outburst has been translated into action, as cruise missiles and smart bombs slam into Baghdad. / - "First Stop, Iraq", by Michael Elliott and James Carney, CNN, March 24, 2003 / / / /"One power, with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust." / - NELSON MANDELA / / "...And that's why Bush acts with such serenity and ruthlessness. Nothing he does can be challenged on moral grounds, however unethical or evil it might appear, because all of his actions are directed by God. He can twist the truth, oppress the poor, exalt the rich, despoil the earth, ignore the law--and murder children-- without the slightest compunction, the briefest moment of doubt or self-reflection, because he believes, he truly believes, that God squats in his brainpan and tells him what to do." / -"The Revelation of St. George", by CHRIS FLOYD , Counterpunch, June 30, 2003 // // \ "Fuck Saddam. we're taking him out."/ / "An immoral war was thus waged and the world is a great deal less safe place than before. There are many more who resent the powerful who can throw their weight about so callously and with so much impunity." / - Archbishop Desmond Tutu x xh/ agvg x xh Tutu attacks 'immoral' Iraq war x xh By Barnaby Mason BBC diplomatic correspondent http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3494345.stm x xh "In the invasion of Iraq, he said, they could see the same illusion on a global scale - - that force and brutality could produce security." x xh
Former archbishop of Cape Town and Nobel peace prize winner Desmond Tutu says the "immoral" war in Iraq has left the world a much more unsafe place.
Desmond Tutu urged US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to admit they had made a mistake.
The archbishop also demanded to know whether it had been right to attack Iraq in defiance of international law.
Archbishop Tutu's severest criticism of the war yet came in a lecture to the Prison Reform Trust in London.
Desmond Tutu has made several critical comments about the Iraq war and its aftermath since beginning a short stint as a visiting professor at London University.
In this lecture he was at his most outspoken.
He said belligerent and militarist policies had produced a novel and dangerous principle - that of pre-emptive attack on the basis of intelligence reports.
In the case of Iraq, Archbishop Tutu said, the intelligence had been flawed - yet it was the basis for the United States going to war dragging Britain behind it.
He also criticised the alternative justification of ousting a tyrannical regime.
He demanded to know by what authority President Bush and the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, had acted; was it might is right, and to hell with international law?
Desmond Tutu brought this onslaught into a lecture arguing that retribution was a poor basis for a penal system and arguing for the kind of restorative justice seen in South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which he chaired.
Archbishop Tutu referred to the idea that harsh prison sentences made people safer.
In the invasion of Iraq, he said, they could see the same illusion on a global scale - that force and brutality could produce security.
"International law? I better call my lawyer! I don't know what you're talking about, about international law." / - The Smirking One, in response to the administration's handing out of reconstruction contracts in Iraq, Dec.11, 2003hf / ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f
"In the invasion of Iraq, he said, they could see the same illusion on a global scale - - that force and brutality could produce security." rngr "We stand here because our right to dissent and our right to be participants in a true democracy has been hijacked by an administration of liars and murderers, who curse us because we stand in the way of their tyranny,who curse us because we stand in the way of their unholy and brutal agenda, an administration whose villainy and greed is insatiable. We stand at this threshold of history, and say to them, not in our names, not in our names!" - Danny Glover, speaking at a New York City Peace rally one month before the invasion /
Future terrorists? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ /
This is the comforting fiction: Osama bin Laden is a monster who sprang whole from the fetid mire. He had no childhood, no influences, no education, no experiences to form his view of the world. He did not exist, and then he did, a vessel into which the universe poured the essence of evil. It is a simple, straightforward story of a man who hates freedom and kills for the pure joy of feeling innocent blood drip from his fingers.
This is the fairy tale by which children are put to bed at night. As frightening and terrifying as bin Laden may be, it is a comfort to imagine him as having been chiseled from the dust. The fiction of his existence, absent of detail, makes him unique, a singular entity not to be replicated. Osama bin Laden becomes truly scary only when the actual context of his life is made clear, where he is from, what he has seen, and why those things motivated him to do what he does.
Osama bin Laden becomes truly scary when the realization comes that he is not unique, not singular, not an invention of the universe. He becomes truly scary when the realization comes that there are millions of people who have seen what he has seen, who feel what he feels, and why. He becomes truly scary when the realization comes that he is a creation of the last fifty years of American foreign and economic policy, and that he has an army behind him created by the same influences. Simply, Osama bin Laden becomes truly scary when the realization comes that he can be, and has been, and continues to be, replicated.
Osama bin Laden, after being educated at Oxford University, learned how to kill effectively while working as an agent of American Cold War policy in Afghanistan. He was a helpful American ally throughout the 1980s as a ruthless and wealthy warrior against the Soviet Union. It was the desire of the American government to deliver to the Soviets their own Vietnam, to arrange a hopeless military situation which would demoralize the Soviet military and bleed that nation dry.
Osama bin Laden played the part of the Viet Cong, and he was good at it. With the help of the American government, he was able to create an army of true believers in Afghanistan. Our government believed that if one bin Laden was good, a hundred would be better, and a thousand better again, in the fight against the Soviets. So strong was this group America helped to create that it became known as 'The Base.' Translated into the local dialect, 'The Base' is known as al Qaeda.
Osama bin Laden learned something else besides the art of killing while he was working as an ally of the United States. He learned that given enough time, enough money, enough violence, enough perseverance, and enough fellow warriors, a superpower can be brought to its knees and erased from the book of history.
Bin Laden was at the center of one of the most important events of the 20th century: The fall of the Soviet Union. Political pundits like to credit Reagan and the senior Bush for the collapse of that regime, but out in front of them, in the mountains of Afghanistan, was Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, the sharp end of our sword, who did their job very well. Today, the United States faces this group and its leader, armed with their well-learned and America-taught lessons: How to kill massively and how to annihilate a superpower.
Osama bin Laden learned a few other things before he became the monster under our collective bed. When Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein began to make his move against Kuwait, bin Laden was outraged. Hussein was a despised name on the lips of bin Laden and his followers; here was an unbelieving heretic who spoke the words of Allah, a self-styled Socialist who pretended piety, a ruthless dictator who killed every Islamic fundamentalist he could get his hands on.
Osama bin Laden went to King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, home of the holiest sites of Islam. The royal family was not to be found anywhere on bin Laden's list of friends at the time. A shrewd observer of local politics, bin Laden knew that the Saudi government enjoyed having the Palestinians living in squalor, bereft of homeland and hope, because it distracted the fundamentalists within Saudi Arabia from focusing on the inequities within their own country. With the crooking of a single oil-rich finger, the Saudi royals could solve the Palestinian problem. Their refusal to do so fed bin Laden's rage, for in his mind, they were aiding and abetting what he saw as an intolerable Israeli apartheid.
Bin Laden asked Fahd to help him resurrect the army that fought with him against the Soviets so that he could fight Saddam Hussein. Here again is an irony of the times: As in the 1980s, Osama bin Laden was spoiling for a fight against an enemy of the United States - for his own purposes, to be sure, but it is difficult to avoid a shake of the head when considering all of the recent rhetoric about a Saddam/Osama alliance.
Fahd turned bin Laden down, and allowed the American military to set up bases in Saudi Arabia for use in what became known as Operation Desert Storm. According to the version of Islam practiced by bin Laden, it is rank heresy to allow soldiers from an infidel army to occupy the land of Mecca and Medina. Bin Laden learned from this that regimes in the Middle East which claim fealty to Islam, but which in fact act at the behest of the Unites States, were not to be trusted. The royal family of Saudi Arabia joined the list of bin Laden's enemies, along with the United States, Saddam Hussein, and Israel.
It was Israel, proxy of the Unites States, which taught Osama bin Laden what could be considered the final, irrevocable lesson of his life. In April of 1996, Israel began a military action against Beirut and southern Lebanon called Operation Grapes of Wrath. "It is quite obvious," wrote Israeli writer Israel Shahak at the time, "that the first and most important Israeli aim to be established in the 'Grapes of Wrath' is to establish its sovereignty over Lebanon - to be exercised in a comparable manner to its control over the Gaza Strip."
On April 13, an ambulance driver named Abbas Jiha was rushing patients to a hospital in Sidon. Civilians caught in the crossfire of 'Grapes of Wrath' begged him to take them to Sidon, and so he squeezed his wife, his four children and ten others into his ambulance. An Israeli helicopter targeted his ambulance and fired two missiles. The ambulance was blasted sixty feet into the air, and Jiha was thrown clear. When he made it back to the remains of his rig, he found his nine year old daughter, his wife, and four others dead within the flaming wreckage.
On April 18, the small village of Qana was flooded with some 800 refugees from the fighting who were seeking protection from UN forces there. At about two in the afternoon, the village came under bombardment by Israeli 'proximity shells' - antipersonnel weapons which explode several meters above the ground and shower anyone below with razor-sharp shrapnel. The result was a massacre, a blood-drenched scene of shredded humanity.
(M.O.W. editorial insert) http://www.robert-fisk.com/iraqwarvictims_mar2003.htm
Robert Fisk, the most decorated and reputable journalist in Britain, was there. "It was a massacre," he wrote. "Israel's slaughter of civilians in this 10-day offensive - 206 by last night - has been so cavalier, so ferocious, that not a Lebanese will forgive this massacre. There had been the ambulance attacked on Saturday, the sisters killed in Yohmor the day before, the 2-year-old girl decapitated by an Israeli missile four days ago. And earlier yesterday, the Israelis had slaughtered a family of 12 - the youngest was a four-day-old baby - when Israeli helicopter pilots fired missiles into their home."
These stories barely made a dent in the American press in 1996, but were widely reported at length by both European and Middle Eastern media outlets. Photographs of headless babies and slaughtered civilians reached far and wide, inflaming a region already filled with rage against Israel and America. From this time on, Osama bin Laden used Qana as a rallying cry against what he called the Israeli-United States alliance. The rest, as they say, is history.
(M.O.W. editorial insert)
Osama bin Laden is a damned murderer of innocents, with thousands of notches in his belt. His actions are indefensible by any measure. Yet to dismiss him as something other than the creation of his experiences, to categorize him as some unique freak whose motivations are beyond comprehension, is to deny the most important dilemma that faces our world. Monsters are not born. They are made.
On Sunday, September 12, 2004, a large crowd of Iraqi civilians came under fire from U.S. attack helicopters on Haifa Street in Baghdad. An American Bradley Fighting Vehicle had been attacked and destroyed by 'insurgents' fighting the ongoing occupation of their country, and the civilians - after more than a year of deprivation and violence which came on the heels of a decade of deprivation and violence - were dancing on top of and beside the vehicle. 13 of them were killed and dozens more wounded. A reporter from the UK Guardian named Ghaith Abdul-Ahad was there, and was wounded in the attack.
"One of the three men piled together," wrote Abdul-Ahad, "raised his head and looked around the empty streets with a look of astonishment on his face. He then looked at the boy in front of him, turned to the back and looked at the horizon again. Then he slowly started moving his head to the ground, rested his head on his arms and stretched his hands towards something that he could see. It was the guy who had been beating his chest earlier, trying to help his brother. He wanted help but no one helped. He was just there dying in front of me. Time didn't exist. The streets were empty and silent and the men lay there dying together. He slid down to the ground, and after five minutes was flat on the street."
(M.O.W. editorial insert)
The survivors of this attack, like the survivors of Qana, were probably not terrorists before the fire came raining down. It is a safe bet they are now, after seeing what they have seen, willing to trade their lives to see Americans die. They have seen the massacre of civilians, and so believe that civilians are fair game in this dirtiest of wars. They are monsters now, not born, but made.
The story of the 20th century Middle East is one of American action. We created Saddam Hussein, and then twice attacked him, leaving nearly two million civilians dead in the process. We created the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and bent our policies towards defending that house of cards and its precious oil. We created the Shah of Iran, then lost him, and propped up Hussein to checkmate our failure. We created Israel, a nation that has become our front line against the hostilities we manufactured in the region through our relentless military and economic meddling, and supported them militarily and financially as they committed acts of barbarism. We have paid great lip service to the plight of the Palestinians, but have always deferred to Israel.
More recently, we invaded Iraq on the pretext of destroying weapons of mass destruction which, according to recent comments by Secretary of State Powell, do not actually exist. We accused Saddam Hussein of collaborating with bin Laden, and of being involved in 9/11, despite the fact that bin Laden has wanted Hussein dead for years. We killed over 10,000 Iraqi civilians. We raped and tortured Iraqi men, women and children in the dungeons of Abu Ghraib. All of our poor history in the region has been distilled into that one nation, a place thatover now manufactures bin Laden allies by the truckload.
We created Osama bin Laden. We taught him to kill, we showed him how to destroy a superpower, and we gave him a face-first lesson in American interventionism in his back yard. Whatever predispositions towards violence and murder existed in him when he was born became honed, refined and perfected as he watched our government storm the policies, rulers and innocent people of the Middle East like so many rabbits. We have created millions more like him.
We are learning now that the game isn't much fun when the rabbits get a gun.
William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books - 'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know' and 'The Greatest Sedition Is Silence.'
///////////////////// ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f ;/ "Nobody wants to commit military [sic] into combat. It's the last option."v / - G.W. Bush, June 2005 (CNN) / "I think the level of casualties is secondary. I mean, it may sound like an odd thing to say, but all the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people and that we love war... What we hate is not casualties but losing." / - Michael Ledeen, American Enterprise Institute Breakfast, March 27, 2003 / v"Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business." / - Michael Ledeen. resident scholar in the "Freedom Chair" at the American Enterprise Institute / / "At the American Enterprise Institute some of the finest minds in our nation are (above) at work on some of the greatest challenges to our nation. You do such good work that my administration has borrowed 20 such minds. I want to thank them for their service, but I also want to remind people that for 60 years, AEI scholars have made vital contributions to our country and to our government, and we are grateful for those contributiions" / - "President Discusses the Future of Iraq". February 26, 2003 /
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f / "The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling, and the worst part is the soundtrack, of the boys shrieking, ... And this is your government at war." / Torturing Children By William Rivers Pitt t r u t h o u t | Perspective Tuesday 20 July 2004
The biggest story of the Iraq war is not about missing weapons of mass destruction, or about deep-cover CIA officers getting their covers blown by vengeful White House agents, or even about 896 dead American soldiers. These have been covered to one degree or another, and then summarily dismissed, by the American mainstream news media. The biggest story of the Iraq war has not enjoyed any coverage in America, though it has been exploding across the international news media for several weeks now.
The biggest story of the Iraq war is about the torture of Iraqi children.
A German TV magazine called 'Report Mainz' recently aired accusations from the International Red Cross, to the effect that over 100 children are imprisoned in U.S.- controlled detention centers, including Abu Ghraib. "Between January and May of this year, we've registered 107 children, during 19 visits in 6 different detention locations," said Red Cross representative Florian Westphal in the report.
The report also outlined eyewitness testimony of the abuse of these children. Staff Sergeant Samuel Provance, who was stationed at Abu Ghraib, said that interrogating officers had gotten their hands on a 15 or 16 year old girl. Military police only stopped the interrogation when the girl was half undressed. A separate incident described a 16 year old being soaked with water, driven through the cold, smeared with mud, and then presented before his weeping father, who was also a prisoner.
Seymour Hersh, the New Yorker reporter who first broke the story of torture at Abu Ghraib, recently spoke at an ACLU convention. He has seen the pictures and the videotapes the American media has not yet shown. "The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling, and the worst part is the soundtrack, of the boys shrieking," said Hersh. "And this is your government at war."
Hersh described the prison scene as, "a series of massive crimes, criminal activity by the president and the vice president, by this administration anyway," and that there has been, "a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher."
Reports of abuses at Abu Ghraib and other American prisons have been public knowledge since the release of the Taguba Report. Recently, however, some 106 annexes to the report, previously classified, have also been released. U.S. News and World Report detailed the sum of what is contained in these annexes in an article titled 'Hell on Earth.'
In it, U.S. News says, "The abuses took place, the files show, in a chaotic and dangerous environment made even more so by the constant pressure from Washington to squeeze intelligence from detainees. Riots, prisoner escapes, shootings, corrupt Iraqi guards, unsanitary conditions, rampant sexual misbehavior, bug-infested food, prisoner beatings and humiliations, and almost-daily mortar shellings from Iraqi insurgents--according to the annex to General Taguba's report, that pretty much sums up life at Abu Ghraib." According to coalition intelligence officers cited in a Red Cross report from last May, between 70% to 90% of Iraqi detainees held in these prisons were arrested "by mistake." That means they were innocent.
The orders to treat prisoners in this fashion were not manufactured by the few "bad apples" we have heard about, but came from up on high. Brig. Gen Janis Karpinski, former commander of Abu Ghraib and now scapegoat for the abuses, says the truth about where the orders came from would be revealed in the trials of the accused soldiers. Memos ordering the abuse of prisoners were signed off on by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. The Justice Department and Mr. Bush's senior legal advisor went out of their way to craft arguments justifying this, claiming that torture isn't really torture and that the President is basically above the law.
Mr. Hersh will revisit this issue within the next several weeks. In the meantime, the American news media has an obligation to report on this situation. Photographic and videotape evidence of this torture is currently in the hands of the New Yorker, the Washington Post, the U.S. Congress and the White House. It must be released.
We invaded a country based upon the false claim that Iraq was allied with al Qaeda. We invaded a country based on the false claim that there were weapons of mass destruction which needed to be destroyed. We promised freedom and democracy, and instead installed a CIA-trained strongman named Allawi who has all but created a dictatorship in Iraq, and who has been accused of killing Iraqi prisoners by his own hand. 896 American soldiers have died so we could do this.
We took thousands of innocent civilians off the streets in Iraq and threw them into hellhole prisons, where they were beaten, raped, and killed. This story has faded from public view because no new pictures of the abuses have come out in the last several weeks. Those pictures are out there, and they show the rape and torture of children. The international media is reporting on it. Coalition ally Norway may be preparing to flee Iraq because of the allegations regarding these children.
Where is the American news media?
Where are the pictures? Who is responsible for this abomination?
Torturing children in the name of freedom? Is this what we
bhhserhrwhTRUTH ... JUSTICE ...THE AMERICAN WAY __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Liberated to Death dfawf By David Swanson t r u t h o u t | Perspective Tuesday 10 May 2004
How, reporters and pundits have asked, could good American heroes behave so badly as to become torturers? There are at least three answers that most of the U.S. media will not touch.
One is that many of our soldiers entered the Army or the National Guard or Reserves bringing with them all the frustration of a class-divided society running low on living-wage jobs. Many families have filed for bankruptcy as a result of extended service in Iraq, compulsory service that is distinguishable from a traditional draft only in targeting exclusively those who have already served. Better that these people torture Iraqis than that they grow too hostile toward Ken Lay or Bill Gates, right?
The second answer is that what has been done to prisoners in Iraq is not entirely unlike common occurrences in prisons in the United States. Rape, torture, and murder happen in U.S. domestic prisons with a frequency that would appall most people if they knew about it. Human Rights Watch and other groups have worked to document these problems in the world's largest per-capita prison system, a system that is also one of the most secretive and which suffers from an uninterested media. Of course, various members of the Army, Guard, and Reserves have previously worked in U.S. domestic prisons, not to mention the legal limbo of Guantanamo Bay - the disturbing accounts from which have not terribly interested our visually stimulated media.
The third answer is that our soldiers have been behaving badly for over a year in ways we have known about, if you include among bad actions illegally invading another country to facilitate the seizing of its natural resources and public services. Our soldiers have been taught that Iraqis are terrorists, that Muslims are terrorists, that those fighting for their homes are "enemies of democracy." Our soldiers, acting on faith in this nonsense, have killed more innocent civilians than Ted Koppel could name in a month, but I encourage him to try.
Why is cruelty worse when performed up close than when accomplished with missiles, bombs, and tanks? For over a year, the rest of the world has been looking at images of men, women, and children torn limb from limb in Iraq, houses crushed, skulls crushed, legs lost, eyes destroyed.
M.O.W editorial insert)
The U.S. media still will not show us those images but has suddenly begun showing us over and over again photos of American soldiers humiliating and torturing Iraqi prisoners. Presumably the perverse calculation of news-worthiness on the basis of ratings plays a role here, if not in keeping out the blood and gore then in allowing in the naked men threatened by snarling dogs.
But what is the official government/media argument? Why is reporting on American deaths controversial but reporting on Iraqi deaths unthinkable? And why is the cruelty in the prisons reported on so much more than the cruelty outside of them?
The answer may be even more disturbing than the ubiquitous photographs. The answer, I think, is that the suffering caused by bombs and bullets in war - what's often dishonestly called "collateral damage" - is understood by our media to be a part of war that we (the "consumers") understand without having to be told. It's an accepted part of war and one that it's not in good taste to dwell on. While various U.S. authors and pundits have pushed for acceptance of torture over the past few years, torture by the US government is still new and shocking. It has not yet become acceptable. If it ever reaches that point, we will be expected to know that torture is going on without being told, just as we are currently expected to know without being told about children suffering severe burns because that's what happens in wars, or about prisoners being raped because that's what happens in prisons.
M.O.W editorial insert)
"There are a lot more photographs and videos that exist," Secretary of "Defense" Donald Rumsfeld told Congress last week. "If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse. That's just a fact." Worse for whom? Rumsfeld is asking the media to move torture of prisoners into the great realm of the acceptable but tasteless. He is asking the media to assume along with him that he knows better than the rest of us what should be kept from us for our own good.
While Rumsfeld stuttered and stammered his way through his testimony, he would seriously choke if anyone ever asked him to recite certain statements made by Thomas Jefferson, such as this: "The opinions and dispositions of our people in general, which, in governments like ours, must be the foundation of measures, will always be interesting to me." Rumsfeld would state the reverse. So, clearly, would George W. Bush.
The Washington Post's new tabloid for Metro riders, "The Express," printed a letter last week from a reader who said that the mistreated Iraqis deserved little sympathy since they had attacked and killed Americans and hung them from a bridge. But this attitude is not a reason to have less faith in the public. It's a reason to tell people the truth so that they can draw wiser conclusions.
We need to stop lumping all Iraqis together, so that the individuals tortured in prisons can be recognized as distinct people from those who committed some act of violence against an illegal occupying army or its corporate bosses. And we need to recognize the fundamental mistake in occupying another country in order to "liberate" it. Clearly we've liberated many people to death, and they may have been among the lucky ones.
David Swanson is Media Coordinator at the International Labor Communications Association. The views expressed are his alone.
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Sgt. Campbell requested that, if something happened to him, his family place this photo on his coffin. rhhh
To Whom it May Concern,
I found out that my brother, Sergeant Ryan M. Campbell, was dead during a graduate seminar at Emory University on April 29, 2004. Immediately after a uniformed officer knocked at my mother's door to deliver the message that broke her heart, she called me on my cell phone. She could say nothing but "He's gone." I could say nothing but "No." Over and over again we chanted this refrain to each other over the phone as I made my way across the country to hold her as she wept.
I had made the very same trip in February, cutting classes to spend my brother's two weeks' leave from Baghdad with him. Little did I know then that the next time I saw him would be at Arlington National Cemetery. During those days in February, my brother shared with me his fear, his disillusionment, and his anger. "We had all been led to believe that Iraq posed a serious threat to America as well as its surrounding nations," he said. "We invaded expecting to find weapons of mass destruction and a much more prepared and well-trained Republican Guard waiting for us. It is now a year later, and alas, no weapons of mass destruction or any other real threat, for that matter."
Ryan was scheduled to complete his one-year assignment to Iraq on April 25. But on April 11, he emailed me to let me know not to expect him in Atlanta for a May visit, because his tour of duty had been involuntarily extended. "Just do me one big favor, ok?" he wrote. "Don't vote for Bush. No. Just don't do it. I would not be happy with you."
Last night, I listened to George W. Bush's live, televised speech at the Republican National Convention. He spoke to me and my family when he announced, "I have met with parents and wives and husbands who have received a folded flag, and said a final goodbye to a soldier they loved. I am awed that so many have used those meetings to say that I am in their prayers and to offer encouragement to me. Where does strength like that come from? How can people so burdened with sorrow also feel such pride? It is because they know their loved one was last seen doing good. Because they know that liberty was precious to the one they lost. And in those military families, I have seen the character of a great nation: decent, and idealistic, and strong."
This is my reply: Mr. President, I know that you probably still "don't do body counts," so you may not know that almost one thousand U.S. troops have died doing what you told them they had to do to protect America. Ryan was Number 832. Liberty was, indeed, precious to the one I lost-- so precious that he would rather have gone to prison than back to Iraq in February. Like you, I don't know where the strength for "such pride" on the part of people "so burdened with sorrow" comes from; maybe I spent it all holding my mother as she wept. I last saw my loved one at the Kansas City airport, staring after me as I walked away. I could see April 29 written on his sad, sand-chapped and sunburned face. I could see that he desperately wanted to believe that if he died, it would be while "doing good," as you put it. He wanted us to be able to be proud of him. Mr. President, you gave me and my mother a folded flag instead of the beautiful boy who called us "Moms" and "Brookster." But worse than that, you sold my little brother a bill of goods. Not only did you cheat him of a long meaningful life, but you cheated him of a meaningful death. You are in my prayers, Mr. President, because I think that you need them more than anyone on the face of the planet. But you will never get my vote.
So to whom it may concern: Don't vote for Bush. No. Just don't do it. I would not be happy with you.
Brooke M. Campbell
/"People like George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, they don't see the pain that people have to bear, they don't know what it feels like to have your guts ripped out, and there are so many people", said Michael Berg, father of Nicholas Berg, beheaded in Iraq.
Berg said Bush's decision to go to war had caused immense suffering to those who had lost loved ones there. He estimated more than 11,000 Iraqis had died and said their families had suffered just like his own.
Berg, of West Chester, Pa., accused the American media of failing to convey the human cost of the U.S.-led invasion by not sufficiently reporting Iraqi deaths and suffering. Reporters have also insufficiently covered anti-war sentiment at home, he charged.
http://www.robert-fisk.com/iraqwarvictims_mar2003.htm xb ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f / They Behead; We Do It With Smart Bombs xb z By Michael Takiff Los Angeles Times Sunday 04 July 2004
Referring to the beheading of Nicholas Berg, one U.S. senator said, "I think it highlights the differences between the way we do business and, so frequently, our adversaries do business." Islamic terrorists have since beheaded another American and a South Korean.
Moral self-congratulation is an addiction in our nation. That we believe in "the American way," whatever that phrase may mean at any given time, signals our narcissistic satisfaction over the way we "do business." These depraved murders offer another occasion to pat ourselves on the back, another distraction from the true business of the Iraq war and all war: killing.
But then, it's an article of faith in our public discourse that we wage war differently from our enemies. At present, we luxuriate in our moral superiority over thugs who behead the innocent, but all along we have deemed ourselves civilized warriors in Iraq. We have based that opinion on our methods, which permit us to deny the death we have wrought, and our motives, which let us justify it.
At the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, we marveled at our miraculous weapons, "smart bombs" that pinpointed what the president called "targets of military significance" - not only military facilities but government buildings, power stations, communications towers. During the war's "major combat phase," March 19 through May 1, 2003, we fired several thousand of these guided weapons into crowded Iraqi cities. Had we stopped to think about it, we might have acknowledged that our brave new technology had not in fact made civilian casualties a thing of the past.
But as we thrilled to the fireworks over Baghdad, it was easy to forget that smart bombs were not smart enough to kill the defense minister and spare the defense ministry's janitor - or the schoolchildren across the street.
\ / (M.O.W editorial insert)
Lest we imagine that we overthrew Saddam Hussein with smart weapons alone, we must note that as our ground troops advanced, they defended themselves with weapons just as dumb as those their grandfathers fired in France. Artillery and tank shells are aimed, not guided; in dense urban areas, they land who knows where. Machine-gun bullets can penetrate thick walls, behind which may be enemy soldiers or cowering families.
And since the major combat period, Iraqi civilians have continued to die - not only those caught in the cross-fire between our forces and insurgents but also those felled by disease due to the damage we have done to Iraq's water supply. Terrorist bombs have killed many others. Our hands are unclean in those deaths too, which were enabled by the chaos we unleashed then failed to control.
Our government doesn't track civilian deaths, but according to the independent organization Iraq Body Count, as many as 11,000 Iraqi civilians have died since we first struck Baghdad in March 2003. When we mourn the 3,000 innocent Americans murdered on 9/11, do any of us also recognize that over three times that number of innocent Iraqis have died because we have made war on their country?
Still, as World War II teaches us, a just cause can make killing not merely moral but morally imperative. But Iraq is no World War II. Though Hussein may have been a Hitler to his own people, his army was no Wehrmacht. Try as they might, President Bush and his advisors have not proved that the former Iraqi regime posed a danger to anyone outside its own borders.
And our government's larger aim - remaking the wretched Middle East, thus strangling terrorism by depriving it of its cradle - was from the beginning a scheme well suited to the chessboards of Washington think tanks but utterly disconnected from the real world in which soldiers fight and people die.
The president continues to paint his Iraq adventure in the moral palette of the Good War, and, despite the hollowness of the comparison, we have been susceptible to its appeal. We are right to honor the brave Americans who helped win World War II, but our celebration of the war against fascism has trapped us in a moral time warp.
We forget what we learned in our war against communism in Vietnam: that death dealt by an aircraft displaying the flag of Jefferson is just as final as that caused by a gunshot fired under the banner of Lenin; that noble aims do not redeem killing in a war ignorantly conceived and incompetently executed; that having been right in one war does not make us right in all wars.
We want to believe that it is the American way never to make war except on the side of the angels. But we trouble the angels with the killing and dying we have practiced in Iraq. Righteous intentions do not guarantee righteousness; justifications for war based in deceit and delusion are no justification at all.
And so, if we are people of conscience, we must admit that the killing of an unknown Iraqi child by the push of a button miles away is no less immoral than the televised slaughter of an American adult by a butcher's knife.
Our troops have performed admirably in Iraq, with honor and courage. We who have sent them there, however, should feel not satisfaction but shame. We dare not brandish the evil of those who killed Nicholas Berg, Paul Johnson and Kim Sun-il as cover against our own guilt.
Rather, we should beg forgiveness from our troops, the citizens of Iraq and decent people everywhere. The pious among us, beginning with our born-again president, should also repent before God.
Copyright 2004 The Los Angeles Times
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f / "Once alienated, an 'unalienable right' is apt to be forever lost, in which case we are no longer even remotely the last best hope of earthbut merely a seedy imperial state whose citizens are kept in lineby SWAT teams and whose way of death, not life, is universally imitated." - Gore Vidal, The New Statesman Interview, 15th October 2001 / You see, here's what America and Americans believe -- that freedom is not America's gift to the world, that freedom is the Almighty's gift to each and every individual who lives in the world. - George W. Bush, Little Rock, Arkansas, May 5, 2003 // This great, powerful nation is motivated not by power for power's sake, but because of our values. If everybody matters, if every life counts, then we should hope everybody has the great God's gift of freedom." - George W. Bush, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Jan. 29, 2003 // "Some people have too much freedom." - George W. Bush / / "I believe that, as I told the Crown Prince, the Almighty God has endowed each individual on the face of the earth with - - --that expects each person to be treated with dignity. This is a universal call." / - George W. Bush, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Jun. 3, 2003 / ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f
"The use of depleted uranium in the Gulf War has been particularly effective. Radiation levels in Iraq are appallingly high. Babies are born with no brain, no eyes, no genitals. Where they do have ears, mouths or rectums, all that issues from these orifices is blood...." / "....Blair and Bush are of course totally indifferent to such facts, not forgetting the charming, grinning, beguiling Bill Clinton, who was apparently given a standing ovation at the Labour Party conference. For what? Killing Iraqi children? Or Serbian children?" /
Harold Pinter is a "Leading middle and late twentieth century dramatist: actor, director, playwright, screen writer, poet, critic, and political activist. Pinter has received many awards, including the Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear in 1963, BAFTA awards in 1965 and in 1971, the Hamburg Shakespeare Prize in 1970, the Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or in 1971, and the Commonwealth Award in 1981. He was awarded a CBE in 1966, but he later turned down John Major's offer of a knighthood. In 1996 he was given the Laurence Olivier Award for a lifetime's achievement in the theatre. In 2002 he was made a Companion of Honour for services to literature. Full bio at: http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/hpinter.htm. Filmography: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0056217/
December 4, 2002
There's an old story about Oliver Cromwell. After he had taken the Irish town of Drogheda the citizens were brought to the main square. Cromwell announced to his lieutenants: "Right! Kill all the women and rape all the men." One of his aides said: "Excuse me, general. Isn't it the other way around?" A voice from the crowd called out: "Mr Cromwell knows what he's doing."
That voice is the voice of Tony Blair --"Mr Bush knows what he's doing."
The fact is that Mr Bush and his gang do know what they're doing and Blair, unless he really is the deluded idiot he often appears to be, also knows what they're doing. Bush and company are determined, quite simply, to control the world and the world's resources. And they don't give a damn how many people they murder on the way. And Blair goes along with it.
He hasn't the support of the Labour Party, he hasn't the support of the country or of the celebrated "international community". How can he justify taking this country into a war nobody wants? He can't. He can only resort to rhetoric, cliche and propaganda. Little did we think when we voted Blair into power that we would come to despise him. The idea that he has influence over Bush is laughable. His supine acceptance of US bullying is pathetic.
Bullying is, of course, a time-honoured US tradition. Addressing the Greek ambassador to the US in 1965, Lyndon Johnson said: "Fuck your parliament and your constitution. The US is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. Greece is a flea. If these two fellows continue itching the elephant they may just get whacked by the elephant's trunk, whacked good."
He meant what he said. Shortly afterwards the colonels, supported by the US, took over in Greece and the Greek people spent seven years in hell.
As for the US elephant, it has grown to be a monster of grotesque and obscene proportions.
The terrible atrocity in Bali does not alter the facts of the case.
The "special relationship" between the US and the UK has, in the last 12 years, brought about the deaths of thousands upon thousands of people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Serbia. All this in pursuit of the US and UK "moral crusade" to bring "peace and stability" to the world.
The use of depleted uranium in the Gulf War has been particularly effective. Radiation levels in Iraq are appallingly high. Babies are born with no brain, no eyes, no genitals. Where they do have ears, mouths or rectums, all that issues from these orifices is blood.'
Blair and Bush are of course totally indifferent to such facts, not forgetting the charming, grinning, beguiling Bill Clinton, who was apparently given a standing ovation at the Labour Party conference. For what? Killing Iraqi children? Or Serbian children?
Bush has said: "We will not allow the world's worst weapons to remain in the hands of the world's worst leaders." Quite right. Look in the mirror chum. That's you.
The US is at this moment developing advanced systems of "weapons of mass destruction", and is prepared to use them where it sees fit. It has walked away from international agreements on biological and chemical weapons, refusing to allow any inspection of its own factories.
It is holding hundreds of Afghans prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, allowing them no legal redress despite their being charged with nothing, holding them captive virtually for ever.
It is insisting on immunity from the international criminal court, a stance that beggars belief but which is now supported by the UK. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.
Tony Blair's contemptible subservience to this criminal US regime demeans and dishonours his country.
Harold Pinter is a "Leading middle and late twentieth century dramatist: actor, director, playwright, screen writer, poet, critic, and political activist. Pinter has received many awards, including the Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear in 1963, BAFTA awards in 1965 and in 1971, the Hamburg Shakespeare Prize in 1970, the Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or in 1971, and the Commonwealth Award in 1981. He was awarded a CBE in 1966, but he later turned down John Major's offer of a knighthood. In 1996 he was given the Laurence Olivier Award for a lifetime's achievement in the theatre. In 2002 he was made a Companion of Honour for services to literature. Full bio at: http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/hpinter.htm fgvfFilmography-: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0056217/
This text was first delivered as a speech to an anti-war meeting at the House of Commons.
READ/WATCH Harold Pinter's brilliant 2005 Nobel Acceptance speech a scathing attack on U.S.foreign policy of the last half-century. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2005/pinter-lecture.html
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." George Orwell
By Nicolas Bérubé and Benoit Aquin IN THESE TIMES, May 10, 2005 / / Jose Alberto Paniagua, 24, was born disabled and voiceless with a gaze permanently haunted by a look of terror. Jose's father and mother both worked at a plantation which used Nemagon.
In the '70s and '80s, the banana companies Dole, Del Monte and Chiquita used a carcinogenic pesticide, Nemagon, to protect their crops in Nicaragua. Today, the men and women who worked on those plantations suffer from incurable illnesses. Their children are deformed. The companies feign innocence.
CHINANDEGA, Nicaragua-Carlos Alberto Rodriguez sits prostrate in his rocking chair all day, from dawn to dusk. At first view it looks like this ex-plantation worker-young to be retired, at the age of 55-is giving his body a much-deserved rest after a lifetime of hard work, in which 14-hour days and six-day weeks were the norm. But when he took his retirement nine years ago, Rodriguez's health quickly deteriorated. First he lost his memory, then his ability to speak, and finally, his capacity to engage in any way with the people around him.
Today, Rodriguez, reputed to have been a jovial bon vivant, is unable to walk or take care of himself. His wife Membreño stopped working in order to care for him. She spoon feeds him and washes him daily; she addresses him like one would a newborn.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f / "We will not allow the world's worst weapons to remain in the hands of the world's worst leaders." /
BBC NEWS Friday, 29 April, 2005, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4494347.stm
Thirty years after hostilities ended between the US and Vietnam, relations remain strained by one of America's most notorious actions, the use of the chemical Agent Orange.
The Vietnamese believe that the powerful weed killer - the use of which was intended to destroy crops and jungle providing cover for the Vietcong - is responsible for massively high instances of genetic defects in areas that were sprayed.
Nguyen Trong Nhan, from the Vietnam Association Of Victims Of Agent Orange and a former president of Vietnamese Red Cross, believes the use of Agent Orange was a "war crime".
He told BBC World Service's One Planet programme that Vietnam's poverty was a direct result of the use of Agent Orange.
"They are the poorest and the most vulnerable people - and that is why Vietnam is a very poor country," he said.
"We help the people who are victims of the Agent Orange and the dioxins, but the capacity of our government is very limited."
Campaigners such as Mr Nguyen believe they have been left with little choice but to resort to legal action, and in 2004 took the chemical companies that produced Agent Orange to court in the US.
But last month an American Federal District Judge dismissed the case on the grounds that use of the defoliant did not violate international law at the time. An appeal has been lodged against this decision.
The US sprayed 80m litres of poisonous chemicals during Operation Ranchhand. There were many Agents used, including Pink, Green and White, but Agent Orange was used the most - 45m litres sprayed over a 10th of Vietnam.
It was also used - mostly in secret - over parts of neighbouring Cambodia.
But Agent Orange in particular was laced with dioxins - extremely toxic to humans. Dioxins accumulate in the body to cause cancers. Anyone eating or drinking in contaminated areas then receives an even higher dose.
Spraying stopped in 1971, after more than 6,000 missions and growing public disquiet.
But the ground in many areas of Vietnam remains contaminated by Agent Orange. A number of people in these areas believe they are victims of the chemical.
One woman said the herbicide had caused a skin disease which gave her "great suffering".
"If the US and Vietnamese governments could care for people like me, that would be comforting," she added.
Another man said his legs have "wasted away" as a result of Agent Orange.
"When I realise I have been contaminated with poisonous chemicals, and the US government hasn't done anything to help, I feel very sad, and it makes me cry," he added.
"Now I always get severe headaches. My first child has just died - he had physical deformities. The second one is having headaches like me."
Cancers and disease
Food and supplies are still delivered to victims of Agent Orange. Many were not born when the US sprayed the area - but there is strong evidence the chemicals are still having an effect.
A disproportionately large number of children in the areas affected are born with defects, both mental and physical. Many are highly susceptible to cancers and disease.
And Vietnamese doctors are convinced Agent Orange is to blame.
Agent Orange was intended to defoliate the jungle
"This is due to the US sprayings," said Dr Hong Tien Dong, village doctor who has lived in the area all his life.
"Before, in this area, the environment was quite clean.
"Now it has become like this."
In the late 1990s, a Canadian study tested soil, pond water, fish and duck tissue, as well as human blood samples, and found dangerously high levels of dioxin travelling up the food chain to humans.
Dioxin concentrations have been found to be 13 times higher than average in the soil of affected areas, and, in human fat tissue, 20 times as high.
A Japanese study, comparing areas sprayed with those that were not, found children were three times more likely to be born with cleft palates, or extra fingers and toes.
There are eight times as many hernias in such children, and three times as many born with mental disabilities.
In 2001, scientists found that people living in an Agent Orange "hotspot" at Binh-Hoa near Ho Chi Minh City have 200 times the background amount of dioxin in their bloodstreams.
America "normalised" relations with Vietnam 10 years ago, and the country has now embraced the free market.
No representative of the US government in Vietnam would talk to One Planet about Agent Orange.
However, in 1984, chemical companies that manufactured the Agent paid $180m into a fund for United States veterans following a lawsuit. They did not, however, admit any wrongdoing.
Meanwhile in 2004 - at the same time Mr Nguyen first brought his lawsuit - a joint-US-Vietnamese project to examine the long-term genetic impact of Agent Orange was cancelled.
US Vietnam veterans won money from Agent Orange makers in 1984
Some Americans in Vietnam fear that the legacy of Agent Orange is overshadowing the new friendship between the two countries.
"Many of the other obstacles have been dealt with - trade and exchange and diplomatic relations," said Andrew Wells-Dang, from the Fund For Reconciliation And Development - an American organisation set up in the 1980s with the aim of improving relations between the countries.
He pointed out that the US has provided funding for clearing mines that it dropped on Vietnam during the war.
"We think the US should do the same with Agent Orange," he added.
"It's not going to go away, because it affects a huge number of people in Vietnam.
"We would see this as an opportunity for the US to take humanitarian action so that it doesn't become an obstacle between the countries."
///O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation's ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder.
We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.
What, to the American slave,
is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more
than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty
to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is
license; your national greatness,
swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless;
of tyrants, brass fronted impudence;
of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns,
and thanksgivings, with
all your religious
parade and solemnity, are,
to Him, mere
deception, impiety, and hypocrisy --
veil to cover up crimes
which would disgrace a nation of savages.
There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.
Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival....
- Frederick Douglas, On July 5, 1852, in a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f // "...crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.... for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival..." / "We will not allow the world's worst weapons to remain in the hands of the world's worst leaders." /
by Leuren Moret SF Bay View http://www.sfbayview.com/081804/Depleteduranium081804.shtml
Vietnam was a chemical war for oil, permanently contaminating large regions and countries downriver with Agent Orange, and environmentally the most devastating war in world history. But since 1991, the U.S. has staged four nuclear wars using depleted uranium weaponry, which, like Agent Orange, meets the U.S. government definition of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Vast regions in the Middle East and Central Asia have been permanently contaminated with radiation.
And what about our soldiers? Terry Jemison of the Department of Veterans Affairs reported this week to the American Free Press that "Gulf-era veterans" now on medical disability since 1991 number 518,739, with only 7,035 reported wounded in Iraq in that same 14-year period.
This week the American Free Press dropped a "dirty bomb" on the Pentagon by reporting that eight out of 20 men who served in one unit in the 2003 U.S. military offensive in Iraq now have malignancies. That means that 40 percent of the soldiers in that unit have developed malignancies in just 16 months.
Since these soldiers were exposed to vaccines and depleted uranium (DU) only, this is strong evidence for researchers and scientists working on this issue, that DU is the definitive cause of Gulf War Syndrome. Vaccines are not known to cause cancer. One of the first published researchers on Gulf War Syndrome, who also served in 1991 in Iraq, Dr. Andras Korényi-Both, is in agreement with Barbara Goodno from the Department of Defense's Deployment Health Support Directorate, that in this war soldiers were not exposed to chemicals, pesticides, bioagents or other suspect causes this time to confuse the issue.
This powerful new evidence is blowing holes in the cover-up perpetrated by the Pentagon and three presidential administrations ever since DU was first used in 1991 in the Persian Gulf War. Fourteen years after the introduction of DU on the battlefield in 1991, the long-term effects have revealed that DU is a death sentence and very nasty stuff.
Scientists studying the biological effects of uranium in the 1960s reported that it targets the DNA. Marion Fulk, a nuclear physical chemist retired from the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab and formerly involved with the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in soldiers from the 2003 war as "spectacular and a matter of concern."
This evidence shows that of the three effects which DU has on biological systems - radiation, chemical and particulate the particulate effect from nano-size particles is the most dominant one immediately after exposure and targets the Master Code in the DNA. This is bad news, but it explains why DU causes a myriad of diseases which are difficult to define.
In simple words, DU "trashes the body." When asked if the main purpose for using it was for destroying things and killing people, Fulk was more specific: "I would say that it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people."
Soldiers developing malignancies so quickly since 2003 can be expected to develop multiple cancers from independent causes. This phenomenon has been reported by doctors in hospitals treating civilians following NATO bombing with DU in Yugoslavia in 1998-1999 and the U.S. military invasion of Iraq using DU for the first time in 1991. Medical experts report that this phenomenon of multiple malignancies from unrelated causes has been unknown until now and is a new syndrome associated with internal DU exposure.
Just 467 U.S. personnel were wounded in the three-week Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991. Out of 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are dead, and by 2000 there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. This astounding number of disabled vets means that a decade later, 56 percent of those soldiers who served now have medical problems.
The number of disabled vets reported up to 2000 has been increasing by 43,000 every year. Brad Flohr of the Department of Veterans Affairs told American Free Press that he believes there are more disabled vets now than even after World War II.
brought it home
Not only were soldiers exposed to DU on and off the battlefields, but they brought it home. DU in the semen of soldiers internally contaminated their wives, partners and girlfriends. Tragically, some women in their 20s and 30s who were sexual partners of exposed soldiers developed endometriosis and were forced to have hysterectomies because of health problems.
In a group of 251 soldiers from a study group in Mississippi who had all had normal babies before the Gulf War, 67 percent of their post-war babies were born with severe birth defects. They were born with missing legs, arms, organs or eyes or had immune system and blood diseases. In some veterans' families now, the only normal or healthy members of the family are the children born before the war.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has stated that they do not keep records of birth defects occurring in families of veterans.
"Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy."
"Extreme hydrocephalus; deformity of face, body and ear. The line running down the right hand side of the head would appear to show that potentially two heads were forming." /
How did they hide it?
Before a new weapons system can be used, it must be fully tested. The blueprint for depleted uranium weapons is a 1943 declassified document from the Manhattan Project.
Harvard President and physicist James B. Conant, who developed poison gas in World War I, was brought into the Manhattan Project by the father of presidential candidate John Kerry. Kerry's father served at a high level in the Manhattan Project and was a CIA agent.
Conant was chair of the S-1 Poison Gas Committee, which recommended developing poison gas weapons from the radioactive trash of the atomic bomb project in World War II. At that time, it was known that radioactive materials dispersed in bombs from the air, from land vehicles or on the battlefield produced very fine radioactive dust which would penetrate all protective clothing, any gas mask or filter or the skin. By contaminating the lungs and blood, it could kill or cause illness very quickly.
They also recommended it as a permanent terrain contaminant, which could be used to destroy populations by contaminating water supplies and agricultural land with the radioactive dust.
The first DU weapons system was developed for the Navy in 1968, and DU weapons were given to and used by Israel in 1973 under U.S. supervision in the Yom Kippur war against the Arabs.
The Phalanx weapons system, using DU, was tested on the USS Bigelow out of Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in 1977, and DU weapons have been sold by the U.S. to 29 countries.
Military research report summaries detail the testing of DU from 1974-1999 at military testing grounds, bombing and gunnery ranges and at civilian labs under contract. Today 42 states are contaminated with DU from manufacture, testing and deployment.
Women living around these facilities have reported increases in endometriosis, birth defects in babies, leukemia in children and cancers and other diseases in adults. Thousands of tons of DU weapons tested for decades by the Navy on four bombing and gunnery ranges around Fallon, Nevada, is no doubt the cause of the fastest growing leukemia cluster in the U.S. over the past decade. The military denies that DU is the cause.
The medical profession has been active in the cover-up - just as they were in hiding the effects from the American public - of low level radiation from atmospheric testing and nuclear power plants. A medical doctor in Northern California reported being trained by the Pentagon with other doctors, months before the 2003 war started, to diagnose and treat soldiers returning from the 2003 war for mental problems only.
Medical professionals in hospitals and facilities treating returning soldiers were threatened with $10,000 fines if they talked about the soldiers or their medical problems. They were also threatened with jail.
Reporters have also been prevented access to more than 14,000 medically evacuated soldiers flown nightly since the 2003 war in C-150s from Germany who are brought to Walter Reed Hospital near Washington, D.C.
Dr. Robert Gould, former president of the Bay Area chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), has contacted three medical doctors since February 2004, after I had been invited to speak about DU. Dr. Katharine Thomasson, president of the Oregon chapter of the PSR, informed me that Dr. Gould had contacted her and tried to convince her to cancel her invitation for me to speak about DU at Portland State University on April 12. Although I was able to do a presentation, Dr. Thomasson told me I could only talk about DU in Oregon "and nothing overseas nothing political."
Dr. Gould also contacted and discouraged Dr. Ross Wilcox in Toronto, Canada, from inviting me to speak to Physicians for Global Survival (PGS), the Canadian equivalent of PSR, several months later. When that didn't work, he contacted Dr. Allan Connoly, the Canadian national president of PGS, who was able to cancel my invitation and nearly succeeded in preventing Dr. Wilcox, his own member, from showing photos and presenting details on civilians suffering from DU exposure and cancer provided to him by doctors in southern Iraq.
Dr. Janette Sherman, a former and long-standing member of PSR, reported that she finally quit some time after being invited to lunch by a new PSR executive administrator. After the woman had pumped Dr. Sherman for information all through lunch about her position on key issues, the woman informed Dr. Sherman that her last job had been with the CIA.
How was the truth about DU hidden from military personnel serving in successive DU wars? Before his tragic death, Sen. Paul Wellstone informed Joyce Riley, R.N., B.S.N., executive director of the American Gulf War Veterans Association, that 95 percent of Gulf War veterans had been recycled out of the military by 1995. Any of those continuing in military service were isolated from each other, preventing critical information being transferred to new troops. The "next DU war" had already been planned, and those planning it wanted "no skunk at the garden party."
"Child with almost total deformity of the face; no recognisable features at all, and what appears to be one eye situated in the middle of the forehead."
The US has a dirty (DU)
little (CIA) secret
A new book just published at the American Free Press by Michael Collins Piper, "The High Priests of War: The Secret History of How America's Neo-Conservative Trotskyites Came to Power and Orchestrated the War Against Iraq as the First Step in Their Drive for Global Empire," details the early plans for a war against the Arab world by Henry Kissinger and the neo-cons in the late 1960s and early 1970s. That just happens to coincide with getting the DU "show on the road" and the oil crisis in the Middle East, which caused concern not only to President Nixon. The British had been plotting and scheming for control of the oil in Iraq for decades since first using poison gas on the Iraqis and Kurds in 1912.
The book details the creation of the neo-cons by their "godfather" and Trotsky lover Irving Kristol, who pushed for a "war against terrorism" long before 9/11 and was lavishly funded for years by the CIA. His son, William Kristol, is one of the most influential men in the United States.
Both are public relations men for the Israeli lobby's neo-conservative network, with strong ties to Rupert Murdoch. Kissinger also has ties to this network and the Carlyle Group, who, one could say, have facilitated these omnicidal wars beginning from the time former President Bush took office. It would be easy to say that we are recycling World Wars I and II, with the same faces.
When I asked Vietnam Special Ops Green Beret Capt. John McCarthy, who could have devised this omnicidal plan to use DU to destroy the genetic code and genetic future of large populations of Arabs and Moslems in the Middle East and Central Asia - just coincidentally the areas where most of the world's oil deposits are located - he replied: "It has all the handprints of Henry Kissinger."
Kissinger: Bush's original choice to head the 911 comission. He is fighting extradition to Spain and Chile to be tried for war crimes. MOW insert (whitehouse.org ) :
In Zbignew Brzezinski's book "The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives," the map of the Eurasian chessboard includes four regions strategic to U.S. foreign policy. The "South" region corresponds precisely to the regions now contaminated permanently with radiation from U.S. bombs, missiles and bullets made with thousands of tons of DU.
A Japanese professor, Dr. K. Yagasaki, has calculated that 800 tons of DU is the atomicity equivalent of 83,000 Nagasaki bombs. The U.S. has used more DU since 1991 than the atomicity equivalent of 400,000 Nagasaki bombs. Four nuclear wars indeed, and 10 times the amount of radiation released into the atmosphere from atmospheric testing!
No wonder our soldiers, their families and the people of the Middle East, Yugoslavia and Central Asia are sick. But as Henry Kissinger said after Vietnam when our soldiers came home ill from Agent Orange, "Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used for foreign policy."
Unfortunately, more and more of those soldiers are men and women with brown skin. And unfortunately, the DU radioactive dust will be carried around the world and deposited in our environments just as the "smog of war" from the 1991 Gulf War was found in deposits in South America, the Himalayas and Hawaii.
In June 2003, the World Health Organization announced in a press release that global cancer rates will increase 50 percent by 2020. What else do they know that they aren't telling us? I know that depleted uranium is a death sentence for all of us. We will all die in silent ways.
Sources used in this story that readers are encouraged to consult:
American Free Press four-part series on DU by Christopher Bollyn. Part I: "Depleted Uranium: U.S. Commits War Crime Against Iraq, Humanity,"; Part II: "Cancer Epidemic Caused by U.S. WMD: MD Says Depleted Uranium Definitively Linked,"
August 2004 World Affairs Journal. Leuren Moret: "Depleted Uranium: The Trojan Horse of Nuclear War,"
August 2004 Coastal Post Online. Carol Sterrit: "Marin Depleted Uranium Resolution Heats Up GI's Will Come Home To A Slow Death,"
World Depleted Uranium Weapons Conference, Hamburg, Germany, October 16-19, 2004
International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan. Written opinion of Judge Niloufer Baghwat
"Discounted Casualties: The Human Cost of Nuclear War" by Akira Tashiro, foreword by Leuren Moret
Leuren Moret is a geoscientist who has worked around the world on radiation issues, educating citizens, the media, members of parliaments and Congress and other officials. She became a whistleblower in 1991 at the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab after experiencing major science fraud on the Yucca Mountain Project. An environmental commissioner in the City of Berkeley, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"..There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.
Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival..."
/ / Fadel, 7 years old, came from Basra, South of Iraq. Depleted uranium, with it metal toxicity and radiation, has damaged her liver and kidneys. A needle was injected into her body to draw out the abdominal dropsy. She died soon after the painful injection. /
A $19 trillion price tag since 1940 for past, present, and future wars reveals our addiction to war and bloodshed. " - Philip Berrigan "I think the level of casualties is secondary. I mean, it may sound like an odd thing to say, but all the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people and that we love war. . . . What we hate is not casualties but losing." - Michael Ledeen, the American Enterprise Institute Breakfast, March 27, 2003 c "The use of depleted uranium in the Gulf War has been particularly effective. Radiation levels in Iraq are appallingly high. Babies are born with no brain, no eyes, no genitals. Where they do have ears, mouths or rectums, all that issues from these orifices is blood.' - Harold Pinter c "The United States has conducted two nuclear wars. The first against Japan in 1945, the second in Kuwait and Iraq in 1991." - Dr. Helen Caldicottc c "Depleted-uranium weapons are an unacceptable threat to life, a violation of international law and an assault on human dignity. " - Ramsey Clark, former Attorney General of the U.S. At last the military alchemists have succeeded in compressing the gap between nuclear and conventional weapons. The United States has used these nuclear weapons in Iraq and in Yugoslavia- - a violation of international law--but there will be no trial. c "International law? I better call my lawyer! I don't know what you're talking about, about international law." - W's response to questions about the administration's handing out of reconstruction contracts in Iraq, Dec.11, 2003 c c
LEST THE READER BE MISLED BY THIS ARTICLE'S TITLE, LET IT BE SAID: There WAS no trial of depleted uranium. The four of us who took action last December to protest this horrific evil were indicted, charged, convicted, and imprisoned. As for depleted uranium itself: No indictment, no trial. Nor is there likely to be.
Yet depleted uranium has been part of the U.S. arsenal for over ten years. A byproduct of nuclear reactors, depleted uranium is only slightly less radioactive than raw uranium. As a heavy metal, it has so dense a structure that bullets coated with it can pierce protective covering, and shells containing a depleted uranium rod can penetrate tanks and armored vehicles. Upon impact, these shells pulverize, scattering radioactive particles up to twenty-five miles-- to be breathed or ingested--or to contaminate the soil for the next 4.2 billion years.
At last the military alchemists have succeeded in compressing the gap between nuclear and conventional weapons. The United States has used these nuclear weapons in Iraq and in Yugoslavia--a violation of international law--but there will be no trial.
No trial, despite a staggering total of dead in Iraq--as high as two million since 1991--the harvest of U.S.-led international sanctions and depleted uranium. No trial, despite the deaths of over four hundred U.S. veterans of Desert Storm--victims of cancer, or of respiratory, liver, or kidney failure.
No trial, despite the chronic illnesses of 110,000 veterans, none of them told about the deadliness of depleted uranium.
No trial, despite the pitiable appearance of grossly deformed babies, born to Iraqi, British, and American soldiers exposed to depleted uranium.
No trial, despite the Pentagon's refusal to clean up an estimated three hundred to eight hundred tons of depleted uranium in Kuwait and Iraq.
No trial, despite U.S. giveaways of depleted uranium to a score of "friendly" nations--a blank check to build their own nuclear weapons, fight their own nuclear wars, and further contaminate the planet with radioactivity.
No trial by the media, no trial in pulpits, no trial on campuses, no trial by politicians, no trial by public opinion. A little noise over depleted uranium from veterans' groups and the peace movement, but overall, no trial. And especially, no trial by widespread nonviolent civil resistance. The volume of silence over these hellish weapons is surreal, numbing, stupefying. How to explain it?
Certainly, in their fifty-five-year love affair with the bomb, Americans have not measured the cost of this idolatry: spiritual numbing, social denial, moral paralysis. A $19 trillion price tag since 1940 for past, present, and future wars reveals our addiction to war and bloodshed. ("Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.")
The War Department has become a master, as far back as the invasion of Grenada, at suppressing the media. ("Control the media and win the war.") We continue to bomb Iraq--monasteries, grain fields, shepherds and their flocks--but few of us know about it. The war-makers understand that suppression of key facts, along with dissemination of lies and disinformation, leaves the public uncertain and confused--especially about what to do.
What to do, there's the rub. Something that will witness to Christ's victory over death and God's sovereignty over life. How about enacting the "swords into plowshares" prophecy of Isaiah 2:4, which states that only the weaponless can climb God's mountain and achieve union with God?
How about "loving enemies" as Christ did, even as we realize that we must protect our enemies in order to love them? How about reminding sick and dying Gulf War veterans, in fact all GIs, that the Pentagon judges them expendable?
How about allowing our actions to speak our conviction of the absolute necessity of disarmament? How about a public expression of faith and sanity in a society that appears to have lost both? Such concerns impelled four of us to cut into the Warfield Air National Guard base in East Baltimore on December 19, 1999, to symbolically disarm, with household hammers and our own blood, two A-10 Warthog fighter planes. These "tank busters" fired 95 percent of the depleted uranium munitions during our twin wars in Iraq and Yugoslavia, using a twenty-millimeter, seven-barrel Gatling gun that spews out thirty-nine hundred shells per minute.
In a battlefield context, Warthogs are arguably the most devastating weapons system yet fashioned. Even in the company of other terrible engines of war, they are a monstrosity. Imagine one of them strafing a village: It makes a pass and leaves a trench--people dead, buildings blasted, trees and vegetation splintered, the air, soil, and water infected with radioactivity. The Warthog is an engine of hell. It has no right to exist.
Therein lies the bottom line: Who will protest its existence? Who will resist this killing by others? Millions of decent people will not kill, but few will prevent others from killing, especially when those others lurk in governments and the military, in transnationals and banks--the quiet, well-manicured terrorists who kill under the law.
Do we desire a taproot for peace? Then we must stop the killing--killing in war, killing on death row, killing the weak and the powerless. The commandment "Thou shalt not kill!" is absolutely elementary and pivotal. Until we honor the image of God in the neighbor, until we eliminate our sins of omission (our failure to protect others), until we understand that we can't believe or love unless we stop the killing, then the pursuit of disarmament, justice, and peace is a melodrama of contradiction and futility.
Perhaps depleted uranium requires no trial. God's law has already found it guilty. International law has already found it a war crime. When Americans find the faith to stop the killing, the prophecy of Isaiah and the Sermon on the Mount will become the ultimate political statement. Only then will we outlaw depleted uranium, dumping it, along with other nuclear weapons, into the dust-bin of history.
/// ______________________________ / / gv"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." - Solomon
/"Once alienated, an 'unalienable right' is apt to be forever lost, in which case we are no longer even remotely the last best hope of earth but merely a seedy imperial state whose citizens are kept in lineby SWAT teams and whose way of death, not life, is universally imitated." / - Gore Vidal, The New Statesman Interview, 15th October 2001 /
/// xz AS sz ccx "We must all hear the universal call to like your neighbor just like you like to be liked yourself." -"Devout Christian" George W. Bush ccx
hddgfs asvx "In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written: \svxc " the kingdom of God is within man" asxc - not one man, nor a group of men - but in all men - - in you, the people." bhf gssdf "Until we honor the image of God in the neighbor, / until we eliminate our sins of omission (our failure to protect others), / until we understand that we can't believe or love unless we stop the killing, / then the pursuit of disarmament, justice, and peace is a melodrama of contradiction and futility."/ / "When Americans find the faith to stop the killing, // the prophecy of Isaiah and the Sermon on the Mount / will become the ultimate political statement." // / / / / "Truly, I say to you: // x xd as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, // /// / ///// //// ///// ... you did it to me." x x// ///// //////////// / ///// /
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