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Ear to the Ground

War Is Toxic

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Posted on Dec 31, 2010
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A U.S. Marine mans an M-240G machine gun at the Highway 1 “cloverleaf” outside the city of Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004.

A new study has concluded that a rise in genetic damage in children born in Fallujah, Iraq, could have been caused by the weaponry used in the U.S. assault on the city six years ago.

Researchers also discovered that the rate of malformations was almost 11 times higher than normal and continued to rise in the first half of 2010. —JCL

The Guardian:

A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.

The research, which will be published next week, confirms earlier estimates revealed by the Guardian of a major, unexplained rise in cancers and chronic neural-tube, cardiac and skeletal defects in newborns. The authors found that malformations are close to 11 times higher than normal rates, and rose to unprecedented levels in the first half of this year – a period that had not been surveyed in earlier reports.

The findings, which will be published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, come prior to a much-anticipated World Health Organisation study of Falluja’s genetic health. They follow two alarming earlier studies, one of which found a distortion in the sex ratio of newborns since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – a 15% drop in births of boys.

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By TAO Walker, January 2, 2011 at 2:23 am Link to this comment

In response to “fearnotruth”‘s wry observation, couched in a query, this Old Indian can only wonder, as s/he likely does, what difference it could make anyway.

HokaHey!

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By fearnotruth, January 2, 2011 at 12:07 am Link to this comment

TAO Walker, are you really an old Indian ‘elder’ or the Zen master ‘caressing’ the
student’s back with a bamboo switch to righten the posture? ...maybe there’s no
difference

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By TAO Walker, January 1, 2011 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment

Let’s review.  “gerard” opens comments here with references to this Old Indian’s alleged assertions about “tribes” and how “admirable” they are….something not once ever said or even suggested obliquely anywhere by Yours Truly.  She then wanders-off into a speculative maze looking for some imaginary point-in-space/time where some people she calls “us civilized brutes” made the mistake of “going wrong” in some fashion or another, and does so seeming to be soliciting an opinion, on that proposition entirely of her own concoction, from this old Primitive Savage.

She is offered a considered (and at-least meant-to-be considerate) response, suggesting her framing of the matter suffers from the insufficiencies of outlook common to the domesticated “individual.”  An honest attempt is made to present her with a much larger ‘picture,’ within which the predicament ensnaring her and her Kind appears in-context rather than only as context. 

She is offered a possible Way of responding to her plight that takes into account its deeper and wider features, those elements of its make-up lacking in her own inventory of its actually more superficial characteristics…. some of the symptoms, but neither the worst nor anywhere near most of them.  This medicine is distilled-down to perhaps its most essential “ingredient.”  To get well, it is only necessary for “gerard” and her fella ‘n’ gal sufferers (of the “civilization” disease) to Love each other and our Mother Earth and All Our Relations with complete un-“self”-ishness.

Of course that won’t be easy, but it’ll definitely cure what ails our tame Sisters and Brothers.  What more needs to be, or even helpfully can be said about it?  Here’s The Medicine.  Take it or leave it.  It’s up to you.

Unable to take this resounding YES! for the answer, however, “gerard” comes back with a somewhat meandering rejoinder.  She begs leave to put one more “question” to this Old Man….but doesn’t actually pose any.  Instead, we’re treated to yet another mostly auto-biographical collection of speculative musings which again attribute to this Indian ideas, notions, opinions never claimed or even entertained.

In what among our People is a most respectful manner, “gerard” was then informed of our conversational ‘rules-of-engagement’.  She was urged to observe them as best she can, if she seeks any fruitful exchanges with us surviving free wild Human Beings….or else from-now-on to spare us all the futility of “talking”-past each other if her actual purposes were something else.

Now she appears to feel she’s been insulted….“put-down,” as she terms it….“squelched.”  This is a pattern of behavior “gerard” exhibits here regularly.  She evidently feels all that’s required of her is sincere good faith, and an ability to inaccurately re-phrase what others offer, so as to keep the argument going.

She has confessed elsewhere that members of her family are out of patience with that.  She said below that it earned her some “scorn” among the Japanese.  At her age, and with its all-too-likely frailties, maybe it’s time she got ‘the-message.’

We really don’t have time for all this “self”-indulgent sophomoronic ‘stuff’ anymore….and any truly “qualified crone” knows that.

HokaHey!

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By gerard, January 1, 2011 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

Quite a put-down, TaoWalker.  I will forthwith consider myself squelched—whatever good that does.

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By TAO Walker, January 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

If “gerard” got some negative feedback in Japan, from her evident tendency to prefer argument-for-its-own-sake to fruitful conversation, it may well’ve had something to do with that ancient People’s long involvement with the Zen tradition.  Among the domesticated there is a widespread and debilitating habit of speaking (or writing) mostly for-effect.  Today’s corrupt “media” is used (abused?) for nothing else whatsoever.

Among this Old Indian’s People, on-the-other-hand, when matters of moment are under consideration we do our best to choose our words carefully on the basis of their descriptive accuracy.  We do this as if our very Lives depend on it….because they do.   

So when “civilization” is described by this Old Man as a disease, it’s not to arouse some reflexive emotional reaction in anybody.  It’s because that is exactly how the thing, in its actual process, can be seen (and otherwise sensed) to present its “self,” here in the organically integrated Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth.  When Humanity is described as a vital component in Her natural immune system, it is because that is precisely what we are as a Species, speaking (as best one can in the impoverished vocabulary of “English”) in the Natural Language of ORGANic functional integrity.

When the mass of “modern” Humanity, who’ve been programmed by the retro-viral disease agent to style their “self” “civilized,” are described as organically dysfunctional (to the perhaps soon-to-be fatal detriment of their own virtual Kind along with all the rest of us), it’s because that is in-fact the observable actual effect of all their feverish “self”-referential “individual”-ized behavior on our actual Living Arrangement.  It’s hardly surprising, though, that a member of the virtual subspecies homo domesticus finds these descriptions and observations difficult to accept. 

So if “gerard” would really rather not know the answers to her questions, maybe she should leave-off asking them.  If all she’s looking for is some CONcrete “proof” of her transcendent “value” as an “individual,” she will not find any hunting-and-pecking-around in Indian Country.

Anyway, what part of “Love the ones you’re with!” is it so hard for her to understand?

HokaHey!

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By gerard, January 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

TaoWalker:  If not both of us, at least I (if I may use that word) feel I’m understanding the differences in our two viewpoints.  May I continue with one more question? 
  I gather from your Jan 1 post (and by the way, New Year greetings to you!)—I gather that you regard “civilization” as something that happened in opposition to “Basic Biology, on-the-other-hand, or The Plain Truth of Nature.” 
  I assume that means civilization is unnatural at the root, in some sense, (mainly the idea of “individualism”?)  and should not have
“happened.”  You do not think that understanding what “happened” or how it “happened” or why, needs to be understood; only accepted as fact.
  This seems to devalue all efforts called “anthro-
pology” or attempts of the reasoning mind to assume
causes for effects or attribute effects to causes.  Am I wrong in this assumption?
  In pushing further, I know I run some risk of arousing scorn, as in “arguing” about, for example, “enlightenment” etc. etc. and “absurdism” but I hope you will be generous and, even though you find the subject boring or self-evident, bear with me.  (So long as I feel defensive about asking, there is a barrier that I (at least) regard as worth trying to overcome.
  In Japan I experienced this same scorn for “reasoning” (from time to time) but, brazenly generalizing, it seems that Japan as a whole has been able to “think both ways”, maintaining some of its “natural” values and spirit and at the same time adopting science and technology with a vengeance—particularly since WWII, and for better or for worse.
I think the jury is still out on that question, even among Japanese.  Zen seems to cohabit with atomic energy, though with some uneasiness, as why not? 
  This latter is merely to mention that this discussion is rather a continuation of previous gropings on both sides.  Maybe we can presume that the same cnversation is going on everywhere these days—and not at all disconnected from the huge questions of war and peace, hunber and plenty etc.  .

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By G.Anderson, January 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Yes but these birth defects are not unexplained are they. I suggest you take a good look
at fear no truths post. The use of Depleted Uranium in Iraq, was a war crime.  One of
many war crimes committed by the Bush administration, including the use of torture,
which Bush confessed to. In addition The Bush administration criminally abused our
own military in Iraq, by exposing thousands and thousands of them and their families to
the long term consequences of DU exposure. Many of them will have radioactive urine
until the die.  Many thousands will die in the future due to this exposure, and their
children will have some of the same medical problems as Iraqi children. Bush’s
mistreatment and abuse of our servicemen and women is traitorous, and should result in
his arrest and prosecution.  Unfortunately in this country, our polichickens have the same
rights as Royalty once did, so the people have no recourse when it comes to king
George. As Hack used to say, Bushes motto with regard to the military was “use em
abuse em then lose em”.

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By PatrickHenry, January 1, 2011 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

Every so often here in Washington DC, you read about unexploded ordinance such as mustard gas shells being dug up at construction sites. Usually at parks, schools and playgrounds. 

Demolition of structures on old military bases reveals the ignorance of those persons stationed there who dumped cyanide directly under the floor for decades, it only becomes a problem when the building is torn down and a new one rebuilt.

Dumping drums of radioactive waste in the ocean, above and below ground nuke testing, testing killer sonar known to be a detriment to marine mammals.

Our military is led and enabled by ignorant half wits who can see no farther beyond their fruitless existence.

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By Reverend Unruh, January 1, 2011 at 5:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A New Year’s Invitation: Bring in 2011 with the Youth of Afghanistan
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shane-claiborne/a-new-years-invitation-
br_b_803013.html

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By fearnotruth, December 31, 2010 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment

DU munitions = CRIME against humanity 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium
[...]
In 1996 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) gave an advisory opinion on the “legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons”.[33] This made it clear, in paragraphs 54, 55 and 56, that international law on poisonous weapons the Second Hague Declaration of 29 July 1899, Hague Convention IV of 18 October 1907 and the Geneva Protocol of 17 June 1925 did not cover nuclear weapons,  because their prime or exclusive use was not to poison or asphyxiate. This ICJ opinion was about nuclear weapons, but the sentence “The terms have been understood, in the practice of States, in their ordinary sense as covering weapons whose prime, or even exclusive, effect is to poison or asphyxiate,”  also removes depleted uranium weaponry from coverage by the same treaties as their primary use is not to poison or asphyxiate, but to destroy materiel and kill soldiers through kinetic energy.

The Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities of the United Nations Human Rights Commission,[34] passed two motions[35]  the first in 1996[36] and the second in 1997.[37] They listed weapons of mass destruction, or weapons with indiscriminate effect, or of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering and urged all states to curb the production and the spread of such weapons. Included in the list was weaponry containing depleted uranium. The committee authorized a working paper, in the context of human rights and humanitarian norms, of the weapons.

The requested UN working paper was delivered in 2002[38] by Y.K.J. Yeung Sik Yuen in accordance with Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights resolution 2001/36. He argues that the use of DU in weapons,  along with the other weapons listed by the Sub Commission, may breach one or more of the following treaties: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of the United Nations, the Genocide Convention, the United Nations Convention Against Torture, the Geneva Conventions including Protocol I, the Convention on Conventional Weapons of 1980, and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Yeung Sik Yuen writes in Paragraph 133 under the title “Legal compliance of weapons containing DU as a new weapon”:
[...]


11,000 US soldiers dead from DU poisoning

Heads roll at Veterans Administration Mushrooming depleted uranium (DU) scandal blamed by Bob Nichols
2/2/05 S.F. Bay View

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=443

Considering the tons of depleted uranium used by the U.S., the Iraq war can truly be called a nuclear war. [...]

He added, “Out of the 580,400 soldiers who served in GW1 (the first Gulf War), of them, 11,000 are now dead! By the year 2000, there were 325,000 on Permanent Medical Disability. This astounding number of ‘Disabled Vets’ means that a decade later, 56% of those soldiers who served have some form of permanent medical problems!” The disability rate for the wars of the last century was 5 percent; it was higher, 10 percent, in Viet Nam. 
[..]

“The VA Secretary (Principi) was aware of this fact as far back as 2000,” wrote Bernklau. “He, and the Bush administra11,ooo US soldiers dead from DU.ems tion have been hiding these facts, but now, thanks to Moret’s report, (it) ... is far too big to hide or to cover up!”
[...]

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By rav, December 31, 2010 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment

War is Toxic, countless lives lost and suffer for the sake of interest held by the puppet masters. We need one more war, that is to take down the corporate and puppet masters with force…time to gird up the ole loins and take back our God Given Right To soveriegnty and freedom…Time has proven that every empire falls at some point, usually within due to corruption…No more warmongering…Nuff Said!!!

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By TAO Walker, December 31, 2010 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

The search for some error, some “wrong” turn, as ‘gerard’ puts it, will continue to be futile.  The appeal of such a CONstruction is easy to see, of course.  If some “mistakes were made,” it need only be figured-out what they are, and then they can be corrected.

(Leave aside for now the crippling complications of “fault” and “justice.”  The make-believe of “morals” leads, through all its CONfusing CONvolutions, only to madness.)

Basic Biology, on-the-other-hand, or The Plain Truth of Nature as the Ancients called it, offers a still possibly viable (if increasingly long-shot) alterNative approach to what’s plaguing the domesticated peoples….like the horrific CONditions that are the subject of this article.  This thing that so many misguided “individuals” virtually worship, called “civilization,” is in-fact a disease.  It’s “global” process here, now well-into the terminal stage, produces as symptoms all of the ills to which tame Humankind is heir….including the rampant insanity that might even result in the incineration or poisoning or dismemberment of our Mother Earth and all Her Children….including the tame Two-leggeds who’re being so usefully instrumental in the ‘engineering’ of their own extinction.

The virtual subspecies homo domesticus itself CONsists of co-opted Humans who’ve been corrupted by the retro-viral disease agent and turned against Her Living Body, with its Planetary Form, called by English-speakers “Earth” (She’s known by many different names among ‘other’ Peoples).  This epidemic Human organic dysfunction is particularly devastating, to All-concerned, because Humanity, as such, is a vital component in Her natural immune system.  Think AIDS.

There is no ideological or institutional or electro-mechanical remedy for this CONdition.  All that artifice is part of the illness process, anyhow, and the obsessive knee-jerk attempted application of it, to mask the symptoms, only makes things worse. What’s needed is simply the right Natural Medicine….the specific cure for this specific disease.  Of course, it will have to be actually taken, to be effective….and that’s the really big “question.”

Nevertheless, here it is.  The captive “individuals” making-up the domesticated peoples need to get free of the suffocating and paralyzing artificial CONstruct that is their “self.”  They need to come together where they are living-and breathing right now in aid of our Mother Earth. Coalescing into the natural organic form of Humanity (which English-speakers call “community”), these emergent Natural Persons will recover the organic functional integrity essential to our Kind’s health and wholeness, and naturally resident in our proper Organic Form….but presently missing from the miserable half-lives of our “individual”-ized tame Sisters and Brothers.

There is no way to force any of this.  There is no way to “build” it.  It will happen naturally and spontaneously or not at all.  So what’s a “qualified crone,” or any other poor Mother’s Child, to do?

Love the ones you’re with!

HokaHey!

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By berniem, December 31, 2010 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

How much more evidence do we need? These revelations as well as current and upcoming Wikileaks releases continue to spotlight this country as a maniacal, war crazed monstrosity bent on economic world domination no matter the cost! The entire federal government and it’s subordinate arms are guilty of crimes against humanity and should be brought to account by the world at large! Sanctions, boycotts, and the severing of diplomatic and economic relations with this criminal nation appear to be the only way to stop this predator from destroying human civilization! FREE BRADLEY MANNING AND JULIAN ASSANGE!!!!

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By anaman51, December 31, 2010 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

The people at the Pentagon who decided on this toxic means of warfare have no more personal problems with poisoning the inheritors of our violence than they have with exposing our own troops to the same weapons.

As is the case with Agent Orange, it will prove more cost-effective to deny everything and stall for as long as it takes for the victims to die off than it would be to pay for their medical care. The Pentagon has no intention of taking the blame for any of this, despite the sure and certain knowledge that they were aware of the toxicity to begin with, before it was ever used. Our troops are just so many non-sequiters when it comes to making things right after the fact. They have been used, and are now defective. They will be thrown away accordingly. Your country has no conscience.

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By gerard, December 31, 2010 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

How much more gruesome information will it take to cause us to unite in protest against these horrors?
It is appalling that facts like this keep coming out, that we’ve all been aware of them for fifty years (yes, ever since Hiroshima) and yet little to nothing has been done (except by small hard-working groups who are easily scorned.  Yet such weapons are still being invented by nonhuman humans—people (gens) totally missing the crucial gene of human compassion.  Meanwhile you and me) sit by, picking their teeth and writing comments.

It’s times like these when I think friend TaoWalker is totally right—except—as a qualified crone I can’t see tribal history as all that satisfactory when I look at tribes here and there.  All are perhaps not so admirable as Tao presents them to be.
What accounts for the vast difference?

Granted all (or most) of what he says is accurate, where does he see us civilized brutes going wrong:  emergence of the idea of private property?  personal consciousness? desire to “know”? development of more sophisticated tools?  discovery of writing and record-keeping? invention of money? or just an inborn greed which competition among tribes caused to go berserk?  Or? 

Forgive me if this sounds off subject here, but the Hedges site is closed and this one is not unrelated to it.

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