RANGER AGAINST WAR: Gulf War Illness: D'Oh <

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gulf War Illness: D'Oh


The unseen presence of victorious corruption,
the darkness of an impenetrable night

--The Heart of Darkness
, Joseph Conrad
_______________

In typically belated fashion, Disabled American Veterans [DAV] magazine (Jan/Feb 2009) has just gotten around to reporting that Gulf War Illness is real, two months after the 452-page federal report was released.

The report found that one-fourth of the 697,000 U.S. veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf War suffer from Gulf War Illness [GWI]. It has taken Gulf War I vets 17 years -- about as long as it took Vietnam vets to be recognized for Agent Orange exposure

Committee member Anthony Hardie, a member of the advocacy group Veterans of Modern Warfare, called it a "bittersweet victory" because, "Years were squandered by the federal government ... trying to disprove that anything could be wrong with Gulf War veterans (Gulf War Illness is Real.)"

Time
reported last November that the "U.S. military mistakenly poisoned its own soldiers with two chemicals during Operation Desert Storm, leading to a number of debilitating symptoms (Gulf War Illness.)" The main culprits are pesticide neurotoxins and non-FDA approved Pyridostigmine bromide (PB) pills, taken by troops to protect them from effects of nerve agents. Turns out the cure may have been as bad as the poison.

The DAV article quotes Assistant National Legislative Director Adrian M. Atizado as saying their illnesses have been "studied and researched" for nearly two decades. However, Time makes it clear that the studies were dwindling to nothing before the report findings.

"Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the DOD has slashed funding for Gulf War research from nearly $30 million annually to less than $5 million in 2006."

Basically, the Department of Defense was tossing what amounted to a few minutes of funding for the current wars to annual medical research budgets, money which could have helped improve the lives of soldiers wounded in the last war. However, Gulflink, produced by the Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War illnesses, features a number of Rand reports for affected vets perusal. Good luck on that.

Waiting for an Army to Die
is a book about vets exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. As with the nuclear exposed vets of WWII, the Iraqi War vets are being swept under the bureacratic carpet. They will suffer and die, but the NOK's will get a neatly-folded flag.

In the same issue is an article cautioning vets of the lastest go 'round in Iraq who served at Joint Base Balad [formerly Logistics Support Area Anaconda] that they "may have been exposed to cancer-causing dioxins and hazardous medical waste (p. 32)."

The exposure came from the open burn pit, into which went any number of toxins,
"including amputated limbs." DAV quotes Military Times (comments here), which called it an "acute health hazard."

The movie
Apocalypse Now ends with the comment, 'The horror! The horror" (from Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" upon which the movie is based.) This suggests the darkest deeds emanate from the human heart. None of these maladies and disasters afflicting these Gulf War servicemen included one enemy round. Instead, they were all self-inflicted by a negligent military hierarchy.


Over 17 years later, the the Department of Veterans Affairs still fails to grant presumptive disability for Gulf War I Veterans.


This we call patriotism.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

ya' gotta be pretty impressd wit dat.... go straight to hell boys

Sunday, January 18, 2009 at 9:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Kootenay said...

Vets who were exposed to DU no doubt have a similar road ahead for them. Plus ca change, plus c'est le meme chose.

Monday, January 19, 2009 at 12:24:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

kootenay,
We did not include DU but we've written about it in the past.
Thanks for mentioning it.
jim

Monday, January 19, 2009 at 1:13:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ranger? Bush Is NOT CINC any more, nothing has changed! You might try getting past politics and start looking at the document you swore to defend! You will find a lot of things U.N.-Contitutional.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 11:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Anon,
Why the ? after Ranger. Are you confused?
I'd like to read the constitution and will gladly do so if you send me a copy. All that i can find are printed on toilet paper and are hard to read - a legacy of the Bush years. I wonder if Bush ever read or understood the document? Or do you for that matter.?
BTW, I don't have to get past politics- remember the 1st Amendment? I can write as I please. Thank you very much.
jim

Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 9:34:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Gulf War Chem Off XVIIIth AB said...

Look I am A Disabled GW Vet, I didn't like Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2 or Obama. All heve operated a un-constitutional FEDERAL government. Your State should be governing you. My point is Obama could bring all troops home but for some reason he has not! He is no different than his predecessors with the exception of the BLATANT socialism. This goes beyond partison politics and threatens the very document our republic is based on. Bring home if you want but I hope you remember your Ranger training because you'll need it here. Terrorist are scum but they are didicated to their cause. Good luck

Friday, August 28, 2009 at 10:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Anon,
We agree on a lot, it's my belief that all politicians are less than pond scum.
I never forget my Ranger/SF/Sniper or Infantry training.
jim

Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 10:36:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Anon,
Coming back at you.
I don't want you to think that I'm blowing you off or being trite with you.
My entire focus is on veterans rights and our problems. I am also a DAV Life Member.
I'm proud to have men like you reading my essays- we need not agree but we both suffer pain daily as a result of our service.
We cannot forget this fact.
jim

Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 10:47:00 AM GMT-5  

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