For many years, U.S. military men and women who fought in the First U.S. War against Iraq, have complained about serious health problems suffered by them and their spouses, and increased birth defects among their children. And our government has consistently denied that these veterans had anything wrong with them, or claimed it was all in their head -- just a psychological reaction. Yet for years, a large number of the young people who went to Iraq ended up completely disabled, sick, unable to work, even though they were very young people.
Unfortunately these veterans were used by the government then thrown away, ridiculed, discarded when they returned home. The failure to include in the actual price of war all the residue creates a myth that the cost of war can be quantified. But what about those who are not killed or injured in an observable way during combat, but come home and find their entire lives ruined?
And there's been absolutely no government response to the international studies showing that the depleted uranium that the U.S. has left littered all over Iraq since that first Gulf War has radically increased the birth defects, leukemia, and cancer for the children and people in Iraq. (600% increase in leukemia). This article describes the depleted uranium the U.S. left in Iraq as "Cancer As A Weapon." http://www.counterpunch.org/du.html
The failure and refusal of the U.S. government to remove this deadly substance that it put onto the land of Iraq is an ongoing international warcrime even without the war.
Despite the refusal of the U.S. government to acknowledge that veterans had been significantly damaged by "something" in Iraq, veterans groups around the country organized and have continued fighting for the government to admit the truth.
Well, they finally did. Now that the Bush regime has looted the country, they finally acknowledge that yes, these men and women have been seriously injured. Of course now there's no money to compensate them, but at least the Wall Street Boys got their billions safely tucked away.
Among the long list of ailments, are depression, memory loss, thinking problems which make it harder to work. This Scientific American article discusses a study showing that the symptomatic gulf water veterans show actual physical brain deterioration on MRI tests. http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=gulf-war-vets-brain-deficits&ec=ypi
In case anyone wondered whether you can trust the government, a report commissioned by the federal government less than two years ago announced, in September of 2006, that there is no such thing as gulf war syndrome. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B07E2D71531F930A2575AC0A9609C8B63&scp=2&sq=gulf+war+syndrome&st=nyt
Finally, a congressionally-appointed investigation announced today its findings that gulf war syndrome is real, it does exist. Hopefully this will lead the way to real help for the almost 200,000 veterans who are afflicted. Cause is still unknown but many believe it is exposure to chemicals in Iraq or possibly to depleted uranium. http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/news/news-us-usa-health-gulfwar.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=gulf+war+syndrome&st=nyt&oref=slogin
UPDATE 11/18/08: Truthout article re same with excellent discussion: http://www.truthout.org/111808A