American Friends Service Committee
Patrica Watson, Editor
Sara Burke, Assistant Editor
Pat Farren, Founding Editor
2161 Massachusetts Ave.
Peacework has been published monthly since 1972, intended to serve as a source of dependable information to those who strive for peace and justice and are committed to furthering the nonviolent social change necessary to achieve them. Rooted in Quaker values and informed by AFSC experience and initiatives, Peacework offers a forum for organizers, fostering coalition-building and teaching the methods and strategies that work in the global and local community. Peacework seeks to serve as an incubator for social transformation, introducing a younger generation to a deeper analysis of problems and issues, reminding and re-inspiring long-term activists, encouraging the generations to listen to each other, and creating space for the voices of the disenfranchised.
Views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily of the AFSC.
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Devastating the Earth, Jane Goodall, Resurgence, June 12, 2003; www.alternet.org/story.html?storyID=16160
And then there are the weapons of mass destruction. The environment has not recovered from the atomic bombs that were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima at the end of World War II. People living in these areas are still suffering from increased rates of cancer and other diseases. That such weapons were ever created is an evil stain on human history. That governments have continued to develop and test nuclear bombs--along with chemical and biological weapons--is a crime against humanity that surely can never be justified.
Awaiting The Real Toll, Mother Jones, May 5, 2003; www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2003/19/we_404_01.html
The Pentagon refuses to believe that depleted uranium ammunition is hazardous to soldiers and civilians. But the data suggest otherwise. As of May 2002, the Veterans Administration (VA) reported that an additional 8306 soldiers had died and 159,705 were injured or ill as a result of service-connected "exposures" [of all kinds, including DU] suffered during the first Gulf War. Even more alarmingly, the VA revealed that 206,861 veterans, almost a third of General Schwarzkopf's entire army, had filed claims for medical care, compensation, and pension benefits based on injuries and illnesses caused by combat in 1991. After reviewing the cases, the agency has classified 168,011 applicants as "disabled veterans." In light of these deaths and disabilities, the casualty rate for the first Gulf War is actually a staggering 29.3%.
The Silent Genocide from America, Mohammed Daud Miraki, Director of the Afghan Depleted Uranium & Recovery Fund, 5516 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640 <Mdmiraki@ameritech.net>
"After the Americans destroyed our village and killed many of us, we also lost our houses and have nothing to eat. However, we would have endured these miseries and even accepted them, if the Americans had not sentenced us all to death. When I saw my deformed grandson, I realized that my hopes of the future have vanished for good, different from the hopelessness of the Russian barbarism, even though at that time I lost my older son Shafiqullah. This time, however, I know we are part of the invisible genocide brought on us by America, a silent death from which I know we will not escape." (Jooma Khan of Laghman province, March 2003)
This is the legacy of the US "liberation," an indiscriminate murder of the weak and the unarmed who do not have any means of self-defense. In fact, there is no defensive measure against such Weapons of Mass Destruction because these deadly particles of uranium oxide--the dust formed after uranium pulverizes upon impacting a target--remain in soil, water and cover the surface of vegetation for generations to come.
And You Thought the War Was Over, Heather Mallick, Toronto Globe & Mail, June 7, 2003
Despite Colin Powell saying Saddam Hussein was the biggest user of chemical weapons since the First World War, the greater culprit was in fact the United States. From 1961 to 1974, the United States admits that it dropped 72 million liters of chemicals on Vietnam, most of it Agent Orange with a super-toxic strain of dioxin called TCCD. US soldiers dumped an additional 260,000 gallons of herbicide just to empty their tanks. The Guardian reports that one soldier regularly dumped his poison into a central drinking water reservoir.
We're used to bad things dissipating as time passes. Agent Orange is different. The World Health Organization says there are two ways to clean it up: Bake all the soil in Vietnam to 1000 degrees Celsius, or pave the country with concrete and chemically treat what lies beneath. There are 80 million Vietnamese living on that soil. The fact is, almost nothing can be done.
When I visit www.vnrc.org.vn (Vietnam Red Cross) and www.ogcdc.org, and contact a doctor who talked to the Guardian reporters, his e-mail messages back to me end with gentle good wishes for my family. I am stricken by this man's courtesy to a Canadian who lives happily with her wealth and health intact. He needs money to pay for operations on damaged children. He runs the Office of Genetic Counseling and Disabled Children with small donations from around the world.
US politicians rarely think long-term.
Whether we support or oppose their efforts in Afghanistan and
Iraq, those were mere social calls by comparison. In Vietnam,
the war is still being fought by proxy, via an American liquid
that came in orange cans.