Master of Cover-ups

Adapted from The Wanderer, February 1, 2001, which quotes extensively from University of Ottawa professor of economics Michel Chossudovsky's January 16, 2001 essay titled "Eyewitness to Hell."

Clinton's domestic "achievements" pale in comparison with his foreign policy initiatives, especially the environmental legacy he left in Serbia, Bosnia, and Iraq. He and Blair waged a low-intensity nuclear war on the former Yugoslavia and on Iraq, covering those countries with a blanket of radioactive dust from depleted uranium.

Clinton, the master of cover-ups, has now engaged the United Nations Environment Program and the World Health Organization in keeping his "achievement" away from the public eye, but for tens of millions of people in Central Europe and Iraq, including children, there will be no covering up of the suffering from cancers caused by weapons NATO rained down on them.

The nature and dangers of depleted uranium (DU) were well known to NATO leaders prior to the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia. Therefore this bombing is best described as a "low intensity nuclear war" using toxic radioactive shells and missiles. The radioactive fallout potentially puts millions of people at risk throughout the Balkans.

The UN and NATO dismiss the notion that depleted uranium posed any threat. But independent expert Dr. Rosalie Bertell testified that when used in war, the depleted uranium bursts into flame, releasing a deadly radioactive aerosol of uranium unlike anything seen before. This ceramic aerosol is much lighter than uranium dust. It can travel in air tens of kilometers from the point of release or be stirred up in dust and resuspended in air with wind or human movement. Because it is so very small, it can be breathed in by anyone, including a baby, a pregnant woman, the elderly, the sick.

She goes on to say that the radioactive ceramic can stay deep in the lungs for years, irradiating the tissue with powerful alpha particles within a 30-micron sphere, causing emphysema or fibrosis. The ceramic can also be swallowed and do damage to the gastrointestinal tract. In time, it penetrates the lung tissue and enters the bloodstream. It can also initiate cancer or promote cancers which have been initiated by other carcinogens.

Italy and Bosnia both have pulled their troops out of Bosnia in the wake of several deaths by leukemia of young soldiers stationed there. As the number of cancer cases among the "peacekeepers" rises, NATO's cover-up has started to fracture. Several European governments have been obliged to acknowledge the health risks of DU shells used by the U.S. Air Force in NATO's 78-day war against Yugoslavia.

U.S. European partners in NATO, including Britain, France, Turkey, and Greece, have DU weapons in their arsenals. Canada is one of the main suppliers of depleted uranium. All of these countries share full responsibillity for the use of weapons banned by the Geneva and Hague Conventions and the 1945 Nuremberg Charter on war crimes.

Since the Gulf War, Washington has launched a cover-up of the health impacts of DU toxic radiation known as the "Gulf War Syndrome," and the cover-up has the tacit endorsement of the NATO partners.

Until recently NATO denied using DU shells in the war against Yugoslavia. Although now admitting that it did, it claims that the shells have negligible radioactivity, and any resulting debris posing any significant risk dissipates soon after the impact. The Pentagon casually denies any connection between illness and exposure to depleted uranium, but at the same time ambiguously concedes that "the main danger posed by DU occurs if it is inhaled."

Statements by European governments convey the illusion that only military personnel and expatriate civilians inhale the radioactive particles, as if nobody else in the Balkans were affected, whereas more than 20 million people are at risk there alone. [Even if it were true that only military personnel and expatriate civilians inhale the radioactive particles, does that make everything all right? — Ed.]

In Kosovo, it has been noted that radiation poisoning in children starts with herpes on the mouth and skin rashes on the back and ankles. In northern Kosovo, least affected by DU shells, 160 people are being treated for cancer, predominantly women with cancer of the uterus. Leukemia cases in northern Kosovo have increased by 200% since the NATO bombing, as have birth deformities. This refutes the NATO claim that radioactive dust does not spread beyond the target sites, most of which are in the southwestern and southern regions close to the Albanian and Macedonian borders.

Similar findings in Iraq show that the 1991 Gulf War resulted in increases in childhood cancers and leukemia, Hodgkins disease, lymphoma, and congenital cancers and deformities, along with limb reductional abnormalities. Childhood leukemia has risen 600%. Since the Gulf War, stillbirths and spontaneous abortions have revealed fetuses, and births have produced babies, with monstrous abnormalities.

According to a report published in Athens during the war, the impact of DU is likely to extend beyond the Balkans to Albania and Macedonia, and also to Greece, Italy, Austria, and Hungary.

Unfortunately, the use of DU munitions is only one of NATO's crimes against humanity committed in Iraq and the Balkans.

Lord have mercy on the suffering innocents
of all times and all places!   +

U.S. Human Rights Stand Seen
as Height of Hypocrisy

Adapted from a piece by George Vukmanovich, Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Recent allegations by the former senator from Nebraska, Bob Kerrey, that many U.S. troops murdered innocent men, women, and children in the 1969 raid on Thanh Phong in Vietnam comes as no shock to me or to others who fought in the Vietnam War.

It was common knowledge among virtually all U.S. troops who served there that numerous similar acts had taken place. Some even displayed their grim war trophies openly, hanging severed ears, noses, and scalps from their uniforms, or even around their necks.

But there is more here than old war stories, namely the mind-boggling hypocrisy of the U.S. government and its leaders — something that has yet to be acknowledged by anyone in the government or by this nation's major media.

While the U.S. government whines and threatens the human rights violations and war crimes of other nations, behind the scenes it has more often worked to suppress those same rights, while indulging in its own array of war crimes and atrocities. It has done this in Central America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Colombia, and the Balkans.

In the Balkans the U.S. government has committed deliberate acts of aggression against the former Yugoslavia, for which it now backs a kangaroo court known as the "International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia."

Unlike their Serb, Croatian, or Bosnian counterparts, U.S. officers and men will not be secretly indicted, have a price put on their head, be arrested by occupying troops, or be shipped off to the Hague. Their accusers will not be anonymous voices emanating from "witnesses" shielded from view, their identities hidden from them and their defense attorneys. They will not face a court in which hearsay evidence is considered fact or in which the rules of evidence and sentencing can be changed by whim.

It is said that the first victim in any war is the truth. In any peace, the entire body of lies told during the war that preceded it lives on. Unfortunately there is always collateral damage. In this particular case, the collateral damage is the moral standing and credibility of the U.S. government and its leaders.  +

The Holy Fathers Speak

On Fasting from Idle Talk

Have you not heard what that blessed man Zosimas says — he who wrote an account of the life of Blessed Mary of Egypt — what he tells about the holy men who were in the monastery into which he too, by God's providence, was received at that time? How they left the monastery and spent the whole time of Lent in the desert? No one of them ever joined another, but if one of them should by chance meet another he would avoid him and run away from him. They could not bear to be with one another.

Likewise he relates that when they returned to the monastery no one ever asked another what he had seen or what he had done in the desert, but they all lived and behaved themselves as though they were "strangers and exiles" (Heb. 11:13) and men of alien speech. In my opinion they did this for no other reason than that they strictly observed the rule of uttering no idle word with their mouths (cf. Matt. 12:36; Eph. 4:29). If then these men could spend so many days and so many years without conversing with one another at all, what about us, who cannot avoid conversation and idle talk for even these few days? Why should I speak of days? We cannot contain ourselves for the space of a single hour! What should we do, my good brethren, if God, the Judge of all men, should suddenly come — He Who will demand an account from us even for one idle word in the day of judgment (cf. Matt. 12:36) — and find us in this state?

And how shall we control the other passions.if we have an uncontrolled tongue? Which of the other passions, tell me, is easier to control than this? The flesh with its physical lust and ardor rises in rebellion against the spirit (cf. Gal. 5:17) and wages violent war against the soul. The belly wants to be fed with a variety of foods, for it was made for this purpose. If then we do not control the habit of the tongue, which is a light and easy task, how will we ever be able to gain control over those great and violent passions, which have so much power over our very nature and even, so to speak, over desire and pleasure?

— St. Symeon the New Theologian, The Discourses, XII, 6

On Caring for Boots and Not the Soul

How ridiculous and absurd to thread your shoes with silk laces. What form of madness can be worse? He who ought to bend his thoughts and eyes heavenwards casts them down upon his shoes instead. His chief case, as he walks delicately through the Forum, is to avoid soiling his boots with mire or dust. Will you let your soul grovel in the mire while you are taking care of your boots? Boots were made to be soiled; if you cannot bear this, take them off and wear them on your head instead of on your feet. You laugh when I say these words, but I rather weep for your folly.

St. John Chrysostom

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