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May 2003 • Vol 3, No. 5 •

What We Don’t Know About this War

By Jon Rappoport

When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion.

—Ethiopian Proverb

Yesterday, in an attempt to find out more about the death of NBC reporter, David Bloom, I spoke with the former head of the Pentagon Depleted Uranium Investigation Team, Dr. Doug Rokke.

Rokke was the man who went to Iraq a decade ago on a mission to report on depleted uranium (DU). What he found was so horrifying the Pentagon scuttled his work and tried to make him an invisible man.

Rokke suffered uranium poisoning himself. But his medical records, and those—of who knows how many thousands of other soldiers—do not reflect that. History has been suppressed, has been re-written.

Our conversation began with me asking Rokke if he thought that the announced cause of David Bloom’s death, pulmonary embolism, could have resulted from DU.

But Rokke stopped me short. He said, “This was the diagnosis they immediately gave out? I don’t see how. You can’t diagnose that from the battlefield. You really need an autopsy to discover whether that’s the cause.”

Which opened up new questions.

Rokke began to talk about conditions in the Gulf now.

He said that the PR about the U.S. limiting civilian casualties is absurd, because, for example, the Pentagon admits to losing 700 cruise missiles that have been fired at Baghdad in the current campaign. In other words, those missiles strayed off course and no one really knows where they landed and exploded. “700 missiles, each one loaded with DU, is 700,000 pounds of explosives,” he said.

700,000 pounds of explosives going off, spreading cancer-causing uranium in all directions.

Rokke then informed me that, since 1990, and up to the beginning of Gulf War 2, some 260,000 U.S. soldiers have been granted disability. 10,000 have died.

I’m relaying these facts to you in a sober way, but of course I was staggered as Rokke talked. He painted a picture of the Iraqi landscape as a toxic soup. DU, yes. But also many other toxins, because as he explained, when bombs and missiles rip up any material that is composite or synthetic, like plastics, you get all sorts of poisonous byproducts.

And that, for example, is what happened at the WTC on 9/11. Rokke said, “I trained a lot of those first health responders. They’re dead now.”

Rokke, over the years, together with colleagues, has issued report after report describing what, in essence, are the inevitable consequences of modern warfare as it is carried out—a lingering toxic landscape that kills over time.

When Rokke was in the Gulf a decade ago, one of his fears was confirmed: the masks worn to protect against DU don’t work. They can’t filter out the smallest and deadliest particles of uranium. “We could taste the stuff [uranium],” he said.

Rokke states that the Pentagon is completely aware of the dangers to U.S. solders and combatants, but just doesn’t care.

I asked him why DU is used in projectile shells and missiles. He told me it was because uranium is so dense the weight of impact on a target causes a lot more damage. And, he said, these shells are not merely coated or tipped with uranium, as some Pentagon people have stated. They are packed with it. Rokke likened the situation to having uranium rods in your backyard.

He went on to explain that the PB pills U.S. soldiers have been taking, as protection against nerve gas, are themselves nerve agents. If taken immediately before a nerve-gas attack—and then followed up with two other medicines—the soldier might get protection from nerve gas. But the PB pills are being swallowed long in advance of any possible contact with nerve gas. In essence, soldiers are getting “nerve gas” attacks from these poison pills.

Rokke mentioned a number of sites around the world—Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia, and places in the U.S.—where DU is a major problem right now.

By this point in our conversation, Rokke was piecing together an emerging picture of modern war as both murder and suicide. He predicted the consequences of the Iraq war are going to be worse than Gulf War 1. Worse, in terms of damage and death to U.S. troops and the Iraqi people.

I hung up the phone stunned. I can only ask that you get this information out to as many people as possible.

To give the widest possible benefit of the doubt to mainstream news reporters, they just don’t know. They have no idea what they are supporting when they allow the picture of this war to be painted as a careful and controlled campaign. All those maps and arrows and targets—they need to be enveloped in a cloud of multiple poisons. Then we would have some concept of what is really going on—and what is going to happen when it’s over.

Rokke mentioned that, between Gulf War 1 and the start of Gulf 2, the Iraqis tried to build new water-treatment facilities in Basra. To clean up their horrible, illness-causing contaminated water. Each time they tried, he said, those emerging facilities were destroyed.

What is happening in the Gulf is not merely the result of ignorance. It is not only depraved indifference. It is a plan to depopulate and destroy. U.S. soldiers will be sacrificed, in huge numbers, to forward the larger goal. The depopulation and debilitation of Iraq.

Yet, the news networks still display that graphic: Operation Iraqi Freedom. And DOD spokesmen keep saying the protection of the Iraqi oil fields is being done to preserve “the future wealth of the Iraqi people.” That sick joke takes on a new and very ominous meaning.

If 260,000 U.S. vets now on disability from Gulf 1 can be hidden from the stupefied American people, what else can be hidden, here and in Iraq, in the coming months and years? How many cases of cancer? How many birth defects? How many kidney and liver failures? How many immune-system destructions? How many American families who support their children now doing time in the Gulf will later watch those sons and daughters waste away, while the Pentagon claims it’s all post-traumatic stress?

How far do all the toxic clouds drift? How many cases of illness are being misdiagnosed as the result of germs?

We are in a time of madness. I can’t fault prayer or the distractions of television or even the desperate accoutrements of so-called patriotism. But somehow we have to live beyond clichés and summon up the outrage equal to the destruction. Equal to the moment.

The wretched hairless generals are striding through the Pentagon thinking they are on a course of victory, thinking whatever they have to think to avoid the truth that is chasing them like a snake.

Let the cardboard floors of lies give way and collapse. Let the voices of the intelligent pro-war advocates incorporate this news. Let them, finally, arrive at a further shore of conscience that compels them to take a stand. They are viewing old images, they are seeing a fantasy of war, they are imagining situations that no longer exist.

War is now different. It is a sword you always fall on.

Wake up!





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