Desert Storm Desert Storm Tops All Disability Claims
0Feb 21, '03 by maureenoDisability rates:
Gulf WarI 30% [26% by 2001 VA data]
from Gulf War Veterans Resource Pages; document dated Feb-12-2003:
>>Most of us don't know how many casualties were suffered in the war with Iraq. 722,000 Americans fought in the 1991 war. The Gulf War Veterans Association lists 207,000 of those as casualties.<<<
>>According to veterans groups, The Gulf War casualty rate is about 30%. One in three of the soldiers who served in Desert Storm/Desert Shield have filed claims with the VA.<<<
>>>One of the reasons doctors and scientists can't figure out why so many Gulf War veterans are sick is because medical record keeping, for security reasons, was sloppy or intentionally vague. Medical records from the Gulf don't accurately report what drugs a soldier was given, what gases he or she was subjected to.<<
again from GWVRP; document dated Jun- 02-2001:
>>>The percentage of Gulf War veterans granted disabled status -- 26 percent -- is now higher than for any modern U.S. combat experience and is two and one half times the disability rate from the 10-year-long Vietnam War, according to VA sources.<<<
According to the latest VA data, 183,037 -- or 26 percent -- of the 700,000 troops who served in Operation Desert Storm now receive disability compensation from the VA. The disability-rate for World War II was 8.6 percent -- while the rate for the Korean conflict ran even lower, at 5 percent.
The rate for the ten-year-long Vietnam War, where 58,000 U.S. soldiers died and many others were injured or developed war-related illnesses, was 9.6 percent. By comparison, fewer than 150 U.S. soldiers were killed in the Gulf War, which lasted about six months. <<<<
-------------------------------------------Last edit by maureeno on Feb 21, '03
0Feb 22, '03 by rncountryPersonally, I think this ranks up there with the ******** that people became to believe regarding the typical Vietnam vet. Whatever.
And as far as Col. Hackworth, here's am interview with the man. He could easily induce nausea. The interview is a couple years old, but shows some interesting thoughts that are relevent to the way things actually turned out.
How the grunts are betrayed by the U.S. Army's "perfumed princes"
One of America's most-decorated soldiers calls Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf an "*******," Gen. Colin Powell a "myth," and says that the Pentagon top brass should all have "Certified Public Liars" stamped on their foreheads. And he's just getting started.
By FRED BRANFMAN
The U.S. army is on the move again, this time to Zaire, to support humanitarian relief efforts there. In a White House press briefing today, President Clinton also announced that U.S. troops would remain for a time in Bosnia, where some of the worst fighting since the signing of the Dayton peace accords has recently broken out. Both deployments are likely to come under fire from Congressional Republicans. At the same time, the military is suffering through a widening sexual harassment scandal and the Pentagon has been accused of covering up the harmful effects of chemical weapons during the Gulf War. Meanwhile, President Clinton, not the most popular politician with the military, is struggling to come up with a replacement for his outgoing Secretary of Defense.
We spoke with retired Col. David Hackworth, one of America's most decorated soldiers, who fought in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Hackworth is Military Affairs editor for Newsweek and author of the bestseller "About Face," a scathing critique of U.S. military leadership in Vietnam. His most recent book, "Hazardous Duty" (Morrow) is, according to Hackworth, an attempt to "wake up America" to his belief that the U.S. armed forces are being used inefficiently and are badly led by their officer corps.
One of the ways you say the U.S. military has been used badly is how it's been deployed in places like Bosnia and Somalia. Now, we're going into Zaire, and we're also going to stay longer in Bosnia.
I wouldn't have gone into Bosnia in the first place. It is not in our backyard. It is in Europe's backyard. It's a problem that will not be solved with American military force. We are there now at a cost of $5 billion a year, and a number of American lives, contrary to what the press is reporting, have been lost there. We're like the little Dutch boy with the finger in the dike. The minute we take our finger out, then we're going to see death and destruction occur in Bosnia again.
Zaire isn't in our backyard, either.
Yes, when you have perhaps up to a million people who could perish from the lack of food and water and disease, that we do have a role in helping, from a humanitarian standpoint. But there is the potential for casualties, so we should go in with sufficient force and with a very, very clearly defined plan for getting the job done, and a very clearly defined exit plan. It should not be an open door commitment, or we'll be stuck there forever.
How about putting U.S. troops under Canadian command in Zaire?
If we go in, with our assets, we run the show. Perhaps the senior commander could be Canadian or from the United Nations. But if we put in, say, a U.S. brigade under that commander, the head of the U.S. unit should have total command and control, total veto power of any instructions that he gets from the U.N. He should be able to say "hey, this isn't going to work, I'm not doing that." That was part of the problem in Somalia.
You're suggesting the U.N. was partly to blame for the 18 U.S. troops who got killed in Somalia?
When the Rangers got into that fight on Oct. 3 , they needed reinforcements from the U.N. The U.N., under a Turkish general, took 12 hours to gather Pakistani and Malaysian armor, bring them to one location, and crash in to where the Rangers were besieged. An American unit would have done the whole thing from womb to tomb in 30 minutes. So, yes, that's a great example of how the U.N. just can't get its act together.
According to newspaper reports today, former Republican Sen. William Cohen is the leading contender for Secretary of Defense. How do you feel about him?
He's a good man. He sat on the Armed Forces committee and he knows what's going on there. But I would rather see a non-politician in the job. Melvin Laird was a [Republican] Congressman from Michigan who served as Secretary of Defense. All he was into was bigger barrels of pork. I think we need a fresh face, someone who is not tainted by the system, a maverick who would do a bottom-up review and come up with a streamlined military force that would be able to defend our national interests at a fraction of the cost we are spending today. We need somebody who is willing to say, "O.K., so this is tradition, throw it out."
And you would throw out much of the officer corps with it. In "Hazardous Duty," you portray a U.S. army divided between selfless grunts willing to die for their country and selfish, politically motivated military officers.
Yeah, I call them perfumed princes. They rise to the top positions in the military, and they're interested in only one thing --themselves. They're not interested in their men, their women, their sacred charge.
Most Americans would regard two well-known former officers, Norman Schwartzkopf and Colin Powell, as heroes. But you don't think very much of them.
Colin Powell is a typical example of where the myth has just taken over. There was talk a few months back that the only way to save America was to make Colin Powell, this great war-fighter, the President. The New York Post said that Powell, a "Gulf War hero," may be a member of Clinton's cabinet. The guy wasn't even in the Gulf War during the war. How could he become a Gulf War hero? The heroes of the Gulf War were the grunts that were down on the ground. For the record, Colin Powell has never led American fighting men in battle. But most Americans don't realize this.
The same with Norman Schwartzkopf. Schwartzkopf in Vietnam was called "the Nazi General" by the members of his battalion in the Americal Division, because he was so remote and arrogant. I knew Schwartzkopf when he was a lieutenant in Berlin. And he was an ******* then. When he was flying back from the Gulf to brief Congress and the Defense Secretary, he had a full colonel with a portable iron pressing his uniform. This is the kind of aristocratic behavior that's going on amongst our top warriors.
You are particularly critical of the decisions Powell made in the Gulf War.
We had to go for national security reasons-oil. But we should have gone in to win. We could have taken out [Saddam Hussein's] Republican Guard without putting one grunt on the ground. We had incredible air-striking power in the form of A-10 aircraft, F18s, and Apache gunships. We could have done it. But this is not the advice that Colin Powell gave. He caved in, instead of standing tall and advising his Commander in Chief that we should fight this war to win.
There are a lot of conflicting reports about the so-called "Gulf War syndrome." Is there really one, and if so what caused it?
I was in the Gulf as a reporter. I think what caused the illnesses was the reckless bombing and demolitions of Iraqi ammunition supply points that housed Iraqi chemical weapons. We didn't bother to find out what was in the inventory before we started blowing stuff up. A lot of times a bombing raid went in and exploded chemical weapons, which were caught up in the winds and carried in to where our folks were.
How do you view the Pentagon's reaction to the illnesses?
In their traditional way. I think that all the high brass in the Pentagon should have branded right on their foreheads "Certified Public Liars." It's exactly what happened in Vietnam with Agent Orange. For 30 years the brass denied there was any kind of relationship between the herbicides that were used in Vietnam and all of the illnesses that affected Vietnam veterans. Now after the fact, they admit, "Oh yes, it was related." If they'd gone to Vietnam as I recently did, they'd have seen the second and third generation of Vietnamese who are suffering from gene damage as a result of the herbicides.
The sexual harassment allegations are spreading to a number of army bases. How big a problem is it?
From my experience in the last ten years of running around as a reporter, it's very prevalent. It's a terrible, tragic thing that young women are abused by leaders whom they trust. But I think what we need to do is question the social experiment of putting men and women together in the same units.
Are you saying that women shouldn't be in the army?
I'm saying definitely, from my experience-and I'm only bringing you 51 years of experience-that women should not be in combat. Even putting women in service and support units hasn't worked. If you'll talk to any low-ranking enlisted man, a sergeant, a chief petty officer, or junior officer, up to the rank of lieutenant colonel, they'll tell you, off the record, or whisper to you, that this is not working. But if they said on the record it would be an absolute career-killer, because the perfumed princes up at the top want it to work, because people like the President of the United States, who don't understand the military, have ordered that it should work.
Including President Clinton. How do you rate his performance as commander-in-chief?
In terms of his deployment of our forces in places like Somalia and Bosnia ,I would have to give him mostly an F. Overall, I think he would barely squeak by with a passing grade of D.
His non-service in Vietnam still seems to be an issue with the military, as well as with others.
Clinton wasn't the only guy who dodged the draft. So did 13 million others, and many of them were absolutely right. It was a bad war. Clinton's mistake was that he lied about it. He made it worse by saying "I cannot afford a rupture with the Joint Chiefs of Staff." I would tell him he can't pussyfoot around when he's trying to deal with the top admirals and generals. He's got to thump some heads together and say, "I'm the boss, this is what I want," and forget about the past, forget about Vietnam.
In terms of defense strategy, what else should we be casting aside?
South Korea. The South Korean army is about five million strong, probably one of the most excellent armies in the world, they can defend themselves. They don't need the 39,000 Americans that are there backing them up, serving as a tripwire, and also costing the taxpayers $2 billion. And we could also pull out of all of Europe, where we have almost 100,000 troops that are costing the taxpayers a small fortune. Let the Europeans defend Europe.
You write in "Hazardous Duty" that we need to put more money into war-fighting capacity and less into high-tech toys.
What we need is a balance. We need to have a force capable of fighting a high-tech war with China, around 2010 or 2020, when it becomes the world power in terms of economic ability and military potential. And we need the same force to defend America from a re-emergent Soviet Union, which I believe will be back in that same time frame. We'll also need to defend against an Islamic confederation that I think will stretch from Algiers all the way to Afghanistan. To do that we need a high-tech force that will probably be mostly missiles, controlled by all of the high-tech gadgetry going. I don't see another Normandy division, or tank division attacks such as we saw in the Iraq desert.
But by the same token, we need another force that's ready for low-intensity conflict, the kind that was fought in Bosnia, in Haiti, in Somalia, in Los Angeles in 1992, and in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1996. We need to be prepared to fight a low-tech kind of warfare. What I worry about is that all our eggs are going into the high-tech basket at the expense of low-tech war, which will probably be the most prevalent.
Fred Branfman is a regular contributor to Salon.
0Feb 22, '03 by pickledpepperRNShould Gulf War Veterans donate blood?
The caution of age makes me want to bring this up to the true advocates for health- NURSES!
WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF Dr. Garth L. Nicolson
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM
Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans' Affairs and International Relations
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 24, 2002
1. We must stop the denial that immediate family members do not have GWI or illnesses from the Gulf
War. Denial that this has occurred has only angered veterans and their
families and created a serious public health problem, including spread of the illness to the civilian
population and contamination of our blood supply.
BIOLOGICAL EXPOSURES AND GWI
Evidence for infectious agents has been found in GWI patients' urine  and blood [12,26,42-44]. We
[12,26,42,43] and others  have found that most of the signs and symptoms
in a large subset of GWI patients can be explained by chronic pathogenic bacterial infections, such as
Mycoplasma and Brucella infections. In studies of over 1,500 U. S. and
British veterans with GWI, approximately 40-50% of GWI patients have PCR evidence of such infections,
compared to 6-9% in the non-deployed, healthy population [review: 23].
This has been confirmed in a large study of 1,600 veterans at over 30 DVA and DoD medical centers (VA
Cooperative Clinical Study Program #475, S. Donta and C. Engel,
statements at the NIH Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Coordinating Board, 2/00).
GWI CAN SPREAD TO IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS
During the last year we have documented the spread of GWI infections to immediate family members .
According to one U. S. Senate study , GWI has spread to family
members, and it is likely that it has also spread in the workplace .
INVOLVEMENT OF INFECTIONS IN GULF WAR VETERANS WITH ALS
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset, idiopathic, progressive degenerative disease
affecting both central and peripheral motor neurons. Patients with ALS show
gradual progressive weakness and paralysis of muscles due to destruction of upper motor neurons in the
motor cortex and lower motor neurons in the brain stem and spinal cord,
ultimately resulting in death, usually by respiratory failure . Gulf War veterans show at least twice the
expected incidence of ALS.
We have recently investigated the presence of systemic mycoplasmal infections in the blood of Gulf War
veterans and civilians with ALS . Almost all ALS patients (~83%,
including 100% of Gulf War veterans with ALS) showed evidence of Mycoplasma species in blood samples.
All Gulf War veterans with ALS were positive for M. fermentans,
SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT OF GWI MYCOPLASMAL INFECTIONS
We have found that mycoplasmal infections in GWI, CFS, FMS and RA can be successfully treated with
multiple courses of specific antibiotics, such as doxycycline, ciprofloxacin,
azithromycin, clarithromycin or minocycline [45,46,53-55], along with other nutritional recommendations.
Multiple treatment cycles are required, and patients relapse often after the
first few cycles, but subsequent relapses are milder and most patients eventually recover [42,43]. GWI
patients who recovered from their illness after several (3-7) 6-week cycles of
antibiotic therapy were retested for mycoplasmal infection and were found to have reverted to a
mycoplasma-negative phenotype [42,43]. The therapy takes a long time because of
the microorganisms involved are slow-growing and are localized deep inside cells in tissues, where it is
more difficult to achieve proper antibiotic therapeutic concentrations.
virus titers. We have also found Brucella infections in GWI patients but we
have not examined enough patients to establish a prevalence rate among veterans with GWI.
VACCINES GIVEN DURING DEPLOYMENT AND GWI
A possible source for immune disturbances and chronic infections found in GWI patients is the multiple
vaccines that were administered close together around the time of
deployment to the Gulf War. Unwin et al.  and Cherry et al.  found a strong association between
GWI and the multiple vaccines that were administered to British Gulf War
veterans. Unwin et al.  and Goss Gilroy  also noted an association specifically with anthrax vaccine
and GWI symptoms in British and Canadian veterans. Steele  found a
three-fold increased incidence of GWI in nondeployed veterans from Kansas who had been vaccinated in
preparation for deployment, compared to non-deployed, non-vaccinated
The link is for thoses who want to read the complete testimony. I have taken the first paragraph from the
middle and deleted most of it for brevities sake. Please do not think I am trying to deceive you. It is hard
to fool a nurse and that is not my plan.
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0Feb 24, '03 by pickledpepperRNJoyce Riley RN, BSN
Capt. USAF inactive reserve
NEWS RELEASE! THE COVER-UP OF THE GULF WAR ILLNESS IS A THREAT TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY!
Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf's testimony contradicts existing evidence!
According to Sen. Donald Riegle's report of May 25, 1994, (S.R.103-900) the following has been documented and was known by all sitting Senators
. Biological and Chemical weapons were used during the Gulf War.
- Many troops exposed to these weapons and are now sick and dying.
- 75% of the troops interviewed by the committee have passed symptoms to at least one other family member.
- The communicability of these illnesses represent a threat to the general population.
In his recent testimony before the Senate Panel conducting its investigation into the Gulf War Illness (Jan.29, 1997), General Norman
Schwarzkopf's remarks were in complete contradiction to the documentation that has been compiled in the last several years. The Senate Reports,
the available pages of the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical log book and the testimony of his own troops refute his comments and indicate that he
was less than forthcoming with his information.
Senator John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) recently indicated that "This is a cover-up of major proportions".
According to the L.A. times (March 9, 1997), "Doctors, nurses, laboratory researchers, as well as others who come in casual contact with Gulf War
veterans, say they've contracted the same symptoms- fatigue, fever, aches, rashes and respiratory problems that are generally associated with
"Gulf War Syndrome".
While the Pentagon, Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration continue to deny its existence, the Gulf War Illness continues to
spread into the general population!
The documentation and evidence is undeniable, irrefutable and overwhelming! The lives at stake are not just those of our veterans, but of all
Americans as well! Those involved in suppressing this information have yet to realize that they and their families are at risk as well.
THE COVER-UP OF THE GULF WAR ILLNESS IS A THREAT TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY!
0Mar 2, '03 by pickledpepperRNPublished on Saturday, March 1, 2003 by the Toronto Star
Did Saddam Hussein Gas His Own People?
Reality Checks Needed During War
by Don Sellar
Halabja (pop. 80,000) is a small Kurdish city in northern Iraq. On Wednesday, the Star reminded readers that
Saddam Hussein's Iraqi army killed 5,000 Kurds in a 1988 chemical weapons attack on Halabja near the end of a
bloody, eight-year war with Iran.
The statement that Saddam was responsible for gassing the Kurds-his own people-was straightforward.
Indeed, U.S. President George W. Bush has used similar language about the disaster at Halabja in making a
case for a military strike to oust Saddam.
Yet the Star also reported, in a Jan. 31 Opinion page column, that there's reason to believe the story about
Saddam "gassing his own people" at Halabja may not even be true.
Curious about those contradictory reports, and prodded by Star reader Bill Hynes, the ombud decided to examine
how this paper covered the Halabja story 15 years ago, when Washington was tilting toward Saddam's side in the
The Star's early coverage was skimpy. I found no breaking news story about the March 16, 1988 gas attack on
But four days later, a Reuters News Agency dispatch (filed from Cyprus) said Kurds, fighting on the Iranian side,
had managed to seize Halabja and nearby villages "where Iran has accused Iraq of using chemical weapons
Two days later, Reuters reported, Iran was alleging that 5,000 Kurds were killed by chemical bombs dropped on
Halabja by the Iraqi Air Force.
Iranian officials put injured Iraqi civilians on display to back up their charges. An Iranian doctor said mustard gas
and "some agent causing long-term damage" had been deployed.
Burn victim Ahmad Karim, 58, a street vendor from Halabja, told a reporter: "We saw the (Iraqi) planes come and
use chemical bombs. I smelled something like insecticide."
Two weeks later, the fog of war over Halabja thickened a little when the Star ran a Reuters story saying a United
Nations team had examined Iraqi and Iranian civilians who had been victims of mustard gas and nerve gas.
"But the two-man team did not say how or by whom the weapons had been used," the Reuters story said.
It explained that Iraq and Iran were accusing each other of using poison gas in violation of the 1925 Geneva
Protocol against chemical weapons.
In September, 1988, the Star quoted an unnamed U.N. official as saying the Security Council chose to condemn
the use of gas in the Iran-Iraq war rather than finger Iraq, generally believed to have lost the war with Iran.
The same story said Iraq's claims that Iran also had used chemical weapons "have not been verified."
Buried in that story by freelancer Trevor Rowe was an intriguing piece of information. Rowe reported the Iraqi
forces had attacked Halabja when it "was occupied by Iranian troops. Five thousand Kurdish civilians were
Let's fast-forward to Jan. 31 of this year, when The New York Times published an opinion piece by Stephen C.
Pelletiere, the CIA's senior political analyst on Iraq during the 1980s.
In the article, Pelletiere said the only thing known for certain was that "Kurds were bombarded with poison gas
that day at Halabja. We cannot say with any certainty that Iraqi chemical weapons killed the Kurds."
Pelletiere said the gassing occurred during a battle between Iraqis and Iranians.
"Iraq used chemical weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town ... The Kurdish civilians who died had
the misfortune to be caught up in that exchange. But they were not Iraq's main target," he wrote.
The former CIA official revealed that immediately after the battle the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency
investigated and produced a classified report that said it was Iranian gas that killed the Kurds.
Both sides used gas at Halabja, Pelletiere suggested.
"The condition of the dead Kurds' bodies however, indicated they had been killed with a blood agent-that is, a
cyanide-based gas-which Iran was known to use. The Iraqis, who are thought to have used mustard gas in the
battle, are not known to have possessed blood agents at the time."
"A War Crime Or an Act of War?" was the way The Times' headline writer neatly summed up Pelletiere's
No doubt, Saddam has mistreated Kurds during his rule. But it's misleading to say, so simply and without
context, that he killed his own people by gassing 5,000 Kurds at Halabja.
The fog of war that enveloped the battle at Halabja in 1988 never really lifted. With a new war threatening in Iraq,
it's coming back stronger than ever.
Journalists risking their lives to cover an American-led attack on Iraq would face many obvious obstacles in trying
to get at the truth.
In light of that, editors need to consider assigning staff back home to do reality checks on claims and
counter-claims made in the fog of war.
As our retrospective on the Halabja story suggests, the bang-bang coverage-gripping though it may be-may
not be enough to get the job done.
Don Sellar is the Toronto Star's ombudsman.
Copyright 1996-2003. Toronto Star Newspapers Limited