31 January 2005

Extended half-life?

A number of key scientists are now investigating recent historical revisionism in an attempt to establish a definite half-life to government lies. Previously, government deception was thought to last only a couple decades, but the U.S. government's continual denials of the dangers of Agent Orange or depleted uranium have led some to suggest that U.S. government lies are a purer form of deception that can continue to radiate darkness and confusion for extended periods of time.

Check out Denver's article on spent uranium (found via Trailing Edge Blog).

The Marmot's Hole has the following interesting piece that touches on both Agent Orange and Iraq: In a telephone interview with OhMyNews, Hwang Myong-ch'eol, head of the Central Committee for the Korean Vietnam War Veteran's Association, said that, "speaking just as one citizen, I can agree in theory with the dispatch of forces to Iraq. When you take into account the post-war reconstruction business in oil-rich Iraq, there's a national interest there," but he stressed that "sending combat troops is not an easy matter."

Hwang said that he does not want the children of those who suffered in Vietnam to know the same kind of pain. "Will the American and Korean governments, which never apologized to the victims of Agent Orange, compensate those who fight in Iraq? After the government looks into the problem of compensation, the government must make a decision about the troop dispatch prudently."

In particular, Hwang showed concern for the effects certain American weapons like depleted uranium shells could have on Korean soldiers fighting in Iraq. "The Americans will test various kinds of weapons, including depleted uranium shells. The effects of these weapons appear after the war, and serious problems like those encountered with Agent Orange will occur," Hwang predicted.

Discussing some of the differences between Vietnam and what can be expected in Iraq, Hwang explains, "during the Vietnam War, Korea aquired foreign currency as a result, but in Iraq, we will have to participate at our own expense. Plus, unlike Vietnam, which like Korea is in Asia, Iraq's geography and climate is much different, so it will be difficult for Korean soldiers to adjust." Nevertheless, Hwang goes on to say that the two wars have much in common. "Since there is a guerilla war unfolding, there isn't a huge difference between the situations in the two nations. Like in Vietnam, once you start sending troops, you can't help but continue to send more troops. You won't know when the war will end. In Vietnam, it started with one or two years, but when it finally finished, eight years and eight months had gone."

Finishing up his telephone interview, Hwang said, "The debt we owed to the United States was already paid in full during Vietnam," and "the government must take into account the national interest and the pain of the combat soldiers and make a final decision."

The second half of the OhMyNews piece is a talk with director of the Peaceful Unification Citizens' Solidarity Group and Vietnam War vet Yun Young-jeon, which is also of interest and I will translate a little later - but now, my day job awaits.

Then there's this at Rhino's Blog.

The International Campaign For Justice In Bhopal, 12/3/04

Students from more than 60 colleges, universities, and high schools worldwide have organized events this week to mark the 20th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, and to demand that Dow Chemical resolve its legal and moral responsibilities for the Hiroshima of the chemical industry. The events, organized by Students for Bhopal, Association for India's Development (AID) chapters, the Campus Greens and the Environmental Justice Program of the Sierra Student Coalition (SSC), represent the first mass student movement Dow has faced since its production of Agent Orange and Napalm during the Vietnam War...


delftsman3 said...

You know Karlo, that one of the civilian uses of DU is as a radiation SHIELD for Radiotherapy machines? (source WHO)

This is bad science. People get scared by just hearing the word "uranium". The fact is that Uranium is found in trace amounts in every soil sample in the world. DU is less radioactive than natural U. Would I want to eat it? No, but I wouldn't want to eat any plain clay soil from by backyard either.

Karlo said...

Yes. I think I'll pass on the uranium this time. As for the burden of proof, isn't it interesting how we refuse to believe hundreds of Iraqi and Vietnamese doctors and scientists who come to us with solid stats about the connection between U.S. weapons and birth defects or cancer. Yet we're willing to believe a single Iraqi convicted felon (Chalabi) with an axe to grind when we are racing off to war?