OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN
A Toxic Environmental Atrocity
Committed by the US Military
On our own Veterans
Photo Courtesy of Google Images
Most Americans are not aware of a terrible crime that exemplifies a total disregard for humanity, which has been committed by the US Military on our own troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as on the local Iraqi and Afghan populations, men, women, and children. We urge our politicians, who claim they “love” and “support” our veterans, to recognize this as a cautionary tale of what can happen in a landscape of no environmental regulations, a landscape the Trump administration is promising to ‘double down on’ in the interest of the ‘economy’, to provide the US a regulation-free environment, in which to compete on a global basis, regardless of any repercussions on the health of our babies and each other, or on the health of our Planet and Climate.
During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, with many tens of thousands of troops, and full operations, thousands of tons of garbage are generated. In order to dispose of it, the Department of Defense contracted KBR, a corporation related to Dick Cheney’s Halliburton. Instead of handling the task responsibly and building modern high efficiency incinerators, with proper height smokestacks, the KBR executives decided to dig trenches, some as large as 10 acres, and dump all the garbage in them, and then with jet fuel as the accelerant, burn the whole mess “military style”. Besides the toxins that, everyone knows, are released from burning plastic. the “garbage” burned also consisted of chemicals, paint, medical waste, human feces, metal, aluminum cans, munitions, lead and lithium batteries, unexploded ordnance, petroleum and lubricant products, rubber, wood, and discarded food.
Many soldiers, who dared to open their mouths, initially complained of eye irritation and burning, coughing and throat irritation, breathing difficulties, skin itching, and rashes. They were told by their commanders to “man-up”, and that if it wasn’t okay, they wouldn’t be doing it. The smoke and the stench were suffocating.
To get more detail, we suggest you read a book published in February, 2016, by Joseph Hickman, a Post-9/11 Veteran, after studying the tragedy on his fallen and failing comrades, who besides the mental health trauma they were coping with (and suicides), had been sickened by exposure to deadly toxins during their deployment. The title of this important book is, The Burn Pits: The Poisoning ofAmerica's Soldiers.
Now, many of these young brave veterans, are developing cancers, lymphoma, leukemia, and severe respiratory illnesses, and there is the fear of genotoxic damage yielding birth defects, as has been exhibited, along with the cancers and respiratory illnesses, in the local populations, (though this is not yet confirmed by the WHO). Also without any confirmation that this was the cause, Beau Biden, Obama’s Vice President’s son, who died recently from brain cancer, was quite probably exposed to these same Burn Pits, which were operating while he served in Iraq. Many other veterans, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, are fatally coming down with similar afflictions
Over 95,000 US troops have already registered in the Burn Pit Registry, as encouraged by the IAVA, and managed by the Veterans Association, though the Military has not yet taken responsibility. Remember, it took 27 years before the troops in the Agent Orange Registry were acknowledged and given any care or attention.
Even if some of the KBR executives responsible were not Americans, and this pertains to the Americans as well, every Boy Scout and Girl Scout Handbook, worldwide in every language, instructs never to burn plastic, as burning plastic gives off poisonous gases, (and also Dioxin.) Everyone knows this. And we’re not talking about burning a plastic cup in a bonfire. We’re talking about burning hundreds of tons of plastic and other toxics. And many soldiers and officers who reenlisted and took multiple tours were exposed to these toxins repeatedly for years. Burning human feces at uneven temperatures creates an infectious aerosol. We could go on and on. In hundreds of ways these young veterans, our children, were being poisoned by our own nation, and by the greed fostered by ‘privatization’
It is unbelievable that our own military could do anything so heinous to American troops, and/or to the local residents, most of whom are innocents, but this is what happens when private contractors are not restrained by any environmental regulations, as they found themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan. They figured they were outside of US borders. They could do anything they liked. So, they picked the cheapest way, in order to maximize their millions in profits. Please tell this horror story to Trump and to all the Republicans (and this also goes for all pro-business conservatives), who claim they “love” and “support” our veterans, but at the same time are now promising in their campaign speeches to rescind all environmental regulations here in our own Homeland, at risk of all our families’ Health and Security.
Message to our Readers
This post was originally published as Part 9 of a larger, comprehensive Woodstock Earth report on the subject of Pollution, entitled, Living in a Toxic World. Rather than break down the discussion by the three types, Air Pollution, Water Pollution, and Soil Pollution, we decided to break it down by the same Toxins found in all forms of Pollution. Please read Part 1 of the article, where we introduce our thesis, and any parts that may interest you. In each part you’ll find news stories, many of which are catastrophic, though, in most cases, have not yet broken into the mainstream, but are of such magnitude, that we believe, someday, each of them will. We also invite you to download the 3 books in Part 14, 1 of them being Pope Francis’ Encyclical, and view some of the 7 videos we chose to include in Part 15.
Part 1: Core Article
Part 2: Burn Pits
Part 3: Toxic Threats in Air, Water, and Soil Pollution
Part 4: Toxic Heavy Metals – Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, and More
Part 5: Toxic Radioactivity
Part 6: Toxic Chemicals and EDCs – Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
Part 7: Toxic Gases and Particulates in Smog and Smoke
Part 8: Toxic Medicines in the Water Supply, Bio-hazards and Bio-pollution
Part 9: Toxic Asbestos, Silica Sand and Talcum / Baby Powder
Part 10: How to Live in a Toxic World
Part 11: LIVING IN A TOXIC WORLD –Final Thoughts
“The Limits to Growth”
Part 12: Revolution from the Toxic Status Quo – Politics
Part 13: Message to our Readers
Part 14: Priceless Documents
Part 15: Videos
We thank all of our US and international readers (from over 150 nations). We really do appreciate you taking the time to read our articles. And we extra-appreciate when you refer them to friends. That’s where our readers can really make a difference. Whether we really are able to forward our Revolution Against the Absurd Status Quo that is poisoning our babies, ourselves, our future generations, our Climate, and all life on Earth, depends largely on whether we and others can get this story out, and make citizens of the world aware, so that they will stand up to the polluters and the politicians supporting the polluting corporations, and get them out to vote in any and all upcoming elections..
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