Originally published April 23 2015
Army undersecretary apologizes to veterans harmed by chemical exposure in Iraq
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) The New York Times ran an article on March 26, 2015 that exposed insufficient treatment of soldiers wounded by chemical agents as they were disarming chemical munitions in Iraq. The lack of treatment involved actual insufficient medical treatment and lack of recognition by not awarding them Purple Heart medals.
The lack of treatment was attributed to military policy of awarding Purple Hearts to soldiers injured by chemical agents in munitions fired from the enemy. But disarming them in Iraq was a big project, especially after this nation's military industrial complex supplied Iraq with so many of them to help destroy Iran in previous Iraqi - Iran conflicts during the 1980s.
And that was considered as one of the reasons why the military's policy of denial was in effect. With five of the six incidents that wounded munitions disposal technicians, the weapons were designed in the USA, built in Europe, and filled with chemical agents by Western companies in Iraq, as reported in an earlier 2014 NY Times expose.
To personalize this issue, the NY Times spotlighted the mustard burns suffered by Specialist Richard T. Beasley of the 756th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company on March 11, 2007 in Iraq.
He was forced to treat a large burn on his leg on his own instead of being evacuated and rushed to a hospital. And of course, no Purple Heart was adding insult to injury. before or after his discharge.
Even worse, Sgt. James F. Burns asserted after his sarin exposure, "They put a gag order on all of us - the security detail, us, the clinic, everyone. We were briefed to tell family members that we were exposed to 'industrial chemicals,' because our case was classified Top Secret."
Now they're getting medals and medical treatment - officially Now all four branches of the military have acknowledged their errors and denial with apologies by Army Under Secretary Brad R. Carson. But this came after the Times' coverage on this issue.
This is a vague resemblance to a much larger catastrophe and cover-up, the Vietnam era Monsanto/Dow Chemical Agent-Orange cover up that refused treatment for veterans affected by Agent-Orange's toxic residue used as a defoliant sprayed from the air to remove Vietcong jungle canopy cover.
Denial of illnesses spawned by Agent Orange and even among those involved with spraying it has created a long term struggle for treatment and compensation that persisted for decades. Beyond the "Fog of War" are the motives that too many foolishly eagerly follow as disposable servants for the few that profit from waging invasions.
Retired Marine Lt. General Smedly wrote a short book in the 1930s after he retired called War is a Racket. He didn't figure it out until he had left the military, where he was twice awarded the Medal of Honor for valiant conduct while under fire.
He confessed after figuring it all out upon retiring, "I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in."
He also wrote that the trouble begins "when the dollar only earns six percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag."
Smedley Butler was not against having a military. But he declared that we should only fight to protect our homes and the Constitution, not engage in foreign wars, which are really more invasions and colonial occupation for resources and territory than "spreading democracy".
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