One more for the “strictly imaginary” files


“It’s all in your head. You just have no idea how big your head is.”

–Lon Milo DuQuette

I wonder how many Gulf War I vets have died for them to find this out:

A report released on Monday concluded that Gulf War syndrome is a legitimate illness suffered by more than 175,000 U.S. war veterans who were exposed to chemical toxins in the 1991 Gulf War.

The congressionally mandated report could help veterans who have battled the government for treatment of a wide range of unexplained neurological illnesses, from brain cancer to multiple sclerosis.

The Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses concluded that Gulf War illness is a physical condition distinct from the mental “shell shock” suffered by veterans in other wars. Some earlier studies had concluded it was not a distinct illness.

“Scientific evidence leaves no question that Gulf War illness is a real condition with real causes and serious consequences for affected veterans,” said the committee, which has been looking into the problem since 2002.

The committee, composed of independent scientists and veterans, said Congress should boost funding for research on Gulf War veterans’ health to at least $60 million per year.

“This is a national obligation, made especially urgent by the many years that Gulf War veterans have waited for answers and assistance,” the committee said.

Of course, if the general pattern of the Veterans’ Administration holds true, this report, like the thousands of sick vets it documents, will be malignly ignored by the Congress at the behest of the Military-Industrial Complex. (Ike was right, it IS a military-industrial-congressional complex.)

Remember Agent Orange? That was at least 40 years ago. They’re still dragging their heels on THAT one, too. That is, they’re waiting for all those exposed to it to die before admitting that it was toxic and carcinogenic, so the manufacturers won’t have to pay out damages to their victims or their families.

I hope President Obama will change this pattern, but I’m not exactly bubbling over with wild optimism. Who knows, maybe he’ll pleasantly surprise me–but given how corporations have hijacked US politics, I don’t hold out much hope. Remember, the Congress has to okay the payouts. And given how much corporate lobbyists, especially those linked to the MIC, are tied to the Congress–what do you suppose the odds are?

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