The WWOS Awards: What Would Osama Say?, Iraq Didn’t Gas the Kurds?, He’s Got a Chip on His Shoulder (and One Under His Shoulder), Brushing with Fluoride Can Give You a Radiant Smile, Beware the ‘Inerts’ in the Water, & more...
October 3, 2002

The WWOS Awards: What Would Osama Say?
Osama bin Laden says the US was attacked because of its aggressive military foreign policies. George W. Bush claims the US was attacked because of our enviable lifestyle. If George is correct, we’re in deep trouble. Here is the latest addition to our WWOS List (“What Would Osama Say?”).

According to Reuters, the $19.99 video Bumfights, Volume 1 (advertised as America’s “fastest-selling independent video”) depicts impoverished men who have been paid (sometimes with fast-food and booze) to engage in “fist fights and acts of self-abuse, such as running headlong into steel doors and leaping off bridges.” In a few brief months of Internet advertising, the video sold 300,000 copies.

Also nominated for the WWOS List, a number of TV shows, including: “Living Large,” “Famous Homes and Hideaways” and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

Iraq Didn’t Gas the Kurds?
One of George W. Bush’s most frequently repeated complaints about Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is that “he gassed his own people.” The photographs of the bodies of poisoned women, men and children lying on the streets of Halabjah have been burned into the minds of an entire generation. But a long-suppressed 1991 US Army War College (USAWC) study concluded that the attack on Halabjah was actually executed by Iranian forces.

In a September 16 article in the Times of India, Raju Thomas (the Allis Chalmers Distinguished Professor of International Affairs at Marquette University at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) reports on a September 1988 investigation undertaken by Lt. Col. Douglas Johnson and professors Stephen Pelletiere and Leif Rosenberger. The study concluded that “it was Iran and not Iraq that killed the Kurds.”

The suppressed USAWR report states: “In September 1988, a month after the war had ended… the State Department abruptly, and in what many viewed as a sensational manner, condemned Iraq for allegedly using chemical weapons against its Kurdish population.” The USAWR investigation noted that “The Iraqi government denied that any such gassing had occurred.” The investigators concluded that “[h]aving looked at all the evidence that was available to us, we find it impossible to confirm the State Department’s claim.”

Responding to the Halabjah atrocity, the USAWC investigation determined: “It appears that, in seeking to punish Iraq, Congress was influenced by another incident that occurred five months earlier…. In March 1988, the Kurds at Halabjah were bombarded with chemical weapons, producing many deaths. Photographs of the Kurdish victims were widely disseminated.”

After delivering a lecture at the USAWC in 1991, Professor Thomas spent some time with Professor Pelletiere who spoke at length about the investigation. According to Pelletiere, their inquiry discovered that Iraq and Iran used two different kinds of chemical weapons. The Iranians used a “non-persistent poison gas” that allowed troops to quickly move into and secure an area that had been attacked. The Iraqi army used a “persistent gas to halt the Iranian human wave attacks.”

The USAWR investigators, Thomas explains, determined that the “non-persistent gas, the chemical weapon of choice of the Iranians”, had killed the victims in Halabjah The speculation was that the Iranian troops attacked Halabjah in the mistaken belief that it was occupied by Iraqi forces. Tragically, the Iraqis had already retreated and the civilian population had returned to the city. “Iran gassed the Kurds by accident,” Thomas writes.

Why wasn’t this information publicized? According to Thomas, when Iraq launched its invasion of Kuwait, “the truth of the Halabjah incident became inconvenient.”

At their March 1991 meeting, Pelletiere told Thomas that he believed the truth would eventually come out “about five years after emotions over the Gulf War crisis died down.” Instead, Thomas charges, “the USAWC report of 1990 has been dispatched into oblivion.”

A decade later, the “propaganda that Iraq gassed its own Kurdish civilians is constantly invoked by the media,” Thomas says. “Meanwhile, estimates of the number of innocents who have died in Iraq from relentless American-dictated UN sanctions range between 1- 1.7 million, including more than half-a-million children. An article in The New England Journal of Medicine [determined]...that ‘more than 46,900 children died between January and August 1991.’”

He’s Got a Chip on His Shoulder (and One Under His Shoulder)
USA — To John Ashcroft’s chagrin, Americans have always been constitutionally resistant to the imposition of a “national identity card.” On the other hand, US consumers are also notoriously susceptible to the newest electronic gadgets. This being the case, the ideal Ashcroftian police state may be closer than many of us would wish.

In May, Applied Digital Solutions Inc. began installing the first computerized “ID Chips” in the bodies of Americans. The Jacobs family of Boca Raton, Florida — Jeffrey, Leslie and son Derek — became the first volunteers. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Jacobs’ teenage son agreed to get “chipped” because “he’s a computer buff who considers the procedure nifty. As for Leslie, she’s merely hoping to feel more secure in an insecure world.”

Once inserted under the skin, an electronic wand can scan the rice-sized VeriChip. In the rare event that the “chipped” person has no identification and no recollection of who he or she is, simply waving the scanner over the person’s neck will produce a name, address, phone number and medical information. Each chipped human will have a unique identification number.

The executive director of the Southeast Florida chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association doesn’t believe VeriChips make much sense. “Who knows how to look under someone’s skin,” Mark Pafford asked the Los Angeles Times. Pafford prefers the simple ID bracelet with an 800 number.

The VeriChip is being introduced as a service to protect older Americans afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. It will next be promoted as a way to protect America’s children from abductors. Applied Digital charges $200 for the VeriChip and bills $10 a month for “storing” customers’ information. Applied Digital claims that 5,000 people are waiting to be implanted. With 4 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s, Applied Digital has purchased a roving “chipmobile” that can putt from one senior center to the next, injecting chips 24/7.

Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center raises the question: “Who gets to decide who gets chipped?” It would be a perfect tool for a police state. “It’s an easier way to manage someone, like putting a pet on a leash.” In one paranoid scenario, VeriChips could be covertly injected in the population by means of mass-vaccination programs.

The “next generation” of VeriChips will be “activated” by a remote signal that will instantly relay information to a GPS satellite, making it possible to tag the identify and exact location of the wearer. These chips, however, are now the size of a quarter and implantation will require surgery. Government officials and wealthy businessmen in Brazil and Mexico have already expressed interest in being implanted as protection against kidnapping.

Brushing with Fluoride Can Give You a Radiant Smile
In 1958, Barry Commoner and others showed that the teeth of every baby in the US had some level of strontium 90 accumulation as a result of fall-out from nuclear testing in the 1940s and 50s. Less-reported were a series of parallel scientific studies warning that fluoridation would increase the absorption of this deadly radioactive isotope.

Strontium replaces calcium in bone marrow and damages blood-producing cells. Exposure to fluorides greatly enhances the absorption of radioactive elements, including Strontium 90. This link was first established by Atomic Energy Commission studies in 1959.

In a 1958 article published in the Dental Digest, James G. Kerwin, Director of the Central Division of the Passaic Department of Health in New Jersey, also warned of the link between fluoride and strontium. "Because of the affinity of strontium and fluoride to form highly insoluble Sr90F2,” Kerwin wrote, “the consumption of water that has been artificially fluoridated may increase the danger of Strontium 90 to man and animals."

Moreover, Kerwin wrote, if "fluoride has been consumed… from artificial fluoridated drinking water… the rate at which Strontium-90 is excreted or thrown off will be even slower than ordinarily occurs." As a result, "the body will thus be exposed to that much more internal radiation.

"It is known that fluorides are powerful inhibitors of enzyme action,” Kerwin noted. “The wide variety of enzymes known to be poisoned by fluoride accounts for the different manifestations of fluorosis; that is… fluoride poisoning.

"Thus a combination of radioactive strontium and fluoride, forming Sr90F2, could do great harm. If the entire population of the United States received small doses of additional radiation from Strontium-90 which was combined with fluoride in the body, and thus was prevented from being excreted, it is likely that several thousands among the generation of ten million children may be definitely handicapped because of gene mutation due to internal radiation."

Beware the ‘Inerts’ in your Drinking Water
Under federal law, it is perfectly legal for industry to dispose of toxic industrial wastes by labeling them "inert ingredients" and dumping them into commercially sold fertilizers, pesticides and water-fluoridation agents.

Under US law, the products need only contain the advertised percentage of "active ingredients." The unlabeled “inert ingredients (which typically make up the major percentage of most products) can include heavy-metals, toxic chemicals and radioactive residues.

On September 3, 2002, West Jordan, Utah became the first US city to pass a Water Product Quality Control Act calling for an end to the practice of adding contaminants to municipal drinking water in excess of established Maximum Contaminant Level Goals. The text of the resolution is found at:

The resolution stipulates that any substance added to water supplies “for the purpose of treating people rather than treating water,” must first gain FDA certification that the chemical additive actually produces the advertised health benefits without any offsetting health risks.

While the resolution does not mention fluoride additives, fluoridation is currently the only program that uses the water supply as a means to “treat people” through mass exposure to a chemical. The resolution’s sponsors insist that “it would be very counterproductive for opponents of fluoridation to… proclaim passage of the resolution as a ‘victory’ in the fight against fluoridation.” The resolution’s backers stress that the new regulation effects “any product or substance added to drinking water.”

Similar ordinances have qualified for the November ballot in Watsonville and Redding, California and other initiatives are under way in Santa Maria, California, Washington State, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

All Hail the Greenwashers
Each year the Greenwash Academy Awards (a.k.a. the “Green Oscars”) are handed out by CorpWatch’s Academy “At the Earth Summit in Johannesburg this summer, as at the Rio Earth Summit ten years ago,” CorpWatch explains, “governments have invited companies to be their partners in delivering sustainable development. We believe the achievements of business speak for themselves.

The winners were announced on August 23, on the eve of the Johannesburg World Summit, at the Balalaika Hotel in Johannesburg. The EcoMole is pleased to post the list of Nominees and the Winners.

  • Best Green Actor: for achievement in corporate Greenwash.
    Shell, BP, Eskom, Jaakko Poryr Oy, World Business Council on Sustainable Development, ExxonMobil, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Monsanto, Chevron, Newmont, Ibama, AfricaBio, Scotts, Spolana Neratovice (Czechoslovakia), SASOL, Croplife International. WINNER: British Petroleum.

  • Best Blue Actor: for achievement in corporate Bluewash.
    Novartis, Aventis, Bayer, Nike, Shell, DaimlerChrysler, McDonald's, Nestle, BAT. WINNER: Nestlé.

  • BEST SUPPORTING GOVERNMENT: for facilitating excessive corporate power.
    United States, South Africa, Brazil (with Ibama), China, Iraq, Ingham County (Michigan) Health Department, US Forest Service. WINNER: US.

  • BEST SUPPORTING UN AGENCY: for allowing corporations to wrap themselves in the UN flag.
    Secretary General's Office of Global Compact (OGC), UN Environment Programme, UN Development Programme, UNICEF. WINNER: OGC.

  • BEST DIRECTOR: for the greenest-acting CEO.
    Lee Raymond (of ExxonMobil), Bill Ford, Jr. (of Ford Motor), George Bush, Al Gore. WINNER: Lee Raymond.

  • BEST FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT: for the most damaging development project in the Third World.
    Premier Oil, TotalFinaElf, Unocal, BAE Systems, Tiomin Mining. JOINT WINNERS: Unocal, Total and Premier (for the Yadana and Yetagun gas pipelines in Burma).

  • BEST MAKE-UP: to the company that makes up facts.
    Enron, Posiva Eskom/PBMR Ltd. WINNER: Enron.

  • BEST DOCUMENTARY DESTRUCTION: for achievement in moving to a paperless office.
    Enron, Arthur Anderson, WorldCom, Earth First, BAT. WINNER: Arthur Anderson.

  • BEST PICTURE: for the prettiest Greenwash ad.
    Philip Morris, Shell, BP, SASOL, Doe Run (Peru), BAT. WINNER: SASOL.

  • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: for outstanding long-term achievement in environmental destruction and green PR.
    TotalFinaElf, Shell, Monsanto, World Bank, Halliburton, Unocal. WINNER: Shell.

    To UNICEF for its partnership with McDonalds.

    To global tobacco giants Philip Morris and British American Tobacco.
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