Depleted uranium will harm our troops as well as Iraqis
My name is Jessica, and I am from St. Paul, Minn. and a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota. The only soul mate I have ever known was deployed to Iraq last month and I am reaching out to you and many peace organizations for support, and I am also trying to voice a concern.
I would like to relay some important information that our mainstream media have
not been mentioning. Weapons going by the name of “depleted uranium”
have been used in the war in Iraq, weapons that emit microscopic dust particles
of depleted uranium that are spread into the air in large clouds and are carried
like pollen for a great distance. They emit low levels of radiation for up to
4.5 billion years.
When these particles get into the inside walls of the organs of civillians, soldiers
or children, they cause deformities and impairments no less than cancer. This
phenomenon is not altogether different from Agent Orange during Vietnam. Albeit
the U.S. government refuses to pay for expensive tests to ensure soldiers they
haven’t been affected by depleted uranium. However, many soldiers have undergone
tests on their own, and they are finding that soldiers who served in the Gulf
War, where depleted uranium weapons were used, are now chronically ill—285,292
of 572,833 troops, to be more precise.
These depleted-uranium weapons are manufactured at Alliant Techsystems, a $2.1
billion-a–year weapons manufacturer with corporate headquarters in Edina,
Minn. where they have manufactured over 17 million depleted uranium shells. I
encourage all of us to learn more about this, keep informed, seek the truth, ponder,
think, speak up, and/or take some sort of effective action.
I want to reiterate my support to all of the families with loved ones at war.
Please let’s remember what Mahatma Gandhi said, “Tyranny never wins.”
It may seem to last for a while, but in the end, it always falls. My question
is, “Who is the tyrant, us or them?”
The United States government thought this would be an easy war in Iraq, yet their
insurgencies continue to grow every day, and the government is not winning very
easily. According to the CIA Factbook, the United States government spent an estimated
$370.7 billion on military expenditures in 2004, while Iraq spent and estimated
$1.3 billion. This indicates that money clearly will not buy us a victory.
It is becoming obvious and apparent that it is none of the United States’
business to intervene in Iraqi affairs. Thomas Jefferson said, in 1787, “Experience
declares that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply
no milder term ... to the general prey of the rich on the poor.”
If we, the common citizens who are part of the masses, don’t speak up and
act, no one will. If we work together, in unison, we can make a big difference.
We are responsible for righteousness and making sure righteousness exists, and
not least, for holding officials accountable for their actions. If our officials
aren’t helping us, or our country, then we have to help ourselves and our
country by speaking up and making our officials help us.
If our government is hurting another country or our own troops, then we have to
make them stop. We hired them and we must keep them in line and keep an eye on
them. We must consider, evaluate, mull over, and keep researching to find
ways to make a difference and to act. Keep hope in your heart. Remember, hope
is there when we least feel it, and we have to be the hope for ourselves and for
Hang on, speak up, keep the hope…
University of Minnesota, Student
St. Paul, Minnesota
Great article on progressive Christians
I just read your cover
story on progressive Christian leaders, and all I can say is, “Thank
you, thank you, thank you.” It’s about time someone said what these
clergy are saying.
years I’ve been wondering: at what point did the big religion of this
country disappear and get replaced by pro-fascist fundamentalism? Was I just
hallucinating that priests and nuns were marching against the Iraq war and for
welfare rights? Because from the media—even the “alternative media”—it’s
like that never happened.
During the election, everyone in the media agreed that Bush was a devout Christian.
Republicans praised him for being a devout Christian, Democrats said he was
too Christian. Nobody ever asked whether he was Christian when he had killed
tens of thousands of people, approved executions and cut off aid to poor people.
As luck would have it, this article came out the day before Martin Luther King
Day, celebrating one of the only real Christians we hear about, and two days
before Jim Wallis, a progressive Christian leader, appeared on Jon Stewart’s
“Daily Show.” I’m glad such people are coming out to the public.
Brad Craig Anderson
Pastors need to examine their own anti-Semitism
The progressive clergy’s analysis of the need to expand the “moral
conversation” that has been more narrowly defined by the “Religious
Right” was very informative. As clergy they understand well the nuances
and complexities within Christianity. It is easier to see the complexities in
that with which we are familiar and reduce the unfamiliar to simplistic terms,
which John Darlington does in his last few comments, tackling the Palestine/Israel
issue which he believes should be a top priority for his congregation.
Darlington says that progressive Christians are called “anti-Semitic”
because they disagree with “the common perception” of Israel. Perhaps
it is because Darlington et al, as members of the dominant culture, simply aren’t
familiar with discrimination, and therefore can’t recognize it.
I believe the reason they’re called anti-Semitic is because they see and
hear only what they want to see and hear. They see bullet holes in Palestinian
homes, but never shrapnel wounds caused by Palestinian human bombs. They open
their churches to pro-Palestinian but not to pro-Israel/Jewish voices, some
admittedly because they don’t want to cause dissonance among congregants,
silencing voices that don’t go along with their status quo, stifling the
moral conversation, the very thing they are critical of fundamentalist churches
While the Pulse article dealt primarily with the domestic moral agenda, with
U.S.-led wars raging on two fronts today, with beheadings and genocide in Darfur
and with dozens of nations with abysmal human rights, women’s rights and
children’s rights records, in three full pages of expose, Israel is the
only nation singled out as a priority. Only Israel is mentioned by name. Three
full pages and no mention of Iraq or Afghanistan or tsunami stricken countries?
Shouldn’t those be priorities? The clergy is also adept at throwing out
stats on aid to Israel but they don’t cite amounts spent on aid to other
nations, including the PLO and oil rich Arab countries.
It’s not disagreeing with “the common perception” but rather
it’s this type of singling out and focus on Israel, prejudicial behaviors,
that has earned the progressive clergy the anti-Semitic label. Obviously they
know there are concerns in the community about anti-Semitism, otherwise they
wouldn’t bring it up; so why don’t they move beyond denial and do
something about it? On the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz,
it would be appropriate for progressive clergy to reflect on their own attitudes
and behaviors towards Jews which are being played out by the current situation
Darlington says he wishes “people would re-image G-d and Christ.”
I wish the progressive clergy the same. To re-image the G-d of Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob and re-image Jesus as a Jew. Re-image a Jesus who never rejected his
own people or their ways. What would Jesus do today? Would he sit by his tent
like Abraham and welcome in the stranger, the unfamiliar?
We can drive and still use renewable fuels
many people realize that if we must drive a car—and none of us must—we
can use a bigger percentage of Minnesota produced bio-fuels? The “e-85”
fuels you see at some gas stations can be safely mixed with gasoline in most
or all cars on the road. Mix in a few gallons the next time you buy gas. You
will not only be using a cleaner fuel, you will be putting some money in the
pockets of Minnesota farmers and less money in the pockets of the monarchs of
Saudi Arabia and the powerful, monopolistic oil industry. You will also save
some of the money you are now spending on gas.