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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday April 10, 2003

Government used chemical weapons on own citizens

This is in response to Steve Campbell's column in Tuesday's paper. In your column, you claim that the U.S. has never tested chemical weapons against the enemy let alone our own people, this is simply untrue. In the summer of 2002, the Defense Department acknowledged that between 1963 and 1969, several U.S. ships were hit with chemical agents and biological toxins. Some were even subjected to nerve gas. It was called project SHAD, Shipboard Hazard and Defense. It was a series of tests of the navy's vulnerability and on board protective equipment.

The department of Veterans Affairs studied 93 deceased SHAD veterans and found they were three times more likely to have died due to respiratory and vascular brain disease than the rest of the U.S. male population. There are records of 113 SHAD tests, but only a dozen or so have been declassified. Following the declassification, the Department of Veteran affairs sent out over 600 letters to veterans telling them about the potential risks of the tests they were involved in without their knowledge.

Larry Ginter, a member of one of the crews, was asked if he remembered ever receiving protective gear; he said the only protective gear they received was extra gloves and extra long johns. Larry Ginter is now 58, has respiratory problems and has had five heart bypass surgeries. Another example of such practices is the Tuskegee experiments, 1932-1972, in which 399 African-American men in Alabama were studied to find the long-term effects of untreated syphilis. Of the 399 men involved, 28 have died directly from syphilis and 100 have died from related complications. We have also used chemical weapons against our enemy; in the Vietnam War we sprayed Agent Orange over much of Vietnam to destroy the jungles. Current scientific research has proved that Agent Orange is highly toxic, and is causing a lot of problems for the people of Vietnam. Although the U.S. government claimed that this chemical was harmless to humans, it has been proven to be untrue. Next time, please do the research before you make such bold assertions in your column.

Alex Lacy
business management junior

Wildcat showed bias by not providing diverse quotes

While I am happy that the Wildcat attended and reported on Alliance for Peace and Justice in the Middle East's Palestinian film series, I think it was completely unfair to only include quotes from members of the audience belonging to American Jewish organizations that promote extreme right wing ideology that prefers to discredit all Palestinian perspectives when it comes to this conflict. There were many people who attended the films last night who could have provided quotes showing the true diversity of opinions about these films that was apparent in the discussion after the films. While some people were bothered, others appreciated what they considered to be an effort to "balance" the one-sided nature of most American media coverage of this conflict.

Since the Wildcat chose to let the Anti Defamation League representative inform their readers on Jenin, I would like to give a different view. It is a distortion of the "facts" to say that the U.N. investigation stated that no human rights violations occurred. As we stated in our introduction to the film, the U.N. investigation into what occurred in Jenin was inconclusive, but it certainly reports incidents considered to be human rights abuses by both the Israel Defense Forces and the militants in the camp. However, as we also pointed out, Israel prevented any full investigation from taking place, so nobody will ever know what really happened. As for the "facts" about the Jenin hospital, here is what the U.N. investigation had to say about it, "The functioning of Jenin Hospital, just outside the camp, appears to have been severely undermined by IDF actions, despite IDF statements that Īnothing was done to the hospital'."

Perhaps the Wildcat could do a little fact checking too.

Carrie Brown

Near Eastern studies graduate student
president, APJME

Israel supporters ignoring international law violations

Tuesday's printing of names in support of Israel is solid evidence that ignorance is widespread, even at an institution of higher learning. Israel's occupation of Palestine is a violation of international law. Using the threat of physical violence and often violence itself to impose 24-hour curfews on civilians is a blatant violation of human rights. These actions are supposedly taken in opposition to Palestinian terrorism, yet it is obvious that the killing of five Palestinians for every three Israeli deaths will never amount to security or peace. Israel is blind to its own situation.

By continuing its criminal oppression of indigenous peoples, Israel ensures future attacks against the legitimacy of its

government and the lives of its civilians. In supporting Israel's evil deeds, the signatories of Tuesday's petition have proven themselves to be either uninformed or supporters of imperialism, oppression and hatred.

Kris Brown
electrical engineering senior

Opposing war, supporting U.S. troops makes sense

The following is a response to Steve Campbell's article "Oppose war, support troops? How?," which appeared in the April 8 edition of the Wildcat. Mr. Campbell, as you requested in his column, I am providing you with an explanation of how one can support U.S. troops fighting in Iraq while at the same time opposing the administration's justification for using military force.

When the administration made the decision to send troops into the battlefield, they did not hand out surveys to the men and women of the armed forces to gauge the overall feelings of the military with regard to the situation in Iraq. The order was handed down and the military personnel have carried out the order with honor.

The troops and the administration are two separate entities; therefore, it is clear how support can be provided for one and not the other. It seems that you might benefit from clarification of the terms: patriotic, freedom and democracy. The freedom to voice dissent is an integral part of living in a democratic society. Telling people that their voices do not need to be heard takes away a fundamental principle of this democracy, and in so doing, you make our country less free.

Another fundamental principle of democracy is that democratic nations do not start wars. The precedent of preemptive war, the primary reason for massive protests across the world, lies squarely on the shoulders of our administration and is not the responsibility of the soldiers who carry it out. Voicing dissent and concern for the actions that our administration has taken is not only patriotic; it is the responsibility of all citizens in a free and democratic society.

Bryan Davis
UA alumnus

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