The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Government Admits What Vets Said for 13 Years:
Gulf War Syndrome Is Real

Oct 25, 2004

A federal panel of medical experts has finally concluded what was obvious for the past thirteen years: Gulf War Syndrome is real.

An estimated 100,000 Gulf War veterans, or one in seven, continue to suffer war-related health problems. These include headaches and other pain; fatigue; muscle weakness; chronic diarrhea; skin blistering; and difficulty in thinking.

For thirteen years, the government refused to acknowledge that the medical problems reported by vets were real, with physical causes. The government ignored suicides of some vets; it ignored deformities in children born to radiation-exposed vets. Effectively it said this was all in the vets’ heads!

Finally, the Department of Veterans Affairs has acknowledged that vets’ claims have a real basis–but only to put the blame on exposure to chemicals that supposedly came from Iraq. The VA continues to deny that exposure to "depleted" uranium, a radioactive material used in explosive shell casings, has anything to do with vets’ problems. Independent studies may have linked Gulf War Syndrome symptoms to this exposure, but the U.S. continues to use depleted uranium in Iraq today. So mum’s the word!

Today, the government has admitted what the vets long have claimed–but much too late to give the medical help needed. This monstrous government, which treated the troops as cannon fodder during the last Gulf war, treats the veterans as even less than that after they come home.