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Why we still vigil
Letters to Editors
also MVPP links about depleted uranium
research, 4/1/2009 www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/a/267.html
ICBUW appeal from the Latin American Conference on Uranium Weapons:
in D.C. November 2008, '10 Facts' www.washingtonpeacecenter.net/node/1172
December 5, 2007 UN
General Assembly passed a Resolution to further study DU:
Article and Exchange
of Letters to the editor winter 2009.
People for Peace say peace begins within
North Andover - The thought
of a world without violence is a happy thought for most, but for many it
feels like a dream, not something that could ever come true.
The fact that our country has been at war in the Middle East for almost
five straight years is a big obstacle in thinking peace is possible for
everyone. Smaller but equally challenging to the hope for peace are the
kinds of entertainment so popular in this country - action movies full of
explosions and car chases, shooting at friends for fun in a game of paintball
- that are so intertwined with violence.
By M. Renee Buckley / firstname.lastname@example.org
article in the "North Andover Citizen"
Feb 19, 2009
Members of the Merrimack Valley People for Peace don't see the pursuit of
peace as impossible, though, and they're working in all aspects of their
lives to bring peace to their homes, towns, friends and neighbors. Next
Tuesday, they're inviting anyone who's interested in the pursuit of peace
to join in hearing inspirational stories from those who have faced the worst
violence imaginable - losing family in the September 11 attacks, enduring
war in Iraq - and have responded by making it their mission to bring peace
despite the hostility.
Speaking at a special event next Tuesday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m., at First United
Methodist Church of North Andover, will be Terry Rockefeller of Arlington,
who lost her sister Laura on Sept. 11, 2001. She died in the World Trade
Center. To honor the life of her sister, Rockefeller is a member of September
Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, founded by family members of those
killed in the Sept. 11 attacks.
Rockefeller will present a film and speak about a group called La'Onf -
Arabic for no violence - which is a rapidly growing organization in Iraq
that seeks to bring peace and stability to that country. The group was formed
by Iraqis - for Iraqis.
Merrimack Valley People for Peace member Jane Cadarette said she hopes this
event will give attendees the chance to meet a woman whose life took a different
direction as a result of tragedy.
"All people suffer losses in their lives. It is encouraging to be with
someone who turned grief into action, but this person has more to her story.
She has the story of visiting people in other lands who have lost loved
ones in war and they too have turned their grief into action. Nonviolent
action," she said.
Connecting in peace
Cadarette met Rockefeller while she was in Iraq on a humanitarian mission
to help a young blind Iraqi woman and to meet with Iraqi refugees. Cadarette
was there to bring funds she helped raise to provide the blind woman with
ocular prosthetics in July 2008. The mission was a success and the young
woman is now enrolled at an Amman university, which she attends with assistance
from another charitable organization. She is the school's first blind student.
Prior to being blinded when she was shot a few years ago - by a man she
believes was a member of the Mahdi Militia, retaliating against her because
she was working for an American company in Iraq - the woman, Ahlam, was
a college-educated teacher before the war in Iraq put an end to it.
"Ahlam is helping to educate her professors, knowing that their experiences
with her will enable future blind students to have an easier time of it,"
This is yet another story of the possibility of overcoming violence despite
The story of La'Onf is similarly inspiring, as the group has managed to
push forward and flourish despite the violence happening all around them.
"After their meeting with La'Onf Iraqis in Jordan, I heard that La'Onf
was spreading to every region of Iraq," said Cadarette. "In one
region the group had managed to convince the government to ban war toys
and fireworks. [They were] very excited to hear about this because it was
going to save so many lives."
Cadarette explained the shocking reason why this ban would prove a lifesaving
"Children with toy guns were often killed by our soldiers or coalition
soldiers because they could not tell the difference between a toy and a
real gun and they shot first and questioned later. Fireworks were used to
celebrate weddings and they were often interpreted to be gunfire. Retaliatory
shots and missiles were the response and many brides and grooms and their
guests were killed as a result," she said.
She added, "It seems like such a small thing to do, but banning war
toys and fireworks in Iraq has a wide-ranging effect."
Hearing that regions of Iraq have banned war toys seems far from a small
thing considering the violence so often associated with the country. If
this is possible in Iraq, imagine what can be accomplished here in the United
Cadarette hopes Tuesday's presentation on La'Onf will spark hope in the
minds and hearts of those who attend.
"I hope that people will leave with the knowledge that preventing war
begins within each one of us, with the need to recognize the violence within
us (imagine the violence that allows us to have nuclear weapons that will,
if used by choice or accident, incinerate millions of people and possibly
destroy the planet). I hope that they will choose to disarm their hearts.
I hope, too, that they will find ways to encourage the members of La'Onf
and all who are teaching nonviolence and living it," she said.
Asked what she means by "disarm their hearts," Cadarette explained.
"To disarm our hearts is to examine and be willing to give up whatever
we find in us that would allow us to even consider harming another person
in any way, never mind sanctioning the wholesale slaughter of men, women
and children in a war with our bombs, missiles, rockets, nuclear weapons,
cluster bombs, tungsten bombs, white phosphorous, depleted uranium, landmines
or chemical weapons," she said.
According to their mission, "Merrimack Valley People for Peace Inc.
works for a sustainable future for all life on our planet. Our members commit
themselves to the interrelated activities of education for peace and justice,
the prevention of war, an end to arms sales, the abolition of nuclear weapons,
and protection of the environment."
The MVPP has a number of ways for those interested to learn more or take
part in their mission. From attending events such as Rockefeller's presentation
Tuesday, Feb. 24, to taking part in one of their regular peace vigils -
they're regularly seen holding rainbow flags in Andover center, among many
other places - the group welcomes anyone who's interested to learn more.
Terry Rockefeller of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
will speak and show a film aboutLa'Onf, a fast-growing peace group in Iraq,
Tuesday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m., at First United Methodist Church of North Andover,
located at 57 Peters St. The program is free and open to the public, and
guests are encouraged to bring a friend and pass the news along to one and
For information on Merrimack Valley People for Peace, visit www.merrimackvalleypeopleforpeace.org,
or call 978-686-8207.
Fri Feb 27, 2009
North Andover - To
Jane Cadarette of Merrimack Valley People for Peace seems to have done
a lot of good in her life, but she also is spreading a lot of oft quoted
Internet misinformation. I would like her to know that you do not fight
lies with bigger lies, that you fight lies with scupulous, well-verified
This paragraph is a good place to start.
Asked what she means by disarm their hearts, Cadarette
explained, To disarm our hearts is to examine and be willing to
give up whatever we find in us that would allow us to even consider harming
another person in any way, never mind sanctioning the wholesale slaughter
of men, women and children in a war with our bombs, missiles, rockets,
nuclear weapons, cluster bombs, tungsten bombs, white phosphorous, depleted
uranium, landmines or chemical weapons.
The US has not wholesale slaughtered anyone in Iraq. It has unfortunately
not created a safe place for people to live where they can not be slaughtered
by sectarian or other enemies with car bombs, explosive vests or just
kidnapping and beheading. That is not something that we Americans can
be proud of and it can be laid at the feet of Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush
for wanting war on the cheap and not sending in enough soldiers to protect
the massive stores of ammunition or secure the borders.
There have been no nuclear weapons used in anger since Nagasaki. The US
does not even have tactical nuclear weapons at the ready any place in
the world where they could be used. They were withdrawn by the first President
Bush after the fall of the Berlin Wall. I doubt that cluster bombs have
been used much in Iraq, but I dont honestly know. What exactly is
a tungsten bomb? Does Cadarette even know or does she just spout off the
latest that she sees on a protest sign or Internet blog with no fact checking
or other editorial control. A junior artillery officer, proud of the way
his battery had supported the infantry in the tough house-to-house fighting
to root Al Qaeda and Sunni insurgents out of Fallujah wrote of bake
and shake, the firing of white phosphorus to get the terrorists
to come out of their deeply dug in holes followed by high explosive to
kill them off. Ever since, activists like Cadarette claim that the white
phosphorus was some sort of horrid war crime when it wasnt. It was
not used on civilians; the civilians were told to get out of dodge before
the Army and the Marines went in. We did not take the same approach that
the Russians took in Grozny, Chechnya. They leveled that town. They did
not take it back house-to-house, block-by-block, with a lot of blood and
casualties like the US did in Fallujah.
Finally we get to her comment on depleted uranium (DU). My DU Google Alert
drew me back to this group that seems to have an active misinformation
campaign about depleted uranium. I suspect that it even had the Traprock
Peace Center come and spread their lies and perhaps even had Douglas Lind
Rokke and his Rokke Horror Picture show. Rokke and I tangled
during the Kerry campaign. He chose to smear my reputation and I chose
to unmask his. I know how to use the Freedom of Information Act to get
records and I have a lot of Rokkes records and find new things every
day because I am also a very persistent researcher. I got into opposing
anti-DU activists like Rokke and Traprock and wondering about people who
just banter about the term to get a reaction like Cadarette because I
was trained in the 70s to detect nuclear fallout and to protect
against it. I also knew that depleted uranium (Uranium 238, a common element
that every single human being on the planet has in extremely small quantity
within their body) was not fallout and as I began to research, I learned
more and more about the lies that have been spread about it (a good place
to learn about some of the lies and myths is www.depletedcranium.com ).
I also learned about chemical weapons in the same course and no chemical
weapons have been used by anyone in recent years in Iraq. There was some
insurgent attempt to use old poison gas, but it failed. I would expect
that Cadarette does not even really know what a chemical weapon, or weapon
of mass destruction, a broader prohibited category, is. The UN Independent
Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Commission, chaired by former UN Weapons
Inspector Hans Blix, comprehensively describes WMDs in their 300-page
report at www.wmdcommission.org.
Roger W. Helbig
Fri Mar 06, 2009 North Andover - To the editor:
Roger W. Helbig,
of Richmond, Calif., wrote to the North Andover Citizen last week saying
my friend Jane Cadarette was mistaken about depleted uranium being dangerous.
True, Uranium 238 is frequently present, but that does not mean it is
not dangerous. It is difficult to get good scientific evidence about depleted
uranium because military and corporate forces are able to influence the
Daniel Fahey from the Veterans Administration has posted detailed studies
that raise important questions about both the politics and science. He
has warned that there is faulty information being spread by some peace
groups, but that there are still great concerns. See www.danfahey.com/DanFahey/default.aspx
The most convincing
evidence I have seen denying the danger of depleted uranium (DU) was an
investigation in Kosovo by the World Health Organization of the UN in
2000. That study found that after a few years, the radiation level was
not dangerous, but they recommend much more study. www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/pub_meet/en/Report_WHO_depleted_uranium_Eng.pdf.
If the Traprock group and, separately, Doug Rokke, have inadvertently
spread some misinformation, that does not mean all they said is wrong.
Other groups tracking the danger of depleted uranium are the Campaign
against Depleted Uranium, and the International Coalition to Ban Uranium
More sites are listed
at the site of Merrimack Valley People for Peace at www.merrimackvalleypeopleforpeace.org/links.htm#science.
The concern of peace groups is that depleted uranium is being used in
armor piercing weapons and that there is enough evidence to believe it
is endangering soldiers and civilians. We are pressing for honest science
and to prevent the use of this material that is not yet proven harmless.
Brian Quirk of Merrimack
Valley People for Peace
64 Pleasant Street
North Andover Citizen
Letter to the Editor in reply to Roger Helbigs letter of Feb.
by Jane Cadarette, North Andover, MA
In a letter (NA Citizen 2/27/ 09) Roger Helbig criticized me on a wide
range of fronts, basically accusing me of spreading misinformation and
lies. I welcome the opportunity to reply.
First, I am not fighting lies with bigger lies. I try my best
to convey the truth based on information from highly respected, authoritative
sources. If I am wrong in any aspect of what I say, it is not a lie but
an honest mistake.
Second, Helbigs assertion that the US has not slaughtered Iraqis
ignores both the evidence and common sense. You cannot drop tons of bombs
in cities without slaughtering innocents, and the idea that the US has
been killing only insurgents and combatants is ridiculous. Estimates range
from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands killed with millions displaced,
and Helbigs refusal to accept this obvious truth raises profound
questions about his relationship to reality.
Third, with regard to depleted uranium (DU) he refers to a number of pro-DU
websites but does not bring any facts to the table. Thus, I am at a loss
as to how to rebut him, but again his stance runs counter to common sense.
Although we do not have absolute scientific proof that DU is responsible
for Gulf War syndrome and the dramatic increase in cancer and birth defects
among both veterans and Iraqis, we do have good reason to suspect that
it is. We know without doubt that DU is a toxic heavy metal that emits
alpha particles. We also know that DU penetrators burn on impact and form
a ceramic aerosol that is quite different from any form of natural uranium.
As a ceramic, it is not soluble in water and therefore is not washed from
the body like natural uranium. Furthermore, the nano-sized particles penetrate
further than the bloodstream and organs and remain in the body for life.
Rosalie Bertell, a highly respected expert on low-level radiation exposure,
has shown beyond all doubt that DU particles actually enter cells, where
the alpha particles it emits does maximum damage. (Alpha particles do
not penetrate skin precisely because they are large and heavy. Thus, when
the DU particles penetrate into cells, they do substantial damage to that
cell and surrounding cells.) Listen to expert Rosalie Bertell explain
about what Depleted Uranium does in the human body at www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgQ79-oDX2o
It strains credibility
to assume, as the US military and Roger Helbig do, that a heavy metal
poison that emits alpha particles and gets all the way into cells is perfectly
harmless. Until then, I will continue to assume that it is a radiological
poison and I and continue to call for the banning of the use of DU weapons
and strongly urge everyone to do the same.
Roger Helbig may rest assured that I know what a weapon of mass destruction
is and that Im familiar with our nuclear arsenal. He doubted that
cluster bombs had been used in Iraq. I happen to know, on good authority
that in one town alone in Iraq two very brave Iraqis in one weeks
time picked up over 5,000 unexploded bomblets and one of them lost his
life doing so. The school now bears his name. I also know about white
phosphorus; how it is supposed to be used and what it does to human beings
when it is misused.
In answer to Helbigs
question what exactly is a tungsten bomb? The U.S. Air Force
has developed a weapon known as D.I.M.E, Dense Inert Metal Explosive.
High Explosives are wrapped around tungsten alloy and other metals. It
is not known if Israel used our DIME bombs in Gaza, or developed them
on their own. Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, nominated
for the Nobel Peace Prize three times, was in Gaza during the latest bombardment.
She tells of visiting doctors in a hospital who were trembling as they
spoke of this new diabolical weapon that amputates limbs and also with
miniature particles destroys internal organs. They did not know how to
treat those wounded by this weapon. Tungsten was found in the tissue of
a Palestinian patient that was sent out for testing. Ms. Kellys
audio report from Gaza is at http://vcnv.org/kathy-kelly-at-the100-days-campaign-in-washington-dc
Martin Luther King,
Jr. warned us that the choice today is not between nonviolence and
violence, the choice is between nonviolence and nonexistence. Disarming
our hearts is crucial to banning war which we must do for the sake of
the children and the planet.
Helen Caldicott spoke
in Newburyport September 23, 2006, at 7 pm,
Sponsored by MVPP.
See reports about the event: Web: 2006,
Newsletter: October-November 2006.
When MVPP had to prioritize
committees in early 2007, we made the DU committee a second level priority.
Members have been individually researching convincing materials after
working on other MVPP tasks. Nationwide, the most active and scientific
work is coming from a few sources:
1. The International
Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons at:
2. Dan Fahey, advocate
for Depleted Uranium studies in the US Veterans
Administration. His old links are not working, but he did get puplished
and reading that may explain the links not working.
3. David Krieger,
president of Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
"DU committee" 5/26/2008
Dated material from 2006 follows:
This newly formed
committee has met twice (as of 4/30/2006) to view documentaries on depleted
uranium, a radioactive heavy metal used in Gulf War I and currently being
used in Iraq. Its primary use is to penetrate armor. As it penetrates,
the uranium burns and fragments into microscopic, radioactive dust which
is easily absorbed into the body. It also mixes with, thus contaminating,
the surrounding areas of the explosion: Depleted uranium is hazardous
to people and to the environment.
Documentaries viewed by the committee were: "Poison Dust", "Axis
of Whose Evil", "Invisible War" and "Deadly Fire."
The goal of the committee is to educate ourselves and to inform others
about the horrific effects of depleted uranium. Ultimately, we want DU
to be outlawed by all nations.
Some committee members recently heard Dr. Doug Rokke, an expert on DU
and a victim of DU poisoning, recount his experiences of combat and as
the Director of the U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Project. Dr. Rokke states
that weapons such as depleted uranium have rendered war "obsolete."
May 13, 2006, MVPP's Mary Todd spoke on a radio show you may be able
to listen to on the web at:
The radio station's site (WMBR at MIT) also listed these links:
Radioactive Nightmare In Concord, Massachusetts
of Whose Evil
Campaign Against Depleted Uranium (UK)
is Depleted Uranium? by Helen Thomas
other MVPP links to sites about DU
>From Anne Miller email@example.com:
Breaking the Silence:
A Survivor of Depleted Uranium Poisoning Tells
April 20-24, 2006
Depleted Unanium (DU)
is an extremely dense metal used as a coating to
improve the performance of shells and armor. However, it is also
poisonous and radioactive.
Dr. Doug Rokke, an
expert on DU and a victim of DU poisoning, will
speak around the state about the Army's use of DU in Iraq, its harmful
effects, and what we can do to raise awareness in our communities about
this danergous weapon and its effects on our troops and Iraqi
Dr. Rokke's forty
year military career included combat duty during the
Vietman War and Gulf War I. He is a former director of the US Army
Depleted Uranium Project (see his more extensive biography below).
Here are Dr. Rokke's
Thursday, April 20,
7pm. MILFORD. Boys and Girls Club at the Amato
Center, 56 Mount Vernon Street, Milford.
Friday, April 21 at
7pm. CONCORD. Wesley United Methodist Church,
Clinton Street. For more information, call 228-0559.
Saturday, April 22,
2 pm. DOVER. Dover Friends Meeting House. 141
Central Ave., Dover, NH. For more information call 498-3580.
Sunday, April 23,
4 pm. ROCHESTER The Cafe at the Governor's Inn. 76
Wakefield Street, Rochester. For more information, call 228-0559.
Monday, April 24,
6:30 pm. MANCHESTER. Manchester City Library. 405
Pine Street, Manchester. For more information call 228-0559.
Sponsored by Women
Making a Difference, Milford Unitarian-Universalist
(UU) Church's Social Responsibility Committee Committee, NH Veterans
for Peace, NH Peace Action, Nashua UU Church's Social Responsibility
Committee Committee, Peterborough UU Church's Social Responsibility
Committee Committee. This tour would not be possible without the
exceptional organizing and energy of Nancy Iannuzzelli.
Biography of Dr. Doug
Doug Rokke earned
his Ph.D. in physics and technology education at the
University of Illinois. His miltary career has spanned 4 decades to
include combat duty during the Vietnam War and Gulf War 1. Doug served
as a member of the U.S. Army Medical Command's Nuclear, Biological, and
Chemical (NBC) teaching, medical response, and special operations team
and with the Depleted Uranium Assessment team during the Gulf War. He
was the U.S. Army's Depleted Uranium Project director from 1994 - 1995.
He developed the congressionally mandated education and training
materials and wrote U.S. Army Regulation 700-48 and the U.S. Army's
common task for DU incidents. Doug has taught nuclear, biological and
chemical warfare and emergency medicine for over 20 years to both
civilian and military personnel. He was one of the original authors of
the EDRAT (Emergency Disaster Response Assistance Team) proposal which
formed the foundation for the National Guard CSD teams and the Illinois
CERT Teams. In preparation for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, he wrote and
taught the original Chemical / Biological Counter-terrorism Course for
civilian emergency responders that is now the federal 120 city and
Department of Justice course.
Dr. Rokke serves or
has served as an
advisor with the Centers of Disease Control, Department of Defense,
National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, U.S Senate, U.S.
House of Representatives, U.S. Department of Transportation, FAA, U.S.
Department of Defense. U.S. General Accounting Office, Department of
Veterans Affairs, British Royal Society, British House of Lords and
House of Commons, United Nations, and Presidential Special Oversight
Board. He has been an advisor for numerous television documentaries on
effects of nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare and depleted
uranium with CBS; ABC; NBC, History Channel; A & E; PBS; BBC; CBC;
and German, French, Japanese, Australian, Italian, and Greek TV. Dr. Rokke
has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in environmental science,
environmental engineering, nuclear physics, and emergency management
and was a staff physicist at the UIUC for 19 years.
People for Peace meets monthly, on the fourth Tuesday,
at 7:30 pm, at
North Parish Church, North Andover.
Merrimack Valley People for Peace (978) 685-1389
P.O. Box 573
North Andover, MA 01845
to post on the website to firstname.lastname@example.org