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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 6, 2003
3:02 PM
CONTACT: The Green Party of the United States
Nancy Allen, 207-326-4576, nallen@acadia.net
Scott McLarty, 202-518-5624, scottmclarty@yahoo.com

Support U.S. Troops -- Bring Them Home!, Say Greens;
Depleted uranium, possible Iraqi resistance to a ground invasion, and other hazards await American soldiers, warn Greens; high casualty rates are likely because of battlefield radiation after the first Gulf War.
 
WASHINGTON - March 6 - "Greens fully support U.S. troops -- we demand that they be removed from harm's way," said Beth Ingalls, member of the Truckee, California, Town Council. "One of the reasons for our opposition to President Bush's planned invasion of Iraq is the heavy casualty rate expected, not just among Iraqi civilians, but among American soldiers and their families."

Greens warn that a ground invasion of Iraq may meet massive resistance, costing the lives of many American service members. American casualties in the invasion will also come from friendly fire and from depleted uranium shell casings that were used in the first Persian Gulf War. The U.S. intends to use depleted uranium again in the coming invasion.

"The U.S. dumped 320 tons of depleted uranium in spent ammunition on Iraq during the last Gulf War," said T.E. Smith, Vietnam War veteran and member of the D.C. Statehood Green Party. "This is the battlefield into which American soldiers will be sent."

Exposure to radiation from depleted uranium is the likely cause of numerous health problems in thousands of Gulf War veterans and their families, including cancer, leukemia, tumors, and high rates of birth defects because of genetic damage. 221,000 U.S. soldiers who fought in the war or were stationed in war zones after the war have been awarded disability, according to a Veterans Affairs report issued on September 10, 2002. The casualty rate for the first Persian Gulf War veterans is about 30%.

60 Minutes (CBS) has reported complaints from American service members that safety from exposure to nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons has been inadequate and low-priority. The Independent (U.K.) reports that U.S. itself will use toxic chemical weapons in the invasion of Iraq, in violation of the 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention. "'Calmative' gases, similar to the one that killed 120 hostages in the Moscow theatre siege last year, could also be employed. The convention bans the use of these toxic agents in battle, not least because they risk causing an escalation to full chemical warfare.... Leading experts and Whitehall officials fear that using even pepper spray and CS gas would destroy the credibility of the Chemical Weapons Convention, provoke Iraqi chemical retaliation and set a disastrous legal precedent." (The Independent, March 2, 2003)

"The members of the Bush Administration, some 30 of whom have direct financial relations with the defense industry, have so much to gain from the war that they're willing to invade regardless of the danger it poses to American soldiers," said Tom Bolema, Juniper Hills (California) Town Councilperson. "They're about to launch this war regardless of the likely high number of Iraqi civilian casualties, regardless of the condemnation of nations and people around the world and in the U.S., regardless of pleas from the U.N. inspectors to let the inspections continue, regardless of Iraq's destruction of its own missiles."

MORE INFORMATION The Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org National office: 1314 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 202-296-7755, 866-41GREEN

60 Minutes reports "Bio/Chem Attack Protection Questioned" http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/02/14/60minutes/main540691.shtml http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/11/30/attack/main531271.shtml

"Iraq Links Cancers to Uranium Weapons: U.S. Likely to Use Arms Again in War" by Robert Collier The San Francisco Chronicle, January 13, 2003 http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0113-01.htm

WISE (World Information Service on Energy) Uranium Project http://www.antenna.nl/wise/uranium/ Military Use of Depleted Uranium http://www.antenna.nl/wise/uranium/#MILDU

Gulf War Veteran Resource Pages: "Information on the Web for Gulf War Veterans suffering the mysterious collection of maladies known as Gulf War Syndrome" http://www.gulfweb.org

National Gulf War Resource Center http://www.ngwrc.org/

Veterans Call to Conscience Campaign http://www.calltoconscience.net

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