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War Unvarnished
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War Unvarnished

The military leadership in this country still smarts from its defeat in Vietnam. It believes, correctly, that public sentiment, fueled by accurate news reporting in the major media, as being the linchpin of that defeat. Since that time, starting with our nation's invasion of Grenada, a number of strategies have evolved to deny to the public the truth about our many military adventures. These include, but are not limited to, total or partial denial of access for accredited journalists to war zones, outright lying about statistics, and making information that belongs in the public realm so difficult to access that it is thus essentially unavailable.

For example: the public was told the military does not count civilian deaths in Iraq. In fact it does but it will not release that information. It has gone so far to take control of Iraqi hospitals during offensives, denying care to the civilian population, in order to prevent the release of information about civilian casualties.

The use of euphemisms to sanitize the horrific aspects of war would be almost comical were it not so serious. From the use of terms like collateral damage, i.e., the killing and wounding of civilian noncombatants; and free-fire zones, i.e., where anything alive can be killed without compunction; to Operation Iraqi Freedom, i.e., an unjustified military assault that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, made refugees of massive numbers of unarmed citizens and severely impacted the health of nearly a half-million children. The clear intent is to not offend the sensitivities of domestic citizens lest they object to what is being done in their name.

The ghastly weaponry of modern war -- from phosphorous shells whose contents burn slowly through flesh and cannot be extinguished with water, to Depleted Uranium and its slowly-developing carcinogenic and mutagenic damage, to antipersonnel cluster bombs intended to maim and whose unexploded units are so attractive to children, to the use of napalm in civilian areas - cruelly inflict unnecessary damage to innocent civilians yet is rarely mentioned in the corporately owned media.

Finally, the true toll of war on the members of our own military -- our sons and daughters -- are only occasionally reported upon. Few people know that VA hospitals are being down-sized at a time when casualties are increasing. Or about the rate and effects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on veterans and their families. Or of the number of suicides in the military. Or about the staggering percentage of Gulf War I veterans who have service-related disabilities. VEOP veterans are well-versed on these issues and are dedicated to sharing that information with the general public. You need only contact us.