Aloha County Council,
I urge you to vote for Resolution 639-08. Your maikai action to pass this Resolution follows two very important international resolutions passed recently against Depleted Uranium weapons and Cluster Bombs.
The European Parliament has this week resolved to ban DU weapons:
"Families in Fallujah are calling for an investigation into the rise of birth defects. They have raised concerns about the uranium weapons used by American forces in 2004, including constant bombardment with bunker busters, high velocity tank rounds, rockets, artillery shells and other depleted uranium ammunition- when Fallujah suffered the heaviest blitz following the overthrow of the Saddam regime of the entire war in Iraq. Hikmat Tawfeeq, deputy chairman of the Fallujah-based human rights group Al-akhiyar said: 'We have around 200 cases of deformities recorded by our society. Most of these cases are birth deformities which have arisen after the bombing of Fallujah.' Campaigners say officials are reluctant to speak out publicly because of US pressure but at Fallujah's children's hospital one doctor told Sky News in the past month she has seen one or two cases of birth deformities every day. An opthalmologist said he deals with four or five cases of newborn babies every week suffering from some form of eye deformity. At one of the cemeteries in Fallujah, undertaker Mahmoud Hummadi said he usually buries four to five bodies of newborns every day and most of them are deformed."
-- Press TV, Friday, May 30, 2008
The UN Human Rights Commission Resolution of 1996 listed DU as a Weapon of Indiscriminate Destruction. The 1925 Geneva Convention on poison gas weapons bans weapons such as DU that burst into toxic flame and smoke (gas) that can be inhaled. Residents risk inhaling the Army's DU--carcinogenic low level alpha radiation-- outside of PTA at times in certain wind conditions depending on how much dust is stirred up at PTA, but those spikes are said to not exceed NRC hazard guidelines, up to ten times natural background radiation, certainly not a safe level in light of the National Academy of Science finding of 2005 that all ionizing radiation is harmful with no safe low threshhold.
The global Resolution banning cluster bombs also passed this week:
" The treaty formally adopted Friday by 111 nations, including many of America's major NATO partners,
would outlaw all current designs of cluster munitions and require
destruction of stockpiles within eight years. It also opens the possibility
that European allies could order US bases located in their countries to
remove cluster bombs from their stocks."
Both issues importantly affect sacred Pohakuloa and its fate. The Pentagon has aggressively misdirected the US to the wrong side of both issues. It is incontestable that the Army clandestinely fired DU rounds at PTA, denied the fact, then made the excuse that their weapons system was classified. They dispersed nerve gas in our watershed. They have failed to do comprehensive soil tests for DU contamination in the huge ICM impact area at PTA, making the excuse that unexploded cluster bombs prevented them. They insist on only looking for Davy Crockett solid remnants..
The statements made by the Army in town hall meetings and brochures about DU, its pyrophoricity, and human health hazard are misleading public relations propaganda. The Pentagon has known since 1943 that uranium dispersal makes environments unhealthy to live in. Internal Pentagon documents such as the Groves and Los Alamos memos demonstrate the political subterfuge waged by the Pentagon to keep the public ignorant of the awful toll of DU weapons use. The Army may be walking away from cleaning up DU in the loi in Schofield. The Pentagon flat out lied to the public about WMD in Iraq, about a connection between Osama Bin Laden, Afghanistan, and 9/11 (which the FBI says does not exist), about the cost of conflict, and about the harm to people and the environment from DU munitions used in those invasions and occupations. Those debacles are coming home to roost as crimes of the first degree, the initiation of aggressive war, in the eyes of the world. The Pentagon does not care; they intend to profit first at the expense of the commons. Who can stop them? The people of the world can stop them.
The Pentagon's flagrant and reckless war practices have further devolved US military personnel into the hell of lost souls, of terrorists who target civilians. It is standing policy for US troops to shoot up everyone in the vicinity if attacked or if merely imagining attack. Civilian casualties are counted as "terrorists" and planted with evidence. Why do US air attacks destroy hospitals in Iraq? Why was an air raid shelter full of civilians, El Amiriyah, targeted for cruise missile attack? Why do US snipers shoot civilians, even children? Why did the troops imprison innocent people and torture them? Why did they demolish Fallujah, a city the size of Cinncinnati, while denying exit to all males? What was the purpose of attacking sovereign nations with no connection to 9/11 and no WMD? These crimes required lethal training at camps like Pohakuloa Training Area. No wonder military suicides are increasing. No wonder Columbine syndrome came to a town hosting war.
No two functioning democracies have ever gone to war. With the US in perpetual war, the mandate that partisan corporations count its vote in secret is a wake up call. Foreign terrorists didn't attack us. We simply no longer live in a humanitarian state-a democracy- under functioning laws with fair elections. We are compelled to disbelieve everything the government says. We live under military dictatorship.
Under the Hague Convention rules for military occupation, following the 1893 invasion and overthrow, the citizens of Hawaii Island should exercise all sovereign discretion in the matter of live fire exercises, but compliance with international occupation law is blocked by the Pentagon. The Pentagon --armed to the teeth with WMD--reserves all resources and decisions for itself. The public is invited to comment, but they cannot be allowed any real influence, which is applied by corrupt Congressmen. Meanwhile the military industrial complex--war profiteering corporations linked to Daniel Inouye's campaign contributions-- have an undue influence, in the words of Eisenhower.
Mission accomplished--the bloodstained Global War on Terror is proceeding according to Pentagon plan, with no exit strategy and no end in sight. Bankruptcy and sick troops mean nothing to this empire. World opinion hasn't been voiced in imperial media to stop them. Military dominance was outlined in the Project for a New American Century signed by the Bush and Cheney families. Richard Cheney placed FEMA crews in lower Manhattan on September 10th, 2001, and was in command of the military's many highjacking exercises on the morning of 9/11, the New Pearl Harbor. Treasury Secretary Norman Mineta's description of Cheney in the White House giving stand down orders that morning while a plane approached from 50, 30, and 10 miles was deliberately kept out of the 9/11 Commission Report because it exposed the chain of command's operations..
The US military holds title to "worst industrial polluter" of the Hawaiian archipelago. Eventually like at Kahoolawe, Schofield, and other sites around the world, the military will walk away from the problems they made at Pohakuloa. They may pile on worse problems to conceal what has already gone down.. Nothing will be restored to the original and little will be remediated. The US military is the single largest global consumer of petroleum, an increasingly stressed resource. A B2 flight to bomb Pohakuloa from Guam consumes 35,000 gallons of jet fuel.
We need to stop live fire at PTA before any more aina is degraded to wasteland by the opala of rocket fires, 2000 lb bomb drops, UXO, DU, and lead contamination. We need our peace and quiet back. Half of PTA is forever off limits due to cluster bombs. Citizens question if the Army has widely fired the cluster bomb up there known as ADAMS, containing DU, for which teams are not surveying. Many suspect the Army has used DU penetrators prior to 1996, potentially for two decades at the anti armor range. They are moving the anti armor firing range. Is this because the soil at Range 11, despite earthmoving (a standard Pentagon remediation for DU contamination) is irremediably contaminated with DU? Citizens monitoring outside Range 11 have downloaded proof of radioactive contaminants kicking up in whirlwinds crossing Saddle Road. Yet the Army only wants to talk about solid shards of Davy Crockett spotting rounds in connection with DU contamination at PTA.
There is way, way too much bombing going on at PTA already, and more is planned. We need an immediate halt in live fire training to begin to assess the REAL situation up there. Comprehensive radiation testing must include soil around anti-armor ranges and artillery cluster munition impact sites. We already know about hundreds of radioactive Davy Crocketts and that, contrary to the Army story, DU is highly pyrophoric. Prescribed burns are reckless and potentially incindiary/explosive of solid DU ordnance while producing radioactive aerosols that disperse in the environment. Airborne DU is dangerous to breathe. Averaged air testing of prescribed burn aerosols is unlikely to be accurate methodology.
The military has now come up with still another proposal for PTA, a plan for helicopters to fire off rockets. These rockets are dangerous fire hazards. One particular rocket fired from helicopters has a hot burning classified kinetic warhead that Doug Rokke, the Army's first DU cleanup expert, says contains pyrophoric DU. The Army admits fires would be numerous from intense combustion. What is in the smoke? Why does Kona, downwind of PTA, have the highest cancer incidence on the island?
Please draw the line on what is reckless endangerment. Please uphold the precautionary principle. Please put a stop to live fire--especially helicopter rocket fire, anti armor practice, bunker busters, and cluster bombing-- until we comprehensively investigate the situation with independent oversight by stewards such as kia'ai Kamoa Quitevis, activist Jim Albertini, scientist Rosalie Bertell, Major Doug Rokke, and especially Dr. Lorrin Pang of Maui.
Please pass Resolution 639-08. We must resolve to stop live fire training at Pohakuloa as a wise health and safety precaution. Assurances made by the Army in the past regarding their destructive use of our land proved to be false and costly betrayals of the public interest and a prelude to loss of our commons.