Is The Gulf War Syndrome Real Essay

, Research Paper Is the Gulf War Syndrome Real? On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. The United States government acted very quickly. Ships were dispatched to the Persian Gulf, and oil prices shot up as and oil

Is The Gulf War Syndrome Real? Essay, Research Paper

Is the Gulf War Syndrome Real?

On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. The United States government acted

very quickly. Ships were dispatched to the Persian Gulf, and oil prices shot up as and oil

embargo was placed against Iraq. The U.S. government told us that Saddam Hussein was

poised to invade the neighboring countries, including Saudi Arabia, and the worlds oil

supply was threatened. George Bush launched operation “Desert Shield” in which a

coalition of many nation’s armies gathered in the deserts of Saudi Arabia bordering Iraq

and Kuwait.

As the war began, the coalition of national armies assembled in Saudi Arabia took

a few SCUD missile shots fired from Iraq. When the troops started moving in, Sadam’s

army turned and tried to get out of Kuwait. The Iraqi “Republican Guard” stayed safely

back, far from the fighting. Several hundred U.S. troops died in the brief battle, and ten’s

of thousands of Iraqis died. Many, if not most, of the U.S. deaths were the result of

“friendly fire”.

At this point, George Bush decided to bring the troops home. UN weapons

inspectors converged on Iraq and the coalition armies dispersed. Perhaps the most hyped

war in history was now over. It was almost certainly the war most orchestrated for the

media. All the troops had been drilled for months in preparation for a tremendous battle

and possibly chemical and biological weapons. Suddenly it was over. They were sent home

and returned to their normal everyday lives. Memories of the threat of chemical and

biological weapons remained.

Years pass before rumors begin to surface, a veteran suddenly died for no known

cause there was a veteran who developed an enormous tumor and there was a veteran

who’s new child is severely malformed. The threat of chemical and biological weapons

returns to everyone’s memory. People start thinking that perhaps this is the cause of all

these illnesses.

The threat seemed very real. If it could be demonstrated that Gulf War

veterans are suffering from the effects of chemical or biological weapons, they might have

grounds for some restitution from the United States government, or perhaps the Iraqi

government. Organizations began to form in response to rising concern over the plight of

Gulf War veterans.

Official Pentagon numbers show a total of 697,000 U.S. citizens took part in the

Gulf War, but they may not include non-military members. About 6 percent of Gulf War

veterans have reported an ailment they believe is linked to their service. The Pentagon

found that 85 percent had ailments or diseases with known causes not linked to the Gulf

War.

Further Defense Department research is focusing on the slightly less than 1 percent

of all Gulf War veterans, whose ailments could not be diagnosed. Their problems included

headache and memory loss, fatigue, sleep disorders, and intestinal and respiratory

ailments. These have come to be known as the symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome.

The Gulf War Syndrome is nothing more than a hearsay. It is a disease in which

all of the science involving it is replaced by rumor. The opinions or real medical experts

are replaced by the opinion of veterans who believe they are now medical experts.

There have been accounts of symptoms such as: aching muscles, aching joints,

abdominal pain, facial pain, chest pain, blood clots, flushing, night sweats, blurry vision,

photosensitivity, jaundice, bruising, shaking, vomiting, fevers, sinus growths, irritability,

fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, weight gain, loss of appetite, heartburn, nausea,

bad breath, hair loss, graying hair, rashes, sore throat, heart disease, diverticulitis and

other intestinal disorders, kidney stones, a growth in the eye, tingling and itching

sensations, sore gums, cough, cancer, diarrhea with and without bleeding, constipation,

testicular pain, epididymitis, unspecified swelling, memory loss, dizziness, inability to

concentrate, choking sensation, depression, lightheadedness, hot and cold flashes, labored

breathing, sneezing, sensitive teeth and other dental problems, neurological disorders,

nasal congestion, bronchitis, leg cramps, twitching, hemorrhoids, thyroid problems, welts,

rectal and vaginal bleeding, colon polyps, increased urination, a “bulging disk” in the neck,

hypertension, blood in urine, insomnia, headaches, and “a foot fungus that will not go

away.

There have been more believable examples such as in the case of Michael Adcock.

Adcock died in 1992 from lymphoma, which is cancer of the lymph glands, which then

spread to the rest of his body. He thoroughly believed that he had contracted the

lymphoma by being exposed by something in the war.

His story was very believable, and the media attentively reported the story. But

the Army Surgeon General reported that he had suffered from rectal bleeding, which is the

first symptom of lymphoma, shortly after arriving to the war. And it is well known that

lymphomas take as much as 10 or more years to develop. And Adcocks occurred in a

very short time. But Adcock and his family still blamed it on the Gulf War.

There have also been many reports of occurrences such as birth defects caused by

Gulf War Syndrome. One of Nightline’s reporters said “In Waynesville, Mississippi, 13 of

15 babies born to returning members of a National Guard Unit were reported to have

severe and often rare health problems.” However, Nighline did not explain that the report

was prepared by the parents of the babies.

The Mississippi Department of Health did and investigation on the alleged cases of

birth defects and found that the 54 major and minor birth defects to returning Gaurdsmen

in the state were well within the predicted range. There were also no more symptoms of

low birth weight children than would be expected.

Several miscarriage and birth defect investigations had searched for abnormal rates

among the offspring of the veterans. They have found no evidence whatsoever. The

children of Gulf war veterans and children of comparable soldiers have been analyzed, and

they have the exact same percentage of birth defects.

There have also been cases such as with Denise Nichols. She gave testimony

before Congress that she had transmitted Gulf War Syndrome to one of her children. She

claimed that her own daughter, had been diagnosed with congenital cataracts, after her

return from the Gulf War. But she did not understand that congenital means “from or at

birth”. Basically her doctor had told her daughter had told her that her daughter did not

receive her cataracts as a result of her mothers war duty. She was born with the problem.

There have also been many claims of cancer among veterans. Such as Dick

Foster’s of the Rocky Mountain News. He claimed that William L. Marcus’s

congressional testimony in June 1996 had claimed that Gulf War veterans have a cancer

rate of three to six times that of the normal civilian population. But the data Marcus had

given were not for cancers as a whole, but for multiple myeloma. Which is a cancer of the

bone marrow. Marcus had not given any overall figures on cancer.

CDC Director David Satcher later sent a letter with information explaining in

detail why the data from Marcus was “no adequate to sees whether service in the Gulf

War resulted in increased risk for tumors or death from cancer”. A representative of the

VA testified that the data was too limited not only to say just how many Gulf War

veterans had cancer, but also to determine what a normal rate of cancer would be.

After this, Marcus’s data was useless. Marcus is not an epidemiologist or

statistician, he is an EPA toxicologist that did his own calculations. He did not author a

study that has appeared in a peer reviewed journal, he has authored no study at all. The

only actual data found is that by the end of 1996, there were 52,000 veterans that had

been medically evaluated, and only two had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

Most of what pushes the Gulf War Syndromes myth is the very simple: if

something happens after a given event, it must have been caused by the event. The Gulf

War Syndrome fallacy is basically like this: the veterans were healthy wen they went to

the war, but now they are sick. Therefore, it must have be ill because of something in the

Gulf War.

There have been many claims of different causes of the Gulf War Syndrome. Such

as: experimental drugs, flies, vaccines, scud fuel, and Aflatoxin. It is becoming very

common for someone to say that one thing is definitely the cause, then later on to insist

that something else is definitely the cause of Gulf War Syndrome. Nightline had a Gulf

War Syndrome show which without a doubt showed that Gulf War Syndrome was real

and that it was spreading. They first claimed that it was caused by nerve gas. Then they

blamed the pyridostigmine bromide pills that the veterans had taken. Then later on they

blamed it on the fumes from the oil wells. None of these could cause symptoms that are

communicable.

According to Rep. Evans, “The commonality of experiences that (Gulf War

veterans) have faced seem to be fairly convincing that they are suffering serious problems .

. .” But experts note that they have very little commonality at all. Rather, the list of

symptoms is both huge and diverse, quite the opposite of what one would expect if they

had a single cause. Indeed, the net has been cast so wide as to include even medical

problems of soldiers’ spouses. One soldier speaking at a congressional hearing described

how his wife is “beginning to suffer pains in her joints.”

But there are many who firmly believe that the nerve gas is the cause of Gulf War

Syndrome. The firing of mustard gas and nerve gas was one of the biggest fears of many

soldiers on the line. So many of the veterans seeking a cause for their symptoms decided

that they must have been gassed. There are now some veterans who say that they

remember being gassed, but none of them reported to clinics at the time. And an IOM

report states, “there are no confirmed reports of clinical manifestations of acute never

agent exposure.”

Then there was the news that sarin nerve gas weapons were blown up at

Khamisiyah with U.S. troops three miles away. This gave new aid to the chemical

weapons theory. Sarin gas is an organophosphate. A report on Possible Effects of

Organophosphate Low Level Nerve Agent Exposure was later released. The report

states, “ The concept of low agent exposure is not realistic. These are highly bolatile

substances and disappear quickly, it is hard to imagine an open air situation in which low

concentrations would not disappear to zero levels within moments.”

The report also surveyed the scientific literature on nerve gas exposure. Among

these was a test on over 1,400 subjects, and the National Academy of Sciences panel

concluded there were no long term effects. The subjects were exposed to a range of gas

levels from low, symptomless doses too those that would cause acute illness. Also

another report showed that on 297 cases of accidental exposure among workers

manufacturing nerve agents found that about a fifth had symptoms, but all eventually

returned to work fully functional. But all of this data has been virtually ignored by the

media.

I have come to the conclusion of why there are so many ill Gulf veterans. It is

very simple, because there are so many Gulf veterans. There are 697,000 veterans, plus

their spouses and children. This equals well over a million people. With an amount of

people this large, there is going to be basically every illness known. Persian Gulf veterans

are not having any illnesses at an extraordinary rate. There are no more deaths, no more

cancers, no more birth defects, and no more miscarriages than that of the public.

The Gulf War veterans are having these problems because everyone has these

problems. The only difference is that the media has convinced them that there neighbors

illness is just an illness, but their illness is Gulf War Syndrome.

References

Fumento, Michael, Raising Fears of Gulf War Vets,

(The Washington Post, August 16, 1999)

Fumento, Michael, Gulf Lore Syndrome, (Reason Magazine,

March 1997)

Fumento, Michael, Gulf War Syndrome and the Press,

(The Wall Street Journal, March 4, 1997)

Fumento, Michael, What Gulf War Syndrome?, (The

American Spectator, May 1995)

Fumento, Michael, False Alarms, (Forbes Media Critic,

Fall 1994)

Fumento, Michael, Gulf War Syndrome, (Investors Business

Daily, August 1994)

Fumento, Michael, Is the Gulf War Syndrome Real?, (Investor’s

Business Daily, November 25, 1993)

Fumento, Michael, With Gulf War Syndrome, No Disease Is

No News, (Bridge News, January 7, 2000)

Fumento, Michael, The Times Adds to Gulf War Syndrome

Hysteria, (The Washington Times, April 14, 1999)

Fumento, Michael, Gulf Syndrome Kills Babies – NOT, (Copyright

1998 by Michael Fumento) http://www.fumento.com/gulf2.html

Bibliography

References

Fumento, Michael, Raising Fears of Gulf War Vets,

(The Washington Post, August 16, 1999)

Fumento, Michael, Gulf Lore Syndrome, (Reason Magazine,

March 1997)

Fumento, Michael, Gulf War Syndrome and the Press,

(The Wall Street Journal, March 4, 1997)

Fumento, Michael, What Gulf War Syndrome?, (The

American Spectator, May 1995)

Fumento, Michael, False Alarms, (Forbes Media Critic,

Fall 1994)

Fumento, Michael, Gulf War Syndrome, (Investors Business

Daily, August 1994)

Fumento, Michael, Is the Gulf War Syndrome Real?, (Investor’s

Business Daily, November 25, 1993)

Fumento, Michael, With Gulf War Syndrome, No Disease Is

No News, (Bridge News, January 7, 2000)

Fumento, Michael, The Times Adds to Gulf War Syndrome

Hysteria, (The Washington Times, April 14, 1999)

Fumento, Michael, Gulf Syndrome Kills Babies – NOT, (Copyright

1998 by Michael Fumento) http://www.fumento.com/gulf2.html