Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Here is a photo of a real, live, U.S. Army tank in Iraq. Several of my ardent critics have clearly shown that my earlier photo of a tank was not in Iraq but Israel. (Though I'd strongly claim it was made in the USA - one of the few things that are these days.) So it is actually true that the U.S. has tanks in Iraq and is daily using them to destroy people, fire depleted uranium shells that will leave radioactive toxic contamination for thousands of years to come, and kill many innocent Iraqi people. Let the critics have at it now!


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8/23/05, 3:02 PM  
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8/23/05, 3:03 PM  
Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

Several of my ardent critics

You can certainly think that if you'd like, but ardent is hardly descriptive of the emotion I feel reading your blog. Amused fits.

Though I'd strongly claim it was made in the USA - one of the few things that are these days

The tank you pictured was heavily modified by the IDF to suit their notions of how to fight a war. So, sure, made in the USA, heavily modified into a new machine in Israel.

8/23/05, 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Atomic Bob said...

Now your going to talk about Depleted Uranium?

What part of ***DEPLETED*** Do people have trouble understanding??!?!

Please see these links for more detail:

DU's radioactive properties are negligible at BEST. Its used for its density, not its radioactivity. Its used to cut through the toughest tank armour like a hot knife going through butter, shatter into thousands of white-hot fragments that ignite everything else in the tank, including unspend munitions. This sudden increase in pressure due to all these explosions causes the turret of the tank to blast off, 50 feet into the air. Presto: Enemy Tank Problem Solved.

About its toxicity: Anything short of eating large chunks with a knife and fork does not do much damage. Gulf War 1 veterans don't have to worry about their grand kids glowing in the dark. Like all poisons, the poison is in the ammount, not the chemical itself. For example: too much water will kill you.

On a side note: I still think the first tank picture was much cooler than this picture.

8/23/05, 7:17 PM  
Blogger CarlC said...

Tsk, tsk, atomic bob, don't you know better than to confuse Bruce with facts? You really need to infuse your comments with more feeling. That's where it's at.

8/23/05, 9:10 PM  
Blogger CarlC said...

So you posted a correction, Bruce. Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back. It's no skin off your nose to replace an erroneous photo, but what about something substantive? I'm still waiting for a retraction (unlikely), or substantiation (even less likely) of your ridiculous post of June 20 where you said:

Recently two separate sources have claimed that the U.S. military is dramatically underestimating the number of GI's killed in Iraq. The claim is the current estimates of 1,700 dead do not count those who died after being evacuated to Germany or other destinations. The sources state that internal Pentagon documents reveal over 9,000 have died. Wouldn't it be nice if the media would lock onto this story as hard as they did the Michael Jackson trial? By keeping the public honoring of U.S. war dead to a bare minimum, Bush has so far been successful in keeping the inquires suppressed.

This claim is transparently stupid for reasons I stated at the time. That's why nobody pursued that "story", Bruce, not because of the suppressed dissent that you hallucinate.

What you posted, but don't have the decency to retract or defend, is unsubstantiated rumor. Most decent folks learned at an early age not to spread rumors. Why did your parents not teach you that? Not enough time between the beatings?

8/23/05, 9:49 PM  
Blogger Vic Jacobs said...

Amused fits.

You get those too, eh? Nice to know I'm not the only one.

I just knew that when the subject of tanks came up it was only a matter of time before Bruce went into hystrionics over DU. You know, Bruce, that DU is less radioactive than the ubiquitous naturally-occurring uranium, right? That that is what the "depleted" in "depleted uranium" means? And that it is no more toxic than the lead that might otherwise be used in tank shells?

8/23/05, 10:41 PM  
Blogger Vic Jacobs said...

CarlC, I'm not sure if it's "spreading rumors" as much as it is fearmongering.

Which is just as bad, mind.

8/23/05, 10:42 PM  
Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

I still think the first tank picture was much cooler than this picture.

The Israeli tank might look cooler but the M1A1 will eat it for breakfast and ask for seconds. I'll take efficient over looks any day.

8/24/05, 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Yogimus said...

Damn that beast of war just trampling that poor helpless road.

On a sidenote, why would a tank gunner fire depleted uranium shells in iraq? Is he engaging an armored target?

Or do you really think we would waste all those expensive shells to blow away iraqi orphans who seek refuge in mosques from evil opressors?

That is what flechette shells are for. Leaves more of em to grease the treads. Then we suck the crude oil out of their spinal fluids.

8/24/05, 3:21 PM  
Blogger Vic Jacobs said...

On a sidenote, why would a tank gunner fire depleted uranium shells in iraq? Is he engaging an armored target?

Hmm. Lessee. Because we Americans are a sadistic and muderous people by nature, who delight in inflicting malicious and wanton destruction on a helpless people under our subjugation, and enjoy nothing more than gratuitously poisoning the landscape with our radioactive toxins?

Gonna share that spinal fluid, Yogimus?

8/24/05, 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Yogimus said...

But those shells are so... expensive. I prefer to load kittens into the barrel and lob them toward the heroic freedom fighters.

On a serious note:

Worrying about depleted uranium shells in Iraq is kind of like disinfecting the skin before a lethal injection.

On one hand you have a possible hazard in the uranium shells, with no documented cases of death or disease. It is a very specific weapon, designed to penetrate armor. It is not an effective munition for anything else. As such, we simply do not use it.

On the other hand, you have several MILLION land mines scattered haphazardly in the country side, often within yards of settlements. (which we are diligently removing) These mines are both anti vehicle and anti personnel. But just in case the land-mines aren't taking enough lives, there are highly motivated "freedom fighters" who are more than willing to remove the exposives and redistribute them in the middle of crowded markets.

Which is worse, in the grand scheme of things? People dying, or a bullet with a scary name?

8/25/05, 7:01 AM  
Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

Which is worse, in the grand scheme of things? People dying, or a bullet with a scary name?

Depends on their willingness to integrate new ideas.

Some people find it hard (or impossible) to integrate new thought patterns into their mindset. The former choice is a known reality, the latter an unknown, which they might lack the skills to integrate and think about. So they do not, and the unknown is always a bigger fear than the known.

Pity is in order. The world is ever changing and they can't change with it.

Now, if you've taken into account the reality of the latter choice and you still worry about it, that's fine. But knee jerk reflexes can kill you in a new environment.

8/25/05, 4:42 PM  

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