Many will want to know that the People’s Hearing On the Lasting Impacts of the Iraq War is available online via Live Streaming. You can Google this title or “Right to Heal, Live Streaming”. The event was sponsored on Wednesday evening, March 26, by Right to Heal Initiative, joined by Iraq Veterans Against the Iraq War, the Center for Constitutional Rights and other groups. It was held at Friends Meeting of Washington, moderated by Phil Donahue. Donahue said of American policy, “…we have almost no respect for diplomacy. It’s almost as though we’d rather win a war than avoid war.”
Speakers included an attorney with the CCR, an Iraqi veteran suffering from mental health issues, an Iraqi veteran who was raped in Iraq, an Iraqi environmental pathologist and toxicologist, and an American mother whose son died of illness that started months after he returned from Iraq and others. Dr. John Tirman, from MIT, author of The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars, also spoke.
The war is not over, said the speakers. They spoke of the ongoing tragedy in Iraq–the cancers, diseases, devastation of cities and villages, corruption of government, lack of water and electricity, PTSD, mental health problems and birth defects never heard of before medically. The toxic exposure is not only due to depleted uranium but also to mercury, lead and other chemicals. Allied soldiers and Iraqis were and are exposed to hundreds of burn pits filled with assorted toxic wastes that release pollutants into the air and water. This is a two-hour opportunity to hear about the chaos we have left in Iraq.