Gulf War Syndrome – Refusing To Be Disabled
Global Women's Strike Journal, January 2006

There is no such a thing as an unwounded soldier. While the US claimed 760 casualties in the 1991 Gulf War, by 2002 another 8,300 had died and 168,000 had been disabled by the effects of experimental vaccines, depleted uranium (DU), oil well fires, etc., and thousands of their children were born with disabilities.  UK veterans suffered similarly and demanded recognition and compensation for “Gulf War Syndrome”. 

In May 2004, Scottish veteran Alex Izett’s hunger strike (supported by Payday) won the Independent Inquiry on Gulf War Illnesses in London, which ackowledged that Gulf War Syndrome exists.  However, the proposed “compensation” for 6,000 UK veterans and their families was an insult – £500 on average. 

This movement for reparations is now widening to other wars. Two US states now provide DU screening for soldiers returning from Iraq. The Italian Senate is investigating the effects of DU on Italian soldiers and, for the first time, on civilians exposed during military exercises in Italy itself.  The tragedy of possibly millions of similarly affected women, children and men in Iraq, former Yugoslavia, Somalia, and Afghanistan,  is now on our agenda.