Unpublished letter to the Guardian, 22 November
Recognition by the
Independent Inquiry that Gulf War Syndrome exists (Gulf war syndrome
claims receive boost, 22 November) is good news - and long overdue.
However, the proposed compensation fund amounts to £3m.
For the 6,000 veterans affected and their families this means an
average of £500 each. The
government has spent billions on war in Iraq - and even the Ministry of
Defence's annual budget for entertainment is £8m!
Veterans, their partners and their children, who have been made ill by Gulf War Syndrome, need ongoing compensation and immediate medical and specialised treatment. In the context of the horrendous loss of life and terrible destruction of the environment, the same provisions must be extended to all those Iraqi people suffering Gulf War Syndrome as result of extensive use of depleted uranium in the first and the current war. Itís time to invest in caring, not killing.
PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE
Gulf War Syndrome exists - this recognition is long overdue
"Gulf War Syndrome exists", says the Independent Inquiry on Gulf War Illnesses. "This recognition is long overdue", says Ben Martin from Payday, "but only begins to address the problems faced by veterans, their families and the civilian population who are also victims."
Alex Izett, whose 40-day hunger strike was instrumental in winning the Inquiry said: "What happened in the First Gulf War happened again in the second one - vaccinations and depleted uranium are still used. The MoD is still killing soldiers and civilians, veterans and their families".
While welcoming the Inquiry's initial findings, Payday is concerned about its limitations:
Ben Martin says: "It is shocking that it took half a century to win official recognition of the lethal effects of MoD experimentation at Porton Down. Expressing the same disregard for human life, the government took the world to war - at least 100,000 Iraqi civilians as well as their own soldiers have died as a result. It must not take another 50 years for all those killed and disabled by wars in the Gulf to get justice."
Contact: Giorgio Riva 07803 789699
Payday is an international and multiracial network of anti-war men working with the Global Women's Strike, and supported Alex Izett's hunger strike. Our website www.refusingtokill.net has publicised the campaign for recognition of Gulf War Syndrome.
17 November 2004
On 5 August 2004, Payday submitted to the Independent Inquiry that:
PO Box 287
London NW6 5QU England Tel: 020 7209 4751 Fax 020 7209 4761