grassrootspeace.org

November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website, traprockpeace.org, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.

THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to PeaceJournal.org, a multimedia blog and resource center.

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Contents - Archives - War Crimes - GI Special - Student Activism - Links

War on Truth  From Warriors to Resisters
Books of the Month

The War on Truth

From Warriors to Resisters

Army of None

Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal

See also New Advisory on March 6, 2003 Press Conference
Dec. 28 San Francisco Chronicle
Dec. 1 Memo from Doug Rokke on Defective Equipment
Nov. 30
Washington Post

Gulf War Casualties and Depleted Uranium Campaign

Action Alert - endorsed by the National Network to End the War Against Iraq
and issued as part of its November 25 Iraq-Alert.
See also Exerpt from Army Test Report and Sunny Miller's Notes to Action Alert - Below.

The following offers an expansion of the previous Action proposal focusing on defects in US military protective equipment.

Traprock Peace Center has been working with Dr. Doug Rokke, former head of the US Army Depleted Uranium Project in Iraq and former Director of Bradley Labs. Out of our work has grown the following Call to Action, which is endorsed by the National Network to End the War Against Iraq.

Commanders are required to report on the readiness of equipment, troops, and training in their Unit Status Reports. New reports should reflect the inadequacy of protective strategies. The General Accounting Office says the Army’s testing of protective equipment is generally inadequate. The Deseret News Service reports on an Army Audit Agency study released on Nov., 9, 2001 (obtained through the Freedom of Information Act) that a limited spot check a few years ago found that about 62 percent of Army gas masks “had critical defects that could have resulted in mask leakage" and that "up to 90 percent of the machines [the Army] uses to detect invisible chemical arms attacks may be defective."

Doug Rokke says movement of the chin and sweat readily break the seal of the M-40 mask, for example. ( see exerpt from Army test report below). He urges us to check such equipment, which he says is often carried by neighbors in the National Guard in their cars.

See GAO 03-137T Report (http://grassrootspeace.org/gaonbc1002.html), the Deseret News Story (http://grassrootspeace.org/defectiveequipment.html) and many other resources at the Traprock web site: http://www.grassrootspeace.org. The page devoted to our campaign with Dr. Rokke is located at http://grassrootspeace.org/depleteduranium.html

If Army commanders filed accurate status reports, thereby showing that soldiers do not have adequate equipment to go into battle, an invasion of Iraq could be significantly delayed.

Charlie Jenks
President
Traprock Peace Center
http://grassrootspeace.org


[The following is an EXERPT from an official test report, primary author Doug Rokke (June, July, August, 1995). Chemical School staff were authors and reviewers.

DEPLETED URANIUM JOINT LIVE FIRE LETHALITY TEST
RESEARCH QUESTIONS, FINDINGS, AND IMPLICATIONS

"During movement and recovery operations the M40 mask felt as if it was slipping off. Sweat aggravated this feeling. Obtaining a tight seal and maintaining the seal (perceived) during actual operations was unsettling. The mask does not fit well and feels as if it is slipping off in the chin area. Chin movement caused the need to reposition the mask repeatedly. The chin slipped out of the mask and broke the seal with the movement of the jaw and also when looking down to read meters, look for contamination, perform decontamination, or complete vehicle BDAR. Overall performance in this specific instance of the M40 mask under actual conditions in a hot, arid environment was unacceptable. Primary observation is that the depth / width of the chin well is too short. Observations were discussed with LTC Sutton. Recommendation: Conduct mask fitting and testing to verify observations."

For more information, email us.


1. Regarding the Unit Status Reports on malfunctioning masks and other protective gear, we are not recommending a massive calling campaign to a list of Commanders. I have no “click” and send, push-button approach. I now see “demand” as too strong a word -- Public and private “appeals” for accurate Unit Status Reports do seem appropriate. Dialogue, inquiry and expressions of earnest concern with a base commander, or any officer you can reach- even a Lieutenant - may have influence. I ask for earnest dialogue in your community, with people you want to reach.

2. Secondly, we can dialogue on the issue of malfunctioning masks directly with young recruits, with troops, AND with the friends, aunts, uncles or neighbors who may pass on information, concern and support to people in the military and the reserves. We wish to enable them to take advantage of their opportunities to use judgment that could save their own lives (and others’ lives.) Through use and testing of protective equipment, recruits may discern in advance whether or not their equipment works, allowing them to choose the brig over ill-made battle plans involving toxic and radioactive exposures from ‘depleted’ uranium munitions and fires. This seems just as important as talking with any commander. If recruits go to battle and think they are exposed to DU during the use of malfunctioning equipment, or during a time they are using no protective equipment, they and their families should know that it is best to be tested for the heavy-metal, uranium poisoning within the first month after exposure. (Protective gear is intended to work for only 6 hours, according to Major Doug Rokke, US Army Reserves, while troops are evacuated to an uncontaminated area, decontaminated and then begin using clean, protective gear.) I think the exactness of tests declines after that. Troops and civilians alike will need LOTS of outspoken, public support for getting appropriate tests and care. Let’s begin now. Soldiers are notoriously disinclined to ‘whimper’ about their symptoms as a result of years of cultural bias against noticing vulnerability, not to mention the real harassment and brutality that can come down on anybody who steps out of line. Imprisonment, demotion or fines don’t have much appeal, but neither do the chronic, severe, and deadly health problems and cancers that DU causes.

3. Thirdly, information about the genocidal nature of ‘depleted’ uranium is crucially important. DU is rightly considered a Weapon of Mass Destruction. As you know, DU has a radioactive half-life of 4.5 billion years. I have no idea what percentage of young people understand the Nuremberg Principles. A philosophy professor at a military academy years ago, assured me that officers are taught that they need to discern when they are given illegal or immoral orders. Are enlisted people told that? Some recruits may choose not to cooperate with genocide, IF they know DU weapons are considered illegal. That was confirmed in August of 2001 by the United Nations Sub-Commission on Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, according to Philippa Winkler. Karen Parker has worked long on this. She is with the Association of Humanitarian Lawyers, 154 5th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA. HOW TO

STOP THE PERPETUAL WAR?

No easy answer, just a lifelong commitment: I believe in a hand-shake -- that we are only 6 hand-shakes away from any person in the world. Thus, each of us who sees personal conversations with family AND with strangers as crucial are strengthening the web of life. I believe that loving each other will be more compelling than fear, conformity, and the call for killing. So I honor today my neighbor, Wally Nelson, who was not only courageous, but also very kind as he stepped out of line, again and again. In the urgent desire to stop this war I jumble or skip some steps and later regret it. Then I get to start again forgetting and remembering to
be centered
be informed
be kind
have dialogue
and sing, eat and rest when I’m weary.

Inspections, accurate Unit Status Reports, refusals to use DU, refusal to pay for war, big public demonstrations, public awareness about the plight of ordinary Iraqis, expressing solidarity with local human needs, asking for support for peace efforts, promoting alternative media, and a massive, nonviolent human shield, ... all may be crucial pieces of the puzzle. best regards,

Sunny Miller
413 773-7427
Traprock Peace Center

Page created November 28, 2002 by Charlie Jenks; updated March 5, 2003.