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Hilo veterans parade follow up

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Malu Aina’s informational flyer at the Nov. 7 Hilo Vets parade was entitled “Help Protect Veterans & Public Health.” It warned of Army Regulation 700-48 and that most of the military vehicles in the Hilo parade (including humvees and Strykers) recently returned from Iraq — a country contaminated with thousands of tons of Depleted Uranium (DU) used by US and British forces there.

According to Dr. Helen Caldicott, MD, “depleted uranium is a deadly carcinogenic and mutagenic poison that remains radioactive for 4.5 billion years.  It’s primary hazard is from tiny aerosolized particles that are inhaled…”

Army regulation 700-48, section 2-4 requires isolation of DU contaminated vehicles from all human contact, not parading these toxic killing machines down the peaceful streets of Hilo.

We support veterans being given the best possible medical care but we are opposed to U.S. wars of aggression that keep producing more and more disabled veterans.  It’s time to end (not escalate) these illegal wars and the illegal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The money being spent to kill people abroad should be spent to create jobs at home. The money used to build and parade Stryker killing machines should be used for vets medical care. If the U.S. stopped waging wars it would have money to fund schools, social services, and provide medical care for all.

It is reported that the Pentagon is going to ask for $50 billion additional funding for the wars after receiving $130 billion already. According to Wikipedia, the Department of Defense budget including defense-related expenditures outside of the Department of Defense brings the total for defense spending to between $925 billion and $1.14 trillion in 2009.

We respect Vets but not toxic Stryker Killing Machines.

We believe in respecting veterans by not further exposing them (and the public) to additional military toxins. Strykers are modern chariots of empire, hi-tech versions of Egyptian and Roman chariots whose old style weapons included swords on the wheels that mowed down people who rebelled against occupation.

Today’s high tech chariots — Stryker Urban Assault Vehicles fire depleted uranium (DU) machine gun and cannon armor-piercing and bunker-busting munitions. Strykers are presently training at the Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) known to be contaminated with DU.

As a follow up to the issues raised prior to, and at, the parade, Malu Aina has written to Lt. Col. Warline Richardson, Commanding officer at PTA.

Col. Richardson had said there would be no mobile weapon systems on military vehicles in the parade. Her words turned out to be false.

There were machine guns plainly visible on several humvees. Either Col. Richardson lied to us or was over ruled by higher ups.

We have also written to Col. Richardson under the Freedom of Information Act asking her to produce copies of radiological reports on the Strykers and Humvees in the Hilo Vets parade.

We have written to County and State elected officials asking each official “what did you do to protect vets and public health and safety,” since you were asked to investigate possible DU contamination of military vehicles prior to the parade?

We now ask each of you, our fellow citizens, to write a letter to the editor and/or government officials and express your concerns on the issues. Stand up and speak out now!

Jim Albertini

Malu Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action

P.O.Box AB

Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760

Phone: 966-7622

E-mail: JA@interpac.net

Web site: www.malu-aina.org

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