Die Weltwoche Magazine - December 2003
"meals felt like broken glass, beverages like acid": Gulf War veteran Kirt Love, 2001.
The battle of the veterans
Numerous Americans, who fought in the Gulf War, warn
of a military strike against Saddam Hussein. Who are the
people, which the Iraqi Tyrannen actually loose will want,
but, face the government Bush with highest skepticism?
A second campaign against Saddam Hussein? "knowledge
it which? If Rumsfeld and Bush want their war absolutely,
they are to go first - at the point of the troops, which
kommandieren her, in front in the first vehicle ", the former
Gefreite Kirt Love says. Entruestung swings in its voice. "I
am a veteran, Bush is it not."
Kirt Love, the Gulf War veteran. Before twelve years it pulled
into the battle against Saddam; since then is its life
zerbroeckelt, apart by the piece pleases. It lives in the
Shenandoah valley in Virginia, now sits it in the high-speed
restaurant of a shopping centre in awaiting ISO castle,
without taking somewhat to itself. Meal and drinking do
pain, because Kirt Love at the mysterioesen Gulf War
O, it is indignant. Sometimes its voice becomes thereby
cutting, and verachtung pours to verachtung for the war
gentlemen and Buerokraten of the American military machine,
to which he belonged once from it. "the whole disgusts me on",
says Kirt Love. One must introduce oneself it: From 567000
American GIs, which released 1991 Kuwait, 307000 visited
a veteran hospital for medical treatment. Almost 200000 veterans
submitted a request for inability to work.
But nobody knows, whereby they are gotten sick. In the pentagon
is whispered, some pretended its diseases. Which increases
embittering veterans enormously. Again war against Saddam?
Not for the lost brigades of the disabled veterans. Who is healthy,
would like to pull perhaps again into the war. Clear finally the pig in
Bagdad. But of a recent battle in the Iraq nobody is inspired.
In June 1991 one gave them in honours a victory parade in
Washington. After the inglorious home coming Viet Nam
veterans should American krieger this time being entitled be
received. Impressing was the marching-up. 83 combat aircraft
thundered over the Constitution Avenue south the white house.
The chains of the battle tanks cut notches into the warm summer
bitumen. Most modern weapons were issued, so that the merry
could admire the equipment of their armed forces. 800000 Americans
saeumten the way of the parade. The president removed the
marching-up. Before beginning of the parade it had laid down a
wreath on the hero cemetery Arlington. He hopes, "this mark was
the last mark", the president had said.
Now is the son of the president at that time of the commanders
in chief. And again war lies in air. From a "last mark" no speech
can be; instead a new edition of 1991 threatens. "why we were
allowed it 1991 do not hunt?", ask veterans. "we were except us",
describe Kirt Love the moment of the armistice. It fought in that
division, which rolled up in an evasion maneuver Saddams troops.
"eight o'clock in the morning there, when the armistice entered
into force, but we were far from Bagdad, Saddam yet had killed
and did not ask ourselves, what to hell is loose." In the Iraqi desert
Love observed, how Egyptian and British troops further-fired still
ten minutes. "everywhere furious cries were to be heard." But the
war was - mean too early, like many veterans - to end. And Saddam
Suspicions are boundless
The ex sergeant Kevin Gregory would be to be quite had for a
further war against the dictator. Also it regards the armistice at
that time as an error. "we were annoyed, when we stopped,
because we wanted to bring the war nevertheless to a good end."
They displaced the parade long, veterans. Because on the
euphoria to have triumphed to be and only 378 American
pleasures to deplore have alive, disillusionment followed. Many
became ill. And nobody knew why. Steve Robinson, as a member
of American special forces in the Gulf War, leads that national
Gulf was resource center, an approach place for malade veterans,
in Silver jumps in the State of Maryland. It knows its doubts. "lean,
say patient veterans off a second war" he. They looked at themselves
and said: "cannot go back my God, we nevertheless and still times
make, although people were not at all supplied as I." Their suspicions
are boundless. Perhaps their health was ruined, because they were
suspended traces by Iraqi chemistry weapons. Perhaps they trouble
pain, because they were thereby, when Saddams poison was hunted
of American specialists into air. Or because the depleted uranium
of armor-piercing American ammunition contaminated its bodies.
Which always it Malaise caused: Never more!
Would the soldiers of a new war be better prepared? "I believe not",
say Steve Robinson. Still "incorrect chemical schutzanzuege" were
used. Regularly Robinson receives the telephone calls of active
soldiers. "you want to know, what them to do to be able to protect
around itself." By any means it is not anti-American "or against a
war", but it knows evenly that 1991 errors were made, says Robinson.
It advises the callers to pay attention also to the false alarms of the
chemical measuring instruments. "the gas mask touches down no
matter, whether it is a wrong or genuine alarm."
Robinson does not want to exclude that some veteran through-
slammed later than civilian, because he had been poisoned in
the war. Or otherwise somewhat, something unknown, so far
puzzling spoiled it. Veterans actually released. There murder-
end married men in the garrison are away Bragg in North Carolina.
Three of the four, which killed their wives in this year, had served
in the Gulf War. Of America mass murderer number one, the ex-
Gefreite Timothy McVeigh, was also a veteran of the Gulf War.
Before it killed and for it was executed 168 humans in Oklahoma
town center with a truck bomb, it had friends entrusted, actually it
after the return of the Gulf War of a psychological consultation to
submit had been supposed itself.
John Muhammad, the sniper of Washington, is also a Gulf War
veteran. Its former wife states, who war has him strongly changed.
And in Arizona the veteran Robert Flores shot recently three of
his professors. "you are ready to advance toward your creator?",
Flores asked its victim Barbara Monroe. Then it forced away three
times. After the Gulf War the life for Flores had become the curse.
Heavy disturbances of the digestive tract tormented it daily. For
it responsible the veteran made "the wind direction, when pioneers
blew up ammunition and shelter, in which nerve gas stored". Thus
it was located in its farewell letter.
High degree of ready for violence shank
There are not accurate numbers over the act of violence of Gulf
War veterans. Perhaps the acceptance is, it was inclined to force,
only one invention moves American fancy. From many Viet Nam
veterans it meant also, they were psychologically disturbed and
a danger for the public. On the other hand the neurologist and
psychiatrist William Baumzweiger mean, veterans of the Gulf War
exhibited "a very high degree" from ready for violence shank.
Baumzweiger is specialized in the treatment ill veterans. Not to
exclude that it receives soon new patients.
"the schutzanzuege do not function, the alarms also not - the
veteran sees Eric Gustafson after a repetition from 1991", fears.
It sits at the desk of its small office nearby the congress building
in Washington. It served at a pioneer brigade, and it is convinced,
"that we for 1991 the correct made". A recent war Gustafson faces
nevertheless with substantial skepticism. Together with other war-
critical gulf veterans it created therefore the group of veteran for
Common scythe. They collect signatures of veterans against a rash
war in the Iraq.
Its experiences move Eric Gustafson still. Hautnah he experienced
the fright of the modern war. "Kuwait town center after release, the
Highway of death, this incomprehensible destruction, the blood bath -
it was indescribable", says it. The veteran meets the "traditional
peace movement" nevertheless with critical distance. "you say this
and say that to respond without many humans or American values
thereby." Gustafsons a avowed goal is it to clear the Americans up
over the consequences of a new war. Above all, which concerns the
Iraqi population. "other Iraq" is to it because of the heart, "that Iraq,
which is besieged doubly: of Saddam as of the restaurant sanctions ".
The small people evenly.
As far as it can judge Eric Gustafson, the reactions veterans mixed
on an invasion the Iraq are. Former combat troops are rather for it
since they were encouraged in their faith at that time "on the correct
side" to have confessed. Many are however disappointed: "we did
these terrible things on the battleground to march and Saddam at
power leave around thereafter simply up and of it", explain to Gustafson
their tendency. It leans back. "the idea to begin a war to kill in order
to loose-will Saddam, and ten thousands from Iraqis to is in principle
The former Gefreite Gustafson, US Army, 864. Pioneer combat
battalion, 1. Corps, considers according to the dilemma: Saddam
would be loving it gladly, "loosely however as and at which price?"
Rumsfeld and the falcons seem Gustafson "unbelievably naively".
Because stand for Saddam Hussein with the back now to the wall,
and Iraqi commanders "defend their homeland". Perhaps they
would therefore throw "their chemical arsenal" into the battle. "that
could entail a high number of American dead ones and surely very
high Iraqi losses." Why those of veteran for Common scythe to
caution advise. Nothing over-hurried! War only in the extreme
emergency and after Absegnung by the United Nations! An international
coalition, asks beautifully! And above all for the fact it ensures that the
GIs is protected against chemical weapons.
But, Gustafson says, needed it "the voices of those, those already
once on this battleground was" - to veterans as it or Joyce Riley,
which served now in the Gulf War as a nurse in the rank of a
captain and a spokeswoman of the American Gulf War Veteran
Association is, a veteran lobby in Versailles in the State of Missouri.
It does not take a sheet before the mouth. The president is it a
Graeuel. Hello world: Ask against George W. Bush rise!
The war prevent! Clearance for interpretation does not give it
with Joyce Riley. On the other hand! Punktum! She did not
speak "with only one veterans, which is for this war".
Joyce Riley believes to have been manipulated, 1990 by the older
Bush. Voluntarily it announced itself to the kommiss. "I have the
president trusted, when he said, the Iraqis Kuwaiti babies from the
incubators would have thrown. "which proved later than lie. But
the entire Gulf War was "a fraud". Who already would have
suspected 1991 that the government Reagan chemicals and bacteria,
under it spleen fire, had supplied at Saddam and had knowingly
watched, how Saddam Iranian troops guest? If Rumsfeld states
today to know of it nothing is a "absolute lie". Joyce Riley speaks
is very certainly, audibly accumulated annoyance. Her married
man David suffers from the Gulf War syndrome.
Mysterioese diseases? "nothing", says Riley, "embitters to veterans
more than the conception of puzzling diseases. "which happened,
is nevertheless obvious. The causes are well-known: doubtful
inoculation. Poisonous gas. Depleted uranium. White the devil,
which flowed into the bodies veterans or which they inhaled. And
because of these lies and suppressions grassiere now in the army
the distrust. "the troops are not lucky", maintain Riley. It talks
with active soldiers, "even with members about special-purpose
forces". Protection from chemical attacks? "absolute none!
"1991 was defective many schutzanzuege. Why thus should the
soldiers trust the war gentlemen this time? "credit since that time
a religious arousing experience had?" The nurse Joyce Riley feels
rear. "99 of 100 veterans says to me that they do not support,
maintain a new war" them. Corrosive disappointment drips from
its sentences. We were used for heating, want to say them.
Turning turn of the model officer
The former flight physician David Wiggins would agree it. A star
of the army was he. On rank POINT was to 23 under one thousand
cadets at the time of the conclusion because of the army academy
west. Afterwards it completed a medicine study and worked on the
renowned walter Reed Armeehospital in Washington. "I was a
model officer", say Wiggins. Until it in February 1990 in the office
of its commander appeared and military service wehrdienstverweigerung
for conscience reasons requested. "I carried out a 180-Grad-
Kehrtwendung and paid the price for it. "
Despite its request Wiggins was shipped in December 1990 to
Saudi Arabia. It stepped into the hunger strike. In the Christmas
Eve 1990 the general staff chairman Colin Powell visited the troops.
Together they sang at the end of the Weihnachtsgottesdienstes "let
peace on ground connection be". A "bizarre scene", remembers
In January 1991 doctor undressed Wiggins from protest against
kidnapping his request on a road crossing in Saudi Arabia up to
his long pants, on which the military police removed him for psychiatric
observation. After a healthy spirit had been certified to it, the army
placed it before a court-martial and ejected it. "I am ashamed for
our politicians, who want to pull again into a war", say the physician.
And who in this war fights, the interests by David Wiggins one do
Also Charles Sheehan Miles rejects a new war. Already on principle.
After the end of the Gulf War the tank soldier refused the military service.
One day in February 1991 remained sticking in its head. An American
tank brigade fired at an Iraqi convoy, on which a tank truck with gasoline
exploded and poured burning fuel over the following vehicle. Iraqi
soldiers sat in it. Sheehan Miles watched, how the Iraqis burned.
Afterwards it could not sleep any longer. With the war it was finished.
With all war. Sheehan Miles in an office spent the remainder of its
service. With Eric Gustafson he brought veteran for the Common
scythe into being.
Kirt Love, the veteran from the Shenandoah valley, is not Pazifist.
It leads war. For itself, for its ill Mitveteranen, against those, to which
it puts the awkwardness of its life to the load. In the Gulf War it was
in the middle in it and in front to. "he experienced, says Bizarre
things" Love. And boy, he had luck! "I was convinced Saddam,
of its gas weapons use would make. "before the Abmarsch to the
gulf the Gefreite Love" loaded body bags "on trucks. For those GIs,
which would not return from the battleground. "I said to my superior:
Sergeant, I can have one body bag with my initials?" The Sergeant
did not find it merry.
When the war began, the chemistry weapon warning devices
deflected. Love threw itself several times into its schutzanzug. In
May 1991, when the battle was struck, it watched, how Iraqi
ammunition shelters were demoliert by American blowing up
masters. "talked about the chemical weapons stowed away there."
Was the danger conscious to the soldiers? "O no, we were not
warned." Notion lots experienced fairy taleful fireworks: "the
chemicals burned down in different colors." A mad Trip! Later the
pentagon, Kirt Love stated 35 kilometers from the breakup had been
distant. "with it there was not even one and a half one kilometers;
you could run there."
Already superseded, Love became ill in the spring 1993. "I could
eat nor drink neither and had unbelievable pain." Meals felt to "like
broken glass, beverages such as battery acid". Soon adjusted
themselves "joint pain, memory disturbances, Migraenen and
neurological problems". Love lost the feeling in hands and feet,
felt neither cold weather nor warmth, still pain. "I did not have
notion, which that was, and of Khamisiyah I had never heard."
In the Iraqi Khamisiyah American pioneers had destroyed a
chemical weapon camp Saddams. According to groups of
veterans thereby over 100000 American soldiers were exposed
to the agent sarin. Khamisiyah became the symbol. Because
Khamisiyah was everywhere. In the dust of the depleted uranium
Khamisiyah, in the dark clouds of the burning Kuwaiti oil fields,
was in the Anthrax vaccine. When Kirt Love joined the alleged
puzzle, rage overcame him that both the pentagon and persistent
the existence of specific diseases Love as terrible betrayal of the
Golfkriegern denied, did not only feel the veteran Ministry.
Conspiracy theories erbluehten like poisonous flowers. Accusations,
some of it abstrusely, flew direction Washington, where the
bureaucracy rejected first each connection between the ill
veterans and their war service, in order to finally grant after
years, the symptoms would require detailed investigation.
Each month a 103-Dollar-Scheck
In June a scientific advisor committee of the veteran Ministry in
a report determined, the diseases could "not sufficiently by the
employment stress, war trauma or psychiatric diagnoses such
as post office trauma tables stress being explained". Kirt Love
was the rejecting answers of the veteran Ministry already 1997
wrong and turned directly to the white house. He could hardly
work, was poor and felt miserable. One granted it a ten percent
versehrtheit, paid off by a monthly check at a value of 103 dollar.
"my case is one of hundred thousands", says Love.
Toughly it has into the one permanent guerilla war against
the bureaucracy bit itself, an American Michael Kohlhaas,
which places OF information act of requests for the publication
of secret documents with the help of the Freedom and which
bureaucracy nervt. The fact that a new war stands against
Saddam on the agenda of the president can hardly seize Love.
"I must live each day with my illness and would not like not that
it is issued, says this 21 or 22-jaehrigen Kids, which would pull
into the war later like me" it. At all it does not think anything to
use American soldiers of ring around the globe "for the control
of the world". They are not to protect the United States, more.
On a sheet paper paints Love small circles. They represent
different groups of veterans and various authorities. Somewhere
in the midst of the Kringel the ex-Gefreite Kirt Love, a tiny
foreign body in a tangle of gear wheels, but by all means no
individual case is.
"I am always nervous, and my body behaves, as if race it with
300 kilometers per hour... I tremble and sweat... Fear conditions
and depression control my life ", wrote a Gulf War veteran
arrested because of homicide Steve Robinson?
Description of condition one abgewrack