Mysteries Government Bringing the War Home

Bringing the War Home

Bringing the War Home
Catalog # SKU0536
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name William Thomas


Bringing the War Home

by Will Thomas

Bringing the War Home is a war story unlike you will ever read. Drawing on his experiences as a reporter and environmental emergency response worker in the war torn Persian Gulf as well as US Congressional and military records never before assembled in a single volume, William Thomas takes readers from nighttime missile attacks on American forces and frantic cries of "gas, gas, gas!" to the dazed survivors of Baghdad bombing raids and the wreckage-clogged Highway to Hell.

But this is only the beginning of a book that is really three volumes in one. In part two, this award-winning journalist and former member of the US military lays bare a Pentagon cover-up intended to bury forever Washington's complicity in supplying the chemical and biological weaponry to Iraq which continues to pose a threat to the world. A succession of shocking disclosures leads us through a labyrinth of political expediency and military incompetence which saw American troops and support personnel inoculated with experimental vaccines - including a nerve agent pill that amplified the effects of the sarin nerve gas repeatedly detected by observers. Ina climactic courtroom-style drama, US Senator Donald Riegle confronts the head of the US Army's Chemical Warfare Department and demands the truth.

Part three of this remarkable and timely book is a mini-medical thriller. Looking over the shoulders of medical investigators we peer into powerful microscopes as they search for a mysterious malady first identified as a syndrome, and later simply called Gulf War Illness. With official US combat related casualties now exceeding 6,200 dead - and more than 100,000 returning American GI's stricken by a confusing spectrum of degenerative ailments that appear to be spreading to their spouses and children - researchers race the clock and their own superiors' orders to stop looking, to find the causes of a disease described as more baffling that AIDS. This book concludes with good news: Gulf War Illness can be treated. The chapter on successful treatments will bring new hope to those afflicted by this multi-faceted disease.

Excerpt, Page 154-155

But patriotism was no longer so simple. Like the Shi'ite officer who walked away from germ-filled missiles and the French Legionnnaires who threw their Gulf war medals into the dirt in disgust, didn't a true patriot have a duty to try to stop immoral and inept leaders? I had to face the realization that I could soon be ordered to napalm families not unlike my own. I had to acknowledge the fact that I could no longer march in lockstep obedience to a Commander-in-Chief as craven and disingenuous as a Nixon or an LBJ.

I sent my letter of resignation to the Chief of Naval Ops with a lighter heart than I'd known for years. If being exiled from the land of my birth turned out to be the price for not killing people I had no quarrel with, so be it. It remained my most fervent desire to depart this planet without taking a human life.

Certainly not tonight.

But you never know. In a place where corpses have become such common currency, my own life could jingle like small change in the pockets of someone for whom sentiment has become an unaffordable indulgence.

Besides, my body carries a three million year-old imperative. And more recent memories. If cornered, I had not the slightest doubt it will know what to do. For have been there before, in a paradisiacal yet perverse place called Pago Pago, where a pocketed rigging knife appeared open in my hand before the first synapse of conscious volition could begin to overcome the shock of an attack intended to kill.

That move left me wandering dazed for hours under bowing palms, high on adrenaline and its unexpected atavistic grace. It also saved my life, continuing as it did in a single fluid upwards curve that slashed savagely at the leader of a loping pack of feral dogs just as lunged snarling for my throat.

Dogs are not men (though the reverse is not always true.) But when I turned with a curse to bloody my assailant, I learned in that primal moment that it makes absolutely no difference if mortal threat is borne on two legs or four.

The only true pacifists are martyred saints, or those who have never been threatened with immediate extinction by aggressors unmoved by protestations of peace or reason. When the karma collectors are pounding on your door, who but the most coddled armchair pundit can argue against self-preservation? And yet, despite my experience in Samoa and a seemingly unassailable rationale, how to explain the way my fingers linger over the Kalashnikov, enjoying its curves and its heft, the rigorous frame of its sight-picture?

The next gunshot hardly bothers me at all. For I've found the perfect anodyne to the fear of armed attack. With almost sensual pleasure, I rip open a cardboard box labeled in Arabic and begin pushing 7.62 mm cartridges into empty, spring-loaded clips. Each click of a round seating home carries a reassurance as seductive as it is false. No tracers tonight; I load only solid shells capable of shattering an arm in passing, or spreading some stranger's entrails hot and steaming over pants he'd donned, like me, this morning.

It's important to remind myself of these things, for it seems incredible - even impossible - that such a calming, almost domestic chore could have such brutal consequences. Or attract similar violence to itself.

Isn't this the seduction of all wars? Turn on testosterone-addled teenage boys with made-for-the-movies uniforms, place the god-like power of life-taking weapons in their unwise hands, and point them toward an "enemy" they'd probably be happy sharing a beer with if met in other circumstances---

The catch is - and each generation seems to have to relearn this lesson for itself - by the time the impetuous and the indoctrinated discover they've fallen for a lie, it's way too late to change their minds.

Chapter 19:

Bad Blood

Was the Pentagon's panic over the near-certainty that the chemical and biological weaponry Washington had sold to Saddam would be used against its own troops limited to the desperate, fast-tracked approval of a dangerous experimental nerve drug called PB?

In the summer of 1997, Garth Nicholson learned of another drug hastily stockpiled by DoD as a shield against the bio-weapons and production equipment sent to Saddam under government license from US companies. "I know from several sources that the DoD put out emergency orders for doxycycline and ciprofloxacin a few weeks before the ground war started," Nicholson informed American veterans. "One of the generic pharmaceutical companies that contracted with DoD described delivering 18 million units of doxycycline to a USAF base for immediate shipment to Saudi just two weeks before the ground war. After the war soldiers described to me that antibiotics, such as doxycycline, were being buried in mass in the desert (with their shipment pallets)."

Nicholson found it "interesting" that the same antibiotics he and his wife had been recommending for mycoplamal infections had been rushed to the Gulf in massive quantities just before the combined American assault on Kuwait and Iraq. "You can draw your own conclusions from this, but I feel strongly that the US knew exactly what we were facing in the Gulf War," Nicholson concluded. After all, he noted, the US, Europeans, Russians, Chinese and others had armed Iraqi forces with CBW weapons.

As a post-script, one of the USA's leading GWI researchers added that he had heard too many stories about "unconventional" NATO and US munitions turning up in Iraqui bunkers not to wonder if these shipments were the real reason behind Washington's increasingly implausible denials that chemical/biological weapons were ever used in the Gulf War.

Softbound, 731 pages, 6 x 9"

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