EAW's Letter to Michelle Obama and the White House Response
September 7, 2010 Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War
On August 1, EAW published text and video postings detailing the unprecedented increase in childhood cancers and deformed babies following the US attack on Fallujah, Iraq's "City of Mosques." We sent copies of these postings, with a letter requesting action, to First Lady Michelle Obama, Senators Feinstein and Boxer, and Congressmembers Pelosi and Lee. Today, we received a letter from the White House.
A Letter to the White House
And a Response
Video: Babies Born with Missing Eyes, Extra Fingers, Two Heads, Horrific Tumors
LINKS to these videos were sent to the White House and members of the House and Senate
On August 1, EAW published text and video postings detailing the unprecedented increase in childhood cancers and deformed babies following the US attack on Fallujah, Iraq's "City of Mosques." We sent copies of these postings, with a letter requesting action, to First Lady Michelle Obama, Senators Feinstein and Boxer, and Congressmembers Pelosi and Lee. Today, we received a letter from First Lady Michelle Obama. We have yet to receive a response from any senator or congressmember.
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
August 1, 2010
Dear Michelle Obama:
We recently posted two stories on the Environmentalists Against War website that I wish to bring to your attention. (Copies of the posted stories are attached.) The reports -- from Iraq and Vietnam — were deeply troubling to me as an American.
As America's First Lady -- and First Mother -- I believe you will share my concern.
These stories report on the lives of children who have been born with twisted or missing limbs, with horrific mutations, with cancers.
In both cases, the children of Fallujah and the children of Vietnam have become the incidental victims of US military weapons. Babies and children have become "collateral damage."
In Vietnam, the US used powerful defoliants to kill vegetation. The chemicals also destroyed the lives of families whose mothers gave birth to deformed children. Thirty-five years later, a new generation of Vietnamese children is struggling to survive the crippling injuries that are a legacy of America's use of Agent Orange.
In Iraq, the hospitals of Baghdad are filled with the grieving families of children born with deformaties and cancers. In Fallujah (the site of a major US military siege in 2006), children suffer from cancer at rates that are now 15 times greater than that experienced by the survivors of the US atomic bombing of the city of Hiroshima.
Videos attached to these news stories underscore the human impact. They are very disturbing.
Aside from the moral issues raised -- i.e., what is America's responsibility to the innocent victims of our weapons -- these tragedies also raise national security issues. These stories -- along with many videos now circulating on the Internet -- carry a powerful message to readers and viewers around the world.
The message is that the US, with its military might and technological prowess, sows harvests of civilian sorrow around the world -- from the Bikini Islanders to the civilian casualties of our drone missile attacks in Pakistan.
The fundamental question was raised on a banner held aloft by protesters in the Middle East: "America. Ask Why You Are Hated!" The answer is found in the images of these young victims, born with missing limbs, hydrocephaly, missing eyes.
America's wars -- and our 700-plus military bases in other lands around the world -- are a root cause of the anger that feeds our enemies. This is why we can never win a "war on terrorism" with more war. War and terrorism are mutually self-enforcing. It's what the CIA once called a "self-licking ice cream cone" that only benefits one sector -- the war industry.
What can we do to break this cycle? First, we could begin by accepting responsibility for the physical and genetic damage our weapons have wrought. Secondly, we need to halt the production and use of America's Weapons of Mass Destruction. These include radioactive depleted uranium shells, white phosphorous, chemical weapons, biological weapons and all nuclear weapons, tactical and strategic.
I hope that you and the President will be able to move this agenda forward.
With hopes for a more peaceful and healthy planet for Sasha, Malia, and all the world's children.
Gar Smith, co-founder
Environmentalists Against War
PO Box 27, Berkeley, CA 94701
THE WHITE HOUSE
August 31, 2010
Mr. Gar Smith
Environmentalists Against War
Post Office Box 27
Berkeley, California 94701-0027
Thank you for your note and for sharing your views with me.
Active citizens are the cornerstone of our democracy, and so I thank you for engaging in the important work of true citizenship. Our strength as a country and our ability to responsibly shape our future depends on informed and impassioned Americans.
Our President's views on a variety of issues are available at www.whitehouse.gov, where you can explore his agenda and stay updated on news from the White House. I urge you to stay active by sharing your thoughts online or by addressing needs in your community as we confront the challenges of this important moment for our Nation.
Thank you for writing. I wish you all the best.
Michelle Obama In Response
While we deeply appreciate the First Lady's response and certainly endorse her call to citizen participation, we regret that the response was generic and noncommittal.
We understand why Mrs. Obama would wish to pass the responsibility for a response along to the President. (But we note that the White House Webpage does, in fact, list Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden as members of "The Administration."
While it is true that the President's opinions on a variety of issues can be found at www.thewhitehouse.gov, there is no evidence that the President has issued any statements on the epidemic of cancers and mutant births in Fallujah.
See Some of EAW's Reports
Iraqi City Has Higher Cancer Rates than Hiroshima
Jul 24, 2010: The Iraqi city of Fallujah continues to suffer the rates of cancer higher than those recorded after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
http://www.envirosagainstwar.org/know/read.php?itemid=9677 - Cached
Environmentalists Against War
Jul 30, 2010 ... For example, the rate of lung cancer among sailors is twice that of ... as disturbing reports have emerged in recent months from Fallujah.
Soaring Rates of Cancer in Fallujah
Aug 15, 2010: As late as May 2010, the Brookings Institute reported on studies that reveal soaring cancer rates in Fallujah and other cities in Iraq.
US Legacy in Iraq: Violence, Devastation, Corruption, Desperation
Apr 29, 2010: In February 2010, the International Rescue Commission (IRC) issued a report on the US raids in Fallujah, Haditha, Mahmodia, Telafer, Anbar, Mosul.
Army To Be Sued for War Crimes
May 6, 2010: LONDON -- There clearly is a problem in Fallujah as far as the health of newborn children is concerned.
Covering up American War Crimes, From Baghdad to Fallujah
(March 22, 2010) -- On March 4, BBC correspondent John Simpson reported on the consequences of the first American attack on Fallujah in two years earlier.
Environmentalists Against War: What You Need To Know
The children of Fallujah (site of a major US assualt) suffer from soaring rates of cancer.
The Criminal Invasion of Mesopotamia
(Mar 23, 2010) -- Over 24% of all children born in Fallujah in October 2009 had birth defects.