"As the country has been debating military intervention in Syria, the airwaves and blogosphere, conversations on the street and phone calls to Congress have rightly been filled with talk of the catastrophe caused by the Iraq War. A decade after the invasion, Iraqis and U.S. veterans are still suffering from the impacts of the war, including widespread trauma and skyrocketing rates of birth defects and cancer from the U.S.’s own use of internationally condemned weapons, such as white phosphorous, napalm-class weapons and weapons containing depleted uranium. This week, a coalition of veterans, Iraqis and human rights groups are appealing to the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Organization of American States to urge concrete U.S. action for the devastation it has imposed. The efforts request, among other measures, mechanisms for accountability and reparations in the form of health care, clean-up of toxic sites, and repairing critical infrastructure. Acknowledgement of the painful and far-reaching human toll of war has never been more urgently needed as the U.S. weighs its next steps in Syria. ..."
September 13, 2013