Two Vital New Books for Anti-nuclear Peace Activists by Two Knowledgeable Doctors

Reviewed by Professor Daniela Gioseffi, Author of WOMEN ON WAR: An International Reader, 1990 American Book Award winner from Touchstone Books, reissued by The Feminist Press: NY in an all new edition for 2003.

As weapons of war have become more technological, the health effects of their use have become more insidious and deadly. Though it's easy to identify the visible aftermath of war, it is difficult to gauge less obvious costs such as poverty, famine, civil strife, and environmental devastation. Each year governments pump huge amounts of money into military research, but the people are given little information about what the long-term consequences of these experiments. In PLANET EARTH: THE LATEST WEAPON OF WAR, Dr. Rosalie Bertell, director of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health, in Toronto, winner of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Global 500 Award and several honorary doctorates from leading universities, leader of the Bhopal and Chernobyl Medical Commissions--has undertaken collaborative research with numerous non-profit organizations to tell us of the mind-boggling present dangers. An environmental epidemiologist, Dr. Bertell is thorough in her statistical documentation. She explains how the US military technocracy is polluting the earth beyond repair. Since we US citizens are the center of the belly of the beast, we have a special obligation to try to influence the decisions made in our government which have their effects worldwide. We need to rethink what we mean by "security" in the new millennium as what is done in the name of security is more and more counter-productive and destructive of our national security.

Among the disclosures made in this book is the fact that the US used depleted uranium weaponry in The Gulf War, The Bombing of Belgrade, and in the bombing of Afghanistan--polluting land and air for generations to come. Moreover, it is clear that the so called "War on Terrorism, " is really a war for oil involving huge investments in the two trillion dollar cache of oil and natural gas in the area of the Caspian Sea. A pipeline to carry the oil from the region, through Afghanistan to multinational tankers was already underway prior to the current war in Afghanistan.

The US military plan to dominate outer space with nuclear weapons, and to launch a nuclear reactor station to power "Star War's" in the year 2003 is thoroughly documented. In general, the tremendous environmental crisis now upon us has been spawned, in a large measure, by the war-making industrialists. "In the aftermath of the Gulf War, experts predicted that the smoke from the burning oil fields would warm the lower atmosphere throughout south Asia, causing the monsoon to arrive earlier and more forcefully than usual. A huge typhoon struck Bangladesh on the 1st of May, 1999, killing 100,000 people," Dr. Bertell explains how experiments--even nuclear ones--performed by military engineers in our atmosphere and ionosphere are influencing weather patterns here on earth and leaving monstrous pollutants in their wake. This book is a must read for all who care about the future of life of earth--hanging ever more in the balance.

Dr. Bertell has done us all a great service in supplying us with clear and accurate data for our peace and disarmament rational. We should all read PLANET EARTH: THE LATEST WEAPON OF WAR, 2000, immediately and distribute it wholesale throughout our non-profit organizations which can buy several copies of the book at wholesale rates for distribution or fundraising from The Women's Press, Ltd, 34 Great Sutton Street, London EC1V OLQ

Dr. Helen Caldicott's newest book, THE NEW NUCLEAR DANGER: George W. Bush's Military-Industrial Complex, 2002, The New Press, 450 West 61st Street, New York, NY 10014, corroborates and adds to much of what Dr. Bertell says in her book. It, too, can be ordered in multiple copies, wholesale, and distributed to non-profit peace and disarmament organizations retail as a fund-raiser and for educational purposes. World renowned antinuclear activist, Dr. Caldicott, looks at the indebtedness of the current Bush administration to the nuclear arms industry and warns of the enormous dangers inherent in allowing weapons manufacturers to dictate foreign policy. Dr. Caldicott recounts the US government collusion with the arms industry. She demonstrates how the merging of weapons firms in the 1980's created hugely powerful "death merchants," including Lockheed Martin and others, ready to lobby politicians and manipulate public opinion on behalf of their corporate interests. If I were a lawyer, I'd gather a team and find a way to sue on behalf of the American people, proving that the US government is full of chief executives with clear "conflicts of interest" which should be unlawful. My cooperative apartment building's Board of Directors would not be allowed to operate with far lesser conflicts of interest than those so clearly obvious in the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Ashcroft administration. Aside from the former positions within such corporations held by such men, their campaigns are utterly riddled with blatant favors of contributors from the oil and nuclear industrialists. Now, with unprecedented acts of terrorism fueling the American public's willingness to grant it government broad powers to wage war, the constant pressure from weapon makers for the use of military force--allows them to sell more of their weapons and these weapons pose a very real threat of nuclear conflict.

Just as a generation embraced Caldicott's hugely influential NUCLEAR MADNESS and MISSILE ENVY, THE NEW NUCLEAR DANGER stands to educate, alert, and mobilize millions of young people and concerned citizens, helping them to understand the planetary threat posed by an aggressive nuclear weapons industry in a volatile world. Dr. Caldicott is founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility and a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. She holds honorary degrees from nineteen universities and is a physician who has specialized in leukemia in children caused by uranium hazards.

Pr. Daniela Gioseffi, New York, 2002