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Hidden Casualties of War
Environmental, Health, and Political Consequences of War in the Middle East
In 1990, Arc Ecology (then the ARC/Arms Control Research Center) wrote Hidden Casualties, Volume I, the first of two books. This publication focused on alternatives to military intervention in Iraq and the environmental and human consequences of the pending war.
At that time, Hidden Casualties, Volume I gave a chilling prediction of long-term damage, unexploded anti-personnel bombs, and burning oil fields that would have catastrophic effects on the Gulf's marine ecosystem and would cause atmospheric changes with a cause-effect relationship with the 1991 monsoons throughout Asia. By December of 1990, the manuscript of Volume I was distributed to members of the U.S Congress and foreign governments.
In collaboration with a local organization, the Political Ecology Group, ARC organized the Global Environmental Alliance for Peace in the Persian Gulf. Hidden Casualties Volume I was released publicly in January 1991 at a press conference held just 5 days before the Gulf War began. At this press conference, several scientists and notable speakers gave a visionary warning against the environmental and human health effects of the pending war.
In 1994, Hidden Casualties Volume II was released, giving a post-evaluation and thorough documentation of the actual consequences of the Gulf War. It used a baseline assessement of the pre-war environmental conditions and took a deep look at the environmental devastation of some eight million barrels of oil entering into the Gulf and the immediate impacts of the oil fires on the people living in Kuwait. It also investigates whether the long-burning oil infernos contributed to the abnormal weather patterns in 1991, including the monsoon in Bangladesh that took the lives of over 100,000 people.
Again in 2003, we find our country involved in a military conflict with Iraq. Even in the aftermath of destruction, our government has set its sights on expanding the scope of military intervention to other countries in the region. Hidden Casualties provides a retrospective accounting of the true consequences of these global conflicts. In a post 9/11 world, this book offers documentation that evidences that, one way or another, we are all hidden casualties of our government's pursuit of an open-ended military strategy in the Middle East, with reminiscent origins to the Gulf War of 1991.
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