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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Perpetual Wars’ residual bombs, nerve gas endangering water, waterways

Rhine River
 Germany’s Rhine Iraq’s Tigris-Euphrates
From reports by War History Online and Deutsche Welle's "Inside Europe"
Excerpt, editing, brief comment by Carolyn Bennett

Still haunting Germany

Experts were unable “to defuse a highly explosive aircraft bomb” in Munich, Germany, in late August 2012, so they carried out “a controlled explosion of a 250-kilogram device,” causing a blast that shattered windows in nearby buildings; and though no human beings were injured, the balls of straw that had been placed around the device flew through the air and set moving fires. A day earlier during some construction work, a U.S. military bomb had been discovered, which contained a chemical long-term detonator.
Tigris-Euphrates rivers

The news report said these bombs were built so that when they were detonated, a glass vial filled with acetone, a volatile flammable liquid (C3H6O), would explode. When this flammable liquid is exposed to air, it creates an explosive mixture that can take effect days after detonation. And such devices are “difficult to defuse.”

Experts estimate 100,000 bombs are lying under the soil and under water from the six years of the World War II.

The group Friends of the Earth Germany estimates 40,000 tons of chemical warfare agents are in the Baltic Sea as a result of the Cold War.

Germany’s River Rhine

State of
North Rhine-Westphalia 
During World War II, “most of the industry and armaments factories were based in North Rhine-Westphalia.” Allied bombs “targeted almost half their aerial assaults” on cities along the Rhine, leaving to this day large numbers of their bombs. One 1,400 kg bomb that had been corroding for decades was discovered in recent years when the water levels of the Rhine fell; “45,000 people” were forced to leave their homes.

Chemical warfare residuals

Nerve Gas is a weapon of chemical warfare that affects the transmission of nerve impulses through the nervous system. The organophosphorus (phosphorus/nitrogen-containing compound) nerve agents Tabun, Sarin, and Soman and a newer agent, VX, were produced in huge quantities by the United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War.… 

A single droplet of VX or Sarin, if inhaled or in contact with the skin, can be absorbed into the bloodstream and paralyze the nervous system, leading to respiratory failure and immediate death. [Britannica]
1,000's of bombs found in
Kothen area

World War II ships now sunken are loaded with explosive devices containing poisons such as mustard gas and Sarin (nerve gas). A representative of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia bomb disposal office, Amin Gebhard, told Deutsche Welle that if the rusting cases containing these explosive devices containing nerve gas continue to corrode the area’s “‘water and the ground water could become contaminated.’” The explosives maintain their destructive power which makes dealing with such devices “increasingly dangerous and more difficult.” 

In a single year, 2010, North-Rhine Westphalia reportedly spent an estimated “21 million Euros ($26.4 million) dealing with bomb disposal.” When sites go under construction, authorities use UK and USA military archived aerial photographs to identify bomb craters and get an idea of the possible number of WWII bombs that had been dropped but not detonated.

2003 War
Iraqis still suffering
before 2014 strikes
2003 War
Iraqis still suffering
before 2014 strikes
The 2012 article concludes that in the post-World War era, “Germany is like a barrel of gunpowder” containing “tens of thousands of unexploded bombs hidden” beneath the surface that “could go off at any time.”

 USA -- 

2003 War
Iraqis still suffering
before 2014 strikes
he stains of war are indelible. They can never be whitewashed or washed away. 

Ruins and residue can be neither removed nor erased. 

2003 War
Iraqis still suffering
before 2014 strikes
Will there ever be the required reconciliation so long as belligerency rules? I do not think so. 

And since men will never learn or even care to mend their ways of violence, I believe essential change will come only when women not mimicking men assume the helm.

Sources and notes

 “Germany is like a barrel of gunpowder. Nearly 70 years after the end of World War II” featured article, September 1, 2012, War History Online, http://www.warhistoryonline.com/featured-article/germany-is-like-a-barrel-of-gunpowder-nearly-70-years-after-the-end-of-world-war-ii.html

Nerve gas.  (2013). Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Deluxe Edition.  Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.

North Rhine-Westphalia

A British military’s “Operation Marriage” established the state of North Rhine-Westphalia on August 23, 1946, by merging the province of Westphalia and the northern parts of the Rhine Province, “both being political divisions of the former state of Prussia within the German Reich.”

North Rhine-Westphalia today is Germany’s most populous state and the fourth largest state by area.  Its capital is Düsseldorf; its largest city Cologne; its government currently run by a Social Democrats (SPD)/ Greens coalition. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Rhine-Westphalia

Iraq’s rivers of Mesopotamia: Tigris-Euphrates under wars

The Tigris and Euphrates, with their tributaries, form a major river system in Western Asia. From sources in the Taurus Mountains of eastern Turkey they flow by/through Syria through Iraq into the Persian Gulf. The Tigris-Euphrates river system is part of the Palearctic (one of eight ecozones dividing the Earth’s surface) Tigris-Euphrates ecoregion, which includes Iraq and parts of Turkey, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan.

The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, flowing south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq. The Euphrates River is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia, originating in eastern Turkey and flowing through Syria and Iraq to join the Tigris in the Shatt al-Arab, which empties into the Persian Gulf.  With Tigris River, the Euphrates is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia


See also DW's September 12, 2014, edition of “Inside Europe”: a one-hour weekly news magazine hosted by Helen Seeney, “exploring topical issues shaping the continent; dynamic political and social change in recent years: End of the Cold War, introduction of a single currency, enlargement of the European Union eastwards – momentous events affecting the lives of millions – and of interest to millions more.” The program includes interviews with newsmakers and personalities, background features and cultural reports from correspondents throughout the region. http://www.dw.de/inside-europe-inside-europe-2014-09-12/e-17876292


A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent books in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora


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