Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Short memory

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Peninsula readers' letters: July 30
From Daily News Group readers
Posted: 08/02/2010 11:00:00 PM PDT
Updated: 08/02/2010 11:11:23 PM PDT

Short memory

Dear Editor: Hiroshima is going to mark the 65th anniversary of the world's first atomic bombing with condemnation of a global trend toward nuclear proliferation. Meanwhile, a new medical study has found dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by U.S. Marines in 2004.

According to the report, there's been a four-fold increase in all cancers and a 12-fold increase in cancer in children under the age of 14. Infant mortality in Fallujah is more than four times higher than in neighboring Jordan, eight times higher than in Kuwait. The report says the types of cancer are "similar to the Hiroshima survivors who were exposed to ionizing radiation from the bomb and uranium in the fallout."

The U.S. is no paragon of virtue, but the funny thing is that most Americans don't realize it, or if they do, then they don't generally care much about it. They maintain a mental image of America the righteous, the virtuous, spreading peace and democracy everywhere it goes. Maybe it's because they have such a short attention span and memory. As one journalist commented, a short memory is a great boost to self-esteem. It helps when you can so easily forget the past and tune out of reality.

Ted Rudow III,MA

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