Gulf War Syndrome

What is it? Stress? Anthrax vaccine? Iraqi bioweapons? Why are 100,000 Gulf War vets suffering from this affliction? Here’s more info:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=716&e=5&cid=514&u=/ap/20020511/ap_on_re_us/sick_vets_science_war_1

A finding of Gulf War Syndrome means money will be paid to lots of veterans abd to lots of lawyers. It’s always good politics to support deserving veterans. Put these two together, and they produce an imaginary malady. It has no specific symptoms. It doesn’t increase overall disability*. But, by God, we know it’s there. Just don’t ask how we know it’s there.

The cited article is one of many keeping this fantasy alive. The silliest comment is

Lots of scientists and lots of pundits will say that there’s no evidence that GWS is real.

In fact, there was a scientific commission to study the syptoms in great detail. It came up with nothing, about 2 or 3 years ago. They found nothing that could be called GWS – justs some unrelated illnesses. Congress promptly rejected their report and asked for more information.

The Lou Gehrig disease was a very preliminary finding with a very small sample. Normally, researchers would wait for lots more confirmation from other studies before drawing any conclusions. But here the government jumped on it as “proof” of GWS and started paying benefits. It’s good politics.

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Not bloody likely. Most of the theories of causation that I’ve hears of would be precluded Federal Tort Claims Act, which makes it next to impossible to recover against the government for injuries sustained in combat. And good luck getting cash out of Saddam Hussein if your theory is chemical weapons.

FTR, I do not believe “Gulf War Syndrome” exists, at least as anything different than the typical post-combat illnesses that follow every war.