No such thing as Gulf War Syndrome -- who knew?

September 12, 2006  ·  Michael Fumento  ·  Weblog

Since 1993 I have been arguing that Gulf War Syndrome, or "Gulf Lore Syndrome" as I titled one of my articles, is a myth. I wrote almost 30 articles on the subject. And I received the sort of invective you'd expect, questioning my patriotism and loyalty to the troops for putting science ahead of hysteria and political considerations. Now the Institute of Medicine has released a report based on a review of 850 studies and found "the results of that research indicate that ... there is not a unique symptom complex (or syndrome) in deployed Gulf War veterans." Of course, out of 700,000 men and women who went over some have fallen ill and some have died. It's been 15 years, after all. But they don't have anything non-deployed vets have, or for that matter civilians. Not that this will stop the activists, one of whom, Cpt. Joyce Riley, is being routinely identified in stories about the IOM report as a Gulf vet even though she never got closer to the war than San Diego. Riley, who also claims Henry Kissinger ordered the invention of HIV/AIDS, sees this latest report as nothing more than part of a grand conspiracy. In fact, "GWS" is actually part of a conspiracy of sorts -- a conspiracy to continually fabricate one syndrome after another by pretending that normal background rates of illness combined with hysterical reports (such as one vet's claim to have glowing vomit) indicate mass mystery illnesses. It began with Agent Orange and in its most recent guise is called World Trade Center Illness. But it's all the same nonsense. And nobody suffers more than the exploited alleged victims whose lives can be ruined by the constant psychological battering of being told they have or may have a disease that doesn't even exist.