Sorry Vanity Fair, Gulf vets aren't keeling over like tenpins.

August 21, 2005  ·  Michael Fumento  ·  Weblog


I'm an army officer currently serving in Iraq. I also have a blog where I spend most of my time countering false or misleading information regarding our actions and mission in Iraq. I've started getting spammed by a leftist who is quoting a Vanity Fair article on depleted uranium and Gulf War Syndrome, which claims that more than half of Gulf War vets are on disability. This sounds like an absurd number and I know from my own experience that the vast majority of disabilities are for things like back and knee problems that come with an older force, but I don't have the stats to prove it.

Any research that you could point me to would be greatly appreciated.


That number is being thrown around by nutcases like Joyce Riley and Vanity Fair just reprints them. VA used to have a webpage with these data which was very handy but they took it for some reasons. On the other hand, check out this medical journal article from June:

It concludes, "Ten years after the Gulf War, the physical health of deployed and nondeployed veterans is similar."

And you'll find Gulf vets are no sicker than non-deployed controls. In the few areas that it seems like they might me, note that fibromyalgia is a quasi-real disease (it basically means self-reported but non-palpable muscle aches), chronic fatigue syndrome is generally a scam, and dyspepsia means self-reported but non-palpable stomach problems.

Michael Fumento