What is Happening in America?

Are we headed back to the Middle Ages?

Depleted-Uranium (DU)

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

 

Extent 2

 

3 Nov. 2007

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

The Balkans: The Scale of the Disaster 1

Afghanistan: The Scale of the Disaster 7

Iraq: The Scale of the Disaster 9

Saudi Arabia. 15

 

 

The Balkans: The Scale of the Disaster

 

Depleted uranium has a half-life of four and a half billion years.  If we had a pound of depleted uranium now in four and a half billion years there would only be half a pound left.  This means that the Middle East and Central Asia and Yugoslavia are contaminated forever. (Leuren Moret in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

The UN Environment Programme study, published in March 2003, found DU in air and groundwater in Bosnia-Herzegovina seven years after the weapons were fired. (Alex Kirby, “US Rejects Iraq DU Clean-up,” BBC News Online, 14 April 2003, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2946715.stm, downloaded 29 Aug. 2007.)

 

It is shown that the radiological burden due to the battlefield use of circa 400 tons of depleted-uranium munitions in Iraq (and of about 40 tons in Yugoslavia) is comparable to that arising from the hypothetical battle-field use of more than 600 kt (respectively 60 kt) of high-explosive equivalent pure-fusion fourth-generation nuclear weapons.  (Andre Gsponer, Jean-Pierre Hurni, and Bruno Vitale, Abstract, A comparison of delayed radiobiological effects of depleted-uranium munitions versus fourth-generation nuclear weapons,” Independent Scientific Research Institute report number ISRI-02-07, submitted 18 Oct. 2002, last revised 1 Dec. 2002, downloaded from http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0210071, 26 Aug. 2007.)

 

In Kosovo some 2 million civilian men, women and children have been exposed to the radioactive fallout since the beginning of the bombing in March 1999. In the Balkans, more than 20 million people are potentially at risk:

 

"The risk in Kosovo and elsewhere in the Balkans is augmented by the uncertainty of where DU was dropped in whatever form and what winds and surface water movements spread it further. Working the fields, walking about, just being there, touching objects, breathing and drinking water are all risky. A British expert predicted that thousands of people in the Balkans will get sick of DU. The radioactive and toxic DU-oxides don't disintegrate. They are practically permanent." (7)  

 

The first signs of radiation on children, including herpes on the mouth and skin rashes on the back and ankles have been observed in Kosovo. (8) In Northern Kosovo --the area least affected by DU shells (see Map at http://balkans.unep.ch/du/targetmap.html) -- 160 people are being treated for cancer. (9) The number of leukemia cases in Northern Kosovo has increased by 200 percent since NATO's air campaign, and children have been born with deformities. (10) This information regarding civilian victims --which the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has been careful not to reveal--- refutes NATO's main "assumption" that radioactive dust does not spread beyond the target sites, most of which are in the Southwestern and Southern regions close to the Albanian and Macedonian borders. (Michel Chossudovsky, “Low Intensity Nuclear War,” Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, 2001, downloaded from http://www.jacksonprogressive.com/issues/kosovo/chossudovsky_lowintensity.html, 26 Aug. 2007.)

 

Endnotes

 

(7) Piot Bein, "More on Depleted Uranium", Emperors Clothes, http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/arbuth/port.htm.11 October 2000.

(8)  According to Dr. Siegfried Horst Guenther, "Uran Geschosse: SchwergeschŠdigte Soldaten, missgebildete Neugeborene, sterbende Kinder,” Ahriman Verlag, http://www.ahriman.com/guenther.htm, Freiburg, 2000. See also International Action Center, "Metal of Dishonor, How the Pentagon Radiates Soldiers and Civilians with DU Weapons", Second Edition, International Action Center, http://www.iacenter.org/, New York, 2000.

(9)  Beta News Agency, Belgrade, 13.50 GMT, 10 Jan 2001, in BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 12 January 2001.

(10 ) Ibid.

 

If radioactivity were confined to so-called "very limited spots", why then have KFOR troops been instructed by their governments "not to eat local produce, have drinking water flown in, and that clothes must be destroyed on departure and vehicles decontaminated." (23) According to Paul Sullivan, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, depleted uranium in Yugoslavia could affect "agricultural areas, places where livestock graze and where crops are grown, thereby introducing the specter of possible contamination of the food chain." (Michel Chossudovsky, “Low Intensity Nuclear War,” Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, 2001, downloaded from http://www.jacksonprogressive.com/issues/kosovo/chossudovsky_lowintensity.html, 26 Aug. 2007.)

 

Endnotes

 

(23) . Felicity Arbutnot, "It Turns out that Depleted Uranium is Bad for NATO" Troops, Emperors Clothes, http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/arbuth/port.htm. 11 October 2000. See also interview with F. Arbutnot.

 

The bombing of Yugoslavia is best described as a "low intensity nuclear war" using toxic radioactive shells and missiles. Amply documented, the radioactive fall-out potentially puts millions of people at risk throughout the Balkans.

 

In March 1999, NATO launched the air raids invoking broad humanitarian principles and ideals. NATO had "come to the rescue" of ethnic Albanian Kosovars on the grounds they were being massacred by Serb forces. The forensic reports by the FBI and Europol confirm that the massacres did not occur. In a cruel irony, Albanian Kosovar civilians are among the main victims of DU radiation.  (Michel Chossudovsky, “Low Intensity Nuclear War,” Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, 2001, downloaded from http://www.jacksonprogressive.com/issues/kosovo/chossudovsky_lowintensity.html, 26 Aug. 2007.)

 

According to official records, some 1800 Balkans peacekeepers (Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo) suffer from health ailments related to DU radiation. (26). Assuming the same level of risk (as a percentage of population), the numbers of civilians throughout former Yugoslavia affected by DU radiation would be in the tens of thousands. British scientist Roger Coghill  suggests, in this regard, that "throughout the Balkan region, there will be an extra 10,150 deaths from cancer because of the use of DU. That will include local people, K-FOR personnel, aid workers, everyone." (27) …

 

While no overall data on civilian deaths have been recorded, partial evidence confirms that a large numbers of civilians have already died as result of DU radiation since the war in Bosnia

 

"DU radiation and an apparent use of defoliants by US/NATO troops against Serbian land and population [in Bosnia], have caused many birth defects among babies born after the US/NATO bombing and occupation; the magnitude of this problem has stunned Serbian medical experts and panicked the population."  (28)

 

A recent account points to several hundred deaths of civilians solely in one Bosnian village:

 

The village is empty, the cemetery full. Soon there will be no more room for the dead. Among refugee families who moved to Bratunac from Hadzici [in the outskirts of Sarajevo] there is a hardly a household not cloaked in mourning. On them are fresh wreaths, some with flowers that have not yet wilted. On the crosses the years of death 1998, 1999, 2000 and the grave of a 20 year-old woman at the end of the rows. She died a few days ago. No one could even imagine that in only one or two years the part of the cemetery set aside for civilians would be doubly full. It happens often that one of the natives of Hadzici will suddenly die. Or they will go to see the doctor in Belgrade and when they come back their relatives will tell us that they are dying of cancer. [C]hief doctor Slavica Jovanovic conducted an investigation and proved that in 1998 the mortality rate far exceeded the birth rate. She showed that it wasn't just a question of fate but something far more serious. 'Zoran Stankovic, the renowned pathologist from the Military Medical Academy (VMA) determined that over 200 of his patients from this area died of cancer, most probably due to the effects of depleted uranium in dropped NATO bombs five years ago. But someone quickly silenced the public and everything was hushed up.  'You see, our cemetery is full of fresh graves while the people from Vinca [Nuclear Institute] claim that uranium isn't dangerous. What other kind of evidence do you need if people are dying?' The refugees from Hadzici arrived in Bratunac in a sizeable number. There were almost 5,000 of them. There were 1,000 just in the collective centers. Now, says Zelenovic, 'there are about 600 of them left. And they certainly had nowhere else to go'. Someone dies of cancer every third day; there is no more room in the cemeteries." (29) (Michel Chossudovsky, “Low Intensity Nuclear War,” Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, 2001, downloaded from http://www.jacksonprogressive.com/issues/kosovo/chossudovsky_lowintensity.html, 26 Aug. 2007.)

 

Endnotes

 

(26)  RTBF, Belgian French Language Television, 9 January 2001

(27)  Calgary Herald, 4 January 2001.

(28)  Tika Jankovitch, "Chemical/Nuclear Warfare in Bosnia: Eyewitness To Hell" Comments by Jared Israel, Emperors Clothes at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/tika/hell.html., 9 January 2001.

(29)  Dubravka Vujanovic "Someone Dies of Cancer every Third Day; There is no More Room in the Cemeteries" , Nedelni Telegraf, Belgrade, 10 January 2001.

On the same subject see Robert Fisk, "I see 300 Graves that could bear the Headstone: 'Died of Depleted Uranium', The Independent, London, 13 January 2001

 

For the first time, medical doctors in Yugoslavia and Iraq have reported multiple in situ unrelated cancers developing in patients, and even in families who are living in highly contaminated areas. Even stranger, they report that cancer was unknown in previous generations. Very rare and unusual cancers and birth defects have also been reported to be increasing above normal levels prior to 1991, not only in war torn countries, but in neighbouring countries from transboundary contamination.

 

Dr. Keith Baverstock, a senior radiation advisor who was on the staff of the World Health Organization, co-authored a report in November 2001, warning that the long-term health effects of depleted uranium would endanger Iraq’s civilian population, and that the dry climate would increase exposure from the tiny particles blowing around and be inhaled for years to come. The WHO refused to give him permission to publish the study, bowing to pressure from the IAEA. Dr. Baverstock released the damning report to the media in February 2004. Pekka Haavisto, Chairman of the UN Environment Program’s Post-Conflict Assessment Unit in Geneva, shares Baverstock’s anxiety about depleted uranium but UNEP experts have not been allowed into Iraq to assess the pollution. (Leuren Moret, “Depleted Uranium: the Trojan Horse of Nuclear War,” World Affairs: The Journal of International Issues, 1 July 2004, downloaded from http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2004/DU-Trojan-Horse1jul04.htm, 26 Aug. 2007.)

 

A British biologist, Roger Coghill, says he expects the depleted uranium (DU) weapons used by US aircraft over Kosovo will cause more than 10,000 fatal cancer cases.

 

Mr Coghill, who runs his own research laboratory in south Wales, was speaking at a London conference called to discuss the use by American and British forces of DU in Iraq in the 1991 Gulf war.

 

High radiation levels

 

He said there had been evidence in other parts of the Balkans of elevated radiation levels during and soon after the war with Serbia.

 

In mid-June scientists at Kozani in northern Greece were reporting that radiation levels were 25% above normal whenever the wind blew from the direction of Kosovo.

 

And Bulgarian researchers reported finding levels eight times higher than usual within Bulgaria itself, and up to 30 times higher in Yugoslavia.  

 

Using calculations based on the Pentagon's statement that one in five of the rounds fired by its A-10 aircraft over Kosovo were DU munitions, Mr Coghill estimates that more than 500,000 DU rounds were fired, of which half detonated.

 

He says that would have resulted in the release of about one thirty-thousandth of the amount of radiation released at Chernobyl in 1986. "But that was in the form of caesium on the ground. This is free-floating particulate matter."

 

Delayed effect

 

Mr Coghill says the maximum effect will be reached about six months after the war, and he thinks the first cancers - probably leukaemias - will start to show up about a year after that.

 

"Throughout the Balkan region, I calculate that there will be an extra 10,150 deaths from cancer because of the use of DU. That will include local people, K-FOR personnel, aid workers, everyone."

 

He accepts that doubts remain over the effects of DU, and says it is vital to listen to critics who suggest that the higher cancer rates seen in parts of Iraq may have been caused by chemical weapons instead.

 

However, Mr Coghill notes that Bosnia, where DU weapons were used in 1995, was not attacked with chemical munitions, unlike Iraq. (Alex Kirby, “Depleted uranium 'threatens Balkan cancer epidemic,'” BBC News Online, 30 July 1999, downloaded from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/science/nature/408122.stm, 3 Nov. 2007.)

 

He said there had been evidence in other parts of the Balkans of elevated radiation levels during and soon after the war with Serbia.

 

In mid-June scientists at Kozani in northern Greece were reporting that radiation levels were 25% above normal whenever the wind blew from the direction of Kosovo.

 

And Bulgarian researchers reported finding levels eight times higher than usual within Bulgaria itself, and up to 30 times higher in Yugoslavia.  (Alex Kirby, “Depleted uranium 'threatens Balkan cancer epidemic,'” BBC News Online, 30 July 1999, downloaded from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/science/nature/408122.stm, 3 Nov. 2007.)

 

Afghanistan: The Scale of the Disaster

 

Depleted uranium has a half-life of four and a half billion years.  If we had a pound of depleted uranium now in four and a half billion years there would only be half a pound left.  This means that the Middle East and Central Asia and Yugoslavia are contaminated forever. (Leuren Moret in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

The US war in Afghanistan made it clear that this was not a war IN the third world, but a war AGAINST the third world. In Afghanistan where 800 to 1000 tons of depleted uranium was estimated to have been used in 2001, even uneducated Afghanis understand the impact these weapons have had on their children and on future generations:

 

"After the Americans destroyed our village and killed many of us, we also lost our houses and have nothing to eat. However, we would have endured these miseries and even accepted them, if the Americans had not sentenced us all to death. When I saw my deformed grandson, I realized that my hopes of the future have vanished for good, different from the hopelessness of the Russian barbarism, even though at that time I lost my older son Shafiqullah. This time, however, I know we are part of the invisible genocide brought on us by America, a silent death from which I know we will not escape." (Jooma Khan of Laghman province, March 2003)  (Leuren Moret, “Depleted Uranium: the Trojan Horse of Nuclear War,” World Affairs: The Journal of International Issues, 1 July 2004, downloaded from http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2004/DU-Trojan-Horse1jul04.htm, 26 Aug. 2007.)

 

The increased quantities of radio-active material (including non-depleted uranium), used in Afghanistan are 3 to 5 times greater than Iraq 1991. (Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, “Silent WMDs – Effects of Depleted Uranium,” International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), New Delhi, 29 Feb., 1-2 March 2004, downloaded from http://traprockpeace.org/bhagwat_du_29feb04.pdf, 12 Sept. 2007.)

 

US and allied forces used over 6000 guided weapons (smart bombs and missiles) in bombing raids in Afghanistan. Their heaviest use was against caves in Tora Bora and Gardez but many were used in initial air attacks on command centres and other strategic targets in towns, air fields, Taliban training centres and the underground Karez water supply systems. If only 1 in 3 of these used hard target warheads then the campaign may have dumped over 1000 tons of toxic, radioactive Uranium Oxide dust into the Afghan environment. If so this will have spread over wider areas during summer heat and high winds. (Dai Williams, Hazards of Uranium Weapons in the Proposed War on Iraq, 22 Sept. 2002.)

 

Afghanistan has many endemic health problems. During the early stages of the war, effects of mild DU contamination may have been hard to recognise. Medical teams faced with severe trauma casualties would have had minimal time, and (unlike the Balkans) no briefing to be alert for potential Uranium contamination. Extensive bombing caused a lot of atmospheric pollution - "the haze over Kabul" noted by one reporter. This may have caused the persistent cough noted by another journalist among media and aid workers in bombed areas. Has anyone documented personal health problems despite more immediate hazards like mines and bombs?

 

A range of Uranium health effects are possible depending on dose (how much is inhaled ingested), duration of exposure (brief or ongoing), age, gender and the type of material involved (refer High exposure DU health risks, Part 4, section 3 and Figure 2 in the DU weapons report). Over a longer period there may be several phases from early onset medical conditions (e.g. birth defects) to slower onset conditions like cancers. Uranium oxide is a toxic heavy metal. Toxic effects may be most significant soon after exposure e.g. on the renal system (refer Royal Society report, March 2002). Internal radiation hazards may take months or years to become evident. (Dai Williams, Hazards of Uranium Weapons in the Proposed War on Iraq, 22 Sept. 2002.)

 

In Iraq, it took up to five years to have any significant effects of exposure to depleted uranium, however, in Afghanistan only after one year, the UMRC research group suspects that 25% of newly born show symptoms of exposure to uranium weapons. (Mohammed Daud Miraki, “Perpetual Death From America.” Rense.com, 24 Feb. 2003, downloaded from

http://www.rense.com/general35/perp.htm, 5 Sept. 2007.)

 

There has been very little media coverage and no public debate about the new generation of hard target guided weapons used in the Afghan war. Over 2,000 were used. If the secret metal they use is Uranium then 1000+ tons of fine oxide dust will have contaminated many areas. Thousands of Afghans, and many expatriates, may have been exposed to moderate or severe levels of uranium contamination with grave implications for their long term health, similar to those in Iraq since the Gulf War.

 

Hundreds or thousands of civilians in Afghanistan may already have died from acute Uranium exposure, their symptoms compounded by, or misdiagnosed as, common causes of death during the Afghan winter e.g. pneumonia, acute gastric infections and malnutrition. There are very few independent laboratory facilities for medical or environmental analysis of Uranium contamination in the world and none in Afghanistan. (Dai Williams, Hazards of Uranium Weapons in the Proposed War on Iraq, 22 Sept. 2002.)

 

Iraq: The Scale of the Disaster

 

Depleted uranium has a half-life of four and a half billion years.  If we had a pound of depleted uranium now in four and a half billion years there would only be half a pound left.  This means that the Middle East and Central Asia and Yugoslavia are contaminated forever. (Leuren Moret in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

When a child is born in Iraq

The parents no longer ask

Is it a girl or a boy?

 

They ask…

“Is it normal?”

(Video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

On a more personal level, I have heard stories of visitors to Iraq who spoke with mid-wives there. These mid-wives are purported to have said they no longer look forward to births as.... "We don't know what's going to come out." (Ross B. Mirkarimi, “Extreme Birth Deformities,” Environmental and Human Health Impacts of the Gulf Region with Special Reference to Iraq, May 1992, downloaded from http://bitterfact.tripod.com/iraq/iraq_babies.html, 5 Sept. 2007.)

 

Dr. Jawad Al-Ali, director of the Oncology Center at the largest hospital in Basra said the following in 2003. "Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before. The first is double and triple cancers in one patient.... We have 58 families here with more than one person affected by cancer.... My wife has nine members of her family with cancer." He went on to point out that these were families with no history of cancer. After Gulf War I, the United Kingdom's Atomic Energy Authority estimated that DU contamination could kill half a million Iraqis. …

 

Estimates of how many may die in Iraq are truly staggering - up to 11% of Iraq's 27 million population. This is a massive crime against humanity that remains in the shadows. (Craig Etcheson, Ph.D., Center for Non-Violent Alternatives, Fort Ashby, W.Va., “Depleted Uranium: Pernicious Killer Keeps on Killing,” t r u t h o u t, 19 February 2007.)

 

Huge chunks of radioactive debris full of DU now litter the cities and countryside of Iraq. Fine radioactive dust permeates the entire country. The problem of clean-up is insoluble. The entire ecosystem of Iraq is permanently contaminated. The Iraq people are the new hibakusha. Their fate, like that of the "survivors" of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is a condition of death-in-life. The long term health effects of DU on the Iraqi people (and on our own troops) are incalculable. (Walter A. Davis, “Of Pynchon, Thanatos and Depleted Uranium: Weapons of Mass Destruction Found in Iraq,” Counterpunch, October 9/10, 2004, downloaded from http://www.counterpunch.org/davis10092004.html. 12 Sept. 2007.)

 

Doctors in Basra have registered an increase of incidences of colon cancer and thyroid cancer, in addition to leukemia and lymphomas.

According to Dr Janan Hassan, an obstetrician at the Basra Maternity and Children's Hospital, malignancies and leukemia among children under the age of 15 have more than tripled since 1990. Whereas in 1990 young children accounted for only 13 percent of cancer cases, today over 56 percent of all cancer in Iraq occurs among children under the age of five.

Dr Jawad al-Ali, director of the Oncology Centre of Sadr Educational Hospital in Basra, told IRIN that there were a number of cases that led some doctors to assume DU's adverse effects on human health in Iraq. “here has been a sharp rise in cancer, birth defects, miscarriage, and in neurological disorders, muscular disease and kidney failure; causes have not been identified but they could be assumed to be caused by the toxicity of DU munitions,”the doctor said.

According to a study of cancer patients in Basra carried out by the doctor in 1988, cancer rates were 11 per 100,000 people. The number went up to 116 in 1991 [the year the US first started using Depleted Uranium in Iraq] and 123 in 2002. There was also a sharp rise in the leukemia patients in 1996 and there has been another rise in recent years. Many cases are near places where DU weapons were used.” 2


Even more stunning are the findings of Dr Jenan Ali, a senior Iraqi doctor at Basra hospital's College of Medicine, which showed a 100% rise in child leukemia in the region in the decade after the first Gulf war, with a 242% increase in all types of malignancies. 3  

 

In November, 2005 Dr. Jenan Hassan gave a speech in which she discussed “the medical horrors she and other doctors were confronting as a result of the use of depleted uranium (DU) weapons by the U.S. Army in southern Iraq during the 1991 Gulf war. There was a fivefold increase in cancer, especially leukemia, she said, and a five- to eightfold increase in children born with genetic defects.” 4 (Cathy Garger, “Depleted Uranium and Leukemia – At Home and Abroad,” Independent Media Center, 3 Aug. 2007, downloaded from http://www.indymedia.org/en/2007/08/890329.shtml  5 Sept. 2007

 

Endnotes

 

(2) http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=24287
(3)
http://english.aljazeera.net/English/archive/archive?ArchiveId=6312

(4) http://www.wrmea.com/archives/November_2005/0511029.html

 

GREG HUNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT:  Dr. Durakovic says one thing is for sure: a large part of Iraq is contaminated, particularly in the south where heavy tank battle took place. He calls it, quote, "a radiological sewer." The Army adamantly denies that. (Transcript of CNN's "American Morning," 5 Feb. 2007, downloaded from http://home.earthlink.net/~nomoredu/cnntranscript.html, 12 Sept. 2007.)

In the civilian population in Southern Iraq the Iraqi doctors are reporting very large increases in cancer, leukemia, diabetes, immune system disorders, and of course birth defects in the newborns.  The babies are born without a brain… without eyes… without legs or without arms… sometimes the baby is born with a Cyclops eye – just one eye in the forehead and each year these birth defects are more and more severe.  Pediatricians now in Southern Iraq are reporting that some babies are born without heads or arms, they’re just pieces of flesh.

 

Because Iraq is in an arid region with severe dust storms annually, this remobilizes the depleted uranium on the ground and on the battlefields and so the civilian population will continue to be exposed to increasing levels of D.U. internally.   The severity of the birth defects and radiation related diseases will increase over time.  In fact, depleted uranium is a death sentence.  (Leuren Moret in video Beyond Treason, produced by the Power Hour, 2005.)

 

At a roadside stand, selling fresh bunches of parsley, mint, and onions, children played on a burnt out Iraqi tank just outside Baghdad, the Geiger counter registered 1000 times normal background radiation. (Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, “Silent WMDs – Effects of Depleted Uranium,” International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), New Delhi, 29 Feb., 1-2 March 2004, downloaded from http://traprockpeace.org/bhagwat_du_29feb04.pdf, 12 Sept. 2007.)

 

Already Iraqis are troubled by a dramatic, seven-fold rise in childhood cancers and birth defects, particularly in the South.

 

Unlike in the first Gulf War, when all 300 tons of DU used were fired off in the Kuwaiti and Iraqi desert, this time nearly 10 times as much DU has largely been exploded and burned in urban fighting, putting the dust right in the path of millions of civilians. (Dave Lindorff, “DU, the Ticking Nuke in Bush’s White House War Room,” San Francisco Bay View, 25 Jan. 2006, downloaded from http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2006/DU-Bush-War25jan06.htm, 26 Aug. 2007.)

 

We must … consider the real possibility of Iraq as an uninhabitable wasteland, with the residue of the DU aerosol blowing in the wind and flowing in the waters to adjacent lands, a residue with a half-life of 4.5 billion years. Is this outlook too bleak? (Craig Etcheson, Ph.D., Center for Non-Violent Alternatives, Fort Ashby, W.Va., “Depleted Uranium: Pernicious Killer Keeps on Killing,” t r u t h o u t, 19 February 2007.)

 

Tests carried out eight to ten years after Gulf War I found that the DU aerosol from the battlefield had been carried to Basra and Baghdad, though no fighting occurred in those areas. (Craig Etcheson, Ph.D., Center for Non-Violent Alternatives, Fort Ashby, W.Va., “Depleted Uranium: Pernicious Killer Keeps on Killing,” t r u t h o u t, 19 February 2007.)

 

[In] Iraq, … the use of depleted uranium weapons during the 1991 Gulf War resulted in "increases in childhood cancers and leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, lymphomas, and increases in congenital diseases and deformities in foetuses, along with limb reductional abnormalities and increases in genetic abnormalities throughout Iraq. (11) Pedriatic examinations on Iraqi children confirm  that:

 

"childhood leukemia has risen 600% in the areas [of Iraq] where DU was used. Stillbirths, births or abortion of fetuses with monstrous abnormalities, and other cancers in children born since [the Gulf War in] 1991 have also been found." (12) (Michel Chossudovsky, “Low Intensity Nuclear War,” Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, 2001, downloaded from http://www.jacksonprogressive.com/issues/kosovo/chossudovsky_lowintensity.html, 26 Aug. 2007.)

 

Endnotes

 

(11)  See Rick McDowell, "Economic Sanctions on Iraq", Z Magazine, November 1997.

12. Carlo Pona, "The Criminal Use of Depleted Uranium", International Tribunal for U.S./NATO War Crimes in Yugoslavia, International Action Center, http://www.iacenter.org/, New York, June 10, 2000. See also "Metal of Dishonor", op. cit.

 

Nuha al-Radi, the much-loved Iraqi artist and diarist who died in Beirut on August 31, believed her leukemia could have been caused by DU. And if not DU, then something else to which Iraqis were knowingly exposed in the wars since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. For DU is not the only concern in the "toxic wasteland" that many scientists say Iraq has become. There are also the chemical weapons the Baath regime used against its own people, and in its war with Iran, and, most recently, the chemical and biological materials released into the atmosphere by Allied bombing of Iraqi stockpiles in the first Gulf war of 1991.

 

Nuha, who didn't believe the first war would take place, was devastated by the second. "The carnage takes place in apocalyptic proportions," she wrote at her lowest point. "Sometimes I want to cry, but I resist. I am totally withered, and feel so useless." We talked of working together on a film that would investigate the pollution of Iraq and its people. Nuha was convinced that DU was entering the water table and flowing into every corner of the country, poisoning everything. But she fell ill, and we did nothing. (Julie Flint, “DU – The Stuff of Nightmares,” Daily Star, Beirut, 14 Sept. 2004, downloaded from http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2004/DU-Nightmares14sep04.htm, 29 Aug. 2007.)

 

A United Nations study found DU contaminating air and water seven years after it was used. (Alex Kirby, “US Rejects Iraq DU Clean-up,” BBC News Online, 14 April 2003, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2946715.stm, downloaded 29 Aug. 2007.)

 

Reports from Baghdad speak of repeated attacks by US aircraft carrying DU weapons on high-rise buildings in the city centre.

 

The UK says: "British forces on deployment to the Gulf have DU munitions available as part of their armoury, and will use them if necessary." It will not confirm they have used them. (Alex Kirby, “US Rejects Iraq DU Clean-up,” BBC News Online, 14 April 2003, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2946715.stm, downloaded 29 Aug. 2007.)

 

All the Iraqi equipment, a lot of the U.S. equipment contains radiological components.  When the equipment was blown up the radiological materials were released into the environment… exposing and contaminating… and then to top it all off we used uranium munitions known as depleted uranium.  They’ve been used back in 1973 by the Israelis against the Egyptians, but during Gulf War I, Desert Shield and Desert Storm we took it to a totally new level.  The use of radioactive materials on the battlefield.  Deliberately taking tons and tons… actually over 350 tons of solid radioactive material and disbursed it across Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.  Taking our radioactive waste and throw it in somebody else’s back yard.  (Dr. Doug Rokke, U.S. Army Health Physicist and Nuclear Medicine Sciences Officer in Power Hour, Beyond Treason, video, 2005.)

 

Physicians in Iraq have documented a threefold increase in childhood cancers and a fivefold increase in birth defects since the U.S. military first used DU weapons in southern Iraq in 1991. (Hamid Golpira, “Asia by DU, Africa by AIDS,” Tehran Times, reprinted by Countercurrents.org, 9 Aug. 2007, downloaded from http://countercurrents.org/golpira090807.htm, 12 Sept. 2007.)

 

This article is about how much radioactive uranium our guys, representing us, the citizens of the United States, let fly in Iraq. Turns out they used about 4,000,000 pounds of the stuff, give or take, according to the Pentagon and the United Nations. That is a bunch.

In Iraq 2003 they are already estimated to be 6 to 10 times 1991 and will travel through a larger area and affect many more people, babies and unborn. (Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, “Silent WMDs – Effects of Depleted Uranium,” International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), New Delhi, 29 Feb., 1-2 March 2004, downloaded from http://traprockpeace.org/bhagwat_du_29feb04.pdf, 12 Sept. 2007.)

 


Now, most people have no idea how much Four Million Pounds of anything is, much less of Uranium Oxide Dust (UOD), which this stuff turns into when it is shot or exploded. Suffice it to say it is about equal to 1,333 cars that weigh three thousand pounds apiece. That is a lot of cars; but, we can imagine what a parking lot with one thousand three hundred and thirty three cars is like. The point is: this was and is an industrial strength operation. It is still going on, too. (Bob Nichols, “There are No Words. Radiation in Iraq Equals 250,000 Nagasaki Bombs,” Dissident Voice, 27 March 2004, downloaded from http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Mar04/Nichols0327.htm, 8 September 2007.)

 

The long-term effects from over a decade of DU exposures are emerging in Southern Iraq. They are devastating. (Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, “Silent WMDs – Effects of Depleted Uranium,” International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), New Delhi, 29 Feb., 1-2 March 2004, downloaded from http://traprockpeace.org/bhagwat_du_29feb04.pdf, 12 Sept. 2007.)

 

In the 2003 war, the Iraqis were subjected to the Pentagon’s radioactive arsenal, mainly in the urban centers, unlike in the deserts in 1991. The aggregate effects of illnesses and long term disabilities and genetic birth defects will be apparent only [from] 2008 onwards. (Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, “Silent WMDs – Effects of Depleted Uranium,” International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), New Delhi, 29 Feb., 1-2 March 2004, downloaded from http://traprockpeace.org/bhagwat_du_29feb04.pdf, 12 Sept. 2007.)

 

In an act of stark cruelty, the US dominated Sanctions Committee refuses to permit Iraq to import the clean-up equipment that they desperately need to decontaminate their country of the Depleted Uranium ammunition that the US fired at them. Approximately 315 tons of DU dust was left by the use of this ammunition. The Sanctions Committee also refuses to allow the mass importation of anti-cancer treatments, which contain trace amounts of radio-isotopes, on the grounds that these constitute '...nuclear materials..' (Ross B. Mirkarimi, “Extreme Birth Deformities,” Environmental and Human Health Impacts of the Gulf Region with Special Reference to Iraq, May 1992, downloaded from http://bitterfact.tripod.com/iraq/iraq_babies.html, 5 Sept. 2007.)

 

These facts are worth bearing in mind the next time we are told what has now become a bipartisan article of faith: the Iraqi people are better off with Saddam Hussein gone. Or as Bill Maher put it on his show of Sept. 24th "Eventually they're better off." (Walter A. Davis, “Of Pynchon, Thanatos and Depleted Uranium: Weapons of Mass Destruction Found in Iraq,” Counterpunch, October 9/10, 2004, downloaded from http://www.counterpunch.org/davis10092004.html. 12 Sept. 2007.)

 

Dr Hari Sharma, of the University of Waterloo, Ontario. … says cancer in southern Iraq is two or three times commoner than in 1991. Around Basra some cancers are seven times as common. (Alex Kirby, “Depleted Uranium: the Lingering Poison,” BBC News Online, 7 June 1999, downloaded from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/362484.stm, 3 Nov. 2007.)

 

Saudi Arabia

 

Ray Bristow used to run marathons for charity. His last was the 1990 London marathon.

 

Then he went off to the Gulf, as a medical theatre technician. When he came home to Hull, things were different, he told Costing the Earth.

 

"I gradually noticed that every time I went out for a run my distance got shorter and shorter, my recovery time longer and longer.

 

"Now, on my good days, I get around quite adequately with a walking stick, so long as it's short distances. Any further, and I need to be pushed in a wheelchair."

 

Ray Bristow says he is open-minded about the cause of his illness. But he was tested - in Canada - for depleted uranium (DU), used in tank-busting rounds by US and British forces in the Gulf.

 

"I remained in Saudi Arabia throughout the war. I never once went into Iraq or Kuwait, where these munitions were used.

 

"But the tests showed, in layman's terms, that I have been exposed to over 100 times an individual's safe annual exposure to depleted uranium." (Alex Kirby, “Depleted Uranium: the Lingering Poison,” BBC News Online, 7 June 1999, downloaded from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/362484.stm, 3 Nov. 2007.)

 

Ray Bristow says he is now "on death row". The study which established his DU level found contamination in about 40 people, British and US veterans, and a few Iraqis.

 

It was conducted by Dr Hari Sharma, of the University of Waterloo, Ontario. "Inhalation of DU occurs in 1991, and we are looking at it after eight years", he says.

 

"To find something after a lapse of eight years was indeed a surprise."  

 

He says the World Health Organisation regards the figures as "substantially correct". (Alex Kirby, “Depleted Uranium: the Lingering Poison,” BBC News Online, 7 June 1999, downloaded from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/362484.stm, 3 Nov. 2007.)

 

 

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