WMD Found in Iraq
Depleted uranium munitions were used extensively in the Gulf War back in 1991 — about 320 tons worth. Despite evidence that DU poses a serious contamination risk and remains radioactive in the environment virtually forever, DU shells were later used in Kosovo and Afghanistan.
In our second go-round with Iraq, we used the WMD yet again:
An expert report warning that the long-term health of Iraq’s civilian population would be endangered by British and US depleted uranium (DU) weapons has been kept secret.
The study by three leading radiation scientists cautioned that children and adults could contract cancer after breathing in dust containing DU, which is radioactive and chemically toxic. But it was blocked from publication by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which employed the main author, Dr Keith Baverstock, as a senior radiation advisor. He alleges that it was deliberately suppressed, though this is denied by WHO.
Baverstock also believes that if the study had been published when it was completed in 2001, there would have been more pressure on the US and UK to limit their use of DU weapons [during the 2003 invasion of Iraq], and to clean up afterwards.
Hundreds of thousands of DU shells were fired by coalition tanks and planes during the conflict, and there has been no comprehensive decontamination.
So let's see — we invaded Iraq to prevent it from using WMDs that it turned out it didn't have, and to help us obliterate their army, we used our own WMD on them.
How can Americans sleep at night?
Apparently, with no problem whatsoever. The government just placed a multi-million-dollar order for thousands more rounds of the WMD, from weapons manufacturer Alliant Techsystems. Alliant likes to brag about the weapon's "outstanding accuracy and lethality."
Here's something else Alliant can be proud of:
Depleted uranium remains radioactive for 4.5 billion years. The byproduct of manufacturing nuclear weapons or reactors, the rounds contaminate water and soil. Along some highways in Iraq where the weapon was used during in the first Gulf War, radiation levels register 1,000 times normal background radiation levels. Cancer levels in Iraq are attributed to the shells
I have a better slogan for Alliant's DU shells — The weapon that keeps on killing.
Support Our Troops...but not in any meaningful way.
Add to this faulty equipment, improper safety drills, damaged protective suits, defective or unavailable body armor, cuts in VA care, etc. etc. and the idea of 'supporting troops' becomes riduculous given the way they are treated by their own.
I recommend that people get the film "Beyond Treason" because it has objective dialogue and copies of the actual documentation. The producers took care to present the information in credible, factual ways, referring to ACTUAL military documents when possible and this film will move you.
Here I also typically interject that sitting on our asses being 'aware' does not help anyone. Organize a simple house party to show this film to five freinds, then over coffee write a letter or two. Write letters to the Editor, meet with your reps particularly the ones involved with VA affairs. Host a community education forum on DU- we have done this and met with Vets groups such as at the VFW to connect and convey the idea that we can work together on this. Action is key, small and simple is better than none.
(all substances with a never-ending 1/2 life)
Sorry about that, DU gets me going I guess. I get emotional about it...
Thanks, Depleted Uranium!
- fc ( f a t c a t politics )
That is why DU makes sense and why we need it.
Lily, I've been thinking about a CorruptCo post all week. Just haven't found one yet. There are actually one or two personal experiences I've been having with CorruptCo recently, which have eaten up blogging time. I also think I'm too close to the situations to post on them. Sorry...
IAEA on Depleted Uranium
--Based on credible scientific evidence, there is no proven link between DU exposure and increases in human cancers or other significant health or environmental impacts.
--The most definitive study of DU exposure is of Gulf War veterans who have embedded DU shrapnel in their bodies that cannot be removed. To date none has developed any health abnormalities due to uranium chemical toxicity or radio toxicity.
--It is a common misconception that radioactivity is the main health hazard of DU rather than chemical toxicity. Like other heavy metals, DU is potentially poisonous. In sufficient amounts, if DU is ingested or inhaled it can be harmful because of its chemical toxicity. High concentration could cause kidney damage.
--According to the World Health Organization (WHO), very large amounts of DU dust would have to be inhaled to cause lung cancer from radio toxicity. Risks of other radiation-induced cancers, including leukemia, are considered to be very much lower still.