DU: Possibly the Worst War Crime in History
It is totally astounding. Bush Senior, Clinton, and Bush the Junior are war criminals of a caliber not witnessed since the war against the people of Vietnam (2-3 million killed). It is estimated this threesome of mass murder have killed around 1.5 million Iraqis (under the supervision of Bush I and Clinton), at least 3,620 Afghan civilians (according to a count conducted by Marc Herold of the Guardian as of August 2002) and 100,00 Iraqi civilians under the supervision of Bush II (according to research conducted by The Lancet medical journal). Add to this staggering death toll approaching 2 million another 11,000 Americans killed by “Gulf War Syndrome” and you have crimes of Nuremberg tribunal proportions.
“This malady (from uranium munitions), that thousands of our military have suffered and died from, has finally been identified as the cause of this sickness, eliminating the guessing. The terrible truth is now being revealed,” Arthur N. Bernklau, executive director of Veterans for Constitutional Law in New York, told Bob Nichols… Terry Jamison, Public Affairs Specialist, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs, at the VA Central Office, recently reported that ‘Gulf Era Veterans’ now on medical disability, since 1991, number 518,739 Veterans.” Bernklau added: “The long-term effects have revealed that DU (uranium oxide) is a virtual death sentence,” stated Berklau. “Marion Fulk, a nuclear physical chemist, who retired from the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, and was also involved with the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in the soldiers (from the 2003 Iraq War) as ’spectacular … and a matter of concern!’”
Nichols writes that Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter charged last week “that the reason Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi stepped down earlier this month was the growing scandal surrounding the use of uranium munitions in the Iraq War…. ‘The real reason for Mr. Principiâ€™s departure was really never given, however a special report published by eminent scientist Leuren Moret naming depleted uranium as the definitive cause of the ‘Gulf War Syndrome’ has fed a growing scandal about the continued use of uranium munitions by the US Military,” added Bernklau.
Add the World Health Organization (WHO) to the list of culprits. “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,” writes Rob Edwards for the Sunday Herald. “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 Organization (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’s study, which has now been passed to the Sunday Herald, pointed out that Iraq’s arid climate meant that tiny particles of DU were likely to be blown around and inhaled by civilians for years to come. It warned that, when inside the body, their radiation and toxicity could trigger the growth of malignant tumors.
The study suggested that the low-level radiation from DU could harm cells adjacent to those that are directly irradiated, a phenomenon known as “the bystander effect”. This undermines the stability of the body’s genetic system, and is thought by many scientists to be linked to cancers and possibly other illnesses.
After Pappy Bush finished his serial mass murder spree in 1991, “the radiation level in plants and animals [around Basra was] as much as 84 times the level that the World Health Organization says is safe,” reports the New Internationalist. “One of the doctors at Basra General Hospital has taken photographs to record all the babies who have been born with deformities. The pictures are horrifying: babies without eyes, without brains, without arms, without legs, without sex organs, babies with internal organs on the outside of their bodies.” The number of cancer cases in Iraq has increased by up to 10 times and it was estimated at the time “that 44% of Iraq’s people will have cancer within ten years,” according to Felicity Arbuthnot.
As if to make sure hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died in excruciating pain from various cancers, in 1992 “the US dominated Sanctions Committee refuse[d] to permit Iraq to import the clean-up equipment that they desperately need[ed] 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,” writes Hans de Jonge. If you have the stomach, take a look at these photographs of birth deformities and defects in Iraq caused by depleted uranium.
If 315 tons of DU seems like a large amount, consider that Bush II’s invasion left behind 1,700 tons, according to Jane’s, citing the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC). The UMRC “team’s preliminary tests showed that air, soil and water samples contained ‘hundreds to thousands of times’ the normal levels of radiation.”
All of this will eventually come back to the somnolent American public—and everybody else—who shrugged, flipped the channel when Bush’s invasion became boring, and voted to “re-elect” a war criminal president and Congress. “Small particles less than 1 micron in diameter do not settle from the air but become incorporated into atmospheric dust and are transported around the earth until they are removed ("rainout") by rain, pollution or snow,” warns Leuren Moret of Scientists for Indigenous People in a letter sent to Congress critter Jim McDermott. “Seasonal climate change, agricultural activities, fires and other natural and man-made disturbances will continue to remobilize particles in the upper dust level contaminating terrains off the battlefield… the depleted uranium dust will cycle through the environment both on and off the battlefield contaminating water supplies and food.”
Arjun Makihani, the president of the US Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, told the New Internationalist in 1998, that once “released, the particles can be directly inhaled, can pollute the water table and enter the food chain, spreading radioactive pollution over thousands of square miles. Exposure to this kind of radiation, as well as to chemical pollution, can cause genetic damage because of the ease with which uranium can cross the placenta to the foetus.”
“It’s still hot forever,” Doug Rokke, a former Pentagon DU expert, told Scott Peterson of the Christian Science Monitor. “It doesn’t go away, it only disperses and blows around in the wind.”
So the next time you see an SUV in traffic with a yellow magnetic ribbon calling for everybody to “Support Our Troops,” think about the invisible cancer-causing particles wafting down in the rain or snow and thank Bush-Clinton-Bush (who may eventually kill far more people than Hitler or Stalin ever did).