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DU: Mutilation of Iraqi Babies

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  • World View
    Ten Years after the war against Iraq J.B.Russell reports on the lasting legacy of depleted uranium. [Photos]
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2004
      Ten Years after the war against Iraq J.B.Russell
      reports on the lasting legacy of depleted uranium. [Photos]

      by Paul Rockwell

      2004-02-20 | "Depleted uranium is a crime against God
      and humanity."
      Dr. Doug Rokke, U.S. Army health physicist

      The international dispatches about the U.S. invasion
      and occupation of Iraq - replete with graphic details
      about overcrowded hospitals, U.S. cluster bomb
      shrapnel buried in the flesh of children, babies
      deformed by U.S. depleted uranium, farms and markets
      destroyed by U.S. bombs – do not make pleasant
      reading. The mounting evidence from the invasion of
      Iraq establishes what many Americans may not want to
      face: that the highest leaders of our land violated
      many international agreements relating to the rules of
      war. Unless we address the war crimes of the Bush
      administration - and the prima facie evidence is
      overwhelming - we betray our conscience, our country,
      and our own faith in democracy.

      The United States is bound by customary law and
      international laws of war: the Hague Conventions of
      1889 and 1907, the Geneva Conventions of 1949, and the
      Nuremberg Conventions adopted by the United Nations,
      December 11, 1945 - all of which set limits beyond
      which, by common consent, decent peoples will not go.
      Under the Constitution, all treaties are part of the
      supreme law of the land. Humanitarian law rests on a
      simple principle: that human rights are measured by
      one yardstick. Without that principle, all
      jurisprudence descends into mere piety and power. Nor
      do violations of the laws of war by one belligerent
      vindicate the war crimes of another.

      Of all the violations of the laws of war by the
      highest officials of our country, none is more
      alarming or portentous than the widespread,
      premeditated use of depleted uranium in Iraq. Eleven
      miles north of the Kuwaiti border on the "Highway of
      Death," disabled tanks, armored personnel carriers,
      gutted public vehicles – the mangled metals of Desert
      Storm - are resting in the desert, radiating nuclear
      energy. American soldiers who lived for three months
      in the toxic wasteland now suffer from fatigue, joint
      and muscle pain, respiratory ailments - a host of
      maladies often known as the Gulf War Syndrome.

      Ever since the end of Desert Storm, when the Pentagon
      unloaded 350 tons of depleted uranium, American
      officials have been well aware of the health hazards
      of the residue that is collected from the processing
      of nuclear fuel. When President Bush and the Pentagon
      authorized the use of depleted uranium for the
      shock-and-awe campaign against Iraq in March 1983, the
      Bush administration not only committed a war crime
      against the people of Iraq, it demonstrated reckless
      disregard for the health and safety of American

      Article 23 of the Geneva Convention IV is clear and
      unambiguous: "It is forbidden to employ poison or
      poisoned weapons, to kill treacherously individuals
      belonging to the hostile nation or army, to employ
      arms, projectiles or material calculated to cause
      unnecessary suffering." The Geneva Protocol of 1925
      explicitly prohibits "asphyxiating, poisonous or other
      gasses, and all analogous liquids, materials or

      The radiation produced by depleted uranium in battle
      is a poison, a carcinogenic material that causes birth
      defects, lung disease, kidney disease, leukemia,
      breast cancer, lymphoma, bone cancer, and neurological

      Depleted uranium is much denser than lead and enables
      U.S. weapons to penetrate steel, a great advantage in
      modern war. But under the Geneva Conventions, "the
      means of injuring the enemy are not unlimited." When
      DU munitions explode, the air is bathed in a fine
      radioactive dust, which carries on the wind, is easily
      inhaled, and eventually enters the soil, pollutes
      ground water, and enters the food chain. Unexploded
      casings gradually oxidize, releasing more uranium into
      the environment. Handlers of depleted uranium in the
      U.S. are required to wear masks and protective
      clothing - a requirement that Iraqi and American
      soldiers, not to mention civilians, are unable to

      After the Gulf War in 1991, Iraqi hospitals recorded a
      surge in cancer and birth defects. Hospital statistics
      from Basra show that in 1988 there were 11 cancer
      cases per 100,000 people. By 2001, after schools,
      homes, and entire neighborhoods were leveled from the
      air, the number increased to 116 per 100,000. Breast
      and lung cancer and leukemia showed up in all areas
      contaminated by depleted uranium. Dr. Jawad al-Ali,
      cancer specialist at the Basra Training Hospital,
      noted that, "The only factor that has changed here
      since the 1991 war is radiation." Thirteen members of
      his staff, all present when the hospital area was
      bombed, are now cancer patients.

      The Christian Science Monitor recently sent reporters
      to Iraq to investigate long-term effects of depleted
      uranium. Staff writer Scott Peterson saw children
      playing on top of a burnt-out tank near a vegetable
      stand on the outskirts of Baghdad, a tank that had
      been destroyed by armor-piercing shells coated with
      depleted uranium. Wearing his mask and protective
      clothing, he pointed his Geiger counter toward the
      tank. It registered 1,000 times the normal background

      The families who survived the tragic decade of
      sanctions, even the children who recently survived the
      bombing of Baghdad, may not survive the radiated
      aftermath of military profligacy. Uranium remains
      radioactive for two billion years. That's a long time
      for reconstruction.

      According to Dr. Doug Rokke, U.S. Army health
      physicist who led the first clean-up of depleted
      uranium after the Gulf War, "Depleted uranium is a
      crime against God and humanity." Rokke's own crew, a
      hundred employees, was devastated by exposure to the
      fine dust. "When we went to the Gulf, we were all
      really healthy," he said. After performing clean-up
      operations in the desert (mistakenly without
      protective gear), thirty members of his staff died,
      and most others - including Rokke himself-developed
      serious health problems. Rokke now has reactive airway
      disease, neurological damage, cataracts, and kidney
      problems. "We warned the Department of Defense in 1991
      after the Gulf War. Their arrogance is beyond

      The growing outcry against the use of depleted uranium
      is not a matter of minor legal technicalities. The
      laws of war prohibit the use of weapons that have
      deadly and inhumane effects beyond the field of
      battle. Nor can weapons be legally deployed in war
      when they are known to remain active, or cause harm
      after the war concludes. The use of depleted uranium
      is a crime whose horrific consequences have yet to run
      their course.

      Years ago in the midst of France's brutal war in
      Algeria, the philosopher Jean Paul Sartre admonished
      the French intelligentsia:

      "It is not right, my fellow-countrymen, you who know
      very well all the crimes committed in our name. It's
      not at all right that you do not breathe a word about
      them to anyone, not even to your own soul, for fear of
      having to stand in judgment of yourself. I am willing
      to believe that at the beginning you did not realize
      what was happening; later, you doubted whether such
      things could be true; but now you know, and still you
      hold your tongues."

      Paul Rockwell


      There Are No Words ...
      Radiation in Iraq Equals 250,000 Nagasaki Bombs
      by Bob Nichols
      March 27, 2004

      As a writer I do not have a set of words to describe
      what 142 Degrees in the shade is like. I've seen 120
      D. in Phoenix and 110 D in the spa's sauna I use. One
      hundred forty-two degrees leaves me speechless. Try to
      imagine 142 D temperature while wearing a helmet, long
      sleeve shirt, long pants, a bullet proof vest, boots,
      and carrying a 70 pound pack.

      By contrast the Inuit of Alaska and Canada have
      thirty-seven words to precisely talk about different
      kinds of snow.

      So, since the temperature is heating up in Iraq it
      seemed like a good time to float this story to
      different Internet sites and news publications. There
      was one story in 2003 of one 19 year old British
      soldier whose military job was to work in a British
      tank. In Iraq. In the summer. Word is, from London,
      that he forgot to drink enough water and he literally
      cooked in his tank.

      But, this story is not about the temperature in Iraq.
      You can bet, though, the weather will be really
      important for those Americans unfortunate enough to
      still be in Iraq this summer.

      This story is about American weapons built with
      Uranium components for the business end of things.
      Just about all American bullets, 120 mm tank shells,
      missiles, dumb bombs, smart bombs, 500 and 2,000 pound
      bombs, cruise missiles, and anything else engineered
      to help our side in the war of us against them has
      Uranium in it. Lots of Uranium.

      In the case of a cruise missile, as much as 800 pounds
      of the stuff. 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. That is a bunch.

      Now, most people have no idea how much Four Million
      Pounds of anything is, much less of Uranium Dust (UD),
      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 per car. 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.

      No sir-ee, putting Four Million Pounds of Radioactive
      Uranium Dust (RUD) on the ground in Iraq was a
      definitely "on-purpose" kind of thing. It was not
      "just an accident." We, the citizens of the United
      States, through our kids in the Army, did this on

      When the uranium bullets, missiles, or bombs hit
      something or explode most of the radioactive uranium
      turns instantly to very, very small dust particles,
      too fine to even see. When US Troopers or Iraqis
      breathe even a tiny amount into their lungs, as little
      as One Gram, it is the same as getting an X-Ray every
      hour for the rest of their shortened life.

      The uranium cannot be removed, there is no treatment,
      there is no cure. The uranium will long outlast the
      Veterans' and the Iraqis' bodies though; for, you see,
      it lasts virtually forever.

      But, it gets worse. Seems an Admiral who is the former
      Chief of the Naval Staff of India wanted to know how
      much radiation this represented. He also wanted to
      express the amount in a figure that the world,
      especially the non American world, could easily

      The Admiral decided to figure out how many Nagasaki
      Atom Bombs it would take to deliver the equivalent of
      the total amount of radiation deployed in Iraq in 2003
      in Four Million Pounds of uranium.

      The Admiral also wanted to figure out how much
      radiation the United States Military Forces have
      deployed in the last Five American Wars, the so-called
      Five Nuclear Wars.

      That is a simple enough task for somebody like the
      Naval Chief of Staff for a country that is a member of
      the Nuclear Club. Using the Nagasaki bomb for the
      measuring stick is a particularly gruesome twist,
      though. For those of you in the States who do not know
      it, the United States Military Forces dropped two
      nuclear Bombs on Japan at the close of World War II.
      The whole world remembers that.

      One Atom Bomb was dropped by Americans on the city of
      Hiroshima, the other on the city of Nagasaki three
      days later. About 170,000 people were incinerated
      immediately. It was a really big deal.

      It is a measuring stick that plays very well in the
      rest of the world; but, not very well on Fox News
      (Fair & Balanced) (c) or the rest of the Fox-like
      American media. The Department of Energy still lists
      the Hiroshima and Nagasaki detonations as "tests." The
      admiral released the data months ago at a scientific
      conference in India. This article is the first report
      of the data in the United States. It will first be
      released on the Internet.

      The admiral in India calculated the number of
      radioactive atoms in the Nagasaki bomb and compared it
      with the number in the 4,000,000 pounds of uranium
      left in Iraq from the 2003 war. Now, believe me, it is
      a lot more complex than that; but, that is essentially
      what the experts in India did.

      How many Nagasaki Nuclear Bombs equal the Radiation
      loosed in the 2003 Iraq war? Answer: About 250,000
      Nuclear Bombs.

      How many Nagasaki Nuclear Bombs equal the Radiation
      loosed in the last Five American Nuclear Wars? Answer:
      About 400,000 Nuclear Bombs.

      Who would do something like this?

      We would. The only people in the history of the world
      to engage in Nuclear Wars are Americans, citizens of
      the United States. Allegedly, the Germans and Japanese
      of WWII also wanted to engage in nuclear wars, except
      the American Military beat them to the draw, so to

      Respected academic scholars could debate forever
      whether or not Herr Hitler, Fuhrer of Germany, would
      have deployed uranium munitions in the Sudetenland if
      the weapons had been available. Certainly the Germans
      knew just as much about uranium wars as we did at the
      time. It seems doubtful that Adolph Hitler would have
      ordered the use of uranium munitions there because the
      Sudetenland was so close to the Fatherland, Nazi

      An American General named Leslie Groves was in charge
      of the bomb making operation called The Manhattan
      Project. In 1943 The War Department knew exactly what
      uranium bullets and bombs were good for.

      If the nuclear weapons did not detonate in Japan, the
      use of uranium bullets and bombs were the fall back
      position. It was not till Ronald Reagan was President
      in 1980 did the re-named Defense Department resurrect
      the deadly radioactive uranium bullets, bombs, and
      missiles. No wonder his popular nick-name was Ronnie

      The American Military knew the symptoms of radiation
      poisoning in 1943 too; starting with the irritated
      sore throat through to an agonizing death from being
      cooked from the inside out.

      President Bush promised to invade twelve countries in
      the 2003 State of the Union speech. I believe the man.
      For some reason, some misguided Americans do not
      believe him, or think he was "exaggerating." The rest
      of the world has every reason to believe him, though.

      Not to worry, the President has plenty of raw material
      for radioactive uranium munitions left. There are more
      than 77,000 Tons stored at the 103 nuclear waste
      plants and the several Nuclear Weapons Labs in the US.
      Each one makes another 250 pounds of radioactive
      material a day for radioactive bullets, bombs, and
      missiles. Not to put too fine a point on it; but, that
      is enough for 40.5 more gloriously successful
      campaigns like the 2003 Nuclear War in Iraq.

      Every year about this time the Southern winds leave a
      fine desert sand on the windshields of cars parked
      outside in Continental Europe and Britain. Soon this
      sand dust will carry a surprise. Thanks to the
      Americans. Thanks to us. We did this to the world.
      And, we wonder why they hate and despise us so.

      These uranium weapons' indiscriminate killing effect
      gives a whole new meaning to the age old term: cannon
      fodder. In Iraq, what goes around, comes around. If
      not the uranium munitions themselves, the uranium dust
      will be in the bodies of our returning armed forces,
      time bombs slowly ticking away the lives of the
      gullible and the ignorant with their very own internal
      radiation source, the cannon fodder of the 21st
      Century American Nuclear Wars.

      Put your ending to this article next.

      A lot of people have done everything we can think of
      to stop these nuclear wars. Even more specifically to
      stop the use of uranium as a munition and shut down
      the nuclear power plants. We have tried and failed for
      years. Why don't you give it a try? Can't hurt
      anything! Write what steps you would take to turn this
      situation around. Contact me at: bobnichols@....

      Bob Nichols writes in Oklahoma City and is the
      Editorial writer for DemoOkie.com. Bob Nichols is a
      contributing writer for LiberalSlant, Democratic
      Underground, OnlineJournal, AmericaHeldHostage, and
      other online dot com publications. Mr. Nichols is a
      frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer and
      other print publications. He lives and works in
      Oklahoma. He is a member of CASE -- Citizens' Action
      for Safe Energy, and President of the Carrie Dickerson
      Foundation. CASE has successfully killed two serious,
      well funded attempts to build Nuclear Power Plants in
      Oklahoma and several attempts to site what is now
      known as the "Yucca Mountain Reactor Dump" in
      Oklahoma. All these efforts to build nuclear
      facilities have failed. CASE won every time.


      For addtional information...

      Afghan DU Recovery Fund: http://www.afghandufund.org/

      Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association:

      Coalición Internacional para la Abolición de las Armas
      Radiactivas: http://www.amcmh.org/

      The Eos life~work resource centre:


      Pandora DU Research

      Traprock Peace Center:

      United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and
      Protection of Human Rights:

      Uranium Medical Research Centre: http://www.umrc.net/

      Uranium Weapons Conference;




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