Illegal Weapons, Everyday Truth : DU and Beyond
"Marion Fulk, a retired nuclear scientist from Livermore National Lab told AFP that U.S. troops in DU contaminated battlefields are considered "throw-away soldiers." The Marines exposed to DU in Fallujah, and elsewhere, face greatly increased risks of cancer, deformed children, and other health problems in the future."
Dr Khalid ash-Shaykhli of the Iraqi Ministry of Health has stated in a widely attended Iraqi press conference
“what I saw during our research in Fallujah leads me to me believe everything that has been said about that battle. I absolutely do not exclude their use of nuclear and chemical substances, since all forms of nature were wiped out in that city. I can even say the we found dozens, if not hundreds, of stray dogs, cats, and birds that had perished as a result of those gasses.”
During the press conference, which was attended by more than 20 Iraqi and Arab journalists, Ash-Shaykhli promised that he would be sending the study and the results that the committee produced to responsible bodies, both Iraqi and international.
The press conference was attended by correspondents of the Iraqi ash-Sharqiyah television network, the Iraqi “government”-run al-‘Iraqiyah satellite TV network, and the as-Sumariyah network, in addition to foreign media, such as the American Washington Post and the Knight-Ridder service and the Iraqi as-Sabah newspaper, in addition to the correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam.
I have been scanning the news looking for accounts of this in the US media outlets mentioned without luck.
An article gleaned at Health Now from December 11 seems to back up the Health Ministry officials claim.
“Thousands of refugees from Fallujah are staying in camps in the villages around the city but also access to them is blocked by U.S. troops. In a phone call with a doctor in one of those villages he told me the Americans have used chemical weapons. Iraqi medics could join the U.S. military to collect the dead but they were not allowed to bring some of the bodies: those with strange dark-blue spots and burns, bodies that were bloated and did not have any gunshot wounds. That could have been caused by the use of chemical weapons.”
This fits in with what Dahr Jamail has reported earlier
“The soldiers are doing strange things in Fallujah,” said one of my contacts in Fallujah who just returned. He was in his city checking on his home and just returned to Baghdad this evening.
Speaking on condition of anonymity he continued, “In the center of the Julan Quarter they are removing entire homes which have been bombed, meanwhile most of the homes that were bombed are left as they were. Why are they doing this?”
According to him, this was also done in the Nazal, Mualmeen, Jubail and Shuhada’a districts, and the military began to do this after Eid, which was after November 20th.
He told me he has watched the military use bulldozers to push the soil into piles and load it onto trucks to carry away. This was done in the Julan and Jimouriya quarters of the city, which is of course where the heaviest fighting occurred during the siege, as this was where resistance was the fiercest.
“At least two kilometers of soil were removed,” he explained, “Exactly as they did at Baghdad Airport after the heavy battles there during the invasion and the Americans used their special weapons.”
He explained that in certain areas where the military used “special munitions” 200 square meters of soil was being removed from each blast site.
In addition, many of his friends have told him that the military brought in water tanker trucks to power blast the streets, although he hadn’t seen this himself.
“They went around to every house and have shot the water tanks,” he continued, “As if they are trying to hide the evidence of chemical weapons in the water, but they only did this in some areas, such as Julan and in the souk (market) there as well.”
He first saw this having been done after December 20th.
Again, this is reflective of stories I’ve been told by several refugees from Fallujah.
So there you have it. Not much in cyberspace on this, the use of illegal weapons in Iraq, Fallujah specifically. You be the judge, I've offered the evidence I could find.
Is Depleted Uranium a legal weapon?
“Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”
-- Henry Kissinger
There is no controversy about whether or not we use depleted uranium (DU) in Iraq though. On this the search engine offers 318000 links. Kurt Nimmo put up an informative article a couple days ago that can get you up to speed. I don't have the time to fact check the information on DU offered at the Kissenger quote source linked, but it bears exploring. Not only Iraqi people are being poisoned by DU, but our soldiers are as well.
Depleted Uranium is toxic, and is still radioactive.
DU is about 40% less radioactive than uranium of natural composition as a result of the removal of most of the more radioactive uranium 234 and uranium 235. Uranium and DU are chemically classed as ‘heavy metals’ similar to tungsten, cadmium and lead. DU has toxicological effects identical to natural uranium and similar to the other heavy
The above link is from a .pdf from the UK Ministry of Defence. A bit more straightforward than what we are told here stateside.
But there's more. From a different source- the devil in the details sort of thing. What conservative radio announcer Paul Harvey say? "Now for the rest of the story"
Normally the U 235 is not completely removed from what is called depleted uranium, but about half of it has been removed. Depleted uranium also contains traces of radioactive thorium, protoactinium, and other radionuclides, just as does natural uranium.
Even the UK officials softpedal the basic reality about DU it seems.
Exposure to DU, lke exposure to natural uranium can kill you, slowly. They call it radiation poisoning.
Case in point:
Captain Terry Riordon unknowingly brought radiation poisoning home with him from Iraq to his wife, Susan Riordon. As recounted in the November, 2004 issue of the mainstream Conde Nast publication Vanity Fair, Mrs. Riordon was constantly burned by her husband's semen during intercourse.
Seems Terry's semen was turned to a fiery alkali by the radioactive uranium that settled in his testicles. The happily married couple had no idea what this new and horrifying complication was in this intensely private part of their life together. Little did they know the American Department of Defense had hopped into bed with them with a deadly intent.
With her husband slowly dying of radiation poisoning and in intense pain herself, Mrs. Riordon resorted to filling condoms with frozen green peas to use on herself to obtain relief from the internal burning's intense, excruciating, lasting pain. Other couples do that and other wildly frantic and imaginative measures seeking relief. The burning can leave blisters and contamination.
"It hurt [Terry] too. He said it was like forcing it through barbed wire," Riordon says. "It seemed to burn through condoms; if he got any on his thighs or his testicles, he was in hell." In a last, desperate attempt to save their sex life, says Riordon, "I used to fill condoms with frozen peas and insert them [after sex] with a lubricant." That, she says, made her pain just about bearable. Perhaps inevitably, he became impotent. "And that was like our last little intimacy gone."
How do soldiers (and innocent civilians) get exposed?
U.S. Army testing found that 18 to 70% of a depleted uranium penetrator rod burns and oxidizes into extremely small particles during impact. The impact of one 120mm depleted uranium penetrator fired from an American Abrams tank therefore creates between 900 and 3,400 grams (roughly 2 to 7 pounds) of uranium oxide dust. U.S. Army testing further found "[t]he DU oxide aerosol formed during the impact of DU into armor has a high percentage of respirable size particles (50 to 96%)," and 52 to 83% of those respirable size particles are insoluble in lung fluids. Respirable size particles (less than 5 microns in diameter) are easily inhaled or ingested. Insoluble particles are not readily excreted from the body, and may remain in the lungs or other organs for years.
U.S. Army research recently found that some respirable size uranium dust remains suspended in the air for hours after an impact. As demonstrated in the 1970's by the release of depleted uranium during the manufacture of DU ammunition near Albany, New York, depleted uranium dust can be carried downwind for 40 kilometers (25 miles) or more. Most of the dust created by an impact comes to rest inside, on, or within 50 meters of the target. However, U.S. Army testing also discovered depleted uranium dust can be resuspended by the wind, or the movement of people and vehicles.
The long-term dangers of depleted uranium contamination are discussed in a U.S. Army Chemical School training manual:
"DU's mobility in water is due to how easily it dissolves. Soluble compounds of DU will readily dissolve and migrate with surface or ground water. Drinking or washing or other contact with contaminated water will spread the contamination . . . The end result of air and water contamination is that DU is deposited in the soil. Once in the soil, it stays there unless moved. This means that the area remains contaminated, and will not decontaminate itself."
Sounds like DU as an aerosol after it makes contact with its target is a poison gas, for all practical purposes. And a persistent one.
Handling DU ammunition, sitting on a DU ammo box can cause cancer. Riding in a tank that has protective armor made of DU subjects a soldier to the equivalent of a chest x-ray every 30 hours.
Leuren Moret wrote a comprehensive article on Depleted Uranium "Depleted Uranium:
The Trojan Horse of Nuclear War" in World Affairs – The Journal of International Issues. She offers the litmus test for weapons legality under international law.
Legality Test for weapons under international law
Temporal Test – Weapons must not continue to act after the battle is over.
Environmental Test – Weapons must not be unduly harmful to the environment.
Territorial Test – Weapons must not act off of the battlefield.
Humaneness Test – Weapons must not kill or wound inhumanly.
Read about DU and you decide- is its use criminal under international law?
If you have strong stomach look at the defects suffered by Iraqi children from DU. Again, you are seeing the results of our tax dollars.
I've written about this subject a bit before. what brings it to mind today is the current lawsuit being brought today by Vietnamese folks suffering the effects of Agent Orange from what they call "The American War" forty or so years ago. Our soldiers suffered from it, just as they are suffering hugely from DU in the first Gulf War, and it is coming to the fore now.
Reports came from Fallujah that we used napalm and poison gas, that we basically carpet-bombed the city. We have found the weapons of mass destruction, and they are ours.
The same trusting good people, working class, love their country- believing in their President and legislators- are the ones both inflicting death this way and suffering its effects themselves. Just like Viet Nam. Just like Gulf War 1. It's an ongoing testimony to our collective gullibility and the power of the elite and their media.