In 1945, the first nuclear weapons were unleashed on civilians. In 1991 the first nuclear war was fought in Iraq. The second was fought in Serbia in 1999. The third and fourth are still being waged in Afghanistan and Iraq, thanks to our tax dollars, the callousness of the U.S. government and complacency in our media.
You will not like what you see in these photos, but get used to it. People in Afghanistan and Iraq will be seeing things like this for the next 4.5 billion years, because that is the half-life of depleted uranium (DU).
Near the end of the cold war, the Pentagon found a novel way of disposing of nuclear waste. The nuclear waste material from nuclear power plants, DU as it is known, is what is removed from the power plants’ spent fuel rods. DU is essentially composed of the uranium isotope U-238 as well as U-236, a product of nuclear reactor fission that is not found in nature, and other trace radioactive elements. The term “depleted” refers only to its being depleted of the U-235 isotope needed for fission reactions in nuclear reactors.
This is one example of what happens when DU comes into contact with human beings:
Photo source: William Bowles, uruknet.info.
There is a high probability that these birth defects were caused by the use of DU by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is also a better than average chance that American soldiers exposed to DU will see this in their future children as well.
A study of veterans of the first gulf war showed that 67% had children with severe illnesses, missing eyes, blood infections, respiratory problems and/or fused fingers. In the aftermath of the Kosovo conflict, cancer rates have increased 166% and are still rising.
DU is 1.7 times more dense than lead and when fired at a high velocity, it can punch through the thickest tank armor or steel-reinforced concrete bunkers like a hot knife through butter. It is most commonly used in sabot rounds fired by M-1 Abrams tanks, the 30mm Gatling guns fired by A-10 Warthog ground attack aircraft, and is also reportedly used in GBU-28 and the later GBU-37 bunker buster bombs, each of which can have 1-2 tons of the radioactive material in its warhead.
Source: William Bowles, uruknet.info.
When DU strikes a target, it superheats and aerosols, burning at a temperature that incinerates anyone inside. That is why bodies in the wreckage of Iraqi tanks and buildings hit by US fire are carbonized, which our troops sometimes refer to as “crispy critters.”
The real problem is that the dust also disperses into the air, water and soil, and when it comes into contact with humans, bad things happen.
While the Pentagon has continued to claim, against all scientific evidence, that there is no hazard posed by DU, US troops in Iraq have reportedly been instructed to avoid any sites where these weapons have been used. They are instructed to wear masks if they have to approach destroyed Iraqi tanks, exploded bunkers, etc.
Source: Dr. Jenan Hassan, uruknet.info
Many torched vehicles have been brought back to the US, where they have been buried in special sites reserved for dangerously contaminated nuclear materials. Thousands of tons of DU-contaminated sand from Kuwait, polluted with DU during the US destruction of Iraq’s tank forces in the 1991 war, were removed and shipped to a waste site in Idaho last year with no mention of it in the U.S. corporate media.
International health officials have been prevented or obstructed from doing medical studies of DU sites in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Christian Science Monitor, however, did a series of articles in 2003 after some of their reporters visited sites in Iraq and Afghanistan with Geiger-counters that showed extremely high levels of radioactivity.
In southern Iraq, scientists are reporting five times higher than normal levels of gamma radiation in the air. In fact, by western standards, areas of Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan would be considered uninhabitable.
There are reports of a dramatic increase in the incidence of deformed babies being born in the city of Fallujah, where DU weapons were in wide use during the November 2004 assault on that city by US Marines.
A report sent to the UN General Assembly by Dr Nawal Majeed Al-Sammarai, Iraq’s Minister of Women’s Affairs since 2006, stated that in September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital had 170 babies born, 24% of which died within their first week of life. Worse yet, fully 75% of the babies born that month were deformed. This compares to August 2002, six months before the US invasion, when 530 live births were reported with only six dying in the first week, and only one deformity.
Photo source: Dr. Jenan Hassan, uruknet.info
DU is the Trojan Horse of nuclear war – it keeps giving and keeps killing. There is no way to clean it up, and no way to turn it off because it continues to decay into other radioactive isotopes in over 20 steps. While the U.S. and British governments claim that DU is a conventional weapon, the truth is that it meets the definition of a weapon of mass destruction in two out of three categories under the U.S. Federal Code, Title 50 Chapter 40 Section 2302.
Most Americans know little or nothing about DU and its devastating effect on human life. It’s about time you do. The use of DU munitions is yet another reason to end these wars that are destroying not only lives in Iraq, Afghanistan and the ranks of our military, but also the credibility of our nation in the eyes of the world community.
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