Depleted Uranium has Destroyed the Genetic Future of Iraq

Markthshark, Daily Kos

May 30, 2008

It’s not just the U.S. military, and it’s not just Iraq. The U.K. has also used depleted uranium in both Iraq and Afghanistan; NATO forces have used it in Kosovo, and Israel allegedly used it in Lebanon and on the Palestinians.

The use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions by the U.S. military may lead to a death toll far higher than that from the nuclear bombs dropped at the end of World War II.

A waste product from the enrichment of uranium, DU, contains nearly one-third the radioactive isotopes of uranium that occurs naturally. DU is generally used in armor-piercing ammunition; despite its classification as a weapon of mass destruction, and subsequent banning by the United Nations.

Incidental inhalation or ingestion of DU particles is very toxic and can remain so forever. To give you an idea of just how toxic: at the end of the first Gulf War, the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority estimated that 50 tons remained in Iraq, and that amount could be responsible for 500,000 cancer deaths by the year 2000. Now, it’s not clear whether that prediction came true or not, but to date, an estimated 2,000 tons of DU dust have been generated in the Middle East in general.

In contrast, approximately 250,000 lives were claimed by the explosions and subsequent radiation released by the nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Natural News.com has the story:

“More than ten times the amount of radiation released during atmospheric testing [of nuclear bombs] has been released from DU weaponry since 1991,” said Leuren Moret, a U.S. nuclear scientist. “The genetic future of the Iraqi people, for the most part, is destroyed. The environment now is completely radioactive.”

Because DU has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, the Middle East will, for all practical purposes, be radioactive forever.

The two U.S. wars in Iraq “have been nuclear wars because they have scattered nuclear material across the land, and people, particularly children, are condemned to die of malignancy and congenital disease essentially for eternity,” said anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott. 

Since George H.W. Bush’s first Gulf War, birth defects and childhood cancer rates have increased seven fold in Iraq. And, our troops have paid a heavy price as well. More than 35 percent (251,000) of U.S. Gulf War veterans are dead or on permanent medical disability, compared with only 400 who were killed during the conflict.

It doesn’t have to be like this. We can’t change the past but we can fight to end the use of inhuman weapons in immoral wars of aggression. I believe Barack Obama said it best… (paraphrased)

We not only need to end the war; we need to end the mindset of war.

Those are powerful words and something I’ve never heard before from an American leader… ever.

 

 

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Respected astronomer loses fellowship at University for thought crime

Dr Nicholas Kollerstrom, a respected astronomer and author, is the latest scientist to discover the limits of academic freedom in the Western world.

university college london

Until recently Dr Kollerstrom was an honorary fellow of University College London. His views as a science historian were sought by scientific journals and media organisations, such as the BBC in its
report on new research concerning the planet Neptune.

Yet on 22nd April University College abruptly terminated his fellowship, without any consultation or right of appeal. Dr Kollerstrom’s offence was to have published sceptical views about scientific aspects of the Holocaust on the CODOH website, based in America. At no time had he promoted these views within University College, or done anything to bring the college into disrepute.

The London based Jewish Chronicle duly boasted about Dr Kollerstrom’s dismissal on the front page of its 25th April edition.

On 7th May Dr Kollerstrom first became acquainted with Lady Renouf to seek advice on whether he could expect to travel safely to Germany where he hoped to present his paper The Walls of Auschwitz – a review of the chemical studies to the Berlin Conference on 15th-18th May.

This conference (Extermination in Gas Chambers in National Socialist Concentration and Extermination Camps) was designed to refute the revisionists’ case on the alleged mass murder weapon – the gas chamber.

Lady Renouf advised in her observation that: a) it was unlikely that the organisers would include a revisionist paper in their unchallengeable conference (as opposed to the entirely open to allcomers Tehran Conference in 2006 on The Holocaust – A Global Review). And to prove the case she asked the Berlin Conference organisers whether she could be included as press, but received no response;

b) if Dr Kollerstrom were to open his scientific mouth in Germany, or in any of the ten countries where it is illegal to bring forensic science in to question the Holocaust legend “in full or in part”, he would risk certain prosecution and a long term of imprisonment.

About to appear herself on a Press TV live panel discussion Lady Renouf suggested to the channel, which at last offers UK viewers a democratic choice of information sources, that they interview Dr
Kollerstrom, who had been persecuted by the mainstream media, thus to provide him with some redress for the vilification and libel he has recently suffered following his scientific article published on a U.S. website.

On 14th May the channel duly filmed an interview with the science historian Dr Kollerstrom and a second interview with Lady Renouf, who provided the background regarding the stark contrast between the open
democratic approach she had experienced at the Tehran conference, as compared to the tyrannical and closed programme of this year’s government sponsored Berlin conference, where no revisionist was
invited – though the conference was supposed to be all about revisionists and their (source) criticism.

Kollestrom and Renouf at Press TV Dr Nicholas Kollerstrom and Lady Michèle Renouf on set at Press TV after recording each of their interviews. Lady Renouf is holding a copy of The Rudolf Report

The substance of Dr Kollerstrom’s interview is his hope that a scientific journal will sponsor his own on site chemical analysis of the walls of Auschwitz, in the tradition of the Leuchter Report and the Rudolf Report. These authors, like Dr Kollerstrom himself, came to this work out of scientific curiosity and with no political interest.

After recording his interview Dr Kollerstrom appeared live on Press TV’s Between the Headlines 14th May edition.

Despite Ms Bevan’s earlier hypocritical stance in favour of scepticism (during a discussion of Le Monde’s recent admission that it had misidentified photos supposedly of Hiroshima after the 1945 atomic bombing) in her subsequent unthinking mandatory denunciation of revisionism one recognises at once the archetypical parroting response of the mainstream journalist, confronted by a taboo source-critical attitude towards what Jewish historians term the “holy of holies”.

Source: www.insight-info.com

US Fails at Enforcing Prosecution of Contractors

The US government has the legal authority to prosecute private contractors for crimes they commit in Iraq but often declines to use it, according to a report released today by a leading human rights group. The findings by Human Rights First come amid renewed uncertainty about whether employees of the US security company Blackwater can be prosecuted for a September shooting in Baghdad that
left 17 Iraqis dead.

blackwater

The Bush administration has warned that inconsistency in federal law may allow the contractors to evade charges, the New York Times reported today.

“The main obstacle to ending the culture of impunity among private security contractors is not shortcomings in the law but rather the lack of will to enforce the law,” today’s report states.

A seven-year-old law called the Military extraterrestrial jurisdiction act, or MEJA, provides the main mechanism to prosecute contractors for crimes committed outside the US.

But many in the capital have questioned whether MEJA’s specific application to Pentagon employees would exempt Blackwater, which was operating under a US state department contract when the September shooting occurred.

The human rights report rejects that argument, citing a congressional expansion of MEJA passed after the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal in 2004. That measure allows for prosecution of non-Pentagon employees who were “supporting the mission of the department of defence”.

The behaviour of contractors for Blackwater and other security firms has sparked resentment among Iraqi officials as well as civilians, many of whom consider the private guards unnecessarily violent.

“These violent attacks have created a culture of impunity that angers the local population, undermines the military mission, and promotes more abuse by contractors over time,” the report states.

The report found that since the war in Iraq began, only one US contractor has been charged with a violent crime under MEJA: an employee of KBR, formerly owned by Halliburton, who was accused of
stabbing an Indian female colleague.

The House of Representatives already has approved a measure that would directly apply MEJA to Blackwater and its fellow contractors. Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has introduced an expansion of MEJA in the Senate, but the bill has yet to see action.

Fallout from Blackwater’s legal and public relations troubles has hit British security companies in recent months.

The chief executive of ArmorGroup, the largest UK security firm operating in Iraq, left his post after reports of the September violence chilled the company’s profits and new contracts.

The human rights report singles out ArmorGroup and Aegis Defence Services, another UK-based contractor, for tracking incidents involving firearms use by their employees, in contrast with US
companies that do not routinely keep such records.

by: Elena Schorr