Monday, April 17, 2006

thank the american military for depleted uranium ...

Douglas Westerman, American Chronicle, April 17, 2006

Weapons of mass destruction are all over Iraq. Iraqi children are playing among them every day. According to Iraqi doctors, many are developing cancer as a result. The WMD in question is depleted uranium (DU). Left over after natural uranium has been processed, DU is 1.7 times denser than lead - effective in penetrating armored vehicles such as tanks. After a DU shell strikes, it penetrates before exploding into a burning vapor that turns to dust.

"Depleted uranium has a half life of 4.7 billion years - that means thousands upon thousands of Iraqi children will suffer for tens of thousands of years to come. This is what I call terrorism," says Dr Ahmad Hardan.

As a special scientific adviser to the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the Iraqi Ministry of Health, Dr Hardan is the man who documented the effects of depleted uranium in Iraq between 1991 and 2002. U.S. forces admit to using at least 300 tons of D.U. ordinance in Gulf War I, with up to six times that amount in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, it can dramatically alter the entire fabric of family life. The emotional impact can be huge. Imagine having nine members of your family with malignancies at the same time. Welcome to Basra, Iraq.

Dr. Jawad Al-Ali, educated in England, is head oncologist at the Saddam teaching hospital in Basra. There are nine people with cancer in his wife's family. They are not alone. At a conference in Japan in 2004 he stated:

"Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before. The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with 2 cancers - one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary cancer was developing in his other kidney--he had three different cancer types. The second is the clustering of cancer in families. We have 58 families here with more than one person affected by cancer. Dr Yasin, a general Surgeon here has two uncles, a sister and cousin affected with cancer. Dr Mazen, another specialist, has six family members suffering from cancer. My wife has nine members of her family with cancer".

"Children in particular are susceptible to depleted uranium( DU) poisoning. They have a much higher absorption rate as their blood is being used to build and nourish their bones and they have a lot of soft tissues. Bone cancer and leukemia used to be diseases affecting them the most, however, cancer of the lymph system, which can develop anywhere on the body, and has rarely been seen before the age of 12 is now also common."

At one point after the war, a Basra hospital reported treating upwards of 600 children per day with symptoms of radiation sickness. 600 children per day?

The widespread use of DU weapons was not limited to Iraq. The Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC), founded by Dr. Asaf Durakovic, a former U.S. Army Colonel, did extensive field studies in Afghanistan just after the invasion. Excerpts from their field reports read:

"We took both soil and biological samples, and found considerable presence in urine samples of radioactivity; the heavy concentration astonished us. They were beyond our wildest imagination."......."The UMRC field team was shocked by the breadth of public health impacts coincident with the bombing. Without exception, at every bombsite investigated, people are ill. A significant portion of the civilian population presents symptoms consistent with internal contamination by uranium."

In Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, UMRC lab results indicated high concentrations of NON-DEPLETED URANIUM, with the concentrations being much higher than in DU victims from Iraq. Afghanistan was evidently used as a testing ground for a new generation of "bunker buster" bombs containing high concentrations of other uranium alloys

Dr. Durakovic stated, "The [U.S.] Veteran's Administration asked me to lie about the risks of incorporating depleted uranium in the human body ...uranium does cause cancer, uranium does cause mutation, and uranium does kill. If we continue with the irresponsible contamination of the biosphere, the denial of the fact that human life is endangered by the deadly uranium isotope, then we are doing disservice to ourselves, disservice to the truth, disservice to God and to all the generations who follow."

Living in Iraq under Saddam Hussein was pretty bad much of the time, and being ruled by the Taliban in Afghanistan was no picnic either, but DU is worse. It's not safe even to breathe. It's the ultimate tyranny.

NOTE: Mr. Westerman blogs at:, which contains a much longer and more comprehensive report on the horrors of Depleted Uranium. He can be reached via e-mail at: