Depleted uranium still killing Iraqis

This video says about itself:

The Doctor, the Depleted Uranium, and the Dying Children

An award winning documentary film produced for German television by Freider Wagner and Valentin Thurn. The film exposes the use and impact of radioactive weapons during the current war against Iraq. The story is told by citizens of many nations. It opens with comments by two British veterans, Kenny Duncan and Jenny Moore, describing their exposure to radioactive, so-called depleted uranium (DU), weapons and the congenital abnormalities of their children. Dr. Siegwart-Horst Gunther, a former colleague of Albert Schweitzer, and Tedd Weyman of the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC) traveled to Iraq, from Germany and Canada respectively, to assess uranium contamination in Iraq.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Toxic bombs ‘still blight Iraq

Monday 24 August 2009

by Tom Mellen

Baghdad has revealed that it is struggling to clean up the pollution left by depleted uranium weapons used by US-led troops during the first Gulf war and the 2003 invasion.

Environment Minister Narmin Othman Hasan said that only a fraction of the contaminated tanks and other wartime vehicles have been successfully treated and disposed of.

Ms Hasan estimated that “we have only found 80 per cent of the contaminated sites. There are still some areas we can’t reach because of the lack of security.”

And she said that her budget of around £57.5 million was woefully inadequate to get to grips with the issue.

Depleted uranium, a radioactive metal present in armour-piercing bullets, has been blamed for health problems including cancer, brain damage, respiratory problems, kidney failure and blood-curdling birth defects.

During the first Gulf war, US warplanes and tanks fired munitions containing at least 320 tons of the metal.

Britain has admitted to firing around 100 depleted uranium shells in the 1991 conflict.

The US and British governments are understandably cagey about the amount dropped on Iraq since 2003.

But while the munitions were restricted to anti-tank weapons in the first Gulf war, it was apparently extended to the guided missiles and “bunker busters” that played a key role in Washington’s “shock and awe” campaign.

And birth defects reported by doctors in Fallujah suggest that depleted uranium may have been used by US troops and their Kurdish peshmerga allies in the 2004 siege of the city.

Over 140,000 cases of cancer associated with the weaponry have been reported, but research on the link between depleted uranium and the rise in cancer remains inconclusive.

Ms Hasan observed that while “all radiation is dangerous, how much depleted uranium radiation is affecting our health is still under study.”

She added that media reports on the impact of depleted uranium on public health had contributed to a “panic” among the Iraqi people.

Ms Hasan said that dealing with the 25 million landmines that continue to maim and kill innocent Iraqis was her most pressing concern.

A public relations firm that organized the opposition to Saddam Hussein during the 1990s and “coerced” journalists during the run-up to the Iraq war is now vetting at least some embedded journalists in war zones to keep out those who have a history of writing negative stories about the US military, a new report claims: here.

According to a section of the researchers particularly concerned with the cases of birth deformities, Punjab may be paying with the health of its people for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. More precisely, depleted uranium reportedly used in wars in these countries may be the cause of the deformities and disorders on the rise in India’s northwestern state, according to a team based in the city of Faridkot: here.

Multi-National Forces-Iraq, the name of the military command of the US-led coalition that invaded Iraq in 2003, will be changed next year as no other countries have troops stationed in the country, a US military spokesman said Sunday: here.

The Iraq War Will Cost Us $3 Trillion, and Much More, by Linda J. Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz: here.

Britain was one of only four countries on Wednesday to vote against a United Nations call for transparency from states which use depleted uranium weapons in conflict: here.

7 thoughts on “Depleted uranium still killing Iraqis

  1. U.S. Military Documented Dangers of Depleted Uranium

    The May 2010 edition of Green Politics reported on birth defects and cancers in Iraq traced to depleted uranium used in U.S. and British weapons. Now comes word that at least some leaders in the U.S. Military sought to investigate the possible harmful effects of depleted uranium exposure for U.S. soldiers engaged in the first Gulf War.

    Veterans for Common Sense (VCS), a U.S. veterans rights organization, has uncovered a 1993 Department of Defense memorandum calling for “Complete medical testing of all personnel exposed to DU in the Persian Gulf War.” VCS says the Veterans Administration (VA) never conducted the medical tests. Mike Ludwig has written about VCS’s case against the VA for TruthOut, and you can read his report here.


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