Uranium Weapons – Does anyone care about our planet? Part 7 (final)
America and NATO’s burning desire to use DU/EU in all areas of conflict
This final article is totally dedicated to the millions of people that have become victim to the US, UK, NATO and IDF continued use of weapons containing uranium. It is in support of all the war veterans and innocent civilians in the Balkans, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Gaza and now Pakistan. It is also dedicated to those thousands that have suffered terrible pain and since died. Can we ever imagine the pain of a mother that has lost her baby at birth or born with terrible disfigurement? Each and every day they are reminded of the consequences of having DU dumped in their backyard. Finally we have the pain of all those who know DU caused their problem and who are afraid to speak out. If they do the American Government will not support them or their families.
This chapter is probably the most difficult to write as it explains in detail how a country has become contaminated and how individuals at all levels have had their lives turned upside down by the deplorable use of weapons containing uranium. Beyond this human factor we also have to look at how such local conflicts become a global issue and how the instigators have no regard for their own military forces or the masses of innocent civilians.
I think it would be appropriate as this stage to again repeat those terrible words once uttered by Henry Kissinger (Past US Secretary of State) when he said the following: “Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.” One could assume a similar understanding still exists when our respective own governments use uranium based weapons knowing that their own troops are going to become victim of its aerosol contamination. Doug Rokke put this into true perspective when he said that if you send your sons or daughters into a war zone “They will die”.
What I find incredible is the massive recruitment drive currently underway in the UK whereby the recruitment teams set up in the main shopping centres and are always surrounded by young guys. This is particularly relevant in the low income/ high unemployment areas. They target these young guys and before they are 19 years (or less) are out in the battle field with nerves of steel but with no experience. Particularly saddening was a new soldier only 18 years of age who had arrived in Afghanistan and within one week went out on his first patrol and was killed (lambs to the slaughter).
Dustin Brim died at 22 of very aggressive cancers.
Dustin Brim – How DU Kills U.S. Soldiers – Author Christopher Bollyn
The widespread use of depleted uranium weapons in Iraq has led to a much higher death rate among U.S. military personnel than the Pentagon is willing to admit. The tragedy of Dustin Brim is the untold story of one such casualty.
An alarmingly high percentage of U.S. military personnel who have served in Iraq have been afflicted by a variety of health problems commonly known as Gulf War Syndrome. Exposure to uranium spread through the use of depleted uranium (DU) weapons is thought to be the primary cause of the high rate of chronic ailments and mortality among Gulf War vets.
30 percent of Gulf War veterans from the first invasion of Iraq were afflicted with chronic health problems, a disability rate 5 times that of the Viet Nam War.
While initial casualties from the first U.S. invasion of Iraq were light, long-term casualties from the 1991 war ultimately exceeded 30 percent, according to Terrell E. Arnold, former Chairman of the Department of International Studies at the National War College. The long-term casualty rate from the current war in Iraq, Arnold says, is likely to be much higher.
“Gulf War II is and has been a far more hairy experience,” Arnold wrote. “Fighting has been heavier and much more prolonged. Many tons more of depleted uranium weapons have been used, along with other toxic devices. Thus, a long term casualty rate for American forces of 40 to 50 percent appears realistic.”
Indeed, as AFP discovered in 2004, 40 percent of the soldiers in one unit were found to have malignant cancerous growths when they returned from a tour of a year and a few months in Iraq.
In one unit of 20 soldiers, 8 men were found to have “malignant growths” when they returned to the U.S.
Official statistics of killed and wounded from the 15-year long war against Iraq do not reflect the veterans whose service related injuries only become apparent after they return from Iraq. The official death rate of those killed and wounded in Iraq does not include these vets, many of whom suffer slow and painful deaths as a direct result of their service. Dustin Brim was one of them.
“In the end, will we be able to say that the outcome was worth 60-70,000 damaged, distorted or destroyed American lives, to say nothing of the effects on their families and communities?”
As I listened to Lori Brim, a single mother who lost her 22-year-old son in the war in Iraq, where he served as an U.S. Army mechanic, to ask whether she thought the outcome was worth her sacrifice never even entered my mind. The depth of her tragedy made such a question seem cruel and absurd.
Lori lost Dustin, her only child, when he died at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. on September 24, 2004, after 6 months of fighting what was eventually diagnosed as Non-Hodgkins Diffuse Large Cell B Type Lymphoma. When Lori had asked the doctors how her young, healthy and strong son had contracted cancer all they would say was “bad luck.”
Her case worker and nurses at the hospital were more forthcoming with information. At different times during the six months nurses would take Lori aside and urge her to do some research on DU. The nurses’ comments were “off the record,” Lori said.
Asked whose idea it was for Dustin, a 20-year old from Daytona Beach with a passion for cars, to join the army in the summer of 2002, Lori said, “It was mine.” Dustin had not wanted to join the army, his mother said.
But Dustin was never meant to be in a war zone, she added. The U.S. Army recruiter had promised her, that as her only child, he would not be sent to war.
Dustin’s work in Iraq involved working on disabled army vehicles, including tanks, which his unit repaired and retrieved, or if damaged beyond repair, destroyed with explosives on the spot. Most of these vehicles, having been in the battlefield, would have been heavily laden with DU and other toxins.
Dr. Doug Rokke, former director of the U.S. Army’s Depleted Uranium Project, said that mechanics like Dustin are not properly prepared or protected to be working on DU contaminated vehicles. Lori said that her son had not even been equipped with a pair of gloves, not to speak of a mask or protective garb. The army’s failure to inform and instruct its personnel about the dangers of DU exposure is one of Dr. Rokke’s main concerns.
During the last two weeks of March, he wrote to his mother telling her that he could not keep anything down and that his pain was so persistent and unbearable he was afraid he would lose focus and let his buddies down.
On March 31st he passed out from pain and breathlessness. His sergeant happened to be with him and took him to the doctors who thought he had gall bladder problems and sent him to the hospital in Baghdad.
The next day, April 1st, was Dustin’s 22nd birthday. After being assessed and heavily drugged with morphine, the doctors allowed him to call home to tell his mother that was very ill with cancer.
In Baghdad, the doctors had discovered that Dustin had a huge cancerous tumor on his esophagus, which severely restricted his breathing, a collapsed lung, the loss of a kidney, numerous blood clots and a tumor progressing on his liver.
From April through September, Dustin underwent 6 different types of chemo-therapy. Each therapy seemed to work only for a few days after which the cancer returned with a vengeance. On September 24, 2004, Dustin succumbed to the cancer that had affected every organ in his body except for his heart and brain as the autopsy later revealed.
“I knew from the start that Dustin had been either exposed to something in Iraq or his immune system had been affected by the vaccines they had to take,” Lori said. “The doctors would not comment on my thoughts but at the end they agreed they had never seen anything like it.”
The nurses, however, told Lori to keep researching DU. “Dustin is not the first and he won’t be the last,” one nurse told her confidentially.
“The medical profession is the most controlled group in the U.S. in order to protect the nuclear weapons and nuclear power programs,” Lauren Moret, a Berkeley-based radiation expert told AFP about the silence of the doctors. The gagging of medical professionals has been achieved through a piece of legislation called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), under which a doctor or nurse can be fined and imprisoned for disclosing health information to another person, even a family member.
The above is only an extract from the original story and I am sure you will all agree it is rather sad and clearly shows a US Government cover-up.
Just ask the many thousands of returned vets, some of whom have paid the ultimate sacrifice, ask them how they are being cared for? Will their government accept that “WAR SYNDROME “Is as a direct result of uranium aerosols that are used extensively in all the theatres of war? So now let’s look at this in more detail and its symptoms.
Inhalated nanoparticle aerosols of DU/LLR are extremely complex. Insoluble DU particles deposited in the respiratory bronchioles and alveoli are cleared much more slowly, and, therefore, would be expected to deliver a higher radiation dose to the lung from alpha radiation. Once DU/LLR has entered the blood and irreversible cycle commences. The tissues in our bodies filter out the depleted uranium particles from the blood and cause a web of diseases called “Gulf War Syndrome”. So what can a victim of such a syndrome expect?
Leuren Moret once compiled a list from Interviews with Gulf War Vets and their families. The results were extremely alarming to say the least:
General problems associated with depleted uranium
|abnormal births and birth defects
abnormal metabolism of semen: contains
amine & ammonium alkaline
acute autoimmune symptoms
(lung-, liver-, kidney failure)
acute myeloid leukemia
(deadly within days or weeks)
acute immune depression
acute respiratory failure
blood in stools and urine
body function control loss
calcium loss in body
cardiovascular signs or symptoms
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
chronic kidney and liver disorders
chronic myeloid leukemia
chronic respiratory infections
Epstein Barr Syndrome
high blood pressure
high frequency of micturition
immune system deficiency
loss of feeling in fingers
Lou Gehrigs Disease -ALS
low blood oxygen saturation
( low HbO2)
low lung volume
mood swings – violence
petit & grand mal fits
reactive airway disease
shortness of breath
skin damage: sweat glands
with trapped du-particles
smell, loss of
stiffening of fingers
unable to walk
unusual fevers/night sweats
unusual hair loss
bladder & sphincter paralysis
complete range of known and
unknown Congenital Defects
malformations of legs, arms,
toes & fingers
neural tube defectsFEMALE
breast cancer at very young
lung cancer at age 20 and
paralysis of digestive system
acute myeloid leukemia
chronic myeloid leukemia
endometriosis in partners
hip and leg pain
lung cancer at young age
unable to walk
Leuren was once asked the question: Does exposure to depleted uranium affect
their psychological background when they come home? Her response was as follows: Depleted uranium are particles that form at very high temperatures. They are uranium oxides that are insoluble. They are at least 100 times smaller than a white blood cell, so when the soldiers breathe, they inhale them. The particles go through the nose, go through the olfactory and into the brain, and it messes up their cognitive abilities, thought processes. It damages their mood-control mechanism in the brain. Four soldiers at FortBragg came back from Afghanistan, and within two months, those four had murdered their wives. This is part of the damage to the brain from the radiation and the particles.
“The soldiers from Gulf War I in a group of 67 soldiers who came back, they had DU in their equipment, in their clothes, in their bodies, in their semen, and they had normal babies before they went over there to war. They came back and the VA did a study. Of 251 Gulf War Veterans in Mississippi, in 67 percent of them, their babies born after the war were deemed to have severe birth defects. They had brains missing, arms and legs missing, organs missing. They were born without eyes. They had horrible blood diseases. It’s horrific”.
A US victim of his father’s involvement in a DU War
“If you want to look at something, Life magazine did a photo essay which is still on the Internet. It’s called “The Tiny Victims of Desert Storm.” You should look at that — oh, my God, the post-Gulf War babies playing with their brothers and sisters who are normal. Basically, it’s like smoking crack, only you’re smoking radioactive crack. It goes straight into the blood stream. It’s carried all throughout the body into the bones, the bone marrow, and the brain. It goes into the foetus, it’s a systemic poison and a radiological”
It is fact that no matter whoever turns up with evidence that uranium based weapons are a significant danger to our health they still keep manufacturing them and using them in every theatre of war. Even hard line critics refuse to accept peer reviewed journals such as that by biochemist Diane Stern of the Northern Arizona University who stated that “recent studies should make the issue hard to ignore”. Her results — published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at a recent Society of Toxicology conference — established that when cells are exposed to uranium, the uranium binds to DNA, and the cells mutate. She said “exposure during the Gulf wars may link to increased cancers and birth defects in soldiers and in civilian survivors of exposure in the Middle East”. I have no doubt that Diane, like many before her will be removed from office for revealing the truth (Stearns’ research was published in the journals Mutagenesis and Molecular Carcinogenesis).
We should now turn back the clock to the time of the First Gulf War when Depleted Uranium (DU) was used extensively. It became apparent to US senior military staff that DU had created a major problem. On one hand, military speaking, DU was extremely effective and on the other hand it had severe consequences on the environment and its health effects on military personnel and innocent civilians.
Lets again re visit the story as told by Doug Rokke in his own words: “I was assigned to the DU assessment team as the team health physicist and medic by directive of Headquarters Department of the Army in Washington, D.C. via a message sent to the theater commander during March 1991. What we found can be explained in three words: “OH MY GOD”.
“According to official documents each uranium penetrator could loose up to 70% of its mass on impact creating fixed and loose contamination with the remainder passing through the equipment or structure to lie on the terrain. On-site impact investigations suggest that the mass loss is about 40% which forms fixed and loose contamination leaving about 60% of the initial mass of the penetrator in the solid or pencil form. Equipment contamination included uranium oxides, other hazardous materials, unstable unexploded ordnance, and by-products of exploded ordinance. U.S. Army Materiel Command documents sent to us during ODS stated the oxide was 57% insoluble and 43% soluble with at least 50% was respirable. In addition other radioactive materials were detected that could pose a risk through inhalation, ingestion, or wound contamination. In most cases except for penetrator fragments, contamination was inside destroyed equipment or structures, on the destroyed equipment, or within 25 meters of the equipment. After we returned to the United States myself and two others with assistance wrote the Theater Clean up plan which was reportedly passed up through U.S. Department of Defense officials to the U.S. Department of State and consequently to the Emirate of Kuwaiti. Today, it is obvious that none of this information regarding clean up of extensive DU contamination ever was given to the Iraqi’s. Consequently, although we knew there were and still are substantial hazards existing within Iraq they have been ignored by the United States and Great Britain for political and economic reasons”.
“Iraqi, Albano-Kosovar, and Serbian representatives have asked numerous times for DU contamination management and medical care procedures but they have been continuously rebuffed by U.S officials. Although residents of Vieques, who are U.S. citizens, have also asked for medical care and completion of environmental remediation DOD officials have not responded. Dr. Bernard Rostker, Assistant Secretary of the Army, recently said that he did not see any reason why the United States should tell anyone where DU was used in Kosovo. Consequently military personnel and civilians have been exposed.”
Doug’s article went on to say: The probable hazards were known before the use of depleted uranium munitions during the Gulf war as official documents substantiate. A United States Defense Nuclear Agency memorandum written by LTC Lyle that was sent to our team in Saudi Arabia stated that
As Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD), ground combat units, and civil populations of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq come increasingly into contact with DU ordnance, we must prepare to deal with potential problems. Toxic war souvenirs, political furor, and post conflict clean up (host nation agreement) are only some of the issues that must be addressed. Alpha particles (uranium oxide dust) from expended rounds is a health concern but, Beta particles from fragments and intact rounds is a serious health threat, with possible exposure rates of 200 millirads per hour on contact.
This memorandum, the reports that we prepared immediately after the Gulf War as a part of the depleted uranium assessment project to recover DU destroyed and contaminated U.S. equipment, the previous research, and other expressed concerns led to the publication of a United States Department of Defense directive signed by General Eric Shinseki to quote:
- “Provide adequate training for personnel who may come in contact with depleted uranium equipment.
- Complete medical testing of personnel exposed to DU contamination during the Persian Gulf War.
- Develop a plan for DU contaminated equipment recovery during future operations.”
It is thus indisputable that United States Department of Defense officials were and are still aware of the unique and unacceptable hazards associated with using depleted uranium munitions. Consequently, I was recalled to active duty in the U.S. Army and assigned to the U.S. Army Chemical School located at Fort McClellan, Alabama as the DU Project Director and tasked with developing training and management procedures. The project included a literature review; extensive curriculum development project involving representatives from all branches of the U.S. Department of Defense and representatives from England, Canada, Germany, and Australia; and basic research at the Nevada Test Site located northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, to validate management procedures.
The products of the DU project included three training curricula:
Tier I: General Audience
Tier II: Battle Damage and Recovery Operations
Tier III: Chemical Officer / NCO
Three video tapes:
- Depleted Uranium Hazard Awareness
- Contaminated and Damaged Equipment Management
- Operation of the AN/PDR 77 Radiac Set and
- The draft DU and LLRM contamination management procedures including a United States Army Regulation: Management of Equipment Contaminated with Depleted Uranium or Radioactive Commodities and an United States Army Pamphlet Handling Procedures for Equipment Contaminated with Depleted Uranium or Radioactive Commodities.
Although, these products with approval of all participants were all completed and ready for distribution by January 1996, U.S. Army, U.S. Department of Defense, British, German, Canadian, and Australian officials disregarded repeated directives and did not implement or only have implemented portions of the training or management procedures. Unfortunately, only a few U.S. personnel have been trained. The training and management plan have not been given to all individuals and representatives of governments whose populations and environment have affected by DU contamination. These failures have been verified by U.S. General Accounting Office investigators and the report was published during March 2000.
Doug and his team were put under tremendous pressure by the careful wording of a memo that placed an emphasis on how important DU weaponry was to the US military and that their final report should not jeopardise DU usage by revealing such sensitive issues. .
A second memo around the same time was written by Gregory K. Lyle of the Defense Nuclear Agency, part of which said: “Alpha particles (uranium oxide dust) from expended rounds is a health concern but, Beta particles from fragments and intact rounds is a serious health threat, with a possible exposure rate of 200 millirems per hour on contact.” The memo warns that “specific DoD guidance concerning the disposition of DU material in the post combat period/restoration phase is currently lacking.” The writer hoped that “expression of our concerns over the side effects of DU use will help ensure protection for our troops and allies”.
We see time and time again the serious attempts, by the powers that be, to cover up, not only the extreme dangers of DU but also in the creation of their own chosen experts that tell the world that DU is safe. They are totally responsible for this false façade of carefully concocted stories. It is they themselves that manipulate the UNEP, WHO and DOD’s and leave us with their own hidden agenda of WMD. However, the world is now waking up to their evil intentions by saying enough is enough! Educated people around the world now see that WMD has a different meaning: “Weapons of Mass Deception and Weapons of Mass Dependency”.
Doug clearly pointed out that not only was his team of experts totally unprepared and unprotected for such a task but so was every military man in the field of battle. The masks provided do not filter out DU aerosol particles! and thus expose everyone to its inhaled contamination. Doug and his team have all become victims of DU, many of whom have since died.
Let’s now turn our attention to the war vets themselves that have returned to their respective countries from the many theatres of war. It is a well know fact that those soldiers that had children prior to going to war have fathered perfectly normal children. However since their return this has not been the case thus resulting in a higher that normal incidence of still births or giving birth to babies with terrible disfigurements. This strengthens the link between the inhalation of DU aerosols and its ability to alter our DNA. The fact is that US, UK, NATO and the IDF are subjecting their own military personnel to high levels of contamination from the very weapons they are using whilst at the same time having no regard for the civilian populations living nearby. We fully understand that these aerosols do not identify international borders and are creating thousands of indirect casualties elsewhere.
This became more obvious after the IDF attacked Lebanon and contaminated their own people in Northern Israel resulting in sharp rises in many forms of cancers, diabetes and infertility problems etc.
It would be appropriate to share the experience of Bud Deraps, an 82 year old WW2 Navy veteran when he said: “Please let me share with you what I learned when I visited Iraq in 2001 with the Veterans for Peace Iraq Water Project. A major purpose of our trip was to visit sewer polluted water plants in the Basra area which were being rebuilt in part with VFP funds. We also spent time looking at other public institutions, in particular hospitals, where I saw for myself the misery and devastation our weapons and sanctions had caused. For example, we visited the Basra Children’s Hospital where we saw rooms and hallways overflowing with children seriously ill from drinking polluted water. Many more were dying from leukaemia and other cancers. The doctors said they would all surely die there because they could not obtain the many medicines needed due to the sanctions. We stood in the midst of this disaster feeling stunned, ashamed, and entirely helpless”.
He went on to say “Prior to the current war, the Birth Defect Research for Children based in Florida produced a study showing 31 specific birth defects that radiation and other Gulf War exposures could cause in birth defects. They found that the Gulf veterans parented on average 2 to 4 times more defected babies than those who had not served there” “The Medical Journal of the Basra hospital reported that from 1991 to 2001, there was an increase of 426% in general malignancies, 366% in leukemia’s and 600% in birth defects. With respect to birth defects, the doctors explained that when a person becomes DU contaminated, his or her DNA can be altered, thus, the person is potentially subject to parenting a child with minor to extreme birth anomalies”
Bud highlighted the fact that in the initial short war a relatively low number of troops had been killed in action (148) but that since that event around 13,000 had died as a result of DU related illnesses. During 2003-2004 massive amounts of DU weaponry were used and contaminated a vast area. Millions of troops and civilians had entered this contaminated zone and one can only imagine the fallout from aerosol contamination to all those concerned. Other factors would enhance the situation by way of secondary contamination such as from on going dust storms and helicopter down wash etc .Bud lost his grandson in Iraq at the tender age of only 19.
American, British and NATO soldiers are returning from the battlefield with numerous health problems that have been highlighted in Leuren Moret’s previous statement. As we have seen they include cancers, lung and skin problems, cerebral lesions, and badly deformed new-born babies. We have seen the extremely high genetically induced problems in Iraqi. Prof Selma Al Taha, Director of a genetic laboratory said “since the war we have significant increase in congenital deformities: hydrocephalus [an abnormal increase in the amount of cerebrospinal fluid within the cranial cavity, which is accompanied by enlargement of the skull, forehead and atrophy of the brain], encephalitis, spinal bifida [incomplete closure of the bones of the spinal column, depriving the spinal marrow of protection], but also monstrous deformities of the limbs, and infants born without a head or a heart.” His colleague, Al Askri, a specialist in nuclear medicine, emphasized “a large increase in thyroid problems and cancers”.
US Depleted Uranium Shell
Depleted Uranium upon impact
Ask the mother who lost her baby if Depleted Uranium is safe!!
The consequences in the use of Depleted Uranium on innocent civilians is not only a crime, it is also slow genocide and makes the holocaust look rather minuscule by comparison!!
Extensive use of DU by NATO forces in the Balkans has dramatically changed the health statistics. Before the war many locations had typically normal statistics in their respective regions. Since the war however things have changed significantly. Kosova for instance had a 3 x increase in cancers and Bosnia-Herzegovina a 5 x increase resulting in hundreds of people dying from cancer related illnesses. It is also a known fact that many NATO peacekeepers had also contracted cancer and since died.
Doctor Slavko Zdrale has treated several cancer patients over the past years. During an interview he said:
“a few years ago we started noticing that there was as many as five times the number of people dying of different kinds of cancer as compared to the number of people who had been sick before the war.”
“We worked out that 90% of them came from areas NATO had bombed and from areas where ammunition with uranium was used. Nobody in the international community took much notice until Italian soldiers who were stationed in those areas started dying from cancer-related illnesses.”
Simo Tusevljak, the coordinator of the Research and documentation of war crimes, stated that “we believe that this was a deliberate attempt by NATO forces to kill as many people as possible. It was also a chance for the West to test new weapons.” .
It is interesting to note that we have seen these same tactic used in Lebanon and Gaza where these same so called dirty weapons were tested. I also might add that despite the resounding comments from all the powers that be (UNEP, WHO, ICRP, IAEA, Governments, DOD’s and NATO etc) the conclusive evidence is not in their theoretical evidence but rather in the practical real time evidence in the growing statistics in illness and deaths from various forms of cancer etc.
Time and time again we see a dramatic increase in cancers immediately following the use of weaponry containing uranium components. It is obvious that this entire deception by the above authorities has now gone beyond the realms of gross neglect. One can only relate to this as being one of the greatest crimes against humanity ever to have existed and has the potential to exceed the Holocaust many times. It is extremely sad that the terrible fate that befell Jewish communities years ago will again be relived in many parts of the world.
It is ironic that those that suffered are now creating another Holocaust not only on their neighbours but also on themselves (Israelis killing Israelis) as the contaminated aerosols do not identify international borders and drift over from Lebanon into Northern Israel and likewise in Gaza to adjacent Central and Southern Israel. The world must prohibit without delay the use of any weapon that contains uranium components……these are certainly not conventional. So far only Belgium has had the courage to stand firm against these evil weapons.
Out of all the theatres of war Iraq must take centre stage. This country has been blasted so heavily with uranium based weapons that one could not even contemplate its future. One man with tears in his eyes accused the West of taking away the “Genetics” of his country. Can we the public even think of the implications that have now fallen upon this proud country that was once the birthplace of civilization? How can we all, as responsible citizens, just continue to allow our governments to get away with this mass murder?
Just take a moment and look at the statistics coming out of Iraq and then decide for yourself if DU/EU weapons are safe? Of course you can take the expert advice of the Nigel Lamb’s of this world or just look at factual figures and the coincidence of increase illnesses immediately after such attacks. The level of cancers in children became so high that USAID and an American NGO called Project Hope decided that a specialist children’s hospital had to be built in Basra. Child mortality rates were very high with 150 out of 1,000 children dying before reaching the age of five. The incidence of childhood cancer was found to be eight to 10 times more common than in the West, and cancer rates in southern Iraq were even higher than the National average. With such high statistics it was obvious that a children’s hospital with a special focus on paediatric oncology should be built in Basra.
Doesn’t it appear hypocritical that US/UK forces created this major problem as a result of the extensive use of DU weaponry in Southern Iraq and then turn this self induced disaster into a huge PR exercise by showing that they really care? This huge “Basra Children’s Hospital Project” all comes under the watchful eye of the US Corps of Engineers. The project was funded through multiple sources, including the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund; Project HOPE; and the Spanish government through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Needless to say the project was given to that notorious US Company Bechtel.
Occasionally we see a glimmer of hope in the fight to bring justice to the many thousands of victims. As we already know Italian troops became victim to DU during their duties in the Balkans. One such case shows that despite all the stress and pressure individuals can make a difference. Here is such a story of the courage and determination as told by Francesco Iannuzzelli | Peacelink, Italy:
In memory of Stefano Melone
Stefano Melone began his service in the Italian army in 1977. For many years he had been deployed to a whole host of missions abroad. He had been in Lebanon, Albania, Somalia, ex-Yugoslavia and Kosovo. He was a helicopter pilot but he was also assigned to NBC troops.
Suddenly, in February 2000, he was diagnosed with cancer (Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma of the bone, lung and pleura). In August 2000 a military commission acknowledged the link between his illness and the military service abroad, so he applied for a pension. However, after many surgical operations, he died on 8th November 2001 in Milan, at the age of 40.
Since then, his wife has been engaged in a battle to obtain compensation from the Ministry of Defence, together with many other soldiers and families in similar situations. Before dying, Stefano had asked his wife to do this, so that their children and all the other families could safeguard a future in spite of the terrible pain and loss.
To date, 25 Italian soldiers have died of lymphoma, cancer or leukemia, and 260 are currently ill, after their missions abroad. Many of these missions took place in countries where depleted uranium has been used, including Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq.
After three reports and many mistakes, a commission nominated by the Ministry of Defence, has eventually acknowledged an increase in lymphoma among soldiers assigned to missions in the Balkans.
In spite of that, the Italian Ministry of Defence refuses to give compensation to their families, let alone to admit that depleted uranium has a role in these cases. Hardly any information is given to soldiers currently on missions abroad about the risks they’re facing, and whoever complains about this lack of information is treated as a traitor and marginalised. It’s too expensive and difficult to obtain medical tests and therapies for this kind of health problems. Only few soldiers or families have the courage to stand up and ask for compensation after illness or death.
Paola Melone, Stefano’s wife, has been very active during all these years. She has finally won her battle. On the 26th of June, in Rome, the magistrates of a local court have sentenced that the Ministry of Defence must pay 500.000 Euros in compensation to Stefano Melone’s family.
For the families that have been struggling all these years for their rights, this is a major achievement. Veterans associations, some peace organisations, and a few MPs have expressed their appreciation of this sentence, as it brings some light of justice in the darkness created by the military on the issue of depleted uranium.
Another promising report came from Anes Alic (Oct 2007), a senior correspondent for ISN Security Watch in Southeastern Europe. In this report Anes revealed that an increase of the number of Italian soldiers who served in the Balkans during the 1990s who are falling seriously ill due to depleted uranium exposure is causing a public outrage in Italy, as the government downplays the extent of the problem, widely referred to as “Balkan Syndrome.” It was interesting to note that the Italian government passed a decree allocating €170 million (US$245 million) in compensation for military personnel who have contracted diseases during their service – some 28,000 of them in Balkan missions alone.
It was also interesting that some time ago an independent enquiry was set up in the UK which called on the Ministry of Defence to admit the existence of Gulf War syndrome and set aside millions of pounds to compensate sick veterans. Lord Lloyd of Berwick, the former law lord heading the inquiry, said it was time for defence staff to stop “assuming blithely that everyone else was wrong” and start restoring the trust and confidence of the Gulf War veterans, who felt “let down and rejected”.
The Government had already missed one opportunity to begin building bridges by refusing to take part in the anonymously funded inquiry, he added. While stopping short of blaming the MoD for sending the forces into a “very toxic environment”, Lord Lloyd said: “We are not in the business of establishing blame … Whether they are culpable in a wider sense; it is a matter for you to make up your own minds after reading the report.” It was also interesting to note the comment made by Ian Townsend, secretary general of the Royal British Legion, said: “We asked for an independent public inquiry. The government denied us that”.
It is obvious in conclusion that all the authorities and governments listed in all my previous articles are guilty of a major conspiracy to cover up, especially those governments who form part of NATO. At least Italy has gone part of the way to heal the wound but the remainder remain stubborn to the core!
Prevailing winds continue to transport these toxic aerosols to every corner of the globe and as we have seen Europe takes a significant amount of fallout from the Middle East. When one studies the wind currents it is also easy to see how these aerosols also enter the US via the polar region. One could assume that almost half of the planets are currently breathing the bi products of these weapons. You will find little of this written in the media as most are controlled from higher authority. It is only the public who have the ability to object to this outrageous crime. It is the public that must keep up this pressure until such time as these weapons have been totally prohibited. To the many War Vets and innocent civilians around the world I ask you all to remain strong and to keep up your fight for truth and justice. To those that have created this evil act of slow genocide against the populations of the world I remind you that your day will come. To those countries who manufacture and use these weapons, in particular the United States of American, the United Kingdom, NATO and the IDF I remind you that one day they will be prohibited.
Finally we come to those many governments, departments and organisations that must be held responsible for allowing this deception to continue for decades. For their gross neglect in standing up for what they were supposed to safeguard and who were assigned to represent the peoples of the world – to protect them – to care for their health and their environment namely: The United Nations(UN) – United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP World Health Organisation (WHO) – The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – The Governments of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) – The respective Departments of Defence/ Military – The Nuclear Industry – The Pharmaceutical Industry and all those Medical Experts and Institutions who accepted that DU was safe. I guess one must also add the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to this list, not because it is has any connection to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) but because of the suffering they have caused around the world by Weapons of Mass Deception and Weapons of Mass Dependency. Shame on you all.
Do we really care about our planet?…………I certainly do……..now its up to you…….remember “what goes around comes around”
Peter Eyre – Middle East Consultant - 30/10/2012
Written by Peter Eyre
October 29, 2012 at 22:30
Posted in News
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