"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Not so depleted, uranium

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder called for a halt in the use of uranium weapons and a full inquiry into possible effects on soldiers in the Balkans.

"I have a healthy scepticism about the use of munitions that could lead to dangers for our own soldiers." (4)

"The cancer deaths of 24 European soldiers who served as peacekeepers in the Balkans and the illnesses reported by many others have stirred alarm in Europe about the use of depleted uranium in munitions" fired from American warplanes during the conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo." (2)

Its been several years now and depleted uranium is still in use and those who use it are still silent.

"Iraqi doctors are making renewed efforts to bring to the world’s attention the growth in birth deformities and cancer rates among the country’s children. The medical crisis is being directly blamed on the widespread use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions by the US and British forces in southern Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War, and the even greater use of DU during the 2003 invasion....

The rate of birth defects, after increasing ten-fold from 11 per 100,000 births in 1989 to 116 per 100,000 in 2001, is soaring further....

Terrible as these results were, the last six years have witnessed a further rise in the number of children under 15 falling ill with cancer in Iraq. The rate has now reached 22.4 per 100,000—more than five times the 1990 rate of 3.98 per 100,000." (1)

US Army Colonel Doug Rokke who also served as professor of environmental science at Jacksonville University, Alabama is now suffering medical problems related to depleted uranium while he was supervising the US Pentagon’s DU Weapons program. The Royal Society, believes that America’s refusal to recognize and cooperate on the problem has led to an “appalling situation.”

Colonel Rokke has publicly stated that a nation’s military personnel cannot willfully contaminate any other nation, cause harm to persons and the environment and then ignore the consequences of their actions. Rokke has pleaded with the US and British military to “recognize the immoral consequences of their actions and assume responsibility for medical care and thorough environmental remediation.”

Professor Spratt has also noted some soldiers may suffer also as well as civilians. One of the major concerns not often realized is the long-term threat should depleted uranium leaches into the water supplies.

The Pentagon refuses to admit depleted uranium is dangerous.

For more information on what one could expect from Depleted Uranium in the future and what it has accomplished in the past:


"The NYT [made an] important revalation relating to the mushrooming controversy about the health risks to NATO peacekeepers in the Balkans posed by spent U.S. depleted uranium ammunition. After the NATO bombing campaign of 1999, the paper's Marlise Simons reports, the U.S. Joint Chiefs issued a "hazard awareness" document warning soldiers and civilians against touching the ammunition and telling personnel having to handle anti-tank shells or enter wrecked vehicles to wear protective masks and cover exposed skin, and advising those involved in the most hazardous of such tasks to undergo health assessments afterward. The paper got the document from an unnamed NATO military official" (2)

1. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/
2. http://slate.msn.com/id/1006828/
3. New York Times
4. LA Times