The US military continues to use depleted uranium in tank armor, ordnance, anti-tank and/or armor-piercing rounds, small arms rounds, etc., despite the fact that DU turns ordinary weapons into radiological dirty bombs, (“They fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way,” says Marion Falk, who spent 20 years building nuclear bombs), much of which is “reduced to radioactive dust particles”.
For instance, during a three week period of conflict in 2003 in Iraq, coalition forces used between 1,000 and 2,000 tons of depleted uranium munitions against the Iraqis, mostly in cities. Add that to a few hundred tons of DU which were dropped on Iraq during Gulf War I and you’ve got a 20-year recipe for disaster. Unfortunately its lethal efficacy ensures that the Military Industrial Complex will do everything within its power to keep the truth under wraps.
DU is highly valued by armies for its ability to punch through armored vehicles. When a weapon made with a DU tip or core strikes a solid object, like the side of a tank, it goes straight through it and then erupts in a burning cloud of vapor. The vapor settles as dust, which is chemically poisonous and also radioactive.” Q&A Depleted Uranium Weapons
One Major Douglas Rokke, a now outspoken critic and former military expert on DU argues that:
The harmful effects of DU exposure include respiratory and neurological problems, rashes, cancers, kidney and lung damage, joint and muscle pain, fibromyalgia, cataracts, memory loss, changes in the RNA in DNA, causing genetic birth defects, and a host of other conditions associated with exposure to heavy metal toxicity and radiation.
It should be noted that about 33% of the 700,000 US soldiers who fought in the first Gulf War now suffer from the ambiguously named “gulf war syndrome“. Rokke and Falk attribute the various maladies comprising GWS to DU and/or chemical weapons exposure. What fraction of the Iraqi people suffer a similar fate?
A recent study indicates that Iraqis in the areas most heavily hit by depleted uranium during the current conflict suffer from cancer, leukemia, malformations and birth, infant mortality, and even cancer in adults at rates higher than the survivors in Hiroshima.
Dr Chris Busby said “to produce an effect like [are now seen in Fallujah], some very major mutagenic exposure must have occurred in 2004 when the attacks happened”.
…while he cannot identify the type of armaments used by the Marines, the extent of genetic damage suffered by inhabitants suggests the use of uranium in some form. He said: “My guess is that they used a new weapon against buildings to break through walls and kill those inside.”
Researchers found a 38-fold increase in leukaemia, a ten-fold increase in female breast cancer and significant increases in lymphoma and brain tumours in adults.
Do you notice a pattern? First, deny everything (as NATO did in Kosovo) and then later they deny or downplay the risks (like the US did with agent orange during and after the Vietnam war). But the more information becomes available, the worse it looks, and the more it seems that the use of depleted uranium constitutes war crimes (a redundant expression, if there ever was one) is unlikely to cease any time soon.