NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Friday, September 23, 2005

More depleted uranium bunkum

Tom "Rio" Lambie, promotes the "Saturday's march takes aim at another war," September 23, 2005

Rio'a statement below is just a lot of bunkum. Why do anti-war left keep promoting this misinformation?
In reality, we are the ones using the weapons of mass destruction in the form of depleted uranium munitions on the unfortunate citizens of Iraq, on our own soldiers, and ultimately on people all over the world. We are the ones who feel somehow justified in telling every other nation on earth what to do.
Details here, here and here.

Click here for a private e-mail comment. For public comment select comments below.


Blogger Frederic Christie said...

Because it's not misinformation. I can show you dozens of articles and analyses of the cost of Depleted Uranium, which is both 60% as radiological as weapons grade uranium (there is no safe dose of uranium) and is a heavy metal and thus more toxic than lead. It travels through flora and fauna and from generation to generation and may kill a million people. Here's some cites:

Wikipedia – Gulf War Syndrome,
Riley, Joyce (Captain). January 15, 1996 speech at Houston, Texas. Transcript available at
Flounders, Sara. Another War Crime: Iraqi Cities “Hot” With Depleted Uranium. August 18, 2003. International Action Center. Available warcrime.htm.
World Health Organization. Depleted uranium. Last revised January 2003. Available
Sharp, David. Maine Judge Sentences Depleted Uranium Activists to 1-Year in Prison. Associated Press, February 2 2001 6:49 pm., Antiwar activists say depleted uranium has led to 11,000 American deaths. Wednesday May 18, 2005. Cites Arthur Bernklau and Marion Fulk.
Green, Robert (Retired Commander of Royal Navy). Reflections on War: the immediate and long-term effects of modern weapons.
International Action Center. What Government Documents Admit.
Tucker, James P. Jr. Nationwide Media Blackout Keeps U.S. Public Ignorant About This Important Story. American Free Press, March 28, 2005.
Scherrer, Christian. DU and the Liberation of Iraq. ZNet April 13, 2003.

Fri Sep 23, 09:35:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Frederic Christie said...

This isn't to mention very real cluster bomb and landmine problems that are almost sadistic in the degree of callousness evidenced. Nor does it mention the US' burgeoning biological weapons program. Nor does it mention the US' continued undermining of the CWC through its special loopholes and the questions many ask about its chemical weapons capability. Nor does it mention the United States' nuclear arsenal, now officially committed to respond to any biological or chemical attack (considered insanity in quite a bit of the security literature, called "the commitment trap"), which is poised in violation of the NPT as a first-strike instrument even against non-nuclear NPT signatories, and which further violates the NPT and other relevant treaties because of its size and continued growth.

Sat Sep 24, 06:14:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Russ Steele said...


Opinions are not science. Moat of your cites are just opinions, ignoring the scientific finding of the World Health Organization, and Sandia National Laboratories. Now before you get started these are gov sponsored studies. If gov studies are not to be trusted, why do you believe goverment global warming studies. You cannot have it both ways.

Sat Sep 24, 08:14:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Frederic Christie said...

No double standard here, Russ. Government standards to defend the military are inherently untrustworthy. Here, the answer doesn't actually matter: the military must be exonerated, no matter the facts. Government environmental studies, on the other hand, have answers that matter to elites.

But in fact, ALL of these individuals cited scientific reasoning, as did I. And the million casualties statistic is based on excellent science.

How about these, then:

"European agencies, such as the Dutch Lanka one cited above, note openly that "wherever the depleted uranium firing had been concentrated, there were cancer epidemics among Iraqi civilians living nearby. In the ten years since then, sanctions, polluted water and depleted uranium together have killed somewhere between 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 Iraqi civilian people. At least 600,000 of the dead are children. Cancer rates have quadrupled in areas of southern Iraq bombed by the American and British state terrorists." [3]"

In Basra, after DU exposure, cancer rates increased by about 80 FOLD.

That site in turn has links with more citation.

And here's one:,7369,943340,00.html . It points out that the British Ministry has their concerns and is running tests. Here's another in the same vein:,7369,435238,00.html . Here's the Guardian index on the matter:,7369,435238,00.html .

If the US government isn't concerned about the radiological activity DU creates, why does it eliminate it in the same spot as other radiological waste? And if this is "caution", then why is "caution" not acceptable for the Iraqis and Kosovars?

Here's yet ANOTHER article: It has more citations, including a Lancet article.

Sat Sep 24, 10:55:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Frederic Christie said...

Nor did you rebut my even more important point about the broader US commitment to insane WMD policies and constant usage. Reasonable philosophers and social scientists have noted the nuclear war against the "Fourth World" that we call "testing". You can also add refusing to sign the CTBT, BWC enforcement protocols, Ottawa Convention on Land Mines, and undermining the Outer Space Treaty.

Sat Sep 24, 10:58:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Sherry said...

The evidence (bunkum?) dealing with DU concerns will form fit regulators (legislators) in government PAID to defend or debunk and, most likely, their involvement will continue to be based on what the economy will support, (NOT unlike the war effort). And, as long as legal and illegal can be determined by "interpretation" of law from those on the bench, following the money is made easy for those living and lying for it, as well as for those (country or individual),re-lying on it. I would expect to see honesty from the government as it considers DU to be followed closely by honesty regarding pot, the legalization (and encouraged use)of marijuana ENDORSED because it's NECESSARY. Didn't you just "believe" medical marijuana was sneaking in the back door? Don't you ever have a problem "wondering" why WITH THE NUMBERS SUPPORTING IT, USING IT, it's still "illegal"? When you consider back and forth debates regarding either of these "issues", (DU or pot), isn't there compelling evidence to support being led by the nose in what's either right or wrong, legal or illegal, fact or fiction? First hand HUMAN EXPERIENCE, especially if it's eventually paid for as necessary, cannot be trusted as a legitimate bellwether where "accuracy" is "being recorded"---not when populations are being controlled---countries are being bought---and the stability of the one we live in is so easily debated. Bush's most HUMANITARIAN effort may be his signature on a marijuana initiative---just before it's consumed in flames. May we all find relief.

Sun Sep 25, 12:51:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Frederic Christie said...

Law can't be interpreted by judges on the bench in your formulation, Sherry, since international law is decided by institutions like the ICJ and the UN that the US regularly violates, with the support of conservatives who call themselves "law and order" (except that the "law and order" supported happens to be rather variable depending on whether rich white folks will be benefitted).

Sun Sep 25, 02:36:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Sherry said...

"Law can't be interpreted by judges on the bench in your formulation, Sherry, since international law is decided by institutions like the ICJ..."

I was not aware that the international court now relied on a computer, (robot--any alternative to human), as it considered evidence and how it might be "interpreted" in a case AGAINST anything. :-)

A "DIFINITIVE ANSWER", to "a problem",(as you might expect to COME from SOMEONE/SOMETHING qualified to provide one without prejudice), REMAINS capable of refinment and as "a problem" might see new life breathed into it, and as necessary, so it becomes something other than "a problem". Such manipulation of "evidence" is a way of life -- WHY 3 separate people can have 3 separate opinions and all be RIGHT, (Or, just as equally, WRONG), but not have it acknowledged or understood on any large scale UNTIL the time is "appropriate".

Let's see, as an example, how LONG do you think it will take for "consensus" to provide that Katrina was the BEST THING that ever happened to New Orleans?

IF "the economy" is the yardstick for measuring then can't we expect, in everything, the devil being in the details? We the people on the sidelines "debating" (as long as our independent thought MIGHT allow for it),while GOVERNMENT, (world if we're headed toward that end) "fixes"?

Mon Sep 26, 08:15:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Frederic Christie said...

What I meant, Sherry, was that the US doesn't control ICJ judges. They just ignore them.

The "economy" is a constructed phantom. Especially capitalist economies, where (because everything is zero-sum) everyone benefits at the expense of everyone else. Real estate prices going up helps buyers but hurts sellers. Oil prices going down helps a lot of people but hurts the oil companies. And so on. GDP is totally blind: it goes up as much if a poison is made as if an antidote is made. In fact, the poison might require another antidote, thus raising GDP. But this is the fallacy of the broken window.

Mon Sep 26, 02:11:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Russ Steele said...


Read your own reference:

"Studies of human patients and health records by the World Health Organization and others found no direct link to cancer rates and other illnesses.

Studies by the RAND Corp. and others suggest the radiation danger from handling the munitions is low.

A 2002 study by the Royal Society concluded that most battlefield soldiers won't be at risk. But dangerous vapors are generated when the weapons are fired or explode. If the particles are inhaled or ingested, they might settle in the kidneys and skeleton of some soldiers, or raise the risk of lung cancer.

But at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Baltimore, more than 500 urine samples from veterans concerned about DU exposure were evaluated by toxicologists. The VA reported 20 samples showed elevated uranium levels, but those could be attributed to natural uranium in food and water.

Urine provided by patients carrying DU shrapnel in their bodies from friendly fire during the Persian Gulf War also showed elevated uranium levels, but the higher levels were not tied to disease."

As for DU blowing in the wind. Think about it for a minute. It is too heavy to be flying around on the wind. According to a study in Bosnia, it all stayed with a few feet of the impact point.

Facts trump rumor and anecotal evidence. Long term studies show no harm. Get real!

Mon Sep 26, 07:43:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Frederic Christie said...

Not at all. When DU strikes armor, it becomes a radiological gas cloud, small enough to be blown around in the wind. Further,it doesn't need to spread in the wind, it can sink into the ground and cycle through flora and fauna. I'm not especially concerned about the impact to soldiers: Gulf War syndrome is difficult enough to pin down. And that's what all the paragraphs you were citing discuss, though I in turn cited numerous studies that do discuss the impact to soldiers. What I'm especially concerned about, and what you continue to not rebut, is the impact to civilians, which has been cited as killing millions of Iraqis.

My studies weren't anecdotal either, but how about this:

Or this: (This describes a lot of folks on both sides).

And this: .

Here's a quote:

"Here's how Bertell describes the effects of DU poisoning: "It can be stored in liver, kidney, bone or other tissues, again for years, irradiating all of the delicate tissues located near its storage place. It can effect the blood, which is the basis of our immune system, and do damage to the renal system as it is eventually excreted in the urine. It can also initiate cancer or promote cancers, which have been initiated by other carcinogens." Bertell notes that DU has been found in the urine of thousands of seriously ill veterans even 7-8 years after service.

Bertell and Caldicott link the elevated rates of cancer and birth defects in Iraq following the Gulf War to DU exposure, and have called on the Pentagon to clean up the areas it has contaminated.

Also leading the fight against DU is the geoscientist Leuren Moret, Environmental Commissioner for the City of Berkeley, California. Moret is concerned about the impact of radiation on public health, and has spoken out on behalf of both indigenous people and service members exposed to DU weaponry. She recently told the San Francisco Bay View about the unexpected fate of many Gulf War veterans and their families: "Not only were soldiers exposed to DU on and off the battlefields, but they brought it home. DU in the semen of soldiers internally contaminated their wives, partners and girlfriends. Tragically, some women in their 20s and 30s who were sexual partners of exposed soldiers developed endometriosis and were forced to have hysterectomies because of health problems."

According to Moret, "In a group of 251 soldiers from a study group in Mississippi who had all had normal babies before the Gulf War, 67 percent of their post-war babies were born with severe birth defects. They were born with missing legs, arms, organs or eyes or had immune system and blood diseases." Moret added that the Department of Veterans Affairs says it doesn't keep records of birth defects occurring in veterans' families."

And this:

"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. Dr Nawar Ali, a medical researcher into birth deformities at Baghdad University, told the UN's Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) last month: "There have been 650 cases [birth deformities] in total since August 2003 reported in government hospitals. That is a 20 percent increase from the previous regime. Private hospitals were not included in the study, so the number could be higher."

His colleague, Dr Ibrahim al-Jabouri, reported: "In my experiments we have found some cases where the mother and father were suffering from pollution from weapons used in the south and we believe that it is affecting newborn babies in the country."

The director of the Central Teaching Hospital in Baghdad, Wathiq Ibrahim, said: "We have asked for help from the government to make a more profound study on such cases as it is affecting thousands of families."

The rise in birth defects is matched by a continuing increase in the incidence of childhood cancers.

Six years ago, the College of Medicine at Basra University carried out a study into the rate of cancer among children under the age of 15 in southern Iraq from 1976 to 1999. It revealed a horrific change between 1990 and 1999. In the province of Basra, the incidence of cancer of all types rose by 242 percent, while the rate of leukaemia among children rose 100 percent. Children living in the area were falling ill with cancer at the rate of 10.1 per 100,000. In districts where the use of DU had been the most concentrated, the rate rose to 13.2 per 100,000."

And the Christian Science Monitor's reports on the topic:

And the British Royal Society:

And impact on Afghanistan:

And the Balkans:

"Long-term" studies have in fact indicates the incredible harm, because much like mercury, DU goes through generation after generation. Felicity Arbuthnot has noted that it may devastated a good third of Iraq's population over time.

Mon Sep 26, 09:20:00 PM PDT  

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