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Keith Millea
10-21-2009, 01:12 AM
What to say?Can only think,INSANITY........

:dontknow:

http://www.counterpunch.org/lindorff10202009.html

By DAVE LINDORFF
The horrors of the US Agent Orange campaign in Vietnam, about which I wrote on Oct. 15, could ultimately be dwarfed by the horrors of the depleted uranium weapons which the US began using in the 1991 Gulf War (300 tons), and which it used much more extensively, and in more urban, populated areas, in the Iraq War and the now intensifying Afghanistan War.
Depleted uranium, despite it’s rather benign sounding name, is not depleted of radioactivity or toxicity. The term depleted refers to its being depleted of the U-235 isotope needed for fission reactions in nuclear reactors. The nuclear waster material from nuclear power plants, DU as it is known, is essentially composed of the uranium isotope U-238 as well as U-236 (a product of nuclear reactor fission, not found in nature), as well as other trace radioactive elements. It turns out to be an ideal metal for a number of weapons uses, and has been capitalized on by the Pentagon. 1.7 times heavier than lead, and much harder than steel, and with the added property of burning at a super-hot temperature, DU has proven to be an ideal penetrator for warheads that need to pierce thick armor or dense concrete bunkers made of reinforced concrete and steel. Accordingly it has found its way into 30 mm machine gun ammunition, especially that used by the A-10 Warthog ground-attack fighter planes used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan (as well as Kosovo). It is also the warhead of choice for Abrams tanks and is also reportedly used in GBU-28 and the later GBU-37 bunker buster bombs. DU is also used as ballast in cruise missiles, and thus burns up when they detonate their conventional explosives. Some cruise missiles are also designed to hit hardened targets and reportedly feature DU warheads, as does the AGM-130 air-to-ground missile, which carries a one-ton penetrating warhead.
While the Pentagon has continued to claim, against all scientific evidence, there is no hazard posed by depleted uranium, US troops in Iraq have reportedly been instructed to avoid any sites where these weapons have been used—destroyed Iraqi tanks, exploded bunkers, etc. Suspiciously, international health officials have been prevented from doing medical studies of DU sites. A series of articles several years ago by the Christian Science Monitor (http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0515/p01s02-woiq.html (http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0515/p01s02-woiq.html)) described how reporters from that newspaper had visited such sites with Geiger-counters and had found them to be extremely “hot” with radioactivity. The big danger with DU is not as a metal, but after it has exploded and burned, when the particles of uranium oxide, which are just as radioactive as the pure isotopes, can be inhaled or injested. Even the smallest particle of uranium is both deadly poisonous as a chemical, and can cause cancer.
There are reports of a dramatic increase in the incidence of deformed babies being born in the city of Fallujah, where DU weapons were in wide use during the November 2004 assault on that city by US Marines.
But the real impact of the first heavy use of depleted uranium weaponry in populous urban environments will come over the years, as the toxic legacy of this latest American war crime begins to show up in rising numbers of cancers, birth defects and other genetic disorders in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/031237254X/counterpunchmaga)” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback). He can be reached at dlindorff@mindspring.com (dlindorff@mindspring.com)

Magda Hassan
10-21-2009, 01:51 AM
It was also used in Yugoslavia when NATO was being humanitarian by bombing the bejeezus out of them. I suppose they thought it wasn't enough humanitarianism just bombing the bejeezus out of the Yugoslavs but that they also leave a lasting intergenerational impact of their humanitarianism by poisoning the local population and all of their descendants with depleted uranium and their food sources and their water. May the bearers of such humanitarianism rot in hell.

Ed Jewett
10-21-2009, 03:07 AM
Nuclear Hypocrisy

By Dave Lindorff
How absurd is it that we have the government on the one hand pulling back from using a hollowed out mountain in Nevada to store nuclear waste because of a fear (legitimate I grant) that hundreds or thousands of years hence, some earthquake or other catastrophe could cause the stored waste to leak into the water table, while on the other hand we have this same government deliberately taking some of the most dangerous waste--the actual uranium from the used fuel rods--and putting it into bombs, shells and bullets to be splattered and burned all across the landscape?
More here:
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/47159

Magda Hassan
10-21-2009, 03:27 AM
Nuclear Hypocrisy

By Dave Lindorff
How absurd is it that we have the government on the one hand pulling back from using a hollowed out mountain in Nevada to store nuclear waste because of a fear (legitimate I grant) that hundreds or thousands of years hence, some earthquake or other catastrophe could cause the stored waste to leak into the water table, while on the other hand we have this same government deliberately taking some of the most dangerous waste--the actual uranium from the used fuel rods--and putting it into bombs, shells and bullets to be splattered and burned all across the landscape?
More here:
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/47159

Ah, but those bombs are going to other peoples countries. One way to dispose of the waste and be patriotic and support your local arms industry to make money and destroy your enemy de jour.

Peter Lemkin
10-21-2009, 05:09 AM
I was just listening yesterday to George Carlin's [who died last year] comedy on how words are used as propaganda now and nothing means what it says - usually the opposite. The term 'depleted' makes it sound as if the dangerous part has been removed. SOME of the MORE dangerous Uranium has been, but some of it remains [it is still radioactive]. More to the point is that even the non-radioactive Uranium is a highly toxic metal that causes chronic lung problems, dangerous skin problems and [tah dah....] cancer and also poisons the body [not to mention the water, air and for all other living things - rather forever]. There is no process to remove it - more so when it has been used in munitions. It is used because it is very dense [more so than lead] and has the unique property of creating enough heat to melt its way though metal [say a tank] and has no problem with flesh or concrete either. When it strikes something hard it combines with Oxygen, creating a fine powder oxide [still toxic and radioactive] that is even more dangerous than a 'round' just lying there, which will more slowly oxidize and get into the soil, water, air, bodies of plants and animals [us]. A bit of the material will even drift afar in the air and be washed into streams to rivers and into the oceans. Bioconcentration will also concentrate it up our food chain, and that of other animals. Magda is correct in saying that the feeling is that it is 'over there' (not here) and to hell with the consequences to 'them' (or us - or anyone). War is too important for those who promote it to be bothered with the megadeath ecocide they are creating for all humans - and all living things. Iraq is now a toxic waste dump for the next million years or so (http://www.seattlepi.com/national/95178_du12.shtml) showing greatly increased cancers and birth defects - that will greatly increase in the next years! Ditto parts of former Yugoslavia. Ditto other places we've been lately. Israel has used it in the occupied territories, as have others elsewhere. War is toxic in and of itself, but this is total madness (on top of the usual madness)......ending life not with a bang, but a whimper is not a kinder, gentler end. America has been the biggest user of depleted Uranium by far, and falsely claims it is not harmful. No toxicologist not owned by the government would agree with that. The area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers was the birthplace of modern civilization. Bravo America for destroying it for oil and making it the deathplace centerpiece for so-called civilization (http://www.seattlepi.com/national/95178_du12.shtml).