"Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again..."

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Dust and the Democracy

Depleted uranium (DU) is a cheap, radioactive by-product of the nuclear energy manufacturing process. It's 1.7X denser than lead and has a half-life of 4.5 billion years. In the U.S. it's used to encase artillery shells, missiles and bombs. "Depleted uranium dust" is the phrase assigned to depleted uranium once it's exploded and subsequently burned up. It leaves dust in fine enough particles to penetrate a gas mask. The U.S. has 10 million tons of depleted uranium.

The U.S. Navy developed depleted uranium weapons in 1968. The stuff meets the U.S. definition of "weapon of mass destruction" yet we've used them in Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and of course Iraq. Arun Shrivastava writes in her article that coalition countries have used the equivalent of 440,000 Hiroshima-sized nuclear bombs in war since 1991. There's really no way to clean it up. According to Dr. Jim Howenstine, we've sold depleted uranium weaponry to 29 other countries.

The official position of the U.S. government is that radioactive dust from depleted uranium is not harmful. It has no long-lasting effects. They're so confident they've blocked research into its effects. I guess to save us Americans from further tax collections.

Kim Hawkins and Robert Shetterly wrote that in 1997 Dr. Asaf Durakovic, then Professor of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at Georgetown University, was asked by the Veteran's Administration to lie about the effects of depleted uranium on the human body. His research was blocked.

In an article by Douglas Westerman he writes that Doug Rokke was a U.S. Army contractor in charge of salvaging depleted uranium-contaminated tanks after the first Gulf War. His crew of a hundred employees left for the job healthy and 30 of them have since died. Rokke himself now has reactive airway disease, neurological damage, cataracts, and kidney problems. He lost his job.

The known illnesses inflicted by depleted uranium is extensive as catalogued in this article by independent scientist and radiation specialist Leuren Moret. Nearly 365,000 American and British troops--more than half of the number that had been deployed in Gulf War I (when Saddam threatened Kuwait)-- have experienced symptoms and illnesses similiar to that produced by exposure to depleted uranium. The birth defect rate of children of military people returning home from the battle region is a whopping 67% (DU passes into sperm). In Basra, Iraq birth defects are up 2000%. Cancer overall is up 1000%. Childhood lekemia is up 700%.

Of no particular comfort is the fact that President George Herbert Walker Bush relied on scientists from the WHO (not the band), the U.N. and the European Union for his assurances depleted uranium could be safely incorporated into the production of warheads. I guess independent scientists without conflict of interests were unavailable.

The health of the locals in the Middle East bears watching in the coming years. One can't rule out Anthrax vaccines and aspartame toxicity from causing many cases of Gulf War Syndrome but the fallout from radiation poisoning looms large. As things get sorted out it's likely government-friendly physicians will rule out the likely causes and chase after wind instead. The the independent scientists and physicians will blame environmental causes and lose out on invitations to meetings in plush hotels.

President Bush first told "the American People" after 9-11 that we're going to hunt down Osama bin Laden. Then attention was turned towards Saddam because of his ties to Al-Qaeda. Then the threat of Saddam and his supposed WMDs was the focus. Now it's a need to install American-style democracy in a country with little interest in practicing the governance ideas of Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, et.al. In actuality, Bush II, Bush I and the man who fled Lewinsky have been sending American troops out with munitions that threaten their health and the health of their offspring. They've overseen the contamination of a good chuck of the globe for billions of years and we wait to see the impact of this dust once transported by wind to who knows where.

The Bushes and Bill should be remembered for overseeing the most hideous and destructive physical assault on mankind in the history of the world. Whether it happened in ignornance or not, it still happened on their watch. In Bush II's defense he is building a massive embassy in Baghdad so maybe they really do believe the DU is harmless. Or maybe they plan to install expendable military "volunteers" there. Who knows.

There are other good theories about why so many service people are dying, and contracting malignancies or a number of other ailments, once having served in the Middle East. Between the depleted uranium, aspartame toxicity and vaccines it's likely a lot can be explained. (For more on the vaccine angle read this article by Dr. H. Hugh Fudenberg.)

To read a politically correct study about Gulf War Syndrome click here.


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