How "the coalition" is killing itself (Weather Report)

Phil Graham phil.graham at MAILBOX.UQ.EDU.AU
Sat Mar 29 15:00:13 UTC 2003

There has been much talk about combat in Iraq, bombings in Baghdad, the
battles for Basrah and Um Qasar, whether or not the attack is going to
plan, human rights violations on both sides, etc, etc, etc. In short, all
the stuff we've come to expect from the warmongering mainstream media.

There has even been a lot of talk about the weather.

Dust storms to be specific.

As I watched the wall-to-wall footage of vague figures in fatigues sucking
down the Southern Iraqi desert dust, as machinery and vision failed, as
confusion and a sense of scale hit the troops and their commanders, I
wondered how soon the 100,000+ military personnel from US, UK, and
Australia exposed to the dust would begin to show signs of radiation
sickness because of the massive amounts of depleted uranium they must have
been inhaling.

Not a word has been said about it, at least not to my knowledge.

Apart from committing serious violations of international law which will
undoubtedly result in war crimes charges, the governments responsible for
ordering these people to invade Iraq have also sentenced them to numerous
unsavoury futures as a result of extended and extreme exposure to depleted
uranium: slow and painful death; strange incurable cancers; and horrendous
disabilities for hundreds of thousands of children born to those who are
able to have children, or at least who manage to have children before they
are rendered unable to reproduce from the effects of the enormous amounts
of depleted uranium deposited in Southern Iraq during and since the Gulf War.

One commentator notes the effects of depleted uranium on the population of
Basrah in 2001:

"I thought I had a strong stomach - toughened by the minefields and foul
frontline hospitals of Angola, by the handiwork of the death squads in
Haiti and by the wholesale butchery of Rwanda. But I nearly lost my
breakfast last week at the Basrah Maternity and Children's Hospital in
southern Iraq.

Dr Amer, the hospital's director, had invited me into a room in which were
displayed colour photographs of what, in cold medical language, are called
"congenital anomalies", but what you and I would better understand as
horrific birth deformities. The images of these babies were head-spinningly
grotesque, and thank God they didn't bring out the real thing, pickled in
formaldehyde. At one point I had to grab hold of the back of a chair to
support my legs."

A report from the International Action Centre notes that

"[The] president of the Australian Yellow Cross International traced down
an American war crime that had been previously kept secret and made it
public internationally. He conducted extensive studies in Iraq on the
effect of DU on Iraqi population. These studies produced ample evidence to
show that contact with DU ammunition has the following consequences,
especially for children:

*A considerable increase in infectious diseases caused by most severe
immunodeficiencies in a great part of the population;

*Frequent occurrence of massive herpes and zoster afflictions, also in

*AIDS-like Syndrome;

*A hitherto unknown syndrome caused by renal and hepatic dysfunctions;

*Leukemia, elaptic anemia and malignant neoplasms;

*Congenital deformities caused by genetic defects, which are also to be
found in animals.

In his book The Fire This Time, former U.S attorney-general Ramsey Clark
said there were about fifty thousand depleted-uranium missiles and rockets
fired from U.S aircraft in more than 110,000 aerial sorties over Iraq. He
said U.S aircraft had dropped over eighty-eight thousand tons of bombs on
the country, the equivalent of seven-and-one-half bombs of the size of the
atomic bomb that incinerated Hiroshima. But later research proved that
there were probably more than nine hundred thousand rounds of depleted
uranium ammunition fired on Iraq"

People aware of depleted uranium use in munitions usually assume it is used
only in armour piercing shells, affectionately called "crispy critters" (a
picture at this address shows why But,
as an IDUST reporter notes:

"DU is being used in armor-piercing bullets, casing on bombs, shielding on
Today tanks, counterweights and penetrators on missiles, cluster bombs,
anti-personnel mines, and other weapons sometimes referred to as "dirty
bombs."  The US government and others maintain that the only purpose for
using DU is to pierce armor.  However, DU has a dual use because it is in
fact being used to poison personnel.  Already in 1978 an author noted in
the periodical Strategic Review that today's most effective conventional
anti-tankweapons are designed to penetrate tank armor and produce radiation
effects which will kill or disable the tank crews."

How much DU is there in Southern Iraq? Between 320 and 1,000 tons,
depending on who you believe and how you do the figures.

1000 pounds of the stuff is way more than enough to kill 100,000 people.

How much does it take to make a person sick? "If even one small particle
(less than five microns in diameter, 5-millionths of a meter, the size of
cigarette ash) is trapped in the lungs, surrounding tissues can be exposed
up to 272 times the maximum permitted dose for workers in the radiation

The half life of the stuff is about 4 billion years, give or take a million

In other words, the "coalition" troops have, without a doubt, collectively
sucked down enough depleted uranium dust (DUD) in the past week to kill
them hundreds of times over, along with generations of their children.

I find no mention of this anywhere. Perhaps the organisers of the invasion
just forgot the stuff was there. Those of us exposed to the dust storm
footage, whether "for" or "against" the invasion, were watching people
being killed by nuclear weapons.

Apart from any other consequences of the current invasion, the troops
invading Iraq have been sentenced by their government to a life of severe
illness, early death, and grotesque birth defects for their children.

Vive la geurre?

No thanks.

DU in Southern Iraq -- Infolinks

Opinions expressed in this email are my own unless otherwise stated.
If you have received this in error, please ignore and delete it.
Phil Graham
Senior Lecturer
UQ Business School

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