Depleted Uranium

Depleted uranium (DU), tons of it, is one of the gifts that NATO left to the population of Kosovo following its war there in 1999. DU is radioactive and, when inhaled, remains in the lungs for years. It is now thought that the DU anti-tank shells used in the Iraqi Gulf War were responsible for the thousands of cases of Gulf War syndrome affecting American and British soldiers (and also non-combatants, including one man who worked in a hospital in Saudi Arabia and was never in Iraq). The difference is that not many people live in what were the killing fields of southern Iraq, whereas a million people live in Kosovo. In the coming years many of them will come down with the same illness as the Gulf War veterans. For this they will have NATO to thank.

Bullets, shells and missiles tipped with radioactive depleted uranium made every weapon in Iraq's arsenal obsolete. The higher weight of DU shells allows American tanks to shoot twice as far, giving them a range of two miles.

During the [1991] Desert Storm terror campaign at least 944,000 rounds of DU ammo were fired from American A-10 Warthogs all over Iraq and Kuwait. The A-10 is an aircraft built around a 30mm, 7-barrel gattling gun that can spew 3900 rounds per minute.

When a depleted uranium tipped shell strikes a tank or armored personnel carrier it easily penetrates the armor and burns the crew alive. The impact also vaporizes the depleted uranium, creating an aerosol of radioactive heavy-metal particles which can spread as far as 190 miles on the wind.

When inhaled or ingested, the depleted uranium particles cause chemical and radioactive damage to the bronchial tree, kidneys, liver and bones. Cancer often results, and the effects can even include genetic damage.

The Dutch Laka Foundation estimates that the United States terror campaign left behind 300-800 tons of radioactive waste from this [depleted uranium] ammunition all over Kuwait and Iraq — poisoning the air, the land, the water and the people everywhere.

Afterwards, 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.

Depleted uranium weapons

[During the 1991 Gulf Slaughter] American Fairchild A10 `Thunderbolt II' ground-attack jets criss-crossed the highways of death in Kuwait spitting radioactive 30mm shells at the rate of 4,200 per minute per aircraft. Anyone left alive after the strafing runs, the CIA reasoned, would probably die a terrible death much later from the effects of toxic uranium poisoning. Over time the same highly-toxic radioactive waste would slowly kill large numbers of the civilian population in both Iraq and Kuwait. Though larger 120mm DU shells were used by battle tanks, the US administration claims "only" 5,000 of the 120mm version were fired.

There is only one gun capable of firing the special high-velocity radioactive 30mm DU shells: the GAU-8A seven-barrel Avenger Gatling cannon, specially designed for the Thunderbolt. Even at a range of two miles the 30mm DU shells are known to be travelling at almost one mile per second, hitting each target with almost half a million foot-pounds of energy. With impact forces that high, very few 30mm DUs ricocheted and stayed in one piece, most exploding into toxic uranium dust which was strewn far and wide across the land.

The awesome Avenger Gatling is capable of firing Depleted Uranium at the rate of nearly 12 tonnes per minute per gun. Small wonder the US Administration remains acutely anxious the total number of 30mm DU shells fired should remain `Classified'.

{Author's note 04/94: By January 1994 the total number of 30-mm DU rounds fired from the air by A10s became common knowledge. In all, 980,000 rounds were expended during the Gulf War, littering Kuwait and southern Iraq with 2,000 tonnes of nuclear waste.}

The Falklands Alternative: America's motive for invading Iraq

Soldiers developing malignancies so quickly since 2003 can be expected to develop multiple cancers from independent causes. This phenomenon has been reported by doctors in hospitals treating civilians following NATO bombing with DU in Yugoslavia in 1998-1999 and the U.S. military invasion of Iraq using DU for the first time in 1991. Medical experts report that this phenomenon of multiple malignancies from unrelated causes has been unknown until now and is a new syndrome associated with internal DU exposure.

Just 467 U.S. personnel were wounded in the three-week Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991. Out of 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are dead, and by 2000 there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. This astounding number of disabled vets means that a decade later, 56 percent of those soldiers who served now have medical problems.

Depleted uranium: Dirty bombs, dirty missiles, dirty bullets

Relevant web documents:

NATO's War The Iraq War
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