WHO HAS THE WMD’S? WE DO
By: Jim Moore
There’s something bizarre going on here. We’ve hunted for three years for weapons of mass destruction which we swore over and over that Iraq had, but didn’t; while all along we’ve been using WMD’s—-lethal chemical weapons—-not only on the Iraqi people, but on our own soldiers, who can’t help getting in the way.
This killer chemical is known as “depleted uranium dust” (DU), and is a by-product of the chemical ingredients used in making artillery shells.
Please don’t call it the fortunes of war. That’s going too easy on the battle-challenged goons at the Pentagon.
But wait. I’ll let a Sergeant in Baghdad (who asked not be identified) assigned to a Bradley Fighting Vehicle give it to you straight, in his own words: “After we shoot something with depleted uranium ordnance, we’re not supposed to go around it, due to the fact that it could cause cancer. We don’t know the effects of what it could do. If one of our vehicles burnt with a DU round inside, we wouldn’t go near it, even if it had important documents inside. We play it safe.”
And play it safe they should, because lest you think this Sergeant is making mountains out of molehills, listen to what Nuha Al Radi, Iraqi artist and author of the “Baghdad Diaries” had to say in September 2004: “Everyone seems to be dying of cancer. Every day one hears about another acquaintance or a friend dying. How many more die in hospitals that one does not know? Apparently, over thirty percent of Iraqis have cancer, and there are lots of kids with leukemia.
“The depleted uranium left by the U.S. bombing campaign has turned Iraq into a cancer-infested country. For hundreds of years to come, the effects of the uranium will continue to wreak havoc on Iraq and its surrounding areas.” Shortly after saying this Nuha Al Radi died of leukemia.
So, just what is “depleted uranium dust” and what makes it so deadly? Well, this writer, being chemically illiterate, will have to defer to Dr. Dan Bishop who is on the International Depleted Uranium Study Team.
Dr. Bishop tells us that natural uranium (NU) is fairly safe because most of it is excreted from the body within 24 hours. But depleted uranium (DU) is a different animal. When a DU bomb hits a hard target most of its energy becomes heat, hot enough to ignite the DU.
This heat converts up to 70% of the DU to a super fine dust. It is this dust—-particles about the size of the ash in cigarette smoke—-that does the damage, and makes it different from natural uranium (NU) which seldom reaches such a small size.
What damage does DU cause? These minute particles get into the lungs, become lodged in place, then dissolve slowly into the bloodstream and lymphatic fluids causing severe damage: DU has been identified in the bloodstream of Gulf War veterans nine years after the war. This testifies to the permanence of DU-oxide in the lungs.
Children in particular are susceptible to DU poisoning. They have a much higher absorption rate, as their blood is being used to build and nourish their bone tissue. Cancer of the lymph system, which has rarely been seen before the age of 12 is now common.
And this lethal depleted uranium dust, now lodged deep in the Iraqi environment is what is poisoning by radiation a significant portion of the adult civilian population, and up to 600 Iraqi children per day, and God only knows how many American soldiers.
The Deadly Dust, a poem by Douglas Westerman, is a stunning and fitting tribute to the many victims of depleted uranium poisoning: Child and soldier, as one we breathe the dust deadly. Our strength it saps, burns, sickens and kills, this powder accursed. We hurt, weep, die, sperm and ovum corrupted, born without eyes little sister mine. Birds fall, die, turn black. Death we embrace gladly. We cry, stop this poisoned madness.
Which brings us back to the Big Hunt. The fact that the Bush administration can’t find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is so absurd it’s uncanny.
We’re using them.
“Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”
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Jim Moore is a free-lance political writer and is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.
Published in the May 2, 2005 issue of Ether Zone.
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