Death By Slow Burn -
America Nukes Its Own Troops
What 'Support Our Troops' Really Means
By Amy Worthington - The Idaho
On March 30, an AP photo featured an American pro-war activist
holding a sign: "Nuke the evil scum, it worked in 1945!" That's exactly
what George Bush has done. America's mega-billion dollar war in Iraq has
been indeed a NUCLEAR WAR.
Bush-Cheney have delivered upon 17
million Iraqis tons of depleted uranium (DU) weapons, a "liberation" gift
that will keep on giving. Depleted uranium is a component of toxic nuclear
waste, usually stored at secure sites. Handlers need radiation protection
Over a decade ago, war-makers decided to incorporate this
lethal waste into much of the Pentagon's weaponry. Navy ships carrying
Phalanx rapid fire guns are capable of firing thousands of DU rounds per
minute.(1) Tomahawk missiles launched from U.S. ships and subs are
DU-tipped.(2) The M1 Abrams tanks are armored with DU.(3) These and
British Challenger II tanks are tightly packed with DU shells, which
continually irradiate troops in or near them.(4) The A-10 "tank buster"
aircraft fires DU shells at machines and people on the battlefield.(5)
DU munitions are classified by a United Nations resolution as
illegal weapons of mass destruction. Their use breaches all international
laws, treaties and conventions forbidding poisoned weapons calculated to
cause unnecessary suffering.
Ironically, support for our troops
will extend well beyond the war in Iraq. Americans will be supporting Gulf
War II veterans for years as they slowly and painfully succumb to
radiation poisoning. U.S and British troops deployed to the area are the
walking dead. Humans and animals, friends and foes in the fallout zone are
destined to a long downhill spiral of chronic illness and disability.
Kidney dysfunction, lung damage, bloody stools, extreme fatigue, joint
pain, unsteady gait, memory loss and rashes and, ultimately, cancer and
premature death await those exposed to DU.
journalist Will Thomas wrote: "As the last Gulf conflict so savagely
demonstrated, GI immune systems reeling from multiple doses of
experimental vaccines offer little defense against further exposure to
chemical weapons, industrial toxins, stress, caffeine, insect repellent
and radiation leftover from the last war. This is a war even the victors
When a DU shell is fired, it ignites upon impact.
Uranium, plus traces of plutonium and americium, vaporize into tiny,
ceramic particles of radioactive dust. Once inhaled, uranium oxides lodge
in the body and emit radiation indefinitely. A single particle of DU
lodged in a lymph node can devastate the entire immune system according to
British radiation expert Roger Coghill.(7)
The Royal Society of
England published data showing that battlefield soldiers who inhale or
swallow high levels of DU can suffer kidney failure within days.(8) Any
soldier now in Iraq who has not inhaled lethal radioactive dust is not
breathing. In the first two weeks of combat, 700 Tomahawks, at a cost of
$1.3 million each, blasted Iraqi real estate into radioactive mushroom
clouds.(9) Millions of DU tank rounds liter the terrain. Cleanup is
impossible because there is no place on the planet to put so much
Bush Sr.'s Gulf War I was also a nuclear war.
320 tons of depleted uranium were used against Iraq in 1991.(10) A 1998
report by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances confirms that inhaling DU
causes symptoms identical to those claimed by many sick vets with Gulf War
Syndrome.(11) The Gulf War Veterans Association reports that at least
300,000 Gulf War I vets have now developed incapacitating illnesses.(12)
To date, 209,000 vets have filed claims for disability benefits based on
service-connected injuries and illnesses from combat in that war.(13)
Dr. Asaf Durakovic, a professor of nuclear medicine at Georgetown
University, is a former army medical expert. He told nuclear scientists in
Paris last year that tens of thousands of sick British and American
soldiers are now dying from radiation they encountered during Gulf War I.
He found that 62 percent of sick vets tested have uranium isotopes in
their organs, bones, brains and urine.(14) Laboratories in Switzerland and
Finland corroborated his findings.
In other studies, some sick
vets were found to be expressing uranium in even their semen. Their sexual
partners often complained of a burning sensation during intercourse,
followed by their own debilitating illnesses.(15)
to the astronomical cancer rates and birth defects suffered by the Iraqi
people who have endured vicious nuclear chastisement for years.(16) U.S.
air attacks against Iraq since 1993 have undoubtedly employed nuclear
munitions. Pictures of grotesquely deformed Iraqi infants born since 1991
are overwhelming.(17) Like those born to Gulf War I vets, many babies born
to troops now in Iraq will also be afflicted with hideous deformities,
neurological damage and/or blood and respiratory disorders.(18)
an Army health physicist, Dr. Doug Rokke was dispatched to the Middle East
to salvage DU-contaminated tanks after Gulf War I. His Geiger counters
revealed that the war zones of Iraq and Kuwait were contaminated with up
to 300 millirems an hour in beta and gamma radiation plus thousands to
millions of counts per minute in alpha radiation. Rokke recently told the
media: "The whole area is still trashed. It is hotter than heck over there
still. This stuff doesn't go away."(19)
DU remains "hot" for 4.5
billion years. Radiation expert Dr. Helen Caldicott confirms that the
dust-laden winds of DU-contaminated war zones "will remain effectively
radioactive for the rest of time."(20) The murderous dust storms which
ensnared coalition troops during the first few days of the current
invasion are sure to have significant health consequences.
and his cleanup team were issued only flimsy dust masks for their
dangerous work. Of the 100 people on Rokke's decontamination team, 30 have
already "dropped dead." Rokke himself is ill with radiation damage to
lungs and kidneys. He has brain lesions, skin pustules, chronic fatigue,
continual wheezing and painful fibromyalgia. Rokke warns that anyone
exposed to DU should have adequate respiratory protection and special
coveralls to protect their clothing because, he says, you can't get
uranium particles off your clothing.
The U.S. military insists
that DU on the battlefield is not a problem. Colonel James Naughton of the
U.S. Army Material Command recently told the BBC that complaints about DU
"had no medical basis."(21) The military's own documents belie this. A
1993 Pentagon document warned that "when soldiers inhale or ingest DU dust
they incur a potential increase in cancer risk."(22) A U.S. Army training
manual requires anyone who comes within 25 meters of DU-contaminated
equipment to wear respiratory and skin protection.(23) The U.S. Army
Environmental Policy Institute admitted: "If DU enters the body, it has
the potential to generate significant medical consequences."(24) The
Institute also stated that, if the troops were to realize what they had
been exposed to, "the financial implications of long-term disability
payments and healthcare costs would be excessive."(25) For pragmatic
reasons, DOD chooses to lie and deny.
Dr. Rokke confirms that the
Pentagon lies about DU dangers and is criminally negligent for neglecting
medical attention needed by DU-contaminated vets. He predicts that the
numbers of American troops to be sickened by DU from Gulf War II will be
staggering.(26) As they gradually sicken and suffer a slow burn to their
graves, the Pentagon will, as it did after Gulf War I, deny that their
misery and death is a result of their tour in Iraq.
candor has cost him his career. Likewise, Dr. Durakovic's radiation
studies on Gulf War I vets were not popular with U.S. officials. Dr.
Durakovic was reportedly told his life was in danger if he continued his
research. He left the U.S. to continue his research abroad.(27)
Naive young coalition soldiers now in Iraq are likely unaware of
how deadly their battlefield environment is. Gulf War I troops were kept
in ignorance. Soldiers handled DU fragments and some wore these lethal
nuggets around their necks. A DU projectile emits more radiation in five
hours than allowed in an entire year under civilian radiation exposure
standards. "We didn't know any better," Kris Kornkven told Nation
magazine. "We didn't find out until long after we were home that there
even was such a thing as DU."(28)
George Bush's ongoing war in
Afghanistan is also a nuclear war. Shortly after 9-11, the U.S. announced
it would stockpile tactical nuclear weapons including small neutron bombs,
nuclear mines and shells suited to commando warfare in Afghanistan.(29) In
late September, 2001, Bush and Russian president Vladimir Putin agreed
that the U.S. would use tactical nuclear weapons in Afghanistan while
Putin would employ nuclear weapons against the Chechnyans.(30)
Describing the Pentagon's B-61-11 burrowing nuke bomb, George
Smith writes in the Village Voice: "Built ram tough with a heavy metal
casing for smashing through the earth and concrete, the B-61 explodes with
the force of an estimated 340,000 tons of TNT. It is lots of bang for the
buck, literally two apocalypse bombs in one, a boosted plutonium
firecracker called the primary and a heavy hydrogen secondary for that
good old-fashioned H-bomb fireball."(31)
Afghanistan's underground water supply is now contaminated by these
nuclear weapons.(32) Experts with the Uranium Medical Research Center
report that urine samples of Afghanis show the highest level of uranium
ever recorded in a civilian population. Afghani soldiers and civilians are
reported to have died after suffering intractable vomiting, severe
respiratory problems, internal bleeding and other symptoms consistent with
radiation poisoning. Dead birds still perched in trees are found partially
melted with blood oozing from their mouths.(33)
president, Hamid Karzai, is a puppet installed by Washington. Under the
protection of American soldiers, Karzai's regime is setting a new record
for opium production. Both UN and U.S. reports confirm that the huge
Afghani opium harvest of 2002 makes Afghanistan the world's leading opium
producer.(34) Thanks to nuclear weapons, Afghanistan is now safe for the
Bush-Cheney narcotics industry.(35) ABC News asserts that keeping the
"peace" in Afghanistan will require decades of allied occupation.(36) For
years to come, "peacekeepers" will be eating, drinking and breathing the
"hot" carcinogenic pollution they have helped the Pentagon inflict upon
that nation for organized crime.
As governor of Arkansas during
the Iran-Contra era, Bill Clinton laundered $multi-millions in cocaine
profits for then vice-president George Bush Sr.(37) As a partner in the
Bush family's notorious crime machine, President Clinton committed U.S.
troops to NATO's campaign in the Balkans, a prime heroin production and
trans-shipment area. DOD's campaign to control and reorganize the drug
trade there for the Bush mafia was yet another nuclear project.
For years, the U.S. and NATO fired DU missiles, bullets and shells
across the Balkans, nuking the peoples of Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo. As DU
munitions were slammed into chemical plants, the environment became
hideously toxic, also endangering the peoples of Albania, Macedonia,
Greece, Italy, Austria and Hungary. By 1999, UN investigators reported
that an estimated 12 tons of DU had caused irreparable damage to the
Yugoslavian environment, with agriculture, livestock and air water, and
public health all profoundly damaged.(38)
Scientists confirm that
citizens of the Balkans are excreting uranium in their urine.39 In 2001, a
Yugoslavian pathologist reported that hundreds of Bosnians have died of
cancer from NATO's DU bombardment.(40) Many NATO peacekeepers in the
Balkans now suffer ill health. Their leukemias, cancers and other maladies
are dubbed the "Balkans Syndrome." Richard Coghill predicts that DU
weapons used in Balkans campaign will result in at least 10,000 cases of
U.S. citizens at home are also paying a heavy
price for criminal militarism gone mad. DOD is a pollution monster. The
General Accounting Office (GAO) found 9,181 dangerous military sites in
USA that will require $billions to rehabilitate. The GAO reports that DOD
has been both slothful and deceitful in its clean-up obligations.(42) The
Pentagon is now pressing Congress to exempt it from all environmental laws
so that it may pollute and poison free from liability.(43)
Navy uses prime fishing grounds off the coast of Washington state to test
fire DU ammunition. In January, Washington State Rep. Jim McDermott
chastised the Navy: "On one hand you have required soldiers to have DU
safety training and to wear protective gear when handling DU...and
submarines must stay clear of DU-contaminated waters. These policies
indicate there is cause for concern....On the other hand the Department of
Defense has repeatedly denied that DU poses any danger whatsoever. There
has been no remorse about leaving tons of DU equipment in the soil in
foreign countries, and there appears to be no remorse about leaving it in
the waters of your own country."(44)
DU has been used in military
practice maneuvers in Indiana, Florida, New Mexico, Massachusetts,
Maryland and Puerto Rico. After the Navy tested DU weaponry on the Puerto
Rican island of Vieques, one third of the island's population developed
serious illness. Many people show high levels of uranium in their bodies.
Hundreds have filed a class action suit against the Navy for $100 million,
claiming DU contamination has caused widespread cancers.(45)
Navy's Fallon Naval Air Station near Fallon, Nevada, is a quagmire of 26
toxic waste sites. It is also a target practice zone for DU bombs and
missiles. Area residents report bizarre illnesses, including 17 children
who have contracted leukemia within five years. A survey of groundwater in
the Fallon area showed nearly half of area wells are contaminated with
The materials for DU weaponry have been
processed mainly at three nuclear plants in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee,
where workers handling uranium contaminated with plutonium have suffered
for decades with cancers and debilitating maladies similar to Gulf War
Emboldened by power-grabbing successes made possible
by his administration's devious 9-11 project, President Bush asserts that
the U.S. has the right to attack any nation it deems a potential threat.
He told West Point in 2002, "If we wait for threats to fully materialize,
we will have waited too long."(48) Thus, it is certain that Bush-Cheney
future pre-emptive nuclear wars are lined up like idling jets on a runway.
Both Cheney's Halliburton Corp. and the Bush family's Carlyle Group are
profiteers in U.S. defense contracts, so endless war is just good
The Washington Post reported that the Pentagon will
create special nuclear weapons for use on North Korea's underground
nuclear facilities.(50) Next August, U.S. war makers will meet to
consolidate plans for a new generation of "mini," "micro" and "tiny"
nuclear bombs and bunker busters. These will be added to the U.S. arsenal
perhaps for use against non-nuclear third-world nations such as Iran,
The solution? Americans must stop electing
ruthless criminals to rule this nation. We must convince fellow citizens
that villains like Saddam Hussein are made in the U.S. as rationale for
endless corporate war profits. Saddam was placed in power by the CIA.(52)
For years U.S. government agencies, under auspices of George Bush Sr.,
supplied him with chemical and biological weapons.(53) Our national
nuclear laboratories, along with Unisys, Dupont and Hewlett-Packard, sold
Saddam materials for his nuclear program.(54) Dick Cheney was CEO of
Halliburton in the late 90s when its subsidiaries signed $73 million in
new contracts to further supply Saddam.(55) The wicked villain of Iraq was
nurtured for decades as a cash-cow by U.S. military-industrial piranhas.
If America truly supports its troops, it must stop sending them
into nuclear holocaust for the enrichment of thugs. Time is running out.
If the DU-maniacs at the Pentagon and their coven of nuclear arms peddlers
are not harnessed, America will have no able-bodied fighting forces left.
All people of the earth will become grossly ill, hideously deformed and
short- lived. We must succeed in the critical imperative to face reality
and act decisively. Should we fail, there will be no place to hide from
Bush-Cheney's merciless nuclear orgies yet to come or from the inevitable
nuclear retaliation these orgies will surely breed.
1."DOD Launches Depleted Uranium Training," Linda
Kozaryn, American Forces Press Service, 8-13-99.
2."Nukes of the
Gulf War,"John Shirley, Zess@aol.com. See this article in archives at
3. BBC News, "US To Use Depleted Uranium,"
March 18, 2003; U.S. General Accounting Office, Operation Desert Storm:
"Early Performance Assessment of Bradley and Abrams," 1-2-92.
4."Nukes of the Gulf War," op. cit.
"Invading Hiroshima," William Thomas, 2-4-2003, www.willthomas.net
7. "US Shells Leave Lethal Legacy," Toronto Star, July 31, 1999;
also "Radiation Tests for Peacekeepers in the Balkans Exposed to Depleted
Uranium," www.telegraph.co.uk, 12-31-02.
8. "Depleted Uranium May
Stop Kidneys In Days," Rob Edwards, New Scientist.com, 3-12-02; also
"Uranium Weapons Too Hot to Handle," Rob Edwards, New Scientist.co.uk,
9. "Navy Seeks Cash for More Tomahawks," David Rennie in
Washington, Telegraph Group Limited, 1-4-03, news.telegraph.co.uk.
10. "Going Nuclear in Iraq--DU Cancers Mount Daily," Ramzi Kysia,
11."Depleted Uranium Symptoms Match US
Report As Fears Spread," Peter Beaumont, The Observer (UK) 1-14-01,
12. "Gulf War Illnesses Affect 300,000
Vets," Ellen Tomson, Pioneer Press, www.pioneerplanet.com. See also
American Gulf War Veterans Association at www.gulfwarvets.com.
"2 of Every 5 Gulf War Vets Are On Disability: 209,000 Make VA Claims,"
World Net Daily, 1-28-03, WorldNetDaily.com.
14. "Research on Sick
Gulf Vets Revisited, "New York Times, 1-29-01; "Tests Show Gulf War
Victims Have Uranium Poisoning," Jonathon Carr-Brown and Martin
Meissonnier, The Sunday Times (UK) 9-3-02.
15. "Catastrophe: Ill
Gulf Vets Contaminated Partners With DU," The Halifax Herald Limited,
Clare Mellor, 2-09-01. This article is available in archives at
16. "Iraqi Cancer, Birth Defects Blamed on US
Depleted Uranium," Seattle Post- Intelligencer, 11-12-02; "US Depleted
Uranium Yields Chamber of Horrors in Southern Iraq, Andy Kershaw, The
Independent (London) 12-4-01.
17. "The Environmental and Human
Health Impacts of the Gulf War Region with Special References to Iraq,"
Ross Mirkarimi, The Arms Control Research Centre, May 1992. See also Gulf
War Syndrome Birth Defects in Iraq at
18. "The Tiny
Victims of Desert Storm, Has Our Country Abandoned Them?," Life Magazine,
November 1995; "Birth Defects Killing Gulf War Babies," Los Angeles Times,
11-14-94; "Depleted Uranium, The Lingering Poison," Alex Kirby, BBC News
19. "Depleted Uranium, A Killer Disaster," Travis
Dunn, Disaster News.net, 12-29-02.
20. San Francisco Chronicle,
21. "US To Use Depleted Uranium," BBC News, 3-18-03.
22. "Depleted Uranium Symptoms Match US Report As Fears Spread,"
Peter Beaumont, The Observer (UK) 1-14-01.
23. "Iraqi Cancer,
Birth Defects Blamed on US Depleted Uranium," Seattle Post- Intelligencer,
24. "US To Use Depleted Uranium," BBC News, 3-18-03.
25. US Army Environmental Policy Institute: Health and
Environmental Consequences of Depleted Uranium in the U.S. Army, Technical
Report, June 1995.
26. "Pentagon Depleted Uranium No Health Risk,"
Dr. Doug Rokke, 3-15-03; also "The Terrible, Tragic Toll of Depleted
Uranium," Address by Dr. Rokke before congressional leaders in Washington,
D.C.,12-30-02; also "Gulf War Casualties," Dr. Doug Rokke,
27."Tests Show Gulf War Victims
Have Uranium Poisoning," Sunday Times (UK), Jonathon Carr-Brown and Martin
28. "The Pentagon's Radioactive Bullet: An
Investigative Report," Bill Mesler, The Nation, 5-28-99, see
29. "Tactical Nukes
Deployed In Afghanistan," World Net Daily, 10-7-01. 30. Ibid.
"The B-61 Bomb,The Burrowing Nuke" George Smith,VillageVoice.com
12-29-02.; also "Bunker-busting US Tactical Nuclear Bombs, Nowhere to
Hide," Kennedy Grey, Wired.com, 10-9-01.
32."Perpetual Death From
America," Mohammed Daud Miraki, Afghan-American Interviews, 2-24-03; also
"Dying of Thirst," Fred Pearce, New Scientist, 11-17-2001.
34. "Afghanistan Displaces Myanmar as Top Heroin Producer,"
Agence France-Presse, 3-01-03. This article is at www.copvcia.com.;also
"Opium Trade Flourishing In the `New Afghanistan,'" Reuters, 3-3-03.
35. "The Bush-Cheney Drug Empire," Michael C. Ruppert, Nexus
Magazine, February-March 2000; The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in
the Global Drug Trade, Alfred W. McCoy, Lawrence Hill & Co., revised
edition due May 2003; Drugging of America, Rodney Stich, Diablo Western
Press, 1999; "Blood for Oil, Drugs for Arms," Bob Djurdjevic, Truth In
Media, April 2000, www.truthinmedia.org. 36. ABC News, February 27, 2003.
37. Compromised, Clinton Bush and the CIA, Terry Reed and John
Cummings, S.P.I. Books, 1994; The Clinton Chronicles and The Mena
Cover-up, Citizens for Honest Government, 1996; "The Crimes of Mena, Grey
Money," Ozark Gazette, 1995 (see www.copvcia.com.)
38. "Damage to
Yugoslav Environment is Immense, Says a UN Report," Bob Djurdjevic,
7-4-99, truthinmedia.org. This report was submitted to the UN Security
Council on June 9, 1999; also, "New Depleted Uranium Study Shows Clear
Damage," BBC News,8-28-99; also "NATO Issued Warning About Toxic Ammo,"
Associated Press, 01-08-01.
39. CounterPunch.org, 12-28-01.
40. "Hundreds Died of Cancer After DU Bombing--Doctor," Reuters,
41."Depleted Uranium Threatens Balkan Cancer Epidemic,"
BBC News, 7-30-99.
42. "Many Defense Sites Still Hazardous,"
Associated Press, 9-24-02; also Old US Weapons Called Hidden Danger, Los
Angeles Times, 11-25-02.
43. "Pentagon Seeks Freedom to Pollute
Land, Air and Sea," Andrew Gumbel in L.A., 3-13-03, Independent Digital
44. "Radioactive DU Ammo Is Tested in Fish Areas,"
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1-11-03; Letter from Rep. McDermott to
Department of the Navy: see "Navy Fired DU Rounds Into Waters Off Coast of
Washington," 1-20-03, rense.com.
45."Cancer Rates Soar >From US
Military Use of DU On `Enchanted Island,'" www.telegraph.co.uk, 2-5-01;
also "Navy Shells With Depleted Uranium Fired in Puerto Rico," Fox News
46. "The Fallon, NV Cancer Cluster And a US Navy
Bombing," Jeffrey St. Clair, CounterPunch.org, 8-10-02.
Shells Are Made of A Potentially Lethal Cocktail of Nuclear Waste,"
Jonathon Carr-Brown, www.sunday-times.co.uk, 1-22-01.
"Preventative War Sets Perilous Precedent," Helen Thomas, Hearst
49. PIGS at the Trough, Arriana Huffington,
Random House, 2003 (New York Times best seller.); also "The Best Enemies
Money Can Buy, From Hitler to Saddam Hussein to Osama bin Laden Insider
Connections and the Bush Family's Partnership With Killers of Americans;"
Mike Ruppert, From the Wilderness,10-10-01; also "Bush Sr.'s Carlyle Group
Gets Fat on War and Conflict," Jamie Doward, The Observer (UK), 3-25-03;
also "Halliburton Wins Contract for Iraq Oil Firefighting, Reuters,
3-7-03; also "Cashing In-Fortunes in Profits Await Bush Circle After Iraq
War, Andrew Gumbel, The Independent (London) 9-15-02; also "War Could Be
Big Business for Halliburton," Reuters, 3-23-03.
Seeks a Nuclear Digger," Washington Post, March 10, 2003.
"Remember: Bush Planed Iraq War Before Taking Office," Neil Mackay, The
Sunday Herald (UK) 3-27-03; also "US Mini-Nukes Alarm Scientists," The
Guardian (UK) 4-18-01; also "US Nuclear First-Strike Plan--It Keeps
Getting Scarier, Jeffrey Steinberg, Executive Intelligence Review,
52. Wall Street Journal, 8-16-90: The CIA supported the
Baath Party and installed Hussein as Iraqi dictator in 1968.
"United States Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and Their Impact on the Health of
Persian Gulf War Veterans," Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban
Affairs, 1992, 1994; "U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq Buildup," Washington Post,
54. "US Government, 24 US Corps Illegally Helped Iraq
Build Its WMD," Hugh Williamson in Berlin, Financial Times, 12-19-02;
"Full List of US Weapons Suppliers To Iraq," Anu de Monterice,
55. Huffington, op. cit.
Amy Worthington is a reporter for The Idaho Observer
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