by Amy Worthington
The Idaho Observer, April 16, 2022
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 gear.
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. Tomahawk missiles
launched from U.S. ships and subs are DU-tipped. The M1 Abrams tanks are armored
with DU. These and British Challenger II tanks are tightly packed with DU shells,
which continually irradiate troops in or near them. The A-10 "tank buster" aircraft
fires DU shells at machines and people on the battlefield.
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.
Award-winning 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 will lose."
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.
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.
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. Millions
of DU tank rounds liter the terrain. Cleanup is impossible because there is
no place on the planet to put so much contaminated debris.
Bush Sr.'s Gulf War I was also a nuclear war. 320 tons of depleted uranium
were used against Iraq in 1991. 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. The Gulf War Veterans Association
reports that at least 300,000 Gulf War I vets have now developed incapacitating
illnesses. To date, 209,000 vets have filed claims for disability benefits
based on service-connected injuries and illnesses from combat in that war.
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. 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.
Nothing compares to the astronomical cancer rates and birth defects suffered
by the Iraqi people who have endured vicious nuclear chastisement for years.
U.S. air attacks against Iraq since 1993 have undoubtedly employed nuclear
munitions. Pictures of grotesquely deformed Iraqi infants born since 1991 are
overwhelming. 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.
As 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
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." The murderous dust
storms which ensnared coalition troops during the first few days of the current
invasion are sure to have significant health consequences.
Rokke and his clean-up 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." 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." A U.S.
Army training manual requires anyone who comes within meters of DU-contaminated
equipment to wear respiratory and skin protection. The U.S. Army Environmental
Policy Institute admitted: "If DU enters the body, it has the potential
to generate significant medical consequences." 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." 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. 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.
Dr. Rokke's 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.
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."
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. 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.
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."
Drought-stricken Afghanistan's underground water supply is now contaminated
by these nuclear weapons. 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
Afghanistan's new 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.
Thanks to nuclear weapons, Afghanistan is now safe for the Bush-Cheney narcotics
industry. ABC News asserts that keeping the "peace" in Afghanistan
will require decades of allied occupation. 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.
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.
Scientists confirm that citizens of the Balkans are excreting uranium in their
urine. In 2001, a Yugoslavian pathologist reported that hundreds of Bosnians
have died of cancer from NATO's DU bombardment. 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. The Pentagon is now pressing Congress to exempt it from all environmental
laws so that it may pollute and poison free from liability.
The 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."
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.
The 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 radioactive materials.
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 Syndrome.
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." Thus,
it is certain that Bush-Cheney future pre-emptive nuclear wars are lined up
like idling jetson 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
The Washington Post reported that the Pentagon will create special nuclear
weapons for use on North Korea's underground nuclear facilities. 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, Syria, Lebanon.
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. For years U.S. government agencies, under auspices
of George Bush Sr., supplied him with chemical and biological weapons. Our
national nuclear laboratories, along with Unisys, Dupont and Hewlett-Packard,
sold Saddam materials for his nuclear program. Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton
in the late 90s when its subsidiaries signed $73 million in new contracts to
further supply Saddam. 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
Amy Worthington is a reporter for The Idaho Observer. Observer@coldreams.com