Spreading Cancer Depleted Uranium Turns Bush's Lies Into High-tech Horror
by Robert C. Koehler June 29, 2022
The unending game of "pretend" that the U.S. media allow
George Bush to play on the global stage, so often letting his lying
utterances hang suspended, unchallenged, in the middle of the story,
as though they were plausible, as though a class of third graders
demolish them with a few innocent questions, feels like the journalistic
waterboarding. Gasp! Some truth, please!
I suggest the prez has forfeited the right to command a headline,
or half a story, or an uninterrupted quote: ". . . we'll defend
ourselves, but at the same time we¹re actively working with
our partners to spread peace and democracy," he said last week
Surely "spreading democracy" should no longer be allowed
to appear in print, between now and 2008, unless accompanied by a parenthetical
clarification ("not true," stated as profanely as local standards
allow). And that, course, would only be the media's first step back
integrity with the public.
The occupation of Iraq, the occupation of Afghanistan, the entire war
(to promote) terror . . . please, please, can these no longer be trotted
out in consequence-free abstraction, but as the high-tech malevolence
they are, actively continuing the incalculable devastation of countries
and their populations?
The bodies keep piling up, the toxic horrors spread. Hasn't anyone
in this place ever heard of depleted uranium? Is the health crisis
in Iraq and, indeed, throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, not
to mention Kosovo and among returning vets for the last four American
wars, somehow irrelevant to "the course" we're asked to stay?
" Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen
before. The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For
example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with
two cancers , one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary
cancer was developing in his other kidney, he had three different cancer
The second is the
clustering of cancer in families. We have 58 families here with more
person affected by cancer. . . . My wife has
nine members of her family with cancer."
This is Dr. Jawad Al-Ali, director of the oncology center at the
largest hospital in Basra, speaking in 2003 at a peace conference
in Japan. Why is it that only peace activists are able to hear people
like this? Why hasn't he been asked to testify before Congress as
its members debate the future of this war and the next?
Children in particular are susceptible to DU poisoning," he
went on. "They have a much higher absorption rate as their blood
is being used to build and nourish their bones and they have a lot
of soft tissues. Bone cancer and leukemia used to be diseases affecting
most. However, cancer of the lymph system, which can develop anywhere
on the body and has rarely been seen before the age of 12, is now
Depleted uranium (DU) is the Defense Establishment euphemism for
U-238, a byproduct of the uranium enrichment process and the ultimate
dirty weapon material. It¹s almost twice as dense as lead, catches
fire when launched and explodes on impact into microscopically fine
particles, or "nano-particles," which are easily inhaled
or absorbed through the skin; it's also radioactive, with a half-life
of 4.468 billion years.
And we make bombs and bullets out of it , it's the ultimate penetrating
weapon. We dropped at least 300 tons of it on Iraq during Gulf War
I (the first time it was used in combat) and created Gulf War Syndrome.
This time around, the estimated DU use on defenseless Iraq is 1,700
tons, far more of it in major population centers. Remember shock and
awe? We were pounding Baghdad, in those triumphant early days, with
low-grade nuclear weapons, raining down cancer, neurological disorders,
birth defects and much, much more on the people we claimed to be liberating.
We weren't spreading democracy, we were altering the human genome.
As we "protected ourselves," in the words of the president,
from Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction, we opened our
own arsenal of WMD on them, contaminating the country's soil and
polluting its air, indeed, unleashing a nuclear dust into the troposphere
contaminating the whole world.
We used to think (DU) traveled up to a hundred miles," Chris
Busby told me. Busby, a chemical physicist and member of the British
government's radiation risk committee, as well as the founder of
the European Committee of Radiation Risk, has monitored air quality
in Great Britain. Based on these findings, "It looks like it
goes quite around the planet," he said.
While Bush mouths ironic whoppers, "We will be standing with
the people of Afghanistan and Iraq until their hopes for freedom
and liberty are fulfilled," he told the U.N. General Assembly
a while back. His actions pass, in the words of former Livermore
Labs scientist Leuren Moret, "a death sentence on the Middle
East and Central Asia."
A war crime of
unprecedented dimension is unfolding as we avert our eyes. Perhaps
too big to see, or to grasp, so we lull ourselves
into the half-belief that the powers that be know what they¹re
doing and it will all turn out for the best. Meanwhile, the contagion
spreads, the children die, the planet becomes uninhabitable.
© 2006 Robert C. Koehler