Friday, November 11, 2005

The Depleted Uranium Threat To Veterans And Their Families

On this Veteran's Day, it is very good to give respectful thought to the sacrifice that America's veterans have given in war. But it is also a very good day to show concern for the serious dangers created by modern warfare that will last far beyond the battlefield that are endangering the lives of our current soldiers and our future veterans.

In Vietnam it was Agent Orange that created problems far from the battlefield. Today it is depleted uranium weapons.

In both Iraq wars, the heavy use of depleted uranium weapons has seen wide use. These shells can create a superhot piercing of deep metal and concrete objects. In battle tanks this type of shell has seen heavy use, and some American arms contractors have made huge profits from the heavy marketing and sale of these type of shells to the Pentagon. Alliant Techsystems, a Minnesota company, has a $38 million dollar contract to sell tank shells to the Pentagon, and only recently removed any company reference to the depleted uranium shells from their Website as these shells become more scientifically controversial and a subject of deep medical concern.

The problem with depleted uranium shells is that the radioactive particles that are created after use have a life of 4.5 billion years. And these weapons create a cloud of radioactive microscopic particles that can spread a long distance. Because these dangerous radioactive particles hang in the atmosphere and travel with wind currents, they are inhaled by anyone in range, including civilians or American soldiers. Once inhaled a series of medically complex physiological metastitizing changes and damages to the human body occur. With the extremely long radioactive life of 4.5 billion years, serious injury to persons for generation after generation may occur long after the military conflict has concluded. It should be a given fact that many Iraqi civilians and American service persons will be injured by these weapons for years and and years after their first combat use.

Not only are Iraqi civilians developing odd tumors, but serious birth defects are beginning to show up, which are highly likely caused by exposure to the depleted uranium particles. Some children have been born with serious facial or bone defects. In some cases children have been born with giant enlarged heads due to a genetic damage condition known as hydrocephalus. In other cases some children's faces contained no recognizable human face features, no eyes, one eye growing from a child's forehead, internal organs growing outside of the body, and other extremely serious conditions that are usually highly indicitive of genetic damage caused by high radioactive substance exposure.

And returning Americcan servicepersons are returning from Iraq with high levels of radioactive exposure to depleted uranium weapons indicated. In one case, American serviceman, Gerard Matthews had medical tests to find out why his daughter was born missing fingers. The medical tests indicated that high contamination from the radioactive byproducts of depeleted uranium shells was present. Unknowingly, Matthews likely had his gene pool damaged by the depleted uranuim shell use in the 2003 war, and is highly likely the cause of the significant injury to his future unborn daughter.

This is the high cost that this war is creating among infants and children. Their parents, both Iraqi civilians and returning American servicepersons are having their gene pool damaged by these radioactive substance weapons, and are bringing home a future of many children that will born with significant and serious birth defects. And the cancer and tumor rate for returning veterans may well soar as well. Many returning veterans may develop fatal cancers within just a few short years of return from war duty in Iraq, and die from the effects of exposure to the these weapons. Of course the Pentagon will attempt to deny that such weapons cause damage, but in the case of Agent Orange, this was common Pentagon stonewalling to prevent health lawsuit claims despite excellent scientific evidence of the dangers of Agent Orange.

And the use of such depleted uranium in any combat role was a highly controversial decision by American military officials to begin with because U.N. Treaties limiting the use of certain weapons that violate several criteria are banned by international treaties. Yet the U.S. continues to defy international standards by use of weapons such as the depleted uranium and the use of napalm type fuel gel weapons such as Mark 77 bombs. The Mark 77 bombs weigh 750lbs., and burn a huge area by dispersing a burning fuel gel. Between the two Iraq wars, the U.S. has used 530 of these fuel gel bombs. Only the U.S. and Russia stockpile fuel gel weapons in their military inventories, all other of the 193 world states do not use these these type of weapons.

Under U.N. Treaty requirements, weapons may not have adverse effects beyond the legal battlefield area, weapons are only to be used during the duration of the military conflict and are not to have effects that continue after the conflict, and weapons are not to be unduly inhumane or have continued adverse environmental effects. Depleted uranium weapoins certainly violate these standards, and other weapons such as land mines or fuel gel weapons violate other provisions of U.N. treaty standards that attempt to control the serious aftereffects of weapons that create damage far beyond the accepted battelefield area.

It certainly violates serious morality standards to use such weapons in combat when more humane weapons certainly exist. And it is deeply sad that the use of such weapons will actually make many American war veterans a battlefield statistic, who will subcumb to illness and death from depleted uranium weapon exposure or bring serious birth defects to their family whose gene pool was destroyed by such weapons.


At 7:51 AM, Blogger eRobin said...

Thanks for posting this.


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