Vincent Guarisco: DU Is Depleting Human Life
The Truth About Depleted Uranium Weaponry:
The Only Thing Depleting is Human Life
By Vincent L. Guarisco
''The enormous gap between what US leaders do in the world and what Americans think their leaders are doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the dominant political mythology.''
~~Michael Parenti, political scientist and author
Ever notice how crafty the inventors of modern weaponry working for the Pentagon are -- giving their weapons misleading names that deliberately give the opposite impression of the actual intended use? None is more Orwellian, nor more ghoulish, than "Depleted Uranium," or its even less intrusive acronym -- "DU."
Since the early 80's, the all-too-aware world has sounded the alarm about depleted uranium, from a full-blown international outcry to United Nations warnings transmitted through blood-stained pages of the Geneva and Nuremberg conventions to the echos of wooden mallets feverishly slamming down in the world court at the Hague.
The message is very clear - the radiation level in depleted uranium is NOT depleted, in fact, it won't be depleted to any safe degree for about two billion years. In retrospect, that's a long time to beg for forgiveness, not only for what we have done, but for what we continue to do on multiple battlefields.
Fact - only approximately 14 percent of Americans at best understand the full matrix surrounding depleted uranium.
Listen up - depleted uranium is a deadly weapon of mass destruction that has been banned by virtually every nation on the planet. Its illegal use by the United States breaks all existing international treaties, conventions, protocols, and articles of war. It was first introduced into our arsenal around 1983 under the leadership directives of then President George H. W. Bush, and used in the first Gulf War in Iraq to the tune of 350 tons of exploded poison.
The main difference between father Bush and his son is that junior unleashed his radioactive arsenal mainly in Iraqi urban centers and civilian neighborhoods, rather than in desert battlefields. Untold thousands of Iraqi people, U.S. soldiers, and coalition troops will pay the price for generations in chronic illness, widespread cancers, long-term disabilities and genetic birth defects.
Last year, the Christian Science Monitor sent reporters into Iraq to investigate long-term effects of depleted uranium. In his May 15, 2003 report, (http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0515/p01s02-woiq.html) staff writer Scott Peterson tells of seeing children playing on top of a damaged tank near a vegetable stand on the outskirts of Baghdad -- a tank that had been destroyed by armor-piercing shells coated with depleted uranium. Wearing his mask and protective clothing, Peterson pointed his Geiger counter toward the tank. It registered 1,000 times the normal background radiation.
The families who survived the tragic decade of sanctions, and the recent shock-and-awe bombing campaign of Baghdad may not survive the radiated aftermath of this continued military sacrilege. The highly toxic "Highway of Death" in 1991 after Desert Storm was only a warm-up session compared to what is happening in Iraq during Enduring Freedom under George W. Bush.
DU was introduced into our arsenal under the pretension that by incorporating this radioactive concoction into our munitions, it somehow makes them more armor piercing. Even if this is true, what they (the marketing department) forget to mention is that DU is perhaps the most lethal time-released agent ever to be unleashed on mankind except for maybe one exception -- its kin -- the Atom Bomb.
Its poisonous effectiveness continues to take life long after the tanks, fighter jets, helicopters, Bradley vehicles, unmanned drones and troops have long gone, put simply, DU is a prolonged latent kiss of death that genetically keeps on embracing for generations to come.
It's a fact that other nations will forever hold us responsible for what our government has done in our name, they fully understand that we are willing participants who supply the needed funds that build these weapons; ignorance is not an acceptable excuse for war crimes committed against humanity! This will not soon be forgotten or forgiven.
Because I'm the offspring of an Atomic Veteran, and have witnessed what can happen to loved ones exposed to radiation, I hereby claim my right to rename DU --"Death Unlimited." May this horrible name always serve as a subliminal reminder whenever you hear others fraudulently attempting to reference it otherwise.
The documented track record associated with DU is a hideous reality, a carcinogenic killer causing birth defects, lung disease, kidney disease, leukemia, breast cancer, lymphoma, bone cancer, and neurological disabilities, etc.
When DU munitions explode, it becomes an atomized dust devil that fills the air with a blanket of radioactive poison, which travels in the wind and is easily inhaled and ingested. Then it enters the soil polluting ground water and infecting the food chain. Eventually, the uranium extends past its immediate epicenter impacting the surrounding environment. This stuff is nothing to play with.
What is most astonishing is that most Americans have never even heard of DU, and few (14%) fully understand what it is, where its being used, and who is being targeted by its usage. DU is one of the Pentagon's best-kept secrets, its most widely-used genocidal weapon for wiping out entire populations quietly and covertly.
Sara Flanders, co-director of the International Action Center and coordinator of the DU Education Project, writes ( http://www.coastalpost.com/03/09/11.htm ) that the Pentagon "continues to assert that there are no 'known' health problems associated with DU. But Army training manuals require anyone who comes within 75 feet of any DU-contaminated equipment or terrain to wear respiratory and skin protection."
Although the Bush Pentagon denies publicly that DU weapons can cause sickness, it's own internal reports warn that the radiation and heavy metal of DU weapons could cause kidney, lung and liver damage and increased rates of cancer. Flanders says the Pentagon continues to deny health problems associated with DU. But Army training manuals require anyone who comes within 75 feet of any DU-contaminated equipment or terrain to wear respiratory and skin protection.
Who comes up with this crazy stuff? Was DU conceived somewhere deep some murky hushed corridor of the Project for a New American century (PNAC)? Or perhaps it came from some other think tank that funded a secret scientific lab deep in the belly of the Atomic energy weapons program?
What was the dialogue? Did they say---gee, let's invent a quiet nuclear weapon that can surreptitiously be deployed inside conventional weaponry to progressively eliminate our enemies (and their families) long after we are gone to help reduce future risks of blowback, retribution and revenge?
They had to entertain the idea that every plan has a degree of downside -- surely they knew that by using these weapons in battle our own troops would be exposed too, in fact, even more so because they store, transport, handle and load these DU munitions into the very guns that fire them.
So why do they continue with this knowing full well the danger to our own troops? Do they purposely shorten the lifespan of our soldiers to shave several costly years off healthcare and pension plans? What are we to think about all this? Are they premeditated murderers?
According to Dr. Doug Rokke, U.S. Army health physicist who led the first clean-up of depleted uranium after the Gulf War, “Depleted uranium is a crime against God and humanity.” (Listen to Rokke's interview on the subject at http://traprockpeace.org/RokkePressConf23July03.html )
Rokke's own crew -- 100 employees -- was devastated by exposure to the fine dust. “When we went to the Gulf, we were all really healthy,” Rokke said. However, after performing clean-up operations in the desert (mistakenly without protective gear), 30 staff members died, and most others -- including Rokke himself --developed serious health problems. Rokke now has reactive airway disease, neurological damage, cataracts, and kidney problems.
“We warned the Department of Defense in 1991 after the Gulf War. Their arrogance is beyond comprehension,” Rokke said.
Unbelievable? Think again. Or better yet---ask the more than 150,000 Gulf War Vets who have filed claims after previously serving in Iraq's toxic wastelands during the first Gulf War. After doing so, they were shamelessly denied their benefits by the risk management boys who said that Gulf War Syndrome was a figment of their imagination. Heck, the masters treat their dogs better then them!
Is it any wonder that Uncle Sam took away their M-16's before they returned home? With arms in hand, I would love to know which way those same gun barrels would point after receiving such crap in the VA after serving so valiantly. Conspiracy theory?
Everyone can't be wrong, so answer me this---why in Sam-Hell does the Pentagon continue to use these weapons even though there is an overwhelming abundance of scientific data from around the globe to back these claims?
George W. Bush justifies his continued carnage with a convenient "Saddam Hussein was a horrible dictator who gassed his own people and threatened his neighbors..."
But Admiral Gene LaRocque, who fought the Cold War as a commander of a nuclear-armed carrier task force in Europe and served as a war planner in the Pentagon, says war has become a "spectator sport" for most Americans. LaRocque said:
"I had been in thirteen battle engagements, had sunk a submarine, and was the first man ashore in the landing at Roi. In that four years, I thought, What a hell of a waste of a man's life. I lost a lot of friends. I had the task of telling my roommate's parents about our last days together. You lose limbs, sight, part of your life-for what? Old men send young men to war. Flag, banners, and patriotic sayings...
"We've institutionalized militarism. This came out of World War Two... It gave us the National Security Council. It gave us the CIA, that is able to spy on you and me this very moment. For the first time in the history of man, a country has divided up the world into military districts.... You could argue World War Two had to be fought. Hitler had to be stopped. Unfortunately, we translate it unchanged to the situation today...
"I hate it when they say, "He gave his life for his country." Nobody gives their life for anything. We steal the lives of these kids. We take it away from them. They don't die for the honor and glory of their country. We kill them."
Are George Bush and his Pentagon guilty of war crimes against the people of Iraq? By unleashing this most deadly of weapons of mass destruction, are they demonstrating reckless disregard for the health and safety of American troops?
You be the judge.
* Vincent L Guarisco is a freelance writer from Bullhead City AZ., a contributing writer for many web sites, and a lifetime member of the Alliance of Atomic Veterans. Reprint permission is given as long as article content is not altered or changed and credit is given to the author. Replies welcomed at: firstname.lastname@example.org