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Depleted Uranium - Hiroshima's horror today

Depleted Uranium - Hiroshima's horror today

As we draw closer to the sixtieth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima agasaki, Peace Action Wellington calls attention to another nuclear tragedy, the ongoing use of 'depleted uranium' (DU) weapons by the United States military.

In 1991 the United States military dropped 350 tons of depleted uranium on Iraq. This time it was more than 1500 tons.

The radiation produced by DU, a toxic by-product of the uranium enrichment process, will keep on indiscriminately killing and maiming, through multiple generations, for hundreds of thousands of years.

Effects of DU munitions used in the first Gulf War in 1991:

- Since the war nearly 10,000 American soldiers have died of related health problems. - A third of all American veterans of the first Gulf War suffer health problems sufficiently serious to be granted permanent disability status. - In some American military units exposed to tank battlefields in the first Gulf War, two-thirds of all surviving children born to veterans since the war suffer serious illness or deformity.

The Iraqi people have suffered most, with horrific increases in the incidences of cancer, immune system deficiencies, and congenital birth deformities since 1991.

New Zealand's participation in the occupation of Iraq, even as 'peacekeepers' or 'engineers', not only endangers the health of Defence Force personnel and their future offspring, it also undermines our credibility as a nation supposedly committed to a nuclear-free world.

Peace Action Wellington demands that the New Zealand government withdraw our troops from Iraq, rescind our support for the American occupation, and join with the other nations of the world in calling for a total ban on the use and manufacture of depleted uranium weapons.

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