Insidious Weapon Threatens Humanity

Comment by Larry Ross, November 5, 2004

This DU-PLICITY article shows how the US and UK have lied about the long-lingering killing properties, about 4.5 billion years, of the radioactive Depleted Uranium weapons. Both countries have used them Iraq and in 5 previous conflicts.

As DU-widow Susan Riordon write: “ DU is banned (condemned by the UN); it kills – and one microscopic particle is enough…it leads to omnicide, poisoning humanity, the new born, the unborn, fauna, flora and water supply leaving nothing unscathed or unpolluted – for all time” Thousands of veterans are sick, dead or dying from Gulf War Syndrome – a result of poisoning from DU weapons.

Under the great fraud of “spreading Democracy around the world” George Bush has illegally invaded, killed 100,000 Iraqis and maimed many more. He has given Iraqis a poisoned land that will continue to kill and spread disease forever. Issued in Feb 28/04, this article is still as applicable today. It has many useful inks for people who wish to research this subject.

Larry Ross



By Susan Riordon & Davey Garland, February 28, 2004

"Great liars are also great magicians" - Adolf Hitler.

IT IS appropriate to quote from someone so despicable, about those who have created a despicable act, and have lied and covered up their crimes for over 12 years. The wall of silence or dis-information over Depleted Uranium held by the US and UK government has been near impregnable. But cracks have now emerged, be it from veterans, or scientists, over a decade of collating, researching and painstaking “digging” by activists and academics which may rock or even ruin some government Ministers and officials. The last months have seen a number of incidents which has seen the tight DU ship of lies spring a number of leaks.

It hit choppy waters first at the World Uranium Weapons Conference held in Hamburg in October, 2003, at which the global DU movement came together pro-actively for the first time, with activists, veterans, scientists and lawyers agreeing on solid, cohesive means of action. The Conference called for the abolition of all uranium weapons and confirmed acceptance of the United Nations Sub-commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights finding, that Depleted Uranium weapons are illegal. Accordingly, the Hamburg officially called for the abolition of the use of and halt to the proliferation of these weapons.

The Hamburg Conference concluded: “The evidence from scientists, medical professionals and legal experts at this conference is clear: DU is causing significant health effects worldwide... is illegal under existing International Law and Conventions” The Conference also called for the cessation of the manufacture testing, or use of these weapons. This was the final and unanimous agreement of Conference.

“Rubbing in the Salt”
A recent DU milestone was that of Kenny Duncan, who brought the U.K. Ministry of Defence to an Edinburgh based Pension Appeal Tribunal in January, claiming DU contamination from active service during Gulf war 1. The Tribunal ruled for DU contamination from dust from burnt out tanks. However, showing its own confusion and duplicity in the affair, the MoD and Government managed to turn down an appeal by over 2000 Gulf veterans, over Gulf War Syndrome, while at the same time, agreeing to commission an independent investigation into the causes of GWS, based at the Cambridge Centre. Many involved with the DU question regard this as another empty gesture. This particular unit, is infamous for its research on ME, which it opined mainly a psychological problem and may well conclude the same regarding GWS, given the track record of previous government investigation into the debilitating health problems.

The Ministry of Defence, however has opened itself to attack should it deny DU is a threat, since soldiers in Iraq have been issued with Medical card “F Med 1018” in which the MoD states:

“You have been deployed to a theatre where Depleted Uranium (DU) Munitions have been used. DU is weakly radioactive heavy metal, which has the potential to cause ill health. You may have been exposed to dust containing DU during you deployment.”

The card continues to advise soldiers to check with their medical officer on return to their home base. They even gave out a Website: http://www.mod.uk/issuesdepleted_uranium/index.htm

The British government and its military forces, however, largely continue to reinforce an international policy which has continued since the dawn of the nuclear age, in concert with pro-nuclear institutions such as the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) actively suppressing reports and documents which link DU/Uranium weapons and ill-health.

A recent example is a Report commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the effects of DU amongst the civilian populations of Iraq. Professor Keith Braverstock who completed the study in 2001 believes that the WHO purposely suppressed the findings, and that if the Report had been published it would have seriously affected public support for any new war in Iraq. Braverstock and two other radiation experts Mike Thorne AND Carmel McMaster, reinforced the already accepted view by authorative opponents of DU, that the chemically toxic and radioactive dust emanating from such weapons can cause cancer and other severe ailments. This might also explain why the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has been refused permission by the US authorities to enter Iraq and make environmental impact assessments and monitor DU related health effects since the latest US/UK attack. No doubt anyway, its mandate would be as woefully and duplicitously restricted as it was in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan!

We are dealing with a war on information, a determination there be a lack of it. “Information warfare” is term that has been increasingly used by the military to undermine its opponents. However, historically, it has been more often used against it own people, particularly in the United States and Britain, through the FBI’s Cointelpro and the MI5 respectively, which on numerous occasions have targeted informed progressive movements. This murky world of censorship, hyped paranoia and attack on free speech has been recently updated in the US (and Britain also) with the introduction of the Patriot Act.

When they are not successful through smear campaigns and infiltration, then they resort to intimidation and even assassination. The anti-nuclear (including the anti-DU groups) movement being a prime witness to these tactics with threats, arrests, murders, offices broken into, records, computers and data removed. But determined opposition will not crumble and in recent years, many committed activists have brought about a global alert and awareness. Much of the general public now knows of the dangers of DU and other uranium weapons, but has realised that terrifyingly, five “radioactive” wars have been fought since 1991.

To highlight just a few of the now numerous campaigns:

US Gulf Veteran and radiation expert, former Pentagon advisor, Dr Doug Rokke – himself severely sick from DU - ex-Major, turned whistle-blower after being sent to Iraq following the first Gulf War, to estimate the dangers of DU for the US Department of Defence (DoD), He, and other gravely ill soldiers and civilian victims travel the world relentlessly alerting audiences to the justice and health care that sufferers so vitally need. Rokke's unique expertise and recommendations on the clean-up possibilities and unique dangers of DU have been scrupulously ignored, because of combat needs on the ground and the fact that this lethal weapon has another unique property – it is radioactive redundancy from the nuclear fuel cycle, so the military gets it free of charge, since no one wants it in their back yard, - and it costs a fortune to keep in a safe and stable environment. Thus, dropping it on a hospital, mosque, kindergarten, or government building is a cheap method of disposal and ensures maximum destruction. It also remains polluting, poisoning and radiating for four and a half billion years.

The tireless work of Dr. Asaf Durakovic and his independent team of scientists from the Uranium Medical Research Centre have tested and found positive many DU contaminated veterans. In addition to this - at great health risk to themselves - the team has visited the world's radiological battle zones, testing the local population and environment. Their work has proven the direct link between uranium weapons and radioactive contamination of these countries. The UMRC'S findings contradict starkly the official governments' “scientific evaluation”, both of the countries and the amount of uranium weapons used. They remain unwavering in their determination to expose the toxicity of uranium weapons and present and future damage to the populations of Iraq, the Balkans and Afghanistan, despite all efforts to demean their expertise and threats to their very existence.

The Afghan DU Relief Fund is operated and privately financed by an Afghan exile, US based, Dr Mohammed Miraki. Like the country that has disappeared from our view, so has the continued suffering and hardship of the people. But Dr Miraki travels on his own finances to raise further funds and to not alone relate the suffering, but to attempt to ensure sufficient relief and health care to treat the terrible illnesses that the population is now encountering. "They have turned my sweet Afghanistan into a poisoned burial ground” comments Miraki.

It is not alone the veterans, but also their families or remaining partners who crave and fight for justice. Susan Riordon is the widow of Captain Terry Riordon, late of the Canadian army, who was the world’s first veteran to be officially diagnosed as dying with Gulf War Syndrome. Terry had served his country for 23 years and convinced that he was contaminated with DU, asked his wife to use his body to prove that DU was the cause. He donated his body to research for his fellow veterans. His death certificate records: "Cause of death: Gulf War Syndrome”.

DU was the proven “Killer”. It had invaded virtually every tissue and organ of his body. Dead five years, Terry speaks to Science. A dead man standing for the veterans, for DU's “Dead and Dying”. His wife now relentlessly challenges the Canadian government to accept her husband’s diagnosis and to support those other veterans who are going down with GWS.

Richard “Nibby” David, in the UK, illustrates how DU/uranium reaches not only military but civilian levels. David is taking one of the world’s biggest multi-nationals to court, to prove his contamination from uranium metal while working in the aerospace industry - and to prove its proliferation into a whole variety of civilian products. This is a modern “David & Goliath” battle, with a DU victim prepared to sacrifice everything to prove both the cause of his own illness and to more widely expose how these metals are seeping into our environment, our workplaces and our homes.

Terry Riordon, Doug Rokke, Richard David, one dead, two dying, all victims of the emotional and financial rape of their families. They are the few. Countless others struggle financially and physically to raise their voices in the political wilderness. DU is banned; it kills - and one microscopic particle is enough. As in Iraq and other “testing” grounds, it leads to omnicide, poisoning humanity, the new born, the unborn, fauna, flora and water supply leaving nothing unscathed or unpolluted - for all time

Never has this dynamic movement’s grass-roots expertise, commitment and resilience been more needed. With every small victory, such as Kenny Duncan’s and the courage of Professor Braverstock to speak out over the WHO’s partisanship, the movement will be that much closer to eliminating this uniquely shameful and lethal scourge on humanity and everything living thing.

But more of those with power and influence must also speak out. In the US, it is election year, and so far, in the Democratic Party primaries, only Dennis Kucinich has spoken for the need to abolish DU. Will Kerry, one wonder, have the guts to address DU as he did Agent Orange and the health of Vietnam veterans?

The Hamburg Conference demonstrated the empowerment of unity, with world experts and committed activists from all corners of the globe sharing knowledge, strategies and ideas. That unity is now needed in the wider public arena to reinforce the illegality of these weapons and to force their abolition on governments.

Karen Parker, the lawyer responsible for determining the UN rule on Depleted Uranium Weapons being illegal, asked if she sees DU as a nuclear weapon, responded:
“I think so. The UN has condemned the use of them. They are illegal weapons, and they are illegal for more reasons than the depleted uranium. They’re just indiscriminate weapons”.

Susan Riordan is the widow of Captain Terry Riordon, and Atlantic Director, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association and Davey Garland is organiser for the Pandora DU Research Project and a Tutor in Radical Media Studies. Both are part of the International grass-roots initiative to abolish DU and all radioactive weapons.

Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association: http://members.shaw.ca/cpva/

Pandora DU Research Project: http://www.pandoraproject.org

Suggested Sites to look at in regard some of the real shakers and movers in publicising the case over DU/uranium weapons/products

Beatrice Boctor and her environmental work for Iraq: http://www.desertconcerns.org

Dai Williams: http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/du2012.htm

Doug Rokke: http://traprockpeace.org/RokkePressConf23July03.html

Karen Parker: http://www.uraniumweaponsconference.de/speakers/parker_illegality.pdf

Low Level Radiation Campaign: http://www.llrc.org/

Dr Miraki Afghan DU Recovery Fund: http://www.afghandufund.org/

Dr Leuren Moret: What does the US government know about DU: http://traprockpeace.org/moret_25nov03.pdf

“Nibby David” Campaign article: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/westcountry/2003/11/282063.html

Uranium Medical Research Centre: http://www.umrc.net/

& for Spanish readers:
Coalición Internacional para la Abolición de las Armas Radiactivas and the work of Alfredo Embid: http://www.amcmh.org/

All information from the Uranium Weapons Conference can be found at: http://www.uraniumweaponsconference.de

Please also see:

WHO ‘suppressed’ scientific study into depleted uranium cancer fears in Iraq http://www.sundayherald.com/40096




MoD ‘lied’ over depleted uranium


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