Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

11.16 Scotland was first Industrialized Country to Run wholly on Wind in October

11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]

11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]

11.16 Trump’s latest interview shows a president who’s in way over his head

11.16 Why the political fight in Georgia is far from over

11.16 Florida judge sides with Democrats, giving thousands a second chance to fix their ballots

11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]

11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]

11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]

11.15 Big Oil v the planet is the fight of our lives. Democrats must choose a side

11.14 The Real Florida Recount Fraud

11.14 Telling NRA #ThisIsOurLane, Doctors' Photos Show Blood-Soaked Reality of America's Gun Madness

11.14 At Freshman Orientation, Young and Growing Progressive Caucus Makes Clear It Will 'Fight Like Hell' for Bold Democratic Agenda

Justice Matters
High Crimes?

11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

Economics, Crony Capitalism

11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]

11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]

11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

11.14 Brexit: May tells her cabinet, this is the deal – now back me

International & Futurism

11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]

11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]

11.14 Israel and Hamas launch hundreds of attacks in Gaza clash

11.14 Mueller seeking more details on Nigel Farage, key Russia inquiry target says

11.13 Austin's Fix for Homelessness: Tiny Houses, and Lots of Neighbors

11.13 Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

11.13 Caravan marks one month on the road: ‘We keep on going, laughing or crying’

11.13 Letter Shows Einstein’s Prescient Concerns About ‘Dark Times’ in Germany

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Print view: One of History's Greatest Crimes
AN INSIDIOUS, NEVER-ENDING WAR CRIME:

One of History's Greatest Crimes

The intentional use of depleted uranium weapons is a crime against humanity due to its undifferentiating and never-ending harmful health effects on civilians.

by Stephen Lendman
Sunday, 26 September 2010

pdf report graphic

In Iraq today, "killing of innocent people has become part of daily life." America and Britain are responsible "for exposing a whole nation to the risk of continually receiving high radioactive and toxic persistent contaminants."
America's hidden history is ugly and disturbing. No nation ever matched it. To Iraq alone, over the past two decades, it includes ongoing genocide, destruction, terror, occupation, and contamination - a horrendous combination of crimes, unmentioned in Western discourse.

Environmental Engineering Professor Souad N. Al-Azzawi documents them, including in her report titled, "Crime of the Century: Iraq's Occupation and DU Contamination pdf graphic," a detailed account of US culpability.

America's strategic aims, she explains, include:

  • controlling most of the world's oil and other natural resources;
  • remaining permanently in the Middle East, "the intersection zone of the three continents where 80% of the world('s) population" lives; and
  • if the above two objectives are achieved, America will control the world's economy, or enough of it to matter.

Spread over a large enough area, depleted uranium (DU) is a weapon of mass destruction, because it's radioactive and chemically toxic. If ingested or inhaled through food, air, water or other means, it enters the human body, remaining for decades. An earlier article reported the dangers.

It explained that continued DU use has the potential to end planetary life, yet few understand the risk, or that weaponized DU is used regularly in missiles, bombs, shells and bullets wherever America wages war - first during the 1991 Gulf War.

Its danger comes from radiation residue after use. On impact, DU munitions penetrate deeply and aerosolize into a fine spray, polluting surrounding air, water and soil. It's microscopic, sub-miscroscopic, and permanent. Spread over vast areas as radioactive atmospheric dust, its contamination causes virtually all known illnesses and diseases from severe headaches, muscle pain and general fatigue, to major birth defects, infections, depression, cardiovascular disease, and many types of cancers. It also causes permanent disability and death.

Over the past two decades in Iraq alone, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of tons have been used, irradiating the entire country, some areas more than others. In her October 2009 presentation to the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia International Conference to Criminalize War, Azzawi accused America and Britain of:

"subject(ing) the whole nation of Iraq for two decades to torture and slow death through the intentional use of radioactive weapons and the sanctions. The continuous and intentional use of (these) weapons is a crime against humanity due to its undifferentiating harmful health effects on civilians in contaminated areas tens of years to come after the military engagements." Radiation, in fact, is permanent, affecting unborn generations like living ones.

During the Gulf War, about 320 tons were used in southern Iraq, affecting the Basrah region. Post-conflict, "comprehensive" examination detected it, especially "in and around Al-Basrah City," showing:

  • "high gamma radiation" levels;
  • "soil samples from 39 locations (with) higher activities than natural background levels;" and
  • "Surface water channel sediments (with 2 - 3) times higher radioactivity than the natural background" level.

Contamination was widespread, affecting at least "45% of people in the area, the Iraqi troops, and" coalition ones. As a result, soldiers (and civilians) exposed "to DU oxides (can expect) 70 cancer cases per 1,000" persons. Perhaps a higher incidence over time, and along with other illnesses and diseases, an epidemic of human affliction.

Subsequent epidemiological studies in Basrah showed a "five times rise in the incidence rate of malignancies amongst children to be far more noticeable from 1995 onwards." In addition, exposure to ionized radiation caused:

  • higher child leukemia rates;
  • a "six fold increase in congenital malformations among births in Basrah City since 1995 onward," some too disturbing to view; and
  • higher rates of congenital heart diseases and chromosomal aberrations.

Even more destructive weapons were used in the 2003 war, including banned ones like napalm, white phosphorous, cluster bombs, and greater amounts of DU - "against people, infrastructure facilities, and environment." Further, "the looting and burning of factories, industrial complexes, laboratories, and ministries (including the looting of the Tuwaitha Atomic Energy Agency, and 300 other highly contaminated sites....)" caused contamination.

Much more as well across the country in Baghdad and suburbs, Basrah, Mosul, Fallujah, Balad, Anbar, Haditha, Qa'im, Rawa, Karbala, Najar, Aubaidi, Diala, Samara, Tikrit, Baiji, Ahsaiba, Mada'in, Kubaissa, and other locations.

In March 2009, Gideon Polya used the Just Foreign Policy estimate of 1.32 million Iraqi deaths post-March 2003 alone, a number considerably higher today. It's also well below his post-9/11 eight million "war on terror" total, mostly affecting women and children, aged five and younger, killed by war, diseases, and/or depravation, America's horrific ongoing genocidal legacy - air-brushed from history. Azzawi adds more:

  • at least 4.5 internal or external refugees, many victimized by "militias and police raids and terrorist groups;"
  • death squads targeting "certain ethnic and sectarian groups" daily; and
  • in cities throughout Iraq, sieges cutting off "all life support aids on people, (affecting) Thousands of children, women and elderly who could not leave their houses and were subjected to collective punishment...." For weeks, these areas were deprived of food, water, healthcare, and electricity. As a result, contaminated water was used "from ditches and nearby rivers," causing cholera and other waterborne diseases.

The continuous use of DU weapons in heavily populated areas exposes millions to its destructive effects. Further, "Continuous negligence of medical care systems, hospitals, and the killing of prominent medical and healthcare specialists....after 2003" exacerbated a widespread health crisis.

Yet occupation forces provide no data on civilians killed, wounded, kidnapped or otherwise harmed. Nor do they allow "exploration programs to detect (DU) related contaminated areas." Yet they're vitally needed to "help Iraqi people....cope with the damages."

Known evidence shows "Continuous deterioration of environmental quality....in Baghdad City due to explosions, and heavy traffic of tanks and vehicles...." Concentrations of numerous toxins way exceed safe levels. "Water quality deterioration caused an increase in "pathogenic water born diseases like Cholera, Typhoid, Hepatitis, (and) others." Air pollution results from continuous bombing and explosions.

The "Multiple impact of all of the above pollution sources on the human body can be critical, especially for children, women and the elderly people."

From DU munitions alone, Azzawi told the Kuala Lumpur conference that contamination is spread over vast areas by "wind storms, dust storms, sandstorms, and rainstorms," besides polluted waterways and surface migration in soil, causing:

  • "Siltation, creeping, and suspension from contaminated soil to atmosphere; (and)
  • Suspension and re-suspension of deposited DU aerosols....the most dangerous and critical pathway of transfer and spreading from source to the human population."

America and Britain are responsible "for exposing a whole nation to the risk of continually receiving high radioactive and toxic persistent contaminants," including DU and many others, a noxious brew leaving no one untouched and many lethally harmed. "This is a crime against humanity (because of) its undifferentiated harmful health impacts on civilians long (after) military operations" are concluded.

A Final Comment

On September 19, BRussells Tribunal Executive Committee member Dirk Adriaensens headlined, "Iraq: The Age of Darkness," explaining "a devastating balance sheet (of) success," including:

  • a 150% increase in child mortality since 1990;
  • only half of primary-aged children in school;
  • about 1,500 children in (horrific) detention facilities;
  • in 2007, about "5 million Iraqi orphans;"
  • over two million external refugees and almost three million internal ones (IDPs);
  • official unemployment at 50%; real unemployment at least 70%;
  • at least 43% of Iraqis "in abject poverty;"
  • at least eight million need "emergency aid;"
  • at least four million "lack food and are in dire need of humanitarian assistance;"
  • at least 80% lack "effective sanitation;"
  • "Religious minorities are on the verge of extinction;" and
  • an Oxfam survey showed 33% of women got no humanitarian aid since 2003; 76% of widows lack pension help; 52% are unemployed; 55% have been displaced; and 55% have been "subjected to (various forms of) violence."

In Iraq today, "killing of innocent people has become part of daily life." America is committing genocide against the entire population. It persists daily unreported, yet called "a success."

It includes death, destruction, torture, terror, occupation, displacement, disease, and insecurity in a nation that no longer exists. For sure, one unfit to live in - unsafe, corrupt, terrorized, tyrannized, contaminated, and permanently occupied. In virtually all rankings that matter, Iraq scores last, Afghanistan second last, a testimony to America's liberating values.

They're run from Washington with no functioning governments, de facto satraps instead obeying their imperial masters. Yet on August 31, declaring an "end to the combat mission in Iraq," Obama outrageously said: "Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility," infamously displaying his culpability as a war criminal, matching the worst America ever produced.

Under him, George Bush, and their successors, "Iraq has no viable future," Adriaensens' final assessment of America's "success."


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on September 26, 2010.
 



Public Service Ads:
Verifiable Voting in Maryland