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The War is Already Nuclear, But We Don't Know It

James T. Moore, American Daily, OH

April 15, 2007

When a friend of mine, a decorated sailor from the Vietnam war told me his story, I was flabbergasted. You mean that you're on full disability, I asked, because some chemical has ruined your legs and is attacking other parts of your body? That's right, he said. I was working aboard a ship carrying big drums of some stuff. We were moving the drums from place to place when one broke open and the stuff ran out on the deck. Being a hot day we were working in skivvies and bare feet. So I got the stuff on my skin. I broke out in an ugly rash and got sick as hell. I was later told that the stuff was a lethal chemical called, agent orange--- the same agent orange we sprayed around in Vietnam.

This is typical of many stories of chemically induced disabilities now surfacing years after the Vietnam war. I mention this only because I came upon an article I had read a while back that really shook me up. And thinking about it, still shakes me up. The article, "Medical Consequences of Attacking Iraq", was written by Helen Caldicott and appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Ms. Caldicott is the founder of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute, and has, for 25 years been educating the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age. Her article was dated before the war in Iraq, and although it is too long for this page I offer you the key information in it so that we might reflect on what she said and relate it to the unfolding events in this Iraq war.

This is how Caldicott began her article: "As the Bush administration prepares to make war on the Iraqi people--- and make no mistake, it is the civilian population of that country and not Saddam Hussein who will bear the brunt of the hostilities--- it is important that we recall the consequences of the last Gulf War. That conflict was, in effect, a nuclear war." As Caldicott points out, during the 1991 Gulf War the U.S. deployed tons of weapons, including anti-tank shells made of depleted uranium 238. U-238 is pyrophoric, and also a potent radioactive carcinogen. That is, when it hits an object it bursts into flames releasing deadly particles that attacks the lungs, penetrates the flesh and produces cancer in lungs, bones, blood, or kidneys.

Because children are 10 to 20 times more sensitive to radiation than adults, doctors working in Iraq at the time reported an increase of 6 to 12 times the incidence of childhood leukemia and cancer. And the incidence of congenital malformations has doubled in the exposed populations in Iraq where these weapons were used.

But Iraqis are not the only ones affected by U-238. Medical researchers are reporting that U.S. veterans exposed to it are excreting uranium in their urine and semen, and heaven knows what other maladies are being discovered and reported.

Three points should be stressed here, and thought long and hard about. First, uranium 238 has an estimated "shelf life" of 4.5 billion years. Therefore, the ammunition used in Iraq and Kuwait during the Gulf War will be radioactive for the rest of time.

Second, our military studies prior to Desert Storm warned that aerosol uranium exposure under battlefield condition could lead to all kinds of cancers, kidney damage, neuro-disorders, chromosomal damage, and birth defects. But we used it anyway.

Third, this is how Ms. Caldicott ended her article: "Do George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld understand the medical consequences of the 1991 war and the likely health effects of the next one they are now planning for Iraq? If they do not, their ignorance is breathtaking. Even more incredible though----and alas, much more likely--- is that they do understand, but do not care."

As I mentioned at the top, Ms. Caldicottĺs article was written before we went to war with Iraq. So radio-active "dust" is probably in the air in Iraq and elsewhere today, now that weĺre four years into the war.

Having learned this from the Gulf War, we wouldnĺt dare expose our soldiers, or the Iraqi people, to the horrors of nuclear "consequences" again, would we? Or rather, are we?

James T. Moore

:: Article nr. 32152 sent on 15-apr-2007 15:41 ECT


Link: www.americandaily.com/article/18398

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