in the Northern Territory a 'test' bombing range has been designated
where B52s and Stealth bombers will, as of January 06, and as you read
this, be dumping their payloads on their flights from Guam. The US Navy
uses DU in its shelling, and the B52s will be most likely (presumably
they will be testing the weapons they actually use) carrying bunker
buster bombs with their 2.2 tons of DU each. Retrospective legislation
was passed to remove the need for any Environmental Impact Study (EIS)
before or after the duration of this agreement.
asked in the Australian Senate about whether or not the US would be
using DU in its bombing of Australian sites, Defence Minister Senator
Hill said, 'In relation to Depleted Uranium used by our allies we have
said that, if they believe it is the most appropriate element to use in
their particular munitions in certain circumstances, we do not think it
is appropriate for us to press a different view upon them.' Senator
Hill has since retired from Australian politics and has taken up
residence as the Australian UN Ambassador in New York
The death economy
and more it appears that the things which are most important are simply
those that generate the biggest growth in profits, in the GDP. Sickness
generates business, cancer rates generate research dollars, war
accelerates growth, and we wonder why peace is so elusive when we
worship the economy. The following is equally applicable to Australia
now as it was to the US in the 1960s.
much and for too long we seem to have surrendered personal excellence
and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our
gross national product now is over $800 billion a year.
that gross national product, if we judge the United States of America
by that, counts air pollution, and cigarette advertising, and
ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks
for our doors, and the jails for people who break them. It counts the
destruction of redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic
sprawl. It counts napalm and it counts nuclear warheads, and armoured
cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts
Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television program which
glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.
the gross national product does not allow for the health of our
children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It
does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our
marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of
our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage,
neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our passion nor our
devotion to our country.
measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.
And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud
that we are Americans.
Robert Kennedy, 18/3/1968
Ultimately we do not know how much DU is being used in Shoalwater Bay, or Lancelin or dumped daily in the Northern Territory.
do know that Japan, the Philippines and Puerto Rica no longer allow the
US to bomb their lands with DU, and that there is no ship-to-shore
bombing allowed anymore on the US mainland.
know that there are hundreds of very vocal groups in opposition
worldwide to the use of DU, who have devoted their lives to this issue.
also know that the US government does not particularly care about the
safety of their troops or anyone else's, and is seemingly content to
poison the world for eternity, and poison themselves in the process. We
know that weapons usage is classified and that such information will
never be freely supplied to the Australian people, while nuclear
powered and armed ships are cruising the waters of the Great Barrier
Reef. In January, the largest nuclear powered and capable aircraft
carrier in the world, boasting 6000 marines on board, docked in
the contamination of Shoalwater Bay and Lancelin is anything like Iraq,
Kosovo, or Afghanistan, then the vicinity of these places should be
avoided. But it would be a mistake to think that the troubles are
confined to those areas. The beef and pineapples from Rockhampton, and
the seafood from Lancelin, could be contaminated and end up on your
bbq. After this article was first published a reader contacted the West
Australian Government who assured them that the Federal Government had
told them, in writing, that DU was not being used in WA. The Federal
Government may in fact believe what it is saying, but given the photo
that appeared on the US Navy's own website, of DU shells being loaded
into a ship's gun in Shoalwater Bay (see http://www.c7f.navy.mil/ts05/photos.htm ,
scroll to near bottom of page), it beggars belief that they would not
be using DU in WA. After all, according to the Defence Department, DU
is perfectly safe. They test weapons that they use, and they certainly
use DU weapons.
to Leuren Moret, it is simply no longer possible to go to Afghanistan
or the Middle East without being contaminated. How long before that is
also true of Australia?
There are questions that need to be asked by everyone related to the integrity of our political leadership.
Does our government have our best interests in mind
when they sign up for bombardments on Australian soil and in Australian waters by DU tipped weaponry?
when they refuse to stipulate that no nuclear weapons are to be used on
our shores, and will they guarantee that our children will not grow up
breathing in DU nanoparticles?
when they sign up for Son of Star Wars , which will cost in excess of $50 billion? (To protect us from what? Who?)
our government have our best interests in mind when they decide to
sequester large tracts of land in the Northern Territory for eternity
for a nuclear dump, so the US and UK can dump their 'spent' nuclear
fuel and we can export more uranium?
they have our best interests at heart when they sign up for a de facto
[unshielded] nuclear dump under the guise of a joint bombing facility
in the Northern Territory?
is running the agenda that says that all of a sudden it is OK to talk
about new nuclear power stations as if nuclear power is an answer to
global warming? David Goodstein, professor of physics at the California
Institute of Technology (Caltech) said on ABC's Lateline in October
2004 that if nuclear power were to provide all of the energy that
fossil fuel currently provides there would be enough uranium for just
and GE build most of the nuclear power stations in the world, and also
happen to own significant stakes in most major media companies in the
US, which is largely why no real discussion will arise from the US on
this issue. Nuclear power becomes unviable if the cost of disposing of
the DU is factored in, which is why it is given to the Pentagon. Now
Australia wants to expand the number and size of its uranium mines to
sell to India and China (Who knows how they will dispose of their DU!).
Now Australia, thanks to John Howard, is talking seriously about
building power stations when our largest single electricity supplier,
the Snowy Mountains company, is running at 13% capacity! (SMH,24/5/06)
we need to do something. Research the internet, find out for yourself
what the DU debate is about. Do the research before you speak to anyone
so you know what you are talking about, as you will find that most
people will not want to believe that this is happening. The list of
websites supplied at the end of this article is by no means definitive,
but is a good place to start. Get in touch with any of the many groups
that have mobilised over this issue all over the world. Start your own
group. Do not let the size of the opposition and the scale of the
ignorance and unwillingness to know the truth that you will be
confronted with, convince you that you are helpless and cannot do
anything about DU. This is what they depend on .
your local politician, and do not accept anything that smells like a
brush-off. This may well be the most important thing you ever do.
Buy a copy and arrange a showing of the film Blowin' in the Wind
at your local cinema, and get your local community radio station to
broadcast talks, interviews and lectures like those available on
www.alternativeradio.org or www.traprockpeace.org and many other
you live or holiday near the affected areas, make lots of noise with
the local councillors and media. Be disobedient. Be seditious. Get the
use of DU weaponry stopped. It is nuclear weaponry.
out who provides the Public Liability insurance for the army, and does
that insurer know the risks associated with DU? Perhaps the way to stop
this is through the public liability requirements that the Australian
population is tied up with. Any insurance lawyers out there?
is our home that is being poisoned. It is our country. Demand that it
is respected and protected for our children and their children. History
will not forgive us if we stand by idly.
This article was first published in byronchild magazine, issue 17 (www.byronchild.com).
is a writer and publisher who believes that there is no longer time to
pretend that everything will be alright, and that all thinking and
feeling people need to unite in their hopes and dreams and reclaim the
earth and their birthright before it is too late. With wife Kali he
publishes byronchild and holds together the
technical aspect of the magazine. For a pdf version of this article for
photocopying and/or reprinting, email Alok at
Depleted uranium: Dirty bombs, dirty missiles, dirty bullets , by Leuren Moret
Depleted Uranium Shells, The Radioactive Weapons: Perpetuation of War Damage by Radiation (PDF) Prof. Katsuma Yagasaki Professor, University of the Ryukyus. www.uraniumweaponsconference.de/speakers.htm
Discussion on DU in Australian Senate, June 2003
Nuclear policy and Depleted Uranium: Testimony at the 28/6/2003
International War Crimes Tribunal on Afghanistan, by Leuren Moret
Depleted Uranium101, by Glen Lawrence. www.myweb.brooklyn.liu.edu/lawrence/duproject/cwpaper.htm
Shoalwater Bay Photos, US Navy website, http://www.c7f.navy.mil/ts05/index.htm
What you can do?
Dusk: Depleted uranium, Silent Killer
IDUST. International Depleted Uranium Study Team
Campaign Against Depleted Uranium (UK)
Sea Swap. Lancellin bombing, Western Australia, DU. www.seaswap.org
Irati Want. Site related to proposed nuclear dump in South Australia. www.iratiwanti.org/home.php3
Depleted Uranium Education Project
Depleted Uranium: Hysteria or health threat? Anti Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia website
WISE (World Information Service on Energy) Uranium Project.
Map of Uranium mines and facilities in Australia:
DVDs, radio interviews, talks
Blowin' In The Wind , DVD by David Bradbury, Peter Scott.
The Doctor, the Depleted Uranium and the Dying Children. German documentary exposes current radioactive warfare in Iraq
DU discussion with Leuren Moret and others, USA www.traprockpeace.org/WBAIDepletedUranium.mp3
Dr. Doug Rokke, USA
What does the US government know about DU? By Leuren Moret
Selected resources for Depleted Uranium information
Uranium: Origin, properties, and health consequences, One of many
articles/studies by Glen Lawrence, Department of Chemistry and
Biochemistry, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
The Depleted Uranium Project
Depleted uranium and health: Facts and helpful suggestions
'The Trail of a Bullet,' Christian Science Monitor . www.csmonitor.com/atcsmonitor/specials/uranium/
Heads roll at Veteran's Admin: Mushrooming DU scandal blamed, Bob Nichols, San Francisco Bay View, December 14, 2005.
DU FAQ. What the Pentagon has to say
Local troops victims of America's high tech weapons. Juan Gonzalez, New York Daily News , April 2, 2004.
Radioactive Wounds of War. Dave Lindorff, In These Times , August 25, 2005 www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2298/
'Where and how much depleted uranium has been fired?'
Uranium Weapons and Acute Post- War Health Effects: An IPPNW
(International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War)
American Free Press four-part series on DU by Christopher Bollyn.
- Part I: 'Depleted Uranium: US commits war crime against Iraq, humanity,'
- Part II: 'Cancer epidemic caused by US WMD: MD says depleted uranium definitively implicated'
- Part III: 'DU Syndrome stricken Vets denied care: Pentagon hides DU dangers to deny medical care to Vets',
- Part IV: Pentagon Brass suppresses truth about Toxic Weapons: poisonous uranium munitions threaten world,
Depleted Uranium: The Trojan Horse of Nuclear War. Leuren Moret: August 2004. World Affairs Journal.
Depleted Uranium resolution heats up - GI's will come home to a slow
death,' Carol Sterrit: August 2004 Coastal Post Online.
World Depleted Uranium Weapons Conference, Hamburg, Germany, October 16-19, 2004:
International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan. Written opinion of Judge Niloufer Baghwat:
Discounted Casualties: The human cost of Nuclear war. Series of articles. Akira Tashiro, foreword by Leuren Moret.
Depleted uranium may stop kidneys 'in days', Rob Edwards, NewScientist.com , March 12, 2002
The War Against Ourselves, Doug Rokke, YES! , Spring 2003. www.yesmagazine.com/article.asp?ID=594
Science or Science Fiction? Facts, myths and propaganda in the debate over depleted uranium weapons, Dan Fahey, March 12, 2003.
US Army Training Video: Depleted Uranium Hazard Awareness
Extreme birth deformities of Iraqi children (Warning: these photos may distress viewers)