War crimes : DU : the horrible reality


Richard Moore



   "Unborn children of the region [are] being asked to pay the
    highest price, the integrity of their DNA."
    - Ross B. Mirkarimi, The Arms Control Research Centre, from
    his report: 'The Environmental and Human Health Impacts of 
    the Gulf Region with Special Reference to Iraq.' May 1992


I have recently received large numbers of photographs of 
horrendous birth deformities that are being experienced in
Iraq. I have not, quite frankly, ever seen anything like them.
I urge you to copy this page / these pictures and circulate
them as widely as possible.

In an act of stark cruelty, the US dominated Sanctions
Committee refuses to permit Iraq to import the clean-up
equipment that they desperately need to decontaminate their
country of the Depleted Uranium ammunition that the US fired
at them. Approximately 315 tons of DU dust was left by the use
of this ammunition.The Sanctions Committee also refuses to
allow the mass importation of anti-cancer treatments, which
contain trace amounts of radio-isotopes, on the grounds that
these constitute '...nuclear materials..'

The majority of the pictures were supplied to me by a source
who prefers to remain anonymous at the current time. I was
unable to acquire either original negatives, or prints from
negatives. They arrived in the form of colour A4 copies. I
scanned them into Photoshop and attempted to clean and sharpen
them as best I could. There has not , and I repeat not , been
any digital alteration other than the cleaning and sharpening
process. No text documentation arrived with the pictures, so I
have described them as accurately as I can. It is my
understanding that the photographs were taken from 1998
onwards. I would be grateful to anyone who could potentially
supply me with further information about these types of
deformities; medical terms for them, etc.

Additional pictures were taken by Dr. Siegwart Horst-Gunther,
President of the International Yellow Cross. Most appeared in
AHRIMAN - Verlag, ISBN: 3-89484-805-7). The book is a
documentary record of DU ammunition after-effects, and they
were taken between 1993 and 1995. Dr. Gunther also supplied me
with additional photographs from his unpublished collection,
some of which feature the birth deformities being experienced
by Western Gulf war veterans' children. I have asked Dr.
Gunther's permission for his pictures to be treated as 'Public
Domain' and copyright free. He has agreed and you may
reproduce them as you see fit.

Both the Pentagon and the British Ministry of Defence
officially deny that there is any significant danger from
exposure to DU ammunition. And whilst it is conceivable that
the US led attacks on Iraq's nuclear power stations could be a
contributory factor, most reseachers point to DU as the most
likely source of both deformities and cancers. The rising
number of cases in Iraq, particularly in the South where the
greatest concentration of DU was fired, is simply staggering.
Iraqi physicians have never encountered anything like it, and
have made the perfectly reasonable point that similar
increases in cancer and deformities were experienced in Japan
after the two US atomic bomb attacks. Cancer has increased
between 7 and 10 fold; deformities between 4 and 6 fold.

Yet the US was well aware of the potential effects on
civilians and military personnel of the chemical toxicity and
radiological properties of DU ammunition long before the Gulf
war began, as the following excerpts of a US Army document
categorically state:

"Aerosol DU (Depleted Uranium) exposures to soldiers on the
battlefield could be significant with potential radiological
and toxicological effects. [...] Under combat conditions, the
most exposed individuals are probably ground troops that
re-enter a battlefield following the exchange of
armour-piercing munitions. [...] We are simply highlighting
the potential for levels of DU exposure to military personnel
during combat that would be unacceptable during peacetime
operations. [...DU is..]... a low level alpha radiation
emitter which is linked to cancer when exposures are internal,
[and] chemical toxicity causing kidney damage. [...] Short
term effects of high doses can result in death, while long
term effects of low doses have been linked to cancer. [...]
Our conclusion regarding the health and environmental
acceptability of DU penetrators assume both controlled use and
the presence of excellent health physics management practices.
Combat conditions will lead to the uncontrolled release of DU.
[...] The conditions of the battlefield, and the long term
health risks to natives and combat veterans may become issues
in the acceptability of the continued use of DU kinetic
penetrators for military applications."

- Excerpts from the July 1990 Science and Applications
International Corporation report: ' Kinetic Energy Penetrator
Environment and Health Considerations', as included in Appenix
D - US Army Armaments, Munitions and Chemical Command report:
'Kinetic Energy Penetrator Long Term Strategy Study, July

The US was also well aware of the long-term dangers of DU
contamination, and played it down, as the following memo and
document make clear:
    "There has been and continues to be a concern regarding the
    impact of DU on the environment. Therefore, if no-one makes a
    case for the effectiveness of DU on the battlefield, DU rounds
    may become politically unacceptable and thus be deleted from
    the arsenal. I believe we should keep this sensitive issue in
    mind when action reports are written."
    - Lt. Col. M.V. Ziehmn, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    memorandum, March 1st 1991

"Soldiers may be incidentally exposed to DU from dust and
smoke on the battlefield. The Army Surgeon General has
determined that it is unlikely that these soldiers will
receive a significant internal DU exposure. Medical follow-up
is not warranted for soldiers who experience incidental
exposure from dust or smoke. [...] Since DU weapons are openly
available on the world arms market, DU weapons will be used in
future conflicts. The number of DU patients on future
battlefields probably will be significantly higher because
other countries will use systems containing DU. [...] DU is a
low-level radioactive waste, and, therefore, must be disposed
of in a licensed repository. [...] No international law,
treaty, regulation, or custom requires the United States to
remediate the Persian Gulf war battlefields."
- Report by the US Army Environmental Policy Institute:
'Health and Consequences of Depleted Uranium use in the US
army', June 1995

DU ammunition is now possessed by more than 12 countries, and
was used during the NATO led bombing of the former Yugoslavia.
Western forces stationed in the region have recently been
advised not to drink the local water or eat locally produced
food. Yet the British MoD continues to deny any potential
risks, stating: "We have not seen any peer-reviewed
epidemiological research data to support these claims [that DU
is dangerous.] [...] There are no plans to remove DU-based
ammunition from service." (Source: Two letters to me from
Simon Wren, Overseas Secretariat, Ministry of Defence,
Whitehall, London - 20th May 1999, and 22nd March 2000)

On a more personal level, I have heard stories of visitors to
Iraq who spoke with mid-wives there. These mid-wives are
purported to have said they no longer look forward to births
as.... "We don't know what's going to come out."

The pictures below, which are extremely disturbing, show
exactly what does:


"Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World"

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