Depleted Uranium: A Crime Against Wisdom
Wed, 11/14/2007 – 17:10 — treeoflife
The Issue of Depleted Uranium (DU) is extraordinarily important. Though it represents a clear threat to the health of all humanity, and all life forms on planet Earth, it also represents a clear debasement and loss of any moral or ethical standards by the U.S. and by the rest of the world in allowing DU to be used in warfare. Scientists, medical professionals, war veterans, active duty personnel, international lawyers and the global human community are calling for an awareness of this crisis and simply to stop the use of Depleted Uranium, in order to preserve life on the planet.
It is a crisis that is clearly greater than even cancer or HIV/AIDS. It is contributing to an awesome increase in all types of cancers, birth defects, and disease in people and plant and wildlife all over the world.
According to Geophysisist Leuren Moret, the equivalent of atomic bombs released by the use of DU in Iraq in 2003 is 400,000 Hiroshima bombs. We need to be clear that these DU particles have a half-life of 4.5 billion years. In other words, its effects will not blow away in a few years.
DU does not mean it is not radioactive. Depleted Uranium is 60% as radioactive as pure U-238 and it is 99.3% pure U-238, .7% U-235.
Upon impact, there is a tremendous amount of heat – up to 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit – which creates ceramic Depleted Uranium Oxide particles (DUO) which are small enough to be inhaled into the lungs, and light enough to travel in the upper levels of our atmosphere.
This is a global issue. The DU has been given to a variety of national armies, and it needs to be addressed on an international level. It is not about right or wrong in a limited sense. It is not even a political question. It is a question of common sense. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We can have a future of nonviolence, or a future of nonexistence.” Depleted Uranium, as we will see in a moment, is a future that can take us into nonexistence.
In 1991, an estimated 375 tons of Depleted Uranium were dumped on Iraq, and approximately 2200 tons were dumped in the war in 2003. According to geiger counter readings in four different sites, the radiation levels were between one and two thousand times higher than normal background radiation. Millions of Iraqis have been affected. Of the 697,000 American troops that were there in 1991, about half of them have since reported serious medical problems and significant increases in birth defects in their newborn children. For perspective, in Vietnam, about 10% of veterans reported problems, and in WWII about 3% reported, and now we are looking at 50%. About 1/3rd of the Iraq vets – 230,000 people – are on Veterans Administration (VA) Disability. That is a huge increase over previous wars.
What we are looking at is something beyond the imagination. DU has been blamed on the health level for the effects of the Gulf War Syndrome, including chronic muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and memory loss among at least 200,000 soldiers. Cancer in Iraq, according to a UN Subcommission, seems to have increased between 7 and 10 times, and deformities, or congenital defects between 4 and 6 times expected levels of the norm. A United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority report said up to 500,000 people would die before the end of the century due to radioactive debris left behind in the desert. The use of Depleted Uranium has lead to birth defects in the children of our veterans, and it is believed to be a cause of anophtalmos, meaning babies born without eyes. The usual rate for this is one in fifty million births. In Baghdad, they had eight cases in just two years.
A study of 251 Gulf War Veterans from Mississippi conducted by the Veterans Administration showed that 67% of veterans had children with severe illnesses, missing eyes, blood infections, respiratory problems, and fused fingers. This is very significant data. Their babies were born after the war – they were deemed to have severe defects. The newborns had missing: brains, arms, eyes, organs. . . they had blood diseases. The Gulf War Veterans came back with DU in their clothing, bodies, and semen. These were people who had “normal” babies before they went over there – now they are running 67% birth defects. The DU is in their semen, and when they have intercourse they are infecting their mates, as well.
There is a tremendous amount of research throughout the world. It took us 30 years to prove that lung cancers were related to smoking, we seem to have the same kind of denial going on with the use of DU. The Army is in a difficult place because DU is an incredible weapon – it is a superior weapon for destroying an enemy’s tanks and society. DU is the most devastating weapon we have. Unfortunately, it is another form of nuclear warfare. According to Dr. Caldell from Australia, Leuren Moret, a Geoscientist who works almost around the clock educating citizens about this issue, has one of the best bio-physics and humanitarian understanding of the issue. She is talking about the genetic future of humanity, which is at risk from the use of DU. She points out that vast regions around the world, as well as in our atmosphere are contaminated with DU. She makes the point that within four days, DU is already in the United States, carried by the winds and dust storms from the Sahara Desert, coming across in the hurricanes, dropping more intensively in Florida, Texas, and the East Coast of the US, but impacts the entire planet. Moret is an expert in atmospheric dust. These dust storms are millions of square miles and transport millions of tons of sand dust around the world.
There is a creeping awareness that something ANTI-HUMAN AND POWERFULLY DELETERIOUS TO ALL LIFE ON THE PLANET is going on. Even the World Health Organization in 2003 said that they expect the global cancer rates to increase 50% by the year 2020. The infant mortality, which began to go down when they had a nuclear test ban in 1963, is now rising around the world. This is an indicator of radioactive pollution.
Our Veterans are particularly affected by Depleted Uranium. The use of DU in Iraq is not a isolated issue. The UN used it in the Balkans; it is a problem in Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as well. These are the kinds of things that the reports are bringing back, though much of this information has been suppressed. If you were in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, you might be coming home with rectal cancer from sitting on DU ammunition boxes. The young women are reporting problems with endometriosis, which is the lining of the uterus not functioning right; 18-19 year olds are coming back from the Middle East with uterine cancer. . . the problem is that they are not being diagnosed, so this information is not showing up in the official military records. There is a group of 20 soldiers that fought from Kuwait to Baghdad in 2003 all fighting on the ground – eight of them now have malignancies – a very high figure for people in their 20s and 30s. The mental state is also affected. DU Oxides, created at high temperatures, are insoluble and 100 times smaller than a white blood cell. The soldiers breathe in these particles through the nose into the olfactory and these particles go to the brain, affecting cognitive and other levels of brain function. There is significant supporting research on this, but for our purposes here we are trying to keep this simple, but there is a particular physiology that is being affected. It damages the mood control mechanism in the brain.
The effect on the brain was studied by the World Health Organization (WHO), and they published a survey in the Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA) which was very interesting. They could see the variation on the effect of mental functioning. In Japan it was 8.8 percent; in Nigeria, 4.7 percent; Ukraine (where they had Chernobyl) 20.4 percent; Spain 9.2 percent; Italy 8.2 percent; France (where there is 75 percent reliance on nuclear power) 18.4 percent; Mexico 12.2%; the United States 26.2 percent – the highest. We have to remember that we have done a lot of nuclear testing in the U.S. and we are paying the price.
We are looking at a threat to the whole world population, that includes all living systems: the plants, the animals, the bacteria. . . everything is being affected. It is in the air, the water, and the soil. It comes across not only in hurricanes, but in what we call the stratosphere—such as where the spacecraft go. DU has been found on the surface of spacecraft. So it’s a little bit different than the upper atmosphere. We can call it the lower-orbital space. It is coming across very high up and then comes down in the rains.
In the U.S., water and milk have 15 times the amount of DU that vegetables do. Animals concentrate the DU in their cells at 30 times the level of their environment. It is imperative that we consider whether we want to consume flesh food in the light of this reality.
Depleted Uranium is used by a variety of countries – about 17 at this point. These countries are CURRENTLY using/stockpiling DU weaponry: U.S., Great Britain, France, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Turkey, and Kuwait. So it is not a small thing. Helen Caldicott has said, “Never in my wildest dreams did I think that the U.S. would be donating nuclear shells to poison it own soldiers and surrounding several civilian populations with radioactivity.”
In 1996 the UN passed a resolution specifically about DU, that DU weapons are Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). They are illegal under all international laws and treaties, and the European Parliament in 2001 passed a resolution against DU, and that resolution was actually the result of the use of DU by NATO in Bosnia. NATO and peace personnel had much higher rates of leukemia as a result.
At this moment, the countries of Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan are radiologically/radioactively uninhabitable due to the military application of these nuclear weapons. The amount of birth defects in Iraq has distinctly increased, based on data from a variety of studies by Iraqi physicians. What we are dealing with is a high level denial, even though we are getting very powerful data, particularly from Iraq. In Bastra, after Gulf War I, there was maybe one baby a week born with birth defects, now it is 10-12 a day. There have been International Conferences where they have reported their data, such as the World Uranium Weapons Conference at the University of Hamburg, Germany in October, 2003. After Gulf War I, the frequency of cancer cases increased five-fold, with lung, leukemia, breast, skin, lymphoma, and liver cancer cases being the biggest. Solid tumors were more frequent. Before the War the prevalence of cancer diseases in decreasing order was:
After Gulf War I by 1998 the order became:
But there was a sharp increase in most types of cancers. Lung was a five-fold increase and now we are looking at possibly a six-fold increase in the U.S. this year (2006). Lymphoma is four-fold, breast was six-fold, larynx was four-fold, and skin was an eleven-fold increase in cancer. Among the less common cancers the incidence was sharper: uterine cancer ten-fold; colon six-fold; hypernephroma (kidney) seven-fold; malignant myeloma (bone cancer), sixteen-fold; liver, eleven-fold; ovary, sixteen-fold; perinatal tumor twenty times greater. These are horrendous statistics.
The results clearly show a change in the pattern of different types of cancer as well as the increasing cancer rates. What we need to also understand is that these rates come on very specifically, such as four years later you have an increase in leukemia which is typical of what you would see with radiation exposure. You have an increase in still births, congenital abnormalities, and infertility. The still births increased 190%. Congenital abnormalities 520%; infertility 570%. The same kind of results are being reported in Bosnia.
If we look further, basically a planetary problem we start to look at some other studies that are going on. In Iraq, looking at some of the epidemiologies of the Iraq doctors, what we are seeing is basically an incredible ten-fold average increase in all cancers, including:
* Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
In Italy, the Italian/Kosovo Study showed that although the normal risk for leukemia is 1.5 deaths per 100,000, that according to the Royal Society the Italian/Portuguese Peacekeepers had up to 42 leukemia deaths per 100,000 – a significant increase from 1.5. This is what got people so upset in Europe over the use of Depleted Uranium, and why the European community has voted against the use of DU weaponry.
In 1997-98 the Balkan medias reported a dramatic increase of leukemia and other cancer development within the population of Srpska as well as an increase in malformations.
So again, not just Iraq, but in the Balkans we are having this kind of thing. Cows in this region showed reduced and bloody milk production, and in other cows their production stopped completely. In several cases, calves had malformations – born without skin, missing claws and tongues – similar levels of defects to what we are seeing in the human population all over the world.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that DU has an effect on the shape of chromosomes in terms of increase of [sister-chromated exchange].
People from all over the world have expressed concern. The Gulf War Syndrome is a result of a kind of political non-thinking as Henry Kissenger put it succinctly: “Military men are just dumb. Stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.” Kissenger’s position is one of total moral bankruptcy.
This is what we are facing. The Gulf War Syndrome includes chronic fatigue, headache, rashes, joint pain, muscle pain nerve damage, neurological damage, kidney damage, cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease, multiple cancers, autoimmune deficiencies, fevers and night sweats, fluid build-up, sleep disturbances, abnormal births and birth defects, menstrual problems, reduced IQ, confusion, memory loss, blood in stools, Epstein-Barr Syndrome, genetic alternations, sinus diseases, loss of smell, unusual hair loss, chemical sensitivities, asthma, and vision problems – just to name a small portion.
This is very, very serious, and we need to look deeply and investigate: why are people doing it, and is this even legal, using the perspective of International Law and the international legal community.
The biggest concern when we look at the Depleted uranium issue – and the use of atomic energy in general is that this affects every single living thing on the planet. The genome for the entire planet for all humanity – potentially for all time – is being affected by DU. We are still arguing about whether or not nuclear radioactivity causes a problem. There was a study done in the U.S. that if you are within 100 miles of a nuclear plant – and we have 110 nuclear plants in the US (the most of any country in the world) – they found, according to the Center for Disease Control on Breast Cancer Deaths between 1985 and 1989, that anyone within 100 miles of a nuclear plants is where two-thirds of all breast cancer deaths occurred in the U.S. DU is adding insult to that injury.
Other high-radiation places that we should be concerned about are Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico; the Idaho Nuclear Engineering Lab in Idaho; and Hanford in Washington State, where Plutonium is used. Some people feel they have contaminated the entire Columbia River Watershed – almost the entire state of Washington.
So the immediate effects of this exposure is a metallic taste in the mouth. Our soldiers are experiencing: muscle aches, loss of energy, incontinence, destruction of the neuromuscular system. As the Uranium decays it turns into other radioactive isotopes. Teeth start to fall apart because the Uranium competes with calcium. It is an extraordinary problem and they say there is no treatment, but I think there is. And for certain there is prevention. Stop using DU. Let us look at the problem a little bit more, and take a look at what needs to happen.
On a psycho-spiritual level the cause of the problem is EGO. Ego takes us into the very darkest regions of the causes of war, which we can call greed, profit, racism, religious injustice, ethnocentrism, etc. But now we have taken things to a new level, because we are at this point finding that the EGO has become a planetary parasite that threatens to kill and destroy a whole world. Fortunately, some are working at the International level to fight this planetary parasite. One is Karen Parker.
Work by Karen Parker in the U.S. perhaps most clearly elucidates the illegality of Depleted uranium. Many attorneys all over the world have done excellent work on this issue, but her approach is explicit. Parker states, “The use of DU would necessarily constitute grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of humanitarian armed conflict.” The presentation of the 1996 Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights (The Commission at the August 1996 Session of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention, Discrimination, and Protection of Minorities,” now renamed as the UN Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, focused on the US DU weaponry of the first Gulf War.
As it unfolds, we have to address why these weapons are illegal. According to Karen Parker, A weapon is made illegal two ways:
(1) by adoption of a specific treaty banning it; and (2) because it may not be used without violating the existing law and customs of war. A weapon made illegal only because there is a specific treaty banning it is only illegal for countries that ratify such a treaty. A weapon that is illegal by operation of existing law is illegal for all countries. This is true even if there is also a treaty on this weapon and a country has not ratified that treaty. As there is no specific treaty banning depleted uranium weapons, its illegality must be established the second way.
The laws and customs of war (humanitarian law) includes all treaties governing military operations, weapons and protection of victims of war as well as all customary international law on these subjects. In other words, in evaluating whether a particular weapon is legal or illegal when there is not a specific treaty, the whole of humanitarian law must be consulted.
There are four rules derived from the whole of humanitarian law regarding weapons:
(1) Weapons may only be used in the legal field of battle, defined as legal military targets of the enemy in the war. Weapons may not have an adverse effect off the legal field of battle. (The “territorial” test).
(2) Weapons can only be used for the duration of an armed conflict. A weapon that is used or continues to act after the war is over violates this criterion. (The “temporal” test).
(3) Weapons may not be unduly inhumane. (The “humaneness” test). The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 use the terms “unnecessary suffering” and ”superfluous injury” for this concept.
(4) Weapons may not have an unduly negative effect on the natural environment. (The “environmental” test).
DU weaponry fails all four tests. (1) It cannot be “contained” to legal fields of battle and thus fails the territorial test. Instead the DU is airborn far a-field of legal targets to illegal (civilian) targets: hospitals, schools, civilian dwellings and even neighboring countries with which the user is not at war. (2) It cannot be “turned off” when the war is over. Instead, DU weaponry continues to act after hostilities are over and thus fail the temporal test. Even with rigorous clean-up of war zones, the air-born particles have a half life of billions of years and have potential to keep killing and injuring former combatants and noncombatants long after the war is over. (3) It is inhumane and thus fails the humaneness test. DU weaponry is inhumane because of how it can kill—by cancer, kidney disease, etc.—and long after the hostilities are over when the killing must stop. DU is inhumane because it can cause birth (genetic) defects such as cranial facial anomalies, missing limbs, grossly deformed and non-viable infants and the like. It effects children who may never be a military target and who are born after the war is over. The tetragenic nature of DU weapons and the possible burdening of the gene pool of future generations raise the possibility that the use of DU weaponry is genocide. (4) It cannot be used without unduly damaging the natural environment and thus fails the environment test. Damage to the natural environment includes contamination of water and agricultural land necessary for the subsistence of the civilian population far beyond the lifetime of that population. Clean up is an inexact science and, in any case, extremely expensive—far beyond the ability of a poor country to pay for.
One of the more useful provisions of treaty-based humanitarian law is the “Martens Clause” to the Hague Convention of 1907 that is repeated in subsequent humanitarian law treaties. The Marten’s Clause provides that in situations where there is not a specific treaty provision (which is the case with DU), the international community is nonetheless bound by “the rules of the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity and the dictates of the public conscience.” There is a huge anti-DU international effort from a wide array of groups representing every facet of civil society. The existence of the anti-DU network is legally relevant to the finding that DU is illegal, and buttresses arguments that use of DU weaponry is a war crime or crime against humanity and may play a decisive role in stopping proliferation of these weapons.
What has happened to our civilization? Have we lost contact with the meaning of life, or what is means to be a human being? Have we lost contact with the basic laws of human interaction. Are we willing to take responsibility to turn this around? Do we want to turn this situation from a lose-lose situation to an inspiration to shift world consciousness so that we are not destroying the planet?
We do have some ways to do this. I hope in time, depending on funding, we should be able to start certain programs to clean up the environment of radioactivity. Such things are available and will be discussed when we put them into action. In the meantime we have discussed some preventatives. One of the simplest and least expensive is Natural Cellular Defense (NCD), used in Chernobyl. In over 40 people examined at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center , 39 of the 40 had DU in brain, breast and liver, and in one week in our detox fasting spiritual program, 99 percent of the participants were DU-free. But this will not solve the root cause of the problem, which is the ego that leads us to crimes against wisdom as it manifests in use of DU in war and use of radiological and nuclear weapons. Depleted Uranium is a Nuclear Weapon.
Below is a series of some organizations that you can contact to raise the consciousness and bring this to a reality. The work must be done at the governmental level, including national and international at the UN. This letter is to strongly encourage you, as people who care more than just about your personal health – but for the soul of the planet – to take action.
Peace be with you, and the whole living planet.
APPENDIX 1: AN INTERNATIONAL APPEAL
This is a draft by former United Nations Attorney General Ramsey Clark: “An International Appeal to Ban the Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons”:
“Depleted Uranium Weapons are an unacceptable threat to life, a violation of International Law, and an assault on human dignity. To safeguard the future of humanity, we call for an unconditional International Ban forbidding: research, manufacture, testing, transportation, possession, and use of DU for military purposes. In addition, we call for the immediate isolation and containment of all DU weapons and wastes, through classification of DU as a radioactive and hazardous substance, the cleanup of existing DU contaminated areas, comprehensive efforts to prevent human exposure, and medical care for those who have been exposed.”
This is an eloquent and very clear statement of what must happen. It has the moral, physical, and spiritual aspects that reinstate our dignity as human beings and as a part of the intelligent cosmos and expression of God at its highest level.
APPENDIX 2: ORGANIZATIONS TO CONTACT
The International Action Center: Depleted Uranium Education Project
Action Guide: http://www.iacenter.org/images/du_snafu.pdf
The Traprock Peace Center
World Uranium Weapons Conference Website: http://www.traprockpeace.org/depleted_uranium_hamburg03.html
Action Guide: http://traprockpeace.org/award_winning_du_film.html#actions
103A Keets Road
Deerfield, MA 01342
Military Toxics Project
The mission of the Military Toxics Project is to unite activists, organizations, and communities in the struggle against military pollution, to assure it’s clean up, to limit the transport of hazardous materials, and to advance the development and implementation of preventative solutions to the toxic and radioactive pollution caused by military activities. The MTP mission is based on mutual respect and justice for all peoples, free from any form of discrimination or bias.
The purpose of the Military Toxics Project is to provide information, education, networking and organizing resources. MTP serves as a bridge and facilitator for organizations concerned with military pollution issues. MTP fosters a relationship of mutual respect and support with its members, networks, and collegiate campaigns around the country. MTP works to assist local communities, not for them but with them. MTP activities focus on both service and organizing efforts. MTP helps member organizations and networks to project their individual voices nationally and internationally.
MTP has been organizing around depleted uranium issues since 1993, when it formed the Depleted Uranium Citizens Network and released “Uranium Battlefields at Home and Abroad”, a report by network members Rural Alliance for Military Accountability, Citizen Alert, and Progressive Alliance for Community Empowerment. MTP organized the first international conference on DU munitions, which brought together community activists, military veterans, and technical experts opposed to the use of depleted uranium weapons. MTP has produced a variety of other reports and fact sheets on DU, supported scientific research into the health effects of DU, and founded an email discussion list about DU that serves over 150 activists in two dozen countries. MTP is a founding member of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons, and continues to support local organizing around DU and network local organizations who want to work together to oppose DU on the national and international levels.
Please visit www.miltoxproj.org
P.O. Box 558
Lewiston, ME 04243
Researched and Edited by Tree of Life Vegan/Live Food Nutrition Masters Graduate David Rainoshek (www.nutrientdensenutrition.com). For more on the Masters Program in Vegan and Live Food Nutrition, and all Educational Programs at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, visit http://www.treeoflife.nu/education.html.
For full documentation of this conference: http://www.traprockpeace.org/depleted_uranium_hamburg03.html
Source: The Trojan Horses of Nuclear War, http://www.traprockpeace.org/depleted_uranium_hamburg03.html
The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center can be found online: www.treeoflife.nu
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