It is time for every responsible citizen to call on their respective government leaders to rid their war arsonals of Depleted Uranium Shells and Cluster Bombs.
Contact Info for Government Officials
Depleted Uranium Shells and Cluster Bombs are the true weapons of mass destruction. Combined, the USA and Great Britain have killed and maimed far more inocent people, women and children included, with Depleted Uranium and unexploded Cluster Bombs than Saddam killed with his chemical weapons.
Armor Piercing Shells
Depleted uranium is the low-level radioactive waste left over from manufacturing nuclear fuel and bombs. It is used in bullets and missiles by the United States, Britain, Russia and several other nations
Military experts regard DU as an almost magically effective material. DU is 1.7 times denser than lead, and when a weapon made with a DU tip or core strikes the side of a tank or bunker, it slices straight through and erupts in a burning radioactive cloud. In addition, armor made of DU appears to make tanks far less vulnerable on the battlefield.
During the Gulf War, U.S. airplanes and tanks fired off munitions containing 320 tons of DU. According to Iraqi health statistics, the country's recent increase in health problems has been concentrated in the same areas of the country that took the brunt of U.S. attacks: Baghdad, the southern port city of Basra, and the northern cities of Mosul and Kirkuk.
No similar problems are known to have occurred in Kuwait, where DU was also used, because such weapons were used mainly outside of population centers and because Kuwait carried out a comprehensive, well-funded postwar cleanup of spent munitions and combat wreckage.
Among children throughout Iraq, the number of cancer cases has risen five- fold since 1990, and congenital birth defects and leukemia have tripled, say government health officials. Overall cancer rates among all Iraqis have risen by 38 percent.
The real-time, worldwide use by the United States of radiological dirty bombs has moved well beyond the plotting and shooting stage, and has begun to produce dire consequences. Toxic, radioactive uranium-238 -- so-called depleted uranium -- used in munitions, missiles and tank armor may be responsible for deadly health consequences among U.S. and allied troops and populations in bombed areas, and has probably caused permanent radioactive contamination of large parts of Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and perhaps Afghanistan. Depleted uranium "penetrators" as they are called burn on impact and up to 70 percent of the DU is released (aerosolized) as toxic and radioactive dust that can be inhaled and ingested and later trapped in the lungs or kidneys.
Despite increasing evidence linking the material to degenerative health disorders, the British and American militaries steadfastly refuse to suspend their use of such weapons. On Aug. 16 of this year at the annual UN Human Rights Convention, a motion was tabled to ban the use of depleted-uranium munitions until a full-scale medical survey can be conducted. Britain and the U.S. were the only two countries to vote against the motion.
Although the United States continued to deny its armour-piercing shells made out of depleted uranium posed a threat, several Nato allies came close to accusing Washington of lying. "I have a healthy scepticism about munitions that can damage our own troops when they are fired," said the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder. "I don't consider it right to use such munitions."
Perhaps the deadliest weapon in NATO’s arsenal was depleted uranium (DU) reinforced missiles and bombs. Depleted uranium’s high density enables projectiles to easily penetrate armor and concrete targets. When DU weapons impact on their target, thousands of particles of uranium dust are released in a mist, and may be borne for miles by the wind.
Iraq has experienced a dramatic increase in child cancers, leukemia and birth defects in recent years. Wisam, Iraqi medical authorities and growing numbers of American activists cast blame on the U.S. weapons containing depleted uranium that were used in the 1991 Gulf War and in the 1998 missile attacks on Baghdad and other major cities. They also assert that such munitions -- which were also used by U.S. forces in Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia in far smaller quantities -- may be a cause of Gulf War diseases, elusive maladies that have affected 50,000 to 80,000 U.S. veterans of the 1991 conflict.
This year, amid charges that U.S. and NATO troops were sickened from exposure to depleted-uranium "tank-killer" munitions in the Persian Gulf War and the Balkans, the Pentagon revealed publicly that the bullets were made from contaminated metal. Although federal studies suggest that workers who made the recycled uranium metal may face heath risks, military officials insist that the contamination posed no threats in the finished military products.
Because uranium is about twice as heavy as lead, it has certain non-essential uses; for example, depleted uranium can be used in a counterweight in airplane gyroscopic systems. It can also be used as coating for ordinary bullets to make them much more penetrating, or to armor-plate tanks. The production of uranium-coated bullets is being actively pursued by several companies in Canada. Because depleted uranium is treated as a non-strategic material, it is much easier to acquire than highly enriched uranium or separated plutonium, or even reactor fuel.
US Dirty Bombs
Bush White House fooled most of the world's press with its unverified
claims of intercepting a "dirty bomb" attack against the U.S. On its front
page, USA Today barked: "US: 'Dirty Bomb' Plot Foiled." Newspapers
everywhere explained breathlessly what radioactive materials could do if
dispersed in populated areas. As Alex Cockburn reports in The Nation, when
the story faced some mild scrutiny, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul
Wolfowitz backed away from the propaganda saying, "I don't think there was
actually a plot beyond some fairly loose talk."
Uranium weapons may be the "Agent Orange of the 90's" because large numbers of people, friend and foe are being exposed to uranium oxide dust. We won't know for 20-30 years the full significance of that exposure, but by then it will be to late. Here are a few examples of that exposure:
Human Rights Watch has identified footage of the use of the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) by artillery units of the 3rd Infantry Division. This is a system that currently uses only submunition payloads. The 1st Battalion of the 39th Field Artillery Regiment of the division deploys at least eighteen MLRS launch units.
The standard M26 warhead for the MLRS contains 644 M77 individual submunitions (also called dual-purpose grenades). According to a Department of Defense report submitted to the U.S. Congress in February 2000, these submunitions have a failure rate of 16 percent. Thus, the typical volley of twelve MLRS rockets would likely result in more than 1,200 dud submunitions scattered randomly in a 120,000 to 240,000 square meter impact area.
At least eighty U.S. casualties during the 1991 Gulf War were attributed to cluster munition duds. More than 4,000 civilians were killed or injured by cluster munition duds after the end of the war.
Two U.S. Marines were killed in separate incidents on March 27 and 28 after stepping on unexploded cluster munitions delivered by artillery in southern Iraq.
"The United States should not be using these weapons," said Steve Goose, executive director of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch. "Iraqi civilians will be paying the price with their lives and limbs for many years."
"The United States must rapidly provide extensive information and warnings to civilian populations to protect them from cluster munition duds," said Goose. "The United States now bears a special responsibility to help clear these deadly remnants of war as quickly as possible."
Regardless of its type or purpose, dropped ordnance is dispensed or dropped from an aircraft. Dropped ordnance is divided into three subgroups: bombs; dispensers, which contain submunitions; and submunitions.
Persian Gulf: U.S. Cluster Bomb Duds A
Dangerous explosive duds from cluster munitions used by allied forces in the 1991 Persian Gulf War are still being found and destroyed in Kuwait at the startling rate of 200 per month, according to official documents obtained by Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch released a new briefing paper today warning against the use of cluster bombs in Iraq.
The number of civilians prey to unexploded cluster bombs is significantly higher than admitted by governments, including the British, which have consistently suppressed evidence about the weapon's military effectiveness, according to a devastating report published today.
Up to 14,000 unexploded weapons - the result of American cluster bombs - are scattered across Afghanistan, according to UN estimates disclosed yesterday by the international development secretary, Clare Short.
The bombs are dropped from airplanes or shot from cannon, sometimes over a wide area and releasing up to 150 bomblets activated by mid-air spinning. Bomblets not completing a sufficient number of revolutions will hit the ground without exploding, becoming "unexploded ordnance" (UXO) and a cause of injury and death to civilians, while impeding reconstruction and aid. Bombs landing on soft surfaces and in trees are another source of unexploded munitions. Statistics indicate that the bombs have a failure rate of 9 to 30 per cent.
GENEVA - The International Committee of the Red Cross called for a global moratorium on cluster bombs on Monday,
saying the weapon used by NATO forces in Kosovo had caused hundreds of
casualties in the Serbian province.
A group of villagers appeared at the U.N. mine removal offices in Herat the next morning, saying the soda can-sized devices littered their village.
In 2000, a new approach to the problem of persistent weapons was proposed when the Red Cross suggested that any weapon left unexploded and threatening in post-conflict environments could be captured by the phrase "explosive remnants of war" (ERW). They would comprise a broad category of weapons, including artillery shells, mortars, hand grenades, landmines, submunitions, and other ordnance. Might it be possible to build into the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) a new protocol restricting or banning – and clearing – anything whose lingering "effects" put civilians and communities at risk?
on Cluster Bomb Use, Manufacture, Sale and Transfer: The case for an immediate moratorium on the use of cluster munitions... Includes contact information for individuals or organizations who wish to support the moratorium.
We welcome the commitment of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) to address the problems caused by Explosive Remnants of War (ERW). Explosive remnants of war create serious environmental, economic, humanitarian and security concerns both domestically and in the international arena. We believe the United States can play a positive role in the discussions about ERW during the July meetings of the Group of Government Experts in Geneva, and urge consideration of the following approaches:
A charity is calling for Britain to help pay to clear
mines and unexploded bombs after the war in Iraq.
This info needs to be told;
I would like to hear from you
CONTROL THE WEAPONS TRADE Churches recognize that while weapons of war will unfortunately continue to be a feature of the international political system, churches must work to ensure that the distribution and acquisition of weapons are controlled and monitored through international regulatory systems in order to reduce the availability of the weapons that transform political and social conflict into war and violence.
U.S. soldiers have fallen to antipersonnel (AP) landmines in every American-fought conflict since World War II. Mines are friends to no one–they maim or kill upwards of 18,000 people each year, mostly innocent civilians. AP mines, most of them our own, were responsible for a third of U.S. casualties in the Vietnam Conflict and Gulf War.
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