Sample Letter

The Real Weapons Of Mass Destruction

      The USA and Britain have completed the main conflict in the war with Iraq, one of the principal resons for this incursion being the illimination of Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction.

      Iraq's chemical weapons, as inhumane as they were, are not the most widely used WMD. The real weapons of mass destruction are, Depleted Uranium Shells and Cluster Bombs. 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.

      The deadliest weapon in US and NATOís arsenal is depleted uranium (DU) reinforced missiles and bombs. Depleted uraniumís 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.

      During the Gulf War, U.S. airplanes and tanks fired off munitions containing 320 tons of DU. Among children throughout Iraq, the number of cancer cases has risen five- fold since 1990, and congenital birth defects and leukemia have tripled, according to Red Cross and Human Rights Watch officials. Overall cancer rates among all Iraqis have risen by 38 percent.

      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.

      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, 1996. 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.

      "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."

      Up to 14,000 unexploded weapons - the result of American cluster bombs - are scattered across Afghanistan, according to UN estimates disclosed by the International Development secretary, Clare Short, 2002.

      Our Government needs to strongly oppose the use of Depleted Uranium Shells and Cluster Bombs by Nato forces and to bring United Nations sanctions against the use of these incidious weapons.

      For more information, what these weapons are, why they are used and the long lasting effects of their use - The inhumanity of these Weapons of Mass Destruction can no longer be ignored.

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