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September 2000 - Return to Monthly Index          MiddleEast.Org 9/04/00
News, Information, & Analysis That Governments, Interest Groups, and the Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know! 
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MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 4 Sept:
   In addition to all the other lies, deceits, and manipulations, by the Americans, now the truth about the use of "depleted uranium" and it death effects is finally coming to the attention of the establishment press -- so far in the UK.
    This is a subject that anti-war groups have been speaking about for some time.  And the courageous former Attorney General of the United States, Ramsey Clark, years ago wrote a book about this subject, traveled the country speaking about it, and added the use of "depleted uranium" to his long list of American "war crimes" for which he concluded the U.S. should be held responsible.
   But the real human story about uranium poisoning and the misery and death it has spread is not this one focused on by the Sunday Times yesterday.
   The real story is what effect American use of "depleted uranium" has had on the people of Iraq.  Tens of thousands of persons there, at least, have been poisoned, and have died or are dying of various forms of cancers.  The American government bears responsibility for this.  The American government fired tens of thousands of "depleted uranium" shells during the Gulf War, then denied they were harmful, then tried to cover the whole thing up, and now refuses to do anything about it all.
   No only did the Americans do this and refuse responsibility for having done so; they continue to insist on genocidal sanctions against Iraq so that even basic medical treatments remain totally unavailable to the people the U.S. is in essence still murdering today.


    By Jonathon Carr-Brown and Martin Meissonnier

SUNDAY TIMES, 3 September 2000:
NEW evidence that Gulf war syndrome exists and was caused by radiation
poisoning will be revealed today by a former American army colonel who was at
the centre of his government's attempts to diagnose the illness. Dr Asaf
Durakovic will tell a conference of eminent nuclear scientists in Paris
that "tens of thousands" of British and American soldiers are dying
from radiation from depleted uranium (DU) shells fired during the Gulf war.

The findings will undermine the British and American governments' claims that
Gulf war syndrome does not exist and intensify pressure from veterans on both
sides of the Atlantic for compensation.

Durakovic, who is professor of nuclear medicine at Georgetown University,
Washington, and the former head of nuclear medicine at the US Army's
veterans' affairs medical facility in Delaware, will tell the conference that
he and his team of American and Canadian scientists have discovered
life-threateningly high levels of DU in Gulf veterans 10 years after the
desert war.

His findings, which have been verified by four independent experts, is
embarrassing for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and American Defence
Department, which have consistently refused to test Gulf war veterans for DU.

Durakovic will tell the European Association of Nuclear Medicine that tests
on 17 veterans have shown DU in the urine and bones of 70% of them.

Depleted uranium does not occur naturally. It is the by-product of the
industrial processing of waste from nuclear reactors and is better known as
weapons-grade uranium. It is used to strengthen the tips of shells to ensure
that they pierce armour.

Durakovic, who left America because he was told his life was in danger if he
continued his research, has concluded that troops inhaled the tiny uranium
particles after American and British forces fired more than 700,000 DU shells
during the conflict.

The finding begins to explain for the first time why medical orderlies and
mechanics are the principal victims of Gulf war syndrome.

British Army engineers who removed tanks hit by DU shells from the
battlefield and medical personnel who cut off the clothes of Iraqi casualties
in field hospitals have been disproportionately affected.

Once inside the body, DU causes a slow death from cancers, irreversible
kidney damage or wastage from immune deficiency disorders.

In the UK, where more than 400 veterans are estimated to have died from "Gulf
war syndrome", at least 50 of those victims came from Reme (Royal Electrical
and Mechanical Engineers) units. Others, such as Ray Bristow, 42, of Hull,
who was a theatre technician for 32 Field Hospital, are now wheelchair-bound.

Tests carried out by Durakovic on Bristow showed that, nine years after
leaving the Gulf, he had more than 100 times the safe limit of DU in his body.

Durakovic said: "I doubt whether the MoD or Pentagon will have the audacity
to challenge these results. I can't say this is the solitary cause of Gulf war
syndrome, but we now have clear evidence that it is a leading factor in
the majority of victims.

"I hope the US and UK governments finally realise that, by continuing to use
this ammunition, they are effectively poisoning their own soldiers."

An MoD spokesman said it would study any new evidence: "Our aim is to get the
best care for British veterans and our views are based on the best evidence

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