Monday, August 14, 2006

"Depleted" Uranium and Sick Veterans

In a story AP writer Deborah Hastings describes the results of exposure to so-called Depleted Uranium among the troops in the field:

It takes at least 10 minutes and a large glass of orange juice to wash down all the pills morphine, methadone, a muscle relaxant, an antidepressant, a stool softener. Viagra for sexual dysfunction. Valium for his nerves.

Four hours later, Herbert Reed will swallow another 15 mg of morphine to cut the pain clenching every part of his body. He will do it twice more before the day is done.

Since he left a bombed-out train depot in Iraq, his gums bleed. There is more blood in his urine, and still more in his stool. Bright light hurts his eyes. A tumor has been removed from his thyroid. Rashes erupt everywhere, itching so badly they seem to live inside his skin. Migraines cleave his skull. His joints ache, grating like door hinges in need of oil.
Read the whole sordid tale and prepare yourself for anger, frustration and disbelief.

A different kind of disbelief than Herbert Reed has faced when he's tried to hold his government -- our government -- accountable for the poisoning of America's troops.

"Depleted" uranium is anything but. It still holds 60% of its original radioactivity, and it's used not only in artillery shells but also in tank armor. On impact it explodes into zillions of microscopic fragments and creates a cloud of toxic dust with a half-life of 4.5 BILLION years.

And we're not only poisoning our own troops, but we are also leaving this radioactive cloud behind us, our legacy to Iraq. Our legacy to generations of Iraqi children yet unborn.

It's a war crime, and somebody needs to be held accountable for it.

10 Comments:

spadoman said...

Farnsworth.... posted on another blog my pride in proclaiming that my spouse of 35 years has been protesting and peacefully marching at Alliant Technologies in Edina, MN, the place that makes these DU weapons.

Read more here:

http://betblue.blogspot.com/

The blog is called "Lifes Journey". The post is entitled:

supporting the troops the american way

Good heads up on the new Agent Orange. Too bad it makes AO look like a candy bar by comparison.

Anonymous said...

Go here, read this, be advised.

The people responsible for this are criminals...

http://www.robert-fisk.com/depleted_uranium_links.htm

Roger Helbig said...

Farnworth - you and your wife have a lot to learn. You both are doing Saddam Hussein's bidding after he has been moldering in his grave. I hope that you will write me because I have a been digging out the difference between scientific fact and speculative science fiction about DU for over five years. I have found very few truth tellers, especially on the net and unfortunately, you have succumbed to the liars. DUStory-owner@yahoogroups.com

Roger Helbig said...

I misunderstood Spadoman's brag about his wife doing the protesting - sorry about that.

Roger Helbig said...

The only criminals are those who lie about DU and mislead America's veterans and their families, hoping to get them to send them money. DU use never was a crime by any standard, international or otherwise. The liars, though, make a very convincing case and political writers like Fisk are easily duped because it looks politically correct.

Farnsworth68 said...

Thanks, Roger. All viewpoints are welcome and I agree that there is some lingering controversy over the health effects of DU.
They told us in Vietnam that Agent Orange was not harmful to humans either...

Roger Helbig said...

Farnsworth,

I much would prefer to contact you directly. You are buying the "new Agent Orange" claim without any facts to support it. Agent Orange is a man-made chemical; no human being has any naturally occuring Agent Orange or dioxin in their body. Every human being on Earth and all other animals as well has naturally occuring Uranium-238 (aka DU)in their body every day of their lives and ingests an infinitessimally tiny amount every day of that life as well. The DU used in wartime is most lying out there undisturbed. The only part that has turned to dense, heavy dust that falls quickly to the ground and remains there, is that which spalls off and ignites when a kinetic energy penetrator hits an armored target. DU penetrators have even pretty much passed through light armored vehicles like the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and remained intact on the desert floor some distance past the point of impact. The most commonly fired penetrator, the A-10 30mm round, is completely shrouded in aluminum and UN teams found many of these completely intact seven years after they had been fired in Bosnia-Herzegovina. See page 32 of the UNEP Report at http://postconflict.unep.ch/publications/BiH_DU_report.pdf or write me and I will send you a copy of the page with the photo. DUStory-owner@yahoogroups.com

Farnsworth68 said...

Uh, no thanks on the personal contact.
I prefer not to interact with the external world other than through my blog...

Roger Helbig said...

At least you do not moderate out dissident views, but through direct contact (other readers please, do write) we can exchange documents and photos even videos (but I am mainly a documents type person)-

The following does not sound like the AP reporter's writing - is this your personal commentary or what?

"Depleted" uranium is anything but. It still holds 60% of its original radioactivity, and it's used not only in artillery shells but also in tank armor. On impact it explodes into zillions of microscopic fragments and creates a cloud of toxic dust with a half-life of 4.5 BILLION years."

"Zillions" does not sound like it is out of the AP style book - it is a cartoon like word, not particulary descriptive. DU is not used in artillery shells (any time that you see a photo of an artilley piece with a DU article, you know that the writer has not done their homework) - DU kinetic energy penetrators are not shells. A shell is hollow and contains explosive. Penetrators are small diameter metal rods fired at very high speed out of tank and aircraft cannon. Dust is created when a penetrator hits an armored target (most of the tank fired ones were direct one-shot hits, but the A-10 fired ones generally missed since they were fired in short high speed bursts as the aircraft passed over the target on its strafing run. No, there are no DU bombs either and the proper term is strafing, not bombing. There is a big difference because bombs explode and penetrators do not. Penetrators shed tiny particles of uranium at impact and those particles do spontaneously burn in air; most of the penetrator, though, continues to pass through the target, is not burned and does not become dust. The dust also does not travel very far. The IAEA even deliberately blew DU laden sand high into the air and measured how far the DU travelled. The furthest was about 100 meters (I believe that the bulk were within 25 meters). You can read their report here http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1164_web.pdf . Don't pass on the myths that began with Saddam Hussein; learn the facts and then you will realize that DU is just another bullet, no more, no less and all bullets are hazardous. DUStory-owner@yahoogroups.com

Roger Helbig said...

PS - all pissed off veterans who care about today's soldiers and their families should read the book "Fiasco" - it is not a pretty story, but it is an essential read.