Uranium Weapons: Does anyone care about our planet? - I
by Peter Eyre on 07 Sep 2009 0 Comment

The majority of high tech weapons today contain Depleted Uranium and or other Heavy Metals. Some are coated in DU and others have both DU and Heavy Metal in their warheads. DU is also used to act as a counterweight. 

Both DU and heavy metals have the ability to kill indiscriminately subject to how such weapons are used and if those weapons are used in densely populated areas. In the case of the latter and in the context of the Geneva Convention, it would be illegal to use such weapons on areas of population such as Lebanon and Gaza. 

The National Academy of Sciences in their BEIR VII report regarding low level radiation, states there “is no safe level of exposure”. The report also finally admits that very low levels are more harmful per unit of radiation than higher levels of exposure; also know as the “supra-linear” effect. 

The European Parliament has expressed grave concerns on the use of such weapons and has called on “all EU Member States and NATO countries to maintain or work towards the imposition of a ban on the use of (depleted) uranium in conventional ammunition and systematically to halt production and procurement of this type of weaponry”.  The Parliament has highlighted several serious health concerns about the use of depleted uranium weapons:

A) Depleted uranium has been widely used in modern warfare, both as ammunition against hardened targets in rural and urban environments and as hardened armoured protection against missile and artillery attacks,

B) Ever since its use by the allied forces in the first war against Iraq, there have been serious concerns about the radiological and chemical toxicity of the fine uranium particles produced when such weapons impact on hard targets; whereas concerns have also been expressed about the contamination of soil and groundwater by expended rounds that have missed their targets and their implications for civilian populations,

C) Despite the fact that scientific research has so far been unable to find conclusive evidence of harm, there are numerous testimonies as to the harmful and often deadly effects on both military personnel and civilians,

D)  The last few years have seen great advances in terms of understanding the environmental and health hazards posed by depleted uranium, and whereas it is high time that this was reflected in international military standards, as they develop,

E) The use of depleted uranium in warfare runs counter to the basic rules and principles enshrined in written and customary international, humanitarian and environmental law.

Many reports state the methods used to evaluate the implications of DU and Heavy Metal weapons is flawed and outdated i.e. the ICRP model etc. The greatest concern is when the DU turns to dust after impact and is then inhaled. Once inside the body it is without shielding and is emitting radiation directly inside your lungs and therefore the risk is much higher. On this aspect alone the risks are much higher and little is understood. 

Almost all predictions about the effect of radiation on the body are based on a model (the ICRP model) which was developed by using the observed cancer rates in the survivors of atomic bomb blasts during WW2. This method is no longer acceptable as the doses at the time were heavy/high doses as apposed to today’s lower dose rates of internal radiation etc. It is therefore of grave concern that by using extrapolations methods on this model are fatally flawed.

There are other possible dangers. An article in the 7 September 2008 edition of the New Scientist drew attention to test-tube and animal research which suggested that DU might increase the risk of cancer, and to a number of theories which might account for genetic damage. 

To highlight the problem the following description explains clearly the dangers of DU:
When a projectile hits a target, 70% of its depleted uranium burns and oxidizes, bursting into highly toxic, radioactive micro particles. Being so tiny, these particles can be ingested or inhaled after being deposited on the ground or carried kilometres away by the wind, the food chain or water. A 1995 technical report issued by the American Army indicates that ‘if depleted uranium enters the body, it has the potentiality of causing serious medical consequences. The associated risk is both chemical and radiological’.

Deposited in the lungs or kidneys, uranium 238 and products from its decay (thorium 234, protactinium and other uranium isotopes) give off alpha and beta radiations which cause cell death and genetic mutations causing cancer in exposed individuals and genetic abnormalities in their descendents over the years.  

To summarise, many UN member states and the EU Parliament have expressed grave concerns from their respective experts. It is very clear that existing testing methods are either outdated or flawed to say the least. In the meantime thousands of people have or are being caught up in a bureaucratic bundle by both the Medical Profession and respective State Governments who at best are hiding some very interesting findings. 

DU is a waste product of the nuclear industry and is being stored in vast compounds. It is given free of charge to weapons manufacturers and why not! DU combined with other heavy metals does the job extremely well—but at what cost? Tunnel vision by Heads of State, Senior Government Members, Senior Members of the Military, Scientists, Senior Medical staff and the CEO of companies that manufacture such weapons is deplorable. 

They have no ability to look at the bigger picture whereby as a result of their actions the earth’s atmosphere is being polluted with very high levels of DU since the onslaught of these weapons (some of which date back to the 1970's). They have no concern or intent to investigate the high rate of mortality, increased rise in levels of cancer related illnesses and deaths. The most deplorable aspect is the continued rate of still born or badly disfigured babies.

Only by the actions of a few people in this world, who bring such events to the public eye by attempting to broadcast or print such concerns, will the various nations eventually be pressured into stopping the use of such weapons and at the same time demand a full and proper enquiry by independent specialists. 

Spreading the DU story to those that have used the weapons or may have been accidentally affected by it may cause those populations to protest to their respective governments. It is for this reason that I have written to the Haaretz newspaper in Israel and many other international newspapers in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, Qatar, Jordan and Pakistan. I know that Israel is currently using such weapons and could be contaminating its own people and agricultural areas.

This also could extend to Egypt and Jordan as a result of the on going tunnel bombing by the IDF. Needless to say Haaretz did not respond or print my article, which has deprived its people of learning the truth. Had they printed this story the response from members of the IDF who took part in the onslaught and residents of the region (especially in Central & Southern Israel) would have resulted in condemnation.

One could imagine the devastating impact on the people of Gaza and West Bank. The death toll from the Israeli onslaught was extremely high, but what the general public do not understand is that the ongoing deaths from an increased rate of cancer and other illnesses will continue as a result of Depleted Uranium (DU). It must be emphasised that contamination of the reproductive organs will pass this on to newly conceived babies with disastrous results. This contamination path will continue in future generations.

Obviously other nations are also currently using these weapons (NATO etc), especially in Afghanistan and over the border in Pakistan. One must accept that this is also a crime if civilian populations are involved. However, it doesn’t match up to using them on such dense enclaves as Lebanon and Gaza. 

If governments are allowing their own troops to become victims of such weapons, then they also should be held to account. More importantly, the country of origin (namely the US) and their respective arms developers are equally to blame for this inhumane use of DU weaponry. I believe it is against their own export policy under the terms of US Defence Department rulings which resulted in one Congressman challenging a very senior member of the Bush Administration. It must also be noted that under the same guidelines, when questionable weapons are to be exported, it is left to the President of the United States to give his final go ahead and signature.

People are dying without just cause in the most terrible way and that is an act against mankind. One would assume that we learn by our mistakes and would never allow such things as genocide to ever happen again. In the case of Gaza, the Israeli Government is applying a slow genocide on the Palestinians especially in the Gaza strip. One must also relate to the previous conflict in the Lebanon (2006) where extremely high radiation readings were taken. When this report was submitted to the UNEP, the data was altered so as not to reflect that a problem existed. 

Today’s high tech weaponry contain Advanced Composites, Depleted Uranium and other heavy metals which in general are toxic to man. When doubt or uncertainty exists one must always stay on the side of safety, and governments are not doing so. It is also interesting to note that the current method of testing using the ICRP Biokinetic Model is no longer acceptable and other more modern techniques should be used including Mass Spectrometry.

In my research most experts state it is “Radiation Alpha Particles from Uranium Atoms” that causes the problem...much of the contamination can be measured very precisely. It is the Alpha Particle that once inside your body runs rife....the rate and type of “Cancer” is subject to if it was inhaled or ingested. The contamination is caused mainly in areas where DU dust has spread at the weapons point of contact. The immediate vicinity of the blast can carry very high levels of DU contamination as well as it becoming an aerosol and spreading into the atmosphere.

It has the ability to travel long distance both in the region and around the world. As far as the local region and adjacent countries go, the air can contain millions of minute particles. It only takes one small inhaled particle to start the cycle or ingestion by food or water. In some areas, the contamination comes back to earth very quickly, especially when it rains and this is when the DU enters the food chain in a big way. It enters the soil, agricultural crops, plants, and water systems, and by this time you are ready to intake a double dose by inhalation and ingestion, resulting in major long term illnesses. 

It is our duty to keep this in the media spotlight. Dr. Chris Busby carried out exhaustive tests for the UNEP in Lebanon; his findings revealed the trace of a new type of radiation (never detected in conventional weapons) called “Deuterium”.   

As already discussed, some of his findings were altered or deleted when UNEP released its report on Lebanon. It is interesting to note that this newly detected radiation revealed that the US is using 4th Generation Nuclear Weapons. The other findings show that the US has reclassified its weaponry to show them as conventional, when in actual fact they are not. 

When DU explode, the core temperature reaches extremely high levels around 5,000 C, creating miniature forms of atomic weapons...some dust particles settle in the crater and its vicinity  whilst others become airborne... as an example DU can spread from the battle fields of Iraq/Afghanistan and reach England in 7-9 days, dispersing millions of particles in any given area... it then only takes one single Alpha particle from a Uranium Atom to start the cancer process... in England one can inhale around 23 Million over a period of weeks!! 

As previously discussed, governments may have little regard for their soldiers or population, as in the case of Israel which contaminated its own IDF as well as population. After the attack on the Golan Heights, within one hour the contamination was over Israel; in Northern Israel (where it rained) there has been a rise in medical cases. 

The radiation has entered the food chain in the entire region and since the onslaught of Gaza no doubt Central and Southern Israel has also been contaminated. In addition to the contamination of Gaza one can assume the contamination of West Bank which is the main source of water for Central and Southern Israel. 

As a result of the worldwide DU fallout, one can expect dramatic rises in related diseases. WHO predicts a rise in Diabetes from 32 million to 230 million by the year 2020 and in cancers a rise of 50%. In Canada, some of the expected target levels have already been achieved. I think it is vital that the Israeli Government have a duty of care to make the dangers of using Depleted Uranium (DU) known to the residents of Israel. The US, NATO and IDF are killing their own troops and surrounding populations. 

Should a contaminated male be lucky enough (or should I say unlucky enough) to remain fertile, he will pass on his contamination to his partner who in turn passes it on to the unborn child, who then passes it on to his/her child… It has the added capability of changing the gene and DNA structure in humans.  

We the public must stop the use of DU and have them banned as being part of the Nuclear Arsenal. The US and its current and past Presidents (Commander in Chief) are directly responsible for this situation. It is the President who has to authorise the export of such weapons to Israel or wherever, even though it has to pass through Congress first. Finally on the question of illegality, it is very clear that the US is in violation of its own export regulations and more importantly the use of DU violates many Geneva Conventions. 

I would like to close this report with the words of Henry Kissinger who became National Security Advisor to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and eventually Secretary of State (1968-1977). He once said “Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.” Can one imagine the military men of today being sent to far away places such as Iraq and Afghanistan? Can those soldiers ever imagine such thoughts in the minds of their own government? They are sent to satisfy the economic greed of their countries foreign policy to shine “The Beacon of Liberty.”

Henry Kissinger was a strong supporter of America’s Dominance of the World and believed in the following concepts
– If you want to control a country you must control the food
– If you want to control a region you must control the energy and
– If you want to control the world you must control the banking.

This philosophy is slowly taking place
– The US has control over food both within the US and in some regards around the world
– The US are starting to take control of energy in the Middle East by securing oil/gas markets and energy in Asia
– On the banking side we have seen the collapse of the banking sector in the US rapidly followed by banks around the World. We can clearly see a connection between past and present governments.

Our leaders talk about pollution, carbon footprints and that we will all have to pay for its upkeep; those same leaders do not tell you that they have put their signatures to the manufacture of DU weaponry (Mini Nukes) and have allowed these weapons to be exported for use in the Balkans, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Gaza and maybe now Pakistan.

My time in the military revealed so many wrongdoings and since I have spent considerable time with innocent victims and IDP's that flow from such areas of conflict...

(To be continued…)

Peter Eyre, a former British Naval officer, worked at NATO headquarters in cryptology, and spent a lot of time in the Middle East and South East Asia as a petroleum consultant; he lives in the UK and writes regularly for the Palestine Telegraph

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