Deceit of Depleted Uranium use in Afghanistan – 2
by Peter Eyre on 30 Oct 2009 0 Comment

This final part of the deceit story will prove for the first time that weapons containing uranium components are used in Afghanistan despite US and NATO denial. We saw this same denial in the Balkans, Kuwait and Iraq. Eventually hard evidence revealed the truth and the military backed down. Independent experts have since carried out tests in Afghanistan and revealed the excessive use of weapons containing uranium components at a much greater level than used in Iraq.

The US A-10 aircraft continues flying missions over Afghanistan using excessive amounts of DU rounds (around 1,150 per flight). This same aircraft can carry other weapons that are also believed to contain uranium, such as the Maverick Missile.

They continue to say we do not use weapons containing uranium, but they just keep re-appearing in deadly form. Pictures show such weapons slung below aircraft, but they say that low level radiation is safe!!

In previous articles I have talked about the huge aerosol of DU nano-particles that enter the upper atmosphere upon impact. These particles ascend many thousands of feet as they rise on the heated convective currents created by such weapons. These particles drift around the immediate target area and across international borders on the prevailing wind.

We can now look at secondary contamination (an on-going cycle) whereby the wind continues to pick up nano-particles from contaminated areas and allows them to drift on the wind to any point on the globe. In hot dry conditions such as Afghanistan, the recycling of contaminated particles goes on forever and becomes a major hazard during sandstorms.

With today’s technology we see the regular use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) that can carry 4 Hellfire missiles and 2 bunker busters, both of which are associated with uranium components. These UAV’s have been responsible for many innocent civilian deaths and have the ability to contribute to the ongoing contamination.

Secondary contamination is a major problem in Afghanistan not only from natural weather conditions, but also from the constant military activity by aircraft and helicopters. DU has been used extensively in this war and countries downwind of Afghanistan, such as Pakistan, India and China etc will reap the harvest. The environment in most areas of conflict is extremely arid; hence secondary contamination has become a major issue.   

We have repeated denials from Governments and their respective Departments of Defence, UNEP and US, UK and NATO forces. Dare we once again ask “Are weapons being used in Afghanistan that contain uranium components?”…don’t hold your breath for a response!

I can now say, after an exhaustive period of research, that the evidence is before me. I have pictures which show hundreds of spent DU Penetrators being prepared for detonation, which is totally illegal and in violation of US military regulations. Does the Afghanistan Government know such weapons are being used?

The exact location of this incident was in Chaghcharan, Ghor Province, Central Afghanistan, near the NATO military base belonging to the Lithuanian contingent in 2007. The practice of detonating unexploded weapons is carried out in such a way, but these are not live weapons. My photograph shows the spent remnants of hundreds of Depleted Uranium Penetrator Rods that were manhandled and placed in a pre-dug trench and being prepared with explosives to detonate and destroy the evidence. No protective clothing or gasmasks were worn by the Lithuanian squad (because no such protective apparatus exists).

Under the US Military regulations it is illegal and extremely dangerous to dispose of such radioactive waste in this manner. All disposal handling must be done per ar 700-48, da pam 700-48, tb 9-1300-278 while following medical care requirements.

The reason this evidence exists in the battlefield is that rods stay intact, but loose some of their outer diameter on impact. Some may break up, but they stay intact with a mass loss of between 40 % to 70%. 

Persons attending such activity should wear a gasmask (ppe per tb 9-1300-278 at minimum should be in level-a or min level-b) There would be high level contamination not only during the preparation stage, but also after detonation. All staff involved would be at grave risk and also the adjacent Lithuanian base camp.

The normal prevailing winds at this location would carry contamination over to the adjacent NATO camp that belongs to the Australian contingent, putting them at risk and all others in the entire region and beyond.

The risk by inhalation would have been extremely high after the rods were detonated; vast amounts would have entered the upper atmosphere to commence its global journey. Pakistan and India take the brunt of the contamination before it continues over the Himalayas to China and south down to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Within Afghanistan, the down wind contamination would have travelled over the NATO bases that house the Lithuanian and Australian forces and continued on over Kabul.

Yet despite the extremely sophisticated aircraft that deliver the vast array of “Dirty Weapons,” the spirit of the Afghan people cannot be broken. We should ask the President of the US - why did your country go to war? - Why are you still there when only a handful of Al Qaeda exist? - is your only reason to send more troops to secure the corridor for your TAPI pipeline?

This brings to mind an informal meeting that took place on 4 June 2008 at the Geneva headquarters of the United Nations. The topic - “The Humanitarian Tragedy in Afghanistan – Human Rights violations and Health Effects.” It is only when one reads the facts that one realises that we in the West are truly deplorable in carrying out these most atrocious and evil acts in securing our commercial greed. The people of America should reflect on some of the comments made at this meeting and understand what your Government is doing, where your nuclear waste is going, what your arms manufacturers have produced and how your military is delivering these evil products.

This is an extraction from the Zurich based “Current Concern” (the international journal for independent thought, ethical standards, moral responsibility, and for the promotion and respect of public international law, human rights and humanitarian law). At that meeting Professor Mohamed Daud Miraki described the shocking situation in Afghanistan having just returned from a visit. Despite assertions by military exponents, no successful reconstruction work has been done. The so-called humanitarian help is for the benefit of international organizations for the greater part.

The number of people going hungry is steadily increasing; fields lie fallow as people do not dare to work on their fields in fear of fighting and bombardments by the occupation forces. However, poppy growing works well, especially in those areas that are under allied control.

One can only hope they don’t destroy the entire seed bank as in Iraq. I am sure they will teach Afghanistan how to use GM seed and make them totally dependent on Monsanto.

I can imagine a conversation between American experts and old Afghan farmers - “Listen up guys… We have been doing this agro business for a hundred years… Let me introduce you to these wonderful Monsanto seeds… they are guaranteed to give you a greater yield in the short term and make you heavily in debt in the long term… Just let me tell you about what we have done in India... they now exclusively use our seed and owe us lots of money… would you believe the farmers there have the highest suicide rate? How’s that for a success story folks?”  

The article went on to say: The Karzai government that Miraki described as a puppet regime dancing to America’s whistle is not rooted in the population and the majority disdain this government. Its influence does not reach beyond the borders of Kabul and it is oriented towards the US and their allies; its influence is waning, however. The people in Afghanistan deeply despise the methods of the occupation troops. Their brutal violence when pursuing the alleged terrorists is indescribable and represents a severe violation of the Geneva Convention and Human Rights. Arbitrarily men are taken from their homes, kidnapped, then tortured and killed without any reason. The people are tired of this disaster and want the occupying forces to leave as soon as possible.

The article further described - the contamination of the environment by the use of new and unknown weapons, especially DU bombs. Due to constant bombing, whole areas have become uninhabitable, as happened in Iraq. People in these areas are suffering from terrible diseases, especially from cancer and genetic deformations. The incidence of cancer deaths and malformations in newborns has risen dramatically. He did not conceal his sympathy with the people’s resistance against American troops and their allies. These actions have nothing to do with terrorism, Dr Miraki claims; they are a legitimate armed fight against illegal occupation.

Another expert at this meeting, Dr Daniel Guentert, explained the terrible situation regarding Depleted Uranium (which the US and Allies still deny). He pointed out how radioactive nano-particles, resulting from the use of depleted uranium weapons, are incorporated in the body and destroy cellular structures there with devastating effects on the human organism.

The effect on human health depends on the dosage, frequency and duration of DU exposition. A high dosage contributes to an acute deficiency of the human airways and to death within a few days. Lower dosages cause unspecific symptoms (fatigue, loss of hair, diarrhoea, etc.), a deficiency of the immune system, different inflammatory responses (kidney failure, chronic respiratory infections), chromosomal damage (malformations in newborns) and different forms of cancer (lung cancer, liver cancer, skin cancer, leukaemia, lymphoma etc.). We know that there is a linear dose-effect relation for ionising radiation in a cumulative manner.

The final comments came from Professor Alfred de Zayas who talked about the principals and purpose of the United Nations. He focused on the international law aspects of the Afghanistan tragedy. The UN had been created to establish and maintain peace, not to wage war. The function of the Security Council is to facilitate peace-making, not to impose peace by massive bombing. According to article 2(3) of the UN Charter, all 192 member States of the United Nations are obliged to settle disputes through peaceful means. Trying to impose “unconditional surrender” on the Taliban raises the spectre of genocide.

We must ask why, for the past eight years, the UN has been waging war in Afghanistan. Is this consistent with the UN charter? Is it for or against the people of Afghanistan?  Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed in the name of the UN. The countryside has been polluted by chemical agents and depleted uranium weapons. This is contrary to the Geneva Red Cross Conventions of 1949 and to the imperative of protecting the environment, which is the common heritage of all mankind. In the last two decades, the sacred duty of the UN has been hijacked for maintaining the hegemony of the most powerful states.

The UNEP have carried out many visits to the theatres of war but to what avail? They go in almost totally blind, such as in the Balkans… they pass numerous vehicles hit by DU munitions, carry out tests for depleted uranium in clean areas... intentionally find the odd  small penetrator from a US A-10 aircraft and come away saying DU is not a problem in the Balkans and is as safe as normal background radiation.

They go into Lebanon and declare no trace of DU, but carry out environmental impact studies to justify their existence. In Gaza they were made aware of possible DU contamination but made no effort to investigate it. They then had the audacity to start a one year project bulldozing contaminated areas, stockpiling the rubble, crushing it and spreading it around the Gaza Strip to resurface roads and streets – a total violation of the UN’s own decontamination policy.

The UNEP also visited Afghanistan and carried out an environmental impact study stating that after two decades of war the environment had been degraded and had become a major stumbling block for reconstruction efforts!

They didn’t look for DU or comment on the horrific contamination from the disproportionate use of weapons containing uranium components. How dare the UNEP and WHO continue to cover up this terrible evil against humankind?


Peter Eyre, a former British Naval officer, worked at NATO headquarters, 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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