Monday, September 26, 2005

"Mothers and Others MUST Speak out on DU!"

Last week I tried to come to terms with the denial about depleted uranium- by facing the denial of Americans about the capacity of their government to knowingly harm their citizens. The idea that the Pentagon would shaft its service men and women is a bitter pill to swallow. We listened to a group of folks tabling, with pamphlets and booklets. I looked at a picture of a precious baby, disfigured. I was hard pressed to imagine an insidious agenda behind their efforts. They were people- veterans and civilians alike- trying to talk truth.
"But isn't it depleted?" a woman asks,"Doesn't that mean it's gone?"
It does not mean it's gone, they tell her, and proceed to share the story of a military husband, exposed to DU, whose baby was born with birth defects. "They can't do that." She says decisively. She does not think that this sort of thing happens to babies. She probably thinks that FEMA never left anyone on a rooftop to die either. Is it not common knowledge that when you enlist, your body becomes property of the US? Do people not know of the cases of testing, exposure, trials- all using "GI guinea pigs"? Don't the recruiters talk about depleted uranium and the possible risks to children? Of course they don't.
They can get away with this and they do. And for the soldiers exposed, they are not 'entitled' to information about the risks and possible consequences of DU contamination. They do not have the "Right to Know" as you might in industries under OSHA and employer disclosure laws. You DO NOT have the right to know in their eyes.

Dave Lindorff explains the link between DU and birth defects in the August 2005 issue of "In These Times". His article: "Radioactive Wounds of War: Tests on Returning Troops Suggest Serious Health Consequences of Depleted Uranium Use in Iraq" describes the testing of exposed service men and women and describes the horrific consequences of depleted uranium:

"DU hits its target, it burns at a high temperature,throwing off clouds of microscopic particles that poison a wide area and remain radioactive for billions of years. If inhaled, these particles can lodge in the lungs, other organs or bones, irradiating tissue and casuing cancers."

"...the element has an affinity for bonding with DNA, where even trace amounts can cause cancers and fetal abnormalities," he says, citing pathologist Thomas Fasey's comments on its chemical toxicity. He participated in the testing of a unit of the NY National Guard.

Depleted uranium was used in the 1991 Gulf War and again during the Balkans conflict. It is now used in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Do you think that the US government is being upfront about the health implications of exposure to DU? Do you think potential partners who may have their children are told of the risks to their babies? Do they warn soldiers of possible diseases like atypical syndactyly, caused by radiation? Photos
Women should take notice and pay attention to this issue- the long term consequences of this toxic weapon are not only tragic for the soldiers and civilians exposed, but to future generations and the unborn.
Below are some links to do some reading. It will shock and anger you. Even if you have already heard about DU issues, the consequences for these children will stay with you.

DU Issues at Bloomington Peace Action Coalition

Uranium Medical Research Center

Campaign Against Depleted Uranium

International Depleted Uranium Study Team

Photos of DU Deformities


Cantankerous Bitch said...

This horror is what makes the "search for WMD" one of the most insidious hypocrisies of the Iraqi conflict. Groups like the ones you've linked to have been screaming about this for over a decade, but instead, we're told that Hussein's gassing of the Kurds was immeasurably more evil and that there's bullet-proof evidence of chemical weapon development.
For the life of me, I don't know how anyone manages patriotism in the face of Pentagon Priorities.

Lily said...

I wish more vets would voice opposition of the treatment toward their own, families and vets alike have to speak out on this. How dare they expose their own citizens, sacrificing their lives, to such hideous toxic crap? If thats not a slap, I don't know what is.
Check out "Beyond Treason" the documentary about the assorted exposures and chemicals....

Cantankerous Bitch said...

Regrettably, Netflix doesn't have it. Do you know where to find it?

I can't presume to speak to what vets will or won't do, but suffice to say I agree. I wish we'd hear more from them.

Or is it that they are speaking up, but aren't getting MSM attention?