Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger
The United States recently ended its formal military occupation of Iraq and removed most of its combat troops after more than 8 years and thousands of troops and civilian deaths and injuries. Our troops did their job under difficult situations, but the havoc that our invasion and occupation of Iraq created will remain for generations. When we look at the impact of Shock and Awe and the constant barrage of bullets and bombs, it is a wonder that even more civilians were not killed. Most estimates put the Iraqi civilian deaths over 100,000 and more than a million people displaced from their homes. However, the repeated use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus weapons in particular, may be the cause of Iraqi infants and children being born with horrific abnormalities in alarming numbers.
“Dr Samira Alani, a paediatric specialist at Fallujah General Hospital, has taken a personal interest in investigating an explosion of congenital abnormalities that have mushroomed in the wake of the US sieges since 2005. “We have all kinds of defects now, ranging from congenital heart disease to severe physical abnormalities, both in numbers you cannot imagine,” Alani told Al Jazeera at her office in the hospital, while showing countless photos of shocking birth defects. As of December 21, Alani, who has worked at the hospital since 1997, told Al Jazeera she had personally logged 677 cases of birth defects since October 2009. Just eight days later when Al Jazeera visited the city on December 29, that number had already risen to 699. ‘ “There are not even medical terms to describe some of these conditions because we’ve never seen them until now,” she said. “So when I describe it all I can do is describe the physical defects, but I’m unable to provide a medical term.” ‘ Reader Supported News When I read the linked article I was shocked and saddened by the human toll that is still being felt by Iraqi parents.
A British scientist, Dr. Christoper Busby has studied the huge increase in birth defects in Fallujah and his results are scary. “The report’s conclusion states:
“Whilst caution must be exercised about ruling out other possibilities, because none of the elements found in excess are reported to cause congenital diseases and cancer except Uranium, these findings suggest the enriched Uranium exposure is either a primary cause or related to the cause of the congenital anomaly and cancer increases. Questions are thus raised about the characteristics and composition of weapons now being deployed in modern battlefields.”
“As doctors, we know Mercury, Uranium and Bismuth can contribute to the development of congenital abnormalities, and we think it could be related to the use of prohibited weapons by the Americans during these battles,” Alani said. “I made this link to a coroner’s inquest in the West Midlands into the death of a Gulf War One veteran… and a coroner’s jury accepted my evidence,” he told Al Jazeera. “It’s been found by a coroner’s court that cancer was caused by an exposure to depleted uranium,” Busby added, “In the last 10 years, research has emerged that has made it quite clear that uranium is one of the most dangerous substances known to man, certainly in the form that it takes when used in these wars.” In July 2010, Busby released a study that showed a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in Fallujah since the 2004 attacks. The report also showed the sex ratio had declined from normal to 86 boys to 100 girls, together with a spread of diseases indicative of genetic damage similar to but of far greater incidence than Hiroshima. Dr Alani visited Japan recently, where she met with Japanese doctors who study birth defect rates they believe related to radiation from the US nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She was told birth defect incidence rates there are between 1-2 per cent. Alani’s log of cases of birth defects amounts to a rate of 14.7 per cent of all babies born in Fallujah, more than 14 times the rate in the affected areas of Japan.” Reader Supported News
That last statistic is beyond shocking. The rate of birth defects in Fallujah is 14 times the rate after our nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II! We have debated for years about why we invaded Iraq in 2003 and the alleged lies that led us into that invasion. We have discussed the huge sacrifice that our military and its families have suffered during this war, but for some reason the media just doesn’t want to talk about the human carnage that our political decision to invade Iraq has brought to the Iraqis themselves.
What should the United State be doing to alleviate the pain and suffering that we have caused? Shouldn’t we be doing medical studies to determine what can be done, if anything, to reduce these horrific birth defects?
This should not be a partisan issue. I realize that not everyone agrees with me that we went to Iraq on intentionally false and misleading intelligence. However, I would hope that everyone who sees these pictures and reads these statistics will understand that the use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus weapons is dangerous and immoral and should not be continued.
How many babies have to die over these next few years before we understand the lasting damage that we have caused? Since it seems to be our use of these weapons that have caused this ongoing epidemic of birth defects, shouldn’t the United States be doing something to stem the tide? What do you think the United States and its allies should be doing?
Additional source: AlJazeera
55 thoughts on “The Remains of an Illegal and Immoral War”
Nice try. I am not blaming industry alone. I am blaming the military, politicians and industry for pushing these weapons.
maybe it is the energy department uisng the military to get rid of DU?
Why blame industry for everything?
I am with you on that Bron, but when you are making shells with it, the banned result will happen. The military industrial complex will fight tooth and nail to keep making shells with DU and armor enhanced with DU.
we probably should outlaw its use in any circumstance where it can be particalized and escape into the air.
Mike–“We shouldn’t let it be forgotten that Bush/Cheney were war criminals. Our corporate media aided, abetted and then tried to bury these crimes and are accomplices.”
We shouldn’t forget that the current occupant of the White House is also complicit in the cover-up of Bush/Cheney war crimes and violations of the UN Torture Convention.
Elaine, thanks again for the link to the Guardian article.
I hadn’t read any articles on this subject until your post. Thanks for the information.
Research links rise in Falluja birth defects and cancers to US assault
• Defects in newborns 11 times higher than normal
• ‘War contaminants’ from 2004 attack could be cause
The Guardian, 12/30/2010
The one thing we can agree on is agreeing with Mike S.’s question of why we are using this stuff. I know it is effective on the battlefield, but its lasting danger is what concerns me.
Bron, you did not look very hard. Studies are still in progress and good solid longitudinal studies may take years because epidemiologists will look at multigenerational data. Short term studies show birth defects and there is forensic evidence enough to be convincing, at least to a legal standard we could call preponderance of the evidence.
Do not click this link if you are squeamish. Here are some of the birth defects either believed or known to be caused by DU:
We now have Iran to contend with. Many middle east experts anticipate that country to be the next war in the area. Israel does not trust the US to back them up, and may initiate a first strike that sets off the whole tinderbox if they think Iran is close to obtaining nukes. I would not put it past Iran to start it due to the economic pressures on them by the west. The world did not learn from the experience of putting similar economic pressures on Japan in the late 1930s and Germany in the 1920s.
I dont trust government to get much right. I think sending troops back to Iraq is a bad idea even if it descends into a festering shit hole. They have a society now free of a violent dictator, what they do with it is their responsibility now. Many Americans have given them that opportunity some with blood and most of us with treasure.
From the articles I have read, all by MD’s, none have mentioned horrendous birth defects.
But you are right that science is sometimes wrong and then subsequent studies get it right. Which is why I saying that all bases need to be covered.
And as Mike Spindell says, why are we even using that crap to begin with?
Rick Perry was quoted that he would send troops back to Iraq if he becomes President. If Perry or someone of a like mind is elected, do you have any hope that an investigation will be made into the alarming defect situation? My point isn’t a political one. It is to suggest that denying hard facts on the ground does not get the problem solved. How long was it before the VA accepted Agent Orange as a problem?
Bron, I am a forensic scientist and have testified in court hundreds of times. Military has nothing to do with it. I understand the effects of toxic chemicals on the brain and body. Where did you get YOUR doctorate and Board certification that makes you so qualified?
Can any good come from using DU, none that I can think of?
Can any harm come from using DU, seems to be much potential.
I’m old enough to remember scientists for the cigarette companies stating there was no scientific evidence of tobacco’s harm?
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