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