Saturday, January 01, 2011

Depleted uranium, again

An almost damning report in the Guardian:
A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.

The research, which will be published next week, confirms earlier estimates revealed by the Guardian of a major, unexplained rise in cancers and chronic neural-tube, cardiac and skeletal defects in newborns. The authors found that malformations are close to 11 times higher than normal rates, and rose to unprecedented levels in the first half of this year – a period that had not been surveyed in earlier reports.
Author Martin Chulov then speculates about likely speculation:
The findings are likely to prompt further speculation that the defects were caused by depleted uranium rounds, which were heavily used in two large battles in the city in April and November 2004. The rounds, which contain ionising radiation, are a core component of the armouries of numerous militaries and militias.

Their effects have long been called into question, with some scientists claiming they leave behind a toxic residue, caused when the round – either from an assault rifle or artillery piece – bursts through its target. However, no evidence has yet been established that proves this, and some researchers instead claim that depleted uranium has been demonstrably proven not to be a contaminant.
Chulov has no idea what he's talking about. Depleted uranium ordnance is specifically designed to penetrate the armour of armoured vehicles whereas there were few if any tanks or other armoured vehicles in Falluja. Depleted uranium rounds were fired from neither assault rifles nor artillery. The fighting was not a set piece military battle but rather involved U.S. forces against insurgents.

Regardless, the study does not in any way link munitions to the alleged increase in birth abnormalities. There's also a small problem with one of the report's author's, Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, who in late 2009 speculated:
Who cares more for Afghans' safety? Do Afghans themselves care more, or do the U.S. and European occupiers care more? Many mainstream media would have you believe that the occupiers care more. For example, see the December 17th story on the BBC, at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8417964.stm).

Can anyone really claim that French and Polish lives mattered more to their Nazi occupiers than to the occupied French and Polish themselves? The absurdity of such claims should be quickly apparent. But is it really apparent, when the U.S. and Europeans are doing the occupying?

Today's BBC reports on an Afghan "market bombing" that was presumably being carried out by a motorbike carrying two men, heading straight toward a crowded market. The "two men" who supposedly were carrying out the bombing and their affiliations are not known.

The first question that arises in my mind is: who benefits from chaos and outright murder of Afghan (or Iraqi for that matter) populations? Do Afghans benefit, or do the military occupiers benefit? Does anyone wonder how occupations perpetually justify themselves as a police force trying to create "law and order" among ungrateful native populations?
Savabieasfahani continuing:
Stories that claim the occupation forces to be the champions of humanity, or angels bringing only safety to the occupied population, are not uncommon. Many similar stories are delivered to the U.S. public about Israel. How can you expect us to believe that soldiers occupying Palestine are there to stop "the violence" and establish democracy?

From Iraq to Afghanistan to Palestine, chaos and disorder serves the occupation forces. Those who perpetuate chaos and disorder are more likely to be connected to the occupation than they are to the local unarmed civilians.

Have occupation forces really conducted bombings and blamed "the natives" for it? The answer is yes.
Now this does not discredit the Falluja report as biased hogwash but it does show that Savabieasfahani is not an unbiased reporter; this is especially so when the report is heavily speculative and woefully short of facts.

20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

depleted uranium projectiles form assault rifles....

this Chulov guy is an idiot.

Clearly research in journalism is no longer required if you can draw an anti american rumour for your willing audience.

how is this not a major journalistic scandal?

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Dan Lewis said...

"From Iraq to Afghanistan to Palestine, chaos and disorder serves the occupation forces."

From Iraq to Afghanistan to where? [consults atlas]. Nope. Nothing here...

Facts are apparently optional.

Also, in relation to neural tube defects, I very much doubt that a majority of women living in any Arab/Muslim state are taking Folate and engaging in good pre-natal healthcare. Islamic prohibition on alcohol may coincidentally help the unborn fetus one day grow into a fully formed Jihadi but that would be about it as far as good health practices, surely.

Perhaps Chulov et al can do more research into general life expectancy in these 7th century cultures. I suspect there's just a few things which can't be readily blamed on America or Israel. Consider "Save a Child's Heart", an Israeli institution that doesn't make it into the international media all that much, although it deserves a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. There, children in need of advanced cardiac care come, often below the radar. They arrive from Iraq, the West Bank, Gaza, and other Arab locations. They receive world-class treatment. It's free, offered by doctors and nurses who wish to assert their commitment to coexistence. Yet, these very same individuals know that, in many, if not most cases, their work will go unacknowledged. The families are fearful of admitting they sought help in Israel, even as, thanks to Israelis, their children have been given a new lease on life.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No need to read further than the name Martin Chulov. It was he who so assiduously pushed the yarn about Israelis using a missile to destroy a peace loving ambulance in Lebanon in 1996.

Google reveals the whole charade.

HRT

5:38 AM  
Blogger Minicapt said...

I would suggest that the collective efforts of Messieurs Chulov and Savabieasfahani prove that these 'occasions' are created and overseen by members of the news media for their own pecuniary benefits.

Cheers

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Martin Chulov - the idiot child who defended the Red Cross ambulance hoax during the Hezbollah-Israel summer war. Say no more.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe its something to do with the fact that they only breed with their cousins?

Just saying, mind you.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Louis Hissink said...

JB, Posted in wrong thread - sigh, but Andrew Bolt now calls you Gavin Atkins - holidaying must have its stresses I suppose.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous ar said...

Doesn't look like Shadowlands...

"But such quality fact-checking is yet to match the very high standards set by Atkins himself"

Bolt sort of gives the RWDB a compliment while scoring an own goal.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beck - you are under appreciated - keep up the stellar work. Keep smashing it to the weirdos

This is a quality blog - sooner or later you'll get the deserved rep

cheers buddy

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're way behind the game on this one, Beck.

Loewenstein fact-checked this turkey and wrung its neck last year:

http://antonyloewenstein.com/2010/12/31/fallujah-children-suffering-because-of-us/

Oh, wait a minute...

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Richard Ryan said...

Bolt like Christianity is overrated. As he and his bloggers pour scorn on Julian Assange to the requirements of their masters, they would do well to remember, that this man is to be charged for releasing the truth. But then the September 11 drama, was two days old before I was aware of it in a foreign country, did not know, did not care. Shalom.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"that this man is to be charged for releasing the truth"

last time I checked he was charged with rape, 'releasing the truth' had nothing to do with it.

Is it maybe the Swedish police releasing the truth?

Nice try spanner

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Bruce said...

There is not a lot of ionising radiation emanating from depleted uranium. That's why it is called "depleted" uranium.

However, uranium metal is toxic in much the same way lead is toxic.

The reason that the Israelis are busy treating a mind-boggling array of unpleasant disorders in their Arabic neighbours kids, is consanguinity. The whole "cousin-marrying" thing is essentially incest on an international scale. It is deeply rooted (so to speak) in the whole tribal security psychosis that is at the very heart of Arabic, and especially Moslem Arabic culture.

They are sitting on a massive genetic bomb. I will try to dig some Israeli medical papers out of my archives and forward them.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Boy on a bike said...

This story has also been pushed by a "longstanding green party activitst", doc richard.

http://greenerblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/we-can-assume-until-proved-otherwise.html

The good "doc" reckons that "over 10,000 tons" of DU were used in the bombardment of Fallujah. Since the M829 120mm APFSDS-T tank round weighs only 56 pounds all up (including the propellant), that means Army and Marine tanks must have fired at least 454,545 DU tank rounds during the battle. That is just nuts - the tanks would have needed new barrels every day firing at that rate, and the ammunition trucks would have formed a convoy about 100km in length.

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Richard Ryan said...

Dressed in his flak-jacket, in the safety of the Green Zone, in Iraq, telling anyone who wanted to listen, that the war was won and over in Iraq,the war mantra, to his masters requirements, John Howard. Is that why Andrew Bolt is known as Melbourne's village idiot----that is a disgrace, this an insult to village idiots world-wide!

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Okay. Some fella decided to post your wisdom on the blog I follow. Although I expected Establishment-friendly bloggers to ignore the matter entirely, I'm glad at least some brought it up. I'm familiar with "inbreeding on an international scale", my own "Chosen" people have suffered from Tay-Sachs, Canavan disease and other such congenital ailments from forced endogamy.

I don't remember that leukemia was among such congenital disorders.

Let's bring up a much earlier Independent article shall we?

"Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study... Researchers found a 38-fold increase in leukemia, a ten-fold increase in female breast cancer and significant increases in lymphoma and brain tumours in adults. At Hiroshima survivors showed a 17-fold increase in leukemia, but in Fallujah Dr Busby says what is striking is not only the greater prevalence of cancer but the speed with which it was affecting people."

Let me spell that out for you. Those denizens of Fallujah suffer from TWICE the rate of leukemia than those who survived the bombardment of a civilian area by the deadliest nuclear weapon known at the time in Hiroshima.

king rates of infant mortality and cancer in Iraqi city raise new questions about battle

-Patrick Cockburn 24 July 2010

Of course, medical studies can be biased I suppose and truly Saddam's long defunct weapons program would certainly be the only culprit. Why don't we hear from the Pentagon on the danger of it's own munitions?

"A March 1991 U.S. Army test on 15 American vehicles hit
by depleted uranium shells in ``friendly fire'' incidents
found radiation levels on the vehicles as much as 47
times higher than the recommended maximum level of
radiation exposure, according to recently declassified
Pentagon
documents. After transporting them to Saudi Arabia on
open trucks, the Army buried six of the vehicles and an
Iraqi T-72 tank because they ``posed substantial health
risk'' to humans, according to the Pentagon documents." April 6, 1998, Miami Herald

Well I won't post links all day (apparently the host site doesn't look kindly on that anyway). If you want proof of depleted uranium use in Fallujah and against urban areas in general I would look up what happened to the Ministry of Planning Building in Baghdad or the mysterious circumstances of the battle at the Baghdad Airport. Rest assured, if you haven't wised up others have. Oh and speaking of Israeli papers you should look up the plunging sperm counts of Israeli males. Maybe that has to do with all that blowing up of flour mills with tank shells. I see a solution for the Isreali-Palestinian conflict in the future... The Al-Quds Jerusalem deal will be solved because NOBODY WILL BE ABLE TO LIVE THERE. But before you label me as some self-hating Jew or Arab disinformation specialist, the Knesset actually discussed it during its sessions and I'm sure the study is posted online for your viewing pleasure.

There's nothing to worry about though, if Chernobyl is any indication, radiation has a tendency to travel long distances. They have found traces depleted uranium on NASA vehicles. I assume, soon enough, you can find depleted uranium particles in a country near you.

Happy New Year!!!

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay. Some fella decided to post your wisdom on the blog I follow. Although I expected Establishment-friendly bloggers to ignore the matter entirely, I'm glad at least some brought it up. I'm familiar with "inbreeding on an international scale", my own "Chosen" people have suffered from Tay-Sachs, Canavan disease and other such congenital ailments from forced endogamy.

I don't remember that leukemia was among such congenital disorders.

Let's bring up a much earlier Independent article shall we?

"Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study... Researchers found a 38-fold increase in leukemia, a ten-fold increase in female breast cancer and significant increases in lymphoma and brain tumours in adults. At Hiroshima survivors showed a 17-fold increase in leukemia, but in Fallujah Dr Busby says what is striking is not only the greater prevalence of cancer but the speed with which it was affecting people."

Let me spell that out for you. Those denizens of Fallujah suffer from TWICE the rate of leukemia than the Japanese who survived nuclear attack on Hiroshima... at least those that survived.

-Patrick Cockburn 24 July 2010

Well I won't post links all day (apparently the host site doesn't look kindly on that anyway, or long post lengths). But I can tell this isn't some holdover from a long defunct WMD program. Even the British, whose blood drenched empire was largely bequeathed to the United States were appalled at the conventional aspect of the assault on the largely defenseless city. But I can stick around to provide more evidence if anyone really would like to dispute this.

Ciao

12:37 PM  
Blogger Boy on a bike said...

Dear Anonymous thicko -

You just can't seem to get it through your thick skull that SABOT rounds - the only logical source of DU - are exactly the wrong type of munition to use in a built environment. When attacking buildings and bunkers, you use HEAT rounds, which contain high explosive rather than DU.

From what I can gather, a typical 120mm SABOT round contains 4.5kg of DU. In order to leave 10,000 tons of DU in Fallujah, the yanks would have had to have fired over 2.2 million SABOT rounds during the six week battle.

That is just too nonsensical for words. SABOT rounds are for killing tanks. Big, heavy, soviet style T-72 tanks. The insurgents in Fallujah had nothing heavier than a Hilux ute.

Try your best to get a grip on reality. I suggest you start by adjusting your tinfoil hat.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to be clear, I never mentioned this "10,000" figure. However, its worth noting that there were two attempts to capture the city. One in April that ended in withdrawal and the other one in November.

Those high explosive rounds obviously weren't effective, otherwise the Marines wouldn't brush against international law by using white phosphorous in civilian areas. Darrin Mortenson of the North County Times was first to report on the "shake 'n' bake" fire missions when Marines "couldn't get affects" on insurgents with HE.

That all changed when they rolled the armor in. A British brigadier, Nigel Aylwin-Foster serving in Baghdad reported that, "My guess is that they used a new weapon against buildings to break through walls and kill those inside." Indeed, the depleted uranium rounds aren't only effective at firing at longer ranges, but are effective in penetrating almost anything sometimes vaporizing its inhabitants. This was ideal for buildings when HE would not do. If you look at the Ministry of Planning in Baghdad, there is photographic evidence of depleted uranium use in its destruction. I'm sure if you'll Google that you'll come across an article that confirms that the World Health Organization suppressed the conclusions of the top WHO radiation expert on the effects of DU. Perhaps, you could Google Scott Peterson's May 15, 2003 Christian Science Monitor article on the effects of the destruction that did meet your criteria of legitimate DU use.

But why not hear from the horses mouth?

"A March 1991 U.S. Army test on 15 American vehicles hit
by depleted uranium shells in ``friendly fire'' incidents
found radiation levels on the vehicles as much as 47
times higher than the recommended maximum level of
radiation exposure, according to recently declassified
Pentagon documents. After transporting them to Saudi Arabia on open trucks, the Army buried six of the vehicles and an
Iraqi T-72 tank because they ``posed substantial health
risk'' to humans, according to the Pentagon documents." -April 6, 1998, Miami Herald.

Unless these journalists are lying, I don't see how much more moot the point can be. But it disturbs you, I'm guessing that Americans can bring such destruction on a city roughly the size of Cincinnati, Ohio. Maybe you find it unsettling that Americans can so blatantly damn generations of completely innocent Iraqis, whose only crime is being born.

What can I say? You would be right.

2:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to be clear, I never mentioned this "10,000" figure, but whatever floats your boat.

Those high explosive rounds obviously weren't effective, otherwise the Marines wouldn't brush against international law by using white phosphorous in civilian areas. Darrin Mortenson of the North County Times was first to report on the "shake 'n' bake" fire missions when Marines "couldn't get affects" on insurgents with HE.

That all changed when they rolled the armor in. A British brigadier, Nigel Aylwin-Foster serving in Baghdad reported that, "my guess is that they used a new weapon against buildings to break through walls and kill those inside."

Now that makes sense.

Honestly, the only way I could continue the discussion is through e-mail. Apparently I'm typing so many links and quotations that comment gets stuck in server purgatory and never comes out. I'm not sure about you but you can trust me not to send ad hominem attacks or other mischief to your e-mail address. Rest assured there's evidence from Iraqi, Media and even the Pentagon itself that tell it like it is. That depleted uranium is a low-level nuclear munition and thats it's the 21st century Agent Orange.

But it disturbs you, I feel that Americans can bring such destruction on a city roughly the size of Cincinnati, Ohio. Maybe you find it unsettling that Americans can so blatantly damn generations of completely innocent Iraqis, whose only crime is being born.

What can I say? You would be right.

2:44 AM  

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