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Depleted Uranium Causing Iraqis' Cancer?

Common Dreams story:

Iraq's environment minister blamed Monday the use of depleted uranium weapons by U.S. forces during the 2003 Operation Shock and Awe for the current surge in cancer cases across the country.0724 08

As a result of "at least 350 sites in Iraq being contaminated during bombing" with depleted uranium (DU) weapons, Nermin Othman said, the nation is facing about 140,000 cases of cancer, with 7,000 to 8,000 new ones registered each year.

Speaking at a ministerial meeting of the Arab League, she also complained that many chemical plants and oil facilities had been destroyed during the two military campaigns since the 1990s, but the ecological consequences remain unclear.

"Our ministry is fledgling, and we need international support; notably, we need laboratories to better monitor air and water contamination," she said.

There were a number of cases of unusual symptoms among American troops at the start of the war as well. They were a big story when it first came out because the propagandists at the White House suggested it might be the result of exposure of the troops to chemical weapons. Of course that wasn't the case, but no explanation was ever given...

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Comments (12)


It's the heavy metal toxicity not the radiation that is a problem and that problem is there with lead, too.

This is demagoguery, plain and simple. Read up and exercise your critical faculties. You don't need to swallow all the lies to be a good you fill in the blank.


Désolé mais je ne sais pas écrire en anglais.
La réponse est simple et elle nous vient de l'"inventeur" du Plutonium (Pu), John William Gofman:

"There is no safe threshold"

..et il est très loin d'être le seul à le dire!
La valeur de la taille d'un atome d'uranium est un danger pour l'Humanité.
Retournez au plus vite voir vos élèves pour leur apprendre ce que l'on sait avec certitude depuis 1946.
Merci pour eux..


Merci beaucoup. Vraiment, rien est parfait. Uranium a plus de la densite du plombe.


The U.S. military has taken urine samples of over 3000 U.S. servicemembers who served in Iraq and analyzed them for depleted uranium. The only samples that were above what is called the dietary level were the three servicemembers who have DU shrapnel due to friendly fire.

I have always found it odd that liberal activist who never miss a chance to rip Republicans about evolution and who want "science based policy" always fall for the junk science concerning depleted uranium.

The left can either disavow the anti-depleted uranium activst and their junk science or they can shut up about the anti-science Republicans.

Lee Ward:

and you're going to believe the US Military on this subject? the same military that just the other day has been shown to have flat-out lied about Pat Tillman's death?

Dan Fahey, board member of Veterans for Common Sense, provided this written testimony about depleted uranium to the House Veterans' Affairs Committee on July 26, 2007.


UA linked to a good article and an informative site. I found this article there among many on Gulf War Syndrome as the child of DU. In the spirit of bipartisanship John Kerry's dad makes a cameo appearance.


"Depleted uranium is considerably LESS radioactive_jt"

"Depleted" by much less than 50%, so TECHNICALLY...

Also: radioactive half life of 4.5 BILLION years with alpha particle emission rate @ 10 micrometers of 1 per 2 hours (for 4.5 billion years, mind you)

...and yes, it is the HEAVIEST, densest metal there is. Classified: WMD.


bD, the article you linked starts out "Vietnam was a chemical war for oil" and deteriorates from there. Are you trying to be convincing, or funny?


Dan Fahey is not a scienctist but a lawyer and a liberal activist. I guess that science does not really matter to the left when the progressive snake oil salesmen have something to sell.

The cancer caused by radiation takes decades to develop. That is a scientific concensus. The fastest developing radiation caused cancer takes at least five years. It is certain types of leukemia.

The anti-depleted uranium activist are in the same group that the 9/11 truthers. They are activist who never let science get in the way.

I expect that you will never post about the anti-intellecutlsm of the right again.


jt_"bryanD, DU is "classified as a WMD" by WHO? Cite a source.
If you have one, and it's credible, then DU is the first WMD that you can buy for use in a sailboat or put in your false teeth."

OK, my source was an interest group citing PROPASALS in the UN to that effect, so I was wrong. And the adamant "IS" source, I can't find. Might have been the same group.
As for use in construction material and false teeth, it is the aerosolized dispersion of dust of DU radioactive material (60% of U-238) through ordinance means, which is ingested, and which has a half-life of 4.5 billion years (never goes "away"/ 10 to the 9th power greater contamination than conventional nukes, DU being low and slow AND it's the heaviest metal) that is behind the drive to list it as WMD.
The Army (AEPI) recognized before Gulf War I that the battleground would need to be reclaimed from toxic DU residue, but at a cost of 90 billion dollars, it was rather forgotten.

kim== The world's still confused about why Lee invaded Pennsylvania. "Shoes", blah, blah...


That is not what the AEPI states. It stated that the military needed to develop means to handled U.S. military equipment contaminated with DU and developa process to monitor servicemembers exposure.

The U.S. did that with Iraqi Freedon and Enduring Freedom (even though no Depleted uranium was ever fired in Afghanistan).

What the anti-science. anti-intellectual anti-DU activist have done in intentially misinterpret the findings and the corresponding regulations. Once a projective leaves the barrel/weapon system it is not the responsbility of the U.S. to clean up what ever it impacts.

Paul Hamilton:

Jay, you make a valid point about the usefulness of DU, but if we went in to liberate Iraq from a dictator, as opposed to conquering Iraq as our enemy, what does it say about our real attitudes if we poison the environment as the result of the materials in our weapons? I realize that's is probably a secondary consideration to the Pentagon, but if I was living there, it sure would be a very big deal to me, and make me wonder about the Americans.


jay tea said: "bryanD, your mistake comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of the military mindset."

Oh gee! Confirmed unbroken military pedigree in this country since 1680 (James City County, Virginia). USMC Infantry 1979-1982. Excuuuuuse me!

"Their primary concern when it comes to weapons is efficiency: what will work best when it comes to killing people and breaking things."

"Killing people and breaking things": a friggin' Ditto Head of draft-dodging, pimple-assed Rush the Tush Limbaugh! ANYWAY...

We make the most of the least, etc._ USMC saying. It's training and doctrine that achieves victory. Else break out the H-bombs. "Efficiency"!

Addressing your following paragraphs, "friendlies" should be figured into the risk-loss ratio as Free Men. (see Gulf War Syndrome in my initial link) It always has been before: those boring sieges of strongholds saved many an aggressors' life in times past. The old wait-em-out routine. Quite apt for the sanctioned Iraq vs USA behemoth setpiece.

"It's the same thing that came up with the white phosphorus mess of a year or so ago. The military was accused of using it as a chemical weapon and a fire weapon, because it burns very hot and the smoke is quite nasty."

Bad memories. Fam firing 40mm WP mortar rounds in the desert, when out pops a coyote family in deep distress from behind a rock. The A-hole 41s (mortarmen) fired for effect and followed them. No relief from WP. Wicked shit.


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