What a fantastic weapon! It just keeps on
killing the "enemy"...(The Pentagon is not anyone's friend!)

> From: iacenter@iacenter.org
> www.iacenter.org
> Ramsey Clark, Chairman>


> Deaths from leukemia of Italian, Belgian, Spanish, Portuguese and
> other NATO troops occupying Bosnia or Kosovo and other illnesses
> have aroused a storm of popular anger and concern about dangers to
> NATO troops stationed in the region from the residue of depleted-
> uranium weapons.
> By Jan. 6, French, Belgian, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and other
> governments had demanded that NATO identify the areas hit in Bosnia
> and Kosovo by DU shells and to clarify the dangers.
> Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who is a founder of the
> International Action Center, has long been an opponent of DU
> weapons. On Jan. 6th  he once again raised his call for a ban of the use
> of these weapons that he first raised in 1996. [attached to this news
> release] Since then conferences in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1999 and Gijon, Spain
> in 2000 have also demanded a ban on DU use.
> "This new outbreak of leukemia among European soldiers has
> reinforced what we said before," said Clark from New York on Jan. 6. "Is
> it acceptable by any human standards that we would permit one shell of
> depleted uranium to be manufactured, to be stored, to be used? No! Stop it
> now!"
> Clark is leaving January 12, 2001 for the fourth trip large delegation to
> Iraq the IAC has organized to challenge sanctions against that country. He
> said that "along with investigating the dangers to NATO soldiers and
> guarding their health, the Pentagon should be responsible for the damage
> caused in Iraq and in Yugoslavia by these weapons and should clean them
> up."
> DU is the waste residue made from the uranium enrichment process.
> This radioactive and toxic substance, 1.7 times as dense as lead, is used
> to make shells that penetrate steel armor.
> Many people, including physicists and physicians, believe that uranium-
> oxide dust inhaled or ingested by troops in the Gulf War is the cause, or
> a contributing cause, of the "Gulf-War Syndrome". Of the approximately
> 697,000 U.S. troops stationed in the Gulf during the war, over 100,000
> veterans are now chronically ill. Cancer rates in southern Iraq have
> increased dramatically. For example ovarian cancer in women has increased
> by sixteen fold.
> The Pentagon used DU in large amounts in Iraq in 1991, in Bosnia in
> 1995 and in Kosovo in 1999.
> In Iraq the U.S. Airforce A-10 aircraft fired approximately 940,000
> 30mm rounds. In addition 14,000 large caliber DU tank rounds of
> 105mm were fired. By the end of the war over 600,000 pounds of
> uranium from spent rounds lay scattered across Iraq and Kuwait.
> In Yugoslavia the current number of rounds that the U.S. government
> admits to firing are 31,000. The UN announced on January 5 the it had
> found evidence of radioactivity at 8 of the 11 sites tested in Kosovo. The
> 11 sites tested were among 112 sites in Kosovo hit by DU rounds. A United
> Nations report in May, 2000 warned that  Kosovo's water could be so
> contaminated as to be  unfit to drink.
> The number of targets hit by DU rounds through out the rest of
> Yugoslavia was not reported. About 10,000 rounds were fired by U.S.
> NATO forces in Bosnia in 1994-95.
> When Italian soldier Rinaldo Colombo died last September of leukemia, it
> brought the total of Italian soldiers believed to have died from "Balkans
> Syndrome" to five. By January nine cases of leukemia had been reported.
> In Belgium, five cases of cancer have been diagnosed in soldiers who were
> on duty in the Balkans. In Spain, two soldiers have also been affected.
> One died in October. Portuguese Corporal Hugo Paulino arrived home in
> Lisbon from Kosovo in mid-February complaining of headaches and feeling
> sick. He died on March 9 in the military hospital. According to his
> father, Luis Paulino, medical examinations revealed neither meningitis nor
> encephalitis. His father is certain "it was depleted uranium that killed
> him."
> Investigations begin
> The Spanish government has launched a study of the health of the
> 32,000 Spanish soldiers who have been in the Balkans. The
> Portuguese government will examine 900 of its country's troops.
> Belgian Defense Minister Andre Flahaut wrote a letter Dec. 29 to Bjorn von
> Sydow, the defense minister of Sweden. That country takes over the
> European Union presidency Jan. 1. The letter called on EU defense
> ministers to discuss health problems suffered by troops stationed in
> Bosnia or Kosovo.
> In mid-December the Italian government launched an inquiry into why
> some of their military personnel have recently died of leukemia.
> Defense Minister Sergio Mattarella had affirmed that "10,800 depleted
> uranium projectiles were fired by American aircraft" on Bosnia between
> 1994 and 1995. Without naming them explicitly, Mattarella accused the U.S.
> military officials of hiding information about DU from allies.
> John Catalinotto, a co-editor with Sara Flounders of the book the
> International Action Center  published on this topic, "Metal of Dishonor:
> Depleted Uranium", commented on the new discovery of illness among
> European troops. The IAC also distributes a video with the same name,
> produced by the Peoples Video Network.
> Catalinotto said, "It's true the Pentagon avoids publicizing details of
> its use of DU weapons and has covered up the extent of DU use. That has
> been its policy from the beginning. At the same time there are all sorts
> of warnings in studies by the U.S. Army admitting that DU is dangerous.
> "Still," he added, there can be no doubt the NATO militaries knew the U.S.
> was using depleted-uranium shells, which are the usual U.S. anti- tank
> weapon. In Metal of Dishonor and in news releases in April 1999 we exposed
> DU's use in Bosnia and warned of its use in Kosovo. And during the 1999
> war the media prodded Pentagon spokespeople to admit publicly that U.S.
> A-10 planes were firing DU shells.
> "But the European population is furious that its youth are being
> exposed to dangers. With the European governments, there's another
> story. They knowingly took part in a dirty war of aggression against
> Yugoslavia. They hoped to get some of the spoils.
> "Now only Washington, Berlin and London are getting spoils," said
> Catalinotto, "while Italian and Portuguese troops are patrolling DU-
> polluted areas of Kosovo. And now [George W.] Bush says he wants
> to pull troops out. There's a saying that 'When thieves fall out, honest
> people learn the truth.' There is an opportunity to learn the truth about
> DU right now."
> Sara Flounders, a director  of the International Action Center described
> the work of the DU Education Project based at the IAC. "The DU Education
> Project first helped to raise international awareness of the consequences
> of the Pentagon's use of radioactive weapons in Iraq. We were the first
> group to warn that the same weapons were being used in Bosnia in 1995 and
> in the 78 day bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. We contacted anti-U.S. base
> movements in several countries and helped to expose the test firing and
> storage of DU munitions in Okinawa, Japan, in South Korea, in Vieques,
> Puerto Rico and the Israeli use of U.S. supplied, DU-armored tanks in the
> West Bank and Gaza."
> "In every country the U.S. government has first denied and then
> stonewalled any discussion of the impact of radioactive weapons.
> There is a total disregard for the consequences for their own soldiers and
> for the population of the occupied country. Only an aroused mass movement
> has dragged the truth out."
> [Metal of Dishonor: Depleted Uranium, both book and video, can be
> purchased through www.leftbooks.com]
> An International Appeal to
> Ban the Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons
> (First circulated in 1996)
> Depleted-uranium weapons are an unacceptable threat to life, a
> violation of international law and an assault on human dignity. To
> safeguard the future of humanity, we call for an unconditional
> international ban forbidding research, manufacture, testing,
> transportation, possession and use of DU for military purposes. In
> addition, we call for the immediate isolation and containment of all DU
> weapons and waste, the reclassification of DU as a radioactive and
> hazardous substance, the cleanup of existing DU-contaminated areas,
> comprehensive efforts to prevent human exposure and medical care for those
> who have been exposed.
> During the Gulf War, munitions and armor made with depleted uranium
> were used for the first time in a military action. Iraq and northern
> Kuwait were a virtual testing range for depleted-uranium weapons. Over
> 940,000 30-millimeter uranium tipped bullets and "more than 14,000 large
> caliber DU rounds were consumed during Operation Desert Storm/Desert
> Shield." (U.S. Army Environmental Policy Institute) These weapons were
> used throughout Iraq with no concern for the health and environmental
> consequences of their use. Between 300 and 800 tons of DU particles and
> dust have been scattered over the ground and the water in Kuwait, Saudi
> Arabia and Iraq. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people, both
> civilians and soldiers, have suffered the effects of exposure to these
> radioactive weapons.
> Of the 697,000 U.S. troops who server in the Gulf, over 90,000 have
> reported medical problems. Symptoms include respiratory, liver and
> kidney dysfunction, memory loss, headaches, fever, low blood
> pressure. There are birth defects among their newborn children. DU is la
> leading suspect for a portion of these ailments. The effects on the
> population living in Iraq are far greater. Under pressure, the Pentagon
> has been forced to acknowledge Gulf War Syndrome, but they are still
> stonewalling any connection to DU.
> Communities near DU weapons plants, testing facilities, bases and
> arsenals have also been exposed to this radioactive material which has a
> half-life of 4.4 billion years. DU-weapons are deployed with U.S. troops
> in Bosnia. The spreading toxicity of depleted uranium threatens life
> everywhere.
> DU weapons are not conventional weapons. They are highly toxic,
> radioactive weapons. All international law on warfare has attempted to
> limit violence to combatants and to prevent the use of cruel and unfocused
> weapons. International agreements and conventions have tried to protect
> civilians and non-combatants from the scourge of war and to outlaw the
> destruction of the environment and the food supply in order to safeguard
> life on earth.
> Consequently, DU weapons violate international law because of their
> inherent cruelty and unconfined death-dealing effect. They threaten
> civilian populations now and for generations to come. These are
> precisely the weapons and uses prohibited by international law for
> more than a century including the Geneva Conventions and their
> Protocols Additional of 1977.
> --30--