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Sociologist, Speaker, Writer
U.S. Depleted Uranium as Malicious as Syrian Chemical Weapons
Posted: 08/29/2013 5:56 pm EDT Updated: 10/29/2013 5:12 am EDT
By this time you have likely heard of the atrocity that recently took place in which over 1,000 Syrian civilians reportedly died at the hands of a chemical weapon attack. Seeing the video and images of dead or helpless Syrian civilians struggling for life reminds me of another terrible weapon of war — depleted uranium.
It is no secret that the U.S., with the assistance of other governments, used depleted uranium in the Gulf and Iraq War. A simple Google search of this topic can produce dozens and dozens of credible reports or stories to confirm these war crimes. For example, an important report on Harvard University’s website discusses the fallout of depleted uranium contamination in Iraq. Dr. Souad N. Al-Azzawi, who authored the report after the Gulf War, wrote that:
Similarly, as Democracy Now! reported in an interview with Al Jazeera reporter Dahr Jamail, “the U.S. invasion of Iraq has left behind a legacy of cancer and birth defects suspected of being caused by the U.S. military’s extensive use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus.” Democracy Now! wrote:
Moreover, Robert Koehler, a HuffPost blogger, has written extensively about the U.S. government’s use of depleted uranium in Iraq. The following passage from Koehler’s blog “The Suffering of Fallujah” gives us an idea of the immense impact that depleted uranium has had on Iraqi civilians:
Although Iraqi civilians have born the brunt of this awful weapon, American soldiers that served in the Gulf and Iraq War are also suffering from the fallout of depleted uranium. This issue is discussed in-depth by the Campaign Against Depleted Uranium, which campaigns to “ban on the use of uranium in all conventional weapons and weapon systems and for monitoring, health care, compensation and environmental remediation for communities affected by their use.”
Countries around the world have called for the ban of depleted uranium, but unfortunately this demand has fallen on deaf ears. When asked in 2003 about Iraq’s complaints about depleted uranium shells, Colonel James Naughton of U.S. Army Material Command stated in a Pentagon briefing that “They want it to go away because we kicked the crap out of the them.”
Last week, UK foreign secretary William Hague, said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria is “not something that a humane or civilized world can ignore.” Ironically, Western countries such as the UK and their allies have appeared to ignore the use of weapons that are equally vicious.
When “non-Westerners” make use of weapons of mass destruction, there is outrage and calls for military intervention from “the West,” but when “Westerners” themselves use them, it is totally permissible, and the world can hardly react.
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Armour-Piercing DU Shells
Bunker Buster Diagrams
DU Storage Facility
Tabacco: If you think the United States of America is better than this or that perhaps Tabacco is exaggerating, let’s take a short trip back in American History to the War in Vietnam, which some of you have forgotten and the rest of you never even knew:
Discovery of herbicides and defoliants and first use in war
Several herbicides were discovered as part of efforts by the US and the British to develop herbicidal weapons for use during WWII. These included 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid), 2,4,5-T (coded LN-14, and also known as trioxone), MCPA (2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid, 1414B and 1414A, recoded LN-8 and LN-32), and isopropyl phenylcarbamate (1313, recoded LN-33).
In 1943, the U.S. Department of the Army contracted the University of Chicago to study the effects of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T on cereal grains (including rice) and broadleaf crops. From these studies arose the concept of using aerial applications of herbicides to destroy enemy crops to disrupt their food supply. In early 1945, the U.S. Army ran tests of various 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T mixtures at the Bushnell Army Airfield in Florida, which is now listed as a Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS). As a result, the U.S. began a full-scale production of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T and would have used it against Japan in 1946 during Operation Downfall if the war had continued.
By the end of the war, the relationship between the two countries was well established. In the years after the war, the U.S. tested 1100 compounds and field trials of the more promising ones were done at British stations in India and Australia, to establish their effects in tropical conditions, as well as at the U.S.’s testing ground in Florida.
Between 1950 and 1952, for example, trials were conducted in Tanganyika, at Kikore and Stunyansa, to test arboricides and defoliants under tropical conditions. The chemicals involved were 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T, and endothal (3,6-endoxohexahydrophthalic acid). During 1952/53, the unit supervised the aerial spraying of 2,4,5-T over the Waturi peninsula in Kenya to assess the value of defoliants in the eradication of tsetse fly.
British General Sir Gerald Templer authorized the use of 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D (Agent Orange) throughout the Malayan Emergency to destroy bushes, trees, and vegetation in order to deprive the insurgents of cover. Later, the Americans used Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
During the Malayan Emergency, Britain was the first nation to employ the use of herbicides and defoliants to destroy bushes, trees, and vegetation to deprive insurgents of cover and targeting food crops as part of a starvation campaign in the early 1950s. A detailed account of how the British experimented with the spraying of herbicides was written by two scientists, E.K. Woodford of Agricultural Research Council’s Unit of Experimental Agronomy and H.G.H. Kearns of the University of Bristol.
After the Malayan conflict ended in 1960, the U.S. considered the British precedent in deciding that the use of defoliants was a legal tactic of warfare. Secretary of State Dean Rusk advised President John F. Kennedy that the British had established a precedent for warfare with herbicides in Malaya.
Use in the Vietnam War
Map showing locations of U.S. army aerial herbicide spray missions in South Vietnam taking place from 1965 to 1971.
During the Vietnam War, between 1962 and 1971, the United States military sprayed nearly 20,000,000 U.S. gallons (75,700,000 L) of chemical herbicides and defoliants in Vietnam, eastern Laos and parts of Cambodia, as part of the aerial defoliation program known as Operation Ranch Hand. Like the British did in Malaya, the goal was to defoliate rural/forested land, depriving guerrillas of food and cover and clearing sensitive areas such as around base perimeters. The program was also a part of a general policy of forced draft urbanization, which aimed to destroy the ability of peasants to support themselves in the countryside, forcing them to flee to the U.S. dominated cities, depriving the guerrillas of their rural support base.
Spraying was usually done either from helicopters or from low-flying C-123 Provider aircraft, fitted with sprayers and “MC-1 Hourglass” pump systems and 1,000 U.S. gal (3,800 L) chemical tanks. Spray runs were also conducted from trucks, boats, and backpack sprayers.
The first batch of herbicides was unloaded at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in South Vietnam, on January 9, 1962. U.S. Air Force records show at least 6,542 spraying missions took place over the course of Operation Ranch Hand. By 1971, 12 percent of the total area of South Vietnam had been sprayed with defoliating chemicals, at an average concentration of 13 times the recommended U.S. Department of Agriculture application rate for domestic use. In South Vietnam alone, an estimated 10 million hectares of agricultural land was ultimately destroyed. In some areas, TCDD concentrations in soil and water were hundreds of times greater than the levels considered safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The campaign destroyed 5 million acres (20,000 km2) of upland and mangrove forests and millions of acres of crops. Overall, more than 20% of South Vietnam’s forests were sprayed at least once over a nine-year period.
In 1965, members of the U.S. Congress were told “crop destruction is understood to be the more important purpose … but the emphasis is usually given to the jungle defoliation in public mention of the program.” Military personnel were told they were destroying crops because they were going to be used to feed guerrillas. They later discovered nearly all of the food they had been destroying was not being produced for guerrillas; it was, in reality, only being grown to support the local civilian population. For example, in Quang Ngai province, 85% of the croplands were scheduled to be destroyed in 1970 alone. This contributed to widespread famine, leaving hundreds of thousands of people malnourished or starving.
The U.S. military began targeting food crops in October 1962, primarily using Agent Blue; the American public was not made aware of the crop destruction programs until 1965 (and it was then believed that crop spraying had begun that spring). In 1965, 42 percent of all herbicide spraying was dedicated to food crops. The first official acknowledgement of the programs came from the State Department in March 1966.
Many experts at the time, including Arthur Galston, the biologist who developed and intensively studied 2,4,5-T and TCDD, opposed herbicidal warfare, due to concerns about the side effects to humans and the environment by indiscriminately spraying the chemical over a wide area. As early as 1966, resolutions were introduced to the United Nations charging that the U.S. was violating the 1925 Geneva Protocol, which regulated the use of chemical and biological weapons. The U.S. defeated most of the resolutions, arguing that Agent Orange was not a chemical or a biological weapon as it was considered a herbicide and a defoliant and it was used in effort to destroy plant crops to deprive the enemy of cover and not meant to target human beings. A weapon, by definition, is any device used to injure, defeat, or destroy living beings, structures, or systems, and Agent Orange did not qualify under that definition. It also argued that if the U.S. were to be charged for using Agent Orange, then Britain and its Commonwealth nations should be charged since they also used it widely during the Malayan Emergency in the 1950s. In 1969, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly on the question of chemical and bacteriological (biological) weapons, Britain stated with respect to the then still draft Resolution 2603 (XXIV): “The evidence seems to us to be notably inadequate for the assertion that the use in war of chemical substances specifically toxic to plants is prohibited by international law.”
A PICTURE IS WORTH 1,000 WORDS
This Agent Orange Deformity is obviously the offspring of a Vietnamese Mother & A Black American Soldier! Agent Orange – just like Depleted Uranium Weapons – has no way of knowing who is the Enemy and who is Not! No one on Earth is more Heartless than the American Military! When Uncle Sam has toys – Agent Orange, Depleted Uranium or A-Bombs – Uncle will definitely play with them!
If you still believe America is too Good to play heartless Genocidal Military Games, you must be reading a different Blog!
ALTERNATIVE TO IRAN DEAL
So you think Anyone, who wants War is simply Crazy or Stupid? Well, obviously you haven’t been paying any Attention to the Bellicose Rhetoric emanating from Americans since WWII ended.
Who could possibly want War and what are these people?
A war profiteer is any person or organization that profits from warfare or by selling weapons and other goods to parties at war. The term has strong, negative connotations. General profiteering may also occur in peacetime. One example of war profiteers were the “shoddy” millionaires who allegedly sold recycled wool and cardboard shoes to soldiers during the American Civil War.
War Profiteers are NOT PATRIOTS; War Profiteers are UNMITIGATED CAPITALISTS!
Alexander’s Greeks were War Profiteers!
Hannibal’s Carthaginians were War Profiteers!
Caesar’s Romans were War Profiteers!
Rudyard Kipling’s ‘White Man’s Burden’ British Imperialists were War Profiteers!
Napoleon’s French were War Profiteers!
Stalin’s Communists were War Profiteers!
Hitler’s Nazis were War Profiteers!
What makes you think America, the current world Super-Power, is immune to the time-proven way to Greater Profits: Stealing From Others through Military Conquest!
America has enough of these Capitalists to keep War ALIVE INDEFINITELY! But War Profiteers don’t say, “We want Wars to make Profits!” What! do you think they’re Stupid!
They say, “We want to prevent Saddam Hussein from killing his own people, and you know Saddam connived with Osama bin Laden to facilitate 9/11!”
They say, “Support American Troops! If you don’t support our Troops, you are Cowards, who ‘Cut & Run’!”
They say, “We must protect America and American Interests from Terrorists and Despots. America must be the world’s Policeman!”
They say, “We must prevent Iran from obtaining Nuclear Weapons at all costs while protecting our Ally, Israel!” Ignoring the Fact that Israel alone in the Middle East already has Nuclear Weapons!
They say, “We must Drone Syria to rid the planet of Terrorists, who endanger the lives of Americans and our Allies!” Ignore the Fact that were it not for American War Profiteers, there might not be any Terrorist Groups of real significance! The Cause of Wars in OPEC countries is American Capitalism, not Muslim Terrorists!
And they say, “We are the real American Patriots! We must be strong and bring democracy to 3rd world countries, ruled by Tyrants!”
Never do they say, “We must MAKE OUR WAR PROFITS!”
Do you still believe their EXCUSES? Don’t you see the Markers of the War Profiteers, who will do whatever it takes to exponentially expand their Deadly Capitalist Profits!
And where is the Mainstream Media (MSM) on the subject of Depleted Uranium Weaponry? The MSM is in the same place it was on Agent Orange – only lots more quiet today! Why? Because the MSM is owned by the people, who collaborate with the WAR PROFITEERS and are they themselves WAR PROFITEERS!
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer (1706 – 1790)
Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.
T.A.B.A.C.C.O. (Truth About Business And Congressional Crimes Organization) – Think Tank For Other 95% Of World: WTP = We The People