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the strongest of tank armors. But depleted uranium does have a drawback”it's
radioactive. And like all heavy metals, uranium is chemically toxic. Upon impact with a
target, DU aerosolizes into a fine mist of particles, which can be inhaled or ingested and
then trapped in the lungs, the kidneys or elsewhere in the body. This can lead to lung
cancer, bone cancer, kidney disease, genetic defects and other serious medical problems.
Or a person can be hit by DU shrapnel, and have a chunk of radioactive metal imbedded
in their insides. One atomic scientist has asserted that DU particles thrown into the air by
the round's impact, or by resultant fires and explosions, can be carried downwind for 25
miles or more.1

In the Gulf War, countless Iraqi and American soldiers breathed in the deadly DU dust,
the product of tens of thousands of DU rounds fired by US aircraft and tanks. A study by
the Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm Association revealed that out of 10,051 Gulf
War veterans who have reported mysterious illnesses, 82 percent had entered captured
enemy vehicles, the main targets of DU weapons.

They did so in full innocence of even the existence of DU, let alone its danger.2
In 1991, a report of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority warned that there was
enough DU radioactive and toxic rubble left behind in Kuwait and southern Iraq to cause
500,000 deaths through increased cancer rates. This is not a realistic calculation because
for it to happen all the DU munitions would have to be pulverized into dust and half a
million people would have to line up in the desert and inhale equal quantities. But the fact
remains that the DU debris was left lying there, in various states of smash-up, subject to
any mishap, and with surface radioactivity that will last forever. Moreover, if DU gets
into the food chain or water, the potential health problems will be multiplied.3

And now it may well be in the soil, the ground water, the air and the lungs of Yugoslavia.

In 1995, Iraqi health officials reported alarmingly high increases in rare and unknown
diseases, primarily in children, and presented a study of this state of affairs to the United
Nations. The increases occurred in leukemia, carcinoma, cancers of the lung and
digestive system, late'term miscarriages, congenital diseases, and deformities in fetuses,
such as anencephaly (absence of a brain), and fused fingers and toes, not unlike those
found in the babies of Gulf War veterans. The Austrian president of the International
Yellow Cross, Dr. Siegwart Gunther, stated that there was one significant common
denominator: the allies' use of depleted uranium in the bombing of Iraq.4

In Scotland as well, DU has been linked to a leukemia cluster around the Ministry of
Defense firing range at Dundrennan, near the Solway Firth. Communities close to the
range, where 7,000 shells have been tested since 1983, reportedly show the highest rate
of childhood leukemia in the UK.5

Victims at home

The United States radiates and poisons its own as well. In training exercises, DU is
dropped on the island of San Clemente off the California coast, and perhaps only on some
future day will we realize what the effects were of what drifted across to the mainland by
air and sea. That island is at least uninhabited, unlike the island of Vieques in Puerto
Rico, where over 9,000 American citizens dwell They've had to endure almost 60 years
of aerial target practice and war games, including the dropping of napalm, and in recent
years, depleted uranium shells. Puerto Rican activists claim that Vieques has become
contaminated with radioactivity, which contributes to a cancer rate among the island's
inhabitants that is twice the national average. Studies have in fact shown that Vieques'
cancer rate is by far the highest of any of Puerto Rico's 78 municipalities.6 Moreover, the
island's drinking water has reportedly been contaminated by the chemical soup formed by
the myriad pieces of ordnance that have fallen from the sky over the years; a civilian
security guard was killed and four others were wounded in April 1999 by a bomb that
missed its mark by three miles; the landscape is littered with bomb and shell casings,
including some that the US Navy warns are still live; a container with three unexploded
anti-tank rockets (presumably DU-tipped) was found in a civilian sector in 1997; and,
amongst other mishaps, four years earlier five 500-pound bombs were dropped, and
exploded, one-and-a-half miles from civilian homes.7
In response to rising protests, US military officials told members of the Puerto Rico
Senate that they couldn't conduct the exercises on the US East Coast because population
centers were too close. For obvious reasons, this remark served only to increase the rage
of many in the country.8 President Clinton, however, showed a bit more sensitivity. He
announced that the Navy will abandon the Vieques bombing range. Within five years.9
Subsequently, Washington offered $40 million in aid to the island, and a further $50
million if the people, in a scheduled referendum, would vote, in effect, to stop putting
their health and safety ahead of "national security".

And while we were all quietly and unconsciously living our lives these past decades, the
military-industrial complex was quietly paying off members of Congress and state
legislatures, and anyone else who could wink and nod, to allow the acquisition of large
tracts of public land, primarily in western states, and permit end-runs around existing
environmental and other laws, as well as pesky environmental activists. These hundreds
of thousands of acres were then turned into depleted-uranium-weapons testing grounds in
California, Nevada, Washington, New Mexico and other states.

In New Mexico, open-air testing of DU has been going on in some parts since 1950. Los
Alamos National Laboratory, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico Institute of
Mining and Technology in Socorro, Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque”these
are some of the famous institutions that blast DU munitions into mountains and soil,
contaminating the ground, water and air; at the same time, using their not-inconsiderable
influence to convince the state's citizens that”even though they admit the contamina-
tion”radiation levels are no more than the proverbial "background level", or within EPA
safety levels, etc. As the old saying goes, just don't breathe the air or drink the water. And
don't raise your babies anywhere nearby.

In Socorro, the residents did not know until 1986 that DU testing had been taking place
since 1972 less than two miles from the town square, which is downwind from the
proving grounds. Over the years, there have been a few scattered surveys and anecdotal
evidence of a high incidence of the congenital birth defect hydrocephalus, but the year
1999 saw an increasing movement of Socorro citizens demanding broad epidemiological
and contamination surveys of the area.10

In April 1995, French general and military author Pierre-Marie Gallois observed, "If we
equip these tanks with these sorts of munitions [DU], that means that chemical-nuclear
war is morally allowable."11 And legally allowable as well, perhaps, inasmuch as the
United States is establishing precedents, albeit by the law of force rather than the force of
law, as well as facilitating other prec-edents”Washington is doing a thriving business
selling DU. As of late 1996, the Pentagon had already sold DU ammunition to Thailand,
Taiwan, Bahrain, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Korea, Turkey, Kuwait and other
CHAPTER 13 : Cluster Bombs

The Pentagon puts them in the category of "combined effects munition." The
manufacturer describes them as an "all-purpose, air-delivered cluster weapons system."
Human rights and anti-landmine campaigners say that cluster bombs are indiscriminate
weapons of mass destruction, and they have requested that they be placed explicitly on
the Geneva Convention list of banned weapons.

Cluster bombs are ingeniously designed. After being dropped from a plane, the heavy
weapon breaks open in midair, scattering 200 or more "bomblets", the size of soda cans.
The bomblets then explode, shooting out hundreds of high-velocity shards of jagged steel
shrapnel, saturating a very wide area. One description of cluster bombs says "they can
spray incendiary material to start fires, chunks of molten metal that can pierce tanks and
other armor, or shrapnel that can slice with ease through 1/4-inch plate”or human flesh
and bone."1

The yellow bomblets are aided by little parachutes which slow down their descent and
disperse them so they hit plenty of what the manufacturer calls "soft targets"; i.e.,
people”military or civilian.

According to the Defense Department, US warplanes dropped 1,100 cluster bombs upon
Yugoslavia in 1999, each carrying 202 bomblets. Thus, 222,200 of these weapons were
propelled across the land. With a stated failure rate of 5 percent (other reports claim rates
of 10 to 30 percent), this means that about 11,110 cluster bomblets were left lying
unexploded 2, ready to detonate on contact, in effect becoming landmines. Some
members of the US military oppose signing the International Treaty Banning the Use,
Production, Stockpiling and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Landmines because the treaty's
definition of land mines is broad enough to cover cluster bombs. Under the treaty, an
anti-personnel mine is one "designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or
contact of a person and that will incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons." Human-
rights activists argue that since manufacturers of cluster bombs calculate "dud rates" into
their design, the bombs can be included under the definition.3 The treaty entered into
force on March 1, 1999 without the United States being a signatory.

Unexploded bomblets are even more of a concern than regular landmines because
children in particular are drawn to the colorful devices with the little parachutes. (On
April 24, 1999, even before the bombing of Yugoslavia had come to an end, five young
brothers playing with an unexploded cluster bomb were killed, and two cousins were
severely injured, near Doganovic in southern Kosovo.4) Landmines are usually laid down
in more or less expected places, whereas unexploded bomblets can wind up in the back
yards of homes, school playgrounds, anywhere. Moreover, the laying down of landmines
is often tracked or mapped, the fields marked; not so with unexploded cluster bomblets.
Some of them are designed to self-destruct after a set time period, but whether any of
those scattered about Yugoslavia are of this type has not been reported. In any event, the
Landmine Treaty does not recognize the distinction between "smart" and "dumb"

When the bombing ended in June 1999, many areas of villages were left virtually
uninhabitable, in desperate need of explosive experts who could find and incapacitate all
the volatile live remnants. This will hinder agricultural and economic rehabilitation well
into the future. Shortly after the end of the bombing, as people began to return to their
villages and farms, more incidents involving the unexploded devices occurred, including
one in which two British peacekeeping soldiers and three Albanians lost their lives in a
Kosovo village.5

The words of a Yugoslav orthopedist: "Neither I nor my colleagues have ever seen such
horrific wounds as those caused by cluster bombs. They are wounds that lead to
disabilities to a great extent. The limbs are so crushed that the only remaining option is
amputation. It's awful, awful."6

Unexploded ordnance-”mainly cluster bombs”is still killing and maiming people in
Laos a generation after the massive US carpet-bombing of 1965-73. It is estimated that
up to 30 percent of the two million tons of bombs dropped by the United States failed to
explode, and there have been 11,000 accidents so far. "More than half of the victims die
almost immediately following the accident. If the victim survives, the explosion often
causes severe wounding and trauma, especially to the upper half of the body."7 Vietnam
and Cambodia harbor similar dangers. As does the Persian Gulf. A 1999 Human Rights
Watch report says that of an estimated 24 to 30 million bomblets dropped during the Gulf
War, between 1.2 and 1.5 million did not explode, leading so far to 1,220 Kuwaiti and
400 Iraqi civilian deaths.8

The effects of the unexploded munitions from the bombing of Yugoslavia have reached
beyond that country's borders. Two months after the war's end, 161 explosive devices,
including 97 bomblets, had been recovered by NATO minesweepers in the Adriatic Sea.
The munitions caused deaths and injuries to Italian fishermen and cost others the majority
of their year's profits. A fishing ban was imposed in the Adriatic to allow minesweepers
to collect more of the devices. In addition, tourists abandoned the beaches along the
Adriatic coast during the summertime for fear of encountering unexploded bombs.9

Meanwhile, the Pentagon is working on the development of newer and better cluster
bombs”higher-tech, heat-seeking, spraying super-hot shrapnel, producing greater
lethality...cluster bombs suitable for the new millennium. America deserves nothing less.

CHAPTER 14 : United States Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons
Poison gas and germ weapons turn civilization on its head. Diseases are not fought, but
carefully cultivated; doctors use their knowledge of the functions of the human body to
devise ever more effective means of halting those functions; agriculturalists deliberately
induce fungi and develop crop destroyers...Modern nerve gases were originally designed
to help mankind by killing beetles and lice: now, in the hands of the military, they are,
literally, insecticides for people. Chemical and biological warfare, as one writer has put
it, is "public health in reverse".1

Bahama Islands

From the late 1940s to sometime in the 1950s, a joint US-Canadian-
British team sprayed bacteria known to be dangerous in this area
of the Caribbean. Thousands of animals died as a result of the tests.
It is not known whether there were any human victims. Details of
the tests are still classified.2


In 1953, the US Army used air blowers atop trucks to disseminate potentially dangerous
zinc cadmium sulfide through the city of Winnipeg as part of its chemical and biological
weapons tests.3

China and Korea

In the early part of 1952, during the Korean War (1950-53), the Chinese claimed that the
United States was dropping quantities of bacteria, insects, feathers, decaying animal and
fish parts and many other strange objects that carried disease, over Korea and northeast
China. The Chinese government declared that there had been casualties and quick deaths
from plague, anthrax and encephalitis, amongst other diseases. They took testimony from
some 36 captured American airmen who had purportedly flown the planes with the
deadly cargo, and published 25 of these accounts. Many of the men went into voluminous
detail about the entire operation: the kinds of bombs and other containers dropped, the
types of insects, the diseases they carried, etc. Photographs of the alleged germ bombs
and insects were also published. Then, in August, an "International Scientific Committee"
was appointed, composed of scientists from Sweden, France, Great Britain, Italy, Brazil
and the Soviet Union. After an investigation in China of more than two months, the
committee produced a report of some 600 pages, many photos, and the conclu-sion that:
"The peoples of Korea and China have indeed been the objectives of bacteriological
weapons. These have been employed by units of the U.S.A. armed forces, using a great
variety of different methods for the purpose."

However, some of the American airmen's statements contained so much technical
biological information and were so full of communist rhetoric”"imperialist, capitalist
Wall Street war monger" and the like”that their personal authorship of the statements
must be seriously questioned. Moreover, it was later learned that most of the airmen had
confessed only after being subjected to great mental and physical duress, and at least one
case of a beating. And some did not necessarily know what they were dropping in their
supposed explosive or leaflet bombs. When the pilots came home after the war, they
retracted their confessions, but that was under threat of court martial, even "charges of
treason", said the US Attorney General, and other threatened punishments”in short,
great mental duress.4

It should be noted that it was revealed in 1979 that the US Army had experimented within
the United States with the use of turkey feathers to conduct biological warfare.5

Moreover, in December 1951, the US Secretary of Defense had ordered that "actual
readiness be achieved in the earliest practicable time" for offensive use of biological
weapons. Within weeks, the chief of staff of the Air Force reported that such capabilities
"are rapidly materializing".6

The United States also dropped huge amounts of napalm on Korea, an average of 70,000
gallons daily in 1952.7

And in 1980 it was disclosed for the first time that during the 1967-69 period, the US had
sprayed Agent Orange over 23,607 acres of the southern boundary of the demilitarized
zone between North and South Korea, in order to strip vegetation and discourage North
Korean infiltration.8


For about a decade beginning in the early 1960s, the United States sprayed tens of
thousands of tons of herbicides over three million acres of South Vietnam (as well as
parts of Laos and Cambodia) to wipe out the foliage used as a cover by the enemy and to
destroy crops. The herbicides, particularly the extensively-used Agent Orange, polluted


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