According to Middle East news sources, Iraq will sue the U.S. over the residue from Depleted Uranium munitions. These types of munitions are also commonly referred to as DU. This may sound like the story of an ungrateful nation, but Iraq has a legitimate beef. You will, most likely, not hear about this from mainstream media here in America. Press TV, an Iranian news outlet, reports the possible legal action this way: “Iraq‘s Ministry for Human Rights will file a lawsuit against Britain and the US over their use of depleted uranium bombs in Iraq, an Iraqi minister says. Iraq’s Minister of Human Rights, Wijdan Mikhail Salim, told Assabah newspaper that the lawsuit will be launched based on reports from the Iraqi ministries of science and the environment. According to the reports, during the first year of the US and British invasion of Iraq, both countries had repeatedly used bombs containing depleted uranium. According to Iraqi military experts, the US and Britain bombed the country with nearly 2,000 tons of depleted uranium bombs during the early years of the Iraq war. Atomic radiation has increased the number of babies born with defects in the southern provinces of Iraq. Iraqi doctors say they’ have been struggling to cope with the rise in the number of cancer cases —especially in cities subjected to heavy U-S and British bombardment.” (Click here to read the full story)
The scientific facts in this story are legitimate. I know this because, while at CNN, I did an investigative series on the dangers of the radioactive dust left behind after one of these shells hits a target. My reporting in 2007 stated that an estimated 2,000 tons were used in the Second Persian Gulf War in 2003. Once Depleted Uranium munitions hits a target, it can spray a cloud of radioactive dust for 50 meters. This DU dust is a heavy metal, a known carcinogen, can cause birth defects and has a half-life of 4.5 billion years. Practically speaking, any area hit by DU munitions is contaminated forever. These are all indisputable scientific facts. Our own soldiers have been complaining that they were contaminated since the First Gulf War in 1993. The most common form of contamination is to inhale it into the lungs where it is trapped forever. It was used to a lesser extent in the First Gulf War, but its use was widespread in the Second Gulf War. Soldiers I talked to say they have been largely ignored by the Army. This is why I did the story in the first place. The Army denies there are any ill health effects from this weapon.
DU munitions are magnificent weapons because nothing can stop them. One round can penetrate a foot of armor. DU munitions will go in one side and out the other of ANY standard tank. When you think of DU munitions, think of a flaming rod of molten metal that is about twice as heavy as lead. A round is propelled through the air at a very high speed while burning at a temperature of 4,000 degrees. Again, nothing can stop DU munitions!
It is depleted only in the sense that you cannot use it for nuclear fuel. DU is roughly depleted by 40% of its original fuel capacity. It is a waste material from the nuclear industry. In short, the “good stuff” has been taken out. Another way to look at it would be to take a gallon of gasoline and drain 40% of it away. If you replace it with water, then I guess you could call it a gallon of “depleted gasoline.” You could no longer use that gasoline as fuel; but if you poured it on the ground, it would contaminate the soil and water. If you drank some of that gallon of “depleted gasoline,” you could die. Depleted Uranium dust left behind after munitions hits a target is the same thing, only much worse. Simply put, using DU is radiological warfare. If America is sued by Iraq for using DU, it will be both embarrassing and costly. Here is the story I did in 2007 while at CNN:
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Greg is the producer and creator of USAWatchdog.com. The site’s slogan is “analyzing the news to give you a clear picture of what’s really going on.” The site will keep an eye on the government, your financial interests and cut through the media spin. USAWatchdog.com is neither Democrat nor Republican, Liberal or Conservative. Before creating and producing the site, Greg spent nearly 9 years as a network and investigative correspondent. He worked for ABC News and Good Morning America for nearly 6 years. Most recently, Greg worked for CNN for shows such as Paula Zahn Now, American Morning and various CNN business shows.