Death By Slow Burn - How America Nukes Its Own Troops
What 'Support Our Troops' Really Means

The Fog Of  War &  explaining Gulf-War Syndrome


Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 09:37:16 -0400
Subject: Death By Slow Burn - How America Nukes Its Own Troops
By Amy Worthington - The Idaho Observer
Last Updated Aug 13, 2003, Sierra Times

On March 30, an AP photo featured an American pro-war activist holding a 
sign: "Nuke the evil scum, it worked in 1945!" That's exactly what 
George Bush has done. America's mega-billion dollar war in Iraq has been 
indeed a NUCLEAR WAR.

Bush-Cheney have delivered upon 17 million Iraqis tons of depleted 
uranium (DU) weapons, a "liberation" gift that will keep on giving. 
Depleted uranium is a component of toxic nuclear waste, usually stored 
at secure sites. Handlers need radiation protection gear.

Over a decade ago, war-makers decided to incorporate this lethal waste 
into much of the Pentagon's weaponry. Navy ships carrying Phalanx rapid 
fire guns are capable of firing thousands of DU rounds per minute.(1
Tomahawk missiles launched from U.S. ships and subs are DU-tipped.(2
The M1 Abrams tanks are armored with DU.(3) These and 
British Challenger II tanks are tightly packed with DU shells, which continually 
irradiate troops in or near them.(4) The A-10 "tank buster" aircraft fires DU shells 
at machines and people on the battlefield.(5)

DU munitions are classified by a United Nations resolution as illegal 
weapons of mass destruction. Their use breaches all international laws, 
treaties and conventions forbidding poisoned weapons calculated to cause 
unnecessary suffering.

Ironically, support for our troops will extend well beyond the war in 
Iraq. Americans will be supporting Gulf War II veterans for years as 
they slowly and painfully succumb to radiation poisoning. U.S and 
British troops deployed to the area are the walking dead. Humans and 
animals, friends and foes in the fallout zone are destined to a long 
downhill spiral of chronic illness and disability. Kidney dysfunction, 
lung damage, bloody stools, extreme fatigue, joint pain, unsteady gait, 
memory loss and rashes and, ultimately, cancer and premature death await 
those exposed to DU.

Award-winning journalist Will Thomas wrote: "As the last Gulf conflict 
so savagely demonstrated, GI immune systems reeling from multiple doses 
of experimental vaccines offer little defense against further exposure 
to chemical weapons, industrial toxins, stress, caffeine, insect 
repellent and radiation leftover from the last war. This is a war even 
the victors will lose."(6)

When a DU shell is fired, it ignites upon impact. Uranium, plus traces 
of plutonium and americium, vaporize into tiny, ceramic particles of 
radioactive dust. Once inhaled, uranium oxides lodge in the body and 
emit radiation indefinitely. A single particle of DU lodged in a lymph 
node can devastate the entire immune system according to British 
radiation expert Roger Coghill.(7)

The Royal Society of England published data showing that battlefield 
soldiers who inhale or swallow high levels of DU can suffer kidney 
failure within days.(8) Any soldier now in Iraq who has not inhaled 
lethal radioactive dust is not breathing. In the first two weeks of 
combat, 700 Tomahawks, at a cost of $1.3 million each, blasted Iraqi 
real estate into radioactive mushroom clouds.(9) Millions of DU tank 
rounds liter the terrain. Cleanup is impossible because there is no 
place on the planet to put so much contaminated debris.

Bush Sr.'s Gulf War I was also a nuclear war. 320 tons of depleted 
uranium were used against Iraq in 1991.(10) A 1998 report by the U.S. 
Agency for Toxic Substances confirms that inhaling DU causes symptoms 
identical to those claimed by many sick vets with Gulf War Syndrome.(11
The Gulf War Veterans Association reports that at least 300,000 Gulf War 
I vets have now developed incapacitating illnesses.(12) To date, 209,000 
vets have filed claims for disability benefits based on 
service-connected injuries and illnesses from combat in that war.(13)

Dr. Asaf Durakovic, a professor of nuclear medicine at Georgetown 
University, is a former army medical expert. He told nuclear scientists 
in Paris last year that tens of thousands of sick British and American 
soldiers are now dying from radiation they encountered during Gulf War 
I. He found that 62 percent of sick vets tested have uranium isotopes in 
their organs, bones, brains and urine.(14) Laboratories in Switzerland 
and Finland corroborated his findings.

In other studies, some sick vets were found to be expressing uranium in 
even their semen. Their sexual partners often complained of a burning 
sensation during intercourse, followed by their own debilitating 

Nothing compares to the astronomical cancer rates and birth defects 
suffered by the Iraqi people who have endured vicious nuclear 
chastisement for years.(16) U.S. air attacks against Iraq since 1993 
have undoubtedly employed nuclear munitions. Pictures of grotesquely 
deformed Iraqi infants born since 1991 are overwhelming.(17) Like those 
born to Gulf War I vets, many babies born to troops now in Iraq will 
also be afflicted with hideous deformities, neurological damage and/or 
blood and respiratory disorders.(18)

As an Army health physicist, Dr. Doug Rokke was dispatched to the Middle 
East to salvage DU-contaminated tanks after Gulf War I. His Geiger 
counters revealed that the war zones of Iraq and Kuwait were 
contaminated with up to 300 millirems an hour in beta and gamma 
radiation plus thousands to millions of counts per minute in alpha 
radiation. Rokke recently told the media: "The whole area is still 
trashed. It is hotter than heck over there still. This stuff doesn't go 

DU remains "hot" for 4.5 billion years. Radiation expert Dr. Helen 
Caldicott confirms that the dust-laden winds of DU-contaminated war 
zones "will remain effectively radioactive for the rest of time."(20
The murderous dust storms which ensnared coalition troops during the 
first few days of the current invasion are sure to have significant 
health consequences.

Rokke and his cleanup team were issued only flimsy dust masks for their 
dangerous work. Of the 100 people on Rokke's decontamination team, 30 
have already "dropped dead." Rokke himself is ill with radiation damage 
to lungs and kidneys. He has brain lesions, skin pustules, chronic 
fatigue, continual wheezing and painful fibromyalgia. Rokke warns that 
anyone exposed to DU should have adequate respiratory protection and 
special coveralls to protect their clothing because, he says, you can't 
get uranium particles off your clothing.

The U.S. military insists that DU on the battlefield is not a problem. 
Colonel James Naughton of the U.S. Army Material Command recently told 
the BBC that complaints about DU "had no medical basis."(21) The 
military's own documents belie this. A 1993 Pentagon document warned 
that "when soldiers inhale or ingest DU dust they incur a potential 
increase in cancer risk."(22) A U.S. Army training manual requires 
anyone who comes within 25 meters of DU-contaminated equipment to wear 
respiratory and skin protection.(23) The U.S. Army Environmental Policy 
Institute admitted: "If DU enters the body, it has the potential to 
generate significant medical consequences."(24) The Institute also 
stated that, if the troops were to realize what they had been exposed 
to, "the financial implications of long-term disability payments and 
healthcare costs would be excessive."(25) For pragmatic reasons, DOD 
chooses to lie and deny.

Dr. Rokke confirms that the Pentagon lies about DU dangers and is 
criminally negligent for neglecting medical attention needed by 
DU-contaminated vets. He predicts that the numbers of American troops to 
be sickened by DU from Gulf War II will be staggering.(26) As they 
gradually sicken and suffer a slow burn to their graves, the Pentagon 
will, as it did after Gulf War I, deny that their misery and death is a 
result of their tour in Iraq.

Dr. Rokke's candor has cost him his career. Likewise, Dr. Durakovic's
radiation studies on Gulf War I vets were not popular with U.S. 
officials. Dr. Durakovic was reportedly told his life was in danger if 
he continued his research. He left the U.S. to continue his research 

Naive young coalition soldiers now in Iraq are likely unaware of how
deadly their battlefield environment is. Gulf War I troops were kept in 
ignorance. Soldiers handled DU fragments and some wore these lethal 
nuggets around their necks. A DU projectile emits more radiation in five 
hours than allowed in an entire year under civilian radiation exposure 
standards. "We didn't know any better," Kris Kornkven told Nation 
magazine. "We didn't find out until long after we were home that there 
even was such a thing as DU."(28)

George Bush's ongoing war in Afghanistan is also a nuclear war. Shortly 
after 9-11, the U.S. announced it would stockpile tactical nuclear 
weapons including small neutron bombs, nuclear mines and shells suited 
to commando warfare in Afghanistan.(29) In late September, 2001, Bush 
and Russian president Vladimir Putin agreed that the U.S. would use 
tactical nuclear weapons in Afghanistan while Putin would employ nuclear 
weapons against the Chechnyans.(30)

Describing the Pentagon's B-61-11 burrowing nuke bomb, George Smith 
writes in the Village Voice: "Built ram tough with a heavy metal casing 
for smashing through the earth and concrete, the B-61 explodes with the 
force of an estimated 340,000 tons of TNT. It is lots of bang for the 
buck, literally two apocalypse bombs in one, a boosted plutonium 
firecracker called the primary and a heavy hydrogen secondary for that 
good old-fashioned H-bomb fireball."(31)

Drought-stricken Afghanistan's underground water supply is now 
contaminated by these nuclear weapons.(32) Experts with the Uranium 
Medical Research Center report that urine samples of Afghanis show the 
highest level of uranium ever recorded in a civilian population. Afghani 
soldiers and civilians are reported to have died after suffering 
intractable vomiting, severe respiratory problems, internal bleeding and 
other symptoms consistent with radiation poisoning. Dead birds still 
perched in trees are found partially melted with blood oozing from their 

Afghanistan's new president, Hamid Karzai, is a puppet installed by 
Washington. Under the protection of American soldiers, Karzai's regime 
is setting a new record for opium production. Both UN and U.S. reports 
confirm that the huge Afghani opium harvest of 2002 makes Afghanistan 
the world's leading opium producer.(34) Thanks to nuclear weapons, 
Afghanistan is now safe for the Bush-Cheney narcotics industry.(35) ABC 
News asserts that keeping the "peace" in Afghanistan will require 
decades of allied occupation.(36) For years to come, "peacekeepers" will 
be eating, drinking and breathing the "hot" carcinogenic pollution they 
have helped the Pentagon inflict upon that nation for organized crime.

As governor of Arkansas during the Iran-Contra era, Bill Clinton 
laundered $multi-millions in cocaine profits for then vice-president 
George Bush Sr.(37) As a partner in the Bush family's notorious crime 
machine, President Clinton committed U.S. troops to NATO's campaign in 
the Balkans, a prime heroin production and trans-shipment area. DOD's 
campaign to control and reorganize the drug trade there for the Bush 
mafia was yet another nuclear project.

For years, the U.S. and NATO fired DU missiles, bullets and shells 
across the Balkans, nuking the peoples of Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo. As 
DU munitions were slammed into chemical plants, the environment became 
hideously toxic, also endangering the peoples of Albania, Macedonia, 
Greece, Italy, Austria and Hungary. By 1999, UN investigators reported 
that an estimated 12 tons of DU had caused irreparable damage to the 
Yugoslavian environment, with agriculture, livestock and air water, and
public health all profoundly damaged.(38)

Scientists confirm that citizens of the Balkans are excreting uranium in 
their urine.(39) In 2001, a Yugoslavian pathologist reported that hundreds 
of Bosnians have died of cancer from NATO's DU bombardment.(40) Many 
NATO peacekeepers in the Balkans now suffer ill health. Their leukemias, 
cancers and other maladies are dubbed the "Balkans Syndrome." Richard 
Coghill predicts that DU weapons used in Balkans campaign will result in 
at least 10,000 cases of fatal cancer.(41)

U.S. citizens at home are also paying a heavy price for criminal 
militarism gone mad. DOD is a pollution monster. The General Accounting 
Office (GAO) found 9,181 dangerous military sites in USA that will 
require $billions to rehabilitate. The GAO reports that DOD has been 
both slothful and deceitful in its clean-up obligations.(42) The 
Pentagon is now pressing Congress to exempt it from all environmental 
laws so that it may pollute and poison free from liability.(43)

The Navy uses prime fishing grounds off the coast of Washington state to 
test fire DU ammunition. In January, Washington State Rep. Jim McDermott 
chastised the Navy: "On one hand you have required soldiers to have DU 
safety training and to wear protective gear when handling DU...and 
submarines must stay clear of DU-contaminated waters. These policies 
indicate there is cause for concern....On the other hand the Department 
of Defense has repeatedly denied that DU poses any danger whatsoever. 
There has been no remorse about leaving tons of DU equipment in the soil 
in foreign countries, and there appears to be no remorse about leaving 
it in the waters of your own country."(44)

DU has been used in military practice maneuvers in Indiana, Florida, New 
Mexico, Massachusetts, Maryland and Puerto Rico. After the Navy tested 
DU weaponry on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, one third of the 
island's population developed serious illness. Many people show high 
levels of uranium in their bodies. Hundreds have filed a class action 
suit against the Navy for $100 million, claiming DU contamination has 
caused widespread cancers.(45)

The Navy's Fallon Naval Air Station near Fallon, Nevada, is a quagmire 
of 26 toxic waste sites. It is also a target practice zone for DU bombs 
and missiles. Area residents report bizarre illnesses, including 17 
children who have contracted leukemia within five years. A survey of 
groundwater in the Fallon area showed nearly half of area wells are 
contaminated with radioactive materials.(46)

The materials for DU weaponry have been processed mainly at three 
nuclear plants in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, where workers handling 
uranium contaminated with plutonium have suffered for decades with 
cancers and debilitating maladies similar to Gulf War Syndrome.(47)

Emboldened by power-grabbing successes made possible by his 
administration's devious 9-11 project, President Bush asserts that the 
U.S. has the right to attack any nation it deems a potential threat. He 
told West Point in 2002, "If we wait for threats to fully materialize, 
we will have waited too long."(48) Thus, it is certain that Bush-Cheney 
future pre-emptive nuclear wars are lined up like idling jets on a 
runway. Both Cheney's Halliburton Corp. and the Bush family's Carlyle 
Group are profiteers in U.S. defense contracts, so endless war is just 
good business.(49)

The Washington Post reported that the Pentagon will create special 
nuclear weapons for use on North Korea's underground nuclear 
facilities.(50) Next August, U.S. war makers will meet to consolidate 
plans for a new generation of "mini," "micro" and "tiny" nuclear bombs 
and bunker busters. These will be added to the U.S. arsenal perhaps for 
use against non-nuclear third-world nations such as Iran, Syria, 

The solution? Americans must stop electing ruthless criminals to rule 
this nation. We must convince fellow citizens that villains like Saddam 
Hussein are made in the U.S. as rationale for endless corporate war 
profits. Saddam was placed in power by the CIA.(52) For years U.S. 
government agencies, under auspices of George Bush Sr., supplied him 
with chemical and biological weapons.(53) Our national nuclear 
laboratories, along with Unisys, Dupont and Hewlett-Packard, sold Saddam 
materials for his nuclear program.(54) Dick Cheney was CEO of 
Halliburton in the late 90s when its subsidiaries signed $73 million in 
new contracts to further supply Saddam.(55) The wicked villain of Iraq 
was nurtured for decades as a cash-cow by U.S. military-industrial piranhas.

If America truly supports its troops, it must stop sending them into 
nuclear holocaust for the enrichment of thugs. Time is running out. If 
the DU-maniacs at the Pentagon and their coven of nuclear arms peddlers 
are not harnessed, America will have no able-bodied fighting forces 
left. All people of the earth will become grossly ill, hideously 
deformed and short- lived. We must succeed in the critical imperative to 
face reality and act decisively. Should we fail, there will be no place 
to hide from Bush-Cheney's merciless nuclear orgies yet to come or from 
the inevitable nuclear retaliation these orgies will surely breed.


1."DOD Launches Depleted Uranium Training," Linda Kozaryn, American 
Forces Press Service, 8-13-99.

2."Nukes of the Gulf War,"John Shirley, See this article 
in archives at

3. BBC News, "US To Use Depleted Uranium," March 18, 2003; U.S. General 
Accounting Office, Operation Desert Storm: "Early Performance Assessment 
of Bradley and Abrams," 1-2-92.

4."Nukes of the Gulf War," op. cit.

5. Ibid.

6. "Invading Hiroshima," William Thomas, 2-4-2003,

7. "US Shells Leave Lethal Legacy," Toronto Star, July 31, 1999; also 
"Radiation Tests for Peacekeepers in the Balkans Exposed to Depleted 
Uranium,", 12-31-02.

8. "Depleted Uranium May Stop Kidneys In Days," Rob Edwards, New, 3-12-02; also "Uranium Weapons Too Hot to Handle," Rob 
Edwards, New, 6-9-99.

9. "Navy Seeks Cash for More Tomahawks," David Rennie in Washington, 
Telegraph Group Limited, 1-4-03,

10. "Going Nuclear in Iraq--DU Cancers Mount Daily," Ramzi Kysia,, 12-31-01.

11."Depleted Uranium Symptoms Match US Report As Fears Spread," Peter 
Beaumont, The Observer (UK) 1-14-01,

12. "Gulf War Illnesses Affect 300,000 Vets," Ellen Tomson, Pioneer 
Press, See also American Gulf War Veterans 
Association at

13. "2 of Every 5 Gulf War Vets Are On Disability: 209,000 Make VA 
Claims," World Net Daily, 1-28-03,

14. "Research on Sick Gulf Vets Revisited, "New York Times, 1-29-01; 
"Tests Show Gulf War Victims Have Uranium Poisoning," Jonathon 
Carr-Brown and Martin Meissonnier, The Sunday Times (UK) 9-3-02.

15. "Catastrophe: Ill Gulf Vets Contaminated Partners With DU," The 
Halifax Herald Limited, Clare Mellor, 2-09-01. This article is available 
in archives at du-diagnosis.html
16. "Iraqi Cancer, Birth Defects Blamed on US Depleted Uranium," Seattle 
Post- Intelligencer, 11-12-02; "US Depleted Uranium Yields Chamber of 
Horrors in Southern Iraq, Andy Kershaw, The Independent (London) 12-4-01.

17. "The Environmental and Human Health Impacts of the Gulf War Region 
with Special References to Iraq," Ross Mirkarimi, The Arms Control 
Research Centre, May 1992. See also Gulf War Syndrome Birth Defects in 
Iraq at

18. "The Tiny Victims of Desert Storm, Has Our Country Abandoned Them?," 
Life Magazine, November 1995; "Birth Defects Killing Gulf War Babies," 
Los Angeles Times, 11-14-94; "Depleted Uranium, The Lingering Poison," 
Alex Kirby, BBC News Online, 6-7-99.

19. "Depleted Uranium, A Killer Disaster," Travis Dunn, Disaster, 12-29-02.

20. San Francisco Chronicle, 10-10-02.

21. "US To Use Depleted Uranium," BBC News, 3-18-03.

22. "Depleted Uranium Symptoms Match US Report As Fears Spread," Peter 
Beaumont, The Observer (UK) 1-14-01.

23. "Iraqi Cancer, Birth Defects Blamed on US Depleted Uranium," Seattle 
Post- Intelligencer, 11-12-02.

24. "US To Use Depleted Uranium," BBC News, 3-18-03.

25. US Army Environmental Policy Institute: Health and Environmental 
Consequences of Depleted Uranium in the U.S. Army, Technical Report, 
June 1995.

26. "Pentagon Depleted Uranium No Health Risk," Dr. Doug Rokke, 3-15-03; 
also "The Terrible, Tragic Toll of Depleted Uranium," Address by Dr. 
Rokke before congressional leaders in Washington, D.C.,12-30-02; also 
"Gulf War Casualties," Dr. Doug Rokke, 9-30-02.

27."Tests Show Gulf War Victims Have Uranium Poisoning," Sunday Times 
(UK), Jonathon Carr-Brown and Martin Meissonnier, 9-3-00.

28. "The Pentagon's Radioactive Bullet: An Investigative Report," Bill 
Mesler, The Nation, 5-28-99, 

29. "Tactical Nukes Deployed In Afghanistan," World Net Daily, 10-7-01. 

30. Ibid.

31. "The B-61 Bomb,The Burrowing Nuke" George Smith, 
12-29-02.; also "Bunker-busting US Tactical Nuclear Bombs, Nowhere to 
Hide," Kennedy Grey,, 10-9-01.

32."Perpetual Death From America," Mohammed Daud Miraki, Afghan-American 
Interviews, 2-24-03; also "Dying of Thirst," Fred Pearce, New Scientist, 

33. Ibid.

34. "Afghanistan Displaces Myanmar as Top Heroin Producer," Agence 
France-Presse, 3-01-03. This article is at;also "Opium 
Trade Flourishing In the `New Afghanistan,'" Reuters, 3-3-03.

35. "The Bush-Cheney Drug Empire," Michael C. Ruppert, Nexus Magazine, 
February-March 2000; The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the 
Global Drug Trade, Alfred W. McCoy, Lawrence Hill & Co., revised edition 
due May 2003; Drugging of America, Rodney Stich, Diablo Western Press, 
1999; "Blood for Oil, Drugs for Arms," Bob Djurdjevic, Truth In Media, 
April 2000,

36. ABC News, February 27, 2003

37. Compromised, Clinton Bush and the CIA, Terry Reed and John Cummings, 
S.P.I. Books, 1994; The Clinton Chronicles and The Mena Cover-up, 
Citizens for Honest Government, 1996; "The Crimes of Mena, Grey Money," 
Ozark Gazette, 1995 (see

38. "Damage to Yugoslav Environment is Immense, Says a UN Report," Bob 
Djurdjevic, 7-4-99, This report was submitted to the 
UN Security Council on June 9, 1999; also, "New Depleted Uranium Study 
Shows Clear Damage," BBC News,8-28-99; also "NATO Issued Warning About 
Toxic Ammo," Associated Press, 01-08-01.

39., 12-28-01.

40. "Hundreds Died of Cancer After DU Bombing--Doctor," Reuters, 1-13-01.

41."Depleted Uranium Threatens Balkan Cancer Epidemic," BBC News, 7-30-99.

42. "Many Defense Sites Still Hazardous," Associated Press, 9-24-02; 
also Old US Weapons Called Hidden Danger, Los Angeles Times, 11-25-02.

43. "Pentagon Seeks Freedom to Pollute Land, Air and Sea," Andrew Gumbel 
in L.A., 3-13-03, Independent Digital (UK) Ltd.

44. "Radioactive DU Ammo Is Tested in Fish Areas," Seattle 
Post-Intelligencer, 1-11-03; Letter from Rep. McDermott to Department of
the Navy: see "Navy Fired DU Rounds Into Waters Off Coast of 
Washington," 1-20-03,

45."Cancer Rates Soar From US Military Use of DU On `Enchanted Island,'", 2-5-01; also "Navy Shells With Depleted Uranium 
Fired in Puerto Rico," Fox News Online, 5-28-99.

46. "The Fallon, NV Cancer Cluster And a US Navy Bombing," Jeffrey St. 
Clair,, 8-10-02.

47. "DU Shells Are Made of A Potentially Lethal Cocktail of Nuclear 
Waste," Jonathon Carr-Brown,, 1-22-01.

48. "Preventative War Sets Perilous Precedent," Helen Thomas, Hearst 
Newspapers, 3-20-03.

49. PIGS at the Trough, Arriana Huffington, Random House, 2003 (New York 
Times best seller.); also "The Best Enemies Money Can Buy, From Hitler 
to Saddam Hussein to Osama bin Laden Insider Connections and the Bush 
Family's Partnership With Killers of Americans;" Mike Ruppert, From the 
Wilderness,10-10-01; also "Bush Sr.'s Carlyle Group Gets Fat on War and 
Conflict," Jamie Doward, The Observer (UK), 3-25-03; also "Halliburton 
Wins Contract for Iraq Oil Firefighting, Reuters, 3-7-03; also "Cashing 
In-Fortunes in Profits Await Bush Circle After Iraq War, Andrew Gumbel, 
The Independent (London) 9-15-02; also "War Could Be Big Business for 
Halliburton," Reuters, 3-23-03.

50. "Pentagon Seeks a Nuclear Digger," Washington Post, March 10, 2003.

51. "Remember: Bush Planned Iraq War Before Taking Office," Neil Mackay, 
The Sunday Herald (UK) 3-27-03; also "US Mini-Nukes Alarm Scientists," 
The Guardian (UK) 4-18-01; also "US Nuclear First-Strike Plan--It Keeps 
Getting Scarier, Jeffrey Steinberg, Executive Intelligence Review, 2-24-03.

52. Wall Street Journal, 8-16-90: The CIA supported the Baath Party and 
installed Hussein as Iraqi dictator in 1968.

53. "United States Dual-Use Exports to Iraq and Their Impact on the 
Health of Persian Gulf War Veterans," Senate Committee on Banking, 
Housing and Urban Affairs, 1992, 1994; "U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq 
Buildup," Washington Post, 12-30-02.

54. "US Government, 24 US Corps Illegally Helped Iraq Build Its WMD," 
Hugh Williamson in Berlin, Financial Times, 12-19-02; "Full List of US 
Weapons Suppliers To Iraq," Anu de Monterice,

55. Huffington, op. cit.

Amy Worthington is a reporter for The Idaho Observer
   Posted for educational and research purposes only,
~   in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107   ~

See also - NucNews Links and Archives

Gulf-war syndrome 

The fog of war  Aug 21st 2003 From The Economist
As casualties from the war in Iraq mount, a battle is still raging over the 
causes of Gulf-war-related illnesses

WAR is not a healthy business. Since hostilities began in March, more than 330 
American and British soldiers have died in Iraq. All such losses are 
regrettable, but two deaths in particular are a puzzle. They were among 18 
servicemen who have developed severe pneumonia in the past six months, part of 
a wider but milder outbreak that has affected another 74 American soldiers. 

Pneumonia is no stranger to army life, so these 90-odd cases are not 
surprising. What is unusual is the seriousness of the 18 cases, says Greg Gray, 
an epidemiologist at the University of Iowa. This mystery pneumonia has put 
healthy warriors on breathing machines. And although pneumonia can be 
infectious, there is no sign that soldiers are spreading it to each other; 
indeed, the severe cases are found in units deployed as far apart as Iraq, 
Kuwait, Qatar, Djibouti and Uzbekistan. 

American army medical teams are trying to track down the cause of this 
outbreak. Patients have been given questionnaires to see if they share any 
medical history or subtle physiological features. Researchers from the Centres 
for Disease Control and Prevention are working with the army on blood and 
sputum tests to screen victims for a range of bacteria, viruses, fungi and 
parasites, as well as signs of auto-immune abnormalities. 
Commentary "The fog of war"

Explaining Gulf-war syndrome May 18th 2000
Iraq, United States

Health, War in Iraq, Wars 

The Gulf War Veteran Resource Pages, America's Centers for Disease Control 
and the Division of Epidemiology at Southwestern Medical Centre publish information on the topic.

The patients do not share a common occupation and tests seem to have eliminated 
microbial suspects such as the bacteria that cause tuberculosis and 
Legionnaires' disease, as well as the SARS virus and Hantavirus. One 
interesting finding, says Dr Gray, is that roughly half the severe pneumonia 
cases have elevated levels of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell normally 
associated with fungal or parasitic infections. Army officials believe that 
pathogens, or other environmental factors, are more likely causes than 
biological or chemical weapons. 

Despite the mystery, rooting out the cause of these pneumonias will be easier 
than unravelling the epidemiological enigma of the 1991 Iraq war: Gulf-war 
syndrome (GWS). GWS refers to an odd assortment of symptoms—joint pain, 
fatigue, headache, memory and sleep problems—reported by thousands of Gulf-war 
veterans in several countries. Although many cases have been explained by post-
traumatic stress disorder, roughly a fifth remain undiagnosed.

As Simon Wessely, a researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, points 
out, there is no question that the symptoms of GWS are genuine. The problem is 
that—despite over a decade of research in many countries and more than $200m 
spent in America alone—most experts are hard-pressed to come up with a clear 
definition of a unique syndrome that can explain them. Or a particular cause to 
account for them—be it vaccines against biological agents, nerve-gas antidotes 
or depleted uranium from shell casings.

Certainly, some well-defined diseases have cropped up. Ronald Horner, a 
researcher at the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke in 
Maryland, found that 1991 Gulf-war veterans have twice the risk of developing 
amylotrophic lateral sclerosis, an extremely rare and fatal neuro-degenerative 
condition, compared with soldiers outside the region. GWS, though, is far less 
clear-cut than this.

One answer may be found in the work of Craig Hyams, at the United States 
Department of Veteran Affairs in Washington, DC. He has looked at military 
illnesses through history and found similar complaints as far back as the 
American civil war. Might GWS be just a modern-day version of the traditional 
impact of war? 

Robert Haley, a researcher at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical 
Centre in Dallas, thinks not. He reckons that GWS is a defined physiological 
disorder caused by exposure to chemical weapons. Dr Haley's research, using 
magnetic resonance spectroscopy, has shown biochemical differences in parts of 
the brain called the basal ganglia and brainstem. He argues these are a sign of 
damage varying according to the type of trouble experienced by veterans, be it 
memory loss or body pain. Dr Haley's research has also shown that sick and well 
Gulf-war veterans have different levels of a key blood enzyme called para-
oxonase. He contends that this may make particular soldiers more vulnerable to 
the effects of some nasty chemicals.

Many researchers, however, question Dr Haley's work. In part, this is because 
his tests were performed on only 43 servicemen (23 of whom were ill). This is a 
rather small study group, and further work is now under way to replicate these 
studies in larger groups of soldiers. Researchers at several army and navy 
medical centres, the Institute of Medicine and the General Accounting Office 
are also investigating exposure to chemical weapons. Of particular interest is 
a place called Khamisiyah, an Iraqi munitions dump blown up by American 
soldiers in 1991 and later found to include rockets loaded with sarin, a deadly 
chemical. How much sarin was released, how far it spread, how many soldiers 
were exposed and what sort of medical problems they have encountered are all 
matters of debate. 

Although many scientists and defence officials on both sides of the Atlantic 
dispute the very existence of GWS, allied forces in the recent Iraqi war did 
err on the safe side. Britain, for example, changed its vaccination schedule 
for soldiers, giving more jabs before troops were deployed rather than in the 
field. The use of the whooping-cough vaccine was also eliminated. This was used 
in the first Gulf war to boost the action of anthrax vaccine. It has been 
suggested that this combination of jabs may be linked to some symptoms of GWS. 
In addition, “combat stress teams”, including social workers and psychologists, 
have been sent out with the troops to help them deal with the physical and 
mental pressures of the conflict. 

The biggest change for both forces was better information management. One of 
the greatest obstacles to solving the puzzle of GWS has been a lack of reliable 
data. This time round, both armies have tried to improve the way they brief 
soldiers on health risks, and have kept medical records up-to-date. Health 
assessments have already begun on those who have returned.

Environmental surveillance technicians have also been sent to Iraq, with 
portable kits to test encampments for chemical contaminants. And soil, air and 
water samples have been sent back for analysis. There is also a network of 
medics carrying portable handheld computers at the front line, and doctors with 
laptops in field hospitals. This information is analysed using software which 
automatically detects unusual patterns of illness.

At the very least, these measures will help epidemiologists to work out the 
cause of the pneumonia outbreak. They should be of use in picking up emerging 
medical problems, including symptoms associated with GWS. Dr Hyams has no doubt 
that this year's conflict, like those before it, will throw up some baffling 
illnesses, given the “horrific and varied exposures” of war. No matter who or 
what the enemy is, forewarned is forearmed. 

Subject: Re: [DU-WATCH] Gulf war syndrome - the fog of war
     Date:      Fri, 22 Aug 2003 09:55:42 +0800
    From:      Max Whisson <>
      To:       <>
"The fog of war":  endlessly elaborate
obfuscation of the Gulf War Syndrome

This piece from the Economist on the "mysterious" illnesses in people
returning from Iraq is yet another example of the endlessly elaborate
obfuscation of the Gulf War Syndrome. Extensive investigations conducted at
great expense by many experts are detailed. There is just one omission:
there is no record of any investigation which could reveal depleted uranium
in the bodies of those affected!

To be specific, there is no record of the measurement of radioactivity in
sputum, blood, or tissues. DU emits short range alpha particles and the
daughter elements emit short range beta particles. This radioactivity is
extremely damaging when inside body cells but is hard to detect. It has a
very short range (most less than 20 microns) and the radioactivity is
emitted at a very slow rate, so that sensitive detection methods are needed.
The most appropriate method is probably autoradiography with a long exposure
time (eg 3 months). So special techniques are needed to detect DU in the
body. This does not mean however that such techniques are complicated or
difficult. They are very easy for many laboratories. They are not done
simply because to search for DU in people is very actively suppressed. In
this way the consequences of the criminal distribution of aerosolised DU can
continue to be presented as a "mystery".

And this focus on victims of Gulf War Syndrome is a further obfuscation. All
the people of the invaded territories are at much greater risk. Their high
cancer rates and the high rates of foetal abnormalities are also actively
suppressed. The incarceration of DR. HUDA AMMASH in April by US military
authorities in Baghdad is almost certainly aimed at suppressing her
scientific findings on war related illness in Iraq. It is difficult to not
to come to a similar conclusion about the purpose of explosion under the
office of the head of the UN in Baghdad this week. Among a wide range of
activities to help the Iraqi people recover, the UN was investigating the
effects of widespread radioactivity.

Max Whisson