MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH


April 4, 2003

The U.S. Army of Mass Destruction Series #5: The Abominable Killing Machine

Hello everyone

While things seems to be going the U.S. way in Iraq - according to the Pentagonized embedded U.S. media! - there are as usual a whole bunch of things that happen below the radar of most media. Some of it is featured below.

And it's just a glimpse!

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com

This compilation is archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/MassDestruction5.htm

Check also my latest Media Compilation #127: The Trigger-happy "Liberators" - archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/MediaCompilation127.htm

IMPORTANT: Don't forget to check your emails Sunday for the next Meditation Focus!


CONTENTS

1. TV Nation : Circling the Cathode Drain
2. IRAQWAR.RU - March 30 Update
3. Boycotting America
4. US seeks help blocking Human Rights Tribunal
5. Congressman Jim McDermott Introduces Depleted Uranium Bill HR 1483


SUBTLE NEWS! The Saturn Cafe in Santa Cruz CA is temporarily changing the name of their fries to "Fuck George Bush Fries," with 5% of the profits going to the Impeachment Fund. Details at http://www.saturncafe.com/


NOTE FROM JEAN: If you want to have a good idea of the barely reported bloody mayhem going on right now all over Iraq, just read the entire "US MARINES TURN FIRE ON CIVILIANS AT THE BRIDGE OF DEATH" below. The movie Saving Private Ryan pales in comparison with this gut-wrenching story of the unbelievable and escalating savagery of this war.


ALL BELOW ARE *MUST SEE*!...

US MARINES TURN FIRE ON CIVILIANS AT THE BRIDGE OF DEATH (March 30)
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-628258,00.html
THE light was a strange yellowy grey and the wind was coming up, the beginnings of a sandstorm. The silence felt almost eerie after a night of shooting so intense it hurt the eardrums and shattered the nerves. My footsteps felt heavy on the hot, dusty asphalt as I walked slowly towards the bridge at Nasiriya. A horrific scene lay ahead. Some 15 vehicles, including a minivan and a couple of trucks, blocked the road. They were riddled with bullet holes. Some had caught fire and turned into piles of black twisted metal. Others were still burning. Amid the wreckage I counted 12 dead civilians, lying in the road or in nearby ditches. All had been trying to leave this southern town overnight, probably for fear of being killed by US helicopter attacks and heavy artillery. Their mistake had been to flee over a bridge that is crucial to the coalition's supply lines and to run into a group of shell-shocked young American marines with orders to shoot anything that moved. One man's body was still in flames. It gave out a hissing sound. Tucked away in his breast pocket, thick wads of banknotes were turning to ashes. His savings, perhaps. Down the road, a little girl, no older than five and dressed in a pretty orange and gold dress, lay dead in a ditch next to the body of a man who may have been her father. Half his head was missing. Nearby, in a battered old Volga, peppered with ammunition holes, an Iraqi woman - perhaps the girl's mother - was dead, slumped in the back seat. A US Abrams tank nicknamed Ghetto Fabulous drove past the bodies. This was not the only family who had taken what they thought was a last chance for safety. A father, baby girl and boy lay in a shallow grave. On the bridge itself a dead Iraqi civilian lay next to the carcass of a donkey. As I walked away, Lieutenant Matt Martin, whose third child, Isabella, was born while he was on board ship en route to the Gulf, appeared beside me. "Did you see all that?" he asked, his eyes filled with tears. "Did you see that little baby girl? I carried her body and buried it as best I could but I had no time. It really gets to me to see children being killed like this, but we had no choice." Martin's distress was in contrast to the bitter satisfaction of some of his fellow marines as they surveyed the scene. "The Iraqis are sick people and we are the chemotherapy," said Corporal Ryan Dupre. "I am starting to hate this country. Wait till I get hold of a friggin' Iraqi. No, I won't get hold of one. I'll just kill him." CLIP - Go read the horrifying rest at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-628258,00.html

Robert Fisk: Wailing children, the wounded, the dead: victims of the day cluster bombs rained on Babylon (April 3)
http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=393458
The wounds are vicious and deep, a rash of scarlet spots on the back and thighs or face, the shards of shrapnel from the cluster bombs buried an inch or more in the flesh. The wards of the Hillah teaching hospital are proof that something illegal – something quite outside the Geneva Conventions – occurred in the villages around the city once known as Babylon. The wailing children, the young women with breast and leg wounds, the 10 patients upon whom doctors had to perform brain surgery to remove metal from their heads, talk of the days and nights when the explosives fell "like grapes" from the sky. Cluster bombs, the doctors say – and the detritus of the air raids around the hamlets of Nadr and Djifil and Akramin and Mahawil and Mohandesin and Hail Askeri shows that they are right. Were they American or British aircraft that showered these villages with one of the most lethal weapons of modern warfare? The 61 dead who have passed through the Hillah hospital since Saturday night cannot tell us. Nor can the survivors who, in many cases, were sitting in their homes when the white canisters opened high above their village, spilling thousands of bomblets into the sky, exploding in the air, soaring through windows and doorways to burst indoors or bouncing off the roofs of the concrete huts to blow up later in the roadways. (...) Heartbreaking is the only word to describe 10-year-old Maryam Nasr and her five-year-old sister Hoda. Maryam has a patch over her right eye where a piece of bomblet embedded itself. She also had wounds to the stomach and thighs. (...) something terrible happened around Hillah this week, something unforgivable and something contrary to international law. CLIP

US Accused Of Using Illegal Cluster Bombs (March 29)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,925167,00.html

Unprecedented onslaught on Baghdad (31 March)
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=392458
America unleashed all three types of its hi-tech long-range bombers today in an unprecedented onslaught in and around Baghdad. The US Central Command said the attacks were carried out simultaneously by multiple B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers, adding that it was the first time all three long-range strike aircraft had targeted the same area at the same time.

US Use Of DU Illegal (March 31)
http://www.sundayherald.com/3252
BRITISH and American coalition forces are using depleted uranium (DU) shells in the war against Iraq and deliberately flouting a United Nations resolution which classifies the munitions as illegal weapons of mass destruction.

British troops say attacked by U.S. "cowboy" pilot
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L318939.htm
LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - British soldiers wounded by "friendly fire" in Iraq said their convoy had been hit by a U.S. aircraft and one of them called the pilot a "cowboy" with no regard for human life, the Times newspaper reported on Monday. The Times carried accounts by the survivors which tallied with earlier British media reports that an American A10 "tankbuster" plane had strafed a convoy of British armoured vehicles.

Search for smoking gun draws a blank (March 31)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,926187,00.html
US and Britain's case for war undermined by special forces' failure to find illegal arms at 10 suspected sites. Britain and the United States suffered a fresh blow last night when their
main justification for war was undermined by reports that special forces have failed to find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. As Tony Blair launched a charm offensive to persuade the Arab world to understand his decision to go to war, senior officials in Washington said that intelligence information about weapons of mass destruction at 10 sites had proved to be unfounded.

American support waning
http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/iraqwar/story/0,4395,180403,00.html
ABOUT 55 per cent of the US public believe that Washington had falsely raised expectations about the war, with 29 per cent saying that officials did so to increase public support, according to a Time magazine/CNN poll.

Top US army intelligence officer admits serious miscalculations (March 31)
http://www.iht.com/articles/91541.html

Rumsfeld's advisors are Pentagon contractors (March 31)
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/worldbiz/archives/2003/03/31/200205

Weather window is closing fast
http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/international.cfm?id=378982003
THE so-called "weather window" for British and US forces in Iraq is closing fast, amid warnings that the onset of some of the world‚s highest temperatures could have a major impact on their effectiveness. Heat exhaustion is likely to impede fighting ability as temperatures climb towards a peak of 43C (109F), while sandstorms decimate visibility .

How far can U.S. military resources stretch? (March 31)
http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_np=0&u_pg=54&u_sid=698361
WASHINGTON - With an additional 120,000 troops having been ordered to start moving toward the Persian Gulf, the U.S. military may not have enough soldiers, tanks, warplanes and ships left to deal with a major emergency elsewhere, say in North Korea. Sixty percent of the Marine Corps' power is already deployed overseas, mostly in Iraq. Half the Navy's aircraft carrier battle groups and the bulk of the Air Force's B-1 and B-2 heavy bombers are engaged in the war. Four of 10 15,000-person Army divisions are in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan, and elements of three other divisions are en route to the Persian Gulf.

Operation Enduring Boredom
http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/iraqwar/story/0,4395,180475,00.html?
Subsisting on junk food and catnaps, US-led coalition forces fighting off Iraqi troops while marching towards Baghdad are beginning to resemble walking zombies.

A Strange Kind Of Freedom (April 2 by Arundhati Roy)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,927849,00.html

U.S. military will start shoot on sight to prevent future suicide attacks in Iraq (Mar 30)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030330/ap_wo_en_ge/me_gen_iraq_suicide_attack_6

We don't understand Iraqis, admits US officer, Regime not about to collapse, war planner concedes (April 2)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,927774,00.html

Terrorist actions would violate rules of war: US (March 31)
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?msid=41 990810
(...) US forces have begun rounding up Iraqis in civilian clothes who are suspected of involvement with paramilitary squads and may ship them to the US Navy base in Guantanamo.

Read The Small Print - US Wants To Privatize Iraq's Oil, No One Here Believes This Is A Humanitarian War (March 31)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,926043,00.html

Urgently needed to help win the war...
http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/iraqwar/story/0,4395,180464,00.html?
WASHINGTON - The shortages are already showing up near the front.

US draws up secret plan to impose regime on Iraq (April 1)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,927055,00.html
A disagreement has broken out at a senior level within the Bush administration over a new government that the US is secretly planning in Kuwait to rule Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Under the plan, the government will consist of 23 ministries, each headed by an American.

John Major: Imposing Democracy in Iraq Nearly Impossible
"http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30100-12277085,00.html

Le Figaro: Coalition Troops Have Committed Hitler's Mistake
http://english.pravda.ru/main/2003/03/28/45193.html

Baghdad assault 'delayed for up to 40 days'
http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/international.cfm?id=379692003

Bush reportedly shielded from dire Iraq forecast (29 March)
http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/news/5510092.htm

The Miscalculations of Yes-Men (31 March)
http://truthout.org/docs_03/040103A.shtml
It is becoming difficult to tally all of the decisions made by the Bush administration that have turned out to be dead wrong. Walking away from North Korea at the outset of the administration has blossomed into an embarrassing tactical and diplomatic imbroglio with nukes prominently on the table. The massive trillion-dollar tax cut, feted by the administration as an economic cure-all, has become a crushing millstone on the back of an already murderously overburdened federal budget. The decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Treaty, and to be generally disdainful of the international community as a matter of course, led to the utterly humiliating series of diplomatic defeats America has suffered on the matter of Iraq. Little in the last two years of folly can compare, however, to the disastrous miscalculations made by the Bush administration regarding their military attack upon Iraq. This is what the highest members of the administration, as well as opinion-makers favorable to the war, were saying about the ease with which we would take Iraq:

- Vice President Dick Cheney, in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" on March 16th, said, "The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but that they want to get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that."

- In an opinion piece for the Washington Post published February 13, 2002, former U.N. ambassador Ken Adelman said, "I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk. Let me give simple, responsible reasons:
(1) It was a cakewalk last time; (2) they've become much weaker; (3) we've become much stronger; and (4) now we're playing for keeps."

- Christopher Hitchens, writer for Vanity Fair said on January 28, 2003, "This will be no war -- there will be a fairly brief and ruthless military intervention. The president will give an order. It will be rapid, accurate and dazzling ... It will be greeted by the majority of the Iraqi people as an emancipation. And I say, bring it on."

- Richard Perle, chairman of the powerful Defense Policy Board until his recent resignation amid accusations of financial conflicts of interest, said in a July 11, 2002 PBS interview, "Saddam is much weaker than we think he is. He's weaker militarily. We know he's got about a third of what he had in 1991. But it's a house of cards. He rules by fear because he knows there is no underlying support. Support for Saddam, including within his military organization, will collapse at the first whiff of gunpowder." This is the same Richard Perle who told David Corn in May of 2002 that Iraq could be taken with a light force of 40,000 American troops. "We don't need anyone else," he said.

Bush's Best Evidence Against Iraq Is Fake
http://rense.com/general36/best.htm

U.S. news criticized for sterility
http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/5512120.htm

The Euro And The War On Iraq (3-29-3)
http://rense.com/general36/euro.htm
In November 2000, Iraq began selling its oil for euros, moving away from the post-World War II standard of the US dollar as the currency of international trade. Whilst seen by many at the time as a bizarre act of political defiance, it has proved beneficial for Iraq, with the euro gaining almost 25% against the dollar during 2001. It now costs around USD$1.05 to buy one Euro. Iraq's move towards the euro is indicative of a growing trend. Iran has already converted the majority of its central bank reserve funds to the euro, and has hinted at adopting the euro for all oil sales. On December 7th, 2002, the third member of the axis of evil, North Korea, officially dropped the dollar and began using euros for trade. Venezuela, not a member of the axis of evil yet, but a large oil producer nonetheless, is also considering a switch to the euro. More importantly, at its April 14th, 2002 meeting in Spain, OPEC expressed an interest in leaving the dollar in favour of the euro. If OPEC were to switch to the euro as the standard for oil transactions, it would have serious ramifications for the US economy. Oil-consuming economies would have to flush the dollars out of their central bank holdings and convert them to euros. Some economists estimate that with the market flooded, the US dollar could drop up to 40% in value. As the currency falls, there would be a monetary evacuation by foreign investors abandoning the US stock markets and dollar-denominated assets. Imported products would cost Americans a lot more, and the trade deficit would be magnified. It is foreign demand for the US dollar that funds the US federal budget deficits. Foreign investors flush with dollars typically look to US treasury securities as a means of secure investment. With a large reduction in such investment, the country could potentially go into default. Things could turn very bad, very quickly. In May 2004 an additional 10 member nations will join the European Union. At that point, the EU will represent an oil consumer 33% larger than the United States. In order to mitigate currency risks, the Europeans will increasingly pressure OPEC to trade in euros, and with the EU at that stage buying over half of OPEC oil production, such a change seems likely. This is a scenario that America cannot afford to see eventuate. The US will go to any length to fend off an attempt by OPEC to dump greenbacks as its reserve currency. Attacking Iraq and installing a client regime in Baghdad may have a preventative effect. It will certainly ensure that Iraq returns to using dollars and provide a violent example to any other nation in the region contemplating a migration to the euro. An American-backed junta in Iraq would also enable the US to smash OPEC's hold over oil prices. The US or its client regime could increase Iraqi oil production to levels well beyond OPEC quotas, driving prices down worldwide and weakening the economies of the oil producing nations, thus lessening their likelihood of abandoning the dollar. It would have the short term effect of reducing the profits of domestic oil companies, but the long term effect of securing America's economic hegemony.

Global rallies protest Iraq war (March 30)
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/03/30/1048962640169.html

Crisis Newsletter: War Roundup and April 12 March in London
http://www.911dossier.co.uk/911email.html

Cat Stevens back in studio
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/2903451.stm
Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, has recorded his first pop song for 25 years to raise money for children in Iraq. He has joined stars such as Sir Paul McCartney, David Bowie and George Michael in donating tracks to an album for the War Child charity. (...) There is a powerful need for people to feel that gust of hope rise up again. It will feature on a 17-track album entitled Hope due for release on 21 April. CLIP




1.

Forwarded by "Leigh"

From: "Imaginal Diffusion Agency" <planetary@wildmail.com>
Sent: April 03, 2003
Subject: TV Nation : Circling the Cathode Drain

TV NATION

After a long and tiring day of work I return home to relax.

Turning on the television, I switch to CNN for their version of the war.

I am greeted by Coalition Victories, everything is going as planned.

And the rotating banners with phrases of confidence spoken by George W. Bush.

Segue into a picture essay: "What war is" or some such title.

Narrated by one of those smooth voices from 60 minutes.

Pictures of smiling soldiers in a bunker.

Picture of a soldier resting, reading a book.

Soldiers carrying wounded civilians, everyone smiling.

Soldiers smiling, surrounded by smiling Iraqi Children.

A smiling soldier, tending to an unsmiling commrad.

ONE picture of an upset Iraqi man.

95% No Frowns. No Anguish. No Carnage. No Death. No Reality.

Segue to a woman reporter lodged in Kuwait, her name is irrelevant.

She looks like a super model.


She smiles and stares deeply into the camera lens. This is her 15 minutes of fame.

She holds a bird cage; parakeets in a coal mine, first warning sign of chemical attack.

They are well taken care of, she says.

She is an animal lover, she says.

They are named after Saddam's sons, Uday and Qusay she jokes.

After all, we must have a sense of humor in times like this, she says.

This is the official voice of the Bush Regime. Painting smiling pictures and jokes of war.

I don't think the dead civilians are smiling right now. Or the loved ones they left behind.

I don't think the Iraqi people are making jokes right now.

Like the child with his brains blown out, his head flesh rumpled like a dirty towel.

Or the woman and her children that were incinerated as a missile descended upon them in the ghettos of Baghdad.

Or the children grimacing in pain from makeshift hospital beds.

The first American soldiers captured by Iraq weren't smiling either.

I'm sure the list is quite extensive but we are not being told the truth.

The only smiles I see are the grinning skulls of death hurled down anonymously from above.

Hurled down in the name of Freedom and Democracy and our once good nation, the United States of America.

But now we are officially, completely and irreversibly tainted, as our criminal executive and military branches reach out to secure the Middle East economy with the goal of dominating the world.

Dave Hunter 3.28.03




2.

ALREADY A BIT OBSOLETE BUT THE PARTS INCLUDED ARE STILL WORTH KNOWING ABOUT

From: http://www.aeronautics.ru/news/news002/iraqwar_ru_016.htm

IRAQWAR.RU - March 30 Update

Moscow - No significant changes have been reported during March 29-30 on the Iraqi-US front. Positional combat, sporadic exchange of fire and active search and reconnaissance operations by both sides continue along the entire line of the front.

American troops continue massing near Karabela. As was mentioned in the previous update, the US group of forces in this area numbers up to 30,000 troops, up to 200 tanks and up to 230 helicopters. Latest photos of this area suggest that the [US] troops are busy servicing and repairing their equipment and setting up the support infrastructure.

CLIP

The current technical shape of the coalition forces was discussed during the meeting at the coalition central headquarters. During a personal phone conversation with another serviceman in the US one participant of this meeting called this technical state "depressing". According to him "...a third of our equipment can be dragged to a junk yard right now. We are holding up only thanks to the round-the-clock maintenance. The real heroes on the front lines are not the Marines but the "ants" from the repair units. If it wasn't for them we'd be riding camels by now..." [Reverse-translated from Russian]

Based on the intercepted radio communications, reports from both sides and other intelligence data, since the beginning of the war the coalition lost 15-20 tanks, around 40 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, more than 50 military trucks and up to 10 helicopters. In addition to that there have been at least 40 more disabled tanks, about the same number of disabled APCs and IFVs, about 100 disabled wheeled vehicles of all types and around 40 disabled helicopters. These numbers are based on the analysis of non-classified technical reports received daily by the Pentagon.

CLIP

These failed attacked have once again confirmed the fears of the coalition command that the Iraqi forces were much better technically equipped than was believed before the war. In particular, the DIA [US Defense Intelligence Agency] intelligence report from February 2003 insisted that the Iraqi army practically had no night vision equipment except for those systems installed on some tanks and serviceability of even that equipment was questioned. In reality, however, the coalition troops have learned that the Iraqis have an adequate number of night vision surveillance systems and targeting sights even at the squadron level and they know how to properly use this equipment. A particular point of concern [for the coalition] is the fact that most Iraqi night vision systems captured by the coalition are the latest models manufactured in the US and Japan. After analyzing the origins of this equipment the US begun talking about the "Syrian connection". In this regard, the US military experts have analyzed Syria's weapons imports for the past two years and have concluded that in the future fighting [in Iraq] the coalition troops may have to deal with the latest Russian-made anti-tank systems, latest radars and radio reconnaissance systems resistant to the effects electronic counter measures.

In the same area [An-Najaf] a coalition checkpoint manned by the US Marines was attacked by a suicide bomber - an Iraqi soldier - who detonated a passenger car loaded with explosives next to the US troops. At least 5 of them were killed.

CLIP -

Check their latest April 2 update at http://www.aeronautics.ru/news/news002/iraqwar_ru_019.htm




3.

Date: 31 Mar 2003
Subject: Boycotting America
From: Raja Choudhury <rajachow@hotmail.com>

In a time when it is impossible to fight the might of the US war machine, there is another way to win the war. Stop the juggernaut by hitting where it really hurts, in their wallets. Here are 7 ways to stop American Hegemony in the world – the Gandhian art of Non-Co-operation:

1. Stop wearing American clothes – no more Nike sneakers or Levis jeans or Gap sweats!
2. Stop consuming American foods and drinks – no more Coca Cola, Pepsi or Kellogg's Corn Flakes!
3. Stop watching American Media – no more Hollywood films or bad TV survivor shows.
4. Start emailing every congressman in the US and make software that overwhelms their networks with messages of peace
5. Start walking more and consuming less – no more fuel to make the oil companies rich!
6. Start learning more about your world and who owns what?
7. Question everything and send your questions to everyone.

AND MY COMMENT WAS:

Sounds like things many people (outside of the U.S.) would probably want to do. It did work for South Africa at the time of the apartheid - yet this is a really tall order to get such a proposal to actually be implemented worldwide... And it could indirectly cause difficulties for many peace-loving Americans... I'd like to hear what they think about this...

AND RAJA FURTHER ADDED:

These are thoughts that came to me from many sources around the world and you are right, it only works outside of the US and yes, if implemented, many will be hurt. The tone is taken from the environmental movement and it was meant to be a call to reflexion and not necessarily a call to action.

SEE THE ATTACHED PIC!




4.

From: "Mark Graffis" <mgraffis@vitelcom.net>
Subject: US seeks help blocking Human Rights Tribunal
Date: 31 Mar 2003

Nation Newspaper Barbados
Another American request coming - Sunday 30, March-2003

From: http://www.nationnews.com/StoryView.cfm?Record=36030&Section=LO&Current=2003%2D03%2D30%2000%3A00%3A00

by Tony Best

Within the next few days, the United States plans to ask Barbados and its Caricom neighbours to help block any attempt to haul Washington before the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Tribunal to answer charges of abuses in Iraq.

With civilian casualties mounting in Iraq and having succeeded in derailing international efforts to switch the Iraqi crisis from the UN Security Council to the UN General Assembly, diplomatic sources in Washington and New York say the Bush Administration plans to press the Caribbean to join in a lobbying effort to oppose any move by Islamic nations and other members of the Non-Aligned Movement, to complain to the UN Human Rights Commission about the way the United States is conducting the war.

"It's our understanding that the United States is going to ask the ministries of foreign affairs in various Caricom capitals to block any effort to take the Iraqi question to a UN human rights panel," said a diplomatic source at the UN.

"Jamaica, Barbados, St Vincent, Guyana and so on should expect to receive a diplomatic note in the next few days asking for support in this regard. The United States would consider it a supreme international embarrassment if the matter goes before a human rights panel," added the senior diplomat.

A few days ago, a United States bomb dropped on Baghdad reportedly killed as many as 50 civilians. More than 200 civilians are believed to have died either from bombs, or when they were caught between American and British forces and Iraqi soldiers.




5.

From: Mark Elsis <mark@lovearth.net>
Subject: Congressman McDermott Depleted Uranium Bill HR 1483
Date: 29 Mar 2003

Please eMail, call, fax or write your congressperson and both senators -- Ask for their support on HR 1483 Congressman McDermott Depleted Uranium Bill

Also, please eMail, call, fax or write thanking Congressman Jim McDermott
http://eMailCongress.net

From: http://www.house.gov/mcdermott/pr030327.html

Congressman Jim McDermott Introduces Depleted Uranium Bill HR 1483

March 27, 2003

[March 28, 2003 - Jim McDermott's Depleted Uranium legislation is now official - it should be referred to as HR 1483 -- Ken Kadlec ken.kadlec@mail.house.gov]

Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) today introduced legislation requiring studies on the health and environmental impact of depleted uranium (DU) munitions, as well as cleanup and mitigation of depleted uranium contamination at sites within the United States where DU has been used or produced.

McDermott, a medical doctor, has been concerned about this issue since veterans of the Gulf War started experiencing unexplained illnesses. His concern deepened, he said, after visiting Iraq, where Iraqi pediatricians told him that the incidence of severely deformed infants and childhood cancers has skyrocketed.

"Depleted uranium is toxic and carcinogenic and it may well be associated with elevated rates of birth defects in babies born to those exposed to it," said McDermott. "We had troops coming home sick after the Gulf War, and depleted uranium may be one of the factors responsible for that."

Because of its density, the military uses depleted uranium as a protective shield around tanks. It is also part of munitions like armor-piercing bullets. Because it tends to spontaneously ignite upon impact, it is used to cause explosions.

But depleted uranium, a by-product of the uranium enrichment process, is also linked to grave health concerns because of its chemical toxicity and low-level radioactivity. When depleted uranium explodes, soldiers are exposed to DU in the form of alpha-emitting airborne particles that are inhaled and shrapnel that gets embedded in the body. They are also exposed through unprotected contact with equipment.

About 300 metric tons of depleted uranium was used in the Iraq during the Gulf War, and many citizens of Iraq as well as veterans of the Gulf War have experienced terrible health problems-many say as a consequence of depleted uranium. Increased rates of cancers, leukemia, and birth malformations are among the health problems that may be linked to DU.

The Pentagon has sent mixed signals about the effects of depleted uranium, at times claiming DU is not a health hazard, and at other times acknowledging the need for sophisticated protective gear and safety training regarding exposure to DU.

"The need for these studies is imperative and immediate," said McDermott. "We cannot knowingly put the men and women of our armed forces in harm's way."

The Depleted Uranium Munitions Study Act of 2003 has several original co-sponsors, including Reps. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).

Congressman Jim McDermott Contact Information: http://www.house.gov/mcdermott/contact.html

---

Related Articles:

The War Against Ourselves an interview with Dr. Doug Rokke http://www.futurenet.org/25environmentandhealth/rokke.htm

Depleted Uranium: The American Legacy by Sarah DeHart and Louis Farshee
http://www.americaheldhostile.com/ed031503.shtml

It's Time For Answers by Scott Taylor
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines/091200-02.htm




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