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Joseph Troska

Toxic legacy of US assault on Fallujah 'worse than Hiroshima'

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Toxic legacy of US assault on Fallujah 'worse than Hiroshima'

The shocking rates of infant mortality and cancer in Iraqi city raise new questions about battle

By Patrick Cockburn

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Children in Fallujah who suffer from birth defects which are thought to be linked to weapons used in attacks on the city by US Marines

Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.

Iraqi doctors in Fallujah have complained since 2005 of being overwhelmed by the number of babies with serious birth defects, ranging from a girl born with two heads to paralysis of the lower limbs. They said they were also seeing far more cancers than they did before the battle for Fallujah between US troops and insurgents.

Their claims have been supported by a survey showing a four-fold increase in all cancers and a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in under-14s. Infant mortality in the city is more than four times higher than in neighbouring Jordan and eight times higher than in Kuwait

FULL ARTICLE HERE -independent.co.uk

Edited by Joseph Troska

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"My guess is that they used a new weapon against buildings to break through walls and kill those inside."
Could be the depleted uranium shells from the Abrams,Bradleys and LAVs but when I saw that this Doctor thinks it's a "New weapon" this Doctor from the university of Ulster lost all creditability in my eyes. We fired a countless rounds from our Tanks and IFVs all through out Iraq. Why is it so bad in Fallujah? Why not Baghdad as well? I tempted to think it may have just as much to do with poor healthcare, and sanitation, as well as expended DU shells. Edited by Big Mac

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I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now.

poor healthcare, and sanitation

Nice...

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The children in that first photo seem older than 6 years. The children in the last photo appear normal.

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The children in that first photo seem older than 6 years. The children in the last photo appear normal.

Oh no, we caused Progeria too.

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I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming.
That's what Bush said....

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1st, Cockburn? LOL

2nd, and seriously, has this guy been to Iraq? This place is covered with garbage, the air's full of oil smoke, and I see kids playing around open sewers all the time. Some of the "doctors" in this country don't even know how to write to make out prescriptions, and give out valium for headaches, so I'm sorry if I don't take the word of an Iraqi doctor at face value.

The livestock here graze in the city, in the garbage and open sewers, and then get slaughtered and fed to families. If anything's to blame for higher incidence of cancers, it's extremely poor sanitation. Another theory is that Saddam's government suppressed actual facts on birth defects and infant mortality to make Iraq look better, and so the current numbers seem like an increased rate.

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The US cut back on its use of firepower in Iraq from 2007 because of the anger it provoked among civilians. But at the same time there has been a decline in healthcare and sanitary conditions in Iraq since 2003. The impact of war on civilians was more severe in Fallujah than anywhere else in Iraq because the city continued to be blockaded and cut off from the rest of the country long after 2004. War damage was only slowly repaired and people from the city were frightened to go to hospitals in Baghdad because of military checkpoints on the road into the capital.

Underline be mine.

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Maybe, it has something to do with the battle of the city, but I think the main causes are just extremely poor heathcare, bad nutrition of the mother, and maybe poisoning from the 1991 oil fires?

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Could be the depleted uranium shells from the Abrams,Bradleys and LAVs but when I saw that this Doctor thinks it's a "New weapon" this Doctor from the university of Ulster lost all creditability in my eyes. We fired a countless rounds from our Tanks and IFVs all through out Iraq. Why is it so bad in Fallujah? Why not Baghdad as well? I tempted to think it may have just as much to do with poor healthcare, and sanitation, as well as expended DU shells.

Maybe because they pretty much levelled entire blocks of the town...

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Yeah flattened buildings are known to cause cancer.

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No but at least 1700 tons of depleted uranium has a good chance though...

Of course this is an estimation of the total amount of DU used in the second gulf war, but i would seriously doubt it would be a lesser amount.

Also Falluja as far as i know was pretty hellish so probably some parts of the city have swallowed at least a couple of tons of DU.

DU is great because it kills, but it's usage has allways been contested by biologists and cancer specialists. (A lot of people are worried for the soldiers too...)

It is however a great way to recycle and dump your own nuclear waste, if you aren't troubled by worldly stuff like morals...

I don't know if it would be worse then Hiroshima, but by comparison the Little Boy bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima contained 64,1 kg of 86% enriched uranium. I'm pretty sure a geigercounter would go pretty wild in some areas of Falluja. I've actually seen reports after the first gulf war where scientists where measuring next to a t72 and then pretty much ran away from it :-)

For those that want to read up on depleted uranium and why it's not a very decent to shoot 1700 tons of it into a country:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium

Actually they may have given some crazy folks exactly what they need for a dirty bomb. Now THAT would be cynical...

Edited by Yoma

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http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs257/en/index.html

From the WHO information page on DU:

"No reproductive or developmental effects have been reported in humans."

-----------------------------------------------------------

But I guess we should use softer bullets! after all, I'm definitely more worried about the long-term health and comfort of the enemy than the guys I serve with. /Sarcasm

The argument against DU is an extension of the argument against wars of any kind. This isn't an argument for or against Iraq, but too often these types of stories come from journalists and activists who would have us completely withdraw militarily from the world.

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"The actual acute and chronic toxicity of DU is also a point of medical controversy. Multiple studies using cultured cells and laboratory rodents suggest the possibility of leukemogenic, genetic, reproductive, and neurological effects from chronic exposure.[4] A 2005 epidemiology review concluded: "In aggregate the human epidemiological evidence is consistent with increased risk of birth defects in offspring of persons exposed to DU."[9] The World Health Organization states that no consistent risk of reproductive, developmental, or carcinogenic effects have been reported in humans.[10][11] However, the objectivity of this report has been called into question.[12]

"

I don't think DU is actually used in normal bullets, (i hope not), but it's surely used in bigger types of ammo.

There is a difference between "killing an active combattant" and "killing an active combattant and comprimising entire generations that will live on the spot where we killed him".

I know it's a really bad thought and i really hope it will never happen, but i do wonder what the American public opinion (and the WHO's) about DU would be if it was recovered from warzones and exploded in Washington DC.

Edited by Yoma

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I think the 500lb'ers did a lot more than the DU as far as leveling the place. Most of the rounds fired would more than likely be HE though, not DU.

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Of course they did, so?

I'm just trying to say that *a lot* of ammo (of all kinds) was pumped into that place.

Anyway, you don't need to believe what i'm saying, but the scientist's comparison may not be too far off...

The bigger issue is of course that it's very bad for the US's credibility as a moral knight that "wants to liberate the world" and then cause more people to actually die then the guy you are fighting in the process of liberation.

Not only by fighting, but also by putting a nation in a state of war for 7 years.

The big problem this has is that powers shift and nations will be held accountable when that happens. It's a silly comparison, but do you think anyone would have talked about the massacres of Jews if that crazy Hitler bloke would have actually won? Thing is the winner makes the law, but the winner of today might not be the winner of tomorrow.

It's in the interest of America as a nation to (as far as possible) create at least a slightly credible story for their actions. Not using DU would make them far more credible and less vulnerable to later repercussions.

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Not using DU may prolong a war.
most civilized nations use tungsten carbide instead of DU...same effect, better quality but not so cheap as nuclear dirt like DU.

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Clinton too.
Clinton didn't start this war..

---------- Post added at 11:27 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:25 AM ----------

Nice...

Try reading the article and it says how bad the healthcare and sanitation are..

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Clinton didn't start this war..

Nah, but he almost did a few times.

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Nah, but he almost did a few times.

Almost doesn't count bucko when compared to Bush. Clinton came closer to starting a war with Serbia and North Korea than he did Iraq..

Edited by Big Mac

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Yeah flattened buildings are known to cause cancer.

There are no construction guidelines or rules applying to asbestos usage in Iraq. The destruction of buildings will result in larger quantities of asbestos getting airborne, and subsequently inhaled and/or ingested. Similar with DU, an intact shell lying somewhere is not acute. DU dust particles and corroding shells are the main threat.

But I guess we should use softer bullets! after all, I'm definitely more worried about the long-term health and comfort of the enemy than the guys I serve with. /Sarcasm The argument against DU is an extension of the argument against wars of any kind.

DU particles make no distinction between enemy/friendly combatants and civilians. The argument against DU is an argument against this special- and replaceable type of ammunition. Just as an argument against C weapons is just that. With 2 successive wars Iraq had about all the DU-Democracy it can stand.

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Asbestos was the first substance that sprang to mind. How long does asbestosis take to produce symptoms?

Also was depleted Uranium really necessary in Iraq's urban combat? Did the Iraqi army and/or insurgency really pose threats requiring depleted Uranium rounds to neutralise them?

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