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Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Truth in War-Mongering Act

Here are some excerpts from a August 12, 2006 AP story on depleted uranium (DU):

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060812/ap_on_re_us/radiation_soldiers

The Department of Defense says depleted uranium is powerful and safe, and not that worrisome.

An estimated 286 tons of DU munitions were fired by the U.S. in Iraq and Kuwait in 1991. An estimated 130 tons were shot toppling Saddam Hussein.

Fifteen years after it was first used in battle, there is only one U.S. government study monitoring veterans exposed to depleted uranium.

Number of soldiers in the survey: 32. Number of soldiers in both Iraq wars: more than 900,000.


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Here we go again.

1) use of depleted Uranium munitions in war against an enemy whose equipment doesn't merit the penetrating power of DU
2) lack of knowledge about treating the medical impacts of exposure
3) veterans getting the runaround from the Veterans Administration and our government who are doing nothing to improve treatments for those exposed or rethink and eliminate our use of DU.

This is really absurd and obscene when you think about it. Despite having technology that can deliver bombs with near pinpoint accuracy, we insist on going that extra mile and coating the warhead with a little magic juju that contaminates everything in the blast zone with something guaranteed to harm the health of anyone, friend or foe, who ever crosses the site for the next XX years.

Keep in mind that the current $306 billion dollar price tag for the war in Iraq doesn't include the health care costs for the next 70 years for these veterans. I see no proposal from the Bush Administration to recognize these post-war problems and commit funding to address them. Maybe someone will propose some new legislation to cover these expenses. Maybe we should call it the Truth in War-Mongering Act.