Archive for category Pollution in war zone
Depleted uranium is obtained during the process of destroying nuclear weapons. Depleted uranium was used in the first Gulf War. The United States coated with depleted uranium, 1000 anti-tank artillery projectiles and the Brit’s 100. A depleted uranium missile cuts through a tank like a hot knife through butter. At the moment of impact the missile so coated turns what was a tank into thousands of shards of radioactive porcelain, which spreads over the vast sands of that sad state, virtually forever. Now, in Gulf War II, the numbers are hugely greater. Iraqi and now Afghanistan’s people are literally, cooked. Young Iraqi and Afghan women, in their sandals, trudging though the sands, will die terrible deaths. Their children, those who live, may well be born with savage birth defects. Afghan and Iraqi peoples will suffer through endless centuries for our wars of aggression. Birth defects in Fallujah have already increased ten fold.
In simpler times, a state would declare war and thereafter the war would end. Now, we make wars upon whole nations though a very small number of combatants are our supposed enemies. These the macabre gifts that keep on giving for hundreds of years, thousands of years, and in the case of depleted uranium, for millions of years. We are, in effect, making wars that will never end. Thousands of years from now, we will still be slaughtering people in these two wars of choice gifted us by two presidents named George Bush.
Now our leaders want us to accept millions of tons of depleted uranium here in Utah. Depleted uranium is in fact already here. Much more is on the way. We are now being told that foreign waste will be on the way too. And we find that the state of Utah has no real choice in this matter. Our two Senators from Energy Solutions, Hatch and Bennett, protect their money spigot by lamenting that our cause is just but they can do nothing for us, pointing to Utah politicians. Police power, that is, the power and the obligation to protect our health and well-being, does reside here and the Governor should stop all trains with depleted uranium and demand that the train turn right around and go back where this deadly poison came from. But real power is with Hatch and Bennett. The Commerce Power of Congress will trump anything the state can do to preclude entry of this most toxic of poisons. These two villains are bought and paid by Energy Solutions. One of our congressmen has been a paid employee of Energy/Solutions. Hatch and Bennett are the only people who have the law…the Commerce Clause…by which all these issues will be judged and determined.
If Osama Bin Laden and his henchmen had planned this idea of bringing nuclear material into our country’s innards he would be captured and imprisoned. Just how do the owners and all who profit by destroying our land, water, and all life forms, and the politicians who make this atrocity possible, stay out of jail when quite obviously they are among the most successful terrorists in our history?
Salt Lake City, Utah
Is this any way to support our troops?
The SL Trib has an article about the toxic conditions caused by the burn pit at Balad Air Base in Iraq. It’s a familiar theme to read about a high rate of illnesses among soldiers returning from war zones. Some of these issues have been blamed on exposure to such things as depleted uranium. Who knows what soldiers are being exposed to in Balad. Apparently, the military knows, but won’t reveal the information as it could “damage national security”.
Military officials insist there’s no problem.
But veterans’ advocates are calling for full transparency about the health risks faced by service members who have been stationed at the largest U.S. air base in Iraq, where one inspector called an open-air burn pit “the worst environmental site I have ever personally visited.” . .
. . . the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine is refusing to make the document public, saying that the information it contains “would damage our national security.”[snip]
. . .burn pits are used to get rid of garbage — including weapons, chemicals, plastics, and even amputated limbs. [snip]
. . . a memo penned by Hill Air Force Base officer Darrin Curtis, who served in Balad in 2006 and 2007 and called the burn pit — and it’s distinctive black smoke plume — an “acute health hazard.” In his memo, Curtis cited the 2006 site assessment, including the quote from the unidentified inspector.
According to the memo, that inspector claimed he had never seen anything worse than the situation in Balad, in a decade of reviewing toxic waste issues.
Now that report has been classified. And Col. Thomas Logan, who commands the center, refuses to say why. Logan declined to be interviewed by The Salt Lake Tribune. A spokeswoman only repeated that information in the report could damage national security if it were made public.
According to the Curtis memo, that [exposure] might include dozens of toxins, including arsenic, formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide. [snip]
Troy Whittaker, president of the Utah Society for Respiratory Care, said the toxins listed in the Curtis memo might have a “broad range of effects,” including respiratory hyperactivity, cancer, liver disease and pulmonary fibrosis. “
I apologize for excerpting so much from the article. There is just so much that needs to be said about this. Author Karen Kwiatkowski writes about the. . .
larger toxicity problem created by the American government in both Iraq and Afghanistan. [snip] Balad . . . produces, among other things, 250 tons of waste per day. That’s over 90,000 tons of waste per year. . . Today, three “green” incinerators exist at Balad. But to date, the majority of waste is still burned in the open pit. It’s only news today because some apparently unpatriotic American servicemen have been complaining about possible health effects of living downwind from the burn plume.
Just Google the Balad Air Base burn pit to find a great deal more about this problem at Balad.
We Utahns, home of downwinders, are well aware of our government’s willingness to lie while putting people’s health at risk. American soldiers deserve to know the truth. As do the Iraqi people living near Balad as well.