2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 17 Feb 2005 22:46:23 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] DU in Yugoslavia
'It is the Same Here as in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.'
Serbians Suffer Long-term Effects of NATO Depleted Uranium Bombs

by Akira Suemori
February 17, 2005 
Translated from Shukan Kinyobi, October 1, 2004

[Translator's Introduction: The manufacture of depleted uranium (DU)
ammunition is a prototypical Cold War arms race story. The Pentagon
reported in the 1970s that the Soviet military had developed armor
plating for Warsaw Pact tanks that NATO ammunition couldn't penetrate,
and began searching for material to make harder bullets, bombs, and
shells. After testing various metals, ordnance researchers settled on
depleted uranium, a low-level radioactive waste left over from making
nuclear fuel and bombs. DU ammunition, which scorches through metal
targets, is now supplied to arsenals in the U.S. and abroad which also
continue to store "conventional" ammunition. DU shells, when fired,
leave a radioactive trail of toxic dust that still lies in parts of
Kuwait and Iraq where they were first fired in combat during the 1991
Gulf War. Prohibited from use in training anywhere overseas, it is
restricted certain installations in the United States. Citing serious
health risks, the Pentagon requires moon-suit type protective gear when
approaching anything hit with DU ordnance. 
Nevertheless, the American press revealed in 1996 that Marine Corps
aircraft had been firing depleted uranium shells on their bombing range
at Torishima Island, just off Okinawa in an important fishing ground.
When Okinawans, particularly local fishermen, angrily protested over yet
another act of negligence by the U.S. military that threatened their
safety, welfare, and livelihood, a Marine Corps spokesman claimed that
the radiation "amounts to only about what a color television set emits."
By that time, however, Congressional hearings had reported that both
veterans of the Gulf War and Iraqi civilians were suffering serious,
long-term disabilities with depleted uranium as the suspected cause.
They continue to suffer debilitating effects from radiation to this day.
But that is hardly the end of the story.]
Used not only in Iraq, NATO dropped approximately 30,000 depleted
uranium bombs in air raids on Kosovo and elsewhere in Yugoslavia.
Soldiers and civilians now suffer from cancer and other diseases.
Five years have now passed since NATO air attacks on Serbia and
Montenegro in Yugoslavia. A confrontation in Kosovo between ethnic
Albanians, who make up a majority, and a Serbian minority escalated into
armed conflict between the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and Serbian
Security Forces. A "humanitarian intervention" relying on air power
lasted 78 days. It was supposed to lead to stabilization, but riots
erupted last March in Kosovo, now administered by the United Nations
Interim Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). The chances for resolution of this
conflict remain remote.


For the entire article, see


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918
Military mailing list
  Prev by Date: [CPEO-MEF] Army considers some DU testing at Jefferson Proving Ground
Next by Date: Re: [CPEO-MEF] Army considers some DU testing at Jefferson ProvingGround
  Prev by Thread: Re: [CPEO-MEF] Army considers some DU testing at Jefferson ProvingGround
Next by Thread: [CPEO-MEF] perchlorate symposium

CPEO Lists
Author Index
Date Index
Thread Index