The Pentagon spent a great deal of time handling the Gulf War Syndrome issue as if our soldiers were either crazy, faking their illnesses, or suffering from problems unrelated to their service in the Gulf or the military. In other words, it was more interested in covering itself than in supporting the troops and being sensitive to their needs. Later, it turned out that soldiers were sent into areas contaminated with chemical weapons, even though specially-designed tanks that were created to detect these chemicals were indicating their presence.
Gulf War Syndrome activists have been treated to the same sort of ‘dirty tricks’ that are so familiar to UFO researchers and publicly-admitted abductees. The Pentagon still refuses to deal with this issue in a straightforward manner.
Now Allied soldiers and civilians who participated in the Balkan conflict are dying of cancer, apparently as a result of coming into contact with debris from depleted uranium shells, and not being properly instructed in the handling of the shells.
Depleted uranium (DU) is what is left over after the isotopes are removed that are used to make nuclear fuel. It is a perfect material for bullets because it is twice as dense as lead, so it can pierce armored tanks effectively. The U.S. and Britain started using these bullets in the Gulf War. When they are shot into the air, a fine dust is released that is dangerous to inhale. Gulf War veterans complained that contact with these weapons gave them cancer and neurological and kidney disorders, part of the “Gulf War Syndrome.” Civilians, many of them children, have reported becoming ill after handling the spent bullets left lying on the ground.
In Belgium, 5 soldiers have died of cancer and 1,600 more say they are ill. In Italy, 6 have died of leukemia, which is twice the national rate for the disease. In Spain, 8 soldiers have cancer and in France, 4 have died of leukemia. In the Netherlands, 2 soldiers succumbed to leukemia, and one died in Germany. In Portugal, one soldier died from an unexplained brain disease, and one Czech soldier is dead from a “blood disorder.” In Britain, one soldier blames his immune deficiency on the weapons.
The Pentagon is again doing everything possible to deny any responsibility for the suffering of these soldiers.
It?s expensive to train a soldier in today?s modern army, and we shouldn?t be wasting such valuable resources by exposing them to unnecessary hazards. On a more humane level, we should note that we now have a volunteer army, and are unlikely to attract the best candidates if they fear that the military may unnecessarily jeopardize their health.
For more on this story from the New Scientist, click here.
For background on the dangers of depleted uranium, click here.
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