Depleted Uranium continues in the News

The news out of the Hearing on Dissatisfied Gulf War Veterans occurred on July 27th in The House committee on Veterans Affairs Subcommittee Oversight and Investigations.  The video is archived on the House Committee web site and the submitted testimony is accessable on that website.  The news was that the documents on Depleted Uranium that have been available for years were finally submitted.  Or at least 2 key documents.
Many of the Gulf War Veterans present and submitting testimony for the record know that the research on Depleted Uranium and health affects have not covered inhalation and ingestion of depleted uranium.  The combined effects with Sand/Silica content and other chemicals ie Sarin and organophate ie pesticides has not been studied.  Those of us that served in Saudi and Iraq know about the wind storms that traveled from Iraq all the way down into Saudi Arabia.  Much less the oil fire smoke and particular matter and vaccines and pb.  How can research ever stimulate what we were exposed?  

Will it would start with a good animal study involving inhalation and ingestion of DU, then it would continue with a combination study of that plus Sand(silica) from Iraq/Saudi(we might have some from Kuwait that was brought back from Kuwait stored in Utah in the last year and a half!  Then subject the animals with each thing we got from vaccines, to chemical exposures, to PB, etc….in the form and method we would have been exposed and monitor these animals for neuro cognitive, fatigue, brain scans, blood, urine, etc and do it over a life span of the animals.   In the meantime start being realistic on embarking on treatment that focuses on these exposures and physical damage done. 
In the meantime fast track our veterans claims, we are at the 20 year point, we can not wait longer and rely just on psychological type led studies.  Remove any timelines including DIC timelines since Gulf War Veterans claims have been historically dealt with poorly.
In the meantime go back to the accidental deaths of gulf war veterans, review their claims, interview their survivor and if they report neuro cognitive problems and other Gulf War Health symptoms.  Then connect their deaths and help their survivors and dependent children with DIC!
Get the Dental staff of the VA to see these gulf war veterans who are ill whether they are rated or not.  Have them document what they find in their inital physical assessment of our dental status.  Also the same holds for Eye Examinations.  Our gulf war veterans are indeed suffering and need big time help NOW!
I would also recommend close assessment of spinal problems and integrity of the spinal column.  Report what is being found ie spinal disc problems that will further complicate their care.  Start compiling and sharing this data as health care providers at the VA and civilian health care providers(ask Tricare to help).  And then Start communicating with this group of veterans seriously!  WE are begging for real communication!  Then the researchers need to be involved in this total communication effort.  VA gets failing grades for the past 20 years for the Gulf War Veterans so if you are really meaning your words show action in the way the outspoken veterans advocates have requested.
There was only one person sitting at the press table.  The press has also abandoned the veterans!  Call the press, the AP, UPI, Reuters, Cnn, MSNBC, Fox, your own newspapers and let them know we will not stand for the absence of their attention while even more troops serve in OIF/OEF.  What we find on Gulf War illness in research, medical diagnostic testing, treatment will impact backwards and more important forwards to our current and future troops. 
Call your US Senators and Representatives, email them, fax them and make appointments to meet with them personally while they are at home districts in next months.  It is up to each of us to continue to advocate for our veterans.  We have waited long enough!  And get started by making comments right here!  Tell us your thoughts and what you are doing!
Here is the latest article on DU from the Tribune Media Service and Huffington Post
Robert Koehler

Robert Koehler

Syndicated writer, editor at Tribune Media Services

Posted: July 29, 2010 10:41 AM

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fallujah . . .

And so it turns out that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, though not until we arrived and started using them.

Along with whatever else we did to Fallujah — exacted collective punishment on a defiant city (a war crime) in November 2004, killed thousands of civilians, shattered the infrastructure (nearly six years later, the sewage system hasn’t been repaired and waste flows in the streets) — we also, apparently, nuked the city, leaving a legacy of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality and genetic abnormality.

Freedom isn’t free. Remember when that was the go-to phrase of the citizen war zealots among us, their all-purpose rebuttal when those of us appalled by this insane war cited civilian casualty stats? Discussion over. Thought stops here.

This is the power of language. Call it “war” and along come glory, duty, courage, sacrifice: the best of humanity writ large. The word is impenetrable; it sets the heart in motion; God makes an appearance, blesses the troops, blesses the weapons. Operation Iraqi Freedom: They’ll greet us with open arms.

At what point do we learn our lesson, that “war” is a moral cesspool of horrific consequences, especially, and most troublingly, unintended ones?

Thus last November, a group of British and Iraqi doctors petitioned the U.N. to investigate the alarming rise in birth defects at Fallujah’s hospitals. “Young women in Fallujah,” they wrote, “. . . are terrified of having children because of the increasing number of babies born grotesquely deformed, with no heads, two heads, a single eye in their foreheads, scaly bodies or missing limbs. In addition, young children in Fallujah are now experiencing hideous cancers and leukemias.”

The official U.S. response was that the doctors’ letter was anecdotal: There have been no studies to verify that anything is truly amiss in Fallujah, beyond the devastation caused by U.S. troops and bombs. Now that has changed.

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has just published an epidemiological study, “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009,” which has found, among much else, that Fallujah is experiencing higher rates of cancer, leukemia and infant mortality than Hiroshima and Nagasaki did in 1945.

Perhaps most eerily, the study, conducted by a team of 11 researchers this past January and February, in 711 households, found a radical shift in the ratio of female-to-male births. Under normal circumstances, the human constant is approximately 1,050 boys born for every 1,000 girls. In post-invasion Fallujah, 860 boys have been born for every 1,000 girls — similar to a shift seen in Hiroshima after the atom bomb was dropped.

Dr. Chris Busby, one of the study’s authors, said only “some very major mutagenic exposure” could account for such an aberration. The most likely culprit, he said, is depleted uranium, a dense metal with extraordinary penetrating ability used in the manufacture of missiles, shells and bombs. DU explodes on impact into an extremely fine, radioactive dust that settles on the ground or is carried by the wind. While the U.S. military continues to deny that breathing it is harmful, many scientists insist that it is highly toxic and a likely contributor to Gulf War Syndrome — that it is, in short, a nuclear weapon, with fallout as dangerous as a nuclear bomb.

To read about this is to grow increasingly sickened and disturbed at who we are and what we are doing: still debating “the war,” still dignifying this ongoing hemorrhage of national values with the term; still murdering civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and resolutely fleeing from any responsibility for the ecocide we have committed in Iraq; and still silently, inevitably, preparing for the next one.

Would that we could bring the suffering of Fallujah to the heart of America, or at least to the heart of Congress, which just OK’d another $59 billion to “fund the troops” (notice the delicacy of the Pentagon’s phrasing) in Afghanistan.

Enormous, future-devouring numbers turn over in Congress with such ease, if the money is demanded by the war machine. Money dedicated to building the future, or repairing the damage from old, dead wars, is another matter entirely: Suddenly it’s real, like a pound of flesh, and meted out only with howls of anguish.

To help clean up our legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam, for instance, Congress has appropriated $9 million since 2007. We sprayed 19 million gallons of this highly toxic defoliant on the country between 1962 and 1971, causing harm to at least 3 million Vietnamese in the process. Our sense of responsibility amounts to $3 per person. And such money becomes available only after decades of denial that we have any responsibility at all.

I think again about Fallujah. The city’s suffering will haunt our national dreams for decades to come. It is our future. In a generation or so, our children will face the consequences of what we have done there; but in the meantime, we’ll keep trying to buy “victory” and ultimate justification in multi-billion-dollar increments until our financial bankruptcy equals our moral bankruptcy.

– – –
Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist, contributor to One World, Many Peaces and nationally syndicated writer. His new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound (Xenos Press) is now available for pre-orders. Contact him at [email protected] or visit his website at


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