Published on Wednesday, January 6, 2010 by New
Cancer – The Deadly Legacy of the Invasion of
Forget about oil, occupation, terrorism or even Al Qaeda. The real hazard for Iraqis these days is cancer. Cancer is spreading like wildfire in
Here are a few examples. In Falluja, which was heavily bombarded by the US in 2004, as many as 25% of new- born infants  have serious abnormalities, including congenital anomalies, brain tumors, and neural tube defects in the spinal cord.
The cancer rate in the
Not everyone is ready to draw a direct correlation between allied bombing of these areas and tumors, and the Pentagon has been skeptical of any attempts to link the two. But Iraqi doctors and some Western scholars say the massive quantities of depleted uranium used in U.S. and British bombs, and the sharp increase in cancer rates are not unconnected.
Dr Ahmad Hardan, who served as a special scientific adviser to the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the Iraqi Ministry of Health, says that there is scientific evidence linking depleted uranium to cancer and birth defects. He told Al Jazeera English , "Children with congenital anomalies are subjected to karyotyping and chromosomal studies with complete genetic back-grounding and clinical assessment. Family and obstetrical histories are taken too. These international studies have produced ample evidence to show that depleted uranium has disastrous consequences."
Iraqi doctors say cancer cases increased after both the 1991 war and the 2003 invasion. Abdulhaq Al-Ani, author of "Uranium in
There are also similar patterns of birth defects among Iraqi and Afghan infants who were also born in areas that were subjected to depleted uranium bombardment.
Dr. Daud Miraki, director of the Afghan Depleted Uranium and Recovery Fund, told Al Jazeera English he found evidence of the effect of depleted uranium in infants in eastern and south- eastern
It's not just Iraqis and Afghans. Babies born to American soldiers deployed in
But soldiers can end their exposure to depleted uranium when their service in
Dr. Doug Rokke, former director of the U.S. Army's Depleted Uranium Project during the first Gulf War, was in charge of a project of decontaminating American tanks. He told Al Jazeera English  that "it took the U.S. Department of Defense in a multi-million dollar facility with trained physicists and engineers, three years to decontaminate the 24 tanks that I sent back to the
According to Al Jazeera , the Pentagon used more than 300 tons of depleted uranium in 1991. In 2003, the
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs