One of History's Greatest Crimes

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

 

 
 

America’s
hidden history is ugly and disturbing. No nation ever matched it.
To Iraq alone, over the past two decades, it includes ongoing genocide,
destruction, terror, occupation, and contamination – a horrendous
combination of crimes, unmentioned in Western discourse.

Environmental
Engineering Professor Souad N. al-Azzawi documents them, including
in his report titled, "Crime of the Century: Iraq’s Occupation
and DU Contamination," a detailed account of US culpability.

America’s strategic
aims, he explains, include:

  • controlling
    most of the world’s oil and other natural resources;
  • remaining
    permanently in the Middle East, "the intersection zone of
    the three continents where 80% of the world(‘s) population"
    lives; and
  • if the
    above two objectives are achieved, America will control the world’s
    economy, or enough of it to matter.

Spread over
a large enough area, depleted uranium (DU) is a weapon of mass destruction,
because it’s radioactive and chemically toxic. If ingested or inhaled
through food, air, water or other means, it enters the human body,
remaining for decades. An earlier
article reported the dangers
.

It explained
that continued DU use has the potential to end planetary life, yet
few understand the risk, or that weaponized DU is used regularly
in missiles, bombs, shells and bullets wherever America wages war
– first during the 1991 Gulf War.

Its danger
comes from radiation residue after use. On impact, DU munitions
penetrate deeply and aerosolize into a fine spray, polluting surrounding
air, water and soil. It’s microscopic, sub-microscopic, and permanent.
Spread over vast areas as radioactive atmospheric dust, its contamination
causes virtually all known illnesses and diseases from severe headaches,
muscle pain and general fatigue, to major birth defects, infections,
depression, cardiovascular disease, and many types of cancers. It
also causes permanent disability and death.

Over the past
two decades in Iraq alone, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of tons
have been used, irradiating the entire country, some areas more
than others. In his October 2009 presentation to the Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia International Conference to Criminalize War, Azzawi accused
America and Britain of:

"subject(ing)
the whole nation of Iraq for two decades to torture and slow death
through the intentional use of radioactive weapons and the sanctions.
The continuous and intentional use of (these) weapons is a crime
against humanity due to its undifferentiating harmful health effects
on civilians in contaminated areas tens of years to come after the
military engagements." Radiation, in fact, is permanent, affecting
unborn generations like living ones.

During the
Gulf War, about 320 tons were used in southern Iraq, affecting the
Basrah region. Post-conflict, "comprehensive" examination
detected it, especially "in and around Al-Basrah City,"
showing:

  • "high
    gamma radiation" levels;
  • "soil
    samples from 39 locations (with) higher activities than natural
    background levels"; and
  • "Surface
    water channel sediments (with 2–3) times higher radioactivity
    than the natural background" level.

Contamination
was widespread, affecting at least "45% of people in the area,
the Iraqi troops, and" coalition ones. As a result, soldiers
(and civilians) exposed "to DU oxides (can expect) 70 cancer
cases per 1,000" persons. Perhaps a higher incidence over time,
and along with other illnesses and diseases, an epidemic of human
affliction.

Subsequent
epidemiological studies in Basrah showed a "five times rise
in the incidence rate of malignancies amongst children to be far
more noticeable from 1995 onwards." In addition, exposure to
ionized radiation caused:

  • higher
    child leukemia rates;
  • a "six
    fold increase in congenital malformations among births in Basrah
    City since 1995 onward," some too disturbing to view; and
  • higher
    rates of congenital heart diseases and chromosomal aberrations.

Even more destructive
weapons were used in the 2003 war, including banned ones like napalm,
white phosphorous, cluster bombs, and greater amounts of DU –
"against people, infrastructure facilities, and environment."
Further, "the looting and burning of factories, industrial
complexes, laboratories, and ministries (including the looting of
the Tuwaitha Atomic Energy Agency, and 300 other highly contaminated
sites….)" caused contamination.

Much more as
well across the country in Baghdad and suburbs, Basrah, Mosul, Fallujah,
Balad, Anbar, Haditha, Qa’im, Rawa, Karbala, Najar, Aubaidi, Diala,
Samara, Tikrit, Baiji, Ahsaiba, Mada’in, Kubaissa, and other locations.

In March 2009,
Gideon Polya used the Just Foreign Policy estimate of 1.32 million
Iraqi deaths post-March 2003 alone, a number considerably higher
today. It’s also well below his post-9/11 eight million "war
on terror" total, mostly affecting women and children, aged
five and younger, killed by war, diseases, and/or depravation, America’s
horrific ongoing genocidal legacy – air-brushed from history.
Azzawi adds more:

  • at least
    4.5 million internal or external refugees, many victimized by
    "militias and police raids and terrorist groups";
  • death squads
    targeting "certain ethnic and sectarian groups" daily;
    and
  • in cities
    throughout Iraq, sieges cutting off "all life support aids
    on people, (affecting) Thousands of children, women and elderly
    who could not leave their houses and were subjected to collective
    punishment…." For weeks, these areas were deprived of food,
    water, healthcare, and electricity. As a result, contaminated
    water was used "from ditches and nearby rivers," causing
    cholera and other waterborne diseases.

The continuous
use of DU weapons in heavily populated areas exposes millions to
its destructive effects. Further, "Continuous negligence of
medical care systems, hospitals, and the killing of prominent medical
and healthcare specialists….after 2003" exacerbated a widespread
health crisis.

Yet occupation
forces provide no data on civilians killed, wounded, kidnapped or
otherwise harmed. Nor do they allow "exploration programs to
detect (DU) related contaminated areas." Yet they’re vitally
needed to "help Iraqi people….cope with the damages."

Known evidence
shows "Continuous deterioration of environmental quality….in
Baghdad City due to explosions, and heavy traffic of tanks and vehicles…."
Concentrations of numerous toxins way exceed safe levels. "Water
quality deterioration caused an increase in "pathogenic water
born diseases like Cholera, Typhoid, Hepatitis, (and) others."
Air pollution results from continuous bombing and explosions.

The "Multiple
impact of all of the above pollution sources on the human body can
be critical, especially for children, women and the elderly people."

From DU munitions
alone, Azzawi told the Kuala Lumpur conference that contamination
is spread over vast areas by "wind storms, dust storms, sandstorms,
and rainstorms," besides polluted waterways and surface migration
in soil, causing:

  • "Siltation,
    creeping, and suspension from contaminated soil to atmosphere;
    (and)
  • Suspension
    and re-suspension of deposited DU aerosols….the most dangerous
    and critical pathway of transfer and spreading from source to
    the human population."

America and
Britain are responsible "for exposing a whole nation to the
risk of continually receiving high radioactive and toxic persistent
contaminants," including DU and many others, a noxious brew
leaving no one untouched and many lethally harmed. "This is
a crime against humanity (because of) its undifferentiated harmful
health impacts on civilians long (after) military operations"
are concluded.

A Final
Comment

On September
19, Brussells Tribunal Executive Committee member Dirk Adriaensens
headlined, "Iraq: The Age of Darkness," explaining "a
devastating balance sheet (of) success," including:

  • a 150%
    increase in child mortality since 1990;
  • only half
    of primary-aged children in school;
  • about 1,500
    children in (horrific) detention facilities;
  • in 2007,
    about "5 million Iraqi orphans";
  • over two
    million external refugees and almost three million internal ones
    (IDPs);
  • official
    unemployment at 50%; real unemployment at least 70%;
  • at least
    43% of Iraqis "in abject poverty";
  • at least
    eight million need "emergency aid";
  • at least
    four million "lack food and are in dire need of humanitarian
    assistance";
  • at least
    80% lack "effective sanitation";
  • "Religious
    minorities are on the verge of extinction"; and

  • an Oxfam
    survey showed 33% of women got no humanitarian aid since 2003;
    76% of widows lack pension help; 52% are unemployed; 55% have
    been displaced; and 55% have been "subjected to (various
    forms of) violence."

In Iraq today,
"killing of innocent people has become part of daily life."
America is committing genocide against the entire population. It
persists daily unreported, yet called "a success."

It includes
death, destruction, torture, terror, occupation, displacement, disease,
and insecurity in a nation that no longer exists. For sure, one
unfit to live in – unsafe, corrupt, terrorized, tyrannized,
contaminated, and permanently occupied. In virtually all rankings
that matter, Iraq scores last, Afghanistan second last, a testimony
to America’s liberating values.

They’re run
from Washington with no functioning governments, de facto satraps
instead obeying their imperial masters. Yet on August 31, declaring
an "end to the combat mission in Iraq," Obama outrageously
said: "Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the
United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility," infamously
displaying his culpability as a war criminal, matching the worst
America ever produced.

Under him,
George Bush, and their successors, "Iraq has no viable future,"
Adriaensens’ final assessment of America’s "success."

Reprinted
with permission from The
People’s Voice
.

September
27, 2010

Stephen
Lendman [send him
mail
] lives in Chicago. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with
distinguished guests on the Progressive
Radio News Hour
on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at
10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs
are archived for easy listening. Visit
his blog
.

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare
  • LRC Blog

  • LRC Podcasts