The United States may be finished dropping bombs on Iraq, but Iraqi bodies will be dealing with the consequences for generations to come in the form of birth defects, mysterious illnesses and skyrocketing cancer rates.
Al Jazeera’s Dahr Jamail reports
that contamination from U.S. weapons, particularly Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions, has led to an Iraqi health crisis of epic proportions. “[C]hildren being born with two heads, children born with only one eye, multiple tumours, disfiguring facial and body deformities, and complex nervous system problems,” are just some of the congenital birth defects being linked
to military-related pollution.
Many of these defects are linked to the use of phosphorus and depleted uranium in US bombs dropped on metropolitan areas. The latter is a “chemically toxic heavy metal produced in nuclear waste, [which] is used in weapons due to its ability to pierce through armor.” It’s extremely hazardous, producing birth defects, cancer, and attacking numerous organs. Because depleted uranium can be so “useful,” however, the governments of the US, UK, France, and Israel have opposed banning or limiting its use in bombs.
The price for this prioritization of convenience over, you know, not mass-torturing huge segments of the civilian population and their unborn children is being paid by the Iraqi people:
Today, 14.7 percent of Fallujah’s babies are born with a birth defect, 14 times the documented rate in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Fallujah’s babies have also experienced heart defects 13 times the European rate and nervous system defects 33 times that of Europe. That comes on top of a 12-fold rise in childhood cancer rates since 2004. Furthermore, the male-to-female birth ratio is now 86 boys for every 100 girls, indicating genetic damage that affects males more than females.
If there remains any doubt about the morality of the invasion of Iraq, it seems to me we can consider that question damningly settled.
NOTE: This link does feature some graphic images (like the one you’ll see above if you’re viewing this post on the dashboard). It also offers a link to see even more disturbing photos — the birth defect shown here are the “milder” ones. Click at your own risk.