NATO Must Stop Using DU Weapons in Libya Immediately

Sorry to have to do this, but if NATO forces are using depleted-uranium weapons in Libya, then they are causing a humanitarian crisis of such proportions that I cannot remain silent on the issue. I will try to reduce the amount I post on it by ganging the articles, but write on it I must.

I encourage you to write President Obama and request that the use of DU weapons be stopped.

Depleted uranium maims, disfigures and kills in the minutest amounts, cannot be protected against or cleaned up, and has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, It is the scourge of the modern world. Dr. Rosalind Bertell has called the use of DU weapons “omnicide.” It is an indiscriminate killer that blows on the winds. Once launched it circles the world.

By the mere act of using DU munitions, NATO has by this one act transformed itself into the biggest threat facing Libya and must be stopped. There are several articles reproduced here.

I acknowledge that the galactics will clean up DU when they arrive but until they do, many civilians may suffer agony.  All NATO troops who handle DU munitions are also at risk as are their spouses and children.

Depleted uranium: a strange way to protect Libyan civilians

By David Wilson

Global Research, March 27, 2011

Stop the War Coalition – 2011-03-26

“[uranium tipped missiles] fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way… I would say that it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people.” Marion Falk, chemical physicist (retd), Lawrence Livermore Lab, California, USA

In the first 24 hours of the Libyan attack, US B-2s dropped forty-five 2,000-pound bombs. These massive bombs, along with the Cruise missiles launched from British and French planes and ships, all contained depleted uranium (DU) warheads.

DU is the waste product from the process of enriching uranium ore. It is used in nuclear weapons and reactors. Because it is a very heavy substance, 1.7 times denser than lead, it is highly valued by the military for its ability to punch through armored vehicles and buildings. When a weapon made with a DU tip strikes a solid object like the side of a tank, it goes straight through it, then erupts in a burning cloud of vapor. The vapor settles as dust, which is not only poisonous, but also radioactive.

An impacting DU missile burns at 10,000 degrees C. When it strikes a target, 30% fragments into shrapnel. The remaining 70% vaporises into three highly-toxic oxides, including uranium oxide. This black dust remains suspended in the air and, according to wind and weather, can travel over great distances. If you think Iraq and Libya are far away, remember that radiation from Chernobyl reached Wales.

Particles less than 5 microns in diameter are easily inhaled and may remain in the lungs or other organs for years. Internalized DU can cause kidney damage, cancers of the lung and bone, skin disorders, neurocognitive disorders, chromosome damage, immune deficiency syndromes and rare kidney and bowel diseases. Pregnant women exposed to DU may give birth to infants with genetic defects. Once the dust has vaporised, don’t expect the problem to go away soon. As an alpha particle emitter, DU has a half life of 4.5 billion years.

In the ‘shock and awe’ attack on Iraq, more than 1,500 bombs and missiles were dropped on Baghdad alone. Seymour Hersh has claimed that the US Third Marine Aircraft Wing alone dropped more than “five hundred thousand tons of ordnance”. All of it DU-tipped.

Al Jazeera reported that invading US forces fired two hundred tons of radioactive material into buildings, homes, streets and gardens of Baghdad. A reporter from the Christian Science Monitor took a Geiger counter to parts of the city that had been subjected to heavy shelling by US troops. He found radiation levels 1,000 to 1,900 times higher than normal in residential areas. With its population of 26 million, the US dropped a one-ton bomb for every 52 Iraqi citizens or 40 pounds of explosives per person.

William Hague has said that we are in Libya ” to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas”.You don’t have to look far for who and what are being ‘protected’.

In that first 24 hours the ‘Allies’ ‘expended’ £100 million on DU-tipped ordnance. The European Union’s arms control report said member states issued licences in 2009 for the sale of £293.2 million worth of weapons and weapons systems to Libya. Britain issued arms firms licences for the sale of £21.7 million worth of weaponry to Libya and were also paid by Colonel Gadaffi to send the SAS to train his 32nd Brigade.

For the next 4.5 billion years, I’ll bet that William Hague will not be holidaying in North Africa.

Are British and US forces using Depleted Uranium munitions in Libya?

Thursday, 31 March 2011 15:07

Written by CND

Following concerns that US aircraft may be firing depleted uranium ammunition in Libya, John McDonnell MP has today written to the Prime Minister, after an apparent change of government policy on the weapons made on the floor of the House of Commons.

Last week the Prime Minister appeared to improvise a new British policy on depleted uranium during the debate on military action in Libya, when he stated that British forces: “…do not use those weapons and are not going to use those weapons” . However, the MoD website still displays the previous policy position that: “DU anti-armour munitions will remain part of our arsenal for the foreseeable future because we have a duty to provide our troops with the best available equipment with which to protect them and succeed in conflict.”  An MoD spokesperson confirmed this remains the position.

The clarification is being sought after confirmation that US A-10 aircraft were in action over Libya during the weekend. The A-10 can fire depleted uranium armour piercing ammunition from its rotary gun, and it has been confirmed that this gun was used to attack two Libyan boats which were reported to be firing at merchant vessels. Their use over Libya itself threatens both Libyan opposition forces and civilians.

John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, today asked the Prime Minister to give assurances that these planes were not using depleted uranium and to put pressure on the US administration to ensure it would not be used. He ends his letter with: “The stated purpose of our actions in Libya is to protect civilians. This will not be accomplished if we, or our allies, use depleted uranium weapons.”

For the full letter text, see

The use of radioactive and chemically toxic depleted uranium ammunition poses a long-term threat to the health of civilians in areas where they are used. Sharp increases in the rates of cancers and birth defects have been reported following their use in Iraq in 1991 and 2003.

NATO uses depleted uranium bombs against Libya

The Voice of Russia


March 30, 2011

“An unacceptable threat to life and a violation of international law” – that’s how the United States’ former Justice Secretary Ramsey Clark slammed the use of depleted uranium weapons. The United States first used depleted uranium bombs during the military invasion of Iraq in 1991. Apparently pleased with the debut, the Americans pounded them on Yugoslavia nine years later. These days, world news media have been awash with reports that NATO is using depleted uranium bombs against Libya.

Leaving aside the legal and moral aspect of the attacks, a question arises: can’t NATO crush Colonel Gaddafi’s Armed Forces without radioactive exposure?

Political observer Sergei Guk discussed the issue with Voice of Russia guests – General Director of the Center for International and Strategic Research Vladimir Belous and Deputy Director of the Institute for the U.S. and Canadian Studies Pavel Zolotaryov, both retired major generals.

Shells, bombs and cruise missiles stuffed with depleted uranium easily pierce through thick and heavy armor. That’s why the American military value them so much. According to political research centers in Germany, about 300 radioactive shells were fired at Saddam Hussein’s troops from the air and from the ground during the first campaign, launched in 1991. Twenty-one U.S. tanks were hit by mistake.

The consequences were not slow to arrive. In 2003, the World Health Organization reported a rise in cancer diseases in five provinces in southern Iraq. Air, water and soil were contaminated with radiation. Leukemia south of Baghdad assumed epidemic proportions. By 2009, cancer rates grew to thousands of new cases per year.

The uranium filling boomeranged on NATO troops. In the densely populated Yugoslavia, leukemia symptoms were particularly extensive with radiation levels 10 to 1,000 times above normal. More than 250 Italian soldiers died from cancer-related diseases. As for civilians, here’s just one example. Leukemia rates among new-born babies in former Yugoslavia have soared from one per 1,000 prior to NATO’s uranium attacks to between 10 and 15 per 1,000 now.

Is there any point in using radioactive shells in Libya? Can’t NATO manage without them? Pavel Zolotaryov gives his view:

“There is absolutely no point in that. It could be that the Americans have something to test, considering the tasks they need to fulfill. But how does all that fit in with the UN resolution on Libya?”

Vladimir Belous agrees:

“At present, there is absolutely no need in using such kind of shells. Although the quantity of uranium is small, radioactive shrapnel, when penetrating into a human body, creates big problems for the treatment of the wounded.”

The aim of the UN resolution on a no-fly zone over Libya, which took shape before our very eyes, is formulated very precisely: not just shutting the air space but protecting civilians. Nothing beyond that. No one authorized NATO to fight on the side of one warring faction against the other, let alone use depleted uranium shells.

Even if these shells explode in a desert far from residential areas, for many Libyans this is a postponed death sentence. The same happened in Iraq where depleted uranium bombs were also used in a desert. A brief look at cancer statistics in Iraq and former Yugoslavia is enough to imagine what awaits Libyans in the near future.

Article nr. 76375 sent on 30-mar-2011 19:14 ECT

‘US Drops Depleted Uranium Bombs on Libya’

Posted by Anti Oligarch on March 28, 2011 at 6:48am

‘US drops uranium bombs on Libya’ 27 Mar 2011 The Stop the War Coalition says the bombs and missiles that the US-led military alliance has dropped on several Libyan cities contain depleted uranium (DU). The report recently published on the Coalition’s website said that in the first 24 hours of the war on Libya, dozens of bombs and cruise missiles were launched by US, British, and French forces — all with depleted uranium warheads. US B-2 aircraft dropped forty-five 2,000-pound bombs on key Libyan cities, it added.

US protesters condemn Libya attacks 27 Mar 2011 Anti-war protesters have gathered in front of the White House in Washington DC to denounce the US-led airstrikes on Libya which began last week. The demonstrators, protesting the US involvement in the war, shouted anti-war slogans and sang in front of the White House on Sunday as US-led Western warplanes intensify their aerial attacks on forces loyal to Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, a Press TV correspondent in Washington reported. The anti-war protest comes two days after similar demonstrations were held in the United States on the eighth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq.

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