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Depleted Uranium Whitewash
10 January 2001
UK Government Turns its Back on Gulf War Veterans, War Victims and Residents Around UK DU Testing Sites
The government, in a so-called U turn, but more a zed doubling, has announced voluntary screening for those who have served, in either a military or civilian capacity, in Bosnia and Kosovo.
But this leaves the Gulf War veterans forgotten. Yet they have been suffering since 1991. And the government knew of the dangers. John Spellar, MP, in a recent written reply to questions said the precautionary guidelines had been drawn up for the troops in the Gulf - but never reached them.
So if troops need to take precautions what about the civilians - have they been forgotten too? What about the civilians who live around the areas in the Balkans where NATO pursued its 'humanitarian' war? Are the parents being warned to keep their children from the sites? Are the NATO member states offering to clean up the contaminated sites?
For years now the Iraqis have reported an increase in the incidence of childhood leukaemia, cancers and birth malformities in the area around Basra, in southern Iraq, where the DU munitions were used in the Gulf War. While there may be other contributing factors, Iraqi doctors believe that there is a link with the DU munitions fired by the UK and the US.
Even in Britain there is an increase in the incidence of childhood leukaemia around the DU weapons' testing site at Dundrennan, in south west Scotland.
All these should be investigated. And while there is even a shred of evidence that the illnesses reported and the birth malformities are connected to the use of DU, the government should stop the manufacture and trade in the weapons from Britain, give up keeping them in the arsenal, commit themselves not to use them in any future conflict and call for an international ban on DU weapons.
And really carry out their humanitarian promises.