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CBS News says: Maybe Iraq Is Right

5 January 2001

Weapons Of War Are Supposed To Kill - But Not This Way

Questions Arise About Shells That Use Uranium As Ballast

By CBS News Correspondent Kimberly Dozier

(CBS) A few years back, Iraq complained of a rise in childhood leukemia and other cancers, in the south of the country -- byproducts, it said, of the allied bombing there, and the use of depleted uranium ore in allied munitions.

The Pentagon dismissed such reports, and told inquiring reporters they'd been taken in by Iraqi propaganda.

Fast-forward to Kosovo, and the former Yugoslavia in general, and the funerals of six Italian peacekeepers. They all served in one of the most heavily bombarded areas of Kosovo, Pec, where NATO fired the bulk of its 31,000 tank rounds, all of them filled with depleted uranium ore.

Also dead were five Belgians and one Portuguese soldier.

Italian politicians say uranium ore dust is to blame, and they and other NATO member nations have demanded an explanation.

NATO says there's no connection and no danger, insisting that this is not a radioactive weapon, or a nuclear weapon in any sense. The dense, spent ore is simply used to make the munitions heavier.

The problem is, soldiers on short tours of duty in the Balkans are dying. And, like the people of southern Iraq, who knows what's happening to the people who live there?


From: "We're all downwinders!"

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