Perpetual Death From America
By Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, PhD
Afghan-American Freelance Academic Mdmiraki@ameritech.net
"If they had killed us once, it would not be so bad. But what the Americans have brought upon us is not only depriving us but our future generations of our basic god given human right, the right to live. They will be killing us for generations to come" (An Afghan Victim of US-UK bombing)
In Afghanistan, elders used to cite an ancient saying "we are made for death and death is made for us" to point to the inescapable reality of facing death sooner or later. However, when this natural phenomenon changes form from its natural course to one tailored by humans, it becomes a tool of life deprivation. This tailored and forced deprivation of life on millions of people took a form of its own when used for cleansing generations of people of their basic human right, their right to live. Specifically, for millions in Afghanistan, their natural course of life and death took a sharp turn when US-UK military used uranium based weapons. This violation of immense proportion transformed the natural process of birth, growth and death into the inescapable horrors of perpetual death.
Perpetual death is characterized by continuous murder of people of a community, state or nation. It takes several forms. It could be exercised by conventional means of imposing war and destruction on people. The Russians have institutionalized this horror in Afghanistan by its invasion of the country in 1979 and sustained perpetual death there by planting millions of mines scattered all over country. The United States government also shares this responsibility after it abandoned the Afghans, leaving them to death and despair and refused to help them by clearing the millions of mines left behind after the Sovietsí retreat. These mines have been maiming and killing Afghans daily since the early 1980s.
However, the form that is exercised currently is the indiscriminate use of the Weapons of Mass Destruction, namely the usage of uranium based weapons. This mode of the perpetual death lives up to its name because it continues to foster deaths of thousands silently and indiscriminately. In fact, the usage of the Weapons of Mass Destruction alters the texture of the ecosystem wherein the victims reside. This ultimately condemns the people living there and future generations to death, and deprives them of their fundamental human right, the right to live.
The perpetrators of this horrible crime are the governments of the United States and that of the United Kingdom. The US and the UK are the only two countries used these horrible weapons indiscriminately in Iraq during the Gulf War and Balkans in the 1990s and in Afghanistan from October 7th, 2001 onward. Meanwhile, based on past experiences with victims of the US-UK bombing in Iraq and the Balkans, every informed source suspected to have similar situation in Afghanistan. Tragically, the US-UK armed forces have used three times more uranium based weapons in Afghanistan than they did in Iraq or in the Balkans. In fact, the types of Weapons of Mass Destruction used in Afghanistan are more potent than those used in Iraq.
This became evident with the recent report by the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC), establishing the presence of a mysterious metal in Afghan soil samples and urine samples of victims. The investigation carried out by the two teams of experts, one concentrated on the city of Jalal Abad while the other on the capital Kabul. The two teams gathered data and established the use of uranium-based weapons there. They discovered symptoms in population of illnesses associated with exposure to depleted uranium contamination similar to that in Iraq and Balkans. This added to the curiosity of the investigators and collected soil samples from impact sites to investigate them here in the US. The investigators were also surprised to find high concentration of uranium in the urine of subjects from Jala Abad. In fact, the level of uranium was 400% to 2000%, the highest level of uranium ever recorded in civilian population. Incidentally, the uranium discovered in the urine samples from subjects in Jala-Abad exhibited characteristics more potent than depleted uranium. The report said the following in regards to the impact of the uranium-based weapons:
"Dr. Asaf Durakovic, a professor of nuclear medicine and radiology and a former science adviser to the US military, who set-up the independent UMRC, has been testing US, British, and Canadian troops and civilians for DU and uranium poisoning over the past few years. His findings confirm significant amounts in the subjects' urine as much as nine years after exposure."
The above quote points to the perpetual death imposed on population of any country where the USA and the UK had used uranium-based weapons.
"Durakovic and his team have searched for possible alternative causes, such as geological or industrial sources, or the likelihood of Al Qaeda having uranium reserves. But the uranium found is not consistent with the "dirty bomb" scenario proposed by the US (in which stores of radioactive materials might explain the findings), nor is it connected to DU, or an enriched uranium-type dust that has been found in Iraq and Kosova."
In Iraq, it took up to five years to have any significant effects of exposure to depleted uranium, however, in Afghanistan only after one year, the UMRC research group suspects that 25% of newly born show symptoms of exposure to uranium weapons. The latter factors further strengthen the hypothesis of the UMRC that the US-UK militaries are using uranium ore in their weapons in order to increase its destructive capability. The usage of uranium ore also makes it difficult to trace these weapons to the US-UK militaries and creates a distortion as if the uranium had come from the local uranium deposits. The conclusion of the report was:
"However, marked differences between natural uranium and the uranium used in the metal fragments found in Afghanistan was uncovered with the use of an electron microscope, which revealed the presence of small ceramic particles produced by the high temperatures created on impact. This method of disguising uranium would benefit governments that are under pressure from the growing anti-DU lobby."
"The only conclusion is that the allied forces are now possibly using milled uranium ore in their warheads to maximise [sic] the effectiveness and strength of their weapons, as well as to mask the uranium, hoping that it may be discounted as part of any local natural deposits."
The destructive effects of the uranium-based weapons became evident in the beginning of the bombardments in Afghanistan, when Reuters reported that people died from minor injuries. Public Health Minister Mullah Abbas said:
"Our findings prove that this is true. These bombardments have radioactive rays and chemical materials that also cause cancer." (Reuters, October 29, 2001)
The news report continued with quotes that further added credibility to the claims of many that the US and the UK had used uranium-based weapons in Afghanistan. Dr. Wazir a surgeon at Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital had said the following amidst the bombardments: "We have some patients with superficial injuries with symptoms of chemical weapons." (Reuters, October 29, 2001)
According to Dr. Wazir a 10 years old boy, who had superficial injuries died from respiratory problems after the bombing, while another individual, a 50 years old woman also died from minor injuries. The doctor continues by citing three of his other patients-two girls aged 12 and 15 and a boy aged 15-who had only sustained superficial injuries from the US bombings, died hours later from breathing difficulties and internal bleeding. Dr. Wazir continued:
"These are only three examples. There have been other cases where we suspect chemical weapons have been used. Most of the victims have had respiratory problems and internal bleeding for which there is no apparent cause." (Khalifa.com, October 30, 2001)
At the fighting front north of Kabul, where Taliban forces were pounded night and day, many dead Taliban soldiers had no visible injuries except blood flowing out of their mouths, internal bleeding consistent with uranium based and chemical weapons. Furthermore, many dead Taliban soldiers had severe discoloration of the skin, orange, without being burned, while others had their rifles melted in their hands. This aroused suspicion among Taliban and others that weapons used by the US-UK military were not conventional weapons. Many Taliban soldiers that survived the bombing in the north have died after returning to their native villages in the south and southeast of the country. They had no physical injury upon their death, however, died from internal bleeding and other bizarre symptoms including uncontrolled vomiting, diarrhea, and blood loss in urine and stool. Their families were shocked with disbelieves.
Another bizarre, yet tragic scene was reported near Rish-Khor military base in Kabul. Multiple witnesses reported seeing dead birds on tree branches with blood coming out of their mouths. As one witness put it:
"We were amazed to see all these birds sitting quietly on [tree] branches; but when we shook the tree the birds fell down and we saw blood coming out of their mouths. Then we climbed the trees to see those that were still stuck on tree branches, all of them had bled from their mouths. Two of the birds appeared to be partly melted into the trees branches."
These various claims by witnesses of the US-UK bombing amply establishes that Weapon of Mass Destruction have been used. Amidst the nonstop bombing, Taliban Public Health Minister Mullah Mohammad Abbas had expressed concerns about the utility of depleted uranium by the US in Afghanistan. The Minister was anxious about the long-term contamination of large areas in Afghanistan. He was aware of the US indifference to the well being of people in other regions and said: "They used uranium in Kosovo and our concern is that they will do the same thing in Afghanistan."
According to Dai Williams, independent DU researcher, there has been 50 to 100 times greater health hazard in Afghanistan than had been in Balkans from the usage of uranium based weaponsódepleted uranium, dirty uranium and uranium ore. As pointed out above, the efforts of UMRC to expose the so-called mystery metal used in the bombing in Afghanistan strengthened by the efforts of other researchers aimed to explore the ongoing ëAfghan War Syndromeí similar to the ëGulf War Syndromeí, which has caused horrific congenital deformities in Iraq. According to the Washington based Center for Defense Information, several hundred tones of weaponsósmart bombs and cruise missilesóenriched with the so-called mystery metal aimed for hard targets such as caves, bunkers and command and control installations were used in Afghanistan. The problem becomes more severe when one compares, the hard target weapons used in Afghanistan to the ones used in Balkans. Dai Williams compares the weapons, namely hard target weapon in Afghanistan to that in Balkans as follows:
"The mystery metal is 50-75% of the weight of the bombs - up to 1.5 tons in the GBU-37 Bunker Buster bombs. If this is DU then target zones will be 50-100x more contaminated than by the pencil-sized 30 mm (0.27 kg) anti-tank shells used in the Balkans War, and more like the DU ammunition fire in the Gulf War. DU oxide is known to travel up to 25 miles by wind so large areas may be affected by each bomb."
What this translates into is more deaths, morphological changes in people, congenital deformities and various types of cancers. In this tragedy, an intertwined horrifically fatal relationship emerges between the individual and his/her environment. Since Afghans, as other people worldwide, live in their respective localities, where they have lived from childhood on, are forced to make painful choices. On the one hand, they do not want to leave their villages and cities because those are their homes. On the other, hand, they can not remain there out of concerns for the safety of their families from uranium poisons as well as further bombings. Tragically, they have no choice and no place to go. Even if they could, for the overwhelming majority it is too late because uranium dust has already determined their fate, diseases and inevitable death.
In their attempts to "smoke-out" the Taliban and Al Qaida, the US has bombed these ancient tunnels and caves that villagers throughout Afghanistan have been using for water supply. This not only worsened the existing situation characterized by drought and lack of water, but it also permanently destroyed the ecological centers in east, southeast and southwestern Afghanistan, and created a perpetual source of disease and death for populations living in those areas. According to Fred Pearceís article ëdying of Thirstí in the New Scientist, November 17, 2001, the US military bombed the kajaki dam, which waters land in southwestern Afghanistan that supports over 1 million people. In the same article, Fred Pearce articulates the following:
"Afghanistan, which is in the third year of an unprecedented drought, relies on a mixture of ancient and modern water-supply systems. As well as relying on the Kajaki dam, the south of the country is peppered with hundreds of water-supply tunnels, often running for tens of kilometres [sic] into hillsides to tap water reserves deep underground. The tunnels, known in Pashto as karez, are now a [sic] target for American warplanes. Military strategists claim that bin Laden and Taliban troops may now be hiding out in the karez, many of which are wide enough to accommodate companies of men. They say the karez made impenetrable hideouts for the mujahedin during their guerrilla war with Soviet occupiers in the 1980s."
Therefore, the traditional systems of water, Karez system of tunnels, whereupon thousands in Afghan countryside rely, have been permanently tailored to serve as sources of perpetual death for locals living there.
The following photos are reminders of the US-UK murderous legacy of perpetual death experienced in Iraq but now in Afghanistan
Iraqi Baby Deformed thanks to the US-UK depleted uranium
Thanks to the Liberators - victim of the US-UK depleted uranium
Another US-UK liberated child
What would you do, if your entire family except a young sister
had perished in the US liberation attempted in Afghanistan?
These beleaguered souls are probably dead due to depleted uranium dust. If they are alive, they will most likely die from dreadful diseases. This is one example among thousands in the tragedy of perpetual deaths imposed on the poor and gallant people of Afghanistan I wish to conclude with the following quote from one of the victims of US-UK bombing in Afghanistan:
"Tell the Americans, they kill us to sustain your way of life, when they enjoy living, they better think about the 15 members of my family. Tell them that they are guilty. Only if they had conscience, they would know that they are as guilty as their government."
Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, PhD
Afghan-American Interviews, December 2002