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Doing the Wrong Thing in Afghanistan: Depleted Uranium: The Definitive Moral Paradox

by reposted Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2006 at 7:07 AM

By Michael Clarke

It is 'Canada Day' evening, and I can barely hear the

whistles, booms and bangs of the fireworks. It sounds

a bit like distant bombs exploding, reminding me of

the incredible moral paradox our federal government’s

aggressive military role in Afghanistan has created

for all Canadians.

Our government, military, newspapers, television and

radio media are efficiently dispersing the official

sound bytes: “our troops in Afghanistan have the moral

authority”; “Canada is doing the right thing”; “it’s a

noble mission”; and, “we are just spreading freedom

and democracy”.

But, they are not telling us that there is something

else we are spreading around Afghanistan that any

truly moral person would instinctively consider

immoral and evil. It is something very real, but some

governments refuse to recognize it even exists.

Despite their duplicity, it certainly brings to the

table a supreme criminal culpability that historians

may someday benchmark as the definitive moral paradox

marking the failure of Western democracies to resist

the rise of global corporate fascism.

After the Taleban resistance fighters’ ambush in May

killed Capt. Nichola Goddard, Canadian troops called

in a U.S. B-1 Lancer stealth bomber which dropped a

500-pound bomb on a nearby residential compound,

killing an estimated 15 to 20 people. According to the

U.S. Air Force, that was just one of nearly 2,000 air

strikes that were conducted in Afghanistan between

March and May 2006.

Tragically, every air strike uses bombs and missiles

that are encased and ballasted with depleted uranium

(DU) which aerosolizes upon impact, instantaneously

being released into the atmosphere as insoluble

ceramic uranium oxide nanoparticles. Its gaseous

characteristics allow DU to remain suspended in the

air and be distributed around the earth as a

radioactive component of atmospheric dust,

contaminating the environment and indiscriminately

killing, maiming and causing disease in all living

things wherever rain, snow and moisture remove it from

the atmosphere.

Nuclear experts agree that DU is a weapon for killing

lots of people that keeps on killing forever. It meets

the U.S. government’s own definitions of weapons of

mass destruction. And there is no way to ever clean it


An estimated 900 tons of DU was released in the

initial 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. The

approximately 2,000 air strikes this spring could

easily have released another 250 tons of DU into the

air and onto the ground, water and crops. According to

the White House website a total of 24,000 bombs were

used in the first year of operations in Afghanistan,

which would suggest a minimum of 3,000 tons of DU was

aerosolized in only the first 12 months of conflict.

There is a lot of deadly radioactive DU around there.

According to one nuclear expert, Leuren Moret, the

United States and its willing accomplices like Canada

have effectively staged a nuclear war in Afghanistan

by using dirty bombs and missiles that “slip the nukes

under the wire”. As quickly as the DU aerosols are

produced they will permanently contaminate vast areas

and slowly destroy the genetic future of populations

throughout the region. The permanent radioactive

contamination and environmental devastation is

unprecedented, resulting in huge increases in cancer

and birth defects which will increase over time due to

chronic exposure, increasing internal levels of

radiation from DU dust and permanent genetic effects

passed on to future generations. Of course, DU weapons

have also been used in Yugoslavia and the Iraq wars

with the same devastating consequences.

Studies to monitor the Afghanis have been carried out

by the Uranium Medical Research Center, which has sent

several field teams to Afghanistan since 2002 to check

the contamination and health conditions around

specific locations that are known to have been bombed.

Approximately 30% of those interviewed in the affected

areas displayed symptoms of radiation sickness,

including congenital problems in newborns. In Kabul

those who were exposed to US-British “precision

bombing” showed extreme signs of contamination

consistent with uranium exposure. In Nangarhar every

person donating urine specimens tested positive for

uranium contamination. The researchers were stunned by

the astoundingly high levels of widespread

contamination. Their report warned, “The UMRC field

team was shocked by the breadth of public health

impacts coincident with the bombing. Without

exception, at every bombsite investigated, people are

ill. A significant portion of the civilian population

presents symptoms consistent with internal

contamination by uranium.”

Using the same calculation method that the U.K. Atomic

Energy Authority employed in their 1990 projection of

potential DU consequences in Iraq, the estimated 250

tons of DU from the 2,000 recent air strikes carried

out in Afghanistan from March to May 2006 could result

in as many as 2,500,000 cancers within the next ten

years. The bomb dropped near Capt. Goddard produced

250 pounds of DU that could cause as many as 1,250

cases of cancer in that village within the next ten

years. But, the bombing in the initial 2001 invasion

could cause as many as 9,000,000 additional cancers

within ten years. These horrible estimates tend to

support Leuren Moret’s contention that this has been a

genocidal plan from the start; this was not a war in

Afghanistan, but a war against Afghanistan. And Iraq,

and Yugoslavia.

However, the laws of war prohibit the use of weapons

that have deadly and inhumane effects beyond the field

of battle, or remain active or cause harm after

hostilities cease. The military use of DU weapons

violates international humanitarian law (Hague &

Geneva), violates the principles of international

environmental protection and contradicts the right to

life established by the UN Subcommittee on Human

Rights. The UN Human Rights Commission determined a

decade ago that DU is a weapon of mass destruction

that should never be used. These rulings mean that the

use of DU is intrinsically immoral as well as illegal.

Of course, there will always be wags who insist that

DU is harmless so there really is no problem. Robert

Jensen, a professor of journalism at UT Austin,

recently delivered a speech at the Brisbane

(Australia) Social Forum titled “The Threats to

Sustainable Democracy” in which he said, “…there is no

power so convinced of its own benevolence as the

United States. The culture is delusional in its

commitment to this mythology, which is why today one

can find on the other side of the world peasant

farmers with no formal education who understand better

the nature of U.S. power than many faculty members at

elite U.S. universities.”

Leuren Moret dramatically proved his point in an

article published in World Affairs – the Journal of

International Issues (July 2004) when she wrote,

“…even uneducated Afghanis understand the impact these

[DU] weapons have had on their children and on future


“After the Americans destroyed our village and killed

many of us, we also lost our houses and have nothing

to eat. However, we would have endured these miseries

and even accepted them, if the Americans had not

sentenced us all to death. When I saw my deformed

grandson, I realized that my hopes of the future have

vanished for good, different from the hopelessness of

the Russian barbarism, even though at that time I lost

my older son Shafiqullah. This time, however, I know

we are part of the invisible genocide brought on us by

America, a silent death from which I know we will not

escape.” (Jooma Khan of Laghman province, March 2003)

Genocide? The word fits too perfectly! The statistical

potential for numbers of DU cancer deaths in

Afghanistan with the passage of time easily surpasses

the Holocaust victim total and sets new upper limits

for satanic crimes against humanity. When government

tells us that we are in Afghanistan with full moral

authority they are being disingenuous, because

genocide can only spring from immoral authority. Dr.

K. Yagasaki has calculated that the U.S. has used more

DU since 1991 than the atomicity equivalent of 400,000

Nagasaki bombs, and it has been spread all around the

planet. Despite the fact that Depleted Uranium

weaponry will eventually annihilate all species on

earth, our “leaders” continue to deploy it with full

knowledge of its destructive potential, even as they

say there is no DU problem. Throughout the history of

this world there has been no greater atrocity against

the people and the planet. Dr. Bartell coined the term

omnicide to reflect DU’s supreme immorality. Jooma

Khan will never believe that the foreign troops

occupying his province have any moral authority. It is

no coincidence that a major international Pew poll

last month showed that the majority of Muslim society

around the world believes Western countries are


So, here’s the moral paradox for all Canadians: How

can the Conservatives, the military, the corporate

media and the regressive Liberals possibly be correct

when they tell us that Canada’s mission in Afghanistan

is noble and moral if our soldiers initiate the

deployment of illegal nuclear DU weapons that deliver

horrific radioactive genocide and cause the permanent

destruction of the environment?

The paradox is instantly resolved. Simply by

requesting air strikes with illegal radioactive DU

weaponry Canadian soldiers are, by definition,

perpetrating immoral crimes against humanity.

Therefore, it is logically impossible that our mission

in Afghanistan is the “right thing to do”. To the

contrary, Canada has become a state sponsor of terror

just like America which is the very wrong thing to do,

and the DU problem we have become involved with due to

our unwise military commitments to the U.S. and NATO

implicate us in terrorist acts much worse than 9/11.

The Muslim world is astute. Western society is

immoral. Our supposedly superior democratic

institutions have allowed the DU atrocities to be

perpetrated globally free from any threat of

international prosecution. In fact, the Canadian

government has suppressed those who would attempt to

bring war crime charges of torture against the United

States, a far lesser crime in comparison.

Take action now. Demand an international public

enquiry about DU war crimes and demand that Canada

bring our troops home immediately and stop expanding

the killing fields.

But, be wary, because democracy around the world has

had a complete breakdown. The Depleted Uranium

insanity is the definitive moral paradox that marks

the triumph of global corporate fascism over the

world’s weak and easily corrupted democratic

institutions. Those who understand that fundamental

morality must begin with serving humanity and stopping

the destruction of Gaia must rise up in resistance.

And they will call us terrorists even though we strive

for the highest moral standards and the greatest good

and, ironically, respect the Nuremburg Principles.

As Robert Jensen warned the Brisbane Social Forum,

“The world is at risk.”

To Learn More - Main sources used in this commentary

that readers are encouraged to consult:

August 2004 World Affairs Journal. Leuren Moret:

“Depleted Uranium: The Trojan Horse of Nuclear War”,

May 2006 Vital Truths and Information Clearing House.

Doug Westerman: “Depleted Uranium – Far Worse than


May 2006 Brisbane Social Forum, Australia: Robert

Jensen: “The Threats to Sustainable Democracy”


(Read comments) - (Post a new comment)

Michael Clarke on depleted uranium


2006-08-22 03:19 am UTC (link)

Michael - this is a terrific article with very good

information presented in a thoughtful and powerful

way. Thank you so much for this excellent analysis of

the depleted uranium issue which is:





The immensity of this global crime against all living

things will slowly be realized over time. Already we

are engulfed in a global diabetes epidemic since 1990,

with many other radiation related illnesses - cancer

is just the tip of the iceberg - increasing likewise

as epidemics. What we do know about epidemics is that

"if it's an epidemic, it's not genetic..."

Thank you so much for your great article, I will

spread it far and wide.

Good wishes and keep on writing... Leuren Moret

(Reply to this) (Thread)

Re: Michael Clarke on depleted uranium


2006-08-22 03:26 am UTC (link)

Michael - I forgot to mention who is responsible for

turning the global atmosphere into an Auschwitz

radioactive poison gas chamber which we are all

sitting in breathing in the deadly poison gas with

every breath we take:


From Berkeley, California, the University that

poisoned the world -

Leuren Moret

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