Monday, March 07, 2005

WMD double standard

Although noble in its criticism of the Bush administration's ongoing plans to create a nuclear bunker buster, a New York Times editorial erred in suggesting that the world has been free of nuclear warfare since World War II (1).

The United States military has left behind radioactive waste from the use of millions of rounds of depleted uranium shells in both wars against Iraq, and in Kosovo.

Wherever these rounds have been used, rates of cancer, birth deformities, and other ailments have significantly increased among the in-country population and among military troops.

For the United States to be an honest advocate against nuclear proliferation, it should first abandon its use of all forms of nuclear weapons.

"There is a moral point to be made here. This war was about Iraq possessing illegal weapons of mass destruction -- yet we are using weapons of mass destruction ourselves," said Doug Rokke, ex-director of the Pentagon's depleted uranium project. "Such double-standards are repellent" (2).

Rokke claims that the Pentagon has deliberately covered up their own evidence found in Los Alamos lab studies on the dangers of contact with depleted uranium to "make sure that we [Pentagon officials] don't disrupt the future use of depleted uranium munitions" (3).

1) "A Destabilizing Bit of Research," New York Times, 6 March 2005.

2) Neil Mackay, "US forces' use of depleted uranium weapons is 'illegal'," Sunday Herald, 30 March 2003.

3) Dan Bjarnason, "Silver Bullet: Depleted Uranium", CBC.


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