Thursday, April 28, 2005

Depleted Uranium

The US military has an alert saying that depleted uranium is OK as long as one avoids prolonged exposure. Depleted uranium, used in munitions shells, is very dense and can help carry a shell through heavy armouring on vehicles. It fragments as it passes through the armour as well and causes all kinds or useful extra damage.
In fact, Morris pointed out, the vast majority of Gulf War DU
exposure cases didn't occur in combat, but were people who
toured the battlefields and climbed in and on vehicles struck by
DU munitions.

Mr BurnsAll of the particles produced remain ad nauseum, literally. Iraqis aren't so able to keep away from depleted uranium. Birth defects in Iraq are up 20% over the past two years. The increase is attributed to depleted uranium and pollution. Is there some kind of flaw in the logical reasoning that breating in radioactive heavy metals year after year is bad for you and thus that it should not be dispersed in the first place? There's no flaw, but a different logic drives whether or not this stuff should be used in the first place. What we get is the decision to use depleted uranium, minimum care for our guys, and the ignoring of effects on the long-term health and welfare for the poor sods who live in the combat zone. It's all driven by the increase in kill efficiency, also mentioned in the warning letter:
Morris said the U.S. armed forces first used DU munitions and
armor during the Gulf War and decisively demonstrated its
effectiveness. In one incident, a DU round went through a bermed
revetment, through an Iraqi vehicle and through the berm on the
far side. In another incident, three Iraqi vehicles ganged up on
and couldn't stop a lone Abrams tank -- the Abrams crew
destroyed all three Iraqis.
Wow! That's awesome!