One last post of ’08. What’s it going to be? Well, if it weren’t for Holidailies (my solemn vow) I wouldn’t post at all today. Alas, I am committed.
So, in search of a topic, I randomly thought, “End of 2008: we’re still at war.” I googled, “US military”. You know, looking for a moving photo. Because, why shouldn’t I just post a picture like I have been for the last three weeks?
And then I came across a post at another site about Depleted Uranium (DU). And I read some statistics that (call me gullible) I believe. Statements like this:
- The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority has estimated that 50 tons of DU dust from the first Gulf War could lead to 500,000 cancer deaths by the year 2000. To date, a total of 2,000 tons have been generated in the Middle East.
- In contrast, approximately 250,000 lives were claimed by the explosions and radiation released by the nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- “More than ten times the amount of radiation released during atmospheric testing [of nuclear bombs] has been released from DU weaponry since 1991,” said Leuren Moret, a U.S. nuclear scientist. “The genetic future of the Iraqi people, for the most part, is destroyed. The environment now is completely radioactive.”
- Since the first Gulf War, the rate of birth defects and childhood cancer in Iraq has increased by seven times.
- More than 35 percent (251,000) of U.S. Gulf War veterans are dead or on permanent medical disability, compared with only 400 who were killed during the conflict.
I’m not going to pretend to be someone other than who I am. I’ve got chicken tikka masala arriving in a sack on the arm of a gentleman at my front door step any minute now. I’ll drink wine and ring in the new year under my down comforter while I watch a DVD of Friday Night Lights.
I’m not living in a radioactive state. But the fact of the matter is that a little boy somewhere has eyes where his ears should be and nostrils where his eyes should be, all because the weapons someone in the US decided to use employ some pretty fucked up shit. DU. Depleted Uranium. Something to learn more about in 2009.
UPDATE: Do Not Google “Depleted Uranium” image search. Really. Don’t. Seriously.