15 April, 2011 — Global Research
Western coalition forces have been using depleted uranium in their airstrikes on crisis-hit Libya, says an expert, despite the forces’ denial of using the highly-poisonous metal.
Conn Hallinan, a columnist with Foreign Policy in Focus, told Russia Today news network on Wednesday that after examining the impact wounds left on tanks in Libya, he is almost certain that depleted uranium is being utilized.
‘Politically, it’s a bad idea. Medically, it’s an extremely bad idea. It’s just one of those things that’s an effective weapon that you have to step away from,’ he went on to say.
He added that given the amount of depleted uranium in the hands of Washington, the US military is going to only further saturate foreign battlefields with the toxic metal for years to come.
Depleted uranium has a half-life of 4.5 billion years and has thus earned the title ‘The silent killer that will never stop killing’ in troubled Libya.
Shells, bombs and cruise missiles tipped with depleted uranium and tungsten easily pierce through heavy armor and fortifications.
Air, water and soil are also contaminated when such weapons are used.
Dr. Doug Rokke, the ex-director of the Pentagon’s Depleted Uranium Project, says there is no way to totally decontaminate an area hit with uranium.
Serious long-term health problems caused by the use of depleted uranium in bombs can range from cancer to leukemia and genetic mutations.
The United Nations has prohibited the manufacture, testing, use, sale and stockpiling of depleted uranium weapons.
The US dropped thousands of depleted uranium bombs on the Iraq city of Fallujah in 2003, which killed thousands of people.
A great proportion of all births in Fallujah since the strike have suffered from abnormalities and the rate of mutation among newborns is higher than what was found in Japan after America attacked the Asian country during the Second World War.
US, British, French, Canadian, Danish and Belgian warplanes have launched strikes on Libya since March 19 under UN Security Council Resolution 1973 that authorized ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians.
This is while Libya continues to be struck with the conflict between revolutionaries and forces loyal to the North African country’s embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi.
AFP says that Gaddafi’s forces have killed at least 10,000 people during the ongoing fighting; and Libya’s National Transition Council said Tuesday that another 30,000 were wounded and 20,000 more are still missing.