Sunday, November 04, 2012

Q&A: Severe Birth Defects Soar in Post-War Iraq

Families' Heartache Over Falluja Birth Defects

American troops going home from Iraq left behind a legacy that is literally toxic. An investigation in five Iraqi provinces has found that hazardous material from US bases was being dumped locally rather than sent back to America, in clear breach of Pentagon rules. Remember the things we kept finding buried by the Iraqi army for years in the desert and all through Iraq? I am sure we have been doing the same thing.

North and west of Baghdad, engine oil is leaking from 55-gallon drums into dusty ground, open acid canisters sit within easy reach of children, and discarded batteries lie close to irrigated farmland. A 2009 Pentagon document shown to The Times by a private contractor working with US soldiers mentions “an estimated 11 million pounds of hazardous waste” produced by American troops. 

Even this figure appears to be only a partial estimate. Brigadier General Kendall Cox, who is responsible for engineering and infrastructure in Iraq, told The Times yesterday that he was in the process of disposing of 14,500 tons of oil and soil contaminated with oil. “This has accumulated over seven years,” he said. 

Iraqis who have come into contact with some of the material suffer from rashes and blistering on their hands and feet. They also complain of gagging and coughing. Rats near sites where waste was dumped have died and lie next to soiled containers. Private recycling companies located within American bases have allegedly mixed hazardous material with ordinary scrap and passed it on to local dealers. “By the time we see this stuff it is too late,” said Abu Saif.

Some of the dumped materials have labels identifying them as US military property or come with paperwork from the Department of Defense. A printout was attached to a discarded canister of sulphuric acid, a highly corrosive liquid used in waste water treatment. It said of the substance: “Causes severe burns to skin and lungs ... Get immediate medical attention ... Use gas mask.”   America leaves Iraq a toxic legacy of dumped hazardous materials 

Although the Pentagon has sent mixed signals about the effects of depleted uranium, Iraqi doctors believe that it is responsible for a significant increase in cancer and birth defects in the region. Many researchers outside Iraq, and several U.S. veterans organizations, agree; they also suspect depleted uranium of playing a role in Gulf War Syndrome.   depleted uranium toxins and hazardous wastes responsible for increased birth defects
As you know, we have also used weapons containing depleted Uranium and didn't really think too much about it because I really wasn't sure but depleted uranium has not only turned Iraq and Afghanistan into uninhabitable nuclear holocaust for millions of years. Remember the Gulf war Syndrome? Depleted uranium was also used at Tora Bora. I was not aware of that! Cancer among soldiers is rampant!

We are giving our own soldiers a death sentence. Why are we not testing our soldiers? You know why! Anyway it is also blowing over the rest of the planet causing Americans, Europeans, and others to die from radiation diseases. Anyway, look at what we have done to Iraq as part of the hell on earth Bush purposely created for Iraqi's. Hundreds of thousands homeless, Iraq incapable of supplying the basic needs of life, food, housing, safety, and we are leaving them in a still erupting civil war in an environment that will kill them. That is some legacy. A legacy only Bush could be proud of! We are leaving Iraq as a giant hazardous waste dump!

James Joiner
Gardner, Ma

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