Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cancer - The Deadly Legacy of the Invasion of Iraq

Forget about oil, occupation, terrorism or even Al Qaeda. The real hazard for Iraqis these days is cancer.Cancer is spreading like wildfire in Iraq. Thousands of infants are being born with deformities. Doctors say they are struggling to cope with the rise of cancer and birth defects, especially in cities subjected to heavy American and British bombardment
Here are a few examples. In Falluja, which was heavily bombarded by the US in 2004, as many as 25% of new- born infants have serious abnormalities, including congenital anomalies, brain tumors, and neural tube defects in the spinal cord.
The cancer rate in the province of Babil, south of Baghdad has risen from 500 diagnosed cases in 2004 to 9,082 in 2009 according to Al Jazeera English.
In Basra there were 1885 diagnosed cases of cancer in 2005. According to Dr. Jawad al Ali, director of the Oncology Center, the number increased to 2,302 in 2006 and 3,071 in 2007. Dr. Ali told Al Jazeera English that about 1,250-1,500 patients visit the Oncology Center every month now.
Not everyone is ready to draw a direct correlation between allied bombing of these areas and tumors, and the Pentagon has been skeptical of any attempts to link the two. But Iraqi doctors and some Western scholars say the massive quantities of depleted uranium used in U.S. and British bombs, and the sharp increase in cancer rates are not unconnected.
Dr. Ahmad Hardan, who served as a special scientific adviser to the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the Iraqi Ministry of Health, says that there is scientific evidence linking depleted uranium to cancer and birth defects. He told Al Jazeera English, "Children with congenital anomalies are subjected to karyotyping and chromosomal studies with complete genetic back-grounding and clinical assessment. Family and obstetrical histories are taken too. These international studies have produced ample evidence to show that depleted uranium has disastrous consequences."
Iraqi doctors say cancer cases increased after both the 1991 war and the 2003 invasion. 
Iraqi family. © James Gordon (Flickr)Abdulhaq Al-Ani, author of "Uranium in Iraq" told Al Jazeera English 
that the incubation period for depleted uranium is five to six years, which is consistent with the spike in cancer rates in 1996-1997 and 2008-2009.
There are also similar patterns of birth defects among Iraqi and Afghan infants who were also born in areas that were subjected to depleted uranium bombardment.
Dr. Daud Miraki, director of the Afghan Depleted Uranium and Recovery Fund, told Al Jazeera English he found evidence of the effect of depleted uranium in infants in eastern and southeastern Afghanistan. "Many children are born with no eyes, no limbs, or tumors protruding from their mouths and eyes," said Dr. Miraki.
It's not just Iraqis and Afghans. Babies born to American soldiers deployed in Iraq during the 1991 war are also showing similar defects. In 2000, Iraqi biologist Huda saleh Mahadi pointed out that the hands of deformed American infants were directly linked to their shoulders, a deformity seen in Iraqi infants.
Many U.S. soldiers are now referring to Gulf War Syndrome #2 and alleging they have developed cancer because of exposure to depleted uranium in Iraq.
But soldiers can end their exposure to depleted uranium when their service in Iraq ends. Iraqi civilians have nowhere else to go. The water, soil and air in large areas of Iraq, including Baghdad, are contaminated with depleted uranium that has a radioactive half-life of 4.5 billion years.
Dr. Doug Rokke, former director of the U.S. Army's Depleted Uranium Project during the first Gulf War, was in charge of a project of decontaminating American tanks. He told Al Jazeera English that "it took the U.S. Department of Defense in a multi-million dollar facility with trained physicists and engineers, three years to decontaminate the 24 tanks that I sent back to the U.S."
And he added, "What can the average Iraqi do with thousands and thousands of trash and destroyed vehicles spread across the desert and other areas?"
According to Al Jazeera, the Pentagon used more than 300 tons of depleted uranium in 1991. In 2003, the United States used more than 1,000 tons.
By Jalal Ghazi, New America Me

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


“There have been demonstrations in New Zealand,
Moscow and St Petersburg protesting against 
my son Joe’s imprisonment and unjust treatment 
at the hands of the MoD [Ministry of Defence] and
British Government. We remain strong in the 
knowledge that Joe is right.”   Sue Glenton, 
shown with Against The War York (UK)

Joe Glenton is the first soldier in Europe to publicly refuse to fight in Afghanistan.  He was sent there with the British army in 2006: while politicians claim that troops were there ‘to help’, he saw that the Afghan people were against them. He went AWOL) in 2007 and handed himself in two years later.
Last November, he was jailed for a month, then released on condition that he does not speak in public. His mother Sue and his wife Clare have carried on speaking for him and against the war and occupation.  On 29 January, as a result of international support within and outside the military, the military court dropped the most serious charges which carried a 10-year sentence. However, in spite of being diagnosed as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, on 5 March Joe will be put on trial for going AWOL, facing two years in jail. This amounts to mental torture.
Joe Glenton is one of thousands of men and women around the world who refuse to serve in the military—a crucial part of the international anti-war movement.  To defend Western interests, NATO troops have ravaged Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world. The majority of casualties are women. In 2004, the UN estimated that of the 1.5 million people killed in conflicts over two decades, 300,000 were children. This bloodshed must stop.  Those responsible for the crime of war should be tried, not those who refuse to kill.  REFUSING TO KILL IS NOT A CRIME!


Saturday, February 20, 2010

More than 17,000 episodes of troops going Awol since 2003

By Michael Savage, Political Correspondent  The Independent  February 20, 2010

Macho culture blamed for soldiers running away rather than asking for help

British soldiers have gone on the run from their posts on more than 17,000 occasions since the start of the Iraq war, The Independent can reveal.
As resources for the armed forces remain stretched to cope with Britain's commitments in Afghanistan, official figures from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) show that there were more than 2,000 cases of soldiers going absent without leave (awol) last year, with 17,470 incidents recorded since the Iraq invasion in 2003.
The internal Government statistics, released to The Independent under the Freedom of Information Act, show that 375 soldiers remained at large at the end of last year, although MoD sources insisted that the figure has since fallen. Army officials are battling hard to tackle the problem that has persisted throughout Britain's gruelling operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Domestic problems and stress have all been blamed for the awol figures. There is also a trend for soldiers to not return from holidays. But support groups and politicians also warned that the extent of Britain's overseas commitments was playing a part, with soldiers having to go on repeated tours closer together than in the past.
The number of awol cases each year has remained at more than 2,000 for the past decade. In response, the army is carrying out research on the problem to gain "a full understanding of the issues" behind it. "Anecdotal evidence suggests that most incidents are caused by soldiers' domestic circumstances, eg family problems, rather than any wish to avoid military service," an MoD spokesman said.
Julie McCarthy, chief executive of the Army Families Federation, said that while help was offered to soldiers considering going awol, a "macho culture" within the barracks quite often put off young recruits from seeking advice about their problems. "Young soldiers in particular can feel that they cannot open up and take the help on offer, so when they have problems at home, they take the option of just dropping everything and leaving," she said.
"Anecdotally, we do hear of more serious issues of mental health, with some soldiers feeling that it all gets too much for them. I don't know what effect the number of operations that Britain has taken part in has had, but it must be a factor." Liam Fox, shadow Defence Secretary, said: "These figures are very concerning. There is a possibility that the current overstretch and high tempo of operations have contributed to this high level of awol soldiers."
Joe Glenton, 27, is facing up to two years in prison after last month admitting going awol. His solicitor said that Mr Glenton, who disappeared between June 2007 and June 2009, was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and had refused to fight in Afghanistan as he saw it as an illegal war. "Joe is delighted that he is no longer facing the higher charge of desertion," said his solicitor, John Tipple. "Soldiers are told to stand up for themselves when they are told to do something they believe to be wrong. That is just what Joe did and it was a brave thing to do." Mr Glenton is due to be sentenced on 5 March.
Two other soldiers picked up by police last year said they went awol after being bullied. Privates Andrew Jones and Andre Treble, both 22 when they walked out of Buckley Barracks in Wiltshire, said they had been attacked by fellow soldiers.
Local police forces are usually contacted by army officers to catch missing soldiers once they have decided to pursue an absconder, according to the MoD. Decisions to prosecute soldiers are taken on a case by case basis.

Source: Refusing To Kill

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Afhanistan Coalition Military Fatalities: Latest Report

photo courtesy of

Afghanistan Coalition Military Fatalities By Year


Sunday, February 14, 2010

4698 Soldiers Died in Iraq Says Latest Report

Photo courtesy of


Iraq Coalition Military Fatalities By Year


Monday, February 8, 2010

No Regrets

Kids died in a war they got nothing to do but hey! "No regrets "