«They even use radioactive weapons...which are forbidden by the Geneva Convention.»
Astonishing, perhaps -- but is it true? The fact is, the United States is using radioactive weapons against Yugoslavia -- and this threatens to have health consequences in Kosovo for decades to come.
The weapons in question are anti-tank shells and bullets made of depleted uranium (DU), a toxic, radioactive byproduct of nuclear fission. Favored for their ability to destroy tanks, this ammunition is carried by such U.S. forces as A-10 Warthogs and Apache helicopters, both of which received substantial media attention when introduced into the war.
Ironically, only the day before Nightline's broadcast (3/30/99), ABC World News Tonight had reported the same «astonishing» news that Serbian TV had: Describing the A-10, ABC's John Martin noted that «it could pierce any armor by firing depleted uranium bullets at 3,900 rounds a minute.»
But depleted uranium has received almost no sustained media attention.
One of the few reporters to discuss the substance, Kathleen Sullivan of the San Francisco Examiner (4/1/99), reported that Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon refused to answer questions about its use by A-10s, saying operational details were «verboten from this podium.»
Nonetheless, the health risks posed by inhaling the dust from depleted uranium, as well as the contamination of the physical environment, have raised the concerns of numerous public health and veterans rights groups.
The World Health Organization is still studying the high cancer rates that plague southern Iraq, where much of the fighting during the Gulf War took place. Likewise, DU's possible role in causing or exacerbating Gulf War Syndrome is still a topic of fierce debate.
CBS's Mark Phillips recently presented in-depth reporting on the possible health effects of DU in Iraq (12/1/98, 12/10/98). Since the U.S. began using DU in Yugoslavia, however, no network has returned to the subject.
Please contact national and local media and urge them to investigate the use of depleted uranium as a weapon in Yugoslavia.
During the Gulf War, activists raised questions about the potential consequences of DU, but these issues were not explored until inexplicable illnesses began showing up in U.S. veterans and Iraqi children. This pattern should not be repeated in Kosovo.
For more media contacts, go to
For more on the current war in Yugoslavia, go to
Also, please send copies of email correspondence, including any responses, to us at: email@example.com .
Feel free to spread this message around. Put it on conferences where it is appropriate. We depend on word of mouth to get our message out, so please let others know about FAIR and this mailing list.
To subscribe to FAIR-L send a «subscribe FAIR-L enter your full name» command to LISTSERV@AMERICAN.EDU.
The subscriber list is kept confidential, so no need to worry about spammers.
You may leave the list at any time by sending a «SIGNOFF FAIR-L» command to LISTSERV@AMERICAN.EDU.
You will receive FAIR's magazine, EXTRA! and its newsletter, EXTRA! Update. You can become a member by calling 1-800-847-3993 from 9 to 5 Eastern Time (be sure to tell them you got the information on-line) or by sending $19 with your name and address to:
FAIR/EXTRA! Subscription Service P.O. Box 170 Congers, NY 10920-9930
FAIR (212) 633-6700
list administrators: FAIR-Lfirstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Chis & Claudette Begin
P.O. Box 2944
Fremont, CA 94536
volver al comienzo del documento