November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website,, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.

THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to, a multimedia blog and resource center.

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Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal


From Denise Nichols, via Doug Rokke

The Herald (Scotland)
January 22, 2003

Troops in Gulf to use depleted uranium shells


"The shame is that if there is an invasion of Iraq,
then hundreds of allied servicemen and perhaps
thousands of Iraqi civilians are going to be exposed
to the killer after-effects once again."

THE two armoured regiments which will form the
spearhead of any British contribution to a US-led
attack on Iraq will be relying on radioactive depleted
uranium shells to fight their way through the tanks of
Saddam Hussein's republican guard, military sources
admitted yesterday.

The DU rounds, blamed by veterans for contributing to
Gulf war syndrome, a rash of terminal illnesses
suffered by those who served in Kosovo in 1999, and by
environmentalists for long-term radioactive soil
contamination, will also have to be test-fired on
Kuwaiti ranges before the British Challenger 2 crews
can go into action.

DU is the most effective anti-tank weapon ever
devised. Formed into penetrator rods from low-level
nuclear reactor waste, it is capable of generating
massive kinetic energy which can smash through all
known armour.

The other characteristics which make it attractive for
conversion to munitions is that it is the densest
material on the market, available in large quantities,
and is virtually free as an unwanted waste-product of
the atomic energy industry.

The Ministry of Defence announced last year it was to
buy a tungsten-tipped, armour-piercing round amid
concern over the side-effects of the DU shells,
although it continues to deny that the ammunition is
the source of cancers contracted by servicemen in
areas where it was used in battle since its
introduction in 1991.

The Royal Navy has also stopped using DU shells for
the Phalanx rapid-fire anti-missile gatling guns
fitted to most surface warships as a last-ditch
defence, because the American manufacturer ceased
production to avoid potential lawsuits.

Tank crews in the British, American, French and
Russian armies still insist that it is the most
effective type of shell they have and most are willing
to risk the effects of low-level radiation as an
alternative to using tungsten-tipped or other kinds of

A direct hit with a DU round at 1500 metres - the
optimum battle range for tanks - is almost certain to
destroy an enemy vehicle and its crew.

Although there is almost no danger to crewmen handling
the DU rounds, when they punch through an enemy tank
they disintegrate in a cloud of uranium dioxide dust.
This can be breathed in by anyone near the stricken
vehicle for some time after the impact. While
veterans' organisations claim the particles can cause
brain, lung and lymph node cancers, the MoD insists
the risks are "overstated" and that it would take 50
hours for troops involved in salvaging damaged or
knocked-out armoured vehicles to inhale enough dust to
pose a health threat.

Shaun Rusling, chairman of the UK National Gulf War
Veterans and Families Association, a lobby group on
health and environmental issues, said: "The shame is
that if there is an invasion of Iraq, then hundreds of
allied servicemen and perhaps thousands of Iraqi
civilians are going to be exposed to the killer
after-effects once again."

The MoD said: "We have never said we are going into
wholesale tungsten at the expense of DU. It's an

Page created January 22, 2003 by Charlie Jenks.