November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website, traprockpeace.org, 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 Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK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 PeaceJournal.org, a multimedia blog and resource center.
DU Info Bulletin no 61
1) Pandora website
2) US asked not to use DU arms against Baghdad
3) War Veterans Gather To Stop A New War
4) Gulf War illness
5) U.N. team discovers three radioactive sites in
6) War in Iraq could kill half-a-million: Doctor's
7) Bunker-busters set to go nuclear
8) Iraqi cancers, birth defects blamed on U.S.
9) Medical consequences of attacking Iraq
10) Iraq war could unleash oil spills, toxins: experts
11) Depleted Uranium: UN addresses issue
12) Uranium Medical Research Center š latest reports
Pandora Website update
Pandora's website is finally fully (fingers crossed) functional. We have a lot of new reports from Iraq on
it, plus many other veteran and civilian studies. The site can be found at www.pandoraproject.org.
US asked not to use DU arms against Baghdad
The Frontier Post (Pakistan) November 11, 2002
"US forces must refrain from using depleted uranium weapons like the ones they used in Afghanistan in
their possible attack on Iraq," said the discoverer of Gulf War syndrome, Dr. Asef Dracovic, in an interview
with Al-Jazeera television.
He warned against the syndrome and said that if U.S. forces use depleted uranium (DU) in the threatened attack
on Iraq, as they did in Afghanistan, it would have very serious implications.
Dracovic said that U.S. forces used more DU weapons in Afghanistan than they used in the
Persian Gulf War and the Balkans wars, adding that if the same amounts were used in Iraq, it would have
He stated that thousands of DU bombs were used by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. About
80,000 U.S., 15,000 Canadian, and a large number of British soldiers are suffering from Gulf War syndrome,
but unfortunately the media has covered up the whole issue under pressure from the U.S. administration.
Meanwhile, in recent days there have been numerous reports about the birth of many disabled and deformed
children in Afghanistan. A large number of health specialists in Afghanistan as well as international
observers, including one of the officials of a local hospital, regard the increased number of birth defects
in Afghanistan to be the direct result of the U.S dropping DU bombs on Afghanistan.
War Veterans Gather To Stop A New War
[ Angry military veterans attack "an administration
of chickenhawks" who demand the blood of another generation of US
soldiers and marines -- blood these macho-posturing, drum-beating
hyper-"patriotic" middle age warriors refused to risk in their youth. ] --
By Stewart Nusbaumer
An enthusiastic crowd of approximately 350 military
veterans jammed the hall of the Martin Luther King Labor Center in New
York City yesterday to oppose a war with Iraq. The largest meeting of
antiwar veterans in many years, the "Protest Meeting & Speakout Against
War with Iraq and In Defense of Constitutional Rights" attracted a diverse
group of veterans and their spouses. All, however, agreed an invasion of
Iraq is wrong; all appeared to express a determination that the Bush
Administration must be stopped.
"This is crazy," said Ed a Navy veteran of World War
II, "I really think the Bush people don't care about the guys in the
military. They only care about the oil and the money."
Gulf War illness
DAVE PARKS News staff writer
In a stunning about-face, the Department of Veterans
Affairs announced Thursday a substantial research
initiative based on evidence that many ailing veterans
of the 1991 Persian Gulf War may be suffering from
brain damage caused by toxic exposures. The
announcement came after a British study discounted
stress as a significant cause of mysterious health
problems reported by Gulf War veterans and an advisory
committee concluded that scientific evidence pointed
to neurological damage. The VA said it plans to make
available up to $20 million during fiscal year 2004
for research into Gulf War illnesses. That's twice as
much as the agency has spent during any previous year
on the problem, the VA said. The VA cited studies that
used brain-scanning technology to show a neurological
basis for health problems reported by some ailing
veterans. The initial studies in this area were
conducted on a group of sick veterans who served in
the Gulf War with a Seabee unit based in Alabama. In
addition to increased funding for research, the VA
said it will create a center dedicated to medical
imaging technologies to better understand Gulf War
illnesses as well as other conditions. "Science is
finally beginning to unravel the mysteries of Gulf War
illnesses," VA Deputy Secretary Dr. Leo S. Mackay Jr.
said in a prepared statement. "And finally, there is
reason for hope."
Mackay announced the initiative at a meeting of the
Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans
Illnesses. VA Secretary Anthony Principi appointed the
committee in January. Its members include activists
and scientists who have been critical for years of the
government's efforts to discount Gulf War health
problems as a reaction to stress. Dr. Robert Haley, a
committee member and chief of epidemiology at the
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in
Dallas, said Thursday's announcement shut the door on
the stress theory. "It's dead as a doornail," he said.
VA shifts on 1 DU NEWS
U.N. team discovers three radioactive sites in Bosnia
By Ivana Avramovic, Stars and Stripes
TUZLA, Bosnia and Herzegovina Ö United Nations
Environment Program experts said Monday they have
discovered three radioactive sites in Bosnia. Seven
years after the conflict, [depleted uranium] still
remains an environmental concern, and therefore it is
vital that we have the scientific facts, based upon
which we can give clear recommendations how to
minimize any risk, said Klaus Töpfer, executive
director of environmental program. The 17-member team
took almost 200 environmental samples from 15
locations around the country. The World Health
Organization and the U.S. Army Center for Health
Promotion and Preventive Medicine also examined
medical data and statistics from three hospitals in
the Federation, the Muslim-Croat controlled part of
the country, and the Republika Srpska, the
Serb-dominated part. Bosnian scientists joined the
U.N. team on several occasions, according to
organizers. The team found radioactive hot spots and
pieces of depleted uranium weapons in the tank-repair
facility and ammunition storage area in Hadzici, a
city just outside Sarajevo, and in the Han Pijesak
military barracks, about 50 miles northeast of Sarajevo.
Radioactivity Detected in Bosnia Where NATO Used
Depleted Uranium Shells
VOA [Voice of America] News
November 11, 2002
United Nations environmental experts have said they
have detected radioactivity in three areas of Bosnia
where NATO forces used depleted uranium shells during
an air strike in 1995.
U.N. Environment Program officials Monday warned
against deploying forces in those areas for fear of a
possible health risk coming from the radioactive
The head of the U.N. team, Pekka Haavisto, said the
three places of concern were an ammunition storage
site near Sarajevo, a nearby tank repair factory and a
military barracks in Han Pijesak in eastern Bosnia.
The areas were hit by NATO air strikes using depleted
uranium armor-piercing rounds in 1995 as part of an
effort to curb attacks by Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Investigators had probed 14 sites over the past month.
NATO authorities last year launched a probe into the
possible link between the use of depleted uranium
ammunition in the Balkans and increased cancer rates
among peacekeepers who had served in the area. But a
committee reported that medical research so far had
not proved any link between the weapons and the health
Some information for this report provided by AP and
War in Iraq could kill half-a-million: Doctor's group
Sydney, November 12
A conventional war in Iraq could kill nearly 500,000
people, with the death toll shooting to four million
if nuclear weapons are used, a group of anti-war
doctors said on Tuesday.
A report issued by the Medical Association for
Prevention of War (MAPW) said the loss of life in the
first three months of a US-led attack on Iraq would
range from a minimum of 48,000 to more than 260,000
The study compiled by medical and public health
experts around the world and titled "Collateral
Damage: the Health and Environmental Costs of War on
Iraq" estimated the post-war health fallout from the
conflict could claim another 200,000 lives.
If nuclear weapons were detonated, the death toll
could reach four million, said the study issued at the
Australian parliament early Tuesday and to be released
later in the day in London and Washington.
Bunker-busters set to go nuclear
[NewScientist] 07 November 02
The US government is set to fund research into a new type of
nuclear weapon that is designed to penetrate and obliterate deeply
buried targets such as underground weapons bunkers.
Coming 50 years after the world's first hydrogen bomb
was detonated in the Pacific, the news has alarmed scientists opposed
to nuclear proliferation. They say the thousands of tonnes of radioactive
debris produced by a bunker-busting nuclear weapon would not be contained
within the rock, concrete and soil above the target, but would contaminate
a wide area around it.
Funding of $15 million has been proposed for research
into the so-called Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP), as part of the
government's draft Defense Authorisation Bill for 2003. But the bill has
not yet been passed by the Senate Committee on Armed Services.
While a decision has been delayed until after this week's Congressional
elections, a source close to the committee says the RNEP will get the green light.
Research into the nuclear bunker-buster follows the Bush administration's
leaked Nuclear Posture Review, which in part set out the circumstances
under which nuclear weapons might be used. It says the RNEP could be used
in pre-emptive strikes against rogue states using deeply buried facilities
to store weapons of mass destruction, for example.
The RNEP would be used on targets that may be immune
to conventional weapons. Its backers claim it would create little
contamination above ground, but critics say that it would produce huge
amounts of nuclear fallout. The RNEP may also remove the distinction
between a nuclear deterrent and conventional weapons, increasing the
risk of a nuclear exchange.
Iraqi cancers, birth defects blamed on U.S. depleted
By LARRY JOHNSON SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER FOREIGN
DESK EDITOR SOUTHERN DEMILITARIZED ZONE, Iraq š
On the "Highway of Death," 11 miles north of the
Kuwait border, a collection of tanks, armored
personnel carriers and other military vehicles are
rusting in the desert. They also are radiating nuclear
energy. Paul Kitagaki Jr. / P-I Six-year-old Fatma
Rakwan, being held by her mother at the Basra Hospital
for Maternity and Children, was recently diagnosed
with leukemia. In 1991, the United States and its
Persian Gulf War allies blasted the vehicles with
armor-piercing shells made of depleted uranium -- the
first time such weapons had been used in warfare -- as
the Iraqis retreated from Kuwait. The devastating
results gave the highway its name. Today, nearly 12
years after the use of the super-tough weapons was
credited with bringing the war to a swift conclusion,
the battlefield remains a radioactive toxic wasteland
-- and depleted uranium munitions remain a mystery.
Medical consequences of attacking Iraq
Thursday, October 10, 2002
As the Bush administration prepares to make war on the
Iraqi people -- and make no mistake, it is the civilian population of that
country and not Saddam Hussein who will bear the brunt of the
hostilities -- it is important that we recall the medical consequences of the last
Gulf War. That conflict was, in effect, a nuclear war.
During the 1991 Gulf War, the United States deployed
hundreds of tons of weapons, many of them anti-tank shells made of
depleted uranium 238. This material is 1.7 times more dense than lead, and hence
when incorporated into an anti-tank shell and fired, it achieves great
momentum, cutting through tank armor like a hot knife through butter.
What other properties does uranium 238 possess? First,
it is pyrophoric: When it hits a tank at high speed it bursts into
flames, producing tiny aerosolized particles less than 5 microns in diameter
that are easily inhalable into the terminal air passages of the lung.
Second, it is a potent radioactive carcinogen, emitting a relatively heavy
alpha particle composed of 2 protons and 2 neutrons. Once inside the body --
either in the lung if it has been inhaled, or in a wound if it penetrates
flesh, or ingested since it concentrates in the food chain and contaminates
water -- it can produce cancer in the lungs, bones, blood, or kidneys. Third,
it has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, meaning the areas in which this
ammunition was used in Iraq and Kuwait during Gulf War will remain
effectively radioactive for the rest of time.
Iraq war could unleash oil spills, toxins: experts say
By Katherine Stapp NEW YORK:
Major casualties of a war with Iraq would be
the region's fragile environment and the health of its
inhabitants and combatants, if the last Persian Gulf
conflict is anything to judge by, arms experts and
Eleven years ago, both sides in the Gulf War left
Kuwait's ecosystems in chaos - Iraq by torching oil
wells as its soldiers retreated, and the United States
by littering the desert with thousands of rounds of
depleted uranium (DU) munitions.
DU is the trace element left over when uranium is
enriched; most of the highly radioactive types of
uranium are removed for use as nuclear fuel or nuclear
Deployed in the Persian Gulf in 1991 and in Kosovo in
1999, DU munitions are prized for their high density
and ability to punch through walls and armoured
According to the Washington-based Centre for Defence
Information, the US has four weapons that rely on DU
and that could be used in a future war with Iraq: the
A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft, the Apache and Cobra
helicopters, and the M1A1 Abrams Tank.
"These types of weapons will undoubtedly be used as
Washington has made it clear it wants to bomb bunkers
and kill as many of the Iraqi government leaders as
possible," said John Catalinotto of the New York-based
International Action Center, a leading critic of DU.
"This would lead to an even greater amount of DU being
spread around Baghdad, this time, a city of five
million people," he said
Depleted Uranium: UN addresses issue
In a message to the international community on the
occasion of the International day for Preventing the Exploitation
of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan specifically referred to
Depleted Uranium yesterday, stating that it was damaging
to the environment.
It will be remembered that US military aircraft
deployed tonnes of weapons coated or tipped with depleted
uranium in southern Iraq and in Yugoslavia during conflicts in
Systematic claims by the Iraqi Health Authorities,
published in Pravda.Ru, were scorned or ignored and constant
complaints by the Yugoslav authorities concerning alarmingly high
clusters of cancerous diseases among civilians living near areas in
which DU weaponry was deployed, were investigated - but met with
systematic denial by the Pentagon and by NATO.
NEW RESEARCH (Dai Williams section)
UMRC latest reports
It is recommended reading the Uranium Medical
Research Center's latest reports at:
a) Dr Durakovic paper presented in Qatar, 20 October
2002 (first report of 100 times normal Uranium levels in civilian medical
samples from Afghanistan, page 4).
b) Extracts from new report of 2nd Afghan field study
trip of bombing locations, October 2002
c) Self-diagnostic questionnaire for suspected DU
contamination (for troops, NGO staff and other civilians).
These issues become more urgent in view of the growing
number of reports of severe medical problems in Afghanistan since the US
bombing. I recommend searching news reports on the Reuter's Health website
at http://www.***** (search "Afghanistan". NB subscription is required for more than a few full reports).
[9/24/12 NOTE: link removed as resource is no longer available.]
Compare symptoms of illnesses reported with descriptions of the health of civilians
adjacent to bombing targets in the UMRC field trip report and check list of symptoms
in the UMRC self-assessment questionnaire.
There is deep concern for very high levels of maternal
mortality in Afghanistan in two recent reports - from the American Medical
Association in September http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v288n10/ffull/jlf20033.html
and from the CDC/UNICEF study for the Afghan Ministry of Health (6
November) at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_10239.html
The researchers were unaware of suspected Uranium
hazards and did not report on the health of children who died or survived
maternal mortality. Post-mortem examinations were not reported.
There have also been several lethal epidemics of "mystery illnesses" this year
including an influenza-like epidemic in March, several haemorrhagic epidemics
and recently something similar to whooping cough among children. The possibility
that endemic health problems may have been greatly exacerbated by spreading
uranium dust contamination had not been considered in most medical reports
because the US and UK governments have consistentlydenied the use of any
uranium weapons in Afghanistan.
Similar outbreaks were reported in Bosnia and Kosovo within the first year after
US bombing in 1995 and 1999. The initial UMRC test results greatly increase
the need for rigorous environmental testing by the UNEP Post Conflict Assessment Unit
that started work in Afghanistan in September, and for Uranium testing to be included
in diagnostic tests by WHO and other NGO medical aid teams. Facilities for such tests
only exist in a few centres, mostly in Europe. For background on the weapons systems used in
Afghanistan suspected of containing Uranium warheads and potential health hazards for
civilians and troops see:
1) Depleted Uranium weapons 2001-2002: Mystery Metal Nightmare in Afghanistan
31 January 2002 at http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/du2012.htm (+ PDF copy of full report)
2) Hazards of Uranium Weapons in Afghanistan and Iraq,
23 October 2002 at: http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/u232.htm (plus linked
files). For the latest assessment (13 November) by Prof Marc
Herold (who analysed civilian Bombing fatalities
in December 2001) see http://www.cursor.org/stories/uranium.htm
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