10/19: News From Iraq
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1) US Offers UN Resolution Deal
2) US kept the news quiet for 12 days until the UN debate re Iraqi was over (New York Times, USA)
3) France holds key to deal in UN debate on Iraq (Reuters)
4) U.N.'s Largest Group of States Rejects War on Iraq (IPS)
5) UAE urges UNSC to accept inspections initiative (IPS)
6) Medical Consequences of Attacking Iraq (San Francisco Chronicle, USA)

1) US Offers UN Resolution Deal

UNITED NATIONS (Oct. 18) - After backing away from a demand that a new U.N. resolution explicitly authorize military force against Iraq, the Bush administration made clear it already has the authorization it needs to attack.

Confronting strong global opposition to a war against Iraq, the United States offered a compromise resolution aimed at winning support from France, Russia and China, who want to give Iraq a chance to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors without the threat of force.

The new U.S. resolution makes clear Baghdad will face consequences if it obstructs inspections, diplomats said Thursday.

But it drops tough language in the initial U.S. proposal instructing inspectors to report any ``interference or problems'' to the U.N. Security Council and then authorizing member states to use ``all necessary measures'' to force compliance - a green light for military action.

Instead, the compromise calls for inspectors to ``report immediately to the council any failure by Iraq to comply with its disarmament,'' according to excerpts of the new U.S. proposal obtained by The Associated Press.

Once a failure was reported, the Security Council would convene immediately ``to consider the situation and the need for full compliance with all the relevant council resolutions in order to restore international peace and security.''

Some diplomats saw the compromise as a victory for France, which led the opposition to the original U.S. proposal.

French diplomats were reported to be pleased with the elimination of the reference to ``all necessary measures'' but concerned about other phrases that could trigger military action, such as a reference to Iraq being in ``material breach'' if it violates any U.N. resolution.

A senior White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said ``material breach'' could be interpreted as allowing for consequences, and was used by the United States to take military action in Kosovo in 1999 to oust Slobodan Milosevic's forces.

Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke by telephone with his French counterpart Thursday, and officials in Paris were studying the latest U.S. offer.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov welcomed the new U.S. proposal and said Powell told him it would be presented formally to the council within days.

``We believe that there are favorable conditions now to preserve the unity of the global community and ensure the return of international inspectors and their efficient work in Iraq,'' Ivanov said.

While the United States, with British support, has pressed for a single U.N. resolution spelling out consequences if Iraq fails to comply with inspectors, France has pressed for a two-step approach.

France's U.N. Ambassador Jean-David Levitte said France was sticking to its demand for a first resolution to toughen inspections - and a second to authorize action against Iraq only if it obstructs inspections. That position is supported by China and Russia, the other veto-wielding council members.

But the White House official insisted that the U.S. compromise would give President Bush ``maximum flexibility'' to mete out consequences should Saddam not comply - and a second resolution would not be needed for Bush to act against Iraq.

``The United States does not need any additional authority, even now, if we felt it was necessary to take action to defend ourselves,'' Powell said in New York. ``The United States is now operating behind the authority given to the president by a joint resolution of the Congress.''

The crisis began five weeks ago when Bush addressed the U.N. General Assembly and told skeptical world leaders to confront the ``grave and gathering danger'' posed by Iraq - or stand aside as the United States acts.

Iraq responded to the escalating threat of U.S. military action by suddenly inviting U.N. weapons inspectors to return after barring them for nearly four years. The inspectors left Baghdad in December 1998 ahead of U.S. and British air strikes punishing Iraq for obstructing their work.

Inspectors must certify that Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs have been destroyed before sanctions imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait can be lifted.

The standoff among the five permanent, veto-wielding members dragged on for weeks behind closed doors. On Wednesday and Thursday, the council held a public debate on the Iraq crisis for the first time.

More than 60 countries spoke during the debate, which was requested by the Non-Aligned Movement comprising 115 mainly developing countries pressing for a peaceful solution.

Ambassadors from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America warned that a new war would add to the suffering of Iraqis, possibly engulf the Middle East and have dire consequences for global stability. With the exception of Britain and Israel, they refused to endorse the original U.S. demand.

``The message was we don't want war, we want peace. We can resolve this peacefully,'' said South Africa's U.N. Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, whose country heads the movement. ``It showed that many, many countries want the inspectors to return to Iraq immediately ... so the Security Council just has to let them go.''

Iraq's U.N. Ambassador Mohammed al-Douri expressed hope that Bush and the U.S. Congress, who he said issued ``a virtual declaration of war'' against Iraq, heard the overwhelming number of countries in the Security Council speak out ``in favor of peace and diplomacy.''

He urged inspectors to return soon.

``They will be very welcome in Iraq,'' he said. ``Our doors are wide open. Our palaces, our small houses, our hospitals, our schools. Let them come and go where they will. ... We are not afraid.''

10/18/02 02:57 EDT

2) US kept the news quiet for 12 days until the UN debate re Iraqi was over
October 18, 2002
U.S. Says Pakistan Gave Technology to North Korea

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 - American intelligence officials have concluded that
Pakistan, a vital ally since last year's terrorist attacks, was a major
supplier of critical equipment for North Korea's newly revealed clandestine
nuclear weapons program, current and former senior American officials said

The equipment, which may include gas centrifuges used to create weapons-grade
uranium, appears to have been part of a barter deal beginning in the late
1990's in which North Korea supplied Pakistan with missiles it could use to
counter India's nuclear arsenal, the officials said.

"What you have here," said one official familiar with the intelligence, "is a
perfect meeting of interests - the North had what the Pakistanis needed, and
the Pakistanis had a way for Kim Jong Il to restart a nuclear program we had
stopped." China and Russia were less prominent suppliers, officials said.

The White House said tonight that it would not discuss Pakistan's role or any
other intelligence information. Nor would senior administration officials who
briefed reporters today discuss exactly what intelligence they showed to
North Korean officials two weeks ago, prompting the North's defiant
declaration that it had secretly started a program to enrich uranium in
violation of its past commitments.

The trade between Pakistan and North Korea appears to have occurred around
1997, roughly two years before Gen. Pervez Musharraf took power in a
bloodless coup. However, the relationship appears to have continued after
General Musharraf became president, and there is some evidence that a
commercial relationship between the two country's extended beyond Sept. 11 of
last year.

A spokesman for the Pakistan Embassy, Asad Hayauddin, said it was "absolutely
incorrect" to accuse Pakistan of providing nuclear weapons technology to
North Korea. "We have never had an accident or leak or any export of fissile
material or nuclear technology or knowledge," he said.

The suspected deal between Pakistan and North Korea underscores the enormous
diplomatic complexity of the administration's task in trying to disarm North
Korea, an effort that began in earnest today.

In Beijing, two American diplomats, James A. Kelly and John R. Bolton,
pressed Chinese officials to use all their diplomatic and economic leverage
to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program. The subject
is expected to dominate a meeting next week between President Bush - who a
spokesman said today "believes this is troubling and sobering news" - and
President Jiang Zemin of China, at Mr. Bush's ranch in Texas.

Mr. Bush did not address the North Korean revelation at appearances in
Atlanta and Florida today. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld did talk
about the disclosures at the Pentagon, but one official said the effort to
play down the topic was part of an administration strategy of "avoiding a
crisis atmosphere."
At the same time, White House and State Department officials argued that what
they called North Korea's "belligerent" announcement to a visiting American
delegation two weeks ago demonstrated the need to disarm Iraq before it
enjoys similar success.

"Here's a case in North Korea where weapons have proliferated and put at risk
our interests and the interests of two of our great allies," Japan and South
Korea, Richard L. Armitage, the deputy secretary of state, said today. "It
might make our case more strong in Iraq." Some Democrats agreed, while
opponents of a military strike against Iraq argued the reverse, saying the
administration's muted reaction to North Korea, and its announcement that it
wanted to solve the problem peacefully, should also apply to Baghdad.

There were conflicting explanations today about why the administration kept
the North Korean admission quiet for 12 days.

The White House said it simply wanted time to consult with Japan, South Korea
and other Asian nations, and with members of Congress, before deciding its
next step. But some of the administration's critics suggested that the real
reason was that the administration did not want to complicate the debate over
Iraq in Congress and the United Nations.

On Capitol Hill, conservative Republicans argued that the 1994 accord that
froze North Korea's nuclear program - an agreement the North Koreans now say
is "nullified" - should be scrapped, and talked about new efforts to isolate
North Korea. But within the Bush administration, it has been a matter of some
controversy whether to abandon the Clinton-era accord. Hard-liners have
argued that it should be scrapped.

But other officials, including some at the State Department and the National
Security Council, are warning that walking away from the accord carries a
major risk: it could free North Korea to remove from storage "canned" nuclear
fuel rods with enough plutonium to produce upwards of five nuclear weapons.

American officials said their suspicions about North Korea's new nuclear
program only came together this summer. Mr. Bush fully briefed Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi of Japan on American suspicions when the two leaders met in
New York in September, according to Japanese and American officials. But it
is unclear how strongly Mr. Koizumi raised the issue later with Kim Jong Il
during his visit to North Korea.

Today, several of Mr. Bush's top aides argued that North Korea and Iraq were
separate cases - and while North Korea might have more advanced weapons, it
could be contained through diplomacy and the 37,000 American troops stationed
in South Korea. Appearing on ABC's "Nightline" tonight, Condoleezza Rice, Mr.
Bush's national security adviser, said that "Saddam Hussein is in a category
by himself, as still the only leader to have actually used a weapon of mass
destruction against his own people, against his neighbors." She said that Mr.
Kim was also a dictatorial leader, and that North Korea had a record of
exporting missiles and other weaponry around the world. But she said "we do
believe that we have other ways to deal with North Korea."

While the action the United States would seek against North Korea was still
being debated, one senior official said that Mr. Bush and his aides would ask
Russia and China to exercise some "direct leverage" against North Korea by
restricting trade.
In 1998, a commission on missile threats led by Mr. Rumsfeld, then still in
private life, concluded that North Korea was "a major proliferator" of
missile technology to Pakistan and Iran, among other countries. It said that
in 1998, Pakistan tested its version of a North Korean-designed missile
called the Nodong, which has a range of more than 700 miles. But Clinton
administration officials say they could not figure out how Pakistan,
virtually broke at the time, could afford the purchases.

Exactly when North Korea received equipment from Pakistan is still unclear.
But today American officials estimated that North Korea's highly enriched
uranium project started sometime around 1997 or 1998 - roughly the same time
Pakistan tested the missiles it received from North Korea.

Copyright The New York Times Company

3) France holds key to deal in UN debate on Iraq
By Evelyn Leopold

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 18 (Reuters) - France holds the key to resolving a U.N. wrangle on possible war against Iraq, having signalled that it favours a modified U.S. draft resolution removing explicit authorisation of force, diplomats said on Friday.

Having previously led opposition to a tougher U.S. draft, Paris has now raised hopes for an end to a month-long deadlock in the U.N. Security Council over how to deal with Baghdad's alleged weapons of mass destruction, the diplomats said.

"So far the U.S. changes are acceptable to France," said one diplomat. But he said negotiations between Paris and Washington were still taking place.

The United States and Britain had been engaged in intense negotiations with France and the other two permanent members with veto power, Russia and China, to win backing for a tough new resolution on Iraq that would automatically trigger an attack if it failed to disarm. But France and Russia resisted.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Friday that London and Washington reserved the right to act alone against Iraq, with force if necessary, if the United Nations failed to get President Saddam Hussein to disarm.

Straw said Britain and the United States were committed to tackling Iraq and its suspected stock of weapons of mass destruction via the United Nations, but only if it produced results.

He told BBC radio: "We reserve the right to act within international law in respect of the use of force which may or may not be covered by a new resolution. It is entirely appropriate for America, as for us, to reserve their position if the United Nations does not meet its responsibilities."

Russia was said to be considering trying to add some proposals of its own at the U.N. debate on Iraq.


"We think that political and diplomatic measures and methods are far from exhausted," Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

"It is only the international inspectors who are capable of providing a clear answer to the question of whether weapons of mass destruction exist in Iraq."

French President Jacques Chirac, who again insisted on Friday that military action should be only a last resort, has still to review the latest U.S. proposal.

"In the modern world, the use of force should only be a last resort. It should only be allowed in the case of legitimate defence or by decision of the competent international authorities," Chirac told a summit of French-speaking nations in Beirut.

U.S. President George W. Bush, who says the United States is ready to act alone if the United Nations fails to reach a deal acceptable to Washington, seeks "regime change" in Baghdad and has suggested he could topple Saddam by force if necessary.

The United States had hoped to circulate its new draft resolution, which gives U.N. weapons inspectors a central role, to key members of the 15-nation Security Council on Friday, after which hard bargaining is expected on the details.

But it may delay this until early next week in what a U.S. official called "one last shot" at reaching agreement with France following near-worldwide opposition to the original American proposals.

The new U.S. language also allows for a possible second resolution, as France wants, to authorise force if weapons inspectors report that Iraq has violated U.N. demands.

But the United States has not committed itself to seeking a second resolution, and Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters, after seeing chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix in New York on Thursday, that Washington reserved the right to act as it wished.


"The United States does not need any additional authority even now, if we thought it was necessary to take action to defend ourselves," he said.

"We believe one resolution is appropriate. And obviously the council can always go off and have other discussions any time it chooses."

The new U.S. draft, excerpts of which were obtained by Reuters, came after a flurry of discussions, mainly between Powell and his counterparts in France, Russia and China.

The Bush administration also appeared willing to drop its earlier insistence that the five veto-wielding council members be allowed to join inspectors in Iraq.

Washington may also relent on a call for troops to accompany inspectors in the field, although some guards may be available to protect headquarters and regional offices of the arms experts, diplomats said.

The new U.S. proposals direct the inspectors to "report immediately to the council any failure by Iraq to comply with its disarmament obligations, including its obligations regarding inspections under this resolution."

The council would then meet immediately to "consider the situation and the need for full compliance with all of the relevant Security Council resolutions."

This could mean a second resolution. But if the council does not then authorise force, the United States could decide to strike Iraq anyway.

In its original draft, the United States had a "trigger" for military action, saying that any U.N. member could "use all necessary means" if it decided Iraq committed infractions.

Nation after nation in an open debate on Iraq on Thursday and Friday told council members to avoid a war and give the U.N inspectors a chance to do their work first. The arms experts left Baghdad in December 1998 and Iraq, until the recent threats from the Bush administration, had refused to let them return.

10/18/02 07:50 ET

4) U.N.'s Largest Group of States Rejects War on Iraq
Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 16 (IPS) - The largest political grouping at the United Nations rejected Wednesday ''any type of unilateral action against any member state of the United Nations''.

The 114-member Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which represents the overwhelming majority of the 191 U.N. member states, said it just does not want a war with Iraq.

Speaking on behalf of NAM, South African Ambassador Dumisani Shadrack Kumalo said: ''We would rather this be resolved in a peaceful manner.''

Contrary to the stand taken by the United States, NAM wants the Security Council to allow U.N. arms inspectors to return to Iraq without further delay.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has already invited inspectors into the country, but the United States is seeking a new Council resolution that would toughen the inspectors' mandate before they could leave for Baghdad in search of Iraq's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

Addressing an ''open meeting'' of the Security Council, Kumalo said that 11 years of U.N. sanctions have brought ''endless suffering to the ordinary people'' in Iraq.

''We hope that the Security Council would despatch the inspectors to Iraq as soon as possible, and allow the people of Iraq to focus their attention on rebuilding their country.''

The Council meeting, which is customarily confined to its five permanent and 10 non-permanent members, was opened to all 191 member states, specifically to debate Iraq. The proposal for an open meeting was initiated by South Africa, on behalf of NAM.

''My dream would be for all 191 of them to speak,'' Kumalo told reporters Tuesday. ''It is essential that the views of all member states be heard on such a critical subject.''

A Third World diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS that one of the biggest political myths is that the Security Council represents the will of the international community.

''This is a longstanding fairy tale,'' he said. ''The international community is really represented by the 191-member U.N. General Assembly, 114 of whose members belong to NAM,'' he added.

U.S. President George W. Bush, who has received authorisation from the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate to launch a military attack on Iraq, is seeking a similar endorsement from the Security Council to prove he has the blessings of the ''international community'' for a U.S. war against Iraq.

But for the last three weeks, the Council has remained deadlocked, with sharp divisions even among the five veto-wielding permanent members - the United States, Britain, France, China, and Russia.

The negotiations have bogged down primarily because France is insisting on two resolutions: the first one laying down stringent conditions for arms inspections inside Iraq, and a second one authorising the use of military force if and when Iraq refuses to cooperate with U.N. arms inspectors.

The United States is insisting that there should be only one resolution, which will permit Washington to automatically invade Baghdad if Saddam reneges on his pledge to cooperate with inspectors.

Kumalo told delegates that the Security Council was being asked to consider a matter that has important repercussions for the entire United Nations.

''We are here to voice our concerns regarding the possibility that the United Nations is now being asked to consider proposals that open up the possibility of a war against a member state,'' he added.

While calling upon Iraq to comply with all relevant Security Council resolutions, Kumalo said that no member state should be exempted from carrying out obligations as determined by the Council.

Iraqi Ambassador Mohammed Aldouri said the U.S. administration is seeking a "blank cheque'' from the Security Council to invade and occupy Iraq. He said Iraq does not possess weapons of mass destruction.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whose statement was read out by his deputy Louise Frechette, said the situation created by Iraq's failure to comply fully with Security Council resolutions since 1991 ''is indeed one of the gravest and most serious facing the international community''.

''I appeal to all who might have influence with Iraq's leaders to impress on them the vital importance of accepting the weapons' inspections. And I myself urge Iraq to comply with its obligations - for the sake of its own people, and for the sake of world order,'' he said.

Annan also said that Iraq's decision to re-admit inspectors without conditions is an important first step ''but only a first step''.

''Full compliance remains indispensable, and it has not yet happened.'' He also warned Iraq that inspectors must have ''unfettered access and this Council will expect nothing less''.

''It may well choose to pass a new resolution strengthening the inspectors' hands, so that there are no weaknesses or ambiguities,'' he added.

Ambassador Arthur Mbanefo of Nigeria told delegates that ''in view of the fact that the debate we are having today is in the context of compliance with U.N. resolutions and international law, we cannot fail to note that there are many other Security Council resolutions, which some member states have, so far, failed to honour or comply with.''

''The selective enforcement of resolutions is just as unhelpful as non-compliance,'' he added.

Countries other than Iraq are currently violating more than 90 Security Council resolutions, says Stephen Zunes, associate professor of politics at the University of San Francisco.

Thirty-one of those resolutions deal with Israel, according to his figures.

Ambassador Arnoldo M. Listre of Argentina told the Security Council that the use of force should be a last resort, and to be legitimate, it must be exercised in accordance with international law, the U.N. charter, and with the authorisation of the Security Council.

Kuwaiti Ambassador Mohammad Abulhasan, whose country was invaded by Iraq in August 1990, called upon the Iraqi government to comply fully with Security Council resolutions and establish its credibility by permitting U.N. arms inspectors into the country.

''But any use of force must be a last resort, and within the U.N. framework, and only after all other available means have been exhausted,'' he added. (END/2002)

5) UAE urges UNSC to accept inspections initiative
United Arab Emirates news agency (WAM)

NEW YORK, Oct. 17 (IPS) - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) yesterday expressed its deep concern over the tense situation and gathering clouds of war in the Middle East region.

The UAE also urged the UN Security Council to immediately respond without conditions to Iraq's initiative of allowing UN weapons inspectors back to assume their mandate as per relevant international resolutions.

The UAE's concern and appeal were made by its Permanent ambassador to the UN Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi before the Security Council special session on the Kuwait-Iraq issue. The UAE, he said, voiced concern at the delay in settling ensuing questions of the Iraqi case since 12 years and pleaded to the international community to activate pre-emptive diplomacy to avoid a third Gulf War that will have grave consequences.

- It has become quite clear today more than anytime before that the gap between Iraq and the UN Security Council is widening over interpretation of international resolutions on disarmament of weapons of mass destruction and their implementation," he said.

ôNegative consequences of this situation have not only raised security and political tension in the region but also cast far-reaching effects on the socio-economic and development aspects for countries and peoples of the region," he said.

On the humanitarian situation in Iraq, he said the oil-for-food program had failed to meet the basic humanitarian needs of Iraqi people given the deteriorating living conditions there.

On the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq, Al Shamsi said that the UAE welcomed the Iraq initiative allowing the UN weapons inspectors and International Atomic Energy Agency's experts to return to Iraq unconditionally. He said that the recent Vienna understanding which stipulated procedures for the immediate resumption of the inspectors mandate in Iraq was welcomed.

The UAE's envoy to the UN urged the Security Council to promptly take up this positive Iraqi initiative taking into account Iraq's concerns over possible repetition of previous flaws by UNSCOM. Al Shamsi said the initiative should be taken as an initial step towards Iraq's full adherence to its legal commitments in application of the UN resolutions in regard to disarmament of internationally banned weapons.

He said that stability and security in the region would only be guaranteed by five fundamental elements, firstly, to find a peaceful, just ,final and comprehensive settlement to all pending issues pertaining to the Kuwait-Iraq case, a settlement that is based on transparency and away from double-standard approaches to the issue.

Secondly, to guarantee the implementation of the provisions of the Security Council's resolutions, which call for the security, safety, sovereignty, unity and non-intervention in the internal affairs of Iraq. Also, to reject all kinds of escalation and confrontation which would subject Iraq to a military strike that might devastate the whole Gulf and Arab region.

Thirdly, to urge Iraq to immediately carry out its undertakings and commitments as stipulated by the resolutions of the Security Council and the Arab League's summits which necessitate cooperation in finding solution to the case of Kuwaiti prisoners of war and to give back Kuwaiti properties which are in Iraq's custody since 1990.

Fourthly, to respond to calls for lifting of sanctions levied against the Iraqi people which have caused the death of over 1.7 million of its population and to help Iraq in reconstructing its infrastructure.

Fifthly, to affirm that paragraph 14 of resolution 687 of 1991 is comprehensively applied to all the countries of the region and not to Iraq alone. To commit Israel into removing its nuclear arsenal and other weapons of mass destruction and place the same under the warranty of the International Atomic Energy Agency as a prelude to constructing a nuclear-free zone.

6) Medical Consequences of Attacking Iraq
by Helen Caldicott
Thursday, October 10, 2002 by the San Francisco Chronicle

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.

Children are 10 to 20 times more sensitive to the effects of radiation than adults. My fellow pediatricians in the Iraqi town of Basra, for example, are reporting an increase of 6 to 12 times in the incidence of childhood leukemia and cancer. Yet because of the sanctions imposed upon Iraq by the United States and United Nations, they have no access to drugs or effective radiation machines to treat their patients.

The incidence of congenital malformations has doubled in the exposed populations in Iraq where these weapons were used. Among them are babies born with only one eye or missing all or part of their brain.

The medical consequences of the use of uranium 238 almost certainly did not affect only Iraqis. Some U.S. veterans exposed to it are reported, by at least one medical researcher, to be excreting uranium in their urine a decade later. Other reports indicate it is being excreted in their semen. (The fact that almost one-third of the American tanks used in Desert Storm were themselves made of uranium 238 is another story, for their crews were thereby exposed to whole-body gamma radiation.)

Would these effects have surprised the U.S. authorities? No, for incredible as it may seem, the American military's own studies prior to Desert Storm warned that aerosol uranium exposure under battlefield conditions could lead to cancers of the lung and bone, kidney damage, non-malignant lung disease, neurocognitive disorders, chromosomal damage and birth defects.

Do George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld understand the medical consequences of the 1991 war and the likely health effects of the next one they are now planning? If they do not, their ignorance is breathtaking; even more incredible though -- and alas, much more likely -- is that they do understand, but do not care.

Helen Caldicott has devoted the last 25 years to an international campaign to educate the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age. She spoke in San Francisco recently in a benefit for the Nuclear Policy Research Institute, which she founded.

Saturday, October 12, 2002. Posted: 16:11:23 (AEDT)
Doctors call on PM to concentrate on health not war
More than 150 Australian doctors have signed a
statement urging Prime Minister John Howard not to
participate in any US led military strikes
against Iraq.

A coalition of health care workers has taken out
advertisements in major Australian newspapers urging
Mr Howard to consider the human cost of military

Coalition member Doctor Robert Maher says any
involvement in strikes against Iraq would involve
large sums of money that would be better spent on
improving the health system.

"If people are concerned about the public hospitals
now, how much more are they going to be concerned when
there is no money to put into the public hospitals of
Australia because it's being diverted to the
military," he said.

"Already our military is costing billions of dollars
more because of our involvement in Afghanistan and
other activities in our military."

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