The Middle East : Lethal Legacy. 
              
   
  Felicity Arbuthnot (13 September 2006) - Member of the BRussells Tribunal 
Advisory Committee
  http://www.brussels tribunal. org/Arbuthnot. htm 
  'You do not die because you are created or because you have a body, you die 
because you are the future.' 
  Samih al-Qasim, Palestinian poet, from 'Victims of a Map', an anthology of 
Arab poetry. 
  
As the list of countries America is to 'liberate' grows, the dollar plummets 
and millions of them are pledged to the Iyad Allawis and Ahmed Chalabis (let's 
be blunt here, traitors) from Venezuela to Iran, Bolivia to Syria ('no country 
too small, too poor, too far away, not to be a threat, a threat to the American 
way of life' - William Blum : 'Rogue State') it has to be wondered (again) as 
all spins out of control into a madness that threatens the very planet, life on 
earth, how history (if we have one) will record the politics of the insane 
asylum, since 11th September 2001. 

Consider this. An allied nation based on the displacement of people across the 
globe, their homes stolen, their Biblical and Mohammedan land, heritage, 
nurtured, tilled, revered, was donated (by western governments) to a people who 
had suffered an historic horror: the Holocaust, to which we now, rightly, have 
a memorial day. Yet in Israel's invasion of Lebanon, bombardment of Palestine 
the depleted uranium (DU) weapons used, are so lethal, that Israel, as well as 
the region, now has the soil in which they plant, the water they drink, the air 
they breathe, poisoned for a potential four and a half billion years. With the 
use and release of other lethal toxins, so is genetic damage to haunt future 
generations : 'until the sun goes out.' Israel's actions have set the region's 
yet to be conceived, on potential self destruct. It is only needed to view 
pictures of Iraq's congenital birth deformities after the use of depleted 
uranium (DU) weaponry there in the 1991 war - and those
 of the children conceived by returning US and UK soldiers, to look humanity's 
annihilation in the face. The bombs rushed to Israel (via the UK) were also DU, 
designated unanimously, a weapon of mass destruction by three UN 
sub-committees. 'Depleted' uranium is a misnoma. Uranium weapons are a product 
of the nuclear fuel cycle, thus contain all the lethal radioisotopes which 
should be stored in a high level nuclear waste facility, not disposed of over 
populations. 'Nuclear waste with fins on', is how one expert describes DU 
missiles. Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction which Prime 
Minister Blair assured Britain: 'could be launched in forty five minutes', but 
Britain, the US and Israel do - and did. 

Dr Doug Rokke was Pentagon Advisor on the clean up of the 1991 war in Kuwait 
and southern Iraq and principal author of the US Army manuals on disposal of DU 
and other myriad toxics (including chemical and biological weaponry residue) 
released by bombing and destruction. His time spent in the region with a team 
of one hundred was at huge cost. Their months there resulted in half dying of 
the radiation-related and toxicity-related diseases they were trying to 
prevent; those who survived are all chronically ill (including Dr Rokke) with 
the exception of the one operative who insisted on wearing full radiological 
protective clothing, in spite of the searing heat. The clean up was abandoned, 
the task impossible and the expense prohibitive. Cancers in Iraq have risen up 
to tenfold and birth deformities, some believed never before recorded, stalk 
Iraq's future generations. Kuwait and northern Saudi Arabia are known to be 
affected, but statistics from America's allies are hard to
 come by. 

Rokke has written a detailed paper ('Required Actions In Lebanon and Israel') 
advising on actions which should be taken by Lebanon, Israel and Palestine, to 
protect their people, though contamination will spread on the wind, he warns 
'for hundreds of kilometres'. Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the region 
are all likely victims of the recent invasion, as they, with Kuwait doubtlessly 
were in the thirteen years of (and ongoing) bombing of Iraq. In context, the UK 
based Low Level Radiation Campaign (www.llrc.org. uk) measured a nine-fold rise 
in uranium in the air in London six days after the start of the 2003 bombing of 
Iraq. 'Hazardous materials have and will cause air, water and soil 
contamination and may be re-suspended and travel great distances ... throughout 
the region ..' states Rokke. 
   
  Further, additional contaminants may include : phosphorous, mercury, napalm, 
nitro-glycerine, ammonium nitrate and a host of other life threatening and 
genetically altering poisons. With numerous reports also, of 'new chemical and 
biological weapons' having been used in Lebanon and Gaza and the additional 
lethal cocktail of toxic substances released by bombing of oil, industrial and 
chemical installations. Paola Manduca, Professor of Genetics at the University 
of Genoa, is so alarmed that she is covening a team of international experts of 
all relevant disciplines, to travel to the region at their own expense, to 
offer their scientific and analytical skills. 'Every destroyed building and 
destroyed equipment will be contaminated with uranium' says Rokke, adding: 'the 
operational risk of clearance is equivalent to that found in combat.' As UN 
Secretary General Kofi Annan expresses his 'concern' to Iran's leaders over 
their legitimate development of nuclear power, it would be
 interesting to know if bleated his 'concern' in Tel Aviv a few days ago about 
their illegitimate use. 

The 1977 Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Convention, Article 35, states 
that is prohibited to employ methods and means of warfare which are intended, 
or may be expected to cause widespread, long term and severe contamination to 
the environment. Article 55 states: 'Care should be taken in warfare to protect 
the natural environment against widespread, Long term and severe damage 
(prohibiting) means of warfare which are intended or may be expected, to cause 
such damage ... and thereby prejudice the health and survival of the 
population.. .. attacks against the natural environment by way of reprisals are 
prohibited.' Whilst Saddam (like it or not, still Iraq's legitimate President, 
say a raft of international law experts) stands trial in a kangaroo court, 
three rogue states have thrown international law books out of the window and 
committed crimes of historically unprecedented enormity. 

Given the extraordinary speed with which all factions of Lebanese society have 
mobilised to survey, then clear countless tons of rubble, Rokke's instructions 
have a tragic irony, as roads clog with hundreds of trucks, loaded with the 
debris of homes, businesses and the remains of all that was the industrial 
lifeblood of civil society. 'Cannibalisation of (damaged) equipment must be 
forbidden; soils, damaged building materials, asphalt should not be reused. 
Transported materials should follow procedure for radioactive waste ... should 
not be locally disposed of in burial sites, by submersion, incineration or 
destruction on site.' 

'Exact location and nature of disposed materials should be noted.' Given that 
Lebanon and Palestine are blockaded, captive states, as Iraq was during the 
embargo years (now simply a vast US concentration camp) Lebanon and Palestine 
have little option but to do as Iraq did : to innovate, rebuild from the 
radioactive rubble, cannibalise every viable part from equipment and breathe in 
lethal air as they construct, drink contaminated water, eat contaminated food. 
Children and those with medical conditions 'are at great risk' concludes Rokke. 
In Israel too. A silent holocaust across the region.
   
  Read more from Felicity Arbuthnot on her website: http://arbuthnot4ir 
aq.blogspot. com/ 
  or on her BRussells Tribunal webpage: http://www.brussels tribunal. org/bios/ 
Arbuthnot. htm 



                
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