Get Something Straight: Depleted Uranium and Opposing Wars are Different Issues

December 31st, 2007
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This is something which is really annoying me a lot.�� I see a lot of websites out there which do a very good job of making it seem like opposition to Bush’s war-mongering and war in general and the use of depleted uranium in munitions are the same issue.�� They seem to indicate that opposing depleted uranium is part of the effort to oppose the war in Iraq and that depleted uranium rounds are part-and-parcel of the whole plan Bush has for the Middle East and the world.� These pages also indicate that somehow if the European Union enacts anti-depleted uranium policies that this will somehow indicate disapproval of the war in Iraq and other American policies.�� There also is an undertone that those in Europe who would use DU weapons, such as Brittan and France are somehow part of the problem.

Well let me just go on the record here about something:

I do not support President Bush’s policies in general and I will be happy to see him leave office.� I supported and continue to support military action in Afghanistan, because the Taliban was closely allied with Al Queda and actively protected and aided Bin Laden and others who were directly involved in major terrorist attacks. � However, I have been less than satisfied with the way the war in Afghanistan has been handled and the general policy in that area.

I never supported the war in Iraq.� I always thought it was, at best, unnecessary. � Was Saddam Husein a tyrannical and murderous dictator?� Yes, but there are others in the region and certainly other countries which are a much greater threat to stability and peace (Iran, Syria, North Korea,� Sudan).� We cannot just go around invading and overthrowing every country that has an unjust government or we’d always be at war.� Iraq posed, at most, a very minimal danger to stability because Saddam’s army had been all but destroyed in the first Gulf War.� Going to Iraq was a detraction from the real problems internationally; it cost many lives and a great deal of money; it only served to worsen the stability in the region and alienate potential allies. � The situation in Iraq is now a mess which it will be impossible to get out of without either costing a great deal more in terms of lives and money or causing a great deal more trouble by causing the country to loose any semblance of control it may have and possibly become a province of Iran.

In addition to not approving of the war in Iraq and how it has been handled, I take great issue with Bush’s policies which have lead to easing of protections of basic civil liberties in the United States as well as the administrations general tendency to foster dislike of America abroad and to alienate the United States from allies. � If there is one thing I am most angry at Bush for it is how he destroyed the unity that existed after 9/11.� After the attacks, the whole country and the whole world was more united than I can ever remember seeing. � Liberals and conservatives put aside their differences and countries around the world were in general agreement on one thing:� The attacks were absolutely unjustified and atrocious and Al Queda needed to be destroyed.� That single-minded unity in the US and with our allies was completely destroyed when Bush extended his “war on terror” to realms which had little or nothing to do with fighting terrorism.

Why am I saying this:

Because despite my own political views on the matter I see no reason why this has anything to do with the toxicity of depleted uranium.� Depleted uranium was, of course, in use long before George W. Bush was elected president and it has been used in conflicts in many places other than Iraq.� Many of these conflicts have been entirely justified or have been defensive actions which were not initiated by an overzealous president looking to settle a personal score.� And even it’s use in Iraq is simply incidental and has nothing to do with the conflict in general.� Depleted uranium rounds are used in Iraq because they work well and they are part of the general munitions of the US and British military. � The same could be said of lead bullets, tungsten rounds and numerous other items which are not inherently “bad” but can be used for justified or unjustified actions.

In any case, as I’ve written before, if anything, I think the anti-DU movement is on the ethically wrong side of things because drawing attention to this non-issue only serves to divert attention from the legitimate plight of those in war torn countries. � Furthermore, focusing on such a scientifically invalid and disprovable issue tends to destroy the credibility of any who use it as the justification behind a given agenda.� And depleted uranium is certainly not a “nuclear weapon.”

Despite my opposition to the war in Iraq, I still have no doubt which side I want to succeed. � The US and British troops may not have been sent there for the right reasons to begin with, but I still would rather see the Iraqi insurgents and the Islamic extremists cut down and the coalition troops go home with as little casualties as possible.� Hence, I favor the use of the most effective armor and weaponry avaliable, and this includes depleted uranium. �� But depleted uranium, one must remember, is just one technology in the war in Iraq and elsewhere.

Does opposition to the war in Iraq mean opposition to other materials and technologies which are used as part of the operation? � If so, then why not protest Kevlar or GPS or night vision? � Why not protest munitions and offensive weapons that make use of aluminum, tungsten, lead, steel or carbon fiber? � Why not? � Because any idiot can see that GPS has nothing to do with the war as a whole and is just a technology which is employed by the military in all operations as well as the civilian sector in numerous capacities.� The same is true of depleted uranium.

And oh yes, to remind everyone:� It’s chemically toxic, but only about as much as lead.� It doesn’t have any appreciable radiological toxicity except when inhaled, and even then it’s overall damage to the respiratory system is relatively modest, especially when compared to other materials like beryllium or numerous other metals used in military and aerospace applications. � And it has been tested and studied for a long time.� This is well established scientific fact.�� Depleted uranium is no more dangerous or harmful than numerous other common materials used by the military and in civilian applications.


This entry was posted on Monday, December 31st, 2007 at 10:02 am and is filed under Bad Science, Depleted Cranium, Enviornment, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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30 Responses to “Get Something Straight: Depleted Uranium and Opposing Wars are Different Issues”

  1. 1
    Joseph Hertzlinger Says:

    If they’re going to avoid technologies pioneered by the military on the ground such technologies are forever cursed, they shouldn’t be on the Internet in the first place.


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  2. 2
    GPS » Get Something Straight: Depleted Uranium and Opposing Wars are Different Issues Says:

    [...] Here’s another interesting post I read today by Depleted Cranium [...]


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  3. 3
    Paul Says:

    A common tactic. They want to link depleted uranium to nuclear weapons to nuclear technology to war. It’s the same as when the “environmentalists” talk about how “We have to move away from coal and nuclear” or “We’re in the problem we have now because we’ve relied on nuclear and coal and oil.” It’s as if they say it enough then they think it becomes true and eventually people start to think nuclear and coal and basically part of the same thing. This is not true at all, but it can be effective.


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  4. 4
    DV82XL Says:

    Thank-you for making this point in one of the better essays that I have seen on the subject.

    I have been fighting this DU nonsense for several years now in various corners of the web and was basically driven off of Wikipedia when I became exhausted with the effort there.

    However in the long run I do not like to see DU used in penetrators for the simple reason that this material, that has already been mined, and refined, is fertile. That is it can be used in fast breeder reactors to make more fissile fuel. Nevertheless I recognize that its effectiveness in kinetic weapons, and certainly if I was in a firefight facing armor I would want to be packing it.

    I have had some experience with DU in connection with its use as counterweights in aircraft, and I can tell you it is a nightmare to work with. It corrodes just looking at it, has poor machinablity, and of course it has to be audited in great detail during processing. No one cried when it stopped being used.


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  5. 5
    drbuzz0 Says:

    DV82XL, I have to disagree with you that they will not be used in the future. Yes, they are fertile material and I have some depleted uranium and while I have not tried to machine it, I does not have the look or texture of being easy to work with, and that is what I have heard. Also, it would spark and possibly ignite if you try to grind it by standard methods. And I also have to keep it in oil so it does not corrode.

    However the military has experience working with it and it is supurb at what it does. I have seen it in use when I was lucky enough to see some live fire training of A-10′s at Fort Drum NY. They used training rounds which are mostly non-du (less expensive) but they had some DU rounds on the belt mixed in. They shot up some old armor and you could easily tell when a DU round was fired. It cut through steel like it wasn’t there. it almost looked like a laser beam because it sliced through so cleanly and instantaneously. There’s nothing like it. I dare say it is what gives things like the A-10 it’s teeth.

    In any case, I would agree that it has other value but the US processing of uranium now leaves us with a lot of DU anyway. I think the fuiture might be to restrict DU to only times when it’s armor-penetrating value is necessary and less for general-purpose yes. Alternatively, perhaps reducing use by having something like tungsten rounds with depleted uranium tips or depleted uranium jacketing on tungsten or even lead rounds. This might be a good comproise. More importantly, I’d rather not see it removed from defensive armor on tanks and armored personel carriers. Besides, in those cases it’s not “expended” because it can always be recovered at the end of the vehicles life.


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  6. 6
    DV82XL Says:

    What I meant is that it’s not used in commercial aircraft for trim weights anymore, and no one in the industry is sad about that.

    Military grade DU is actually alloyed with 0.75% titanium, which improves its manufacturing ease, and generally cladded or jacketed in the case of a penetrator, which helps with the corrosion issues.

    However it is still a bitch to work with and I mention this only because I have often been told by the critics that the only reason DU is used is to get rid of ‘atomic waste’. No one would go to the trouble of using this stuff if it wasn’t for its performance in the field.


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  7. 7
    drbuzz0 Says:

    “get rid of” Wow. That’s complete bull. It sure as hell ain’t atomic waste unless you want to consider every kind of scrap metal as “waste.” I had assumed the military penitraters were clad in something (besides the shell) just because it corrodes so readily. But anyone who thinks DU is being used to get rid of it should see how effective the damn stuff is. Amazing how it goes through armor. I was not aware that it was alloyed but that makes sense.

    Anyways, if you are looking for something fertile to make plutonium out of that’s a non-issue for the US military at this time. We’re rolling in surplus plutonium from the weapons programs and have no shortage of spent fuel either. Not to mention that we’ve actually bought up huge amounts of plutonium from former soviet republics and are not just sitting on it. The DOE wanted to blend it into Mox but regulatory problems reared their ugly head and none of the power plants here would take it. Of course, they can’t export it either..


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  8. 8
    Dave G Says:

    I have some good friends in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of them is actually involved with maintaining heavy guns and munitions. They are well trained and they understand the hazards of the material as well as the safe ways of handling it and using it. He knows how to safely use DU and he is not overly afraid of the toxicity because he’s well trained.

    It’s not the pentagon “brainwashing” them with bad info. The troops who work with it need to know the real science and the engineering behind what DU is and how it works in order to properly utilize it. So he’s not some dummy who’s just eating up the military lies on it.
    You also have to figure that the military gains nothing from causing harm to our troops by radiation or poisoning. This is especially true of experienced combat troops and trained munitions guys. They already have trouble recruiting and they put a lot of time and money into getting these guys trained. The LAST thing they need is a bunch of their best and most experienced guys taking medical leave or having to get a med discharge for cancer or something. That does the bottom line no good at all. Also, having the civilians poisoned there is not going to help with any effort to try to rebuild either. You know who pays for Iraqi health care? We do. When a sick iraqi walks up to an American encampment asking for help, we give it and we foot the bill too.

    So just look at it from the military point of view. You have to realize that it is just not good for their job to use something that is going to have those health effects especially on a large group and on their best trained and experienced troops. The only way you really get this as a motive is if you buy into the whole idea of a big conspiracy going on to kill kill kill because the Illuminati want to or something. Bull****.


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  9. 9
    1 4 Truth Says:

    The pentagon doesn’t want to cause troops cancer? WTF do you seriously believe that? Depleted uranium is a KILLER and it’s been proven. It stays deadly for five billion years so you can never get rid of it. Do you think that bushcheney care at all how many troops die or how many iraqis?

    Follow the money and don’t be a brainwashed idiot. Where does the money go when a troop is dead? To ship the body home by some contractor like uh HALIBURTON! And when troops get cancer or civilians do who is going to get the money in the end? BIG PHARMA! Yeah, that’s right. Cancer and depleted uranium are the best things for the bottom line.

    THIS IS A NUCLEAR WAR AND THE NUCLEAR CORPORATIONS AND OIL CORPORATIONS AND PHARAM CORPS ALL GET THE WINFALL. Do the math, you damn idiots and realize that it’s all about money and always was. Big oil, big nuke, big drugs!

    Look at the stupid page you’re all taking as true. What does the real science say? This page is all part of the bull****. Look at it! First it says depleted uranium is good, when it is infact the worst nuclear weapon ever used. Then they tell you that homeopathy is bad and big pharama and chemicals are good. Then they tell you that 9/11 was caused by 19 arab guys who hijacked and plane and not the real culprits.

    DO you see a pattern? Yeah, this bastard is just being paid to act like some sort of independent source and sound logical but really it’s all lies. Just to make the stupid ignorant public pay more to bushcheny’s war fund and buy more drugs and get sicker eating all these lies


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  10. 10
    DV82XL Says:

    What does real science say? Well ****, if you were intellectually competent enough to be able to read the real science you would see that there is no proof of any of your stupid contentions in the peer reviewed literature. None what so ever.

    Your problem is that you WANT this **** to be true because it fits your world-view. You start with a premise, and then filter everything you see through it.


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  11. 11
    Joffan Says:

    Well I for one am grateful for “1 4 Truth”s amusing comment. It’s always nice to start the year with a chuckle, and that parody of a fearmonger compounding together all the conspiracy theories available was particularly well done. Drug companies, hah. 9/11 CT was perhaps a little too obvious but I guess it had to be there just for character consistency. The random inclusion of “Haliburton” who apparently want people to die so they can transport the bodies around the world was a nice off-the-wall touch, especially the morph from international undertaker to oil company.


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  12. 12
    1 4 Truth Says:

    OK FINE JUST BELIEVE WHAT UR TOLD! We all know what the real truth is because Haliburton is just part of the whole plan. You know they are an oil company and so sure isn’t that the whole reason Bushcheney invaded iraq? Oil which is money in the pockets of them so they can kill as many Iraqis with their depleted uranium as they can so the whole country is dead and they can take the oil! YOU THINK THYE CARE ABOUT OUR TROOPS! HAH! The pentagon has nothing invested in any of the troops because they are expendable and they expect them to die. When they get cancer guess what? The drug companies make the big $$$$$$$$ and it’s another winfall for BUSHCHENEY! Why do you think they provide health care for iraqis? Do you think we really foot the bill to help iraqis with health problems if they show up at a US camp? No we just pump them with drugs to kill them more and big pharma gets more money! OPEN YOUR DAMN EYES


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  13. 13
    DV82XL Says:

    Jesus weeps.

    A random sample from this paranoiac’s web site:

    Fascinated by symbolism and numerology, the globalists’ favorite tactic is to leave blueprints to their plans “hidden in plain view.” From messages delivered to the masses through the media and films to Time Warner’s all-seeing eye, we are repeatedly reminded by the Illuminati themselves that they are controlling us and are omnipresent. World leaders from Clinton to Prince William have been photographed proudly flashing the sign of the devil. Architecture around the globe is laid out to represent their occult icons or structured based on occult numerology (like the pyramid Mitterand had constructed at the Louvre, which is made of 666 pieces of gold glass). The New World Order’s symbolism is everywhere and there are globalist fingerprints all over the September 11th attacks as well as the Madrid train bombing.

    I rest my case.


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  14. 14
    1 4 Truth Says:

    It’s not my website it’s just one of the websites out there that you should be reading to figure out what is really going on. You should also try: http://www.prisonplanet.tv/ and http://www.911truth.org/ and http://www.investigate911.com/ and http://www.brojon.org/frontpage.html

    There are a lot of good pages online if you open your stupid eyes and just did some research you’ll find that infowars is not the only site which has info and it all fits together and proves what is going on. Look around you an see the evidence everwhere, you scrotum licker!


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  15. 15
    drbuzz0 Says:

    Holy crap. I don’t even know where to start on this one. Are you insane or stupid, “1 4 truth” Also, I think you have a different definition of truth than I do.


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  16. 16
    Ray Says:

    I’ve read a lot about depleted uranium online and it sounds to me like it’s well established that it has caused a lot of cancer and birth defects. Maybe not in our own troops because I’m sure they have masks and all the precautions but when it lies around communities then there’s no doubt that it will cause a lot of health problems. You should do a search online and I think you’ll see that it’s more than just one or two pages. The effects are pretty easy to see. Also, it’s more radioactive than most substances that you would think of it’s so radioactive that it will be a hazard for five billion years which is even longer than the highest level nuclear waste produced by regular power plants. That makes you think doesn’t it?


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  17. 17
    Kt88 Says:

    There is no way you own depleted uranium. Do you think everyone is that dumb? And if you did own it somebody should tell the feds before you make a bomb out of it and vaporize a city! haha! You’re so lying


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  18. 18
    Paul Says:

    KT, do you even know what depleted uranium is? I’m not sure where you’d buy it but I don’t see why it should be that difficult for a civilian to get a hold of some. It’s rather harmless as long as it’s not being shot at you. It is toxic but we already went over that here anyway.


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  19. 19
    DV82XL Says:

    Ray, the only places that report on the effects of DU are not very reliable sites. The major media outlets looked at this story years ago, many sent reporters to the Mid-east with radiation detection gear – and found nothing. I don’t mean the U.S press, but the press from countries like Canada that don’t use DU weapons and not one has turned up any hard evidence of the alleged effects of this material. The bottom line is that the fear-mongering critics have no real proof of any of their contentions.


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  20. 20
    1 4 Truth Says:

    Ray, you’ve wondered onto a site with an agenda to help bushcheney in the war and to put out whatever lies they can to try to keep things from being clear to the population of the world. You should check out the sites on my post above. This has a lot more to it than just depleted uranium but you are right that it’s going to be killing a lot of people!


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  21. 21
    1 4 Truth Says:

    I forgot to say that as bad as DU is (and it is really really bad) the worst thing going is HAARP. Depleted Uranium is a nuclear weapon and that’s pretty bad, but HAARP is the next level because it’s not a nuclear weapon but the next step up. It’s not a weapon of mass destruction, it’s a weapon of TOTAL destruction which the idiots in charge are going to soon be using a lot more and they are so keen to kill those who get in the way they don’t realize that it can actually cause the end of the world if they’re not careful. Do some research on HAARP it’ll terrify you


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  22. 22
    Ray Says:

    I have my doubts about depleted uranium and I’m going to have to look into this further I guess, but 14truth is coming across as just plain insane and I checked the links and they’re all conspiracy theories from very far out in left field, so I’m not sure that I’ll consider that poster to be a reliable source of anything.


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  23. 23
    DV82XL Says:

    I applaud you for having the commonsense to do your own research in this matter, Ray and the commonsense to see through the paranoid ravings of 1 4 Truth.

    I would suggest using the term ‘Uranium-238′ in any search for information as ‘depleted uranium’ returns mostly propaganda.

    You will also need to familiarize your self with radiation health effects and here you may wish to use resources from the governments of countries that do not use DU in military programs,


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  24. 24
    drbuzz0 Says:

    Here are some links I’d recommend. Admittedly, a couple are US or NATO military sources, but I think you’ll find that they square pretty well with the non-US/Nato sources:

    UN/International Sources:

    http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Features/DU/faq_depleted_uranium.shtml
    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs257/en/

    Health-Physics organizations and sources:

    http://www.orau.org/busops/ivhp/health-physics/hp-links.htm
    http://www.umich.edu/~radinfo/
    http://hps.org/documents/dufactsheet.pdf
    http://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q754.html

    http://hps.org/publicinformation/asktheexperts.cfm < --- info on DU and other issues in plain English from "ask the experts"

    British Sources:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1122566.stm
    http://royalsociety.org/landing.asp?id=1243 < --- read this one with caution as it does talk quite a bit about the potential hazards under the worst case senerio of heavy metal poisoning, so take it in context

    French Sources:
    http://www.iarc.fr/ENG/Units/uranium.html

    US government/Military:

    http://web.ead.anl.gov/uranium/faq/index.cfm
    http://fhp.osd.mil/du/healthEffects.jsp

    I can try to find more but the one I’d recommend most is this one: http://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/cat57.html

    I think if you look at the HPS website you’ll find that they are not pro-war or caviler about radiation protection. They do a pretty good job at being balanced.

    Rember that nobody is going to say DU is non-toxic. It is a toxic heavy metal, not unlike many others which are somewhat toxic and could be dangerous in high doses. This is important because it’s possible to be very misleading by talking about the acute effects of high doses. If you want context just substitute lead for DU, because they’re actually not that far off in terms of toxicity and their effects on the body are not identical but they are reliatvely similar. Their biological uptake and retention is extremely similar.


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  25. 25
    Ray Says:

    I have to say that I find this website almost as enlightening as it is disturbing. I’m not opposed to nuclear power but I have NEVER seen another website talk down wind and solar so much. I’m not saying that it is wrong, because it sounds like it checks out. I think my whole life I’ve heard about how solar and wind and other stuff like that was the next thing. I even remember in grade school playing with little solar cells and making pictures of houses with solar panels on the roof. It sounds a lot less optomistic when I read about the costs and how small the energy actually is. I don’t know why this is so unknown because literally EVERY site seems to think that every solar power project is wonderful. I agree if it costs so much and doesn’t make a difference it’s not even worth bothering with. The other thing is that it seems like all the professionals and scientists have always been on solar and wind but I guess that’s not true?

    I don’t understand this stuff because the numbers, like I said, it sounds like it checks out and the tone of the page is definately pro-enviornment and not a global warming denier, but why would everyone be so obsessed with wind and solar if this is the truth? Where is everyone else? it sounds like it’s just about undebiable that it won’t be enough to make the difference needed. Also, I knew coal was bad but this page has scared me on that one too because I didn’t know it was so horrible. It gets attention but I think it needs more.

    I’m interested to read more of the posts here but I can see how people won’t receive them well in general. I can’t imagine saying solar power sucks without getting laughed at or punched in the face these days


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  26. 26
    DV82XL Says:

    It seems to me that non-scientists are obsessed with solar for ideological reasons and the longer that they continue this obsession the longer coal power plants will be spewing toxic heavy metals, soot and excessive carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. Wind farms or solar are not the answer –you need an 80% base load system first with the rest made up of wind or solar farms or of course wave power as well — so that leaves ya coal –oil –gas – or the most CO2 friendly Nuclear.

    It is my honest belief that future generations will look back on the near universal loathing of nuclear power by society in the western world with the same confused disbelief that most of us feel when we look back to previous generations that believed as an article of faith that people of other colors were there natural inferiors.


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  27. 27
    drbuzz0 Says:

    Just one thing on that, I’d tend to consider wind or solar as 20% on an 80% of energy (baseload) provided by something else to be extremely and probably unrealistically generous to solar/wind. In practice, I have a lot of doubt that you could ever get solar and wind to make up as much as 10% of total energy even with a huge investment. 20% seems like the absolute best case/most liberal/generous/optimistic estimate.


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  28. 28
    DV82XL Says:

    Of course it is overly optimistic, but it’s all the load the sector says it is going for in the investment literature. The point being that if they haven’t got the stones to promise more than that, any talk of powering modern Western civilization on ‘renewables’ is wishful thinking.


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  29. 29
    Nimmy Says:

    I’m not so sure about DU, because I have heard a lot of negative about it too but the page is informative. But I don’t think 14truth is the kind who I’d trust for any information, but I don’t think all of those who say DU is dangerous are as extremists wacks as 14truth.


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  30. 30
    Josh Says:

    Also, it’s more radioactive than most substances that you would think of it’s so radioactive that it will be a hazard for five billion years which is even longer than the highest level nuclear waste produced by regular power plants.

    Erm, I don’t think you’ve quite understood the nature of radioactivity. Longer half-lives mean a lower activity. The reason it is so long lived is because it is NOT very radioactive at all.


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