nettime's_roving_reporter on Fri, 9 Apr 1999 08:23:07 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> depleted uranium in Kosovo


Author:        Tim Murphy <>
Date:          1999/04/08 
Message-ID:    <7ej34t$bjs$>
Subject:       NATO Dumping Radioactive Waste Weapons in Kosovo  

Radioactive weapons used by U.S./NATO in Kosovo

International Action Center 39 West 14th Street, #206, New
York, NY 10011 212-633-6646 fax: 212-633-2889 web site: email:

Press Contact: Sara Flounders or John Catalinotto,

April 1, 1999

The International Action Center, a group that opposes the
use of depleted-uranium weapons, called the Pentagon's
decision to use the A-10 "Warthog" jets against targets in
Kosovo "a danger to the people and environment of the entire

The A-10s were the anti-tank weapon of choice in the 1991
war against Iraq. It carries a GAU-8/A Avenger 30 millimeter
seven-barrel cannon capable of firing 4,200 rounds per
minute. During that war it fired 30 mm rounds reinforced
with depleted uranium, a radioactive weapon.

There is solid scientific evidence that the depleted uranium
residue left in Iraq is responsible for a large increase in
stillbirths, children born with defects, and childhood
leukemia and other cancers in the area of southern Iraq near
Basra, where most of these shells were fired. Many U.S.
veterans groups also say that DU residues contributed to the
condition called "Gulf War Syndrome" that has affected close
to 100,000 service people in the U.S. and Britain with
chronic sickness.

John Catalinotto, a spokesperson from the Depleted Uranium
Education Project of the International Action Center and an
editor of the 1997 book Metal of Dishonor: Depleted Uranium,
said the use of DU weapons in Yugoslavia "adds a new
dimension to the crime NATO is perpetrating against the
Yugoslav people--including those in Kosovo."

Catalinotto explained that the Pentagon uses DU, a waste
product of the uranium enrichment process used for making
atomic bombs and nuclear fuel, because it is extremely
dense--1.7 times as dense as lead. "DU is used in alloy form
in shells to make them penetrate targets better. As the
shell hits its target, it burns and releases uranium oxide
into the air. The poisonous and radioactive uranium is most
dangerous when inhaled into the body, where it will release
radiation during the life of the person who inhaled it,"
said Catalinotto.

Sara Flounders, a contributing author of Metal of Dishonor:
Depleted Uranium and the Co-Director of the International
Action Center, said, "Warthogs fired roughly 940,000 rounds
of DU shells during the Gulf War. More than 600,000 pounds
of radioactive waste was left in the Gulf Region after the
war. And DU weapons in smaller number were already used by
NATO troops during the bombing of Serbian areas of Bosnia in

"The use of Warthogs with DU shells threatens to make a
nuclear wasteland of Kosovo," Flounders said. " The pentagon
is laying waste to the very people--along with their
children--they claim to be saving; this is another reason
for fighting to end NATO's attack on Yugoslavia.

"Worldwide protests against these bombings are growing. The
U.S. use of radioactive weapons must be linked to all the
protests and opposition that is taking place internationally
to the bombing. These protests must be joined by
environmental activists, veterans groups, anti-nuclear
groups, and all those who know the long-term destruction to
the environment and to whole civilian populations that this
type of warfare will cause."

Flounders said that Metal of Dishonor: Depleted Uranium,
which has been translated and published in Arabic and
Japanese, will be coming out soon with a second edition.

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