The White House has publicaly dismissed humanitarian and environmental concerns raised about the use of Depleted Uranium weapons. In its statement (see below), Bush operatives claim that the UN and the WHO have found no health problems associated with DU weapons. Regarding the 320 tons used against Iraq in 1991 the White House statement says, "But scientists working for the World Health Organization, the UN Environmental Program, and the European Union could find no health effects linked to exposure to depleted uranium." However, the UN environment Program has found severe radiation contamination in the places it has investigated in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the U.S. bombed for 78 days in 1999. What follows is the White House position.
Depleted Uranium Scare
During the Gulf War, coalition forces used armor-piercing ammunition made from depleted uranium, which is ideal for the purpose because of its great density. In recent years, the Iraqi regime has made substantial efforts to promote the false claim that the depleted uranium rounds fired by coalition forces have caused cancers and birth defects in Iraq. Iraq has distributed horrifying pictures of children with birth defects and linked them to depleted uranium. The campaign has two major propaganda assets:
* Uranium is a name that has frightening associations in the mind of the average person, which makes the lie relatively easy to sell; and
* Iraq could take advantage of an established international network of antinuclear activists who had already launched their own campaign against depleted uranium.
But scientists working for the World Health Organization, the UN Environmental Program, and the European Union could find no health effects linked to exposure to depleted uranium.
The truth has not deterred the Iraqi disinformation campaign. On November 15, 2000, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi reported that Iraq had set up an organization called the ""Central Committee for the Follow-up of the Consequences of Pollution" under the direct supervision of Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, to pursue this issue.
It also reported that Iraqi Major General Abd-al-Wahhab Muhammad al-Juburi headed a working team of military personnel, scientists, and others to generate data and organize tours for the international media. Iraq has hosted international conferences on the alleged ill effects of depleted uranium and sent "experts" abroad to speak on the subject, including Iraqi professor Mona Kammas, a member of Iraq's "Committee of Pollution Impact by Aggressive Bombing."