Archive | October 16th, 2019

Doctors Without Borders: Treating resistant infections in Gaza

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Doctors Without Borders: Treating resistant infections in Gaza

Resistant infections in Gaza: gunshot wounds are particularly prone to infection, and doctors there have treated over 7,000 live ammunition wounds.

Many patients in Gaza with shattered bones from Israeli sniper fire find that they must beat serious, resistant infections before they can undergo surgery. This is tricky under the best of circumstances, but where medical supplies and facilities are in desperately short supply, it is extremely challenging. Over 1,000 Gazans currently suffer from severe bone infections.

Reposted from Doctors Without Borders

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is dealing with immense challenges while treating many people who have developed bone infections after having been shot by the Israeli army during protests in Gaza, Palestine over the last year. These infections are adding to the already complicated path to recovery that these injured people must tread. Their serious and complex wounds require months – if not years – of dressing, surgery and physiotherapy. Infections prevent recovery, and to make matters worse, many of them are resistant to antibiotics.

Ayman has a resistant bone infection
“I didn’t know about the infection in the bone until I came here. I came out of the operation and found myself in isolation.”

The room is full of colour now: the walls and second empty bed covered in drawings. A chameleon. Toucans. A turtle. When Ayman woke up, however, the room was bare and the nurse in front of him wore a strange blue gown and gloves.

Ayman is one of the more than 1,000 people in Gaza that MSF estimates are suffering from severe bone infections developed in the aftermath of being shot by the Israeli army.

The demonstrations in which they were shot have been taking place for more than a year now, a weekly routine of bloodshed. More than 7,400 Palestinians have been injured by live ammunition, with around half suffering from open fractures, where the bone is broken near the wound.

Gunshot wounds prone to infection

“When you have an open fracture, you need lots of things to get better: different types of surgery, physiotherapy, and avoiding the wound becoming infected, which is a high risk with these types of injuries,” explains Aulio Castillo, MSF’s Medical Team Leader in Gaza. “Unfortunately, for many of our patients who have been shot, the severity and complexity of their wounds – combined with the severe shortage of treatments for them in Gaza – means they have now developed chronic infections.”

“What’s more, we’re finding in preliminary testing that many of these people are infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria,” says Castillo.

Gunshot wounds by their very nature are prone to infection. With a dirty foreign body breaking the skin, it is vital that the wound be cleaned to reduce the risk of infection. With injuries such as those in Gaza, where the wounds are huge, bones are splintered, and treatment is difficult, many wounds stay open long after the injury, meaning the risk of infection is drastically higher.

Antibiotic resistant infections make treatment much harder

Complicating this is what appear to be very high rates of antibiotic resistant infections there. These infections have developed an ability to withstand many common antibiotics used to treat them. This often happens because antibiotics have been overused, whether in the community or in the environment, which is a growing problem worldwide.

Antibiotic resistance makes the already difficult task of treating people like Ayman much harder. To get better he needs antibiotics, but with the usual option useless against the resistant infection, he has to take a stronger type that carries a higher risk of side effects. These “heavy-duty” antibiotics are also much more expensive.

Preventing the spread of bacteria means isolation

In addition, to prevent the spread of the resistant bacteria within the hospital and to protect other patients, Ayman has to be isolated in a single room during the treatment. Everyone entering the room must wear protective clothing and clean their hands. His period of isolation lasts a punishing six weeks.

While patients in isolation are not confined – they can leave the room if they wear protective gowns – it is only natural that the experience is extremely difficult.

“I feel like I’m in prison,” Ayman says. “I don’t like to be by myself. I could stay one year in a normal ward but here… All I like to think about when I’m here is leaving.”

That is why MSF has social workers and counsellors working with patients in the hospitals to support them during treatment.

“After people hear that they must be in isolation they are shocked – they can even start crying,” says Amal Abed, a social worker. “They don’t understand – they think that infection in the bones means certain amputation.”

The psychosocial support team takes the time to sit with the patients, to explain their condition to them, and why it is important they follow the precautions. They also try to create connections between the different patients in isolation, to keep their mood up.

“We have to follow the precautions but we like to get them out of the room to sing, dance, to do an educational session with them and other patients,” Amal explains. “It’s more interesting when education is not done alone: other people can join in with their comments, start a conversation.”

treating a resistant bone infection in Gaza
MSF staff adjust the external fixator of a patient shot by the Israeli army during protests on August 16 2019. The external fixator is a device used to hold in place badly broken bones, and those injured by Israeli army gunfire in Gaza often require them.

Medical treatment even more difficult under the blockade

Treating these resistant infections would be tough anywhere in the world, but in Gaza it is even tougher. With a health system reeling from the effects of more than a decade of Israeli blockade, Palestinian political in-fighting and Egyptian restrictions on movement, MSF is working to provide care that is otherwise unavailable.

“We have worked with the Ministry of Health to upgrade a laboratory so that it can analyse bone samples, a crucial part of diagnosing correctly these bone infections and knowing which antibiotics will work,” says Castillo.

It is the first laboratory able to analyse bone samples in Gaza: previously, each sample had to be sent to labs in Israel for testing. At the hospital laboratory, the staff uses small chunks of infected bone to grow the bacteria they contain in petri dishes.

Different chemical bases let different types of bacteria grow, which show which types are present, and their sensitivity to different antibiotics are measured. It is through this series of essential tests that our teams know which infections they are fighting, and what they can fight them with.

New MSF laboratory makes diagnosis faster

“Treating these infections is a massive undertaking,” says Castillo. “We have upgraded this laboratory, opened two hospital wards and are opening another. It places huge demands on us in terms of the specialist staff we need, the drugs we have to supply and the space we need in order to treat these infections. It’s hard but we’re trying our best to offer these people the surgery and treatment they need.”

Ayman waits for now, taking his antibiotics intravenously for four hours each day, the medical team monitoring to ensure that the infection is being fought and the drugs are not having any adverse effects. He talks fondly of how he and his friends used to hang out together at night to dance and listen to music.

“I want to return to my work as a cake maker,” he says.

To do that he needs further surgery, but he cannot have surgery until he beats the bug. A long and uncertain period stretches ahead of him.


RELATED READING:

How Israeli doctors enable the Shin Bet’s torture industry

Israel prevents seriously injured Gazans travel for urgent medical care

Israel prevents Gazans from traveling for medical treatment, including children with cancer

Gideon Levy: A Young Gazan’s Dream, Amputated

Aisha Lulu

Hundreds of Gaza protesters shot by Israeli forces risk limb amputation

Israel sets Gaza up for superbug epidemic

Israeli hospitals Admit to Segregating Arab Women in Maternity Wards

Human rights reports on Israel-Palestine (regularly updated)

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza, Human RightsComments Off on Doctors Without Borders: Treating resistant infections in Gaza

The War on Weed: Monsanto, Bayer, and the Push for “Corporate Cannabis”

Part II

By Ellen Brown

Global Research,

Canada is to become the second country after Uruguay to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Adults will be able to purchase cannabis from “federally licensed producers”.  At present, Canada has according to the BBC “one of the highest rates of  cannabis use” Worldwide. “Canadians spent an estimated C$5.7bn ($4.6bn; £3.5bn) in 2017 alone on combined medical and recreational use – about $1,200 per user. The bulk of that spending was on black market marijuana.” (BBC, October 14, 2018).

Legalization kills the black market. Who is going to benefit? Ellen Brown analyses the corporate interests behind the legalization of Marijuana. It’s a multibillion corporate bonanza. In the US, the push has come from Big Pharma and Big Ag with Bayer-Monsanto in the lead. 

***

California’s “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” (AUMA) is a voter initiative characterized as legalizing marijuana use. But critics warn that it will actually make access more difficult and expensive, squeeze home growers and small farmers out of the market, heighten criminal sanctions for violations, and open the door to patented, genetically modified (GMO) versions that must be purchased year after year.

As detailed in Part I of this article, the health benefits of cannabis are now well established. It is a cheap, natural alternative effective for a broad range of conditions, and the non-psychoactive form known as hemp has thousands of industrial uses. At one time, cannabis was one of the world’s most important crops. There have been no recorded deaths from cannabis overdose in the US, compared to about 30,000 deaths annually from alcohol abuse (not counting auto accidents), and 100,000 deaths annually from prescription drugs taken as directed. Yet cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance (“a deadly dangerous drug with no medical use and high potential for abuse”), illegal to be sold or grown in the US.

Powerful corporate interests no doubt had a hand in keeping cannabis off the market. The question now is why they have suddenly gotten on the bandwagon for its legalization. According to an April 2014 article in The Washington Times, the big money behind the recent push for legalization has come, not from a grassroots movement, but from a few very wealthy individuals with links to Big Ag and Big Pharma.

Leading the charge is George Soros, a major shareholder in Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company and producer of genetically modified seeds. Monsanto is the biotech giant that brought you Agent Orange, DDT, PCBs, dioxin-based pesticides, aspartame, rBGH (genetically engineered bovine growth hormone), RoundUp (glyphosate) herbicides, and RoundUp Ready crops (seeds genetically engineered to withstand glyphosate).

Monsanto now appears to be developing genetically modified (GMO) forms of cannabis, with the intent of cornering the market with patented GMO seeds just as it did with GMO corn and GMO soybeans. For that, the plant would need to be legalized but still tightly enough controlled that it could be captured by big corporate interests. Competition could be suppressed by limiting access to homegrown marijuana; bringing production, sale and use within monitored and regulated industry guidelines; and legislating a definition of industrial hemp as a plant having such low psychoactivity that only GMO versions qualify. Those are the sorts of conditions that critics have found buried in the fine print of the latest initiatives for cannabis legalization.

Patients who use the cannabis plant in large quantities to heal serious diseases (e.g. by juicing it) find that the natural plant grown organically in sunlight is far more effective than hothouse plants or pharmaceutical cannabis derivatives. Letitia Pepper is a California attorney and activist who uses medical marijuana to control multiple sclerosis. As she puts it, if you don’t have an irrevocable right to grow a natural, therapeutic herb in your backyard that a corporation able to afford high license fees can grow and sell to you at premium prices, isn’t that still a war on people who use marijuana?

Follow the Money to Uruguay

Monsanto has denied that it is working on GMO strains. But William Engdahl, author ofSeeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, presents compelling circumstantial evidence to the contrary. In a March 2014 article titled “The Connection Between the Legalization of Marijuana in Uruguay, Monsanto and George Soros”, Engdahl observes that in 2014, Uruguay became the first country to legalize the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana. Soros is a major player in Uruguay and was instrumental in getting the law passed. He sits on the board of the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), the world’s most influential organization for cannabis legalization. The DPA is active not only in the US but in Uruguay and other Latin American countries. Engdahl writes:

Studies show that Monsanto without much fanfare conducts research projects on the active ingredient in marijuana, namely THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), in order to genetically manipulate the plant. David Watson of the Dutch company Hortapharm has since 1990 created the world’s largest collection of Cannabis seed varieties. In 1998, the British firm GW Pharmaceuticals signed an agreement with Hortapharm that gives GW Pharma the rights to use the Hortapharm cannabis for their research.

In 2003 the German Bayer AG then signed an agreement with GW Pharmaceuticals for joint research on a cannabis-based extract. In 2007, Bayer AG agreed to an exchange of technology with . . . Monsanto . . . . Thus Monsanto has discreet access to the work of the cannabis plant and its genetic modification. In 2009 GW Pharmaceuticals announced that it had succeeded in genetically altering a cannabis plant and patented a new breed of cannabis.

Monsanto could have even greater access to the Bayer/GW research soon. In March 2016, Monsanto approached the giant German chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer AG with a joint venture proposal concerning its crop science unit. In May, Bayer then made an unsolicited takeover bid for Monsanto. On May 24th, the $62 billion bid was rejected as too low; but negotiations are continuing.

The prospective merger would create the world’s largest supplier of seeds and chemicals. Environmentalists worry that the entire farming industry could soon be looking at sterile crops soaked in dangerous pesticides. Monsanto has sued hundreds of farmers for simply saving seeds from year to year, something they have done for millennia. Organic farmers are finding it increasingly difficult to prevent contamination of their crops by Monsanto’s GMOs.

In Seeds of Destruction, Engdahl quotes Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State. Kissinger notoriously said, “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” Engdahl asserts that the “Green Revolution” was part of the Rockefeller agenda to destroy seed diversity and push oil- and gas-based agricultural products in which Rockefeller had a major interest. Destruction of seed diversity and dependence on proprietary hybrids was the first step in food control. About 75% of the foodstuffs at the grocery store are now genetically manipulated, in what has been called the world’s largest biological experiment on humans.

Genetic engineering is now moving from foodstuffs to plant-based drugs and plant-based industrial fibers. Engdahl writes of Monsanto’s work in Uruguay:

Since the cultivation of cannabis plants in Uruguay is allowed, one can easily imagine that Monsanto sees a huge new market that the Group is able to control just with patented cannabis seeds such as today is happening on the market for soybeans. Uruguay’s President Mujica has made it clear he wants a unique genetic code for cannabis in his country in order to “keep the black market under control.”

Genetically modified cannabis seeds from Monsanto would grant such control. For decades Monsanto has been growing gene-soybean and GM maize in Uruguay too. George Soros is co-owner of agribusinesses Adecoagro, which planted genetically modified soybeans and sunflowers for biofuel.

Other commentators express similar concerns. Natural health writer Mike Adams warns:

[W]ith the cannabis industry predicted to generate over $13 billion by 2020, becoming one of the largest agricultural markets in the nation, there should be little doubt that companies like Monsanto are simply waiting for Uncle Sam to remove the herb from its current Schedule I classification before getting into the business.

In a 2010 article concerning Proposition 19, an earlier legalization initiative that was defeated by California voters, Conrad Justice Kiczenski noted that criminalization of cannabis as both industrial hemp and medical marijuana has served a multitude of industries, including the prison and military industry, the petroleum, timber, cotton, and pharmaceutical industries, and the banking industry. With the decriminalization of cannabis, he warned:

The next stage in continuing this control is in the regulation, licensing and taxation of Cannabis cultivation and use through the only practical means available to the corporate system, which is through genetic engineering and patenting of the Cannabis genome.

AUMA: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

Suspicions like these are helping to fuel opposition to the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), a 2016 initiative that would rewrite the medical marijuana laws in California. While AUMA purports to legalize marijuana for recreational use, the bill comes with so many restrictions that it actually makes acquisition more difficult and expensive than under existing law, and makes it a criminal offense for anyone under 21. Critics contend that the Act will simply throw access to this medicinal wonder plant into the waiting arms of the Monsanto/Bayer/petrochemical/pharmaceutical complex. They say AUMA is a covert attempt to preempt California’s Compassionate Use Act, Proposition 215, which was passed in 1996 by voter initiative.

Prop 215 did not legalize the sale of marijuana, but it did give ill or disabled people of any age the right to grow and share the plant and its derivatives on a not-for-profit basis. They could see a doctor of their choice, who could approve medical marijuana for a vast panoply of conditions; and they were assured of safe and affordable access to the plant at a nearby cooperative not-for-profit dispensary, or in their own backyards. As clarified by the 2008 Attorney General’s Guidelines, Prop 215 allowed reimbursement for the labor, costs and skill necessary to grow and distribute medical marijuana; and it allowed distribution through a “storefront dispensing collective.” However, the sale of marijuana for corporate profit remained illegal. Big Pharma and affiliates were thus blocked from entering the field.

At the end of 2015 (effective 2016), the California state legislature over-rode Prop 215 with MMRSA – the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act of 2015/16 – which effectively rewrites the Health Code pertaining to medical marijuana. Opponents contend that MMRSA is unconstitutional, since a voter initiative cannot be changed by legislative action unless it so provides. And that is why its backers need AUMA, a voter initiative that validates MMRSA in its fine print. In combination with stricter California Medical Association rules for enforcement, MMRSA effectively moves medical marijuana therapy from the wholistic plant to a pharmaceutical derivative, one that must follow an AUMA or American Pharmaceutical Association mode of delivery. MMRSA turns the right to cultivate into a revocable privilege to grow, contingent on local rules. The right to choose one’s own doctor is also eliminated.

Critics note that of the hundreds of millions in tax revenues that AUMA is expected to generate from marijuana and marijuana-related products, not a penny will go to the California general fund. That means no money for California’s public schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure. Instead, it will go into a giant slush fund controlled by AUMA’s “Marijuana Control Board,” to be spent first for its own administration, then for its own law enforcement, then for penal and judicial program expenditures.

Law enforcement and penalties will continue to be big business, since AUMA legalizes marijuana use only for people over 21 and makes access so difficult and expensive that even adults could be tempted to turn to the black market. “Legalization” through AUMA will chiefly serve a petrochemical/pharmaceutical complex bent on controlling all farming and plant life globally.

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Aggression Only OK for US If Led by the Pentagon and Partners

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research,

When US forces rape and destroy nonbelligerent nations threatening no one, it’s called humanitarian intervention, responsibility to protect, and democracy building — notions Washington’s power elites abhor.

When victimized nations defend themselves lawfully against Pentagon terror-bombing and atrocities by ISIS and likeminded jihadists used as US proxy foot soldiers, they’re wrongfully condemned for aggression — notably by establishment media, operating as imperial press agents.

The Obama and Trump regimes respectively supported Turkey’s 2016 and 2018 aggression in Syria — Operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch, both flagrantly illegal under international law.

Aggression committed by other countries is only OK with Washington when serving its interests — notably when Israel smashes defenseless Palestinians, rapes Lebanon, and terror-bombs Syria, along with conducting targeted assassinations.

Throughout much of Obama’s war on Syria, now Trump’s, the Pentagon and CIA used Kurdish YPG fighters in the country’s north as proxy foot soldiers against Damascus.

They were supplied with heavy weapons, related equipment, logistical support, intelligence, and air cover for aggression, supporting Washington’s imperial aims, along with their own self-interest against Syria’s sovereign independence and territorial integrity.

When Turkey’s Erdogan launched so-called Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria days earlier, his third cross-border aggression since 2011, the Trump regime OK’d it, then expressed opposition along with congressional members for political and strategic reasons.

The US has a long history of abandoning support for allies to higher priorities, Kurds victimized time and again, early October their latest betrayal, pushing them to ally with Damascus against a common Turkish foe.

Turkey is a NATO member, its alliance with Washington uneasy at best. A rupture could happen any time over US actions Erdogan rejects, Russia the beneficiary if things turn out this way.Trump OK’s Sanctions on Turkey

Trump and his handlers are trying to have things both ways, criticizing Turkey’s cross-border adventurism while stopping short of harsh actions to stop it — notably by continuing to sell Ankara weapons and munitions used for warmaking.

Neither DJT, his geopolitical team, or congressional leaders give a hoot about ordinary people anywhere, including at home.

Trump’s Wednesday letter to Erdogan showed he wants bilateral differences smoothed over, relations between both countries kept firm, saying:

“Let’s work out a good deal. You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people” — what the US, NATO, and Israel do in all their wars of aggression, accountability by the world community never forthcoming.

Republicans and undemocratic Dems have no compunction about mass slaughter and destruction committed against targeted nations.

They’re responsible for millions of casualties post-9/11 alone, their numbers growing daily as endless US wars of aggression continue in multiple theaters.

Separately on Wednesday, Speaker Pelosi and other undemocratic Dems had a stormy White House meeting with Trump, the first one since announcing their politicized Ukrainegate/witch-hunt impeachment inquiry.

It ended with both sides insulting each other, seeking political advantage, more evidence of what Paul Craig Roberts calls “today’s Amerika,” Washington’s “insane asylum” — governance all about enforcing might over right at home and abroad.

On the same day, undemocratic House Dems joined by scores of Republicans passed a nonbinding resolution (354 – 60) — condemning Trump’s withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria.

Unmentioned was Obama regime-launched war of aggression on the Syrian Arab Republic, raging since early 2011 — with no resolution in prospect because both right wings of the US war party reject peace, stability, equity and justice everywhere.

Achieving it defeats their imperial aims. Endless hot wars and by other means further them, what the US permanent war agenda is all about.

At home it includes force-fed neoliberal harshness, transferring wealth from ordinary people to privileged ones, controlling the message, censoring speech, media, and academic freedoms, along with police state crackdowns on nonbelievers.

All of the above reflect the disturbing state of today’s America.

Never beautiful or the land of the free and home of the brave, today’s USA is unsafe and unfit to live in for the vast majority of its people – exploited and otherwise mistreated to benefit its privileged class exclusively.

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Radiofrequency Radiation: The Invisible Hazards of “Smart” Meters

By Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri

Global Research,

This incisive article by the late Dr. Ilya Perlingueri was first published in August 2011

“The Seletun Scientific Statement recommends that lower limits be established for electromagnetic fields and wireless exposures, based on scientific studies reporting health impacts at much lower exposure levels. Many researchers now believe that existing safety limits are inadequate to protect public health because they do not consider prolonged exposure to lower emission levels that are now widespread. Current US…standards for radiofrequency and microwave radiation from wireless technologies are entirely inadequate. They were never intended to address this kind of exposure from wireless devices that now affect over 4 billion people.” The Seletun Scientific Statement, Feb. 3, 2011

Do You Have a New “Smart” Meter?

Over the past year-and-a-half, various power companies have been removing the analogue [disc-like] meters placed on your homes, apartments and businesses, and installing what they call their new “Smart” Meters. This is part of the larger plan throughout the US and Canada where these meters have already been installed. “According to the Edison Foundation, more than 8 million Smart Meters have been deployed by electric utilities in the US and nearly 60 million should be in place by 2020.”(1)

In Canada, 2 million of these meters are planned. “BC Hydro has a $930-million rollout of ‘Smart’ Meters” installation that began on July 4.(2)

The US nationwide program is

“driven, in part by funding for the Smart Grid Program approved as part of the American Recovery[sic] and Reinvestment Act [AARA] of 2009.”(3)

“There is great concern because exposure to microwave and radiowave radiation from these meters in involuntary and continuous. The transmitting meters may not even comply with FCC ‘safety’ standards. …These standards [are totally outdated and] were not designed to protect a diverse population from non-thermals effects of continuous exposure to microwave and radiowave radiation. Therefore, these ‘safety’ standards were not designed to protect the public from health problems under the circumstances which the meters are being used.”(4)

As Marti Oakley has just written, the best way to look at what’s happening is to:

“follow the money. In late October 2009, the [US] Department of Energy announced the $3.4 billion in stimulus grants under AARA. Award selections were announced for 100 smart grid projects that are intended to lead to the rollout of approximately 18-million smart meters, 1-million in-home energy management displays, and 170,000 smart thermostats, as well as numerous advanced transformers and load management devices.”(5)

Smart-grid projects are supposed to “meet strict cyberspace guidelines”(6); but that has not happened, because greed trumped everything else: our health, safety, precaution, and any remnants of law. Government corruption is endemic, while Wall Street behind-the-scenes manipulation and the bankers theft of trillions of taxpayer dollars is ignored. White-collar crime is rarely prosecuted, because (1) there are few honest people left in government; and (2) those in charge are part of the bigger problem. All Precaution was thrown out in the race to compete for millions of fiat dollars. Without an informed and educated public and with the mass media compliant to elite and secret plans, no one is told the truth.

There has been no public discussion on the known biological hazards, both to humans and our pets, with these new meters. There has been no testing of these meters for any kind of safety. However, utilities Public Relations “spin” includes that: they will cut power costs to consumers, thus lowering your monthly bills; help customers reduce power consumption during peak times; and the meters can be read anytime, via a planned new “grid” in the works for the entire country that will use these meters. Utility companies insist these meters are safe.

“Smart” Meters are a new type of electronic device that monitors electricity, natural gas, and water usage via radio frequency (RF or rf) in an invisible but dangerous range, between 2.4GHz [GigaHertz] and 5.8Ghz. This corresponds to the electrical signals frequency used to produce radio waves. The worldwide digital wireless communications network is based upon this. RF has both an electric and magnetic components both of which can cause damage.

Malfunctioning Meter Problems

In many areas, customers were given no notice that their meters would be changed, or the new meter was put in a day after a brief notice was sent. In all cases, customers were never notified of the dangers involved with these new so-called “Smart” Meters. It was a “done deal” behind closed doors. No one was given any choice about keeping an old analogue meter. According to educator Susan Brinchman, Director of San Diego, CA’s www.electrosmogprevention.org, almost 98% of San Diego has already had these meters installed in home, apartments, and businesses. Here are some of the “Smart” Meter problems already being reported where they have been installed:

  • *Radiofrequency interference that causes malfunctioning of wireless equipment, such as Wi-Fi and Netflix (7)
  • *Radiofrequency interference that causes malfunctioning of medical and critical-care equipment, such as pacemakers, wireless insulin pumps, pain pumps, ventilators, and baby monitors *Radiofrequency spikes causing appliances to break or malfunction, such as garage doors that won’t open or close properly
  • *Cyber-security breaches [e.g., illegal access to 179,000 accounts at Hydro Toronto]
  • *Excessive billing and inaccurate readings *Interception of personal identity information (electronic eavesdropping) *Safety risks: Electrical fires and explosions(8)

“Smart” meters have not been tested by Underwriters Laboratories and do not carry the “UL” label, required for electronic devices. With their 116-year record and having developed more than 1,000 standards for safety, why is UL certification missing on these meters?

The EMR Policy Institute further notes that

“components of Smart Meters are out of compliance with the National Electric Code (NEC) because they trip the Ground Fault Interrupters and Arc Fault Interrupters, creating a fire hazard. …Un-intentional re-radiation of RF/MW signal (with its higher energy) on the electrical wires may overload wires, particularly in poorly grounded or ungrounded homes, or homes with older wiring or faulty wiring.”(9)

In addition, several types of PG&E [Pacific Gas and Electric] meters with a “switching mode power-supply” (SMPS) “emit sharp spikes of millisecond burst constantly, 24/7.” They have been measured “to emit spikes of up to 50,000Hz and higher. These spikes are known as “dirty electricity,” the subject of physician and epidemiologist Dr. Sam Milham’s new book, “Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization.”(10) Dr. Milham documents a relationship between the high frequency found on buildings and cancer [now at an all-time epidemic high where 1 out of every 2 person will develop it]. Another term for dirty electricity is electrical pollution. Dr. Milham calls that the “universal carcinogen, and ‘Smart’ Meters and oxymoron.”

See his interview: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci5GGqEPeCE

See also: “The Dark Side of Smart Meters”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ionX4ckX8e8

Hertz, abbreviated Hz, is a unit to measure Alternating Current (AC), sound and ocean waves, and electromagnetic waves. It is an internationally recognized measurement equal to 1 cycle per second: e.g., 1,000 cycles per second = 1,000 Hz. It is well known in scientific community that over 33 Hz, these invisible waves of energy damage many aspects of our biology and our ability to think clearly.

In a excellent and informative Brainwave Chart, “Think of Energy, Frequency and Vibration,” done by Bevolution in Denmark, it is clear what this invisible energy does to all living things:

These new meters can be read any time via their continuous wireless linking to the cell-towers. They can detect all your household usage of appliances, lights, etc. This information can be shared with and/or sold to other companies, so you no longer have any privacy. It is a spying device. These meters are not secure. They also can be hacked into, so it is possible for someone to know if you are not home (by lack of power usage). There are also “collector” meters used to gather and transmit RF/microwave radiation signals from various surrounding buildings and then “retransmit RF information for somewhere between 500-5,000 homes or buildings.” In addition, the utility company now also has the ability to control your own usage. Via these new meters, the power company can shut off your home usage, your block or community, or city usage without notifying you. What excuse will people be given, if power is shut off without any notification to customers? Do you remember the Enron debacle, and the enormous overcharging of millions of Californians?

As part of the placement of a nationwide “smart grid,” there are additional plans to have individual power transmitters built into in all new appliances to measure the energy use of each one (washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers, etc.). This means that in every home or apartment there may be dozens of power transmitters for kitchen and laundry appliances that will send energy use, via wireless radio frequency, back to the “Smart” Meter. In addition to a complete lack of safety, are these power transmitters part of untested nano-technology? Are consumers told at point-of-purchase that a new appliance has a power transmitter in it? A consumer must be willing to have these new appliances constantly transmitting power usage to the utility company. Or, they may be mandated via federal legislation.Looming Health Crisis: Wireless Technology and the Toxification of America

Where is there any legal federal mandate for any of this? Marti Oakley’s August 15 article notes: “THERE IS NO FEDERAL SECURITY MANDATE FOR SMART METERS, according to George W. Arnold the national coordinator for smart-grid interoperability at the National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST]. This agency of the US Department of Commerce is said NOT [author emphasis] to be involved in regulations but is only tasked with promoting standards among industries. While both the 2005 and 2007 faux energy bills were codified into public laws, NO part of them creates a federal law pertaining to individual consumers or dictating that the public must be forced to comply with provisions of SMART grid. Contrary to the bleating of manufacturers and utility talking heads, who claim there is no “op out,” the fact is you, the consumer must be offered the meter, or request a meter ‘OPT IN.’ No one can be forced to comply with an unrevealed contract between private corporations, and to which you were never a party and had no knowledge of.”(12)

So far, “Smart” Meters have not been “optional” in most areas around the US and Canada. This is another illegal invasion of our privacy, health, and safety. However, in northern California more than 44 municipalities, including eight counties, “have criminalized the installation of, banned or taken resolutions out against ‘smart’ meters.” In Maine, Central Maine Power Company [CMP], has a $200-million meter project [half of it funded by the federal government] and plans to install 600,000 new meters throughout the state. CMP was taken to court because numerous people became ill, once a new digital “Smart” Meter was installed. A landmark legal decision was made on May 25, 2011, “that represents the first time any [US] state had ordered an electric utility to permit customers the choice to op out of a smart meter program.” Did the attorneys handling this case not know that there was no federal mandate?

Now, Mainers can choose to “op out” but it will cost them to do so. This entire program revolves around money, not around any safety. The Portland Press Herald reported that “if smart meters are banned and the [Maine] program is abandoned…CMP would lose its federal grant and be required to pay back $22 million…and remove the more than 157,000 digital meters already installed. The cost would be borne by all customers” who did not request them in the first place.(13)

In a Letters to the Editor, an irate CMP customer wrote on August 15:

“It comes as somewhat of a shock considering easements have not been passed down through deeds. Without warning, notice, or knowledge that soon we would be a buzzing, humming community of power stations, wires, eyesores, broken promises, diminished property values and broken lands, CMP marches in with smiles as it steals. We…suggest, CMP, you alter your title to Central Maine Cover-up. We think that the next time you barge into someone’s community you have the common decency to inform the residents that you will soon be turning their backyards into industrial wastelands.”(14)

Last February, Connecticut’s Attorney George Jepson sent out a press release urging Connecticut Light and Power Company [CL&P] not “to replace existing electric meters with advanced technology [that] would be very expensive and would not save enough electricity for its 1.2 million customers to justify the expense. …The pilot results showed no beneficial impact on total energy usage…and the savings that were seen in the pilot were limited to certain types of customers and would be far outweighed by the cost of installing new meters.”(15) This press release was ignored.

However, increasingly, city councils and county supervisors are becoming more responsive to valid and serious consumer complaints to reduce constant exposure (24/7/365) to the invisible dangers of RF and EMF [electromagnetic frequency]. These can be documented as causing a variety of health problems for humans and all other animals (from our pets, to farm and wild animals). This constant pulsing of high frequencies, in addition to the RF function, is causing not only interference with other electric and electronic equipment in many homes with smart meters installed, but also is causing havoc with biological systems in its field exposure.”(16)

Health Problems and Damage Many experts are speaking out of the dangers of RF/EMF exposure. Medical journals and scientific reports show that there is DNA damage, cell mutation, degenerative diseases, and damage to vision and clear-thinking (short-term memory and speech are affected).(17)

The protective Blood Brain Barrier has been breached; and there are numerous studies that show that “exposure to low levels pulsed or continuous microwave radiation has been reported to affect neurotransmitter metabolism…” while other studies suggest that “RF radiation can alter the electrical activity of the brain” and changes cognitive function and behavior. Although there has been very little reported in mainstream media, there is extensive information available information on the Internet.

In a recent community TV program, Joshua Hart, Director of Stop Smart Meters! was interviewed on July 24 about the issues. He noted it is now a public health emergency since these were installed. He said: “There has been insufficient privacy protection…and violation of civil liberties.

There is a clear expression of democratic opposition to this program”:

Health problems, due to constant exposure of RF radiation, already reported include: migraines, nausea, vomiting, vision impairment, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), muscle spasms and nerve pain, heart palpitations, chest pain, and sleeplessness caused by intense bursts (pulsing) of radiofrequency radiation that has recently been classified as a “possible carcinogen” by the World Health Organization —in the same category as lead, engine exhaust, and DDT.

Other physical problems relate to people who have metal in their bodies: dental metals (such as silver-mercury amalgams or gold inlays); or wear metal jewelry or metal eyeglasses (the metal intensifies the RF). People with pacemakers, prosthetic devices, and wireless insulin pumps have had medical problems due to RF interference.

Most medical professionals and veterinarians have no training in RF/EMF health-related damage. So, often symptoms can be mis-diagnosed. Some people, such as those who have MCS [Multiple Chemical Sensitivity], are aware of these dangers. However, this is a massive experiment on all living beings without any informed consent. This is not “sensitivity” but a chronic and invisible poisoning to the entire population. Susan Brinchman says “there was no public warning of the health dangers with these new meters that have an unsafe technology. This exposes everyone all the time. There is no escape from electrosmog.”

Here are comments by some of the top authorities: Dr. Martin Blank, Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University: “Cells in the body react to EMF’s as potentially harmful, just like any other environmental toxins, including heavy metals and toxic chemicals. The DNA in living cells recognizes electromagnetic fields at very low levels of exposure [not covered by current outdated laws]; and produces a biochemical stress response. The scientific evidence tells us that our safety standards are inadequate, and that we must protect ourselves from exposure to EMF due to power lines, cells phones and the like, or risk the known consequences. The science is very strong and we should sit up and pay attention.”

Prof. Olle Johansson, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, and co-author of the Bioinitiative Report’s section on the Immune System: “Cancer may be the least important effect [of RF/EMF exposure]. Other effects may be much more important…for instance, the impact on the Immune System which his supposed to protect you against whatever bacteria, microbes, or molecules that enter your body; effects on fertility…effects on various mental functions; including short-term memory. You have concentration capacity decreases after microwave radiation.”

See: www.youtube.com/watch?v-cczGVhd63pM

Dr. David Carpenter, Professor, Environmental Health Sciences, and Director, Institute for Health and the Environment, School of Public Health, University of Albany, State University of NY: “We need to educate decision-makers that ‘business as usual’ is unacceptable. The importance of this public health issue cannot be underestimated.”

See: www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7L21XOC2wA

We are up against the collusion of corporations and governments. In new posting at SmartMetersDangers.org, So CA Edison is regarding the city of Irvine, CA, as a “living laboratory” for using unsuspecting citizens as experimental laboratory subjects. So CA Edison was awarded $39,621,208 from the US DoE [Department of Energy]. The grant notes: “Thus, the project will literally provide a living laboratory for accurately assessing the interoperability of, and interaction between, all of these various Smart Grid technologies and systems working at the same time. The ISGD [Irvine Smart Grid Demonstration] will be deployed in the City of Irvine, and ideal demonstration site typical of most heavily populated areas of Southern California in climate, topography, environmental concerns and public[sic] policy issues.”(18)

What You Can Do

This is an unsafe technology, where we all are experimental lab subjects being used for dangerous levels of invisible but constant RF/EMF exposure. There is already an enormous public health threat to all of us. It is urgent for people to become informed. We must do this peacefully and COLLECTIVELY.

Here are things you can do:

1. Read up on RF/EMF exposure. Do your homework and become well-informed about these dangers. (See NOTES below.)

2. Write to the CPUC [California Public Utilities Commission]. A public meeting is planned for September 14 in San Francisco. Letters can be sent to:  www.electrosmogprevention.org/joinus.html

3. Join together and have public meetings. Demand of public officials that analogue meters be restored at no charge to customers. Where “Smart” meters have not been installed, demand that analogue meters be kept at no charge to customers. In some states, customers are charged up to $500 to op-out; while other power companies are charging a monthly rate to keep analogue meters.

4. People should flood ALL public officials with letters, as this is another way of harming us; and it is a complete invasion of our privacy.

With our economy in chaos and funding of all social services slashed, there are several other news items of note:

1. Thousands of meter readers will be or are already out of work, with these “smart” meters installed. With jobs off-shored and millions of Americans out of work, where will these people find jobs?

2. On June 13, the US Department of Agriculture [USDA] announced that it had a goal of “investing $250 million in smart grid equipment deployment in rural America over the next 12 months.” (Newsroom-magazine.com) Is this tax-payer money? Why are they investing in dangerous technology? Why is there no public discussion?

3. Sempra Energy just posted its second quarter profits. According to PRNewswire (on Aug. 9): “Sempra Energy’s earnings through the first six months of 2011 were $769 million, compared with $328 million in 2010.

4. For the “first six months of 2011, SDG&E (a subsidiary of Sempra Energy) earned $160 million, up from $158 million in the same period last year.”

There is a long history of deception in this country. Much of it involves our being uninformed experimental laboratory subjects for illegal testing of drugs and other products that have caused enormous harm to us. Remember the thalidomide scandal? Or, Toxic Shock Syndrome? Or the most recent one: the 2009 H1N1 Vaccines scam? None of the various “flu” vaccines were ever independently tested for safety. There were numerous reports that the H1N1 “flu” was geo-engineered. With Orwellian scare tactics, and no supporting evidence of any real “pandemic,” millions of doses were “forced” on hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Many children died. I know personally of the one-year-old grandson of a friend who was given an H1N1 vaccine and died two days later. There was no informed consent. No one was ever prosecuted.

Evidence piled up that the WHO pushed for a [false] “Level 6” Pandemic listing when there was no pandemic. What was at stake was billions of dollars for various drug companies to market a variety of unsafe and untested vaccines. Michel Chossudovsky reported on what happened behind the scenes, “Manipulating Data to Justify a Worldwide Public Health Emergency”: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14901

The corporate bottom line is all about profits. The Precautionary Principle [“first do no harm”] and our well being and safety are not included in that. We are all expendable for the bottom line. How much longer do we want to keep silent for continuous harm, lies, and deceit?

NOTES:

1. “The Benefits[sic] of Smart Meters.” California Public Utilities Commission: www.cpuc.ca.gov/energy/Demand+Response.htm

2. See: www.citizensforsafetechnology.org/smart-meters-and-grids-in-communities-governments,25,0

3. “Transmitting Smart Meters Pose a Serious Threat To Public Health”: www.electricalpollution.com/smartmeters.html

4. “See Ref. 4 above.

5. Marti Oakley. “Smart Meters: No Federal Mandate.” Aug. 15, 2011: http://ppjg.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/smart-meters-no-federal-mandate/#more-17629

6. See Ref. 5 above.

7. “Smart Meter Interference.” www.ve3ncq.ca/wordpress/?page_id-10

8. EMR Policy Institute: www.emrpolicy.org  June 5, 2011 Report, p. 2.

9. See Ref. 8 above.

10. See: www.sammilham.com

11. Brainwave Chart: www.bevolution.dk/pdf/BrainwavemodelBevolutionGB.pdf

12. Marti Oakley…See Ref. 5 above. Dr. Arnold previously was V-P for Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories.

13. Tux Turkel. “CMP: Smart meter bills come with huge costs.” April 5, 2011: www.pressherald.com/news/cmp-smart-meter-bills-come-with-huge-costs_2011-04-05.html

14. Dara Leigh Roberts. Letters to the Editor: “CMP’s attitude disdainful about customer’s interests.” Portland Press Herald: Aug. 15, 2011.

15. www.ct.gov/lib/ag/press_releases/2011/020811clpmeters.pdf

16. “New Critical Problem with ‘Smart’ Meters: The Switching-Mode Power Supply (SMPS).” March 30, 2011: http://eon3emfblog.net/?p=2180

17. Important studies include: J. Phillips et al. “Electromagnetic fields and DNA damage. Pathophysiology (2009) Vol. 16, Issue 2: 79-88; M. Dämvik and O. Johansson. “Health Risk Assessment of Electromagnetic Fields: A Conflict between the Precautionary Principle and Environmental Medicine Methodology.” Reviews on Environmental Health (2010) Vol. 25, No. 4: 325-333; A. Frangopoulou et al. The Seletun Scientific Statement. “Scientific panel on electromagnetic field health risks: consensus points, recommendation, and rationales.” Rev Environ Health (Oct.-Dec. 2010) Vol 25, No. 4: 307-317; A. Kosowsky et al. “Effects of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Signal Exposure on Brain Glucose Metabolism.” JAMA. Aug. 1, 2011: http://jama.ama_assn.org/content/305/8/808.abstract; R. Baan et al. “Carcinogenicity of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields.” Lancet Oncology. (June 22, 2011) Vol. 12 Issue 7: 624-626; O. Johansson. “Electrohypersensitivity: state-of-the-art of a functional impairment.” Electromagn Biol Med. (2006) Vol. 25, No. 4: 245-258.

18. “Irvine, CA is Living Laboratory for Smart Grid”: www.smartmeterdangers.org/index.php/smartmeter-facts/95-living-lab]

Other Important Reports: 1. The Seletun Scientific Statement, Feb. 3, 2011: http://vimeo.com/180188440 2. The Bioinitiative Report: www.bioinitiative.org  3. “Health Impacts of Radio Frequency Exposure from Smart Meters.” Final report, April 2011. California Council on Science and Technology. ISBN-13: 978-1-930117-42-6 Also available online. One of the conclusions of this report is: “There is no evidence that additional standards are needed to protect the public from smart meters.” Despite its recent publication, this report is VERY outdated and did not use current research on the significant health dangers. 4. The 2003 EU-REFLEX four-year Study found that “after being exposed to electromagnetic fields, the cells showed significant increase in DNA damage which could not always be repaired by the cell…and damage was also seen in the next generation of cells.” See, “EU REFLEX Project Report”: http://omegatwoday.net/stories/436261

ORGANIZATIONS: 1. www.elecrosmogprevention.org  2. www.smartmeterdangers.org  3. www.emfsafetynetwork.org  4. American Coalition Against Smart Meters: www.causes.com/594297 5. In Canada: www.citizensforsafetechnology.org/smart-meters-and-grids-in-communities-governments,25,0


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Depleted Uranium and Radioactive Contamination in Iraq: An Overview

By Prof Souad N. Al-Azzawi

Global Research,

First published on August 22, 2017

The amount of devastation caused by the Depleted Uranium (DU) weaponry used against Iraq during the consecutive US led wars is historically unprecedented in modern warfare. The devastating magnitude of the complications and damage caused as a result of the use of such radioactive and toxic weapons on the environment and the human population was intensified as a result of the intentional concealment, denial and misleading information released by the Pentagon about the quantities, characteristics, and Iraqi area’s within which these weapons were used.

Information revealed about a severe illness known as the ‘Gulf War Syndrome’ which spread amongst US Army veterans who were exposed to DU while using theseweaponry, helped Iraqi researchers and Medical Doctors to understand the nature of the effect of these weapons, and the means required to investigate further into this issue.

DU is a chemically toxic and radioactive heavy metal produced as waste by the nuclear power industry. It is used in weapons because it is an extremely hard material capable of piercing armor.

The synergistic impact on health due to the 1991post-Gulf War1 economic sanctions, and DU related radioactive and toxic contamination, raised the number of casualties in contaminated areas such as in Southern Iraq.

During 2003, the invading forces used additional rounds of DU in heavily populated areas such as Baghdad, Samawa, Fallujah, Diyala, Najaf, Salahuddin, Basra and Nasiriya (again), and other cities.

The continual use of DU after-Gulf War I in 1991, then during and after the US led military operations in 2003 invasion of Iraq increased the total contamination area with DU in Iraq. Consequently, civilians in previously contaminated areas received an extra dose of radioactivity after 2003. An action that can only be interpreted as committing unseen genocide against the unarmed civilian population in these areas.

Accordingly, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have received higher doses of radioactivity than those received from standard natural sources of radiation. As a result, a multifold increase of diseases related to Low Level Radiation (LLR) exposure have been registered amongst Iraqis since 1995, including an increase of children’s leukemia, congenital malformations, breast cancer etc…

The leukemia incidence rates for instance, shifted towards younger children during these recent years, and its association with geographically distributed contaminated areas, offers strong evidence of the correlation between LLR exposure, and the resulting health damages.

Through this paper, an overview of major scientific DU conclusions will be presented, drawn from investigations and research conducted since the year 1991 by Iraqi researchers and MDs. This research was never published outside Iraq because of the comprehensive sanctions imposed on Iraq from (1991-2003). They were published only in Iraqi University peer reviewed journals and two related conferences.  Schemes of the research papers can be classified into three categories:

  1. DU contamination detection and exploration programs.
  2. DU effects on human body cells.
  3. DU related epidemiological studies.

1.0 Introduction:

Depleted Uranium (DU) weaponry has been used against Iraq since the Gulf War 1 in 1991. An estimated (DU) expenditure of 320 – 800 tons were shot mainly on the withdrawing Iraqi troops from Kuwait to the north of Basra City [ 1].

The use of (DU) ammunition on Iraqi territory never stopped since 1991. Different generations of (DU) supported Tomahawk missiles & Bunker Buster Bombs [1] have been used during the 90’s on what were known as the No-Fly Zones (Northern & Southern regions of Iraq), and during the attack on Iraq in 1998. Bombing Iraq with DU continued during the military operations of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, then afterwards in other cities which resisted the occupation of Iraq [2].

With the comprehensive sanctions imposed on Iraq in 1991, the United States & its allies used radioactive & toxic weapons to exhaust Iraq’s institutions & population to prepare for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Using extra hundreds of tons of (DU) expenditure   during the invasion of Iraq made the radioactive contamination situation more complicated.

For many years the US-UK led armed forces avoided any release of information about the amounts, types, and locations of the targets destroyed by these weapons within Iraqi territories [2]. As a result, thousands of Iraqi children and their families in West Basra were repeatedly exposed for extended durations to DU low-level radiation (LLR) and toxic effects. Many researchers have found a direct correlation between this exposure, and the significant increase of certain diseases such as congenital malformations, malignancies, congenital heart diseases, chromosomal aberration, and multiple malformations in Basra [3].

Right after Gulf War 1, European and American Anti-DU activists and NGO’s issued many publications identifying the harmful effects of DU on-Gulf War veteran health and Iraqi population. These publications helped Iraqi researchers start a series of exploration research programs to define DU contaminated areas in Iraq, and to estimate the radiation doses the civilian population in Southern Iraq and the Iraqi troops located there were exposed to during military operations in 1991. The programs also set out to assess the risk level related to contamination levels in the surrounding environment.

These exploration research programs were performed under severely constrained conditions allowing very limited technical resources because of the US imposed economic sanctions on Iraq during the 90’s posing a serious scientific challenge at the time.

Conducting these researches under the tight conditions and very limited technical and other resources under the economic sanctions was a serious scientific challenge at the time since the American and British occupation forces:

  • Forbidding any release of information related to types, amounts, and locations of targets destroyed by DU projectiles, and any statistics related to Iraqi army and civilian casualties after the occupation of 2003 [4].
  • Refusal to clean up contaminated areas (as was performed by the same named troops) in Kuwait [5].
  • International agencies were prohibited the right to conduct full (DU) related exploration programs and risk assessments by US led occupying forces [6] the way they did in Kosovo [7]. Such an act indicates that these forces are relying on time to dissipate these contaminants with the purpose that the evidence of this crime be lost. Such assessment with proper resources, experts, and technology would link, with conclusive evidence, the harmful health impacts with exposure to DU oxidesamong the population of the contaminated areas.

Using such weapon and related misleading information can be considered as war crimes. They represent grave breach of the Geneva Convention and international law becausethese weapons have caused and continue to cause undifferentiated harm and suffering to civilian populations in all contaminated areas long after the end of the military operations [8].

DU contamination mechanism and health impacts

Dr Rosalie Bertell, a radiology scientist wrote in 2006 [9]; when DU munitions hit the target, they ignite prophetically and generate heat that reaches a temperature of (3000-6000°C). This heat causes a sublimation of DU and other metals to form a gas or aerosol in the forming DU nanoparticles. The nanoparticles can cross the lung-blood barrier and gain entrance to the cells resulting in the creation of free radicals. This is an effect of ionizing radiation. The other effect of DU comes from the fact that it is classified as a toxic heavy metal. Heavy metal toxicity attacks the proteins in the human tissue cells which normally fights the free radicals and creates additional free radicals [9]. This causes an oxidative stress that leads to failure of protective enzymes, damaging the cellular communication system and the mitochondria. Free radicals can also disrupt the protein’s folding process of (DNA). This misrouting of proteins causes certain diseases such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes insipidus and cancer. The amassing and accumulation of misfolded proteins leads to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease. Gulf veterans have manifested many of the symptoms of these neurodegenerative diseases. Other effects are:

  • Immune and Hormonal systems’ damage
  • Distribution of thyroid function
  • Mycoplasmal Invasion to human body
  • Teratogenic Toxicity, where soluble DU oxides crosses the placenta to the fetus. As a result, damages might range from behavioral problems to mental retardation and congenital malformations.

Studies have shown that the Gulf War1 male veterans were twice as likely- and female veterans almost three times as likely- to report children with birth defects than counterparts who did not serve in the first Gulf War [9].

In her analysis, Dr. Bertell further emphasized that the carcinogenic properties of Uranium are linked the weakening the immune system of individuals, and showing that a depressed immune system often changes the status of subclinical cancer into clinically diagnosable cancer. Other related important studies related to these aspects are of Miller, A. et al [10] [11], Hindin et al [12], and Schroder [13].

The existence of radioactive DU oxides in these areasis considered ascontinuous source of exposure to both toxins and harmful radioactivity. It also represents a continuous and systematic attack on the civilian population each time DU oxide contaminated dust storm blow on the city of Basra and all surrounding areas tens of years to come.

In this paper, the genuine scientific efforts of the Iraqi scientists and researchers who tried hard to define DU contaminated areas in Southern Iraq after Gulf War 1 of 1991, and to show a correlation with its perceived consequences on general population health, all while under the US-UK led economic sanctions imposed on Iraq will be reviewed.

Most of these studies couldn’t find their way to internationally peer-reviewed journals because of the comprehensive sanctions imposed on Iraq, even though they have been published in Iraqi University peer-reviewed scientific journals in addition to the proceedings of two DU and War Consequences scientific conferences (1998, 2002).

It is also an obligation to let the world know that some of these studies cost the authors their lives after the occupation of Iraq in 2003. One of them is Dr. Alim Abdul Hameed Yacoub (Dean of Basra Medical College) who was killed, along with his son, when his car was forced off the highway on the way to his home town of Basra after being attacked and threatened twice at his home by pro-occupation militias two weeks before his death. They cost other researchers their freedom, such as Dr. Huda Ammash who was accused of being (Lady Anthrax) and imprisoned without any real accusation for 3 years just because she conducted very important research on Iraqi Armed Forces veterans who were exposed to DU weapons.

In addition to the assassination of about 500 Iraqi scientists after the US led invasion of Iraq by US trained Death Squads and pro-occupation militias, in what appears to be measures taken to discontinue any kind of scientific research in Iraq including DU-related research [14] in occupied Iraq.

2.0 Schemes of DU related research that have been conducted and published in Iraq (1991-2003):

Studies in this paper are classified into the following schemes:

  1. Detection and modeling of DU contaminated areas through site measurements and laboratory tests
  2. Epidemiological Studies Related to (DU) Contamination Health Effects.
  3. Pathological Studies of DU Effects on Human Health

2.1 Detection and modeling of DU contaminated areas through site measurements and laboratory tests

In 1993 the first Iraqi team of researchers from the Iraqi Atomic Commission and the College of Science in University of Baghdad [15][16] investigated with very limited information and a Sampling Program the increase of DU related radioactivity in selected areas West of Basra. Destroyed Iraqi tanks and vehicles contaminated upon destruction with DU ammunition were still laying around these areas. The areas included: Northern Rumaila oil fields, Al-Shamia, Kharanje, Southern Rumaila oil field, and Jabal Sanam. Exposure measurements revealed the existence of DU contamination in the studied areas. Tables 1, 2, and 3 show the results of these measurements. As we can see from the results not allsampled tanks and Iraqi artilleries have been destroyed by DU projectiles.

Table (1) Field Measurements of 1993 at North Rumela Area [15]

Table (2): Field Measurements of 1993 at Shamia Airfield /Khudairat al-Audhaimi Area [15]

Table (3): Field Radioactivity Measurements of 1993 at DMZ and Surrounding Area [15]

In 1996 Al-Azzawi, S.N. and her team conducted a comprehensive exploration program through the Environmental Engineering Department in University of Baghdad [17] [18] [19][20][21] [22][23].  The program involved taking hundreds of exposure measurements, soil and destroyed targets smear samples, surface water and channels sediments samples, bio-samples from vegetation cover, fish, and grazing animal tissues.  Sampling included areas of heavy military engagement during the first Gulf War of 1991 such as Safwan, Jabal Sanam, al-Zubair, Northern Rumaila oil fields, and Southern Rumaila Oil Fields (Figures 1 and 2). The measurements and tests were part of the academic requirements of three Masters of Engineering degree thesis in Environmental Engineering.

A BGS-4 gamma-ray scintillation counter was used to measure onsite exposure. The counters were used for 124 field exposure measurements in and around the destroyed tanks and other military vehicles. High purity germanium detectors were used to test 124 soil and sediment samples, 58 surface and groundwater samples and 158 bio-samples in the Laboratory of Environmental Radiation in the Iraqi Atomic Organization. All field measurements were supervised and by specialists from Iraqi atomic energy organization and according to IAEA related standards. Also, all laboratory tests were conducted during continuous visits and checking of UN/US inspection teams to all the latter organization’s activities.

Selected measurements from 1996 exploration program results are shown in (Table 5). Modeling pollution transport from hundreds of destroyed artilleries to surrounding areas till 1996 shows the spreading of DU contamination in the area from 1991 – 1996 [17] [18] [19]:

  • 1,718 km² of soil contaminated with DU oxides and particles,
  • 140,000 m² of channel sediments,
  • 845,100 tons of vegetation cover

Table 5: Selected Exposure and Soil Radioactivity Measurements From the 1996 exploration program [17] [18]

T: Destroyed Tank        A: Destroyed Armored Vehicle

Risk assessment related to previous measurements showed that people in the Western part of Basra City, and the Iraqi and American troops received a total whole body radioactive dosage of (442 – 577) mSv [24], mostly during the first six months of the 1991 Gulf War military operations. Comparing this value with the background annual radioactivity vlue of (2.4 mSv) we can see that this amount is about 200 times more than normal natural radioactivity the human body receives. Findings of  the predicted health damages related to these doses were defined and published at the time[25].

In 1999 – 2000 a follow-up exploration program in the same contaminated area of West Basra was conducted by (Al-Azzawi and Al Nuiamy, 2002) [24] [25]. The program included radioactivity measurements of site exposure, soil sediments, water samples, and laboratory tests. Samples were collected from previously studied areas plus areas where most of the DU contaminated tanks and wreckage were collected and unfortunately placed on the banks of Wafaa Al Qaied waterway causing further contamination.

Results of this program indicated the existence of higher than natural background radioactivity in some of the soil samples and sediments from nearby surface water channels sediments in the areas but in general the radioactivity was less than that of 1996. Sand and dust storms with the weathering process contributed to the dispersion of these contaminants to nearby populated areas.More than (127) days of dust storms used to hit that area since the Nineties of last century [26].Depleted Uranium: An Iraqi Scientist Speaks Out on the Lingering Effects of Radioactive Weapons

Also in 1999-2000 Al-Azzawi, Maarouf and Al-Mousori conducted an exploration program to check of the possibility of radiological contamination in Ninevah Governorate and its center Mosul City, after being attacked in 1998 by new generations of Cruise missiles (AGM 154 J50W) on three targets on the Eastern bank of Tigris River in Mosul city. The program also involved checking the extension of The Chernobyl Plume on Iraqi territories after 13 years [27].

The field measurements using Portable Scintillation Counter have proved that there is clear radiological pollution in the study area. The measured average exposure rate was 11.38 µR.h-1 in Mosul city and 10.11 µR.h-1 in Nineveh governorate which are more than the background level of the study area that amounted to 7.0 µR.h-1.

The laboratory tests have also shown an increase in Ra-226 concentrations which is one daughter of the decay series of U-238. The tested maximum concentration of Ra-226 is 146 Bq.kg-1 in Mosul City and 107 Bq.kg-1 in Nineveh governorate, while the background level calculated in these regions should be 55 Bq.kg-1. This is an indication that the increase can be attributed to the pollution of the study area by Uranium weaponry and that the missiles used to destroy these targets contain Uranium radioisotopes.

The Pentagon kept denying the existence of radiological contamination and the harmful effects of DU on human population and environment. They also accused the findings of the Iraqi research teams during the Nineties as (Iraqi regime propaganda).

After 4 years under the US occupation of Iraq comes the proof from the occupation assigned Iraqi government that all our work was genuine and scientifically credible.

During the National Meeting on Radiological Pollution in Iraq, held in Mansur Melia Hotel in Baghdad, the Minister of Environment in Iraq Narmeen Othman presented the results of the environmental radiological assessment that were conducted in 2007 in some areas of Iraq including Northern and Southern Oil Fields in Southern Iraq after a significant increase of registered cancer cases (as being mentioned in that meeting) [28]. Results of that assessment shows the following:

  • In Rumaila Oil Fields 48 sites were found radiologically contaminated
  • Among the 17 stations of Northern Rumaila Oil Fields, eight sites were found contaminated with radioactive radionuclide
  • Also Phase one of that environmental radiological assessment showed 264 radiologically contaminated samples as follows:
  • In Samawa area 202 samples were collected. 71 soil samples, 10 water samples, 106 dust smear samples. And one vegetation cover sample. Contaminated samples were 36 sample.
  • In Zubair area, 62 samples. 41 of them contaminated.
  • In Basra area, 103 samples. 62 samples were radiologically contaminated.
  • In Nasrya area, 153 samples. 49 of them were contaminated.

It is noteworthy to highlight the fact that these findings come after 15 years of the original exploration programs we have conducted in these areas [ ] [ ].

Tawfiq, N. F. et al in 2000 [29] measured alpha-emitters concentrations in soil samples from different Iraqi cities using Solid State Nuclear Track detectors CR-39 and CN-85. Her team found high concentration radioisotopes measurements of (7.8) ppm in Muthana governorate (Samawa City).

The Dutch troops later in 2003 refused to camp in Samawa City, due to high DU related radioactivity detected by those troops [30]. After few days, they finally moved to a nearby desert area. It was also confirmed that New York Guardsmen serving in Samawa city during 2003 were exposed to DU [31].

Tawfiq research team also confirmed that other cities with higher radioisotope concentrations in soil than that of the area’s background levels which typically range in (1.02-2.2) PPM were: Basra (7.2) ppm, Nasirya (Al-Shatra city) (6.2) ppm. These locations fell on withdrawing Iraqi troops withdrawal route from Kuwait in Jan 1991. The same route the Iraqi troops were intercepted and destroyed by US DU weapons.

In 2000, Al-Gurabi, S. and her team measured DU related increases in radioactivity along the areas bordering Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. They also measured Northern Rumaila Oil Field and areas to the Northwest of Basrah City [32]. Results showed higher activity concentrations of DU related radioisotopes in all investigated areas except the center of Basrah City.

Butras, Wartan and Butras in (2000-2001) [33] measured radioactivity in three different areas of Basrah using Alpha and Beta measuring LB1200 detectors. The measured areas:

A: Iraqi-Saudi-Kuwaiti borders

B: Qurna city, Zubair city, Faw and Umm Kasir seaports.

C: Shatt Al-Arab district in Basra

Results proved the existence of higher radioactivity measurements than background levels of (18*10-3) mRem/hr in area (A) after 10 years of the war. Umm Kasir area registered (10 * 10-3) mRem/hr, compared to normal background levels in the area are within the range of (7 * 10-3) mRem/hr [33].

During the year 2000, Al-Kinani, et al [34] collected (11) soil samples from Safwan, Southern Rumaila and the unarmed border zone using a gamma radiation detector. Results indicated that (7) of these samples were contaminated with DU radioisotopes. Sample (SSI) U235/U238 ratio was found to be (0.00351) which indicates high DU contamination a destroyed tank in that area. Other ratios ranged between (0.0041-0.0037).

Dozens of other studies were conducted and published in Arabic or English peer-reviewed scientific journals of various Iraqi universities. Those published investigation programs were all conducted by well-known professors and researchers who followed the IAEA and other international scientific standards’ procedures.  Researches and radiological laboratory tests that were done in conjunction with the environmental department of the Iraqi Atomic Commission were searched and reviewed by periodic UN inspection teams’ visits and the IAEA teams. These teamswere inspecting all the activities throughout the nineties until the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The Radiation Protection Centre (RPC) has also identified between 300 and 365 contaminated sites by 2006. Most of them located in the Basra region in Southern Iraq [35 ]

2.2 Epidemiological Studies Related to (DU) Contamination Health Effects:

Many epidemiological studies were conducted in contaminated cities to define the correlation between (DU) contamination and the increase of malignancy incidence rates and congenital malformation in Basra Governorate for example. Most of these studies were performed by faculty members of Al-Basra College of Medicine since 1995. Some of these studies were published in the University of Basra Medical Journal. Others were presented in the two Iraqi conferences about the effect of economic sanction and (DU) weaponry used against humans and the environment in Iraq, held in 1998 and 2002 respectively.

Results of these studies pointed out a very clear trend concerning the existence of correlation between contamination and the resulted increase of the related diseases in geographically contaminated areas. Among others, the following studies are specifically important:

  • Alim Yacoub et al, 1998 [36] [37] presented an analysis of recorded cases of registered malignant diseases among children under 15 years of age in Basra for the period (1990 – 1997). This analysis showed a rise of 60% in children’s leukemia from 1990 to 1997. Also, a 120% increase in all malignant cases among children under the age of 15 for the same period were registered. The study also showed the shift of age distribution of leukemia cases towards younger than 5 years of age from 13% in 1990 to 41% of total cases in 1997.
  • Al-Sadoon, et al, 1998 [38] showed a threefold increase in congenital malformations registered cases in 1998 compared to 1990 in Basra city. Congenital heart diseases, chromosomal aberrations, and multiple malformations all indicate exposure to teratogenic environmental factor.
  • Alim Yacoub, et al, 1999 [39] also introduced an analysis of the incidence and pattern of malignant diseases in Basra from the analysis of the histopathological reports of Basra University Teaching Hospital for the period 1990-1997.

The study indicated that there was a rise of about 160% in reported cases of uterine cancer in 1997 compared to 1990 and an increase of 143% in thyroid cancer cases in 1997 compared to 1990 recordings. Also, a 102% increase in breast cancer and 82% rise in lymphomas in 1997 compared to 1990.

The records also indicated a shift in the types of the five major leading malignancies in Basra in 1997 such as breast, bladder, lymphomas, uterine, and skin cancers. While those of 1990 were malignant diseases of bladder, skin, breast, lung, and larynx.

  • Alim Yacoub, Imad Al-Sadoon and Jenan Hasan, 2002 presented a paper [40] that examines the association between exposure to DU radiation and the rising incidence of malignancies among children in Basra through time sequence criteria, and dose-response criteria through the geographical shift of the increase of incidence rates in Al-Zubair and other Western areas from less than 5/100,000 prior to 1993 to 22/100,000 in 2000  compared to only Al-Hartha area (North of Basrah) only prior to 1993 (with the highest incidence rates of 10/100,000 in 1993). They also tested the biological plausibility criteria through the shift of the increase of leukemia incidence rate towards younger ages of less than 5 years old after 1995.

Yacoub et al, 2002, couldn’t explain the reason behind the constant increase of malignancies incidence rates among children in Al-Hartha district in Northern Basra City, figure from (10 incidents / 100,000) to (42.7 / 100,000) in the year 2000.

This increase can be attributed to the existence of the largest electrical power generation and transformation facilities in Iraq of 800 MW. This power plant was destroyed during air raids several times first week of bombing in 1991. Nobody measured the radioactivity in Al-Hartha power plant, which might be also destroyed with DU expenditure.

We must be aware that these epidemiological studies were limited to Basra General Hospital, which is the education hospital of Basra Medical College. The mentioned number of cancer incidence cases and congenital malformations would be a lot higher if the studies involved all hospitals of Basra.

  • Abbas Ali & Jawad al Ali, 2002 [41] presented an evaluation of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) annual incidence which started to rise from 1995 up to the year 2000, when the increase began to plateau.
  • Pathological Studies of DU Effects on Human Health

Dr. Huda Ammash- Professor of Molecular Biology in the College of Science in University of Baghdad, 1998, presented a paper on the mechanisms of toxicity induced by free radicals resulting from irradiation with DU and ionization of the atmosphere in Iraq [42] [43]. This paper pinpointed the need for DU toxicity studies on enzymes (SOD), Caralase, hydrogenates and Glyceraldehydes Dehydrogenates levels. She also presented the multi aborative cases on the DNA level where out of 50 studied cases, 29 cases were found with DNA abnormalities (with no hereditary evidence). Other multi aborative cases investigating the toxoplasmosis effect showed that out of 130 cases, over 65% more were infected than those recorded in 1989.

Muhammed, Z.T. et al, 2002, [44] published a paper about the effects of DU radiation on the human immune system enzyme. A group of (26) Iraqi veterans who were exposed to DU radiation with (43) control individuals were all subjected to tests for Adenosine DA Amines (ADN) enzyme activity. Results indicated mean activity of the enzyme of the exposed individuals of (0.184 ±0.016) U/gm protein, while the unexposed individual’s enzyme activity (0.291 ±0.022) U/gm protein.

ADA enzyme activity in the exposed individuals were found to be significantly lower than the control group. P<0.05 significant correlation coefficient was found between ADA activity as an important immune enzyme and related clinical signs and symptoms related to defective cellular immune functions.

Ammash, H., Alwan, L. and Marouf, B.A.,2002, published a paper (in Arabic) [45] about the results of Genetic hematological analysis for a group of individuals who live in DU contaminated areas in Southern Iraq. Blood tests for the (47) individuals who lived in Basra contaminated areas and other (30) individuals as a control group who lived in Baghdad. The research included other clinical and correlated factors.

Blood tests included hemoglobin concentration, packed cell volume test (PCV), total count (WBC) test and chromosomal changes and defects tests. Factors such as exposure type and exposure time due to nature of work were taken into consideration (45% of the studied groups are from Iraqi troops who were involved in military engagements of the Gulf War 1). The others were civilians who lived in contaminated areas.

The test results of the study clearly showed that a 21% of the studied individuals in Basra group suffered a reduction in hemoglobin concentration of (9-13) g/dl.

The other 79% of the individuals from Al-Basrah studied groups with normal hemoglobin concentrations of (12-15) g/dl and (13-18) g/dl for males and females in the group respectively.

The blood Packed Cell Volume (PCV) test results showed that 25.5% of the Basrah study group showed abnormal (PCV) rates of (30-39) % less than the normal rate. One male’s individual blood (PCV) was 3% higher than normal. Other individuals’ blood (PCV) in the studied group had normal rates ranging between (40-54) %.

Total count of white blood cells (WBC) test results showed that 8% of the individuals in the Basrah study group had less than normal (WBC) which is 4000 c/ml or higher than the normal rate or (11000) c/ml. Control group individuals all had normal (WBC).

Compound chromosomal changes in the lymphocytes of peripheral blood of the individuals of the Basra study group had been found to have a ratio of (0.1118) % which is significantly higher than that of the control group. The ratio of dicentric and ring centric chromosomal abnormality fraction was found to be (0.04479) which is also higher than the ordinary ratio. Chromosomal damages were mostly in male veteran individuals. One case was that of a 13-year-old at the time of exposure in Al-Zubair contaminated area.

From the Veterinary College of Basra University, Khadier, A.A. et al, 2000[46] conducted a study to detect levels of DU related radioactivity in pastures and animals within the contaminated areas of Safwan, Al-Zubair, N. Rumaila, Jabal Sanam, Kharanj Village, etc.

Blood samples from sheep and other grazing animals were collected. Analysis of blood samples using Lyoluminescence and Track Detectors proved the existence of very small concentrations of radioisotopes in a few sheep that fed from and around the destroyed artillery and tanks within the studied areas. It is believed the polluted dust on the leaves was the source of radioisotopes in the tested blood samples.

Al-Sadi, H.I. and Sawad, A. 2002 [47] from the Veterinary College of the University of Basrah also presented a study about the pathological conditions of the animals in Basrah. The study reported the existence of three types of animal neoplasm; seminoma in rams, mesotheliomas in buffalo, and ovarian cystadenomas in female dogs.

These types of neoplasms have never been reported in these regions before the Nineties. Also, some types of congenital defects in farm animals have been described.

2.4 Other related studies after the occupation of Iraq (post 2003)

The American and British armed forces used Depleted Uranium weapons during the military operations of Iraq’s invasion and occupation in 2003. As usual they wouldn’t admit or release information where and the amounts they have used to prevent the civilian population the extra exposure to more of these toxic and radioactive munitions. The UK government in 2010 admitted that British forces fired less than three tons of DU in 2003 [48].

The American armed forces kept lying and misleading the public until the findings of a DU related research published by the European organization PAX in collaboration with the ICBDUW and George Mason University of America. The research confirmed the use of about 181000 shells of depleted uranium or about 200 tons (Wim Zwijnenburg and Doug Weir, 2016). The research also identified the places where it was used [2]. Maps and illustrations showed that US forces fired these DU projectiles in most densely populated cities this at the time, including Basra, Baghdad, Najaf, Amarah, Tikrit, Karbala, Falluja and Baquba, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5: Areas bombed by DUweapons during the 2003 Iraqi occupation in 2003[2].

In 2006 and 2007 technical staff from the Iraqi Radiation Protection Centre collected environmental samples at four selected sites in Southern Iraq, namely As Samawah, Al Nassiryah, Al Basrah and Al Zubayr [49]. Since no information from US/UK armed forces defines where they used the DU ammunition in 2003!!because this information wasreleased in 2016 [2]. It seems clear that the samples were collected from previously identified DU contaminated areas of 1991.

A total of 520 samples of soil, water, vegetation, and smear tests, were taken. collected samples were shipped from Iraq to the Spiez Laboratory in Switzerland, which, on behalf of UNEP, analyzed them using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS). The radioanalytical results were then made available to the IAEA to make a prospective estimation of the radiation doses to the Iraqi population living in the above-mentioned four locations and the associated radiological risks [49].

The results of that very limited investigation program stated that:

“annual radiation doses to the public that could arise from the various types of exposure scenarios were calculated. based on the measurements carried out on the samples collected in this study. The radiation doses from DU were found sufficiently low not pose a radiological hazard to the population living at the four studied locations” [49 ].

That meansIAEA built their dose calculations on measured radioactivity in 2006, while contamination in these areas exist since 1991 (because all these areas were included in our exploration programs and researches in the Nineties as mentioned previously) [17] [18 ] [29] The risk assessment should have included cumulative radiation doses of all paths for the period 1991 to 2006,  and not as they calculated from the instant they measured in 2006 (as an isolated event).

Soil concentration and activity values of the contaminants also should have been calculated back to their 1991 values and not its value in 2006 where its been dissipating and decaying for more than 15 years.

The risk assessment calculations IAEA adopted, depending on the following pathways [49 ]:

I Inhalation of soil re-suspended by the action of wind or human activities;

II Inhalation of re-suspended dust inside military vehicles hit by DU munitions;

III. Ingestion of soil;

  1. Ingestion of vegetables;
  2. Ingestion of and drinking water.”

Remember that in IAEA risk calculations they considered the exposed population live above these areas??, while dominant wind direction in Iraq and during dust storms is NW-SE [50].  That means they should have measure additional doses from contaminants blowing down from Samawa city on Nasiriya, Basra, and Zubair cities from 1991-2006, and so on of all other cities, check locations of these cities in figure.

Figure 5: Map of Iraq showing locations of cities involved in IAEA risk assessment(Samawa, Nasiriya, Basra, and Zubair).

IAEA risk assessment missed two other important pathways:

  1. Ingestion of contaminated meat, milk, and other items of food chain.
  2. Absorption of DU oxides through skin and immersion in emitted Radon cloud.

If we take all these factors in the calculation of the risk assessment the value would be hundreds of times higher than what IAEA team calculated.

During 2004 and 2005, after the US military assault on Falluja and the destruction of more than 50% of it, tests on city residents who had children or lost embryos suffered from congenital malformations showed that there were more concentrations of uranium than normal in their bodies (Alaani et al.,2012) [51]

Alaani et al, 2012 [52] published results have drawn attention to increases in congenital birth anomalies and cancer in Fallujah Iraq blamed on teratogenic, genetic and genomic stress thought to result from depleted Uranium contamination following the battles in the town in 2004.  Hair samples from 25 fathers and mothers of children diagnosed with congenital anomalies were analyzed for Uranium and 51 other elements suggest the enriched Uranium exposure is either a primary cause or related to the cause of the congenital anomaly and cancer increases. Thus, raised about the characteristics and composition of weapons now being deployed in modern battlefields.

Chris Busby, Malak Hamdan, and Entesar Ariabi, 2010 [53] Published a paper that concludes  results confirm the reported increases in cancer and infant mortality which are alarmingly high in Falluja. Also, the paper confirms a remarkable reduction in the sex ratio in the cohort born one year after the fighting in 2004 identifies that year as the time of the environmental contamination.

Samira T. Abdulghani, et al. [54] paper about “Perinatal and neonatal mortality in Fallujah General Hospital, Fallujah City, Anbar Province, west of Iraq.” Scientific Research, Open Access.  http://www.scirp.org/journal/OpenAccess.aspx.

Dr Jawad al Ali, 2005 [55] published a paper about variable degrees of increased rates of cancers in Basra, particularly breast cancer, lymphomas, lung, colo-rectal ovaries, soft tissues and kidneys.

He added that Cancers which show no increase include the cancers of stomach, uterus and skin cancers. The overall incidences over the year showed tangible increase particularly during the year 2005.

Geographical distribution: the highest rate was in the west of Basra followed by the center of Basra, eastern area and the lowest is at the northern area. The age risk: the data showed massive increase in risk with age. The lowest rate is for the children less than five years (11.4/100.000). The highest rate was for the age group more than 65 years

(541.9/100.000). The total incidence rate was 59.1/100.000.

Conclusion

  • The USA and UK continuously used Depleted Uranium weapons against the population and environment in Iraq from 1991 until today.
  • Occupation intentionally denied and covered up the types, locations and amounts of DU projectiles that have been used in Iraq to prevent taking measures that could have reduce health damages on civilians resulting from the exposure to cumulative doses of these contaminants.
  • Occupation forces prohibited UNEP, WHO and other international agencies to conduct any exploration programs to detect DU contamination and assess the health risks and clean up remedies during the way it has been conducted in Serbia and Kosovo.
  • Forbidding the release of any casualties statistics by the health ministry of the occupation assigned government in Iraq right after the occupation of Iraq is another crime to cover up the magnitude of human lives losses related to the occupation of Iraq.
  • Exploration programs and site measurements proved without a doubt that the existence of DU related radioactive contamination all over most of Iraq (except the northern area of Kurdistan).
  • Published epidemiological studies in Basrah introduced a clear correlation between DU related exposure and the multifold increase of malignancies, congenital malformations, and multiple malformations among the population in DU contaminated areas.
  • Other pathological and hematological studies indicated the existence of chromosomal and DNA aberrations and abnormalities in the 1991 Iraqi Gulf War veterans. Other studies proved their effects on lowering the activities of the human immune system in exposed individuals.
  • Intentional continuous use of DU against the people and environment of Iraq is a crime against humanity due to its undifferentiated harmful health impacts on civilian long times after the military operations. Existing DU contamination in the surrounding environment is a continuous source of exposure to civilian’s population, and can be considered as systematic attacks on civilians in each DU contaminated dust storm blown on these cities. Article 4 of the official regulations and Article 7 of the ICC.

Notes 

[1] William, Dai. 2002. “Hazards of Uranium weapons in proposed war on Iraq”, sept. 22nd, 2002. The Eos life-work resource center.

Updated 27 October 2002. http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/u231.html.

[2] Wim Zwijnenburg and Doug Weir, 2016. Targets of Opportunity; Analysis of the use of depleted uranium by A-10s in the 2003 Iraq War. A joint investigation by PAX and ICBUW. Published on www.paxforpeace.nl website.

[3] Asaf Durakoviæ.1999.” Medical Effects of Internal Contamination with Uranium”. CMJ online. March 1999 (Volume 40, Number 1).

http://www.fukuleaks.org/edanoleaks/Scribble_Japan_Earthquake/pdfs/medical_effects_cmj.pdf.

[4] USA Today, 2003, Iraq’s Health Ministry ordered to stop counting civilian dead from war, Dec. 12 2003.

[5] Kirby, A., 2003, “US rejects Iraq DU clean-up”, BBC news online, April 14th 2003.

[ 6] Sunday Herald, “WHO suppressed scientific study into depleted uranium cancer fears in Iraq”. Feb 22, 2004.

[7] Depleted Uranium sites in Kosovo detailed by UNEP. http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=189&ArticleID=2741.

[8] Karen Parker,  2007.”War Crimes Committed by the United States in Iraq and Mechanisms for Accountability”. Consumers for peace. Oct.10, 2007.

[9] Rosalie Bertell, 2006. “Depleted Uranium: All the Questions about Du and Gulf War Syndrome are Not Yet Answered”. International journal of Health services.

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.2190/13JL-9LHM-FMR4-0V7B.

[10] Miller, A. et al. “Genomic instability in human osteoblast cells after exposure to depleted Uranium: Delay lethality and micronuclei formation”. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. vol.64(2-3), 2003 (PP 247-259).

[11] Miller, A. et al, “Effect of the military-relevant heavy metal, depleted uranium and heavy metal tungsten-alloy on gene expression in human liver carcinoma cells (HepG2).” Mol. Cell Biochem. vol. 255(1-2). Jan. 2004 (PP. 247-56).

[12] Hindin, R., Brugge, D. and Panikkar, B. (2005), ‘Teratogenicity of Depleted Uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological perspective’, Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source, 4:17, http://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-069X-4-17.

[13] Chroder, H. et al. “Chromosome aberration analysis in peripheral lymphocytes of Gulf War and Balkans War veterans”. Radiation Prot. Dosimetry. Vol. 103(3) 2003 (PP. 211-219).

[14] Spanish Campaign against the Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq.

Iraq Solidaridad 2005-2013. “The killing of Iraqi Academics: A War to Erase the Future and Culture of Iraq.” List of Iraqi academics assassinated in Iraq during the US-led occupation. http://www.iraqsolidaridad.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/List-of-Iraqi-academics-assassinated-November-2013.pdf.

[15] International Conference on DU, 2000, “Health, ecological, legal, and economic aspects of conventional radioactive weapons”, Committee of Solidarity   with the Arab Cause, Nov. 26-2, 2000, Gehone, Spain.

[16] Iraq Foreign Affairs Ministry, 1995, “Radiation effects”, an official paper submitted by the Iraqi delegation to the briefing meeting on nuclear liability during the 42nd Session of the General Conference, Vienna, 1995.

[17] Al-Azzawi, S., Maarouf, B., Seleh, M.J., Al-Saji, M., Al-Hilli, W., and Maguar, A., 1997.  “Damages resulted from the use of DU weaponry against Iraq”. Technical Report published in Arabic, Environmental Engineering Dept. College of Engineering, University of Baghdad. Baghdad, Iraq, 157pp.

[18] Al-Azzawi, S.N., Ma’arof, B.A., Mahmmod, M.A., Al-Hili, W.M., Al-Saji,, M., Jada’an, A.M. 1999. “Environmental Pollution Resulting from The Use of Depleted Uranium Weaponry Against Iraq in 1991.” Journal of Arabic Universities Association. College of engineering. University of Baghdad, vol. 6, no. 2, Baghdad, Iraq. Published in Arabic. Pp.47-62.

[19] Al-Azzawi, S. et al, “Environmental Pollution Resulting from the Use of Depleted Uranium Weaponry Against Iraq During 1991, World International Conference on DU, Hamburg, Germany, 2003.

[20] Al-Azzawi, S., and Al-Saji, M., 1998. “Effects of DU radioactive pollution on surface and ground water in selected regions in southern Iraq”. Journal of Arabic Universities Association, vol. 6, no. 1, Baghdad. Iraq. (Arabic language).

[21] Al-Hilli, W., 1998. “Effects of radioactive weapons on soil and air quality in Iraq”, M. Sc. Thesis in environmental engineering. College of Engineering. University of Baghdad. Baghdad, Iraq, 1998.

[22] Al-Saji, M., 1998, “Effects of radiological weapons on surface and groundwater quality in selected areas southern Iraq”. M. Sc. thesis in environmental engineering. College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq.

[23] Maguar, A.,1998. “Effects of radiological pollution on human and living environment in southern Iraq”. MSc. thesis, environmental engineering. College of engineering. University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq.

[24] Al-Azzawi, S., and Al Naemi, A. 2002, “Assessment of radiological doses and risks resulted from DU contamination in the highway war zone in al-Basrah governorate”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27/ 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[25] Al-Azzawi, S., and Al Naemi, A., 2002, “Risk assessment related to radiological contamination resulted from the use of DU ammunition in al-Basrah war zone”, proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq.

[26] TW, 2016.” Significant increase in frequency and intensity of sandstorms in the Middle East over the past 15 years”. The Watchers Website (WT). June 17, 2016.

https://watchers.news/2016/06/17/significant-increase-in-frequency-and-intensity-of-sandstorms-in-the-middle-east-over-the-past-15-years.

[27] Al-Azzawi, S., Maarouf, B., and Mazouri, N., 2002. “Environmental radiological pollution from the use of DU weaponry against Ninevah governorate during the war”, proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27 2002, Baghdad, Iraq.

[28] Hadi al Rubaiay, 2009. “Depleted Uranium is Innocent until Prove its Guilt”. National meeting of the consultants committee of Prime Minister Office on radiological pollution in Iraq. Mansour Melia hotel. Iraqi Media Network Report in Arabic.

file:///H: ف%20الندوة%20الوطنية%20للوقاية%20من%20التلوث%20الاشعاعي..%20اليورانيوم%20الhtml.

[29] Tawfiq, N., et.al., 2002, Determination of Alpha-emitters in Iraqi soil samples using solid state nuclear track detectors CR-39 and CN-85, Proceeding of Conference on the Effects of DU Weaponary on Human and Environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq.

[30] ICBUW, 2006.” Dutch military in Iraq delays troop transfer from suspected DU contaminated area”. International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons. Sept. 29. 2006.

http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/dutch-military-in-iraq-delays-troop-transfer-from.

[31] Joanne, L., 2004, “Testing of New York guardsmen: first confirmed cases of Iraq war depleted Uranium exposure”, World Scientist web-site; http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/apr2004/dwica-a21.shtml.

[32] Al Ghurabi, S. et. al., 2002, “DU pollution in southern Iraq after ten years”. Proceedings of the Conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. published in Arabic. Vol. 1, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq

[33] Butrus, S., Wartan, K., and Butrus, L., 2002, “Assessing radioactive contamination levels in Basrah governorate”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq, published in Arabic.

[34] Alkinany, A., Twege, D., and Abdul Allah, K., 2002, “Investigating DU radioactivity in selected locations in Basrah”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq, published in Arabic.

[35]The Guardian, 2013. “Iraq’s depleted uranium clean-up to cost $30m as contamination spreads”. March 6, 2013.

[36] Yaqoub, A.A., Al-Sadoon, I., and Hassan, J., 1998. “Incidence and pattern of malignant diseases among children in Basrah with specific reference to leukemia during the period of 1990-1998”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War, Dec. 2-3, 1998, Baghdad, Iraq.

[37] Yaqoub, A., et.al., 1999. “Depleted Uranium and health of people in Basrah: an epidemiological evidence; 1-The incidence and pattern of malignant diseases among children in Basrah with specific reference to leukemia during the period of 1990-1998”.  Medical journal of Basrah University (MJBU). Vol.17, no.1&2, 1999, Basrah, Iraq.

[38] Al-Sadoon, I., Hassan, J., and Yaqoub, A., 1998. “Incidence and pattern of congenital anomalies among birth in Basrah during the period 1990-1998”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War. Dec. 2-3, 1998. Baghdad, Iraq.

[39] Yaqoub, A., Ajeel, N., and Al-Wiswasy, M., 1998. “Incidence and pattern of malignant diseases (excluding leukemia) during 1990-1997”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War. Dec. 2-3, 1998. Baghdad, Iraq.

[40] Yaqoub, A., Al-Sadoon, I., and Hassan, J., 2002. “The evidence of casual association between exposure to DU and malignancies among children in Basrah by applying epidemiological criteria of causality”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[41] Ali, A., and Al-Ali, J., 2002. “Chronic myeloid leukemia in Basrah after the Gulf War II”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[42] Ammash, H., 1998. “Mechanism of toxicity induced by free radicals resulting from irradiation with DU and ionization of atmosphere in Iraq”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War.Dec. 2-3, 1998. Baghdad, Iraq.

[43] Ammash, H., 2000. “Toxic pollution, the Gulf War, and sanctions, the impact on the environment and health in Iraq”. Iraq under Siege, editor: Anthony Arnove, South End Press, Cambridge, Mass, 2000.

[44]Mohammed, Z., et.al., 2002. “Detection of DU effects on human by use of immune system enzyme”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[45] Ammash, H., Alwan, L., and Maarouf, B., 2002. “Genetic hematological study for a selected population from DU contaminated areas in Basrah”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[46] Khudair, A., Abdul Kader, K., and Al-Taha, T., 2002. “Study of the radiological pollution level in pastures of Basrah in 2000”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[47] Al-Sadi, H., and Sawad, A., 2002. “Some interesting pathological conditions in animals in Basrah and the possible etiological role of DU used in 1991 aggression against Iraq”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[48] RT, 2010.” Reports emerge the UK used depleted uranium weapons in Iraq”. Russia Today New. July 23. 2010. https://www.rt.com/news/uk-iraq-depleted-uranium/.

[49] Danesi1,P.R.,and Telleria2, D.M ,2006. “Radiological Conditions at Four Selected Sites in South Iraq with Residues of Depleted Uranium”. 1, International Atomic Energy Agency Consultant, Vienna, Austria.  2International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria.

file:///H:/DU%20contamination%20doses%20in%20southern%20Iraq%20measured%20for%20UNEP%202003.pdf.

[50] Tara Mohamed Anwar. “ Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile. Iraq”.

http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/agpc/doc/counprof/iraq/iraq.html.

[51] Alaani, S., Tafash, M., Busby, C., Hamdan, M., and Blaurock-Busch, E., 2011.  Uranium and Other Contaminants in Hair from the Parents of Children with Congenital Anomalies in Fallujah, Iraq. Conflict and Health, V.5; 2011, PMC3177876.

[ 52] Busby C, Hamdan M, Ariabi E. 2010. Cancer, Infant mortality and birth sex ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009. Int. J. Environ Res. Public Health 7, 2828-2837.

[53] Alaani S, Savabieasfahani M, Tafash M, Manduca P. 2011. Four polygamous families with congenital birth defects from Fallujah, Iraq. Int. J. Environ Res Public Health 8, 89-96.

[ 54] Al-Ali, Jawad, 2005. “Epidemiological study at Southern Iraq, Basra city”. Proceeding of the Cancer trend in Basra, Iraq. Depleted uranium – 4.5-billion-year health risk meeting. At 17-20 Auditorium in the Parliament House, Japan. Sept 12. 2006.

http://www.rauhanpuolustajat.org/tiedostot/seminaariraportti.pdf.

All images in this article are from the author.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Souad N. Al-Azzawi, Global Research, 2019


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The Eurozone In Crisis? New President of the European Central Bank (ECB) has a Criminal Record. Christine Lagarde

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Minor revisions on October 18, 2019

Ms. Christine Lagarde, outgoing Managing Director of the IMF has been appointed to the position of president of the European Central Bank (ECB) effective November 1, 2019

France’s president Emmanuel Macron acting on behalf of powerful banking interests was instrumental in Ms. Lagarde’s nomination. Praised by the Western media, Lagarde was also endorsed by Wall Street and the US Federal Reserve.

What media reports fail to mention is that Lagarde is a corrupt official involved in financial fraud. She has a criminal record.

Is the Eurozone in danger? Financial fraud is embedded at the highest levels of political and economic decision-making. A senior official in high office with a criminal record can easily be manipulated. Indelibly this will affect the way she manages the ECB, with potential impacts on the very fabric of monetary policy.

Lagarde’s appointment to head the ECB has not been a matter of debate or concern. EU citizens have not been informed.

She is an obedient instrument of the financial and banking establishment which controls both the IMF and the European Central Bank. The European Parliament is silent.

On December 20, 2016, A French court found IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde guilty of “negligence” in relation to a multimillion Euro fraud while she was France’s Finance Minister in 2008. She is said to have approved “an award of €404m ($429m; £340m) transfer to businessman Bernard Tapie, [a crony of president Sarkozy] for the disputed sale of a firm.”

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has been convicted over her role in a controversial €400m (£355m) payment to a businessman.

French judges found Ms Lagarde guilty of negligence for failing to challenge the state arbitration payout to the friend of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy [Bernard Tapie].The 60-year-old, following a week-long trial in Paris, was not given any sentence and will not be punished. . The Court of Justice of the Republic, a special tribunal for ministers, could have given Ms Lagarde up to one-year in prison and a €13,000 fine. (The Independent, December 19, 2016, emphasis added).

Screenshot: The Independent, December  2016 

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Unusual in France? Lagarde was found “guilty” without the enforcement of a one year jail term ordered by the Court: criminals in high office are given special treatment. She was accused of “negligence” rather than “complicity”  in a multimillion euro fraud.

In a bitter irony, Lagarde was rewarded rather than penalized. Despite her criminal record, her career was in no ways impeded: she was appointed to lead both the IMF (2011-2019) and the ECB (2019- )

Of significance, this ‘negligence” has cost French taxpayers more than 400 million Euro “in a payout to Mr Tapie”, a crony of Lagarde and Sarkozy.

While Lagarde’s management at the IMF (2011-2019) has been an absolute disaster, the IMF executive board confirmed that it retained “full confidence” in her leadership. (BBC, December 20, 2016).

What a nonsensical statement: The IMF Executive Board of 24 members was chaired by the IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde during her entire mandate (2011-2019) (most probably with exception of the meeting held to express the IMF Executive Board’s “full confidence” in Christine Lagarde).  The French judges took the decision to withhold a one year prison sentence pertaining to the accused pursuant to a decision of the IMF Executive Board which is routinely chaired by the accused.

Christine Lagarde is on record in expressing here thanks to the IMF and the IMF Executive Board. 

The record of this IMF Executive board meeting in support of Christine Lagarde has not been made public.

No questions asked. Her nomination to head the ECB was confirmed by the European Council last July. Despite her criminal record, she will be commencing her mandate as president of  the European Central Bank (ECB) on November 1st, –i.e. a watershed date in the unstable evolution of currency markets coinciding with Boris Johnson’s Brexit deadline on October 31st. 

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Eight Years Ago: Regime Change at the IMF: Christine Lagarde and The Frame-Up of Dominique Strauss-KahnDaily Express, July 4, 2019 .There was a criminal indictment and conviction. While “negligence” is a gross understatement, her appointment to head the ECB spells disaster for millions of Europeans. It also coincides with the Brexit deadline (31 October 2019) .

Ecuador: An IMF Model of Neoliberal Reform under the Helm of Christine Lagarde

In January 2019, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde met up with Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno at the Davos World Economic Forum. Two months later an IMF “package” of deadly economic reforms was finalized.

Image right: Lagarde and Moreno at Davos Economic Forum, January 2019

While Moreno’s predecessor Rafael Correa denounced the IMF and World Bank as “neo-colonialist vampires who want to suck little countries of their sovereignty”, Lenin Moreno fully embraced the IMF’s neoliberal agenda.

In March 2019, a  4.2 billion dollar “fake loan” agreement with the IMF was implemented, resulting in mass poverty through statutory wage reductions, dismissals of teachers and health workers, a spree of privatization of social services, a process of engineered inflation leading to a generalized collapse of purchasing power.

Extending the IMF Role to the EUThe IMF has a longstanding record of triggering poverty and economic destruction under its so-called “Structural Adjustment Programme” (SAP).  The latter consists in the imposition of drastic macroeconomic reforms as a condition for debt relief on more than 100 developing countries.Will this model of IMF macro-economic management (which has already been applied in several European countries) be extended to all the member states of the European Union?

What is the broader relevance of the Ecuador crisis? How does it affect the European Union? What will be Lagarde’s role at the ECB?

The financial establishment (which supported her nomination both to the IMF and the ECB ) wants to replicate the IMF-style  “economic medicine” imposed on developing countries throughout the European Union. No more double standards in favor of the so-called “developed countries”. Brutal economic reforms to be applied Worldwide.

What can we we expect? A scenario of systematic and engineered impoverishment of the European Union through the imposition of the same brand of neoliberal reforms imposed on so-called developing countries.

The Eurozone in Crisis

Moreover, the ECB under the helm of Christine Lagarde will facilitate the dollarization of the Euro not to mention the fraudulent manipulation of currency markets which also constitutes a means to impoverish millions of people.

Eight years ago, Flashback to May-June 2011. Lagarde’s Fraudulent Appointment to Head the IMF 

The Dominique Strauss Khan (DSK) Honey Trap Scandal was instrumental in Lagarde’s accession to the IMF despite the fact that her role as France’s Minister of Finance in the Euro 400 million financial fraud was already known and documented.

Media focus at the time centered on the story of  the alleged victim, the hotel housemaid, rather than on who was pulling the strings behind the scenes in what visibly was a political frame-up.

Regime Change: Dominque Strauss Khan (DSK), managing director of the IMF was framed and Christine Lagarde was appointed to replace him.

There was no firm evidence against Strauss-Kahn.  This was known to prosecutors at an early stage of the investigation. The framing of Strauss Kahn consisted in dropping the charges against Strauss Kahn only after the appointment of Lagarde to replace him as Managing Director of the IMF.

The report from the the prosecutor New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance Junior exonerating Strauss Kahn of all charges against him was released three days after Lagarde’s confirmation as Managing Director of the IMF.

If this information had been revealed a few days earlier, Lagarde’s candidacy to head the IMF would no doubt have been questioned. Regime change was implemented at the IMF.

It is worth noting that prosecutor Cyrus Vance Junior (son of former Secretary of State of Cyrus Robert Vance) is reported to be a friend of president Nicolas Sarkozy who allegedly played a behind the scenes role in the framing of Strauss Khan.

Concluding Remarks

The European Central Bank as an instrument of economic and social development has been hijacked. Monetary policy has de facto been privatized.  The president of the central bank is controlled and manipulated by financial interests. The European council was unduly pressured into ratifying the appointment of Christine Lagarde.

Citizens across Europe should take a firm stance. Mass mobilization against Christine Lagarde’s appointment should be envisaged.

Posted in EuropeComments Off on The Eurozone In Crisis? New President of the European Central Bank (ECB) has a Criminal Record. Christine Lagarde

Winners and Losers in the Turkish Attack on Syria. Russia is the Most Successful Player

Part III

By Elijah J. Magnier

Global Research,

The United States of America emerged victorious from the Second World War, and came out stronger than any other country in the world. The allies- notably the Soviet Union- won the war but emerged much weaker. They needed to reconstruct their countries and rebuild their economies, with the US demanding huge retrospective payments for its support. The US became a superpower with nuclear bomb capability and an imposing power of dominance. Industrial countries rebuilt in what the Germans called their Wirtschaftswunder and the French les Trentes Glorieuses, the thirty years of post-war prosperity. Meanwhile the US leveraged its prosperity to spread its hegemony around the world. US power was enhanced with the beginning of Perestroikaand after the fall of the Soviet Union. In the new millennium the US establishment declared the “War on Terror” as justification to occupy Afghanistan and Iraq, while attempting to subdue Hezbollah in Lebanon, changing the régime in Libya and attempting to destroy Syria, all with the goal of reshuffling and forming a “New Middle East”.

In the Levant, the US has dramatically failed to reach its objectives, but it has succeeded in waking Russia from its long hibernation, to challenge the US unilateral hegemony of the world and to develop new forms of alliance. Iran has also challenged the US hegemony incrementally since the 1979 “Islamic Revolution”. Iran has planned meticulously, and patiently built a chain of allies connecting different parts of the Middle East. Now, after 37 years, Iran can boast a necklace of robust allies in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan- who are all ready, if necessary, to take up arms to defend Iran. Iran, in fact, has greatly benefited from US mistakes.  Through its lack of understanding of populations and leaders around the world, it has universally failed to win “hearts and minds” in every Middle Eastern country where it imposed itself as a potential ally.

The arrival of President Donald Trump to power helped US allies and the anti-US camp to discover, together, the limits and reach of US sanctions. Russia and China took the lead in offering a new, softer model of an alliance, which apparently does not aim to impose another kind of hegemony. The offer of an economic alliance and partnership is especially attractive to those who have tasted US hegemony and wish to liberate themselves from it by means of a more balanced alternative.

During this period of Trump’s ruling, the Middle East became a huge warehouse of advanced weapons from varied sources. Every single country (and some non-state actors) has armed drones- and some even have precision and cruise missiles. But superiority in armaments by itself counts for very little, and its very balance is not enough to shift the weight to one side or another. Even the poorest country, Yemen, has done significant damage to oil-rich Saudi Arabia, a country highly equipped, militarily, and with the most modern US hardware in the Middle East.Assad: “Israel Has exhausted Our Patience and Iran Will Stay in Syria as Long as Is Needed”

US President Trump was informed about the evident failure to change the régime in Syria and the equal impossibility of dislodging Iran from the Levant. He most probably aimed to avoid the loss of lives and therefore decided to abandon the country that his forces have occupied for the past few years. Nonetheless, his sudden withdrawal, even if so far it is partial (because he says, a small unit will remain behind at al-Tanf, to no strategic benefit since al-Qaem border crossing is now operational) – came as a shock to his Kurdish and Israeli allies. Trump proved his readiness to abandon his closest friends & enemies overnight.

Trump’s move offered an unexpected victory to Damascus. The Syrian government is now slowly recovering its most important source of food, agriculture and energy. North-East Syria represents a quarter of the country’s geography. The northern provinces have exceptional wealth in water, electricity dams, oil, gas and food. President Trump has restored it to President Bashar al-Assad. This will also serve Trump’s forthcoming election campaign.

Assad trusts that Russia will succeed in halting the Turkish advance and reduce its consequences, perhaps by asking the Kurds to pull back to a 30 km distance from the Turkish borders to satisfy President Erdogan’s anxiety. That could also fit the Turkish-Syrian 1998 Adana agreement (5 km buffer zone rather than 30 km) and offer tranquillity to all parties involved. Turkey wants to make sure the Kurdish YPG, the PKK Syrian branch, is disarmed and contained. Nothing seems difficult for Russia to manage, particularly when the most difficult objective has already been graciously offered: the US forces’ withdrawal.

President Assad will be delighted to trim the Kurds’ nails. The Kurds offered Afrin to Turkey to prevent the Syrian government forces controlling it. The Kurds, in exchange for the State of their dreams (Rojava), supported US occupation and Syria’s enemy, Israel. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu bombed hundreds of targets in Syria, preferring ISIS to dominate the country and pushing Trump to give him the Syrian-occupied Golan Heights as a gift- although the US has no authority over this Syrian territory.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians were killed, millions of refugees were driven from their homes and hundreds of billions of dollars were spent on destroying Syria. Nonetheless, the Syrian state and President Assad have prevailed. Notwithstanding the consequences of the war, Arab and Gulf countries are eager to return to Syria and participate in reconstruction. Whoever rules Syria, the attempt to destroy the Syrian state and change the existing régime has failed.

Russia is one of the most successful players here, on numerous fronts, and is now in a position President Putin could only have dreamed about before 2015. Numerous analysts and think tanks predicted Moscow would sink into the Syrian quagmire, and they mocked its arsenal. They were all wrong. Russia learned its lesson from the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. It offered air and missile coverage and brilliantly cooperated with Iran and its allies as ground forces.

President Putin skillfully managed the Syrian war, striking a balance and creating good ties with Turkey, a NATO ally- even after the downing of his jet by Ankara in 2015. Russia wanted to collaborate with the US but was faced with an administration with persistent “Red-Soviet” phobia. Moscow proceeded without Washington to solve the Syrian war and defeat the jihadists who had flocked to the country with support from the West (via Turkey and Jordan) from all over the world.

Russia showed off its new arsenal and managed to sell a lot of its weapons. It has trained its Air Force using real battle scenarios, fought alongside the Syrian and Iranian armies, and a non-state actor (Hezbollah). It defeated ISIS and al-Qaeda 40 years after its defeat in Afghanistan. President Putin has distinguished himself as a trustworthy partner and ally, unlike Trump- who abandoned the Kurds, and who blackmails even his closest ally (Saudi Arabia).

Russia imposed the Astana process instead of Geneva for peace talks, it offered countries to use their local currencies for commerce rather than the dollar, and it is dealing pragmatically with Iran and Saudi Arabia, and with Assad and Erdogan. The Americans, by their recklessness, showed themselves incapable of diplomacy.

Moscow mediated between the Syrian Kurds and the central government in Damascus even when these had been under US control for years. Putin behaved wisely with Israel even when he accused Tel Aviv of provoking the killing of his officers, and stayed relatively neutral in relation to the Iran-Israel struggle.

On the other hand, Tel Aviv never thought Syria would be reunited. Today Damascus has armed drones, precision and cruise missiles from Iran, supersonic anti-ship Russian missiles- and has survived the destruction of its infrastructure and so many years of war.

Israel has lost the prospect of a Kurdish state (Rojava) as an ally. This dream has gone now for many decades to come and with it the partition of Syria and Iraq. The “Deal of the Century” makes no sense anymore and the non-aggression deal with the Arab states is a mirage. Everything that Trump’s close advisor, Prime Minister Netanyahu, wanted has lost its meaning, and Israel now has to deal with the Russian presence in the Middle East and bear the consequences of the victory achieved by Assad, the Russians, and the Iranians.

After the Kurds, Israel is the second biggest loser– even if it has suffered no financial damage and no Israeli lives have been lost in combat. Netanyahu’s ambitions can no longer be used in his election scenario. Israel needs to prepare for living next door to Assad, who will certainly want back Syria’s Golan- a priority for Damascus to tackle once domestic reconstruction is on its way. He has been preparing the local resistance for years, for the day when Syria will recover this territory.

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Featured image is from the authorThe original source of this article is Elijah J. MagnierCopyright © Elijah J. MagnierElijah J. Magnier, 2019


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The Syrian Debacle Is Actually Well Planned Chaos

By Brandon Smith

Global Research,

For many years now I have focused a considerable amount of analysis on the subject of Syria, with an emphasis on the country’s importance to the global elites as a kind of geopolitical detonator; the first domino in a chain of dominoes that could lead to a war involving international powers. I believe this war will develop on multiple fronts, most importantly on the economic front, but it could very well turn into a shooting war involving numerous actors.

Syria is so important, in fact, that the establishment has been careful to smother all discussion about what is really going on there in a fog of propaganda. And make no mistake, BOTH Republicans and Democrats as well as eastern and western governments are participating in the lies and misdirection.  Obviously, the first and most important lie is a multi-sided one, and we can’t continue forward until it’s dissected – I am speaking of the lie of US involvement in the region.

Lie #1: The US Has Legitimacy In The Original Syrian Conflict

First, most people reading this should know by now that US covert intelligence agencies (among others) were the force behind the “revolution” in Syria against the Bashar al-Assad. The majority of the fighters coming into the region were trained and equipped in Jordan in camps run by western agencies. The program was called “Operation Timber Sycamore” and was launched in different stages from 2011-2013.

It’s clear according to the evidence that the Arab Spring and the conflict in Syria were products of global establishment meddling in the area. Weapons were funneled from the Libyan crisis into the hands of “rebels” that infiltrated Syria, and equipment directly provided by the US found its way into the hands of groups that would eventually become what we now know as ISIS. The Obama Administration, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, John Bolton and many others were intimately involved in Timber Sycamore. The war in Syria was entirely engineered from behind the scenes.

The bottom line:  The US has no legitimacy there.

In the Liberty Movement we talk about this conspiracy fact often, but I don’t think many people consider the wider implications. Was the purpose merely to overthrow Assad? Was it about installing a government that was hostile to Russia? Was it to lure Iran into a vulnerable position? Was it all about oil? The answer is no to most of these questions. These are surface explanations that do not satisfy the facts on hand. There is far more to Syria than meets the eye.

Lie #2: The Original Conflict In Syria Is The Current Conflict

Let’s distill this down to some primary facts: The US and other nations created ISIS and deliberately destabilized Syria. The establishment then tried to convince the American public to support the use of military forces in the region to back the insurgents and the civil war they created. This initial plan failed.

Then, the establishment used the terror groups they created in Syria as an argument for why the US needed to send troops into Syria. This plan partially succeeded, but failed overall to generate public support for wider US involvement.

Kurdish tribes in northern Syria were then forced to defend themselves against the spread of the ISIS plague. The Kurds fought bravely to defend their homes from the terror threat that western agencies had conjured, losing 11,000 fighters in the process. They seem to be the only innocent people involved in the entire affair. They joined the US as allies under the assumption that the US goal was to destroy ISIS. This was NOT the US goal. Not under Obama, nor under Trump. The real goal has always been to use ISIS as an excuse to maintain a US presence in Syria (we will get to why in a moment).

Today, the war has shifted once again. This time, Turkey is invading Syria with claims that the Kurds present an existential danger. The reality is that the Turkish government has sought to erase all Kurdish culture from Turkey and Northern Syria since the 1970’s, including banning the Kurdish language and Kurdish dress and Kurdish names. Even the words “Kurd” and “Kurdish were eventually banned. The Kurds responded by forming the PKK and calling for a sovereign Kurdish state which would allow them to live without oppression. The Kurds did not turn to direct action until the 1980’s after many years of totalitarian subjugation.

The Turkish invasion today is made possible by the rather convenient surprise pull-back of US forces from the northern border. Now, there is yet another excuse for wider involvement in Syria. The US is not out of the war; the war is just getting started. Each time the Syrian problem starts to fade and it looks like it will be resolved, something else happens which triggers another explosion of fighting. This is not a coincidence.

Lie #3: The Trump Administration Is Pulling US Troops Out Of Syria

This is not happening, and anyone who believes Trump is actually ending US involvement has been duped. It’s also not the first time we’ve heard promises from Donald Trump on an end to the wars in the Middle East.

Over a year ago Trump proclaimed that he would be pulling the troops out of Syria, yet, only a week later it was determined that they would remain. Recently Trump made the claim again, and only days later the Pentagon admitted that US troops were only going to be shifted back from the border while the Kurds, our former allies, would be attacked by Turkish forces. Turkey’s military spokesman has said that they will “correct the demographics changed by the YPG (Kurdish defense units much like citizen militias) in Northeast Syria”. In other words, the goal is ethnic cleansing, and as the Armenian genocide teaches us, the Turks are no strangers to ethnic cleansing.Trump’s Bankrupt Syria Policy: Civilians Will Pay the Price

Trump is not the only world leader to pull this kind of stunt, either. Vladimir Putin did the same thing in 2016, announcing an end to military action by Russia in Syria and a removal of troops, only to keep Russian forces there and well entrenched. The Russian presence has done little to prevent a flurry of Israeli air strikes against Syria, nor have they acted to prevent the Turkish invasion, so we must question what exactly Russia is still doing there as much as the US?

These constant fake-outs on a Syrian withdrawal are meant only for the general public as a way of pacifying concerns, and it seems to be working. To this day many people still believe that Trump had pulled US troops out of Syria (or is withdrawing them right now) and Putin pulled Russian troops out after “defeating ISIS”. None of this ever happened. If you tell a big lie enough times the uneducated masses will start to adopt it as the truth.

Lie #4: The International Community Is Sincerely Worried About A Kurdish Genocide

Wow, it truly warms my heart to witness the sudden international outpouring of support for the Kurds in Syria. Establishment rags like the Washington Post and the New York Times, the EU government, the Israeli government, even Trump himself are all announcing their support for the Kurds and admonishing Turkish actions. They are all ready to enforce sanctions or even go to war in the name of defending the Kurdish people. How noble…

The truth is, none of these agents of despair have any concern for the Kurds, and they will do nothing to save them until it’s too late. Later, they will act, but not to save any remaining Kurds. A Kurdish genocide is only a means to an end. And here we start to see the entire reason for the Syrian crisis unfold…

Lie #5: The Kurds Are Not Our Concern, Or, They Are “Getting What They Deserve”

On the flip side of the paradigm, I’m seeing the Trump cult making some outlandish arguments (as they always do) to rationalize the president’s bizarre and abrupt policy actions. The first argument claims that “it’s about time” that a president “stood against the deep state” and ended US involvement in Syria, and we should let Turkey and the Kurds sort out their own mess. I would repeat the fact that Trump is not leaving Syria or any other nation in the Middle East with a US military presence. He is only pulling troops back and leaving the door open to Turkish attack.

I would also point out once again that it is not “their mess”, it is a mess created by western governments including the US.

The Kurds lost tens of thousands of fighters battling ISIS, and the Turkish incursion into Syria seems to be taking advantage of their weakened defenses. This is a situation the US created. The Turkish invasion is a DIRECT result of the destabilization of Syria, and Trump’s pullback from the northern border was the icing on the cake.  It acted as a form of permission by the US that Turkey could now do whatever they wanted (for a time).

I am also seeing the narrative that the Kurds are “getting what they deserve”.

Some argue that the Kurds were stupid for trusting the US government as an ally and now they are reaping the consequences. This is hardly a valid assertion. Punishing the victims of a con for being conned is not the American way. At least, it shouldn’t be the American way. Also, the Kurds are not the real target of this disinfo campaign; conservatives are the target, and they’re falling right into the trap.  I believe this is a propaganda narrative designed to make conservatives sound like sociopaths.

Trump’s claim that the Kurds were “not really our allies” as they “did not help us during WWII”, and that they were only defending their homes rather than supporting our efforts against ISIS shows an insane (but calculated) disinformation campaign designed to make conservatives look monstrous and untrustworthy. If Trump was really against the “deep state” he would not try to tarnish the image of our only legitimate allies in the region.

Finally, another narrative being spread around is that because the Kurds have a socialist form of governance, they deserve to be wiped out. I would remind the people making this claim that the Kurds are not trying to force their political ideologies on anyone, and Turkey’s Erdogen is a classic totalitarian who has tightened his grip on the nation using every trick in the book, including a false flag coup attempt. Socialists or not, the Kurds don’t deserve ethnic cleansing.

Yes, the US should not have been in Syria in the first place, but then again, we ARE in Syria, and it doesn’t look like we’re leaving, so if we’re going to be there we might as well do some good with our presence and act as a deterrent to an obvious Turkish attempt to erase the Kurds (our allies who fought a terrorist threat the US GOVERNMENT FUNDED) from the area.   Of course, it’s too late for that now…

What Is Really Going On In Syria?

If you’re not buying the mainstream narrative, you might be wondering why Donald Trump would suddenly abandon the Syrian border allowing Turkey to invade? You also might be wondering why he would then immediately threaten to “crush” Turkey with economic sanctions and place “thousands of US troops” on the ground if his goal was to end US involvement in Syria? The answer is in the macro-picture. That is to say, we have to ask the most important of all questions – Who benefits?

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, geopolitical events are being exploited by the globalist establishment as distraction and cover for their controlled demolition of the economy. They need scapegoats for the implosion of the Everything Bubble, an implosion they started in 2018 with liquidity tightening policies that has now accelerated into a full-blown financial crisis.  The Turkish invasion of Syria may be the pinnacle distraction event.

With engineered chaos in Syria, Trump’s globalist handlers can achieve a historic level of chaos while avoiding direct culpability.  What do we get when we combine all the elements listed above along with lies on both sides of the political paradigm? Well, we get a rationale for war.  We also get yet another event which makes Trump look like a bumbling villain and conservatives look like fools or soulless robots.

By extension, any tensions with Turkey suggest the beginning of the end for NATO. As I predicted in January of 2019, it appears that Turkey, a key component of the western alliance, is about to exit. This furthers the globalist goal of the deterioration of the west; the decline of the old world order making way for their “new world order” in which Eastern powers will play a larger role in conjunction with certain European elements. This is a dynamic globalists like George Soros have publicly and proudly discussed in the past.

The Kurds may also be a direct target of the globalist agenda.  In a declassified CIA document titled ‘The Kurdish Minority Problem’, the agency indicated that the establishment has seen the Kurds as an unknown factor (which they don’t like) that is fiercely independent (which they really don’t like) as far back as the 1940’s.  The CIA suggests that the Kurds are an uncontrolled element that could make establishment goals in the region difficult to achieve.

In the 1970’s the US manipulated the Kurds into actions against Iraq, which was amassing forces against the Shah of Iran and threatening to invade Kurdish occupied lands.  Once the Shah was removed from power by Iranian revolt, the US abandoned support for the Kurds.  The Iraqi government used the opportunity to attempt genocide against them using chemical weapons sold to them by the US government.  History does indeed seem to repeat.

I suggest that because the Kurds are a tribal force of millions that might oppose the globalist agenda in the Middle East, they may have been slated for erasure, and this latest event is merely one of a long series of events designed to kill off the Kurds.  Or, at the very least, killing the Kurds is a bonus for the establishment.

Beyond the Kurdish issue, a renewed Syrian crisis and EU opposition to Erdogen could lead to another flood of Muslim migrants into Europe. The last time this happened it sent the EU into an economic and political tailspin. It also opens the door to more fear in Europe and provides extra cover for a financial crash there.

And, ultimately, the Turkish invasion provides a perfect excuse to draw a number of opposing camps into a single place in close proximity, The possibilities for the globalists are endless. The Kurds are turning to Assad for aid and protection from Turkey. Iran is a military ally of Assad. Russia is still heavily involved in the area, and so is the US and Israel. I think anyone with any intelligence can see where this is headed.

If the globalists are successful in turning Syria into the center of the world by encouraging a Turkish invasion with a US troop pull back from the border, they would be killing multiple birds with one stone.

They get a renewed rationale for wider US military involvement within the year.  They get increased economic uncertainty as major powers fight over the dynamics of the region.  They get a scapegoat for the crash of the Everything Bubble as the potential for wider economic or kinetic war rises.  They get a scapegoat in Donald Trump and his conservative supporters, who will not only take the blame for the economic crisis, but also any tragedy that befalls the Kurds.  And finally, they get a rationale for the end of NATO, which would be the next step in ending the old western world order.

This clears the path for the introduction of a fully global and completely centralized new world order; a world without economic or national borders in which the elites govern openly rather than from behind the curtain.

One “mistake” (or false flag) could ignite a conflagration between the nations involved. This is why the EU, the Russians, the Israelis and Trump all suddenly care so much about the Kurdish plight. They CREATED the Kurdish plight, and now they are going to use it to turn Syria into a massive powder keg. Syria is an artificially manufactured “linchpin”, as DARPA would call it. It is designed to provide catastrophe while maintaining plausible deniability for the establishment. Trump’s actions in Syria may seem random, but they make perfect sense when we understand that he is serving a greater agenda. The US “withdrawal” is not a withdrawal, it is a prelude to a bigger conflict which benefits the globalist cabal.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on The Syrian Debacle Is Actually Well Planned Chaos

Contradictory US/Turkey Ceasefire in Northern Syria. Turkey is Playing the US and Russia Cards Simultaneously

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research,

On Thursday in Ankara, Turkish President Erdogan met with Mike Pence and Pompeo, a joint statement by both sides issued following talks. See below. 

Trump regime hardliners want their imperial agenda in Syria continued, notably aiming to undermine Russian efforts to restore peace and stability to the country, along with preserving and protecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Turkey is playing the US and Russia cards simultaneously, Erdogan wanting all he can get both countries to agree to that serve his revanchist interests.

Agreements only work when fair, equitable, and all parties fulfill their obligations. US and Turkish regimes can never be trusted.

Their Thursday agreement on Syria has no international law legitimacy. They’re unlawful occupying powers, wanting control over the republic and its people.

Thursday’s agreement is all about continuing their illegal occupation and control of Syrian territory, wanting the country partitioned, its sovereignty lost — a flagrant  international law breach.

Turkey will allegedly suspend cross-border aggression for five days, a senior Ankara official saying: “We got exactly what we wanted out of the meeting.”

The US and Turkey agreed on what they called an “orderly withdrawal” of Kurdish YPG fighters from northern Syrian territory Erdogan wants for a so-called “safe zone.”

His scheme is all about a cross-border land grab — unrelated to security concerns or sovereign Syrian rights, including for its Kurdish citizens.

If things go as illegally agreed on, the temporary ceasefire will continue along territory bordering Syria and Turkey, US aggression continuing elsewhere in the country, notably in Idlib province, largely controlled by US-supported al-Nusra terrorists.

The US wants continued occupation and control over parts of Syrian territory. Both Ankara and Washington want control over Syria’s oil-producing areas.

Thursday’s agreement has nothing to do with restoring peace and stability to the country, notions US and Turkish regimes reject — why endless war rages with no prospect for near-term resolution.

Southfront reported that Turkish forces are solidifying their illegal control over seized Syrian territory.

Here’s what the US and Turkey unlawfully agreed on.

1. Officials of both countries invented Turkish security concerns that don’t exist.

The US operates the same way to justify its wars of aggression — phony pretexts invented to pursue them.

2. The US and Turkey agreed on coordinating their actions to facilitate pursuing their imperial aims.

3. They agreed to observe NATO Charter notions that a so-called threat to one member-state will be addressed and countered by them all.

4. Pledging “to uphold human life, human rights, and the protection of religious and ethnic communities” belies how ruling regimes of both countries operate at home and abroad.

5. They agreed to continue combatting the scourge of ISIS Washington and Ankara support.Turkey’s Erdogan Plans Annexation of Northern Syrian Territory

6. Claiming they’ll “target…terrorists and their hideouts, shelters, emplacements, weapons, vehicles and equipment” is polar opposite how they’ve operated throughout the war.

7. The same goes for falsely saying they’ll “ensure safety and well-being of residents of all population centers in the safe zone controlled by the Turkish Forces (safe zone) and reiterated that maximum care will be exercised in order not to cause harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure.”

All of the above are Big Lies, proved throughout years of war by no-holds-barred aggression against Syria and the fundamental rights of its long-suffering people.

8. So is saying “(b)oth countries reiterate their commitment to the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and UN-led political process, which aims at ending the Syrian conflict in accordance with UNSCR 2254.”

Since unanimously adopted by Security Council members on December 18, 2015, endless US-led war raged.

It continues endlessly, both right wings of the US war party rejecting restoration of peace in Syria because it undermines their imperial aims in the country, regionally and elsewhere.

Endless conflicts and chaos serve US hegemonic aims. Peace, stability, equity and justice defeat them.

9. The US and Turkey “agree on the continued importance and functionality of a safe zone” — that has nothing to do with Turkish safety or security, everything to do with US/Turkish imperial aims.

10. The US agreed to let Turkish forces occupy and control Syrian territory they illegally seized, a flagrant international law breach, what Damascus won’t ever agree to.

11. Turkish aggression will pause, Washington and Ankara agreeing on pursuing their hegemonic aims cooperatively.

12. If Trump regime hardliners succeed in getting Erdogan to go along with their demands, sanctions ordered by Trump will be rescinded.

13. Officials of both countries agreed to work cooperatively “to implement all their goals…”

On Friday, Turkish cross-border shelling continued. Dems objected to the agreement, part of their politicized war on Trump.

GOP Senator Lindsey Graham said he’s “ready to (work) with (Trump) to build” on Thursday’s agreement.

At the same time on Thursday, he and Senator Chris Van Hollen introduced sanctions legislation on Turkish banks, military transactions, and energy sector activities — relating to its cross-border incursion and purchase of Russian S-400 air defense missiles.

The measure states that sanctions “will remain in place until the (White House) certifies to Congress that Turkey has halted attacks against the Syrian Kurdish community, has withdrawn from all locations that they didn’t occupy prior to the October 9, 2019 invasion, and is not hindering counterterrorism operations against ISIS” — the scourge Washington and Ankara support.

Damascus clearly rejects what was unlawfully agreed on yesterday. “Of course we cannot accept it,” Assad’s geopolitical advisor Bouthaina Shaaban stressed, adding:

“As for the term a ‘security zone,’ it is incorrect. What Turkey really implies is a zone of occupation.”

Kurdish official Aldar Khalil said “(w)e welcome the truce.” Erdogan’s aims to control northern Syrian territory are unchanged.

According to Foreign Minister Cavusoglu, Ankara continues pursuing its objective to (unlawfully) establish a 32-km-deep so-called “safe zone” from the Euphrates River to the Syrian/Iraqi border, including its oil producing areas — controlled by Turkish troops.

Tass quoted Russian UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia, saying:

“The Turkish side tells us that they will respect the territorial integrity of Syria, and that the ultimate goal is to ensure sovereignty and the integrity of Syria.”

That’s clearly not so as long as Turkish forces unlawfully occupy and control Syrian territory. The same goes for illegal US occupation.

Erdogan, Pence, and Pompeo agreed on carving up and controlling Syrian territory — ignoring what the UN Charter and other international laws prohibit.

What’s unclear is how the agreement will be enforced given strong opposition from Damascus.

It also calls for Kurdish fighters to relinquish their heavy weapons, leaving them defenseless if agree to this stipulation.

On October 22, the day the ceasefire expires, Putin and Erdogan are scheduled to meet in Sochi to discuss Syria.

Russian military police are deployed between Turkish and Syrian forces, aiming to prevent clashes between them.

How things play out ahead remain very much uncertain. Moscow and Damascus want Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity preserved and protected.

US/Turkish aims are polar opposite, conflict and chaos in parts of the country likely to continue with no near-term end-game in sight.

At the same time, the US failed to prevent Russia from being a key power broker in determining what lies ahead in Syria.

Note: On Friday morning, Press TV reported that Turkish terror-bombing killed civilians in northeast Syria today, adding:

“(S)poradic clashes continue despite a ceasefire agreed (on) between Ankara and Washington” — that has no legitimacy.


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Posted in USA, Russia, Syria, TurkeyComments Off on Contradictory US/Turkey Ceasefire in Northern Syria. Turkey is Playing the US and Russia Cards Simultaneously

Death, Bloodshed, and Misery in Yemen

“Strike with creativity!” proclaims Raytheon.

By Kathy Kelly

Global Research,

Writing about his visit to the world’s largest weapons bazaar, held in London in October, journalist Arron Merat describes reading the slogan emblazoned above Raytheon’s stall: “Strike With Creativity.” Raytheon manufactures Paveway laser-guided bombs—produced in factories in the United States and the United Kingdom—fragments of which have been found in the wreckage of schools, hospitals, and markets across Yemen. 

How, I wonder, can a weapons manufacturer that causes such death, bloodshed, and misery lay claim to creativity?

Consider the Raytheon weapons now demolishing Yemen. Fragments of Raytheon and other U.S.-manufactured weapons dot blast sites where Yemeni survivors collect body parts and scattered bits of clothing, which are needed to compile lists of the dead.

In September, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hit a detention center in the Dhamar governorate, in the northern highlands of Yemen with seven airstrikes that killed at least 100 people and “pulverized” the area, according to Bethan McKernan, reporting for The Guardian. “It took five days to remove all the bodies impaled on metalwork ripped from the walls in the blasts,” she wrote.

After the attack, McKernan interviewed Mustafa al-Adel, a twenty-two-year-old security guard employed at the site. His brother, Ahmed, also a guard, was among those killed. Adel pointed to a blanket, visible on the second floor of a building where the guards had slept. “You can see Ahmed’s blue blanket up there,” said Adel. “There were 200 people here but now it’s just ghosts.”

Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Saudi-led coalition bombarding and blockading Yemen have killed tens of thousands of people, wrecking the country’s already enfeebled infrastructure and bringing Yemen to the brink of a famine that may kill millions. President Donald Trump signaled additional support for Saudi Arabia on October 11 when the U.S. military announced it would send thousands more troops to the kingdom, bringing the number of U.S. troops there to 14,000.

For people in the United States to understand why Yemenis would join together to resist the Saudis requires a deepening awareness of how financial institutions, in attempting to gain control of valuable resources, have pushed farmers and villagers across Yemen into debt and desperation. Isa Blumi writes about this sordid history in his 2018 book, Destroying Yemen: What Chaos in Arabia Tells Us about the World.

Blumi details how Yemen’s society, largely independent and agrarian, became a guinea pig for International Monetary Fund (IMF) “development projects” which, based on strikingly colonialist theories of modernization, crushed grassroots institutions, and amounted to “cost-effective ways of prying Yemen’s wealth out of its peoples’ hands.”Children are Dying, Yemen Humanitarian Crisis “Made in America”. No Liberal Rallies for Yemeni Children

Local development associations, for example, were formed during the 1970s to help people cooperatively determine what crops they would grow and how they would use the profits. But U.S. Agency for International Development “experts” pressured these groups to instead produce “cash crops strictly meant for export.”

“After all,” Blumi writes, “with the right kind of cash crop and the use of American labor-saving technology, pesticides and fertilizers included, Yemen’s villagers were no longer needed in the fields. Alternatively, they could work in cities in sweatshops producing clothes for a global market . . . or the soon booming oil and gas projects.”

Blumi’s book documents the fiercely stubborn creativity with which, decade by decade, Yemenis kept surprising the West, exploring and pursuing countermeasures to resist its exploitative control, and risking the West’s destructive anger.

When farmers desperate for cash went to work in Saudi Arabia, for instance, “they consistently sent remittances home to families that saved the cash and invested in local projects, using local bank transfers.” Imams and village leaders encouraged people to resist imperialist “modernization” projects, knowing that the West’s preferred “modern” role for them was as wage slaves with no hope of developing a better future.

The “Huthi” movement began when Husayn al-Huthi, an opponent of Yemen’s dictatorial (and Western-allied) Saleh regime, tried to defend the water and land rights of locals in the Sa’adah province in northwestern Yemen. Sharing what was then a porous and informal border with the KSA, they often found themselves in disputes with Saudi border patrols. They also resisted ‘structural adjustment’ demands by the International Monetary Fund to privatize some of Yemen’s best farming and grazing land. When the dictator Saleh made criminal concessions to the KSA, al-Huthi and his followers persisted with protests. Each new confrontation won over thousands of people, eventually spreading beyond Sa’adah.

Blumi cites numerous instances in which Yemen’s economic assets were pillaged, with Saleh’s approval, by “well-heeled global financial interests.”

In 2008, an extremely wealthy member of the bin Laden family aimed to build a bridge across the mouth of the Red Sea from Yemen to Djibouti. The project could generate hundreds of billions for investors, and quicken the process of exploitative modernization; but it would also require building railways and roads where there are only villages now. People living along the coastline of the Red Sea would be in the way.

Since 2015, fighting has been concentrated in this area, called the Tihama. Control of the coastline would also allow financial takeover of potentially profitable Yemeni fisheries. Blumi says billions of dollars of annual income are at stake, noting with irony that a war causing starvation is being waged, in part, to gain control over food assets.

A recent United Nations report says that Yemen is now “on course to become the world’s poorest country,” with 79 percent of the population living beneath the poverty line and 65 percent deemed “extremely poor.” The Yemen Data Project estimated in March that 600 civilian structures on average are damaged or destroyed monthly in Yemen, mostly by airstrikes.

“Staple food items are now on average 150 percent higher than before the crisis escalated,” says a 2019 report by the Norwegian Refugee Council. “Teachers, health workers and civil servants in the northern parts of the country haven’t been paid for years,” according to the same report.

Here in the United States, news commentators discussing the Trump impeachment story liken the breaking developments to “bombshell after bombshell.” In Yemen, real bombshells, made in the United States, kill and maim Yemeni civilians, including children, every day.

*

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Kathy Kelly (Kathy@vcnv.org) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

Featured image is from The ProgressiveThe original source of this article is The ProgressiveCopyright © Kathy KellyThe Progressive, 2019


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Posted in Middle East, USA, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights, Saudi Arabia, UAE, YemenComments Off on Death, Bloodshed, and Misery in Yemen


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