- The International Action Center, a group
that opposes the use of depleted-uranium weapons, called the Pentagon's
decision to use the A-10 "Warthog" jets against targets in Kosovo
"a danger to the people and environment of the entire Balkans."
- The A-10s were the anti-tank weapon of
choice in the 1991 war against Iraq. It carries a GAU-8/A Avenger 30 millimeter
seven-barrel cannon capable of firing 4,200 rounds per minute. During that
war it fired 30 mm rounds reinforced with depleted uranium, a radioactive
- There is solid scientific evidence that
the depleted uranium residue left in Iraq is responsible for a large increase
in stillbirths, children born with defects, and childhood leukemia and
other cancers in the area of southern Iraq near Basra, where most of these
shells were fired. Many U.S. veterans groups also say that DU residues
contributed to the condition called "Gulf War Syndrome" that
has affected close to 100,000 service people in the U.S. and Britain with
- John Catalinotto, a spokesperson from
the Depleted Uranium Education Project of the International Action Center
and an editor of the 1997 book Metal of Dishonor: Depleted Uranium, said
the use of DU weapons in Yugoslavia "adds a new dimension to the crime
NATO is perpetrating against the Yugoslav people--including those in Kosovo."
- Catalinotto explained that the Pentagon
uses DU, a waste product of the uranium enrichment process used for making
atomic bombs and nuclear fuel, because it is extremely dense--1.7 times
as dense as lead. "DU is used in alloy form in shells to make them
penetrate targets better. As the shell hits its target, it burns and releases
uranium oxide into the air. The poisonous and radioactive uranium is most
dangerous when inhaled into the body, where it will release radiation during
the life of the person who inhaled it," said Catalinotto.
- Sara Flounders, a contributing author
of Metal of Dishonor: Depleted Uranium and the Co-Director of the International
Action Center, said, "Warthogs fired roughly 940,000 rounds of DU
shells during the Gulf War. More than 600,000 pounds of radioactive waste
was left in the Gulf Region after the war. And DU weapons in smaller number
were already used by NATO troops during the bombing of Serbian areas of
Bosnia in 1995.
- "The use of Warthogs with DU shells
threatens to make a nuclear wasteland of Kosovo," Flounders said.
" The pentagon is laying waste to the very people--along with their
children--they claim to be saving; this is another reason for fighting
to end NATO's attack on Yugoslavia.
"Worldwide protests against these bombings are growing. The U.S. use
of radioactive weapons must be linked to all the protests and opposition
that is taking place internationally to the bombing. These protests must
be joined by environmental activists, veterans groups, anti-nuclear groups,
and all those who know the long-term destruction to the environment and
to whole civilian populations that this type of warfare will cause."
- Flounders said that <depleted/mettoc.htm
Metal of Dishonor: Depleted Uranium, which has been translated and published
in Arabic and Japanese, will be coming out soon with a second edition.
- International Action Center
- 39 West 14th Street, #206,
- New York, NY 10011
- fax: 212-633-2889
- web site: http://www.iacenter.org/http://www.iacenter.org
- email: <mailto:email@example.com@iacenter.org
- Press Contact: Sara Flounders or John