They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

DU testing: High-tech for US, low-tech for UK, no-tech for Iraqis

independent: Depleted uranium tests for US troops returning from Iraq

US troops returning from Iraq are for the first time to be offered state-of-the-art radiation testing to check for contamination from depleted uranium - a controversial substance linked by some to cancer and birth defects.

Campaigners say the Pentagon refuses to take seriously the issue of poisoning from depleted uranium (DU) and offers only the most basic checks, and only when it is specifically asked for. But state legislators across the US are pushing ahead with laws that will provide their National Guard troops access to the most sophisticated tests.

Connecticut and Louisiana have already passed such legislation and another 18 are said to be considering similar steps. Connecticut's new law - pioneered by state legislator Pat Dillon - comes into effect on Saturday.

"What this does is establish a standard," said Mrs Dillon, a Yale-trained epidemiologist. "It means that our Guardsmen will have access to highly sensitive testing that can differentiate between background levels of radiation." DU - a heavy metal waste-product of nuclear power plants - has been used by the US military since the 1991 Gulf War. It is used to tip tank shells and missiles because of its ability to penetrate armour. On impact DU burns at an extremely high temperature and is widely dispersed in micro particles. Read more

db: The UK troops get what the MoD call 'standard tests' - - and that sounds pretty low-tech-not-state-of-the art-by-a-mile to me. And the Iraqis? Those who have been living with the substance in their back yard for years? They will get f. all.