Letters to the Editor

Nuclear issues

August 5, 2010


To the editor:

Joe Douglas’ letter of Aug. 2 (“Nuclear madness”) lumps the World War II nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the subsequent proliferation of nuclear weapons. It seems that as time moves farther from the two bombings, many wish to depict them as a misdeed by our nation, as evidenced by the planned vigil to commemorate those who died. While use of these weapons was horrific, they were used against a determined foe that did not fight the same kind of war as any of its other combatants.

In April 1945, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff estimated at least 456,000 Allied casualties for an invasion of the Japanese home island of Kyushu. Other invasion casualty estimates ranged from 30,000 to 1,000,000 (source: ww2db.com). Operation Downfall, the overall Allied plan for invading Japan, noted that “operations in this area will be opposed not only by the available organized military forces of the Empire, but also by a fanatically hostile population.” While revisionist historians have tried to discredit the use of atomic weapons on Japan, invasion would have carried a very steep price.

My father served in the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division in the Pacific in WWII. I am grateful for how President Truman chose to end the war. I understand the Coalition’s protest, but their choice of Aug. 6 confuses two issues: the current proliferation of nuclear weapons, and their use in WWII. That use brought an end to the war and saved countless American lives.


Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Depleted uranium weapons are used frequently as we speak in the war for oil control. Throughout Iraq,Afghanistan and probably Pakistan there is toxic paradise. Killing and poisoning not only innocent native men,women and children but also our USA troops.

Think about this. Why?

notajayhawk 6 years ago

Depleted brain cells are frequently used in the war for mind control. The use of these products has caused a toxic wasteland on message boards for newspapers across the country (or at least as far as merrill posts) ...

RogueThrill 6 years ago

Because when it's in a solid chunk it causes no harm. When you shoot a 20mm chunk of DU into a tank and it turns into dust that is when it causes problems.

notajayhawk 6 years ago

A) It's not always in a solid chink during the manufacturing process or other processes vertigo mentioned, is it?

B) When 20mm chunks of it are colliding at high velocity with tank armor, the resulting dust - whatever its composition - is likely to be harmful. And it's the least of the worries of anyone that might be close enough to breathe it.

tbaker 6 years ago

Dear Merrill, I'm a retired Army LTC with tours in Iraq and Bosnia, and I now work in Afghanistan. There are no DU rounds in use. They are unnecessary, not to mention expensive and difficult to ship and work with given the many safety protocols. They are specifically designed to defeat heavily armored vehicles. The enemy here has no heavily armored vehicles. There is no reason to even have DU rounds in the country. I have traveled the country extensively, I sit through the daily command update briefings, and I haven’t the first clue what toxic paradise you speak of. I know of NO example of anyone being poisoned by a depleted uranium round. Wise up.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Dead Babies in Iraq and Afghanistan are No Joke

Depleted Uranium Weapons


Depleted uranium, despite it’s rather benign sounding name, is not depleted of radioactivity or toxicity. The term depleted refers to its being depleted of the U-235 isotope needed for fission reactions in nuclear reactors. The nuclear waster material from nuclear power plants, DU as it is known, is essentially composed of the uranium isotope U-238 as well as U-236 (a product of nuclear reactor fission, not found in nature), as well as other trace radioactive elements. It turns out to be an ideal metal for a number of weapons uses, and has been capitalized on by the Pentagon. 1.7 times heavier than lead, and much harder than steel, and with the added property of burning at a super-hot temperature, DU has proven to be an ideal penetrator for warheads that need to pierce thick armor or dense concrete bunkers made of reinforced concrete and steel. Accordingly it has found its way into 30 mm machine gun ammunition, especially that used by the A-10 Warthog ground-attack fighter planes used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan (as well as Kosovo). It is also the warhead of choice for Abrams tanks and is also reportedly used in GBU-28 and the later GBU-37 bunker buster bombs. DU is also used as ballast in cruise missiles, and thus burns up when they detonate their conventional explosives. Some cruise missiles are also designed to hit hardened targets and reportedly feature DU warheads, as does the AGM-130 air-to-ground missile, which carries a one-ton penetrating warhead.

While the Pentagon has continued to claim, against all scientific evidence, there is no hazard posed by depleted uranium, US troops in Iraq have reportedly been instructed to avoid any sites where these weapons have been used—destroyed Iraqi tanks, exploded bunkers, etc. Suspiciously, international health officials have been prevented from doing medical studies of DU sites. A series of articles several years ago by the Christian Science Monitor (http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0515/p01s02-woiq.html) described how reporters from that newspaper had visited such sites with Geiger-counters and had found them to be extremely “hot” with radioactivity. Even the smallest particle of uranium is both deadly poisonous as a chemical, and can cause cancer.

There are reports of a dramatic increase in the incidence of deformed babies being born in the city of Fallujah, where DU weapons were in wide use during the November 2004 assault on that city by US Marines.

But the real impact of the first heavy use of depleted uranium weaponry in populous urban environments will come over the years, as the toxic legacy of this latest American war crime begins to show up in rising numbers of cancers, birth defects and other genetic disorders in Iraq and Afghanistan

job4mike6 6 years ago

The Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry has stated there is no evidence that natural or depleted uranium exposure has caused cancer in people. (per DoD web site)

Specifically, from USA Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry web site:

Quote: Uranium is a chemical substance that is also radioactive. Scientists have never detected harmful radiation effects from low levels of natural uranium, although some may be possible. However, scientists have seen chemical effects. A few people have developed signs of kidney disease after intake of large amounts of uranium. Animals have also developed kidney disease after they have been treated with large amounts of uranium, so it is possible that intake of a large amount of uranium might damage your kidneys. There is also a chance of getting cancer from any radio active material like uranium. Natural and depleted uranium are only weakly radioactive and are not likely to cause you to get cancer from their radiation. No human cancer of any type has ever been seen as a result of exposure to natural or depleted uranium. Uranium can decay into other radionuclides, which can cause cancer if you are exposed to enough of them for a long enough period. Doctors that studied lung and other cancers in uranium miners did not think that uranium radiation caused these cancers. The miners smoked cigarettes and were exposed to other substances that we know cause cancer, and the observed lung cancers were attributed to large exposures to radon and its radioactive transformation products. Unquote see source at url http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/PHS/PHS.asp?id=438&tid=77

Repeat: No human cancer of any type has ever been seen as a result of exposure to natural or depleted uranium.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Depleted Uranium - Far Worse Than 9/11 Depleted Uranium Dust - Public Health Disaster For The People Of Iraq and Afghanistan

by Doug Westerman http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=2374 http://baltimorechronicle.com/2009/102009Lindorff.shtml ======================================================================= The War Against Ourselves http://www.rense.com/general72/ddu.htm

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

US Denies Its Use Of Depleted Uranium (DU) Weapons In Iraq Pose Any Health Hazard

Major Doug Rokke, Army Reserve Major and Health Physicist in charge of DU cleanup after the Gulf War exposes the lies and talks about the British medical society blowing the whistle, while the Pentagon claims no problem


Flap Doodle 6 years ago

The linkbot has woken. Fear his mad copy/paste skillz!

christy kennedy 6 years ago

Try reading some of it rather than dismissing its relevance by insulting the person who's bringing it to your attention.

Kontum1972 6 years ago

Jesse C. were u an aviator? u keep showing that UH-60.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 6 years ago

Wealth and privilege bestow upon all "THE apple of God's eye" trophy. Most fight for this or their daily bread as it has been born of the gold of "peaceful" life. It is golden, the way of the world and the gift of privilege. It is the best of tines and the worst of times come haunting strength in diversity. It is made up...of goals, those of domination. It is a destruction born of ignorance in privilege. It carries the weight of the world upon its lame shoulders and soldiers...and this golden CALF of our LEGacy will not be denied. It is our future, planting the seeds of our demise. It cannot walk but strolls on still, towards the stillness of hardy fool inheritance. This is our prophecy and, indubitably to be obliterated, legacy...as most of the power of our human world continues to fail to care mightily from within a comfort borne of grace and ignorance. Hmmm... Could it be that we are the chosen ones or is this little piggy way of our world simply a reminder that we are long pork?~) Our dinner is your dinner. We are the forced meat of worms and must insist upon enjoying our play of glory. We are the meat of worms, insisting upon the glory of our trophy or our caring for the poor (the less fortunate) without a shred of a god's tough grace, without a shred of respect for death as it is kept so far away, as far away from our bellies (and Anatevka) as is inhumanely possible...by those who have turned us into domesticated beasts. We are the meat of worms. We are the long pork of dense forests...thickets of ignorance and bliss. We are drunk from the passion, the fruit of the kris kringle almighty and that cheap schist from our graft charting, money printing plates of china, cracking under the kraken moon of tables ignored. We are all, in deed, the almighty stooges of eye-popping foolishness. Well... I am. How about you?~) OK... Whatever... JUST beware the pitchfork and that upright stance, you. We demand it. We demand it. We demand it, demon!~) Go in peace to love and serve the main course.

Boston_Corbett 6 years ago

Cue Bozo and his revisionist history rants......4......3......2.....1.....

blindrabbit 6 years ago

Remember Dubya refered to this material as Nucular not Nuclear; he never understood the difference.

puddleglum 6 years ago

that's because he was an un-educated fool

job4mike6 6 years ago

MBA from Harvard and BA from Yale makes one uneducated? You have a strange taxonomy sir!

puddleglum 6 years ago

you can buy your son whatever degree you want. has nothing to do with an education, and you know that.

job4mike6 6 years ago

You don't know what I know sir. Bush has two degrees from Ivy League universities. I respectfully challenge you to pony up evidence that Bush graduated from Yale or Harvard because of his family's pull. Completion of a degree and graduation entails much more than getting admitted as a legacy in the first place. Each degree candidate still has to meet the course and degree requirements.

puddleglum 6 years ago

You are correct, I don't know what you know. But Most people that have ever stepped one foot into the sphere of academia knows that a degree from anywhere doesn't make one educated. That just means that they were enrolled. Look at the wal-mart grand daughter who went to UCLA but as it was later 'leaked'...she never even went to class-someone was taking the tests for her. Now is this what GW was doing? Who knows. Just listen to the guy talk-He certainly does not talk like one who most would regard as 'welll-educated'

notajayhawk 6 years ago

Awwwww, sounds wike someone's a widdle miffed that daddy didn't buy HIM one ...

job4mike6 6 years ago

Usually you have something useful to contribute--why not now?

notajayhawk 6 years ago

Because puddles doesn't deserve a useful contribution. Responding to puddles with facts or logic only confuses him, and lends credibility to his BDS-inspired, baseless suppositions. (Hope you didn't think I was replying to you, btw - I hate this new format.)

job4mike6 6 years ago

My confusion is rectified--thank you for your explanation.

puddleglum 6 years ago

more slobbering banter...Love IT! you go, Calhoun..

I knew you were very jealous of my beauty, but lets not make this an ugly attack of my 'baseless suppositions'.... I'm so sorry that I called your boy an uneducated fool. He really was a genius. everybody know this.

puddleglum 6 years ago

No, you are wrong (of course)... Daddy bought me a good one. In fact I have 2. I'm sorry that you didn't make it out of LHS. but what can you expect from someone who idolizes the slobbering idiot Calhoun?

blindrabbit 6 years ago

job4mike6: Flawed education at Yale. With granddaddy (Prescott) and daddy (#41) as past grads and pumping money into the school like crazy, how could he not make it. Also his cheerleading squad membership endeared him to the administration.

Give me a break!!

job4mike6 6 years ago

blindrabbit: I'll give you a break to point out that legacy admissions are one thing (and very common at that time) and completing the requirements for graduation are another all together.

blindrabbit 6 years ago

Job: Your guy has a history of cutting things short, education aside. His supposed military service is another issue. Being a veteran myself I feel I can speak to this:, Dubya frauded the military in accepting military service and flight pay while he avoided attending required events (AWOL in my jargon). Regardless how he and his cronies rigged the story and contributed to CBS and Dan Rather falling on their swords, he skipped.

blindrabbit 6 years ago

Also, how can Dubya be a pilot of a aircraft that has the potential of dropping nuclear weapons and yet cannot pronounce the word correctly.

job4mike6 6 years ago

blindrabbit: I've served as well. Thank you for serving our country in uniform. Bush is not my guy. His academic record was misrepresented as uneducated and I find that to be untrue. I believe that we agree that he did not complete his stint in the Air National Guard as a pilot and that the documentation of his service is incomplete, confusing, and doesn't clearly show he was where he claimed he was. He was honorably discharged. He did complete flying training and F-102 interceptor training. I haven't found anything that said he collected flight pay when he didn't fly. I think that he did not keep his flying qualification as an F-102 interceptor pilot and he should have or gained proper permission to stand down from flight duty. If he were found AWOL that would have required his commander to make the legal case to higher headquarters. I don't think that happened because the Air Force had too many pilots at the end of Vietnam and was eliminating people from service, including pilots in aircraft (such as the F-102) about to be retired. He performed non-flying duties at the end of his Air National Guard stint and was transferred to inactive reserve. Records from that era are not clear--either way-- about his service and absences. I don't agree that Bush was party to a conspiracy to embarrass CBS or Dan Rather. They did that to themselves! Bush's mispronunciation of many words is a matter of record. However, I saw many people in my military career who had verbal problems but were valuable members of our unit. I have also seen many smooth talkers who weren't worth much.

blindrabbit 6 years ago

Enjoyed your reply, but the facts don't stand a closer look; especially when looking at the Killian (his last commanding officer) documents. I've looked over his military service history; what a confusing mess, complicated by preferential treatment throughout his obligation. I still stand by my statements about pay, and AWOl status.

As far as mispronouncing nuclear, many people do this; but no excuse for the guy holding the triggers for armageddon.

Just guessing at your political persuasion; you believe all this Bush crap, but probably refute Obama's birth place. Take a look at the Honolulu newspapers from that period, should shine some light on the issue.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Hey, bunny, how many disappeareded comments are you shooting for today?

blindrabbit 6 years ago

Snap: Was never disappeared until yesterday. I was a little rough on Herr Kobach!

pooter 6 years ago

When Bush mispronounced nuclear was he talking to a Corpsman?


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