Preface

Metal of Dishonor grew out of the work of the Depleted Uranium Education Project and the other organizations that contributed to building a meeting at the United Nations Church Center in New York on September 12, 1996. Hundreds of individuals have made Metal of Dishonor and the entire Depleted Uranium Education Project possible. Their contributions document the hazardous, radioactive nature of depleted uranium weapons.

Scientific papers, scholarly briefs, and forceful arguments—some based on talks given at the September 12 meeting—make up the articles in this book. Scientists, medical and legal experts, political analysts and community activists wrote them.

This heterogeneous collection of articles, most published here for the first time, makes a strong case that depleted-uranium weapons are not only lethal to their intended targets, they are dangerous for the humans who handle them and for the present and future environment of the planet. They also show there is potential for building a movement to end this danger.

On February 27, 1997, the Pentagon admitted that eight days of logs documenting chemical exposure have "disappeared." These logs were stored on disc and hard copy in different places. This monumental slip raises these questions: How much other information has also disappeared or been suppressed? Is an even larger coverup taking place? Is something vital about DU also being covered up?

We have not yet found data that enumerate how many women, poor people, how many African American, Latino and other people of color suffer from Gulf War Syndrome. But we know that youth in Black, Latino and other communities that face racism are disproportionately pushed into the military by lack of economic opportunity in U.S. society. Almost half the troops in the Gulf were Black and Latino. The largest number of women in military history served in the Gulf War. It is routine for both the military and the government to ignore these sectors of society regarding benefits and care. It is also that part of the population most likely to need government benefits to get any health care.

We have gathered material to explain the impact of uranium mining and waste on Native American lands, the impact on peoples of the South Pacific and U.S. veterans exposed to nuclear blast sites, the impact on peoples living near nuclear reactors and the impact on peoples in the Middle East. Further research in all of these areas is

needed along with research on the health and environmental consequences in areas surrounding military test sites and production facilities.

Although some of the articles in Metal of Dishonor cover more than one subject, we've grouped them all in specific sections based on a major subject covered. For the convenience of the reader, we've published the more important quotes from government sources in Appendix I. And we have included a section on organizations and resources in Appendix VII that should make it easy for anyone motivated by reading this book to connect with the groups that are carrying out the struggle against DU.

Some questions of style. We've presented the writers' references all as notes at the end of each article. For articles that require careful calculation or comparison of numbers, we have expressed these numbers with numerals, which is a different style from the rest of the book.

We hope Metal of Dishonor will serve as an organizing tool that will contribute to the fight for an independent inquiry into the causes of Gulf War Syndrome and an eventual ban on the use of depleted-uranium weapons.

The Depleted Uranium Education Project of the International Action Center

March 1, 1997

METAL OF DISHONOR TABLE OF CONTENTS

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