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12th February 2001

Depleted Uranium Watch

DU: From The Other Europe

Piotr Bein, piotr.bein@imag.net,  

Vancouver, Canada  

The most unblushing depleted uranium (DU) propaganda is taking place in former Soviet bloc countries in Europe, because governments there are more autocratic, while access to the truth via the Internet is more difficult than in the West. Those countries have to tip-toe around European Union and NATO bureaucracies, or else they die of starvation, or succumb to the Russo-Ukrainian mafia, if not, God forbid, to the "commies". Yugoslavia's new government joining the NATO choir recently should not be surprising if we realize which powers were behind the October 2000 "democratic revolution" in Belgrade.

Cheaters

Blagovesta Doncheva, a Bulgarian publicist and activist, translated revelations from independent Bulgarian media for the Internet, where they stirred up considerable concern about cover-ups in Central and Eastern Europe. At the same time, Polish correspondent Pawel Janowski went as far as Sofia to repeat, parrot-like, the line dictated to dominant Western media by NATO Public Affairs and PsyOp about the Bulgarian soldiers mentioned in the above reports: Checked on, no problem, can't wait for more service in Kosovo. Janowski did not mention the above revelations with even a single word.

Two Bulgarians, soldiers Danail Danailov and Emil Ivanov, who were diagnosed by their host KFOR German unit in Kosovo, went through an ordeal while their health deteriorated during months of suffering through bureaucratic delays and cover ups. Eventually, the defense minister accused Danailov of forging his own medical file! 

Flu-like symptoms are often characteristic of DU poisoning, and were also cited by the Bulgarian authorities to diffuse public suspicion of DU contamination in other Bulgarian soldiers who came back from Kosovo with unexplained symptoms. The cover-up began to unfold in earnest, for the soldiers did not have "leukemia", as their sick and dying colleagues from Western Europe did. The Bulgarians had a serious renal disease, one of the first symptoms of DU poisoning. 

The Bulgarian military medical academy could not make up its mind if it was the flu or 14 toxins they uncovered in their sick Kosovo soldiers. At the same time, the minister of defence threatened the sick and their desperate parents. In a TV debate on the subject, a Bulgarian independent medical specialist was shut up as as soon as she mentioned the Balkan Syndrome. 

Genetic Problems

"After the first outburst in the media [...] an almost graveyard silence on the subject descended on the Bulgarian media," wrote Doncheva to the Internet on January 26th. Some NATO officials visited Bulgaria in the interim and Lord Robertson sent a letter. Bulgarian officials continue to keep silence or give conflicting statements about it. The Bulgarian minister of defence, Boiko Noev, declared he would visit Kosovo with his 10-year old daughter to prove how ungrounded the "DU danger stories" are.  Meantime, Danailov was sent to Germany for medical checks. Earlier, Bulgarian authorities declared him to be "clinically healthy" and in no need of treatment. His colleague Emil Hristov from the same Bulgarian  contingent in Kosovo was successfully silenced. The army doctors found "genetic deviations" in the Hristov family. Similarly, babies born in Bulgaria next to the boundary with Yugoslavia are deformed because "couples with genetic problems" from all over Bulgaria decide to move and settle there. We know  this "clustering" and "migration" excuse from somewhere.

Danailov and Ivanov were not the only casualties. A Bulgarian volunteer in the Yugoslav army in the Kosovo confict, Alexander Vasiliev, claims that 80% of his army friends from the war, both Bulgarian and Serb, have similar symptoms: General weakness, bad cough, pain and catarcts in the eyes, and neck tumors that immobilize the shoulders and arms. Vasiliev cited a captain in a Yugoslav chemical army unit that came to Kosovo for checks during the bombing. The captain told Vasiliev confidentially that the situation was "catastrophically disastrous" at the time.

Eye Removed

Jonathan Steele of the British newspaper The Guardian reported from Belgrade on January 22nd, 2001 about two ex-soldiers who served in Kosovo where NATO fired shells containing DU and who now have cancerous tumours in the eyes. A 36-year-old reserve officer, Milan Bisercic, with no history of cancer in his family, had one eye removed in January after vision troubles started in December 2000.

Stanisa Zivkovic's sight was also destroyed by an unexplained cancer. 

Both men served in Urosevac, one of 112 sites that American planes targeted with DU munitions. Bisercic witnessed repeated NATO attacks on the barracks at Urosevac. "I was never closer than 500 metres to the explosions, so I don't know why I should have got [ir]radiated more than anyone else, if that was what gave me cancer." The two men are the first confirmed cases of cancer among Kosovo veterans from the Yugoslav army; although there is no proof that their illnesses were caused by radiation from DU, because, "Like NATO governments, the Yugoslav army has been trying to play down the effect of DU exposure on its soldiers," wrote Steele. 

According to a senior medical source at Belgrade's military academy hospital, Yugoslavia checked 1,100 of the more than 100,000 soldiers who served in Kosovo, and apparently found no problems. A Yugoslav army  doctor who was not part of the team which checked the men asked a question similar to one asked by Gulf War veterans since 1991: "But the question is, what kind of examination did they perform and what specialised equipment did they use?".

In the week preceding Steele's story, the Belgrade weekly Nedeljni Telegraf reported that three officers from the Pristina Corps had died of leukaemia in recent months and that ten other soldiers were ill with the disease, four of them terminally. They were all stationed near Prizren, in areas of western Kosovo where NATO dropped many DU weapons. One man was a personal escort for General Nebojsa Pavkovic, who commanded Yugoslav land forces in Kosovo against NATO attacks. The Yugoslav army has denied the Nedeljni Telegraf report.

The Bear is Waking Up

Viktor Dolgikh, a cook for the Russian peacekeepers at the former Slatina underground military base that was bombed by NATO planes, was diagnosed with a leukemia-like disease. Military specialists said that deep-penetration bombs had been used against the base, while armoured vehicles at the airfield were shelled with DU ammunition. This site is not on the list reported by Colonel Zaric from the Yugoslav army nuclear de-contamination service.

Defense ministry spokesman Colonel Vadim Tarasov said that blood tests were being conducted on all Russian peacekeepers in Kosovo, while Russians were identifying contaminated sites where they were stationed. Specialists equipped with alpha-meters have been sent to carry out contamination studies in the Balkan region. Russian peacekeepers were reported as having taken preventive measures: Equipment was being checked for radioactive contamination and a ban on buying local food was enforced.

For several weeks Russia has been demanding an independent international conference on the health effects of DU. Recently, Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev said that the ministry wants to "take up the Russian president's proposal to hold a conference of experts organized by the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] and the United Nations, to give professionals the chance to objectively establish what risks these weapons carry for people's lives."

The minister was also clear about Russia's attitude to NATO's cover-up. "I don't think the environmental catastrophe in Kosovo is something that has been invented and seized upon for political aims. [When] NATO began airstrikes against Yugoslavia, the Russian military was warning that these actions would have severe environmental consequences [...] now we're  talking about them quite openly." The Russia Journal reported that, having begun checks of its own peacekeepers for DU, Moscow wanted the world to give  more attention to the Balkan Syndrome. 

Like the Agence France Presse from Moscow on January 23rd, The Russia Journal reported that there was no evidence of contamination in the area, nor did the Russian military have evidence of any link between NATO's use of DU and the cases of leukemia afflicting its soldiers. A quick search of the Internet establishes the link beyond reasonable doubt. The game resembles the testimony of tobacco company executives before a US court a few years ago that tobacco does not cause lung cancer.

Lt. Gen. Boris Alexeyev from the defense ministry's environmental branch, said more logically and scientifically that "'no evidence' doesn't mean that a link doesn't exist." Alexeyev's conclusions were shared by German specialists, reported the Russia Journal: "Russian military environmental experts recently visited a research center in Germany that was conducting studies on the effects of depleted uranium and its isotopes on people.

"Russian and German specialists began their investigations before news of the so-called Balkan Syndrome made its way into European media and public  life."

Only the Pentagon and Lord Robertson will not conduct any studies.

Equal Opportunity Army

"No scientific link of any proof..." echoed NATO lackeys from Bucharest, albeit with a time-lag behind Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Rumania is a member in the Partnership for Peace (PfP), NATO's instrument to co-opt former Communist bloc countries into the Pact's mission of bringing democracy and free-market into former Soviet bloc, all the way to the hydrocarbon fields of the Caucasus and Chechnya. Which country will deny DU murder next? Monitor the visitors to Lord Robertson Brussel's headquarters to find the answer. Not long ago, a Rumanian statesman shook hands with the NATO OverLord for "high quality"  photographs that were later displayed on NATO's website to show how desirable the Pact is, even to the formerly (and still!) most autocratic countries. Before him, the Yugoslav foreign minister Svilanovic visited NATO's Lord, and, presto! - nobody is sick because of DU in Serbia, neither soldiers nor civilians. 

"We're to believe that the Rumanian army sends soldiers already diagnosd with leukemia on foreign expeditions. Good for their health, I suppose, inhaling DU particles. Perhaps they'll next suggest he be billed for the treatment" - Rick Rozoff could not contain himself after the Agence France Presse branch of US Special Operations Command's Public Affairs dispatched another piece of "hotel room journalism" to the world from Bucharest on February 8th, 2001. Two soldiers who served in Bosnia had been diagnosed with cancer, but the army denied any link to DU. One of the soldiers had lung cancer and was still undergoing tests to establish a more precise diagnosis, said an army statement from Bucharest. The other sick soldier had leukemia, but according to the army, "the disease was detected in 1994, before the soldier took part in the Bosnian mission." Rumanian armed forces thus became the only military with an equal opportunity policy: "Crippled or not, join us for war. If you don't have cancer yet, guaranteed - cancer you'll get."

Like all other forces of NATO and PfP countries, on January 11th, 2001, the Rumanian army announced their own "plans" to "test" 1,500 men for cancer, on orders from Brussels. Concurrently, an officer who had claimed that he was suffering from the Balkan syndrome was declared by the authorities, as in Bulgaria, to be healthy. 

"What an instantaneous, miraculous recovery, and how conveniently timed," pondered Rick Rozoff. "Rumania, which 'hopes to join NATO soon' wouldn't want to embarrass its new masters by acknowledging that its soldiers are afflicted with uranium illnesses. The poor junior officer, above, may well have another sudden reversal with his health. If he does, don't expect to read about it. And if you do, rest assured that the obligatory 'no conclusive scientific evidence' mantra will be inscribed on his tombstone," commented Rozoff.

There is nothing wrong with the soldiers until tests begin. Agence France Presse reported on February 8th, 2001, that "five Rumanian soldiers who served as peacekeepers in Bosnia [...] have been hospitalized while they undergo intensive tests and are said to be suffering from physical changes brought on by disease, detected after their peacekeeping mission in the Balkans."

Non-Political Science

Dr. Catherine Euler reported from a January 26th, 2001 scientific conference in Athens that, "Enormous street demonstrations against DU and NATO had taken place in Athens, which were attended by some 2,000 - 3,000 people.

"However, [the] conference positioned itself as a non-political event which tried to find out the scientific truth about DU." Non-political? Out of 19 presentations reported by Euler, three deviated from scientific concensus or agreed with NATO rhetoric. They were given by UNMIK and Kosovo Albanian "specialists" and the president of the Nuclear Sciences Institute in Belgrade. This shows how the gang of NATO criminals grows into ever bigger circles, as "democracy" marches into the the Balkans. Predictably, with Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Rumania already under control, the "beneficial" influence of NATO on humanity will soon speak from Ukraine, Byelorussia, Moldova and, who knows, perhaps eventually from Russsia, too.

Mr. E. Sideris, a radiobiologist at the Democritus Institute, said that the internal dose from alpha particles could lead to "extensive degeneration in the DNA." However, according to the World Health Organisation, some 95% of uranium is excreted within one year. While other scientists, like Dr. Durakovic and Dr Sharma, have shown that the insoluble uranium can last perhaps more than 20 years, "Mr Sideris seemed unaware of this research," wrote Euler. He suggested that no health problems had been created near the El-Al crash in Amsterdam, and no increases in leukemia had occurred after Chernobyl. Even though the American Armed Forces Radiobiology Institute studies with rats had shown DU-caused alterations to the brain, he insisted that the risk of DU was mainly for the civilians, not the soldiers.

Dr. Hannu Vuori, the co-director of the Department of Health and Social Welfare for the UN Mission in Kosovo, focused largely on UNMIK's role in rebuilding hospitals. He said the level of radioactivity in DU was extremely minimal, and undetectable at a distance of 10 cm (4 inches) from the shell.

"UNMIK doesn't want to belittle the problem," Dr. Vuori said, and suggested voluntary testing of the population. His department had been designated as the focal point for DU work, he said, but in the light of what we have learned from the WHO, the radiation from badly maintained x-ray machines and heavy metals from the Mitrovica mines are a much greater radiation  risk. We know, however, that the WHO is impotent when attempting research into the health effects of nuclear materials, for this duty is reserved, by a 1950s agreement, to the International Atomic Energy Authority, the only industry group in the UN.

Dr. Milan Orlic, the president of the Nuclear Sciences Institute in Belgrade, said radiation levels in Serbia had not increased, and there was an extremely small risk from DU. Even if there were one gram of DU  aerosol present per cubic metre of air, this might result in insignificant radiation exposure when averaged out over the body, according to this "Doctor". The energy from alpha particles is not averaged out over the whole body, it is deposited within a 30 micron radius of cells, but this was not mentioned. In line with NATO "scientists," he also said Balkans syndrome was more likely to be correlated with other agents present besides DU.

The Greeks, whose nation is the only one beside Serbia to massively oppose any "improvement" of the Balkans by NATO, have intercepted a NATO military convoy near Thessaloniki, claiming that KFOR peacekeeping forces passing through Greek territory are not being checked for dust contaminated with radioactive elements. The protesters demanded that the roadblocks remain in place until tests prove that the American vehicles don't carry DU contamination from Kosovo with them. A few days before, a shocking discovery was made in a Greek woods of 300 plutonium plates. There is speculation that the American contractor Brown & Root, who service the US troops in Kosovo, might have dumped this deadly material. Shortly after June 1999, a rumour circulated that Brown & Root dumped hazardous waste shipped from the US into holes dug under the future site of Camp Bondsteel.

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