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Perpetual Death From America
Afghan Uranium Contamination
By Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, PhD
Afghan-American Freelance Academic
"If they had killed us once, it would not be so bad. But
Americans have brought upon us is not only depriving us but our future
generations of our basic god given human right, the right to live. They
will be killing us for generations to come" (An Afghan Victim of US-UK
In Afghanistan, elders used to cite an ancient saying "we are made for
death and death is made for us" to point to the inescapable reality of
facing death sooner or later. However, when this natural phenomenon
changes form from its natural course to one tailored by humans, it
becomes a tool of life deprivation. This tailored and forced
deprivation of life on millions of people took a form of its own when
used for cleansing generations of people of their basic human right,
their right to live. Specifically, for millions in Afghanistan, their
natural course of life and death took a sharp turn when US-UK military
used uranium based weapons. This violation of immense proportion
transformed the natural process of birth, growth and death into the
inescapable horrors of perpetual death.
Perpetual death is characterized by continuous murder of people of a
community, state or nation. It takes several forms. It could be
exercised by conventional means of imposing war and destruction on
people. The Russians have institutionalized this horror in Afghanistan
by its invasion of the country in 1979 and sustained perpetual death
there by planting millions of mines scattered all over country. The
United States government also shares this responsibility after it
abandoned the Afghans, leaving them to death and despair and refused to
help them by clearing the millions of mines left behind after the
Sovietsí retreat. These mines have been maiming and killing Afghans
daily since the early 1980s.
However, the form that is exercised currently is the indiscriminate use
of the Weapons of Mass Destruction, namely the usage of uranium based
weapons. This mode of the perpetual death lives up to its name because
it continues to foster deaths of thousands silently and
indiscriminately. In fact, the usage of the Weapons of Mass Destruction
alters the texture of the ecosystem wherein the victims reside. This
ultimately condemns the people living there and future generations to
death, and deprives them of their fundamental human right, the right to
The perpetrators of this horrible crime are the governments of the
United States and that of the United Kingdom. The US and the UK are the
only two countries used these horrible weapons indiscriminately in Iraq
during the Gulf War and Balkans in the 1990s and in Afghanistan from
October 7th, 2001 onward. Meanwhile, based on past experiences with
victims of the US-UK bombing in Iraq and the Balkans, every informed
source suspected to have similar situation in Afghanistan. Tragically,
the US-UK armed forces have used three times more uranium based weapons
in Afghanistan than they did in Iraq or in the Balkans. In fact, the
types of Weapons of Mass Destruction used in Afghanistan are more
potent than those used in Iraq.
This became evident with the recent report by the Uranium Medical
Research Center (UMRC), establishing the presence of a mysterious metal
in Afghan soil samples and urine samples of victims. The investigation
carried out by the two teams of experts, one concentrated on the city
of Jalal Abad while the other on the capital Kabul. The two teams
gathered data and established the use of uranium-based weapons there.
They discovered symptoms in population of illnesses associated with
exposure to depleted uranium contamination similar to that in Iraq and
Balkans. This added to the curiosity of the investigators and collected
soil samples from impact sites to investigate them here in the US. The
investigators were also surprised to find high concentration of uranium
in the urine of subjects from Jala Abad. In fact, the level of uranium
was 400% to 2000%, the highest level of uranium ever recorded in
civilian population. Incidentally, the uranium discovered in the urine
samples from subjects in Jala-Abad exhibited characteristics more
potent than depleted uranium. The report said the following in regards
to the impact of the uranium-based weapons:
"Dr. Asaf Durakovic, a professor of nuclear medicine and radiology and
a former science adviser to the US military, who set-up the independent
UMRC, has been testing US, British, and Canadian troops and civilians
for DU and uranium poisoning over the past few years. His findings
confirm significant amounts in the subjects' urine as much as nine
years after exposure."
The above quote points to the perpetual death imposed on population of
any country where the USA and the UK had used uranium-based weapons.
"Durakovic and his team have searched for possible alternative causes,
such as geological or industrial sources, or the likelihood of Al Qaeda
having uranium reserves. But the uranium found is not consistent with
the "dirty bomb" scenario proposed by the US (in which stores of
radioactive materials might explain the findings), nor is it connected
to DU, or an enriched uranium-type dust that has been found in Iraq and
In Iraq, it took up to five years to have any significant effects of
exposure to depleted uranium, however, in Afghanistan only after one
year, the UMRC research group suspects that 25% of newly born show
symptoms of exposure to uranium weapons. The latter factors further
strengthen the hypothesis of the UMRC that the US-UK militaries are
using uranium ore in their weapons in order to increase its destructive
capability. The usage of uranium ore also makes it difficult to trace
these weapons to the US-UK militaries and creates a distortion as if
the uranium had come from the local uranium deposits. The conclusion of
the report was:
"However, marked differences between natural uranium and the uranium
used in the metal fragments found in Afghanistan was uncovered with the
use of an electron microscope, which revealed the presence of small
ceramic particles produced by the high temperatures created on impact.
This method of disguising uranium would benefit governments that are
under pressure from the growing anti-DU lobby."
"The only conclusion is that the allied forces are now
milled uranium ore in their warheads to maximise [sic] the
effectiveness and strength of their weapons, as well as to mask the
uranium, hoping that it may be discounted as part of any local natural
The destructive effects of the uranium-based weapons became
the beginning of the bombardments in Afghanistan, when Reuters reported
that people died from minor injuries. Public Health Minister Mullah
"Our findings prove that this is true. These bombardments have
radioactive rays and chemical materials that also cause cancer."
(Reuters, October 29, 2001)
The news report continued with quotes that further added credibility to
the claims of many that the US and the UK had used uranium-based
weapons in Afghanistan. Dr. Wazir a surgeon at Wazir Akbar Khan
Hospital had said the following amidst the bombardments: "We have some
patients with superficial injuries with symptoms of chemical weapons."
(Reuters, October 29, 2001)
According to Dr. Wazir a 10 years old boy, who had superficial injuries
died from respiratory problems after the bombing, while another
individual, a 50 years old woman also died from minor injuries. The
doctor continues by citing three of his other patients-two girls aged
12 and 15 and a boy aged 15-who had only sustained superficial injuries
from the US bombings, died hours later from breathing difficulties and
internal bleeding. Dr. Wazir continued:
"These are only three examples. There have been other cases where we
suspect chemical weapons have been used. Most of the victims have had
respiratory problems and internal bleeding for which there is no
apparent cause." (Khalifa.com, October 30, 2001)
At the fighting front north of Kabul, where Taliban forces were pounded
night and day, many dead Taliban soldiers had no visible injuries
except blood flowing out of their mouths, internal bleeding consistent
with uranium based and chemical weapons. Furthermore, many dead Taliban
soldiers had severe discoloration of the skin, orange, without being
burned, while others had their rifles melted in their hands. This
aroused suspicion among Taliban and others that weapons used by the
US-UK military were not conventional weapons. Many Taliban soldiers
that survived the bombing in the north have died after returning to
their native villages in the south and southeast of the country. They
had no physical injury upon their death, however, died from internal
bleeding and other bizarre symptoms including uncontrolled vomiting,
diarrhea, and blood loss in urine and stool. Their families were
shocked with disbelieves.
Another bizarre, yet tragic scene was reported near Rish-Khor
base in Kabul. Multiple witnesses reported seeing dead birds on tree
branches with blood coming out of their mouths. As one witness put it:
"We were amazed to see all these birds sitting quietly on [tree]
branches; but when we shook the tree the birds fell down and we saw
blood coming out of their mouths. Then we climbed the trees to see
those that were still stuck on tree branches, all of them had bled from
their mouths. Two of the birds appeared to be partly melted into the
These various claims by witnesses of the US-UK bombing amply
establishes that Weapon of Mass Destruction have been used. Amidst the
nonstop bombing, Taliban Public Health Minister Mullah Mohammad Abbas
had expressed concerns about the utility of depleted uranium by the US
in Afghanistan. The Minister was anxious about the long-term
contamination of large areas in Afghanistan. He was aware of the US
indifference to the well being of people in other regions and said:
"They used uranium in Kosovo and our concern is that they will do the
same thing in Afghanistan."
According to Dai Williams, independent DU researcher, there
has been 50
to 100 times greater health hazard in Afghanistan than had been in
Balkans from the usage of uranium based weaponsódepleted uranium, dirty
uranium and uranium ore. As pointed out above, the efforts of UMRC to
expose the so-called mystery metal used in the bombing in Afghanistan
strengthened by the efforts of other researchers aimed to explore the
ongoing ëAfghan War Syndromeí similar to the ëGulf War Syndromeí, which
has caused horrific congenital deformities in Iraq. According to the
Washington based Center for Defense Information, several hundred tones
of weaponsósmart bombs and cruise missilesóenriched with the so-called
mystery metal aimed for hard targets such as caves, bunkers and command
and control installations were used in Afghanistan. The problem becomes
more severe when one compares, the hard target weapons used in
Afghanistan to the ones used in Balkans. Dai Williams compares the
weapons, namely hard target weapon in Afghanistan to that in Balkans as
"The mystery metal is 50-75% of the weight of the bombs - up to 1.5
tons in the GBU-37 Bunker Buster bombs. If this is DU then target zones
will be 50-100x more contaminated than by the pencil-sized 30 mm (0.27
kg) anti-tank shells used in the Balkans War, and more like the DU
ammunition fire in the Gulf War. DU oxide is known to travel up to 25
miles by wind so large areas may be affected by each bomb."
What this translates into is more deaths, morphological changes in
people, congenital deformities and various types of cancers. In this
tragedy, an intertwined horrifically fatal relationship emerges between
the individual and his/her environment. Since Afghans, as other people
worldwide, live in their respective localities, where they have lived
from childhood on, are forced to make painful choices. On the one hand,
they do not want to leave their villages and cities because those are
their homes. On the other, hand, they can not remain there out of
concerns for the safety of their families from uranium poisons as well
as further bombings. Tragically, they have no choice and no place to
go. Even if they could, for the overwhelming majority it is too late
because uranium dust has already determined their fate, diseases and
In their attempts to "smoke-out" the Taliban and Al Qaida, the US has
bombed these ancient tunnels and caves that villagers throughout
Afghanistan have been using for water supply. This not only worsened
the existing situation characterized by drought and lack of water, but
it also permanently destroyed the ecological centers in east, southeast
and southwestern Afghanistan, and created a perpetual source of disease
and death for populations living in those areas. According to Fred
Pearceís article ëdying of Thirstí in the New Scientist, November 17,
2001, the US military bombed the kajaki dam, which waters land in
southwestern Afghanistan that supports over 1 million people. In the
same article, Fred Pearce articulates the following:
"Afghanistan, which is in the third year of an unprecedented drought,
relies on a mixture of ancient and modern water-supply systems. As well
as relying on the Kajaki dam, the south of the country is peppered with
hundreds of water-supply tunnels, often running for tens of kilometres
[sic] into hillsides to tap water reserves deep underground. The
tunnels, known in Pashto as karez, are now a [sic] target for American
warplanes. Military strategists claim that bin Laden and Taliban troops
may now be hiding out in the karez, many of which are wide enough to
accommodate companies of men. They say the karez made impenetrable
hideouts for the mujahedin during their guerrilla war with Soviet
occupiers in the 1980s."
Therefore, the traditional systems of water, Karez system of tunnels,
whereupon thousands in Afghan countryside rely, have been permanently
tailored to serve as sources of perpetual death for locals living
The following photos are reminders of the US-UK murderous legacy
perpetual death experienced in Iraq but now in Afghanistan
Iraqi Baby Deformed thanks to the US-UK depleted uranium
Thanks to the Liberators - victim of the US-UK depleted uranium
These beleaguered souls are probably dead due to depleted uranium
If they are alive, they will most likely die from dreadful diseases.
This is one example among thousands in the tragedy of perpetual deaths
imposed on the poor and gallant people of Afghanistan I wish to
conclude with the following quote from one of the victims of US-UK
bombing in Afghanistan:
"Tell the Americans, they kill us to sustain your way
of life, when
they enjoy living, they better think about the 15 members of my family.
Tell them that they are guilty. Only if they had conscience, they would
know that they are as guilty as their government."
In Pachir Wa Agam district near to ToraBora targeted area, women started to suffer from a deadly condition. Several months after the bombing, women of the area would become angry by petty things and that anger turns into rage, which subsequently causes the women to collapse and die. (Field Surveyors of the Afghan DU & Recovery Fund)
My team also reported that many children are born with no limbs, no eyes, or tumors protruding out from their mouths and their eyes. The following testimonies and photos--filmed in Iraq are used here to exhibit the identical conditions of Afghan victims-- exhibit the horrific conditions from which children in Afghanistan, similar to those in Iraq, suffer from.
The father one of the children in Paktia said this about his child:
"When I saw my little boy with those monstrous red tumors, I thought to myself, why is it difficult for Americans to understand that they are hated in our country. If I do this to the child of an American family, that family has the right to pull my eyes out of my eye sockets. I like to tell the Americans that they love to live their lives of luxury at the expense of our extermination" (Assadullah, February 2003)
The father of one of the victims from Kundoz whose wife had given birth to a deformed child that hardly resembled an infant said this to our survey team in Kabul:
" My wife was pregnant and we were happily waiting for the moment to see our second child. On the day of the delivery, my wife felt weird, saying that she did not feel good and had pain in her abdomen. When the baby was born, it was hardly a human. It looked as if some one had beaten a baby and then covered its body with floors. My poor child looked like someone has rolled it in a basket of floors. When my wife saw the baby, she went into shock and died after 5 hours." (Zar Ghoon, December, 2002)
The following picture exhibits the condition Zar Ghoon baby was born with:
A man from ToraBora lost controlled of his emotions while chatting with one of the field volunteers, screamed and posed a question and continued:
"What else do the Americans want? They killed us, they turned our newborns into horrific deformations, and they turned our farmlands into graveyards and destroyed our homes. On top of all that their planes fly over and spray us with bullets. We have nothing to lose; we will fight against them the same way we fought the previous monster [the former Soviet Union]" (Sa'yed Gharib, April 2003)
Most of the people that developed various health problems have died; others suffer from conditions
Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, PhD
Afghan-American Interviews, December 2 http://www.rense.com
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The Silent Genocide from America
Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, PhD
Director Afghan DU & Recovery Fund
When Bush jr. said, "we will smoke them out" he lived up to his promise, making life an unattainable reality for the unborn and unsustainable reality for the living sentencing the Afghan people and their future generations to a predetermined death sentence.
"After the Americans destroyed our village and killed many of us, we also lost our houses and have nothing to eat. However, we would have endured these miseries and even accepted them, if the Americans had not sentenced us all to death. When I saw my deformed grandson, I realized that my hopes of the future have vanished for good, different from the hopelessness of the Russian barbarism, even though at that time I lost my older son Shafiqullah. This time, however, I know we are part of the invisible genocide brought on us by America, a silence death from which I know we will not escape." (Jooma Khan of Laghman province, March 2003)
These words were uttered by an aggrieved Afghan grandfather, who saw his own and that of others' familial extinction at the hands of the United States of America and her allies. Another Afghan, who also saw his demise, said:
"I realized this slow, yet certain death, when I saw blood in my urine and developed severe pain in my kidneys along with breathing problems I never had before. Many of my family members started to complain from confusion and the pregnant women miscarried their babies while others gave birth to disabled infants" (Akbar Khan from Paktika province, February 2003)
The perpetuation of the perpetual death in Afghanistan continues with the passage of each day. Every day, people see the silent death striking their families and friends, hopeless and terrified at the sight of the next funeral in their minds' eyes. This indiscriminate murder of the Afghan people continues while those, whose tax money paid for the monstrous weapons and brought about this genocide pretend as though all is well. The horrific pictures of those dying--whose bodies do not correlate to their age since they have internalized so much uranium dust that it impacted the morphology of their bodies--remain in the memories of those still living who are fearfully waiting for their turn of disaster. The pregnant women are afraid from giving birth to babies--horrified to see a deformity instead of a healthy child. This is the legacy of the US "liberation", an indiscriminate murder of the weak and the unarmed that do not have any means of self-defense. In fact, there is no defensive measure against such Weapons of Mass Destruction because these deadly particles of uranium oxide--the dust formed after uranium pulverizes upon impacting a target--remain in soil, water and cover the surface of vegetation for generations to come.
When a US bomb or that of her allies landed on an Afghan village or town, the land and its people have become part of the deadly legacy of silent death. This death sentence is different from any other type because in this type death sentence all the people, their land and future generations are condemned to an inescapable genocide. The tragedy that makes this state of affairs so dreadful is the unavoidably invisible threat that targets everyone indiscriminately. Moreover, the threat has become endemic to the fiber of existence, contaminated the land, water and its inhabitants. In fact, when Bush jr. said, "we will smoke them out" he lived up to his promise, making life an unattainable reality for the unborn and unsustainable reality for the living, hence, sentencing Afghan people and their future generations to a predetermined death sentence.
The true extent of this disaster is unfolding as time goes by. In light of the continuous revelations about the quantity and types of weapons used in Afghanistan, the worse has not fully materialized. Everyday, US AC 130 gunships, A-10s and B 52s bomb Afghan villages and towns at each turn when a unit of US troops encounter resistance. Consequently, not only, the perpetual death continues but rather, every round of depleted uranium is one additional nail in the collective coffin of the Afghan people.
The usage of great number of munitions and armaments dropped by US jets resulted in upsurge of various health problems weeks into 2002. This pattern is different from that experienced by the Iraqi after the first Gulf War where it took years for many of the birth defects, deformities and other health conditions to surface. This points to the enormity of uranium weapons used in Afghanistan, a fact, illustrated by many investigators world wide, notably Dai Williams in England, and Dr. Durakovic from the Uranium Medical Research Center in Canada, and Dr. Marc Herald in the United States among others. Furthermore, various international newspapers and media outlets notably Le Monde Diplomatique, Guardian, Frontier Post, BBC, CBC, Al Jazeera among others have reported the types of weapon systems used against Afghan targets--villages, towns--and mountain cave complexes. According to the BBC (April 10, 2002), more than 6600 J-dam bombs were dropped on Afghanistan. On October 2002, Boston Globe also reported:
"In contrast with older weapons, the new generation finds its way with advances such as target-elevation data and satellite signals. The JDAM already has proven itself in Afghanistan. By February , commanders had dropped 6,600 JDAMs, consultants estimate - so many that stockpiles ran low and officials had to scramble up more production from a Missouri factory."
By October 2002, the first anniversary of US invasion of Afghanistan, more than 10000 tons of bombs landed on Afghan soil. (Socialist Worker Online, October 11, 2002) Imagine the magnitude of carnage and contamination caused by such barbarism. While another report by Kate Randall on December 2001, put the number of US bombed dropped at 12000:
"Since the US launched the war on Afghanistan October 7, more than 12,000 US bombs have been dropped on the country. According to the Pentagon, about 60 percent of these bombs have been precision-guided by satellite or laser technology. However, many of these bombsdropped by B-52s and other aircraft from tens of thousands of feet in the airhave strayed off course, hitting civilian targets." (WSWS, December 29, 2001)
In another report, a year after September 11, 2001, Matt Kelley of the Associated Press put the US munitions statistics as follows:
"U.S. and coalition airplanes have conducted more than 21,000 flights over Afghanistan, dropping more than 20,000 munitions. About 60 percent of the ordnance dropped on Afghanistan has been precision guided, the highest percentage in any conflict."
Similarly the Guardian reported on April 10, 2002:
"More than 22,000 weapons - ranging from cruise missiles to heavy fuel-air bombs - have been dropped on the country over the past six months. US pilots dropped more than 6,600 joint direct attack munitions (J-dams), the satellite-guided bombs One in four bombs and missiles dropped by the US on Afghanistan may have missed its target"
The new generations of hard target weapons whose warheads are made of dense metal have contributed to the heavy contamination of land, water and general population.
UMRC's recent findings, May 2003, reveal a wider scope of human
and environmental contamination in Afghan civilians, corroborating
the November 2002 Jalalabad findings.
Jalalabad area: New reference levels based on recent collections of samples and controls have revised the Jalalabad results upward to uranium values 45 X's normal.
New bioassay studies identify uranium internal contamination in Spin Gar (Tora Bora) area and the City of Kabul are up to 200 X's the Reference Level of the unexposed population.
Surface water, rice fields and catch-basins adjacent to and surrounding the bombsites have high values of uranium, up to 27 X's normal.
Low but as yet inconclusive readings of U236 have been identified by the laboratory in some urine samples; further analysis is underway to determine the metallurgical origins of the uranium with a consideration of "commercial natural uranium" containing recycled reactor spent fuel products.
Analyses of soils and debris collected inside OEF bomb craters and target sites have uranium values 3 X's to 6 X's normal.
Surface soils surrounding the bombsites and downwind from ground-zero are elevated close to 3 X's reference levels.
Field and laboratory data show that samples with elevated uranium levels, civilian health problems, and weapons exposure histories correspond spatially and chronologically to ordnance deployed by Operation Enduring Freedom. Along the lines of the UMRC findings, I instructed two groups of field surveyors to comb eastern and southeastern Afghanistan as well as Kabul for effects on uranium on local populations, they have found many dreadful conditions.
They targeted wide areas all over Afghanistan, however, the depth of the contamination is situated in the Pashtun dominated areas, east, southeast, south and southwestern Afghanistan. More then thousands tons of non-depleted uranium along with depleted uranium (mostly from A-10 and AC-130 Gatling guns) has been used by the US and her allies against the defenseless people of Afghanistan.
The bulk of the contamination is in ToraBora, Bagram frontline--north of Kabul, Shaikoot, Paktia, Paktika, Mazar-i-sharif, and Kundoz frontline. (Field surveyors)
Data Collected by field surveyors:
Subsequent to the contamination, newborn children have physical deformities and those that do not have physical deformity are suffering from Mental Retardation. These cases are reported from Paktia, Nanagrhar, Bagram, Mazar-e-Sharif and Kundoz.
As in my previous report, the survey team reported again that in bombardments of ToraBora, Shaikoot and Bagram frontline large number of antiaircraft weapons and rifles had melted.
During the bombardments of ToraBora, Bagram front lines, Kundoz and Mazar-e-Sharif, many Taliban soldiers were seen with blood coming out from their mouths, noses and ears. Meanwhile, those Taliban soldiers who returned to their respective villages started to vomit blood and had bloody stools. Subsequently, many have died from their conditions.
During bombardment of Kuram village, Surkhrod district of Nangarhar, the village was completely destroyed and many peoples were killed without any physical injuries.
After bombardment in Khost public health workers have reported some skin lesions. Those that developed the skin lesions died after their conditions were deteriorated.
such as kidney disease/failure, confusion, and loss of immunity and painful joints.
I wish to conclude this paper with the following quote from one of the victims of the US bombing:
"Tell America, we are not fools. Your words and actions are those of evil. We do not have airplanes like you do, however, we have one thing that you do not have principles and morals. We will never do anything remotely similar to American children what Americans have done to our children and families. They might win some fights, but we have already won the big fight, the moral ground." (Nurullah Omar-Khail, March, 2003)