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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Iraq: A Different Kind of Legacy


The Iraq War is now 11 years old and still tearing up the country, but no longer with the assistance of U.S. troops. Between 500,000 and 700,000 people died from 2003–2011. The monthly civilian toll now is as high as it’s been since 2008....And that’s not all. We now know, thanks to the courageous efforts of several researchers, that environmental toxins have likely poisoned the country – another consequence of the war instigated by the United States. 

The munitions the United States used in Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom are the apparent culprits, and, like the grim Agent Orange legacy in Vietnam, controversy and denial animate much of the discussion. Two agents are at issue. One is depleted uranium, which is used to harden bullets and mortar shells to enable them to more easily penetrate targets...A 2010 peer-reviewed study by molecular biologists found high rates of birth defects among Iraqis in Fallujah – "the highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied," according to the lead author...

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