Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, December 2008
Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Gaza Civilians Attacked With White Phosphorus & DIME
By Hassan El-Najjar
ccun.org, January 11, 2009, 2:22 pm ET
The Zionist Israeli terrorist war on the Gaza Strip has continued for the sixteenth day, with US-made F-16 war planes and Apache helicopters, and the European-made naval vessels and equipment.
Arabic TV stations reported that more than sixty-two Palestinians have been killed since yesterday, increasing the death toll to 883 and the injuries to 4075, the vast majority of them are civilians particularly women and children.
The Israeli terrorist forces used the internationally prohibited weapons, like white phosphorus bombs, against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. The explosion of this kind of bombs results in burning the three layers of victims' skin to reach internal organs. Most of yesterday's victims were children.
Al-Jazeera TV aired footage of several victims of these white phosphorus bombs, among them was a teenage girl, Jamila Al-Habash, who had both of her legs amputated. Dr. Raed Al-'Areeny from Al-Shaifa Hospital was interviewed to explain what happened to her. He said that the chemical materials used in this kind of bombs keep interacting with the skin and flesh of the victim, penetrating deep to the bones, which are melted completely, leading to the amputation.
Dr. Areeny also mentioned that there is a new American weapon being tested on the Palestinians in Gaza, called DIME. The assaulted victims reach to the hospital, without any outside symptoms. When victims are X-rayed, doctors don't see anything. However, in a short period of time, victims start to bleed internally, as their internal organs start to show damages. Then, they die before doctors can do anything to rescue them.
The DIME weapon was first tested on Gazans in 2006 (See the article below) but it has now been deployed as a new Israeli weapon in this Israeli criminal war against humanity in Gaza.
People around the world have been protesting the continuous Israeli terrorist war on Gaza, and the disgraceful inaction of the world governments to stop it. Notable in these protests was associating the US with Israeli terrorists, as the US government is the major enabler of Israeli aggression through its continuous military, financial, and economic aid to the racist Zionist regime.
The US Congress lived to what was expected from its Zionist-controlled members, by passing two resolutions in the House and the Senate blaming the Palestinian victims and defending the right of the Zionist Israeli aggressors to kill Palestinian children, by burning them with white phosphorus, and kill them with US-made weapons, the lethally-proven and the newly-tested ones.
We know why the Zionists kill Palestinians in Gaza. Simply, they want them to surrender their will and accept slavery imposed on them by force by Israeli racists, who stole Palestine from them and want them to accept the theft.
But why does the US government support the Israeli war criminals, by providing them with the weapons they use in their terrorist war on the Palestinian people?
We know that the Palestinian people have never pose any threat to the United States and they look positively to the American people.
The answer cannot be hidden any more. It lies in the tight Zionist control over the US government, through appointments of Israel-firsters to major decision-making positions in the executive branch, and making sure that those elected to Congress support Israel.
It's time for Americans to admit that Israelis and their Zionist supporters represent the most serious problem for the United States, through forcing it to side with Israeli terrorists, and dragging it to fight Israeli wars against Arabs and Muslims around the world.
Report: Israel tests US weapons in its war on Gaza
[ 10/01/2009 - 03:55 PM ]
American press reports revealed that Israel, in its aggression on the Gaza Strip, tests part of a huge arsenal of weapons provided by the US during the past few years, adding that the US arms supplies encouraged the Israeli intervention in Gaza.
The inter press service news agency quoted Mou'in Rabbani, an editor of the middle east report in Washington, as saying that the nature of the strong Israeli-American military relations and Israel's persistence in making wars mean that its military establishment tests new weapons in real wars in the interest of the US.
Rabbani added that the less effective style of the same weapons is sold at huge prices to Arab countries which in fact finance the US arms industry and its military grants to Israel.
The Bush administration alone had provided Israel with security aid valued at more than 21 billion dollars in the last eight years including 19 billion dollars as a grant.
In 2008, Israel signed a 22 billion contract with the US for 75 F-35 jet fighters, nine military transport planes and four naval vessels.
Democratic congressman Dennis Kuchinch sent last week a letter to US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice telling her that Israel's use of American weapons in Gaza might constitute a violation of the requirements of the law on arms export control.
Human Rights Watch: Israelis Are using white-phosphorus against Gaza?
Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated that the Israeli terrorist army is using White Phosphorus in its artillery shells against the Gaza Strip. Researchers of HRW said that they observed on January 9th and January 10th, several artillery shells fired by the Israelis near Gaza and Jabalia, and that these shells apparently included white-phosphorus.
Using this type of shells, in this manner, is banned by international humanitarian law, the group added.
The shells are capable of burning human flesh right down to the bone and are capable of setting structures, fields and other civilian facilities on fire. The group added that using this kind of shells against the most populated area in the world, Gaza, causes magnified harm, and called on Israel to stop firing these shells.
Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that the Israeli terrorist army Spokesperson did not comment on the report.
According to HRW, the Israeli terrorist army appeared to be using shells that cause smoke screens, capable of hiding its military offensive in Gaza, and that this practice, although permissible in principle under the international law, should not be used in a densely populated area like the Gaza Strip.
“The use of white Phosphorous can burn houses, causes severe burns to the skin when it touches it”, Marc Garlasco senior military analyst of HRW stated.
Meanwhile, the Israeli terrorist army claimed that it is only using munitions permitted by international law, but added that the Israeli terrorist army would not provide specific information regarding the munitions used in Gaza.
It is worth mentioning that during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war, the Israeli terrorist army admitted to using phosphorous munitions against Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon.
The United States also used white phosphorus munitions in 2004 during the invasion of Fallujah in Iraq, and also defended its act.
The 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons clearly states that armies are not allowed to use inflammatory weapons, even against military targets that are amongst civilian populations.
On Saturday, acting Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbbas, held Israel responsible for what he described as the bloodshed in Gaza, and added that all parties of this conflict would also be responsible for the ongoing attacks if they reject the Egyptian-brokered truce.
Abbas met on Saturday with the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, and discussed with him the efforts to end the ongoing offensive.
He called for the deployment of international troops to supervise a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. Hamas rejects the presence of the international troops while Israel wants them to be in charge of stopping arms smuggling into Gaza. Egypt also rejects the presence of the international forces on its side of the border.
Hamas did not fully reject the offer, and said that it has some constructive sections, yet needs time to discuss it among its leadership.
Some political Hamas leaders in Syria said that the group rejects the deployment of international forces since this step interferes with the right to resist the Israeli occupation.
PNGO: Israeli terrorist forces using internationally prohibited weapons against Gazan citizens
The Health department of the Palestinian Network of Non Governmental
Organizations (PNGO) demanded urgent international action in
investigating Israel’s used of internationally prohibited weapons
against Palestinians in Gaza.
US and Israel Targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon, Part II
By James Brooks
Al-Jazeerah, December 6, 2006
“Horrific” wounds in Gaza may be warfare of the future
In early July, shortly after the beginning of Israel’s bloody military siege of the Gaza Strip, reports began to appear that Israeli forces were using a new weapon that inflicted strange and untreatable wounds, and significantly increased the death tolls of Israel’s attacks. (1)(2)
Italian investigators have reported evidence that the unidentified Israeli weapon is probably Dense Inert Metal Explosives, or DIME, a so-called LCD (“low collateral damage”) weapon developed by the United States Air Force. (3)
DIME bombs blast a superheated “micro-shrapnel” of powdered heavy metal tungsten alloy (HMTA). Studies indicate that HMTA embedded in the body disrupts biochemistry and rapidly causes cancer. Like depleted uranium (DU), HMTA is genotoxic—it is capable of inflicting genetic mutations. (4-10)
Publicly slated for deployment in 2008, DIME bombs are small but unusually powerful. Their carbon fiber casings make “more of the blast energy…available as blast as opposed to being absorbed in [a] steel case". The carbon reportedly breaks into “thousands of harmless fibers” to prevent unintended casualties from casing shrapnel. (11)
The ‘footprint’ of the DIME blast is much smaller than a conventional bomb’s, because gravity and air resistance quickly drag the dense, finely powdered “micro-shrapnel” to the ground. The blast radius is reportedly as small as 25 feet. (12)(13)
DIME is part of the Air Force’s Focused Lethality Munitions (FLM) program, which is expected to “allow” the targeting of “terrorists” wherever they are, even in places "previously off limits to the warfighter." (14)
The ideal of FLM is to reliably kill every human within the blast zone—one way or another. It is ‘total war’ on a 50-foot circle, within which deaths are not admitted as collateral, but purchased as insurance. Israel’s new weapon “slices” off its victims’ legs, leaving “signs of heat and burns near the point of the amputation”. It’s “as if a saw was used to cut through the bone”, according to Dr. Habas al-Wahid, head of the ER at Gaza’s Shuhada al-Aqsa hospital. (15)
Viewing photographs of the living and dead Palestinian victims of this device, many of whom are children, we notice patches of darkened but unburned skin, possibly where metal powder was driven into and/or through the skin by blast force. A child's torso is peppered with holes, some of which, judging from doctors’ reports, probably tunnel through to exit wounds in the back. The skin and muscle of one victim is ripped into a blood-encrusted pulp, as if blasted at close range with tiny birdshot. Some of the corpses are unrecognizable. Most of the recent photos of “strange” wounds from Gaza appear to be consistent with what is known about DIME weapons. (16)
The area of a DIME blast should be treated with caution until it has been decontaminated (assuming this is possible). Depending on the local HMTA concentration, soil in the blast area may remain barren for an indefinite period of time, or it may grow plants internally contaminated with HMTA. (17)(18)
The “who knew?” charade
In the scientific literature on tungsten and its alloys, the toxicity of HMTA stands apart. This formula (roughly 9 parts tungsten and one part nickel and cobalt or iron) damages DNA even when powders of the metals are simply mixed together. (4)(5)(9)
Implanting four tiny bits of weapons-grade HMTA in lab mice induced terminal cancer in 100 percent of the subjects. A powdered HMTA recipe was tumor-generating and capable of “genotoxic effects”. At least one experiment found parallels in the way DU and HMTA attack DNA. The results of another suggested that HMTA may pass its genetic damage down to the next generation. (8)(5)(9)(10)
HMTA may be much more carcinogenic than DU when it is embedded in the body—as intended. “Tumors developed rapidly” in rats implanted with pellets of HMTA, but researchers “did not observe tumor formation in the DU-implanted rats.”
Multiple syndromes of heavy metal poisoning have also been attributed to this alloy, including polycythemia, which can be induced by cobalt overdose. Because HMTA contains far too little cobalt to cause the disease by itself, researchers suspected a synergistic effect among or between the metals. (8)
In a 2005 article reviewing the “status of health concerns” about depleted uranium and “surrogate metals” such as HMTA, three scientists at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI) wrote that “medical and political controversies surrounding the use of DU” had spurred “a search for substitute metals in armor-penetrating munitions.” (19)
“[N]ew alloys of tungsten/nickel/cobalt and tungsten/nickel/iron…rival DU in armor-penetrating performance”, and are “among the leading candidates to replace DU in selected munitions”. Some of this ordnance “has already been deployed, although on a relatively small scale.”
The article then reviews the science detailing the alarming health risks of HMTA, much of it conducted by the authors, whom we thank for their work. It then attempts to explain how the military’s favorite “surrogate metal” turned out to be almost as genotoxic as DU, and probably more carcinogenic:
“In many ways the development of substitutes for DU in munitions has followed a pattern similar to that for DU deployment, in that incomplete toxicological information was available prior to their release…it was assumed that many years of industrial use of tungsten and alloys such as tungsten carbide…meant they could be used as safely in armaments.”
We infer that it was reasonable for the military to deploy DU weapons, because the toxicological information was “incomplete”. It’s a strange scientific rigor that requires us to know exactly how a known poison works before we stop giving it to people.
The cold fact is that there never was a scientifically valid reason to “assume” that depleted uranium could be used “safely in armaments”. Quite the opposite; as we shall see in part three, the Army realized more than 60 years ago that finely powdered uranium products could make extremely potent antipersonnel weapons. (20)
We currently have “incomplete toxicological information” about HMTA, but for more than fifteen years we have had clear warnings about the health risks of combining these metals. US weapons scientists should have known as early as 1992 that mixing cobalt with tungsten could greatly increase the resulting alloy’s cancer potential. (21)(22)
It is hardly news that nickel is carcinogenic and genotoxic, and specialists have long noted that heavy metal alloys tend to unpredictably amplify the toxicities of their component metals. With this kind of “incomplete” information at hand, could military scientists have reasonably “assumed” that nickel would be a “safe” addition to HMTA?
Concerns have been voiced about tungsten sport ammunition for several years. Tungsten alloy bullets, some also containing nickel and cobalt (for superior hardness), were found to pose potential environmental hazards in several studies. A probable link between industrial tungsten and leukemia has been identified. Compared to these findings, however, the toxicity of HMTA may be of a different order. (17)(18)
The “who knew?” apologia offered by the AFRRI researchers asks us to assume that the scientists who developed DIME weapons proceeded in sheer ignorance of the existing science. They were so incompetent that they merely “assumed” that they could use any tungsten alloy.
Does this implausibility jibe with the rest of the picture? A multi-billion dollar military weapons program is stung by the “controversies” surrounding its toxic DU-uranium weapons, and is under pressure to produce an expedient alternative. Would this program’s scientists have been allowed to be so cavalier about consulting the literature? Would the replacement metal be chosen on blind faith, without bothering to conduct even simple studies of its potential health impacts?
Logically, we must conclude that the military developed HMTA in the knowledge that it could have significant carcinogenic and genotoxic effects. Did they “assume” that saying “tungsten is safer than DU” would take care of the matter?
Perhaps relatively non-toxic tungsten carbide, famed for its hardness and cutting ability, would not have sufficed for the purposes of the DIME bomb. Focused Lethality Munitions like DIME must kill all of their victims. Slicing off their arms and legs is not enough.
The last installment of this article will trace the roots of HMTA in depleted uranium and decades of US warfare with poisonous, DNA-damaging powders. Then we will return to Gaza to consider the damage done, and the damage to come, if the warmakers have their way.
1) Israel accused of using 'Dime' bombs
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