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Tuesday, 14 October 2014 12:08

US wars in Iraq leave irreparable humanitarian repercussions

US wars in Iraq leave irreparable humanitarian repercussions

In a recent report presented at the University of Michigan, “The epidemic of birth defects in Iraq and the duty of public health researchers,” Dr. Muhsin Al Sabbak, a gynecologist from Basra Maternity Hospital, and Dr. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicology researcher, reviewed the ever-growing mountain of data.

It showed that rates of cancer, child cancer and birth defects have reached historically unprecedented levels in Fallujah and other Iraqi cities since the 2003 US invasion.

The presenters argued that the extreme levels of pathological genetic anomalies in Iraqi cities, documented by numerous studies, are being generated by a hellish mixture of nano-particularized heavy metals and other toxins generated by the US military occupation and heavy bombardment of Iraqi cities. Thomas Gaist has written a revealing article in this regard; it was published by What Really Happened web base.

The presenters said that “levels are now much higher than those recorded among survivors of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” citing various studies conducted during the past decade.

Al Sabbak said that with the US and its allies initiating another round of air strikes against targets inside Iraq and neighboring Syria, including against targets near Fallujah, there is no reason to expect that the trend will reverse. He said that birth anomaly rates will likely continue to rise.
Dr. Al Sabbak said: “Another assault is coming to Iraq, by both ISIS and those who created ISIS. More fighting will increase toxicity levels in the population.” The well-documented support of the US and its allies for armed terrorists like the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS, in the war for regime change in Syria has been followed by the use of ISIS’s spread across Iraq as the justification for another imperialist war in the region. Al Sabback added “I am tired of hearing mothers ask whether they should even try to have another child, and not knowing the answer myself.”

Dr. Al Sabbak is visiting the US as part of an effort to bring to the attention of both the US scientific community as well as the broader public the horrific impact of decades of US war in terms of the surge of genetic anomalies and disease in Basra. He cited data showing that the Iraqi city experienced a 17-fold increase in child birth defects between 1995 and 2003.

The University of Michigan presentation was the first leg of a tour that will take Dr. Al Sabbak and Dr. Savabieasfahani to Princeton University in New Jersey, Columbia University in New York and Boston University and Harvard in Massachusetts.  To demonstrate the extreme lead poisoning of Basra’s population, Al Sabbak cited data based on samples from the top layers of Basra children’s tooth enamel, which showed lead levels several times higher than samples of whole teeth from areas not subject to heavy bombardment by US forces.

Birth defects increasingly found at Basra hospitals include limb deformities, stunted extremities, cleft lips and palates, internal organs on the outside of the body, and hands and feet on which all fingers and toes are fused together.

Dr. Savabieasfahani’s report focused on the extreme concentrations of heavy metals, including Titanium (Ti), Magnesium (Mg), Lead (Pb), and Mercury (Hg), in the tissues of sections of Iraq’s population.

In cities most heavily impacted by the war and occupation, such as Fallujah, Basra, and Hawija, the population is experiencing “high and persistent” levels of exposure to these toxic metals. They are used in the manufacture and firing process of the US military’s bombs, bullets, and explosives.

Exposure to heavy metal nano-particles generated by exploding munitions is a main cause of the rise in CBD and child cancer. Dr. Savabieasfahani said that the nano-particles are inhaled and work their way into internal tissues such as the lymph nodes. The levels steadily build up over time because the body does not eliminate the particles.

The heavy metals are more toxic than the depleted uranium. Titanium, magnesium, lead and mercury are all heavily used by US weapons producers.”
She said that heavy metals are known to wreak havoc on the human genome, damaging the DNA of egg and sperm cells. Prenatal exposure to metals causes brain damage, and high titanium levels in children in these areas are strongly correlated with neurodevelopment disorders.

Cancers are skyrocketing in Iraq. Leukemia is rampant, and rates of numerous genetic pathologies are continuing to rise. Dr. Savabieasfahani went on to reveal that the numbers they had currently were probably underestimations. Poor women in many of these cities do not report birth defects because of the associated social stigma.

Adding to the fallout from military bombardment, US corporations Halliburton and KBR built massive open-air burn pits, some as large as 10 acres, to destroy as cheaply as possible the vast quantities of waste products generated by the occupation. That included dead batteries, electronics, plastics, asbestos products and dead animals and human corpses.

Samples from smoke produced by a massive burn pit near the US Joint Base Balad—a facility responsible for burning some 147 tons of waste per day—contained a highly poisonous mixture of dioxins, furans, volatile organic compounds, poly-aromatic hydrocarbons, and other poisonous particulate matter.

Dr. Savabieasfahani noted that the use of the pits was exposed when US military personnel returning to the US with severe illnesses, cancer, and lung disease claimed that proximity to the burn pits was the cause. High concentrations of Ti are also being found in lung tissue of US soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Findings from numerous other medical experts substantiate Al Sabbak and Savabieasfahani’s claims of historically unprecedented genomic devastation resulting from US bombardment.

A 2009 letter from British and Iraqi doctors to the United Nations noted that, “young women in Fallujah in Iraq are terrified of having children because of the increasing number of babies born grotesquely deformed, with no heads, two heads, a single eye in their foreheads, scaly bodies or missing limbs.”

In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital had 170 newborn babies, 24 percent of whom were dead within the first seven days, a staggering 75 percent of the dead babies were classified as deformed. Doctors in Fallujah have specifically pointed out that not only are they witnessing unprecedented numbers of birth defects, but premature births have also considerably increased after 2003.

Fallujah was singled out for the 21st century’s most wanton act of collective punishment, intended by Washington to terrorize the population of Iraq into submission. According to a Red Cross report from November 16, 2004, at least 800 civilians were killed in the first eight days of the US blitz against Fallujah. US forces fired indiscriminately throughout the city, damaging 36,000 of 50,000 homes.

The munitions used by the US military in Iraq create “persistent contaminants such as heavy metal oxides and fumes, radioactive isotopes, and complex synthetic organic gels, fluids, and vapors.” All of which “have the ability to spread out and mobilize to other areas hundreds of miles away through different environmental elements (air jets, winds, water, sand and dust storms.”
The toxicification of Iraq’s environment and complete destruction of its social infrastructure by US imperialism have produced a growing public health catastrophe that constitutes one of the greatest war crimes of the 21st century.
The world is now witnessing with open eyes the crimes perpetrated in Iraq by the so-called US-led cooperation to “save” lives! The repercussions, of course, will be disclosed sooner or later.

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