The Ultimate Dirty Bomb
You may need to bost your sound volume for this one, but it's well worth the effort. The subject is the continued use of Depleted Uranium by the US, Britain and others.
In effect, Depleted Uranium is nuclear waste and can simply be a by-product of nucear power. It can't be got rid off for several billion years and is, of course, radioactive. As the world dances on hot coals at the thought of North Korean getting a bomb, an awful lot of pressure is being mounted on Iran just because it wants its own nuclear power. There is a justification in this, becuase the waste from nuclear power is increasingly used to "tip" conventional weapons, making them into a form of nuclear weapn themselves. They leave a kind of macrocosmic "ground zero" where ever they are deloyed and used in sufficient quantity must qualify as WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) in themselves.
In the aftermath of the first Gulf War, much was made of the "Gulf War Syndrome" experienced by returning soldiers. Naturally the media and government tried o avoid the issue and when addressing it at all cited Iraq's previous and thus assumed use of chemical agents. In hindsite, we now know the the major cause was our own troops being forced to handle our very own "depleted uranium" arsenal.
I've been here before, but in the current mess of Iraq, where civil war rages and those who can afford to are fleeting their own country, the very environment is contaminated. In certain areas, radioactivity pervades the water and food supplies and is, of course, gradually spread by transportation. Whatever the outcome of the violence and the attempted rape of local resources, the land itself will remain contaminated for more years than the human mind can easily imagine. Literally thousands of generations.
Isreal too has used these weapons in the middle east. We are currently using them in Afghanistan. They were even used to some extent in Kosovo and the Balklans. By extension, even though we have not yet dropped nuclear warheads anywhere since Hiroshima, the west has actally commited the worst of drimes - the first use of nuclear weaponary in conflict.
We need to oppose all nuclear technology and the way to do it is outlaw such things from the face of the planet. Out of Earth's orbit too!
One thing we can't continue to do is arrogantly flaunt the weapons and technology in the face of those who so far have neither been inclined or able to exploit them. The threat of such power to enforce subservience will only be met with defiance and defense. It is we who must set the example if we want others to follow.
The worst of dictators and corrupt leaders do not want to detroy themselves. Even where crimes like the intent of genocide exists, few would act to destroy entire future generations. It is contary to the whole human imperative to reproduce and spread. There are those who view suicide as martyrdom, but even martyrdom has a purpose that does not ultimately deny longevity of our race. It would take time, but consensus on nuclear eradication could be possible. It would need commitment and nations acting in parallel. It would also mean the largest arsenals going first.
War-mongering aside, there is also no justification for genrating nuclear power. It is at best a short-term fix to propagate a few extra years of energy wastage at the expense of future generations. Even the greedy corporations make take financial benefit in selling us more than we need to survive will ultimately find their wealth useless when the now futile model of consumerism becomes unsustainable. Again, it is our children who will suffer.
Some of us dread that the only arsenal left for Bush, his corporate masters and his colonial dupes, will be the nuclear one. There are no conventional ground forces left for his planned conquest of Iran and other resource-rich regions. One would like to think he would no be so stupid as to use the final option, but when one considers the "secret" nuclear wars with depleted uranium, one realises how the fine line may now have simply become a matter of degree.
Humankind faces the urgent task of first rescuing and then preserving spaceship Earth. It is after all our only home at present.