The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Depleted Uranium Dust-Up

Apr 3, 2023

Britain announced last week that they would send depleted-uranium armor-piercing rounds to Ukraine, along with Challenger tanks. Russia accused Britain and its allies of “escalating” the war. A spokesman for Britain protested, "The British Army has used depleted uranium in its armor piercing shells for decades."

Yes, that much is true: the U.K., along with the U.S., used depleted uranium munitions in many of their imperialist wars—the Gulf War, Yugoslavia, and Iraq, for starters.

The spokesman continued, adding, "Russia … is deliberately trying to disinform .... Any impact to personal health and the environment from the use of depleted uranium munitions is likely to be low." Hypocrisy on top of lies! They would have us forget the soldiers and civilians in those wars who came down with cancer, or the many children in Iraq that suffered from birth defects.

”Depleted uranium, mostly U238, has been found stored in bone, and if it gets into bone, it can reach the bone marrow,” said Jean-François Lacronique, the director of the National Radiation Protection Agency in France, which oversees safety for workers in France’s nuclear power plants. ”Depending on the dose and the length of exposure, any kind of radiation can cause leukemia.”

Depleted uranium is a poisonous heavy metal. Like lead, depleted uranium dust can cause kidney and lung damage. This is stated clearly in a report released last year by the imperialists’ own United Nations.

In Kosovo, in 1999, the U.S. military sent a ”hazard awareness” memo to its allies, warning of the health risks posed by the depleted uranium munitions littering the ground from the NATO bombing campaign.

Facing their allied governments, they say one thing. But facing sick soldiers, or the rest of the world, they say the opposite. The U.S. government spent money on studies to make the weapons appear harmless—and their spokespeople still mouth lies to that effect.

What do you call covering up the results of their poisonous weapons, like they did with Agent Orange in Vietnam? Or with the Gulf War veterans who came down with diseases they couldn’t explain? That is what you call disinformation!