Feb 5, 2001
During the NATO "intervention" in the Balkans, all the media shamelessly made themselves the spokespeople for the governments and the armed services chiefs of staff of the great powers. Their aim was to convince international public opinion that these wars had only democratic and humanitarian goals, and that their character was absolutely painless, without any loss for the civilian population or for the soldiers of the imperialist armies. Supposedly, the extreme precision of modern arms permitted them to hit exclusively military objectives, arms depots and arms factories, convoys of armored cars or hangers and military aircraft.
The recent death from leukemia of a soldier from the Italian expeditionary force in the Balkans reminds us that things did not occur so idyllically. Five other Italian soldiers died before him in an identical manner. A seventh, sick and hospitalized, is dying. In Belgium, five soldiers who came back from the Balkans died of cancer. The French defense minister admitted that there are four French cases.
The Italian government finally questioned NATO headquarters about the use of rockets and shells made of depleted uranium. Scientific tests have already shown that depleted uranium presents toxic risks linked to its radioactivity. Nevertheless, the U.S. military chief of staff refuses any moratorium on arms containing depleted uranium.
The generals and the political leaders who pretend there is no evidence linking depleted uranium to the deaths and illnesses are purely and simply cynical. They know very well that every war carries serious consequences for its victims and for its combatants. But they also know the bourgeois media is ready to repeat any lies they tell.