Judy Mandelbaum

Judy Mandelbaum
Brooklyn, New York, United States
June 01
Freelance writer, editor, and first citizen of Judy's World.

Judy Mandelbaum's Links

Women and society
No links in this category.
The Jewish world and Israel
War and peace
Women and Islam
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 4, 2010 8:37AM

Freedom's bitter legacy: Birth defects in Iraq

Rate: 8 Flag

A deformed baby in Fallujah

A report from BBC reporter John Simpson today finally revealed to the English-speaking world what everyone living near the Persian Gulf has known all along: the US-led occupation of Iraq since 2003 not only led to the toppling of the Baath Party but also to a public health disaster whose most disturbing feature is a vast increase in birth defects among Iraqi children.

According to Simpson, major birth defects in the city of Fallujah, a city of some 310,000 inhabitants that was the scene of ferocious combat between US and insurgent forces in 2004, have skyrocketed to at least thirteen times the rate measured in Europe. Pediatrician Samira al-Ani told the journalist that she now sees two to three cases at her American-built hospital each day instead of one case every one or two months before the war. The defects range from heart problems, tumors, missing limbs and paralysis to brain damage. One child was born with three heads. A British-based Iraqi researcher called Malik Hamdam reports seeing "footage of babies born with an eye in the middle of the forehead, the nose on the forehead." The situation has become so serious in Fallujah that public officials are urging local women to stop reproducing altogether.

Today's BBC report isn't exactly a scoop. The global press, particularly the Guardian, has been reporting on the phenomenon for years, although you'd never guess it judging by what shows up about Iraq in the American mass media.

What is causing this epidemic? There has been no official inquiry so far, but local officials assume the defects arose from the weapons used by US forces in 2004, when they pounded the city with munitions laced with white phosphorus and depleted uranium. Much of the rubble was simply dumped into the Euphrates River, which the local population uses as a water supply. Both white phosphorus and depleted uranium are believed to cause cancers and birth defects. So far the US military denies any knowledge of these reports.

Depleted Uranium 

Yes, we all know that "war is hell" and "freedom isn't free." But isn't this a darkly ironic outcome in a war that was purportedly waged to save innocent people from "weapons of mass destruction"...?

For a detailed video report, click HERE.


Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
This is so incredibly heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing something that the Mainstream Media will never show. (Warning: I absolutely hate the way our media has gone in the last 10 years if not more ... and I used to work in the newsroom.)

Looks like a tank round. I remember as far back as the first gulf war they gave the Marines depleted uranium rounds for their tanks instead of giving them the Abrams tank. The people who study war are systems analysts, and the thorniest problem in systems analysis if to figure out what's inside the system and what's outside it. When we invaded Iraq, long term effects -- probably most effects -- on Hussein's repressed citizenry wasn't inside the system. We've begun to see some progress lately, with the military attempting to minimize at least short term "collateral" damage. At least we don't use land mines.
And, of course, you might want to listen to this interview to provide a little balance to your anecdotal and sensational video report.
Don't feel bad, we were decimating the children way before this invasion as we choked off the flow of medical supplies to Iraq as part of our sanctions.

And actually, freedom is free, it's freeing oil that's costly. We will look back in irony one day as we realize that our lust for oil to "preserve" our way of life will be exactly what destroyed us. I have no sympathy for our coming time of despair. We will have fought hard for it.
Gee, no "official inquiry so far" ... I wonder why.
So, so SAD and despicable. Thanks for showing one of the consequences of our thirst for oil and war.
@Behind Blue Eyes
What I can't figure out is, given our history, why people don't steer clear. Do they expect us to change? There have to be better ways to deal with the US than to invite us to bomb them.
Actually, we installed the friendly, compliant government Iran wanted. But that's just a gambit. Will Iran accept or decline?
"War is hell" and you'd think the most intelligent species on the planet would have figured out better methods of compromise, cooperation, and settling differences in general. But, no. As journalist John Reed said concerning the reasons behind WW I, "Profit." One word.

And "freedom isn't free"?!! You bought into the myth sold by the Fascist wealthy elite, and successfully, to the unthinking masses who have been brainwashed to believe they live in the "greatest nation on earth" instead of one of the most racist and hypocritical. The military-corporate complex operates for profit by the wealthy, for the wealthy, and of the wealthy.

The blood, the misery, suffering, deceptions, torture, now birth defects that the USA has wrought in Iraq is the essence of evil. Want to know the definition of "evil"? It's what's been done in Iraq for profit by soulless men.
This is the first I have read of these environmentally unfriendly munitions. We are destroying the lives of the very people we profess to be saving. Could it be that making the world safe for democracy was only a pretext?
This is a well deserved EP. It’s infinitely more newsworthy than reality show updates.
My guess is Mandelbaum is too smart to answer people who don't recognize irony. See, the quotes around war is hell and freedom isn't free suggest she doesn't subscribe to those slogans herself. She's ridiculing people who do.
Depleted Uranium - Who uses it?
At least 18 countries are known to have DU in their arsenals:

* UK
* US
* France
* Russia
* China
* Greece
* Turkey
* Thailand
* Taiwan
* Israel
* Bahrain
* Egypt
* Kuwait
* Saudi Arabia
* India
* Belarus
* Pakistan
* Oman

Most of these countries were sold DU by the US, although the UK, France and Pakistan developed it independently.

Only the US and the UK are known to have fired it in warfare. It was used in the 1991 Gulf War, in the 2003 Iraq War, and also in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s and during the NATO war with Serbia in 1999.

While its use has been claimed in a number of other conflicts, (e.g. Vietnam) this has not been confirmed. It has been available since the 1960's and was tested extensively in Hawaii.

Bottom line in all of this (For Me) is that "Human Beings" develop this and other horrifying methods of killing each other.

No single country in isolation is wholly responsible for this, “human beings are! I am not defending the USA here nor am I defending the land of my birth (UK).

I am simply saying that “WE”, all of us on this planet, MUST start looking at planetary solutions to our hatred(s) for one another.
Mal Noble:
--“WE”, all of us on this planet, MUST start looking at planetary solutions to our hatred(s) for one another.--

I agree!
@ Billy Glad

I’m certain the author recognized my question as rhetorical. Fighting for freedom is like f**cking for virginity. It makes no sense.
@Spin Doctor
And my comment wasn't directed at you.
@ Billy Glad

Mea Culpa

I should have paid closer attention to the entire comment thread.