'NATO weapons turn Mideast toxic'
Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:33AM
Interview with David Lindorff, author and investigative journalist, Philadelphia.
Image shows depleted uranium dust over an Iraqi tank
Astronomical rate of gross birth defects in Fallujah in Iraq has proven the case against weapons that use depleted uranium. Currently, however, NATO uses such weapons in Libya.
Press TV interviews David Lindorff, author and investigative journalist in Philadelphia, on the nuclear-type war the US and NATO are waging in Muslim Middle Eastern and North African nations.
The following is a rush transcript of the interview.
Press TV: The transitional movement of government in Benghazi - they have said that as of next week they are going to resume production and export of oil from Libya - they never say who they're selling it to...
David Lindorff: Well it should be pretty clear, they have a pipeline that goes straight to Italy; Libya is the main supplier to southern Europe so the oil is going to the NATO countries.
Press TV: Turning to the alleged use of depleted uranium that is apparently being used in Libya by the Western forces - reports say they are being used in positions that basically belong to the revolutionaries and not Qaddafi loyalists. What do you think about that?
David Lindorff: I haven't seen a solid confirmation that it's been used, but there is a lot of evidence that points strongly toward it. The way some of these armed vehicles and tanks have been hit look like it's pretty strong evidence that it is depleted uranium; it's the kind of explosive burn that you get from that particular ammunition. And certainly the US has been flying A10s, which generally use depleted uranium shells in their armaments.
Press TV: Some of those tanks you've seen belong to the revolutionaries...
David Lindorff: Well they have hit some of the rebel army positions in addition...One point to make though is that when they hit the tanks that belong to Qaddafi the rebels then go over and stand on the things and cheer while they're still smoldering and if they've been hit with uranium they're breathing in the dust from the uranium weapon.
Press TV: Yes that's right. How does it go with the stated goal of the operation as being to provide protection to civilians?
David Lindorff: The whole thing is that there shouldn't be use of any uranium weapons. People like Doug Rockey, a scientist who was in the (US) military and had the primary responsibility for cleaning up after the first US war with Iraq in 1991 - his conclusion on that effort and tests they have done in the Nevada desert is that these weapons should never be used because they completely toxify for a billion years the battlefield wherever they're used and the stuff never goes away; it has a half-life of tow and a half billion years I think.
So you've got this microscopic uranium dust wherever the weapons were used in the environment and anyone who lives there in the future of 'liberated' Iraq or 'liberated' Libya or 'liberated' Afghanistan or wherever they use these weapons is polluted with uranium dust for generations and generations to come.
We're seeing the results of that in Fallujah in Iraq where the birth defect rate is astronomical.
Press TV: The criticism that America has been receiving over its involvement in Libya- some say that America has not been doing enough. Do you think so?
David Lindorff: (laugh) Well my own sentiment on this is that using military to solve these kinds of problems ends up always victimizing the citizens. I haven't seen too many wars I can look at and say that that made a lot of sense.
The idea of using massive air fire power to protect civilians is almost an oxymoron because it's so hard for pilots flying at the altitude and speed there flying at to discern friend from foe. And for the bombs that they use, which include anti-personnel weapons - the very thing that our secretary of state was so offended to hear that Qaddafi was using saying it was an atrocious weapon whoever is using it, but we (the US) use them all the time.
Once you start using these kinds of weapons you get indiscriminate killings and this results in disproportionate deaths of civilians and it's usually kids that are the main victims of war.
Press TV: Out of the reports I was reading about Libya recently one was about an alleged intention of America wanting to locate its army 'Africa Command' in Libya - this was before the war started actually and that has apparently been faced with Qaddafi's disagreement. Analysts say that is part of the reasons America has participated in or orchestrated an attack against Libya. How likely is that ?
David Lindorff: I would discount that. They have so many places that they could have the Africa Command that having it Libya doesn't really make sense. The oil is the reasons; it's what is driving US policy in Libya ad everywhere else in the Middle East.
Press TV: Do you think the attacks by the West are meeting their aim - Are they working?
David Lindorff: Obviously not. The goal is to overthrow Qaddafi and they haven't succeeded.
Press TV: Reports say that the quality of oil from Libya is among the best in the world. How is that important in this war?
David Lindorff: It's important in Europe and for oil prices. My understanding of the situation is Libyan oil is extremely low sulfur and easy to refine into the kind of unleaded fuel that is demanded in the US and particularly in Europe. The US has a good supply of low sulfur oil in Texas, but the Europeans need it from Libya, it's a major source.
Oil has the same price around the world basically so that if the Europeans need the oil from Libya and they have to buy it at a higher price or they can't get it, then the oil for the European refineries that are built to handle that kind of oil and are not equipped to handle high sulfur oil like you get from Saudi Arabia then the price of that high Quality oil goes up everywhere including in the US, which buys low sulfur oil from the North Sea.