National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said this week, when asked about UK shipments of Depleted Uranium weapons to Ukraine: “If Russia is deeply concerned about the welfare of their tanks and tank soldiers, the safest thing for them to do is move them across the border, get them out of Ukraine.”
Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesperson Garron Garn said Depleted Uranium had “saved the lives of many service members in combat,” and “other countries have long possessed depleted uranium rounds as well, including Russia.”
Welcome to the bottom of the abyss of moral thinking. If Russia — the folks you’re sending deadly weapons to kill — does it, then it must be acceptable! If a weapon kills people on one side in a war then it can be described instead as having saved lives on the other side of a war, even if it prolonged or escalated a war! And a weapon widely believed to cause horrible illness and birth defects years later to those who live where it’s used should be characterized as a concern only in the context of tanks and soldiers!
The reason that numerous countries have banned Depleted Uranium weapons, and most of the world’s countries have repeatedly tried to get them restricted, monitored, investigated, and reported on, is that numerous doctors and scientists strongly suspect these weapons of causing huge numbers of illnesses and birth defects in the Balkans and in Iraq, beginning several years after their use, and lasting until who knows when. If you’re employed to smooth over the violation of all rules for the Rules Based Order, you’re clearly supposed to avoid the actual concern entirely.
Here’s how the New York Times skirts the issue: “Questions have long followed the use of depleted uranium in some munitions and armor, as outside groups have raised environmental and safety concerns. A 2022 report from the United Nations Environment Program identified depleted uranium as a risk in the war in Ukraine, saying that while it does not release radiation that can penetrate healthy skin, it ‘does have the potential to cause radiation damage if inhaled or ingested,’ which can happen when the material is pulverized on impact. The Pentagon has also deemed depleted uranium safe, though after the U.S. military used it in Iraq, some activists and others connected it to birth defects and cancers. Numerous studies have been conducted on a possible link, without firm conclusions.”
Oh, well, there’s some possibility that what caused those record cancer rates and hideous birth defects was mostly other toxic war weapons and burn pits, not just Depleted Uranium, so fire away! I mean, if the Pentagon has “deemed” it safe. What more could you ask!
Well, you could ask whether they’d be comfortable blowing the stuff through the air ducts in the Pentagon, but that would be inappropriate. After all, people work there. In Ukraine we’re not dealing with people so much as Russians and Ukrainians, and really that’s pretty much who will live there for years to come, no matter who wins, if humanity survives, so who cares!