A Taboo Subject for the Corporate Media by BSN Editor
Finding the important stories within the mainstream media is never an easy task. When the story is critical of corporate or state power that task is almost impossible, the mainstream media tend to play down or as in this case, not report it at all (with the honourable exception of Patrick Cockburn of the London Independent below).
One reason the UK government does not want the use by British forces and the devastating effects of depleted uranium to be widely known amongst the general public is simple; there are serious legal consequences. For instance, many have posited that the use of DU weapons against civilians is a war crime. Similarly, the mainstream media do not want to report this as to do so would draw attention to their crimes and complicity in allowing government statements (or lack thereof) to go unchallenged. So the story is ignored by those tasked with informing the public and we’re left in the dark about the suffering of thousands of victims, many of them children.
The shocking rates of infant mortality and cancer in Iraqi city raise new questions about battle
Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.
Iraqi doctors in Fallujah have complained since 2005 of being overwhelmed by the number of babies with serious birth defects, ranging from a girl born with two heads to paralysis of the lower limbs. They said they were also seeing far more cancers than they did before the battle for Fallujah between US troops and insurgents.
Their claims have been supported by a survey showing a four-fold increase in all cancers and a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in under-14s. Infant mortality in the city is more than four times higher than in neighbouring Jordan and eight times higher than in Kuwait.
Is the U.S. war in Iraq behind an increase of severe birth defects in Fallujah?
That’s the question raised by new research co-authored by an Ann Arbor resident and published in the International Journal of Environmental Health.
“Lots of babies are dying in Fallujah,” said environmental toxicologist Mozhgan Savabieasfahani. “Those who don’t die have a grim future. Their parents aren’t able to care about them.”
The study authors theorize that military assaults in Fallujah left a toxic footprint that could be continuing to harm families there, especially pregnant mothers and their babies, some of whom are being born with severe deformities and other problems.
Savabieasfahani, author of the 2009 book Pollution and Reproductive Damage, joined the international research team working on the study after she saw Fallujah General Hospital doctor Samir Allani on BBC news reports about the birth defects. Allani was interviewed by the BBC about birth defects and cancer in the Iraqi city following heavy U.S. assaults in 2004 aimed at stamping out out an insurgency.
The latest study, funded by The Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalize War, focuses on birth defects observed at the hospital since 2003. International media outlets, including the BBC World and others, have published reports on the Ann Arbor resident’s research since the journal published the paper Dec. 31.
In May 2010, 15 percent of 547 babies born at the hospital had severe birth defects. “This is in contrast to 2 to 4 percent that is normal in human population,” Savabieasfahani said.
During other months in 2010, babies being born with birth defects have been observed at rates as high as 30 percent, Savabieasfahani said.
Lacking comprehensive birth records for the town, study authors took detailed reproductive histories from four families to create a snapshot of births in Fallujah before and after 2004 U.S. assaults.
Of the four families surveyed, none had reported deformities or childhood cancers before 2003, with the exception of one case of childhood leukemia.