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Resolution to Ban
the Use of Radioactive Weapons in Warfare
Justice and Witness Committee
Congregational/UCC Church, Jacksonville, Illinois
Richard Palmer principal framer
May 2003, last updated 5 March 2004

This is an Informational Website in Support of a Resolution to Condemn the Production, Sale, and Use of Nuclear and Depleted Uranium Weapons to be presented to the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ in June 2004.

The purpose of the Resolution is to make a protest that draws public attention to the disastrous effects of using these little-known radioactive weapons that are cruel, illegal, immoral, inhumane, and contaminate the environment for billions of years.

The purpose of the present Website is to provide study groups in the Illinois Conference with resources for evaluating the proposal to ban depleted uranium weapons and to deplore the resumption of the nuclear arms race. Through links, it will make available important information from both domestic and international sources.

The Resolution was proposed in June, 2003, by the Justice and Witness Committee of the Jacksonville [Illinois] Congregational/UCC Church, an Open and Affirming, Just Peace Church.

This Website provides the Resolution itself and three other sections of supporting materials.

  1. The Resolution to be presented for consideration at the Annual Meeting of the Illinois Conference of the UCC in June, 2004

  2. Ten recommended documents for study of the Resolution

  3. Ten books worth reading

  4. Seventeen Websites dedicated to the banning of Depleted Uranium with extensive links to other Web sites

Resolution against the development of new nuclear weapons and the deployment of Depleted Uranium weapons by the U.S. in recent conflicts

  1. Whereas the Administration is presently taking steps to negate the decades old moratorium on the development and testing of nuclear weapons in order to develop a Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator bomb, mininukes, and other weapons which violate the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, and this provides an incentive for other nations to resume the development of nuclear weapons;

  2. Whereas the Parliament of the European Union on February 13, 2003 passed a resolution to ban the production and use of cluster bombs and Depleted Uranium weapons and several years earlier a subcommittee of the U.N. passed a ban on Depleted Uranium weapons proposed by Ramsey Clark, which was later blocked by the U.S. representative;

  3. Whereas the Laka Foundation in May, 1999 published a detailed report, "Depleted Uranium: A Post-War Disaster for Environment and Health", available on the Internet, noting that the uranium oxide dust particles created by these weapons remain radioactive and harmful for 4.5 billion years, contaminating the air, the soil, the water for billions of years;

  4. Whereas the U.S. and U.K. governments officially deny the health hazards of Depleted Uranium in weapons (see the Pentagon statement on March 14, 2003) and because of this, the Pentagon has recently stated that they will not clean up DU from weapons used in Iraq; on the other hand, Doug Rokke, who was in charge of clean-up after the first Gulf War passionately writes, "Do Not Use Depleted Uranium Munitions Again!" (see his article) and Dr. Leuren Moret accuses the Administration of damaging the genetic future of the Iraqi people by the use of Depleted Uranium weapons, a mountain of scientific evidence suggests that DU radioactively contaminates the environment for billions of years;

  5. Whereas Depleted Uranium weapons, as "weapons of indiscriminate effect," violate the basic principles of a Just War as enunciated by Augustine and historically observed by Christian nations; and whereas they also violate the Geneva Conventions regarding warfare (See Protocol 1 of the 1977 Geneva Protocols) and many groups see them as weapons of mass destruction because they massively kill civilians, and contaminate the environment long-term; and see the argument by Karen Parker, an expert on humanitarian law, who forcefully argues that additional treaties are not needed because DU is already clearly illegal under international law. See her "Campaign Against Depleted Uranium," a paper delivered at an international conference in Manchester, UK, 4-5 November 2000 and most recently submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 14 July 2003.

  6. Whereas President Bush has surrounded himself with far-right wing advisors who suggest the U.S. should use nuclear weapons in a future war (see a recent article about a key advisor, Keith Payne, who is referred to as "Rumsfeld's Dr. Strangelove"), for instance, Keith Payne has plans for the U.S. "engaging in and winning a nuclear war" with "acceptable levels" of U. S. casualties;

  7. Whereas Isaiah heralded a vision of peace, writing "God shall judge between the nations and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hoods; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4);

  8. Whereas as followers of Jesus, we are taught to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44), to be peacemakers (Matt. 5:9), and to treat others as we want to be treated (Matt. 7:12);

  9. Whereas Paul taught that to be a faithful Christian is to treat enemies as neighbors in need saying, "No, if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads. Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good"(Romans 12:20);

  10. Whereas we are repeatedly taught to imitate God, care about the poor (Psalms 72:13, 41:1, Mark 10:21, James 2:5-7), and not to contribute to a world where the numbers of the poor are actually increased by our decisions.

Be it resolved:

  1. We deplore as immoral the ever increasing use by the U.S. of uranium in its weapons.

  2. We deplore the plans to develop and deploy new weapons of nuclear destruction.

  3. We deplore the reckless, secret, internationally illegal, and clearly immoral use of radioactive weapons in recent conflicts in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

  4. We call for legislators to turn back from the road to nuclear war.

  5. We call for a public disclosure by the U.S. of their use of such weapons.

  6. We call for retraction of Pentagon statements minimizing the battlefield effects of using depleted uranium.

  7. Instead of a massive cover-up, we call for the U.S. to collect data and take responsibility for the long-term health damage caused by the use of such weapons so far in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and in Iraq.

  8. In this context we call for support of Congressman James McDermott's Bill (HR 1483, proposed March 11, 2003) requiring an investigation of the health effects of exposure to Depleted Uranium by inhalation and also the political, social, and scientific effects.

Resolution proposed and signed by the Justice and Witness Committee of Congregational/UCC Church, Jacksonville, IL, Mary Hathaway, Jerry Noble (Chair), Richard Palmer, Bruce Pilcher, Fran Ringle and Betty Sue Sherrod, Pastor. May, 2003.

Supporting evidence for the first six points above:

(Underlined text below indicates a direct link to the item in question.)

In support of Whereas #1:
See "Pentagon wants `mini-nukes' to fight terrorists," by Julian Coman,, 10 Oct 2003; "Senate retains nuclear research funds - Democrats warn of renewed arms race," by Helen Dewar and Walter Pincus, Washington Post, 17 Sep 2003; "NPT: A treaty in crisis," Jane's International Security News, 18 Sep 2003; "China Upstages US at Nuclear Non-Proliferation Conference," by Heather Wokusch,, 13 Sep 2003; "Bunker Busters: a whole new nuclear ballgame - Weapon will be first conventional warfighting nuke," Greenpeace, 23 Sep 2003; "Proposed Energy Department Budget Would Boost Funds for Nuclear Weapons," by Karen Yourish with Matthew Johnson, Arms Control Association, 2001; "Alliance for Nuclear Accountability to DOE FY2005 Proposal: Plans for Dangerous Nuclear Weapons Excalation, More Wastes Left Behind, Show Misplaced Priorities," by Bob Schaeffer, Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, 2 Feb 2004, emphasizing " Ever rising nuclear weapons budgets violate the U.S. commitment to nuclear disarmament under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and send an alarming message to nations which the U.S. is trying to dissuade from developing nuclear arsenals."

In support of Whereas #2:
See "Europe votes for DU ban, BBC News, 18 Jan 2001.

In support of Whereas #3:
Most of the arguments about the undangerous character of uranium neglect the fact that when uranium bullets hit their target they burst into flames creating uranium oxide particles that float in the air, a toxic chemical when breathed into the lungs. The particles eventually land on the soil and are absorbed into the water supply and thence into food. The Laka Foundation Report clarifies the hazards of these airborne uranium particles. Also the pictures of Iraqi children afflicted with leukemia, birth defects, and others diseases, increased in southern Iraq tenfold after the first Gulf War contradict the claims that uranium in weapons is harmless. See "Depleted Uranium Weapons and Acute Post-War Health Effects: An Assessment by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War" (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, 19 Feb 2001). See Larry Johnson, "Iraqi cancers, birth defects blamed on U.S. depleted uranium," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 12 Nov 2002 (available on the Internet). See also the book: Children of the Gulf War: A Different Nuclear War, photos and text by Takashi Morizumi, published in Japan in 2002 and circulated in America by Global Peacemakers Association, Atlanta. And also Dr. Rosalie Bertell's article "Gulf War Veterans and Depleted Uranium."

In support of Whereas #4:
Kelly, Matt. "Pentagon: Depleted Uranium No Health Risk," Associated Press, 14 Mar 2003. "Dr. Michael Kilpatrick and Col. James Naughton brief reports on Depleted Uranium," Defense LINK, 14 Mar 2003, U.S. Department of Defense. According to these persons offered by the Pentagon, the impact of DU on health and environment is minimal. For a statement of the Pentagon view of DU "U.S. to use Depleted Uranium," BBC News, 18 Mar 2003, and "Pentagon Officials say DU is powerful, safe," by Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, Armed Forces Information Service, 14 Mar 2003. On the other hand, see Ian Sample and Nick Fleming, "When the dust settles: Depleted Uranium may be far more dangerous than previously thought - and we could be dealing with the fallout for many generations to come," The Guardian, 17 Apr 2003 (available on the internet), and Dietz, Leonard A., "Contamination of Persian Gulf War Veterans and Others by Depleted Uranium," 19 Jul 1996, who reports two-thirds of veterans surveyed in Mississippi returned to have children with birth defects. Dan Fahey in "Unresolved Issues Regarding Depleted Uranium and the Health of U.S. Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom," a paper delivered on 24 March 2004, notes seven failures of the Department of Defense to address the effects of DU and makes seven recommendations. Fahey shows that while Defense Department officials claim that no studies have shown harmful effects from DU, they hare blocked studies of Gulf War vets that would have investigated this to establish the truth. And Larry Johnson, "Iraqi cancers, birth defects blamed on U.S. depleted uranium," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 12 Nov 2002 (available on the Internet), and Doug Rokke, "Do Not Use Depleted Uranium Munitions Again."

In support of Whereas #5:
See "List of Treaties Relevant to the Question of the Legality of DU Weapons," last revised 24 Sep 2003. See also "Law Professors and NGOs Warn President Bush of Legal Consequences of Iraq War," David Lerner, Center for Constitutional Rights, 24 Jan 2003, on U.S. war crimes in the conduct of the Iraq War (on Internet). And see also the IDUST Radiation Hazard Tutorial devoted to the illegal character of DU. For further information on illegality of depleted urainium weapons, see the "The Geneva Report on Depleted Uranium."

In support of Whereas #6:
Kaplan, Fred, "Rumsfeld's Dr. Strangelove - Keith Payne says 7,000 warheads aren't enough," Slate, 12 May 2003; Neil Mackay in "Bush Planned Iraq `Regime Change' Before Becoming President," The Sunday Herald, 15 Sep 2002, tells us that "A secret blueprint for US global domination reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq before he took power in January 2001" and before the attack on the twin towers in NYC! "Stop War and Nuclear Attacks!" the webpage of the Global Association for Banning Depleted Uranium Weapons. A Japanese website with a daily history of the campaign.

2. Ten Recommended Documents for Studying the Resolution.

  1. Larry Johnson, "Iraqi cancers, birth defects blamed on U.S. depleted uranium," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 12 November 2002. For this story, an international reporter visited southern Iraq and interviewed doctors in the Basra hospital, who report a tenfold increase in cancer, leukemia, and birth defects since the first Gulf War. The article has five touching pictures of victims of DU. This article is 8 pages on the internet, well written, and introduces the issue.

  2. Doug Rokke, "Do Not Use Depleted Uranium Munitions Again!" This is a passionate statement made before the present Iraqi war by the colonel/doctor who was put in charge of the cleanup after the first Gulf War. His recommendations were not followed and he resigned. He is a person who has been there and knows what he is talking about. The homepage of is extremely exercised by this threat and lists hundreds of interesting articles on DU along with the declaration that the nuclear clock has struck midnight! Rokke is available on a number of videos, which one can find by putting "Doug Rokke on video" on or Altavista or some other search engine. Four videos on this issue by several experts, including Rokke, Congressman Jim McDermott, Scott Ritter, and others are offered by the Interfaith Network of Concern for the People of Iraq at cost ($6.00 per copy).

  3. A third document takes up the effect of DU on American servicepersons from the first Gulf War: Leonard A. Dietz, "Contamination of Persian Gulf War Veterans and Others by Depleted Uranium, " 19 July 1996. This article is heavily documented and available on the Internet. In the final paragraphs it mentions a survey of 251 veterans from the first Gulf War who were interviewed regarding health effects of participation in the Gulf War. 67% percent reported leukemia, liver problems and difficult, damaged, or deformed births after the war. This indicates that DU has a high risk of causing health problems and problems for children of veterans.

  4. A heavily referenced 34-page scholarly article, "A Treatise on Military Weapons Containing the Radioactive Material: Depleted Uranium" co-authored by Dr. Albrecht Schott, Director of the World Depleted Uranium Center, Germany, Damacio A. Lopez, Director of the International Depleted Uranium Study Team (IDUST), U.S.A., and John M LaForge, editor of Nukewatch Pathfinder, U.S.A., is available in prepublication form for TAMARA Journal.

  5. "Uranium weapons in 2001-2003: Hazards of Uranium weapons in the proposed war on Iraq," compiled by Dai Williams, and published by Eos life~work resource centre. Williams is a pioneering researcher who discovered that the United Kingdom government was secretly using uranium in weapons (not just depleted uranium) in Afghanistan and subsequently in Iraq. This effectively blew the cover of both governments, who were attempting to downplay the significance of using radioactive weapons. He writes on the recent recognition of higher health risks of DU than estimated by official bodies.

  6. "Extreme Birth Deformities: Gulf War Syndrome Birth Defects in Iraq," a 17-page report with pictures of deformed infants. Not for those with weak stomachs. Additional pictures of DU-deformed babies were published in the book by Sieghorst-Gunther, President of the International Yellow Cross in his 1996 book, Uranium Projectiles: Severely Maimed Soldiers, Deformed Babies, Dying Children (Berlin: Ahriman Verlag, ISBN 3-89484-805-7). These comprise "a documentary record of DU ammunition after-effects." Although the defense departments of UK and US "deny that there is any significant danger from exposure to DU ammunition . . . most researchers point to DU as the most likely source of both deformities and cancers." (p. 1 of "Extreme Birth Deformities")

  7. Rosalie Bertell, "Gulf War Syndrome, Depleted Uranium and the Dangers of Low-Level Radiation." This essay of ten pages is well documented and includes discussion of the injuries to U.S. civilians handling DU.

  8. Eva Jasiewicz, "The Effects of Depleted Uranium in Iraq." This article, originally published in Voices in the Wilderness, is well documented and loaded with facts.

  9. A letter from Leuren Moret to Congressman McDermott and a California lecture. Dr. Moret is well qualified to speak on the environmental effects, and also the genetic effects of DU, which she argues have permanently damaged the genetic make-up of the Iraqi people. Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has a 3-page position paper favoring the banning of Depleted Uranium. See also the bill submitted by Congressman James McDermott, H.R. 1483,the "Depleted Uranium Munitions Study Act of 2003," and co-sponsored by half a dozen other Representatives from other states.

  10. Robert C. Koehler, "Silent Genocide: Depleted Uranium: The US and its Nuclear War in Iraq and Afghanistan." Dating from March 25, 2004, this is a short but touching call for banning the use of depleted uranium weapons at a time when we are recklessly exporting them.

3. Ten Books Worth Reading

  1. Busby, Chris (ed.) 2003 Recommendations of the ECRR -- The Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses and Low Dose Rates for Radiation Protection Purposes: Regulators' Edition, with Rosalie Bertell, Inge Schmitz-Feuerhake, Molly Scott Cato and Alexei Yablokov. Published on Behalf of the European Committee on Radiation Risk Comité Européen sur le Risque de l'Irradiation, Brussels by Green Audit, 2003. ISBN: 1 897761 24 4, 186 pp.

  2. Caldicott, Dr. Helen. The New Nuclear Danger: George Bush's Military-Industrial Complex. New York: The New Press, 2002. This book serves to educate a new generation on the dangers of the nuclear age with its startling look at the frightful imminence of nuclear war in our volatile times.

  3. Clark, Ramsey (ed.) Challenge to Genocide: Let Iraq Live. Analysis and narrative reporting by travelers to Iraq in 1998 with eyewitness testimony of the status of Iraqi society after eight years of sanctions including testimony by experts in their field: doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, water treatment specialists, scientists studying the effects of depleted uranium, and investigators into the causes for a new screwworm fly epidemic. New York: International Action Center, 1998. Available in part on the Internet.

  4. Metal of Dishonor - Depleted Uranium: How the Pentagon Radiates Soldiers and Civilians with DU Weapons. Contributions by Ashraf El Bayoumi, Rosalie Bertell, Helen Caldicott, Ramsey Clark, J.M. Gould, Micho Kaku, Manuel Pino. New York: International Action Center. 2nd edition, 1999. Although dated, the best source of information on Depleted Uranium weapons.

  5. Depleted Uranium: A Post-War Disaster for Environment and Health. Contributions by Felicity Arbuthnot, Rosalie Bertell, Ray Bristow, Peter Diehl, Dan Fahey, Henk van der Keur, and Daniel Robicheau. A 39-page booklet published by the Laka Foundation in May 1999. Available on the Internet. Reliable and interesting.

  6. Gûnther, Sigwar-Horst. Uranium Projectiles: Severely Maimed Soldiers, Deformed Babies, Dying Children in German or trilingual version in English, French, and German with prefaces by Tony Benn, Ramsey Clark, Margarita Papandreou, and Freimut Seidel. 2nd enlarged edition, Freiburg: Ahriman-Verlag, 2000. 92pp. 60 pages of pictures, many in color, of birth-defective children from Iraq. Really touching pictures. Available in part on the Internet.

  7. Gut, Anne and Vitale, Bruno. Depleted Uranium - Deadly, Dangerous and Indiscriminate: The Full Picture. Published by CADU - the Campaign Against Depleted Uranium. Translated from the French; Contribution au debat sur l'uranium appauvri. Nottingham: Spokesman Press, December 2003. A valuable and systematic recent source on the subject. 158pp.

  8. Morizumi, Takashi. Children of the Gulf War: A Different Nuclear War. A book of about 72 pages of pictures of children in the hospital and children in everyday life. Published by the Global Association for Banning Depleted Uranium Weapons. Printed in Japan by Nakamotohonten, 2002.

  9. Tashiro, Akira. Discounted Casualties: The Human Cost of Depleted Uranium. Foreword by Leuren Moret, President of Scientists for Indigenous People, Berkeley, CA. Published in Japan by the Chugoku Shimbun, distributed in the U.S. and Europe by Transnational Resource Network. An acclaimed Japanese journalist on the staff of the Hiroshima daily newspaper spent four months interviewing real people near factories, firing ranges, talking to veterans, etc. For this book he was awarded the JCJ Prize, Japan's highest aware for journalistic excellence. Good text, plus abundant pictures. Bulk of the book can be viewed on-line and can be purchased on-line.

  10. Walker, Terry. The Mother of all Battles, DreamStar Books, 2003. A British veteran of the first Gulf War tells the story of his experiences. 211pp. Significant portions of the book are available on-line.

4. Seventeen Websites dedicated to the banning of Depleted Uranium

  1. IDUST (International Depleted Uranium Study Team)
  2. Traprock Peace Center
  3. CADU (Campaign Against Depleted Uranium)
  4. WISE The Uranium Project of the World Information Source on Energy
  5. Laka Foundation
  6. ICBUW (International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)
  7. Better World Links: Military Armaments - Depleted Uranium Weapons
  8. Military Toxics Project
  9. International Action Centre
  10. National Gulf War Resource Center, Inc.
  11. Swords to Plowshares
  12. Information Clearing House
  13. The Health Costs of Low-Level Ionizing Radiation
  14. Stop Nato: Depleted Uranium Watch
  15. Depleted Uranium Burning: An Eternal Medical Disaster - Issues on the Use and Effects of Radiation Weapons
  16. Uranium Medical Research Centre
    See also "Ex-military doctor decries use of depleted uranium weapons" (story on URMC Director Durakovic), The Japan Times, 22 Nov 2003
  17. NucNews on Depleted Uranium

Also see the bulletins on

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