JOHN ASHTEAD: British serviceman had to be tested in Canada?

What is Gulf War Syndrome? It is the same as Balkan syndrome. It is the result of using depleted uranium weapons. These were used in Iraq, in Bosnia and in Kosovo. The results are that soldiers suffer from symptoms like radiation sickness – memory loss, nausea, skin infections, loss of hair, kidney and liver failure, and so on.

Why does it only affect soldiers? It does not only affect soldiers. Many children are being born in Iraq with malformations and leukaemia and now civilians are starting to die in Bosnia. Early days yet in Kosovo but wait fifteen years and you will see the full extent of the tragedy.

But NATO said that there was no danger posed by DU. Yes, they did, at first. Now they are admitting that there is a small risk of contamination, even though there are hundreds of soldiers dead from leukaemia and other cancers and now the first hundreds of deaths in civilians start to appear.

So the risk is not that small, then? It would seem not, the worst is yet to come. The British Gulf War veterans are launching a campaign to make sure this never happens again to a British soldier. I understand they are making tests to see if there is any evidence behind the scare stories? These are not scare stories. All accusations are based on documentary evidence, many documents being from the files of NATO itself. Make no mistake: they knew what they were doing.

Yes, but the tests should prove either that NATO is guilty or that the stories are false. Not at all. Gulf War victims, tested by NATO, proved negative to radioactivity and toxicity. However, as is the case with soldier Connolly, he has lost the use of both kidneys. To use his words -“Doctors did not understand what they were seeing because they had never seen a case of DU poisoning before”. He added that if the tests are not focused on the exact isotope of uranium used, they prove negative. It is necessary to adjust the tests to the type of uranium isotope used, otherwise they will give false results.

So it is not simply a case of performing tests and saying that everything is OK? No, it is not. Other examples are available, for instance that of Ray Bristow. Only when his urine samples were tested in Canada did any evidence of DU poisoning appear. He has painful joints, memory loss, liver and kidney problems.

But wasn’t Bristow the one who was serving in Saudi Arabia? This is not in Iraq! Exactly. That is the point. DU particles can travel very far and still be toxic.

But why was he tested in Canada? He is British, isn’t he? Well yes, he is. He is one of 40 British servicemen tested by the British Medical Services…and nothing was found. Because all the members of the group were still suffering from symptoms similar to other Gulf War veterans, they decided to request tests made by a Canadian laboratory…and the test results were radically different. They all showed high uranium levels in the urine samples. But NATO has stated many times that there was no risk from DU. No comment.

JOHN ASHTEAD Pravda.Ru London