Professor Sobrinho Simoes, President of the Portuguese Institute of Pathology and Molecular Immunology, stated yesterday that it is important to verify what type of leukaemia the NATO soldiers in Kosovo suffer from, since different agents cause different types of leukaemia and although depleted uranium might be responsible, the cause could be another. He stated that uranium causes a particular type of leukaemia but there are many other agents, such as electro-magnetic radiation, Benzene, dioxins and other polluting agents, which could have come into contact with NATO soldiers in the Balkans. Another important issue raised by this professor was that uranium indeed causes cancer, but usually many years after contact and not so immediately as seems to be the case in Kosovo. Whatever the case, it is obvious that if depleted uranium did not cause the Balkans Syndrome, something else did. The question is, what ? NATO indeed has always claimed that depleted uranium is safe but all the circumstantial evidence indicates the contrary. In fact, in a court of law, the case against NATO would seem to be at least as strong as the case defending the organisation. At least… One has only to read the pages of Pravda.Ru in recent months to find a wealth of hard, scientific facts, backed up with firm documented evidence, which indicate that there is indeed a link between depleted uranium and illness. Everyone would be extremely happy to find out that in fact depleted uranium is harmless and that the soldiers and civilians affected by Gulf War Syndrome and Balkans Syndrome were just pretending or lying. It would also be nice to hear that the reported cases of malformation and disease among Iraqi children are mere figments of the imagination and that the incidence of leukaemia among soldiers who were stationed in the Balkans are no higher than the average. It would please us all to discover that the deaths of numerous civilians in Iraq and Bosnia from cancerous illnesses were fabrications and that in fact they died of other causes. Everyone, everywhere wants to win the lottery… The point is that the international press, in which Pravda.Ru assumes its position fully with all due responsibility and total journalistic integrity, has the responsibility to inform the public about what is happening. This is done not out of spite or hatred but due to a duty, a responsibility, exercised at times with extreme sadness and reticence but always exercised from the point of view of what is right, just and true, which attempts to follow the currents of the modern world at any given time in history. At a time when the world is finally becoming a global village, when black and white is no longer an issue, where the concern for human integrity is the basis of practically all global policies, it does not make sense for a pressure group of countries with an inflated and obese idea of their own importance to go globe-trotting on a spree of destruction. Such behaviour these days has a destiny and one destiny only: the International Penal Court of the Hague and the charges are War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.
TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON
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