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RE: [casi] the real story behind the arrest of Dr. Huda Saleh MehdiAmash

A week ago, Karen Parker, Leuren Moret and I sent a press release to this list
indicating a coverup of the impacts of DU in progress by US invasion forces in
Iraq. This news about Dr Amash, a leading expert on the impacts of DU in Iraq,
reinforces that view. I also can't help but be suspicious of the unfettered
looting of the Iraqi uranium facility as reported by the Jordan Times. Any
cancer studies in Iraq will now have to take this event into account...thus
obscuring impacts of the US/UK for the use of DU, which the UN Sub-commission
on the Protection and Promotion of Rights has declared illegal under the
operation of law.
Thanks Dirk for bringing the work of Dr Amash to our attention again. A
campaign should be mounted on her behalf, perhaps with the help of the
Physicians for Social Responsibility,
Philippa Winkler

>===== Original Message From Dirk Adriaensens <>
>[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]
>Dear all,
>I met Huda Saleh Mehdi Amash three times in Baghdad, and on these occasions
she impressed us with very clear explanations on the political world-situation
and the use of DU in Iraq by the US and the health situation of the Iraqi
population in general. I remember her as a very intelligent person. I could
easily understand why she, being a woman, was elected in the government in
2001 to represent the trade-unions. In this mail you can read an interview we
had with her during our international peace mission in april 2002. On our last
meeting in january 2003, she was minister of education.
>I was quite surprised when she figured on the US cardgame. I kept wondering
why. After reading the next article,  I begin to understand. I suggest you to
read this mail. Specially those, like Philippa and Jo Baker, who have a
special interest in DU.
>Dirk Adriaensens.
>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 7th, 2003 CONTACT:
>Alexander Dwinell
>On the detention of Dr. Huda S. Ammash
>The U.S. publishers of Dr. Huda S. Ammash assert that there may be political
motivations for her detention on Monday, May 5 in Baghdad by the U.S. military
on allegations that she oversaw Iraq's purported development of biological
weapons. Dr. Ammash, Dean of Baghdad University, is the author of "Toxic
Pollution, the Gulf War, and Sanctions," a peer reviewed research paper
published in _Iraq Under Siege_ (South End Press, 2002) an anthology that
examined the effects of the Gulf War and sanctions on Iraq.
>United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC)
spokesperson Hiro Ueki has confirmed to South End Press that based on earlier
research "UNMOVIC did not single Dr. Ammash out for interviews because UNMOVIC
did not have clear evidence to link Dr. Ammash to BW [biological weapons]
programs" when visiting Baghdad University on January 13th, 2003.
>"We are outraged at the U.S.'s extra-legal detention of Dr. Ammash and its
plans to interrogate her. We demand that Dr. Ammash be released immediately,"
said co-publisher Alexander Dwinell. "The U.S. government is trying to silence
Dr. Ammash's outspoken criticism of the U.S. role in causing cancers and other
illnesses in Iraq through its own use of biologically hazardous weapons such
as radioactive deleted uranium."
>Dr. Ammash, an environmental biologist and professor at Baghdad University,
received her <Ph.D>. from the University of Missouri. She has earned
international respect for her publications, particularly her documentation of
the rise in cancers among Iraqi children and war veterans since the Gulf
>War. In _Iraq Under Siege_ she writes: "Iraqi death rates have increased
significantly, with cancer representing a significant cause of mortality,
especially in the south and among children."
>When visited in Baghdad by a group of NGO representatives and former UN
officials in January 2003, Dr. Ammash stated: "People here bear every respect
for Western people and Western civilization. We respect your technological
accomplishments and your values..Yet hatred is being manufactured by some to
engineer a clash of civilizations."
>Dr. Ammash's other publications include: "Impact of Gulf War Pollution in the
Spread of Infectious Diseases in Iraq," (Soli Al-Mondo, Rome, 1999), and
"Electromagnetic, Chemical, and Microbial Pollution Resulting from War and
Embargo, and Its Impact on the Environment and Health," (Journal of the
>[Iraqi] Academy of Science, 1997).
>South End Press 7 Brookline Street #1, Cambridge, MA 02139
>(617) 547-4002 Fax: (617) 547-1333
>Conference given by miss  Huda Saleh Mehdi Amash for the International Peace
Mission april 2002
>The academician and politician Huda Saleh Mehdi Amash on the 'arms
>"They raised 280.000 questions about our instruments of  laboratory and it
was necessary to answer until the last "
>"We are proud of being able to introduce a lady to you who is at the  same
time important a scientist and a great politician."  In this way, Doctor  Al
Hashimi of Iraqi Association for friendship, peace and solidarity introduced
the conference of Mrs. Huda Saleh Mehdi Amash on tuesday april 16 for the
European peace delegation.  This young woman, member of the regional command
of the socialist and Arabic Baath party will make honor to her reputation.  A
literal report.
>Noted by Kris Merckx
>Thank you for having taken the long and painful trip to arrive here.  This
gives to the Iraqi people courage in his fight against the criminal embargo
which is imposed in an illegal way on all  the nation.  The embargo is a
double crime because it prevents us from taking adequate measures against the
consequences of the depleted uranium (DU) in the weapons used by the United
States. Notice, that they used them while our tanks were not in Kuwait but
retreating on the Iraqi territory. They shot more than one million balls
containing depleted uranium. Different balls qualibres: 120 mm, 35 mm and 25
mm. 80% of the touched  tanks are still in the south. You can go to see them,
but we do not  want you to be confronted with this danger.
>During the explosion of the balls, uranium oxide is formed, a white powder
which does not dissolve in water. This is why it remains in the environment.
It can be inhaled, passes through the lungs in the blood circulation until it
reaches the bones or the kidneys. Where it will remain definitively. It
diffuses radioactive rays inside the body there. The radiation will only
decrease by half after more than 4000 million years (the 'half-life time').
This represents more than the duration of existence of our planet. [ 1 ]
>An Iraqi team showed for the first time in 1993 the use of depleted uranium.
Previously the United States denied the existence of such projectiles. Then,
they have, with the assistance of German scientists, pretended that the level
of pollution is not harmful. Another Iraqi team, thereafter, showed the
contamination of animals and plants. Thus pollution enters the food chain. The
next answer of the Americans was: 'There will only be a prove if you isolate
uranium from contaminated tissue of the body'.  Eh well, a Canadian doctor,
Harry Sherma of the University of Waterloo, showed the presence of depleted
uranium in the urine of 30 veterans of the Gulf War. They secrete on average 2
micrograms per ml of urine per day, and this 8 years after the War of the
Gulf. You can imagine the consequences of the daily exposure to the radiation
which causes cancer and  which affects the immune system too. You will note
the great  incidence (= presence) of cancers and other diseases around the
city of the south, Bassora, where the war prevailed.
>The Embargo blocks the fight against cancers of uranium
>Anti-oxidants like the vitamins E, A, C and the  betacarotene can protect
people against cancers. But the embargo did not enable us to protect ourselves
by these vitamins, present in healthy food.  The famous program ' Oil for
food' (OFF where the  authorized sale of a quantity limited of oil in order to
be able to buy food and drugs) brings to Iraq neither enough of food, nor
enough drugs. This term was deliberately used to manipulate the international
opinion, to give the impression that the Iraqi people would have from now on
to eat.
>Food that is given us consisted only of flour and yeast to make bread, sugar,
oil.. But for us, food before the war meant also: meat, dairy products,
vegetables, fruits, poultry...  But we could not any more get these products,
and thus people of the south diffuse the contamination. I met an American
woman working in a humans rights organisation. She did not know that the
program OFF allowed us neither drugs nor a complete food, although she had
worked herself for the UN. I said to her: 'Just read the MOU, the memorandum
of understanding on the OFF-program and you will see.'
>Chemotherapy is not sufficiently available. Some of the cancerous patients
reacted well to new cytostatic [ 2 ]   Texor or Texotir (French mark).  Their
tumours decreased....  after having received some amounts thanks to the
efforts of friends like you. But the reserve became scare, the tumours
reappeared and the patients died.
>         The use of weapons of depleted uranium is not  prohibited
explicitly. But there is a general prohibition on weapons which cause
'extensive damage and of long duration'.  This is here certainly the case.  As
to 'long duration': the radiation decreases only with half that in 4,5 billion
years.  And do the cause 'extensive damage'? Certainly because it continues to
cause cancers during all these years to millions of people.
>The United States want to get rid of the old resolution of  the United
>They now seek old and new reasons to attack Iraq.  The only true  reason is
that Iraq said NO to the new imperialism, but also because we want to defend
our sovereignty and our freedom. The hidden intention of the United States is
that they want to obtain a new  resolution of the United Nations. Indeed, the
resolution of 1991  accepted by the UN and Iraq was completely implemented by
Iraq. It is time now that UN lift the sanctions.
>The resolution, precisely in article 14, mentions that if Iraq destroys its
weapons of massive destruction, these latter must also disappear from all
Middle East, therefore also in Israel. Time to carry out also this article has
come. Especially as the international pressure to do that grows.
>For this reason the E.U. want to attack again Iraq. And they seek all kinds
of pretexts: Iraq should support terrorism, should still produce weapons  of
massive destruction, prohibit the access of arms-inspectors... One pretext
follows the other, that they don't have in fact anything solid. And indeed,
for any the reasons given there exists neither an indication nor a proof.
>Pilot-terrorists trained in a No-fly-zone?!
>We oppose terrorism. In 1980 we were ourselves victims, when in the
university a grenade was launched towards our actual vice-prime-minister,
Tariq Aziz.  It burst among the students and made several deaths. And how
could we give money to the terrorists?  All  the money that we receive for the
sale of oil must pass through a French  bank. The sanctions do not allow that
foreign currencies are traded by the Iraqi banks. So, the groups supporting
terrorists can not purchase those funds here. The no-fly-zones imposed on us
in the north and the south of our country makes the schooling of these
terrorist pilots impossible, even if we would like to do so. In opposition to
what occurs in the banks of  the US and other big Western banks, laundry of
black or criminal money is impossible in our country. As the international
airline companies can not use our airports, hijackers can't do anything here.
The US don't have any proof, but in more there isn't any logic in their
>Weapons of massive destruction?  We are not even able any more to make
analyses of stool!
>Then the second reason.  They say that 'the regime' -so they call our
government in a despising way- develops weapons of destruction massive.  We
cannot even receive a letter of 20 grams coming from Great Britain or the US,
because that is prohibited.  We cannot receive the instruments necessary to
pass an auditive test to a child, or to make a stooltest in a child having
diarrhoea because there could be "a double use " (= to make  biological
weapons etc of them), but nevertheless we would be capable to manufacture
weapons of massive destruction! In fact any import falls under the control of
commission 661 from the UN charged  to supervise the application of the
sanctions.  These weapons of massive destruction are very expensive and
require a very sophisticated technology. If not, more of half of the world
could manufacture some and would have already done it, even very poor
countries like Congo, Niger...
>'Arms inspections '... at the universities.
>Then there would be our attitude vis--vis the arms inspections. I was
personally confronted with this. I teach microbiology to the students of the
3rd year of medicine who have, like everywhere in the world, this subject in
that year. As academicians we have nothing to do with the production of
weapons. What you call 'campus', we call it 'sacred place', as for a church or
a mosque. The Iraqi law prohibited even a traffic policeman the access to the
campus, but the inspectors of weapons  wanted to come there and they came
there.  Let us make a rapid calculation now together.
>There are 8 universities which have each one of the 6 faculties concerned:
exact sciences, medicine, the veterinary medicine, engineers, agronomy and
pharmacology.  That made 8 x  6 = 48
>Each one of these faculties has 3 departments: chemistry, physics and
biochemistry.  Therefore 48 x 3 = 144.
>On average each department has at least 10 laboratories.  Therefore 144 x 10
= 1440.  Let us say that on the average they have 15 apparatuses: 8
microscopes, 3 balances etc.  That gives 1440 x 15 = 21.600
>For each apparatus it is necessary to fill a form as that which I show you.
There are 13 questions such as: which is the name of the instrument? when was
it bought? from which country was it imported? via which port?  etc. At the
end, 21.600 forms about the same number of apparatuses, with each 13
questions, means 21.600 x 13 = 280.800 questions.
>One stupid question without answer? Prolongation of  the  sanctions!
>We have here in Iraq the oldest university of the world, founded to the 9th
century. Some instruments are thus very old.  Thus we found a microscope of
1957 of which we did not  know by which port it had been imported.  Was This
Dubai? Or Damas?  We thus did not answer the question. When the plate with the
mark of  the refrigerator was broken or illegible - Westinghouse or  Philips?
-  we did not answer the question. With which consequences? That towards the
external world the UN-officials told: 'Iraq does not comply completely with
the resolutions of the UNO' and in that way the sanctions are each 6 months
prolonged. We have been supporting this during 8 years. Didn't that last
enough? We find that it is urgent  to examine the mechanisms of the
inspections: is this effective? is  this really a control?
>But did Iraq give enough time to the inspectors? They wanted  6 months, we
gave them 8 years! Half million of children died during this period. And did
Iraq give them enough facilities? We gave them cars, their daily wages going
from 1000 to 3000 dollars, and that for 1000 inspectors. All that paid by the
Iraqis who suffered from hunger until death. The majority of people in the
world do not know that we pay them (they take the money on our credits blocked
abroad). And all that while our nation is dying from starvation.
>That lasted for 8 years and half. Wasn't it time to say or 'the work is
finished', or 'the mechanism is not efficient' or.. 'we are here for other
thing, for instance spying'. That's the point of view of Iraq. We will not let
die another half a million of children to let you do something that has
nothing to do with arms inspection.
>We have 104 non-governmental organizations (NGO) in Iraq. Inform the world
about the problems and the sufferings which they face. These NGOs are really
non-governmental and independent.  They are  financed by the members. They can
attend congresses and workshops abroad and can invite people from abroad. They
represent a whole spectrum of specialists:  medical specialists (45 NGOs),
economic actors, lawyers, artists, actors, basic scientists including
informaticians, biologists and mathematicians. If somebody among you works in
one of these sectors, that he or she contacts these NGO. They have enormous
needs, help them!
>Question of Dr. Stephanie De Maesschalck (Medicine for the  People, Belgium)
>Are there investigations and studies which show that the  incidence of
cancers and especially of leukaemia's increases?
>Because some say that uranium does not penetrate in the bonemarrow where the
blood cells are formed and thus also the leukaemia's.
>Miss Huda.
>Three weeks ago a conference was held on this subject and we will give you
the accounts in two specimens. But you will go to Basorah where the majority
of the cases occurred. Record simply what you will see there. And look also to
what we, doctors, observe these last years, in our private clinics.
Previously we had two cases of cancer per month, currently we have two of them
per day, and in Basora even 6 per day. When, in the same family, 15 people are
affected by cancer, I think that things are clear.
>I warn you for the dangers of depleted uranium (DU). A directive of the World
Health Organization (WHO) says that no test can be made with radioactive
products, on an individual or a group, without the consent of the people
concerned and without the control of the International Agency for Atomic
Energy (IAEA) in Vienna. We can't perform tests ourselves because the IAEA
will not permit it..  Do not count on the WHO, but look at the facts. Perhaps
yes, they will propose a plan of a study over 10 years, to see whether the
depleted uranium plays a role. Meanwhile the nation will die of leukaemia's
and other cancers.
>Why wouldn't DU pass into the bone marrow? If a Canadian doctor, not an
Iraqi, proved that it is still present in the urine after 8 years, why
shouldn't it pass into the bone marrow? Believe me, and act now.
>Does the danger of depleted uranium also exist apart from the area of the
>Miss Huda
>Yes, because the particles are carried by the wind and do not stop at any
border. I read in reports that the incidence of cancers increased in Koweit.
But they cannot speak about it high, because of the American pressure which is
very strong.
>'On the base of our socialist values, we are against  fundamentalism since a
long time'
>Question of the German journalist Rainer Rupp (Junge Welt)
>We noticed that all Western consumer products are available in the stores and
that ther are construction sites everywhere.  It is also what the BBC showed
two day ago in a  report. So, you cannot pretend that Iraq is short of money?
>Miss Huda
>The deal ' Oil for food and medicine' excludes the arrival of the money of
the oil sales in Iraq. The products in the stores belong to private people,
who buy them with the money of members of  the family working in Austria,
Jordan, Germany, Lybia, Australia...  Those buy products for you, give you
money to start a trade.  The State thus does not intervene there with money.
The activities of construction or maintenance of buildings or roads are
financed in dinars, that don't have any value out of the borders. I speak
frankly with you:  with our dinars you could not finance a terrorist, even for
one cent. We are against terrorism because our civilization is 10.000 years
old. Our ideology is in contradiction with that of the Islamic
fundamentalists. It is socialist and progressive.  We are not  communist, but
we were good friends with the Soviet Union and all the Communist Parties. From
our values, we are opposed to fundamentalism for a much longer time.
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