The spill swept throughout the gulf slowly for the reason that of low winds for a period two weeks but danger was not far away. The Gulf is home to distinctive plant growth with a broad variety of sea grasses and algae that were damaged. The Gulf is also significant for migratory birds as a winter home such as sandpipers, and plovers. Out to sea the series of islands that lie off the Gulf sustain a vast wildlife that are home to two species of cormorants, green turtles and the endangered hawksbill turtle.
The environmental shocks of the Gulf War Crisis were felt instantaneously at the onset of the Iraqi invasion. Humans started suffering on day one of the invasion and the atrocities towards humans continued with the period of the war. Thousands were killed, wounded, raped, or taken prisoner before the war terminated (Sadiq and McCain 1993). The other casualty of this war was the planet. The land was abused deeply from transportation of profound artillery and movement of troops across the desert.
Furthermore, the build- up of solid wastes polluted the ground and a case may be made for potential groundwater contamination. Outside of the desert soil, plant life was also damaged in enormous numbers. Desert vegetation was uprooted, crushed, and destroyed over the course the war (1993). Certainly, the atmosphere was destroyed to some extent from the fire and smoke produced from explosives, oil fires, and from both known and unknown chemicals.
Simultaneously that Iraqi troop were building-up their force, Saddam was threatening that “if he had to be evicted from Kuwait by force, then Kuwait would be burned” (Sadiq and McCain, p. 2 1993). As pledged, upon evacuation, Iraqi troops set fire to over six-hundred oil wells in some Kuwait oil fields. The effect that the oil fires had on the Gulf environment was huge. Even before the wells started burning, researchers warned that increasing smoke may cause changes in the planet’s weather pattern (Zimmer, 1992).
The Gulf’s ecosystem was not spared in the least throughout the Gulf War. An estimated 11 million barrels of oil were deliberately released to the Arabian Gulf from January 1991 to May 1991 (Sadiq and McCain 1993). This is more than twenty times bigger than the Exxon Valdez spill and twice as big as the previous world record (Zimmer 1992) More than 800 miles of Kuwait and Saudi Arabian beaches were oiled and marine wildlife was distraught. Oiled birds revealed on CNN by the media painted a precise picture of the occurrences in the Gulf.
Actually, birds were the hardest hit of any group of organisms and thousands lost their lives (Sadiq and McCain 1993). Along with the migratory birds, marine turtles were also in menace. Both the hawksbill and green turtles make the most of the offshore islands of the Gulf as nesting sites. After the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWCD) investigated the Gulf beaches, they determined that several turtles had died and that most Karan Island green turtles had lesions (1993).
Another point of view pointed out that at lease 80 ships were sunk throughout the Gulf War, several of which carried oil and munitions. These ships, along with those submerged throughout the Iraq-Iran War, will continue a chronic source of contamination of the Arabian Gulf for many years (1993). Various animal populations in the Gulf region were affected by the war in various ways. On the other hand, certain war-related actions have had more or less exceptional consequences for certain animals.
The key categories of casualties and their causes can be summarized as follows: crude oil released into the Persian Gulf killed an approximately tens of thousands of marine birds, threatened sea turtles and marine mammals, and probably caused death and injury to migrating birds passing through the region; toxic smoke from hundreds of oil fires killed migrating birds and may cause respiratory, blood, and immune system illnesses in all living beings, showing up first in birds and smaller mammals, but ultimately affecting large animals and perhaps humans; oil pouring from extinguished.
Kuwaiti wells has created huge petrochemical lakes that are destroying land surfaces and are draining into the sea, posing new threats to marine life; bombs, mines, and shells consisting unexploded cluster bombs and other artillery left behind after the ceasefire killed and injured scores of livestock, horses, and camels; the movement of tanks, trucks, and other large military vehicles tore up the desert, destroying delicate wildlife habitats and building the conditions for bizarrely severe sandstorms that could take additional animal lives; and more than 400 animals at the Kuwait national zoo either were killed by Iraqi soldiers, died of starvation and injuries, or were removed from the zoo to unidentified locations.
Even though hundreds of thousands of animals have died as a result of human war making, no wide-ranging effort has ever been made, to my knowledge, to assess the numbers or types of animal casualties’ throughout or after past conflicts. The view of killing or injuring animals has never had a deterrent effect on those making decisions regarding the war It may be contingent that economic aggravation was at the root of the Gulf Conflict in the first place. Saddam Hussein felt overwhelmed, and unable to discover funding for his economy to repay the other Arab states for Iraq’s previous war with Iran.
Several Arab rich states were unwilling to supply help to Iraq again, and many were complaining regarding Iraq’s inability to repay its debts. The only way for Iraq to gain revenue was through oil exports, but other OPEC nations would not permit increases in quotas.
According to Wilson, Rodney. (1995) Kuwait, who did not necessitate the extra revenue, was overproducing which drove prices down, and drove Saddam’s frustration up. Sufficient time has elapsed to study the economic impact of the Gulf War on the region. Most of the economic costs were incurred by Iraq. Losses in military equipment alone totaled over $50 billion (1995). The time and sweat required to repair the damage and construct replacement facilities will take years to accomplish.
This will as well be complicated for Iraq for the reason of the pending arms embargo on the state. Shockingly, the economic position may be easier for Kuwait, even though the impact is still hard-felt. The most unrestrained damage was that inflicted upon the oil installations.
From 1991-1992, Kuwait’s oil industry rigorously deteriorated and suffered an enormous drops in production due the destruction of their oil wells. Yet, from 1993-1995, Kuwait’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) improved as a result of its growing oil industry. The Gulf War affected forty countries all over the word the world. Few countries lost their exports to the Gulf area. Some lost the remittances of their expatriates.
Others had to accommodate thousands of their citizens who returned from the Gulf area. Most countries were affected as an outcome of the interest rate raise on their old debts and complexity to get new credits. Many were affected by the raise in oil prices. The 2003 invasion of Iraq, termed “Operation Iraqi Freedom” by the US administration, started on March 20. The United States and Britain supplied 98% of the invading forces. Other nations also participated due to U. S. president George W. Bush’s efforts to construct a coalition to help with the operation. The 2003 Iraq invasion marked the commencement of what is generally referred to as the Iraq War.
Prior to the invasion, the United States’ official position was that Iraq illegally possessed “weapons of mass destruction” in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1441 and had to be disarmed by force. According to McDiarmid, Melissa A. (2004) Bush constantly asserted that these weapons posed a grave threat to the United States and its allies.
Mayor, Susan (2001) said that UN inspection teams were looking Iraq for these alleged weapons for merely four months prior to the invasion and were ready to continue, but were forced out by the start of war in spite of their requests for more time. Graham-Rowe, Duncan (2003) said that the total quantity of DU munitions expended during the Iraq War of 2003 has been estimated to be 100 to 200 tons.
Fahey, Dan (June 24. 2003) said that much of it was exhausted in or near urban areas where civilian populations live, work, play, draw water, and sell food. It appears clear, then, that DU weapons produce special, enduring hazards to civilians, particularly children, and that the harm from these weapons may be passed to future generations.
Definitely this is why a United Nations sub commission in 1996 named DU munitions as “weapons of mass destruction or indiscrimate effect” and recommended that their use be outlawed. Tungsten alloy weapons can kill tanks and other hardened targets as in effect as DU, so continued use of DU weapons by the U. S. appears unnecessary and a slap in the face to the principles of public health, international law, world opinion, and common decency. Uranium is a naturally-occurring element that is both weakly radioactive and a toxic heavy metal.
Naturally-occurring uranium contained two main radioactive isotopes: U-238 (99. 3%), and U-235 (0. 7%). When uranium is “enriched” to make an A-bomb (which requires lots of U-235), the leftover “depleted uranium” (DU) is 99. 8% U-238 and retains approximately 60% of the radioactivity that was present in the original natural uranium. Uranium is said as a heavy, silvery-white metal which is pyrophoric when finely divided.
It is a bit softer than steel, and is attack by cold water in a delicately divided state. It is flexible, ductile, and slightly paramagnetic. In air, the metal turns out to be coated with a layer of oxide. Acids melt the metal, but it is unaffected by alkalis. Thinly divided uranium metal, being pyrophoric, presents a fire hazard. Working with uranium requires the knowledge of the maximum permissible concentrations that may be inhaled or ingested. Lately, the natural presence of uranium in various soils has turn out to be of concern to homeowners for the reason of the generation of radon and its daughters. Uranium-235, while taking place in natural uranium to the extent of only 0.
71%, is so fissionable with slow neutrons that a self-sustaining fission chain reaction can be completed in a reactor built from natural uranium and a suitable moderator, such as heavy water or graphite, alone. Depleted uranium is a byproduct of the enriching of natural uranium for use in nuclear reactors. When most of the fissile radioactive isotopes of uranium are detached from natural uranium, the residue is called depleted uranium. A less general source of the material is reprocessed spent reactor fuel. According to Department of Protection of the Human Environment the origin can be distinguished by the content of uranium-236, created by neutron capture from uranium-235 in nuclear reactors.
As a toxic and radioactive waste product that requires long term storage as low level nuclear waste, depleted uranium is costly to maintain but somewhat inexpensive to obtain. In general the only real costs are those connected with conversion of UF6 to metal. Its tremendously high density, only somewhat less than that of tungsten and its low cost makes it attractive for a selection of uses. On the other hand, the material is prone to corrosion and small particles are pyrophoric. According to Rizzo, Katherine (2001) Depleted uranium is pyrophoric. Somewhat innocuous as a metal alloy used in planes, tanks, missiles, bullets and rounds, when depleted uranium burns, it discharges a radioactive gas.
Larger particles may stay to the ground, but winds blowing across the desert may take the fine particles to locations in a 1000-mile radius from the explosion. A few of the uranium from shells vaporizes into particles measuring 1/10 of a micron. These particles go into the atmosphere and later fall to the ground with rain. Uranium is somewhat dense so it is ideal for penetrating armor.
The radioactive uranium is formed into a penetrating rod 18 inches long and ? inch in diameter. When these shells are fired some of the uranium contacts air and explodes into flame (pyrophoric quality). The effectiveness of uranium for cell mutation and cell killing depends on whether the uranium is inside or outside of the body. In both natural and depleted uranium, the isotope U238 predominates: 99.
2745% in natural uranium, and 99. 7947% in depleted uranium. Given the same amount of concentrated uranium, the precise activity of the depleted form is about 60% of the certain activity natural form. This means that DU has approximately 60% as many nuclear transformations, each emitting an alpha particle, than does natural uranium. Once DU get in the lungs, much of it will stay there for a long time, irradiating lung cells, and the World Health Organization says, “The risk of lung cancer appears to be proportional to the radiation dose received. ” The British Royal Society studied DU and concluded that its use was not risk-free for anyone involved.
The truth is, DU has been studied extremely little, given that we blast tons of it into areas inhabited by civilian populations for the avowed intention of helping them. No one has studied the effects of DU on the immune system, the metabolic system, the reproductive system, the nervous system, the endocrine system, and growth, development, and behavior.
It’s remarkable what people don’t know regarding DU and that, in the face of such ignorance, anyone could claim to know that it is secure for use near civilians. Depleted uranium – U-238 – has a half-life of 4. 5 billion years. Its effects will be with us eternally. It is in the soil, in the groundwater, in food, but the worst of all; it is in the air. When inhaled, it penetrates directly into the bloodstream.
One uranium particle behaves in the body similar to a tiny nuclear bomb, sending out alpha and beta particles and gamma rays to adjacent cells. These are lastingly damaging to the cells and chromosomes and lead to a host of lethal diseases, as well as cancer and leukemia.
They also cause mutations of the genetic material that will show up in succeeding generations as terrible birth deformities, weakened health, and infertility. There’s now physical proof that depleted uranium, once in the body, migrates to the brain, lungs, bones and testicles of rats and mice. Researchers have found that even a single particle placed in contact with human bone cells can set off a chain reaction of cell and chromosomal abnormalities of the type thought to cause cancer.
Throughout wartime, the greatest civilian threat from DU is assumed to involve children, who have been photographed in Kosovo and Iraq playing on burned-out military vehicles consisting tanks disabled by DU projectiles. Much of this equipment is greatly contaminated, inside and out, with radioactive dust. Numerous children also eat dirt (9 to 96 mg/day) as a usual part of growing up, and soil contaminated with DU dust presents a special hazard in such cases, according to the World Health Organization.
DU contaminates land, causes ill-health and cancers among the soldiers using the weapons, the armies they target and civilians, leading to birth defects in children. According to Briner, W. and J.Murray (2005) the long-term effects from over a decade of DU exposures are rising in Southern Iraq. They are devastating. In Iraq 2003 there are already projected to be 6 to 10 times 1991 and will travel throughout a larger area and affect numerous more people, babies and unborn.
Countries within a 1000 mile radius of Baghdad and Kabul are being affected by radiation poisoning that includes the Capital, New Delhi, where the ruling elite lives. Conclusion All over Iraq, the remains of spent DU shells and DU-contaminated debris have been found littering the streets in urban areas. Some wrecked vehicles have been towed away, and the most clear contaminated sites are marked.
On the other hand, most locations have not even been recognized let alone cleaned, even though there is a broadly shared consensus that DU contamination can be a potential health hazard. Depleted uranium has a half-life of more than 4 billion years, about the age of the Earth. Thousand of acres of land in the Balkans, Kuwait and southern Iraq have been contaminated forever.
If George Bush Sr. , Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and Bill Clinton are still casting approximately for a legacy, there’s grim one that will stay around for infinity. Despite all the aforementioned environmental hazards resulted by the Gulf War, the acute effects of the war do not seems as rigorous as scientists had initially predicted. On the other hand, many are still skeptical regarding the chronic effects of the crisis.
Although humans began the war, and were an integral part of the environment effected by the conflict’s wrath, they can only do so much to develop the situation as is stands. In few cases, such as with the oil spills, the normal cleaning process may be the main method utilized for repair.
This includes waves and abrasion as factors helping the process along. Furthermore, it has been concluded that the Gulf will make progress from the oil spills, but it will be different after the recovery. Furthermore, it may take decades for certain ecosystems to recover (Sadiq and McCain 1993). Basically, the impact of the Gulf War on these numerous segments of the environment will be recognized for a long time. The environmental damage caused by the Gulf War was huge.
As mentioned, birds were among the hardest hit land species, many had been killed from the oil spills caused by the oil fires Moreover, and various types of fish and flora were at risk for the reason of the oil-polluted waters. Numerous types of turtles, fish migratory birds, and dugongs were among those that suffered. The Gulf war of 1991 demonstrated that wars can in fact be bad for an economy.
That conflict contributed tremendously to the onset of the recession of 1991. The present situation is far more akin to the Gulf war than to wars that may have contributed to economic development. Certainly, the economic effects of a second war against Iraq would possibly be far more adverse. The Second World War called for total mobilization, requiring a country’s total resources, and that is what wiped out joblessness. Total war means total employment.
The environmental and economic adversity imposed on country affected throughout and after the War will be endured for several years to come. The destruction caused by the oil fires and the oil spills were disturbing, and at times were fatal. Not only did humans suffer the consequences of the conflict, but the ecosystem and as well as the atmosphere were innocent victims.
Furthermore, the economic impact that War had on regions were also experienced by various parties involved. Even at present, other Arab nations, such as Iraq, are still repaying debt, while some such as Kuwait, and are reconstructing both the economy and the ecosystem in the aftermath of the conflict.
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Rizzo, Katherine (January 25, 2001) “Plutonium traces found in munitions tracked to processing plants” Associated Press. Department of Protection of the Human Environment (April 2001) World Health Organization, Depleted Uranium; Sources, Exposure and Health Effects (Geneva, Switzerland).
Graham-Rowe, Duncan (April 19, 2003) “Depleted uranium casts a shadow over peace in Iraq,” New Scientist Vol. 178, No. 2391, pg. 4. Fahey, Dan (June 24. 2003) “The Use of Depleted Uranium in the 2003 Iraq War: An Initial Assessment of Information and Policies. ” Berkeley, Calif. Linedecker, Clifford, Michael Ryan, and Maureen Ryan. Kerry.
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Sadiq, Muhammad and John C. McCain (1993). The Gulf War Aftermath, an Environmental Tragedy. (Boston, Massachusetts: Kluwer Academic Publishers). Weisman, Joan Murray (1986). The Effects of Exposure to Agent Orange on the Intellectual Functioning, Academic Achievement, Visual Motor Skill, and Activity Level of the Offspring of Vietnam War Veterans.
Doctoral thesis. Hofstra University. Wilson, Rodney. (1995) “The regional economic impact of the Gulf War,” in M. Jane Davis, Politics and International Relations in the Middle East. (Brookfield, Vermont: Edward Elgar Publishing Company). pp 90-105. Zimmer, Carl. “Ecowar,” Discover, January 1992, pp 37-39.