Merrimack Valley People for Peace
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- Depleted Uranium -

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see also MVPP links about depleted uranium

Norway encourages research, 4/1/2009

ICBUW appeal from the Latin American Conference on Uranium Weapons: 3/29/2009

Update in D.C. November 2008, '10 Facts'

December 5, 2007 UN General Assembly passed a Resolution to further study DU:



Article and Exchange of Letters to the editor winter 2009.

Merrimack Valley People for Peace say peace begins within
By M. Renee Buckley / article in the "North Andover Citizen"
Feb 19, 2009

North Andover - The thought of a world without violence is a happy thought for most, but for many it feels like a dream, not something that could ever come true. The fact that our country has been at war in the Middle East for almost five straight years is a big obstacle in thinking peace is possible for everyone. Smaller but equally challenging to the hope for peace are the kinds of entertainment so popular in this country - action movies full of explosions and car chases, shooting at friends for fun in a game of paintball - that are so intertwined with violence.

Members of the Merrimack Valley People for Peace don't see the pursuit of peace as impossible, though, and they're working in all aspects of their lives to bring peace to their homes, towns, friends and neighbors. Next Tuesday, they're inviting anyone who's interested in the pursuit of peace to join in hearing inspirational stories from those who have faced the worst violence imaginable - losing family in the September 11 attacks, enduring war in Iraq - and have responded by making it their mission to bring peace despite the hostility.

Speaking at a special event next Tuesday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m., at First United Methodist Church of North Andover, will be Terry Rockefeller of Arlington, who lost her sister Laura on Sept. 11, 2001. She died in the World Trade Center. To honor the life of her sister, Rockefeller is a member of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, founded by family members of those killed in the Sept. 11 attacks.
Rockefeller will present a film and speak about a group called La'Onf - Arabic for no violence - which is a rapidly growing organization in Iraq that seeks to bring peace and stability to that country. The group was formed by Iraqis - for Iraqis.
Merrimack Valley People for Peace member Jane Cadarette said she hopes this event will give attendees the chance to meet a woman whose life took a different direction as a result of tragedy.

"All people suffer losses in their lives. It is encouraging to be with someone who turned grief into action, but this person has more to her story. She has the story of visiting people in other lands who have lost loved ones in war and they too have turned their grief into action. Nonviolent action," she said.

Connecting in peace
Cadarette met Rockefeller while she was in Iraq on a humanitarian mission to help a young blind Iraqi woman and to meet with Iraqi refugees. Cadarette was there to bring funds she helped raise to provide the blind woman with ocular prosthetics in July 2008. The mission was a success and the young woman is now enrolled at an Amman university, which she attends with assistance from another charitable organization. She is the school's first blind student. Prior to being blinded when she was shot a few years ago - by a man she believes was a member of the Mahdi Militia, retaliating against her because she was working for an American company in Iraq - the woman, Ahlam, was a college-educated teacher before the war in Iraq put an end to it.

"Ahlam is helping to educate her professors, knowing that their experiences with her will enable future blind students to have an easier time of it," said Cadarette.

This is yet another story of the possibility of overcoming violence despite devastating tragedy.

The story of La'Onf is similarly inspiring, as the group has managed to push forward and flourish despite the violence happening all around them.

"After their meeting with La'Onf Iraqis in Jordan, I heard that La'Onf was spreading to every region of Iraq," said Cadarette. "In one region the group had managed to convince the government to ban war toys and fireworks. [They were] very excited to hear about this because it was going to save so many lives."

Cadarette explained the shocking reason why this ban would prove a lifesaving development.

"Children with toy guns were often killed by our soldiers or coalition soldiers because they could not tell the difference between a toy and a real gun and they shot first and questioned later. Fireworks were used to celebrate weddings and they were often interpreted to be gunfire. Retaliatory shots and missiles were the response and many brides and grooms and their guests were killed as a result," she said.

She added, "It seems like such a small thing to do, but banning war toys and fireworks in Iraq has a wide-ranging effect."

Hearing that regions of Iraq have banned war toys seems far from a small thing considering the violence so often associated with the country. If this is possible in Iraq, imagine what can be accomplished here in the United States.

Cadarette hopes Tuesday's presentation on La'Onf will spark hope in the minds and hearts of those who attend.

"I hope that people will leave with the knowledge that preventing war begins within each one of us, with the need to recognize the violence within us (imagine the violence that allows us to have nuclear weapons that will, if used by choice or accident, incinerate millions of people and possibly destroy the planet). I hope that they will choose to disarm their hearts. I hope, too, that they will find ways to encourage the members of La'Onf and all who are teaching nonviolence and living it," she said.

Asked what she means by "disarm their hearts," Cadarette explained.
"To disarm our hearts is to examine and be willing to give up whatever we find in us that would allow us to even consider harming another person in any way, never mind sanctioning the wholesale slaughter of men, women and children in a war with our bombs, missiles, rockets, nuclear weapons, cluster bombs, tungsten bombs, white phosphorous, depleted uranium, landmines or chemical weapons," she said.
According to their mission, "Merrimack Valley People for Peace Inc. works for a sustainable future for all life on our planet. Our members commit themselves to the interrelated activities of education for peace and justice, the prevention of war, an end to arms sales, the abolition of nuclear weapons, and protection of the environment."
The MVPP has a number of ways for those interested to learn more or take part in their mission. From attending events such as Rockefeller's presentation Tuesday, Feb. 24, to taking part in one of their regular peace vigils - they're regularly seen holding rainbow flags in Andover center, among many other places - the group welcomes anyone who's interested to learn more.


Terry Rockefeller of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows will speak and show a film aboutLa'Onf, a fast-growing peace group in Iraq, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m., at First United Methodist Church of North Andover, located at 57 Peters St. The program is free and open to the public, and guests are encouraged to bring a friend and pass the news along to one and all.

For information on Merrimack Valley People for Peace, visit, e-mail or call 978-686-8207.

Mistruths about nuclear weapons
Fri Feb 27, 2009

North Andover - To the editor:
Jane Cadarette of Merrimack Valley People for Peace seems to have done a lot of good in her life, but she also is spreading a lot of oft quoted Internet misinformation. I would like her to know that you do not fight lies with bigger lies, that you fight lies with scupulous, well-verified truth.

This paragraph is a good place to start.
“Asked what she means by ‘disarm their hearts,’ Cadarette explained, ‘To disarm our hearts is to examine and be willing to give up whatever we find in us that would allow us to even consider harming another person in any way, never mind sanctioning the wholesale slaughter of men, women and children in a war with our bombs, missiles, rockets, nuclear weapons, cluster bombs, tungsten bombs, white phosphorous, depleted uranium, landmines or chemical weapons.”

The US has not wholesale slaughtered anyone in Iraq. It has unfortunately not created a safe place for people to live where they can not be slaughtered by sectarian or other enemies with car bombs, explosive vests or just kidnapping and beheading. That is not something that we Americans can be proud of and it can be laid at the feet of Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush for wanting war on the cheap and not sending in enough soldiers to protect the massive stores of ammunition or secure the borders.

There have been no nuclear weapons used in anger since Nagasaki. The US does not even have tactical nuclear weapons at the ready any place in the world where they could be used. They were withdrawn by the first President Bush after the fall of the Berlin Wall. I doubt that cluster bombs have been used much in Iraq, but I don’t honestly know. What exactly is a tungsten bomb? Does Cadarette even know or does she just spout off the latest that she sees on a protest sign or Internet blog with no fact checking or other editorial control. A junior artillery officer, proud of the way his battery had supported the infantry in the tough house-to-house fighting to root Al Qaeda and Sunni insurgents out of Fallujah wrote of “bake and shake,” the firing of white phosphorus to get the terrorists to come out of their deeply dug in holes followed by high explosive to kill them off. Ever since, activists like Cadarette claim that the white phosphorus was some sort of horrid war crime when it wasn’t. It was not used on civilians; the civilians were told to get out of dodge before the Army and the Marines went in. We did not take the same approach that the Russians took in Grozny, Chechnya. They leveled that town. They did not take it back house-to-house, block-by-block, with a lot of blood and casualties like the US did in Fallujah.

Finally we get to her comment on depleted uranium (DU). My DU Google Alert drew me back to this group that seems to have an active misinformation campaign about depleted uranium. I suspect that it even had the Traprock Peace Center come and spread their lies and perhaps even had Douglas Lind Rokke and his “Rokke Horror Picture show.” Rokke and I tangled during the Kerry campaign. He chose to smear my reputation and I chose to unmask his. I know how to use the Freedom of Information Act to get records and I have a lot of Rokke’s records and find new things every day because I am also a very persistent researcher. I got into opposing anti-DU activists like Rokke and Traprock and wondering about people who just banter about the term to get a reaction like Cadarette because I was trained in the ‘70s to detect nuclear fallout and to protect against it. I also knew that depleted uranium (Uranium 238, a common element that every single human being on the planet has in extremely small quantity within their body) was not fallout and as I began to research, I learned more and more about the lies that have been spread about it (a good place to learn about some of the lies and myths is ). I also learned about chemical weapons in the same course and no chemical weapons have been used by anyone in recent years in Iraq. There was some insurgent attempt to use old poison gas, but it failed. I would expect that Cadarette does not even really know what a chemical weapon, or weapon of mass destruction, a broader prohibited category, is. The UN Independent Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Commission, chaired by former UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix, comprehensively describes WMDs in their 300-page report at

Roger W. Helbig
Richmond, Calif.

Controversy over depleted uranium
Fri Mar 06, 2009 North Andover - To the editor:

Roger W. Helbig, of Richmond, Calif., wrote to the North Andover Citizen last week saying my friend Jane Cadarette was mistaken about depleted uranium being dangerous. True, Uranium 238 is frequently present, but that does not mean it is not dangerous. It is difficult to get good scientific evidence about depleted uranium because military and corporate forces are able to influence the science.

Daniel Fahey from the Veterans Administration has posted detailed studies that raise important questions about both the politics and science. He has warned that there is faulty information being spread by some peace groups, but that there are still great concerns. See and

The most convincing evidence I have seen denying the danger of depleted uranium (DU) was an investigation in Kosovo by the World Health Organization of the UN in 2000. That study found that after a few years, the radiation level was not dangerous, but they recommend much more study.
If the Traprock group and, separately, Doug Rokke, have inadvertently spread some misinformation, that does not mean all they said is wrong. Other groups tracking the danger of depleted uranium are the Campaign against Depleted Uranium, and the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons — and

More sites are listed at the site of Merrimack Valley People for Peace at
The concern of peace groups is that depleted uranium is being used in armor piercing weapons and that there is enough evidence to believe it is endangering soldiers and civilians. We are pressing for honest science and to prevent the use of this material that is not yet proven harmless.

Brian Quirk of Merrimack Valley People for Peace
64 Pleasant Street

North Andover Citizen
Letter to the Editor in reply to Roger Helbig’s letter of Feb. 27, 2009
by Jane Cadarette, North Andover, MA

In a letter (NA Citizen 2/27/ 09) Roger Helbig criticized me on a wide range of fronts, basically accusing me of spreading misinformation and lies. I welcome the opportunity to reply.

First, I am not fighting “lies with bigger lies”. I try my best to convey the truth based on information from highly respected, authoritative sources. If I am wrong in any aspect of what I say, it is not a lie but an honest mistake.

Second, Helbig’s assertion that the US has not slaughtered Iraqis ignores both the evidence and common sense. You cannot drop tons of bombs in cities without slaughtering innocents, and the idea that the US has been killing only insurgents and combatants is ridiculous. Estimates range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands killed with millions displaced, and Helbig’s refusal to accept this obvious truth raises profound questions about his relationship to reality.

Third, with regard to depleted uranium (DU) he refers to a number of pro-DU websites but does not bring any facts to the table. Thus, I am at a loss as to how to rebut him, but again his stance runs counter to common sense. Although we do not have absolute scientific proof that DU is responsible for Gulf War syndrome and the dramatic increase in cancer and birth defects among both veterans and Iraqis, we do have good reason to suspect that it is. We know without doubt that DU is a toxic heavy metal that emits alpha particles. We also know that DU penetrators burn on impact and form a ceramic aerosol that is quite different from any form of natural uranium. As a ceramic, it is not soluble in water and therefore is not washed from the body like natural uranium. Furthermore, the nano-sized particles penetrate further than the bloodstream and organs and remain in the body for life.

Rosalie Bertell, a highly respected expert on low-level radiation exposure, has shown beyond all doubt that DU particles actually enter cells, where the alpha particles it emits does maximum damage. (Alpha particles do not penetrate skin precisely because they are large and heavy. Thus, when the DU particles penetrate into cells, they do substantial damage to that cell and surrounding cells.) Listen to expert Rosalie Bertell explain about what Depleted Uranium does in the human body at

It strains credibility to assume, as the US military and Roger Helbig do, that a heavy metal poison that emits alpha particles and gets all the way into cells is perfectly harmless. Until then, I will continue to assume that it is a radiological poison and I and continue to call for the banning of the use of DU weapons and strongly urge everyone to do the same.

Roger Helbig may rest assured that I know what a weapon of mass destruction is and that I’m familiar with our nuclear arsenal. He doubted that cluster bombs had been used in Iraq. I happen to know, on good authority that in one town alone in Iraq two very brave Iraqis in one week’s time picked up over 5,000 unexploded bomblets and one of them lost his life doing so. The school now bears his name. I also know about white phosphorus; how it is supposed to be used and what it does to human beings when it is misused.

In answer to Helbig’s question “what exactly is a tungsten bomb?” The U.S. Air Force has developed a weapon known as D.I.M.E, Dense Inert Metal Explosive. High Explosives are wrapped around tungsten alloy and other metals. It is not known if Israel used our DIME bombs in Gaza, or developed them on their own. Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times, was in Gaza during the latest bombardment. She tells of visiting doctors in a hospital who were trembling as they spoke of this new diabolical weapon that amputates limbs and also with miniature particles destroys internal organs. They did not know how to treat those wounded by this weapon. Tungsten was found in the tissue of a Palestinian patient that was sent out for testing. Ms. Kelly’s audio report from Gaza is at .

Martin Luther King, Jr. warned us that “the choice today is not between nonviolence and violence, the choice is between nonviolence and nonexistence.” Disarming our hearts is crucial to banning war which we must do for the sake of the children and the planet.

Jane Cadarette
North Andover


Helen Caldicott spoke in Newburyport September 23, 2006, at 7 pm,
Sponsored by MVPP.
see 2006.
See reports about the event: Web: 2006, Newsletter: October-November 2006.

DU Committee

When MVPP had to prioritize committees in early 2007, we made the DU committee a second level priority. Members have been individually researching convincing materials after working on other MVPP tasks. Nationwide, the most active and scientific work is coming from a few sources:

1. The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons at:

2. Dan Fahey, advocate for Depleted Uranium studies in the US Veterans
    Administration. His old links are not working, but he did get puplished in 2008,
    and reading that may explain the links not working.
    See: (requires acrobat reader)

3. David Krieger, president of Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

Updated "DU committee" 5/26/2008

& & &
Dated material from 2006 follows:

This newly formed committee has met twice (as of 4/30/2006) to view documentaries on depleted uranium, a radioactive heavy metal used in Gulf War I and currently being used in Iraq. Its primary use is to penetrate armor. As it penetrates, the uranium burns and fragments into microscopic, radioactive dust which is easily absorbed into the body. It also mixes with, thus contaminating, the surrounding areas of the explosion: Depleted uranium is hazardous to people and to the environment.

Documentaries viewed by the committee were: "Poison Dust", "Axis of Whose Evil", "Invisible War" and "Deadly Fire." The goal of the committee is to educate ourselves and to inform others about the horrific effects of depleted uranium. Ultimately, we want DU to be outlawed by all nations.

Some committee members recently heard Dr. Doug Rokke, an expert on DU and a victim of DU poisoning, recount his experiences of combat and as the Director of the U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Project. Dr. Rokke states that weapons such as depleted uranium have rendered war "obsolete."


May 13, 2006, MVPP's Mary Todd spoke on a radio show you may be able to listen to on the web at:
The radio station's site (WMBR at MIT) also listed these links:

Story: A Radioactive Nightmare In Concord, Massachusetts
Movie: Poison Dust (and here)
Movie: Axis of Whose Evil
Campaign Against Depleted Uranium (UK)
How Dangerous is Depleted Uranium?
by Helen Thomas

See other MVPP links to sites about DU

>From Anne Miller

Breaking the Silence: A Survivor of Depleted Uranium Poisoning Tells
His Story

April 20-24, 2006

Depleted Unanium (DU) is an extremely dense metal used as a coating to
improve the performance of shells and armor. However, it is also
poisonous and radioactive.

Dr. Doug Rokke, an expert on DU and a victim of DU poisoning, will
speak around the state about the Army's use of DU in Iraq, its harmful
effects, and what we can do to raise awareness in our communities about
this danergous weapon and its effects on our troops and Iraqi

Dr. Rokke's forty year military career included combat duty during the
Vietman War and Gulf War I. He is a former director of the US Army
Depleted Uranium Project (see his more extensive biography below).

Here are Dr. Rokke's tour dates:

Thursday, April 20, 7pm. MILFORD. Boys and Girls Club at the Amato
Center, 56 Mount Vernon Street, Milford.

Friday, April 21 at 7pm. CONCORD. Wesley United Methodist Church,
Clinton Street. For more information, call 228-0559.

Saturday, April 22, 2 pm. DOVER. Dover Friends Meeting House. 141
Central Ave., Dover, NH. For more information call 498-3580.

Sunday, April 23, 4 pm. ROCHESTER The Cafe at the Governor's Inn. 76
Wakefield Street, Rochester. For more information, call 228-0559.

Monday, April 24, 6:30 pm. MANCHESTER. Manchester City Library. 405
Pine Street, Manchester. For more information call 228-0559.

Sponsored by Women Making a Difference, Milford Unitarian-Universalist
(UU) Church's Social Responsibility Committee Committee, NH Veterans
for Peace, NH Peace Action, Nashua UU Church's Social Responsibility
Committee Committee, Peterborough UU Church's Social Responsibility
Committee Committee. This tour would not be possible without the
exceptional organizing and energy of Nancy Iannuzzelli.

Biography of Dr. Doug Rokke

Doug Rokke earned his Ph.D. in physics and technology education at the
University of Illinois. His miltary career has spanned 4 decades to
include combat duty during the Vietnam War and Gulf War 1. Doug served
as a member of the U.S. Army Medical Command's Nuclear, Biological, and
Chemical (NBC) teaching, medical response, and special operations team
and with the Depleted Uranium Assessment team during the Gulf War. He
was the U.S. Army's Depleted Uranium Project director from 1994 - 1995.

He developed the congressionally mandated education and training
materials and wrote U.S. Army Regulation 700-48 and the U.S. Army's
common task for DU incidents. Doug has taught nuclear, biological and
chemical warfare and emergency medicine for over 20 years to both
civilian and military personnel. He was one of the original authors of
the EDRAT (Emergency Disaster Response Assistance Team) proposal which formed the foundation for the National Guard CSD teams and the Illinois CERT Teams. In preparation for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, he wrote and taught the original Chemical / Biological Counter-terrorism Course for
civilian emergency responders that is now the federal 120 city and
Department of Justice course.

Dr. Rokke serves or has served as an
advisor with the Centers of Disease Control, Department of Defense,
National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, U.S Senate, U.S.
House of Representatives, U.S. Department of Transportation, FAA, U.S.
Department of Defense. U.S. General Accounting Office, Department of
Veterans Affairs, British Royal Society, British House of Lords and
House of Commons, United Nations, and Presidential Special Oversight
Board. He has been an advisor for numerous television documentaries on
effects of nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare and depleted
uranium with CBS; ABC; NBC, History Channel; A & E; PBS; BBC; CBC; and German, French, Japanese, Australian, Italian, and Greek TV. Dr. Rokke
has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in environmental science,
environmental engineering, nuclear physics, and emergency management
and was a staff physicist at the UIUC for 19 years.


Merrimack Valley People for Peace meets monthly, on the fourth Tuesday,
at 7:30 pm,
at North Parish Church, North Andover.

Contact Merrimack Valley People for Peace       (978) 685-1389
            P.O. Box 573
            North Andover, MA 01845

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