Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The price of American security

The US removed almost 2 tons of radioactive material from Iraq last month:

The 1,000 "sources" evacuated in the Iraqi operation included a "huge range" of radioactive items used for medical purposes and industrial purposes, a spokesman for the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration told AP news agency.

What this means in English is that they stripped the hospitals of radioactive isotopes used in cancer treatment. The price of American security is that Iraqis will be left to die of cancer.

Now, the Iraqi public health system isn't anything to write home about at the moment - they have trouble with things like water and electricity, let alone radiotherapy - but once upon a time it was fairly decent, and it could be again if Iraq manages to get back on its feet. Except that now they won't be able to treat cancer effectively - something they have rather a lot of now, thanks to the Americans and their depleted uranium.

But hey, American lives are more important, right?