portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

imperialism & war

Nuclear threat in Iraq is actually worse now

Radiation sickness and proliferation are now major concerns since the US toppled Saddam
Mohammed ElBaradei, the director of the IAEA has said that since the invasion of Iraq there has been extensive removal of nuclear-related equipment, some of it contaminated, as well as missile engines.

Some radioactive material turned up in Rotterdam harbor in December or January, depending on which article you read.

ElBaradei wrote: "It is not clear whether the removal of these items has been the result of looting activities in the aftermath of the recent war in Iraq, or as part of systematic efforts to rehabilitate" the sites. "In any event these activities may have a significant impact on the agency's continuity of knowledge of Iraq's remaining nuclear-related capabilities and raise concern with regards to the proliferation risk associated with dual use material and equipment disappearing to unknown destinations."

And its also a great health risk to Iraqi civilians or anyone else who comes into contact with contaminated material.

Ah, the irony of it all. The US invades the country because of the threat of nuclear weapons, and when that threat doesn't really pan out, they ignore nuclear facilities and sites, thereby exposing the population to radiation, exposing other countries to material that has been smuggled out, and possibly increasing the threat of proliferation. Is this real? Could this be really happening?

Apparently there's not alot of money to be made in guarding nuclear sites. Halliburton doesn't have a subsidiary to handle that. Yes, the best thing to do in that situation is just completely ignore the problem.


Poor choice of links 17.Apr.2004 12:19


Neither of these links is "linkable" so the best thing would be to find the article on Google--headline UN Warns of Possible Nuclear Threats in Iraq

variety of the same article 18.Apr.2004 13:42


If you read some of the different articles about this same topic, you'll notice some interesting differences. The Reuters version of it says ElBaradei was not sure if the removal of items was the result of looting in the aftermath of the war, or as "part of systematic efforts to rehabilitate some of the locations."

Rehabilitate is the key word here. Many other articles use the same quote but leave out the word "rehabilitate" instead writing "part of systematic efforts" to clean up contaminated nuclear sites.

There's a difference here. Rehabilitate can mean clean up, or it can mean fix up in order to get it working again. In other words, restart an Iraq nuclear energy program. Obviously Iraq is going to need nuclear energy at some point, so I wonder if thats what this means?

Perhaps its a moot point. Yes, perhaps.