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A frightened villager brings the lid of a barrel that contained uranium oxide (yellowcake) taken from the Tuwaitha nuclear facility, that was left unsecured by occupying forces after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The family used this radioactive barrel to store water and are complaining of rashes and skin problems.

Say no to war

Greenpeace is opposed to war. Most recently, we joined with people all over the world in months of global action to promote a non-violent solution to the conflict in Iraq.

We believed the war was more about oil than about effectively dealing with weapons of mass destruction. It would result in devastating human and environmental consequences, and set a dangerous (not to mention illegal) precedent.

Though the occupying forces were quick to secure Iraqi oil fields, they neglected to safeguard dangerous nuclear material. Now that material has made its way to homes and schools. Weapons of mass destruction, the alleged reason for the war in the first place, were never found.

Uranium and other nuclear material stored under UN control in Iraq until the fall of Saddam Hussein have been stolen and local residents are reportedly displaying symptoms of radiation poisoning. Six weeks after the occupying forces took control of the country, the US finally conceded that the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), could return to assess what has been stolen at part of one site, Tuwaitha. Yet the IAEA has been refused access to the nearby population or to other sites it wants to visit, in contravention of UN resolutions.

We went to Iraq in June 2003 with a small, specialist team to examine the local environment and to assess the extent of any nuclear contamination. The team took samples of soil and water for laboratory analysis and conducted on-site monitoring with specialist radiation detection equipment. While the extent of the Greenpeace radiological survey will not be comprehensive, it will provide some idea of the true level of risk to the people of the area and to the environment.

We are calling for a full assessment of the situation at Tuwaitha and other nuclear sites in Iraq:

  • The occupying powers must allow the IAEA to remain in Iraq with an unrestricted mandate to test as well as document all nuclear sites.
  • The occupying powers must allow the IAEA to oversee an urgent medical and environmental assessment of the impact of the radioactive material that has spread in the local community - a practice that would be standard in any other country and circumstance.
  • A hunt for all the industrial radioactive isotopes in Iraq must be conducted urgently - these are all potential dirty bombs.

The latest updates

 

Priorities? Global military spending just hit US$1.6 trillion

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 25 April, 2017 1 comment

Military spending worldwide is going up. 2016 has seen governments around the world spend US$1.686 trillion on their militaries according to a new repor t from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Spending...

Oh Gaia! I’m a Taoist!

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 7 April, 2017 12 comments

I am teaching a Chinese history class for local students, introducing them to Taoist literature —  Tao Te Ching, Zhuangzi, Taiping jing  — and I realized: I’m a Taoist at heart. In my twenties, I learned many of my fundamental beliefs...

Biological Restoration of water and land

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 10 March, 2017

According to the 2015 World Economic Forum Global Risks 2015 Report, the water crisis is the world’s #1 risk. The problem is not only the amount of water available in the world’s rivers, lakes, and aquifers, but the pollution of...

Trump ignores climate risk in military focus

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 2 March, 2017

“We got to start winning,” Trump said on Tuesday.  “We got to start winning wars again.” What he was proposing was to win by increasing military spending in the US by 9%, adding a staggering $54 billion to the Pentagon’s budget...

Time for Europe to stand up for peace - and renewables

Blog entry by Jennifer Morgan | 17 February, 2017 2 comments

Every year, the Munich Security Conference brings together the most senior decision-makers to debate critical issues in international security. This year, I will join them. And while I am sure I will disagree with most of the...

Where is the hope?

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 30 November, 2016 2 comments

I’m not sure we can win with logic.  How do we reverse species loss, climate change, toxins, general overshoot of Earth’s generous habitats? We have the science, but humanity at the large scale does not appear to have the political...

Let's make it a green peace

Blog entry by Bunny McDiarmid and Jennifer Morgan | 20 September, 2016

Today (21 September), around the globe, we mark Peace Day knowing that for many, peace is nowhere to be found. Not today. And unless things change dramatically, not any time soon. On New Years Day 2016, a Médecins Sans...

What my grandmother would say about President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima

Blog entry by Daisuke Miyachi | 27 May, 2016 1 comment

World leaders are meeting in Japan for the G7, but on a side trip, President Obama is doing something no sitting US president has done before: visit Hiroshima. The city was flattened during World War II by the first nuclear weapon used...

War and Money

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 15 April, 2016 2 comments

"Who is doing this? Who is killing us? This great evil. How did it steal into the world? We were a family. How did it break up and come apart?" – Private Witt's thoughts, The Thin Red Line, by Terrence Malick.  Records from the...

Military spending is going up. Don’t let it take us down

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 5 April, 2016 3 comments

Weapons spending worldwide increased in 2015 and now stands at a mind boggling $1676 billion, according to a new data released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute today. This 1% increase from 2014 marks an...

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