29 October 2009 Edition

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Mála Poist

Cuireann An Phoblacht fáilte roimh litreacha ónár léitheoirí. Scríobh i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla, 200 focal ar a méid. Déantar giorrú ar litreachta más gá. Cuir do litir chuig [email protected]
An Phoblacht welcomes readers’ letters. Write in Irish or English, 200 words maximum. Letters may be edited for brevity. Send your letters to [email protected] No attachments please

EU transfer for Tánaiste?

CAN I suggest that someone organises a campaign to support the EU’s bid to secure Tánaiste Mary Coughlan’s transfer to Brussels as Agriculture Commissioner?
There is apparently a strong lobbying campaign for Coughlan to go as she is somehow held in higher regard in Europe from her time as Agriculture Minister than she is here in Ireland now.
The French Government is backing an Irish appointment for the job in the new commission, which will take up office towards the end of the year, but Taoiseach Brian Cowen does not want to lose a Government TD and cause a by-election.
I’m sure Ms Coughlan’s free transfer would be a popular move otherwise, not least in Donegal and the country as a whole, even for possibly different reasons.
Good luck to her. Missing her already.

DU weapons horror

THE horrors of the US Agent Orange defoliation campaign in Vietnam will ultimately be dwarfed by the horrors caused by the depleted uranium weapons which the US began using in the 1991 Gulf War, and which it has used much more extensively, and in more urban, populated areas, in the Iraq War and the now intensifying Afghanistan War.
Depleted uranium, despite its rather benign-sounding name, is not depleted of radioactivity or toxicity. The term “depleted” refers only to its being depleted of the U-235 isotope needed for fission reactions in nuclear reactors. The nuclear waste material from nuclear power plants, DU as it is known, is what is removed from the power plants’ spent fuel rods and is essentially composed of the uranium isotope U-238 as well as U-236, as well as other trace radioactive elements.
It is an ideal metal for a number of weapons uses, and has been capitalised on by the Pentagon. DU has proven to be an ideal penetrator for warheads that need to pierce thick armour or dense concrete bunkers made of reinforced concrete and steel. Once through the defences, it burns at a temperature that incinerates anyone inside. It is used by the A-10 Warthog ground-attack fighter planes used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan
Even the smallest particle of uranium in the body is both deadly poisonous as a chemical, and over time can cause cancer.  There are reports of a dramatic increase in the incidence of deformed babies being born in the city of Fallujah, where DU weapons were in wide use during the November 2004 assault on that city by US Marines.  Medical examiners have clearly stated that the amount of babies being born deformed cannot be explained except by the use of DU weaponry.
Considering all of the above I believe that US and NATO commanders should be brought before a court of human rights and tried for genocide, as should their political leaders.
County Mayo


Tony Blair for President

I SEE that British former Prime Minister Tony Blair is being touted as the new President of the EU but, even though I am a citizen of the EU, I am not getting the chance to vote for him or any other candidate.
What was that about the Lisbon Treaty making the EU ‘more democratic’?
Perhaps Fianna Fáil or the Green Party could explain how this is democratic.
Dublin 7

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