Saturday, December 25, 2004

The future diseases of occupation

Yet more heartache in store for a suffering country and its people. A story in the Christian Science Monitor reminds us of the continuing environmental degradation of occupied Iraq. Bullets and bombs are not the only airborne threats. According to the UN Environment Program (UNEP) hundreds of environmental "hot spots" from huge burning landfills, chemicals spills, oil trench fires and much more are contaminating the soil and its crops, the water and the air. Major tributaries of the Euphrates are reported unable to support biological life in many areas. Depleted uranium from ordnance litters the landscape.

Given the struggle to exist each day, protecting the land, air and water takes a back seat to survival. But in the long run there will be a price to pay. The war and the occupation will exact its toll from generations not yet born.