by Marco Consolo and Gregorio Piccin
Damned depleted uranium.
On the use of depleted uranium ammunition by NATO, General Roberto Vannacci, former commander of the Italian contingent in Baghdad, refused to be part of that acquiescence chain that for decades has involved high military leaders and Defence Ministers
Vannacci filed a regular complaint with the Public Prosecutor of Rome and the Military Public Prosecutor reporting “serious and repeated omissions in the protection of Italian military contingent health and safety ” and soldiers subjected “to exposure to depleted uranium without providing any information in this regard, and without any risk mitigation being implemented “. Before turning to civil and military Justice, General Vannacci uselessly reported to former Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta (5 Stars party) and to the Chief of Defence Staff, Enzo Vecciarelli.
Does the current Minister of Defence Guerini (PD) have something to say or will he also be absent like all those who preceded him? According to the Military Observatory – which unsuccessfully asked the Minister for a meeting – exposure to depleted uranium in war theatres already resulted in 372 Italian soldiers’ death and made 7,693 others ill with cancer.
The movement of victims’ families is still waiting for similar results from the Inquiry Parliamentary Commission on Depleted Uranium, which is expected to materialise precise and adherent legislative acts.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg, because depleted uranium silent massacre continues to affect entire populations, such as Serbian population NATO bombed in 1999.
Communist Refoundation Party opposed that war, and the following and criminal use of depleted uranium ammunition by NATO.
In Italy, for thirty years Foreign and Defence policy has been governed by a transversal party proceeding on autopilot: faithfully serving NATO and guaranteeing the turnover of National war industry.
This is the result of the so-called New Defence Model, a thirty-year-old model, which wanted to transform soldiers into volunteers in order to send them abroad without declaring war not to serve national interests, but very special interests.
Thirty years of military professionalism may therefore suffice and this defence model that militarized foreign policy must be abandoned.
We need immediate resignation by the military leaders who have direct responsibility for the omissions reported by General Vannacci.
Service causes of deceased soldiers’ families and over seven thousand sick men should be recognized.
Soldiers should be withdrawn from foreign occupation missions and employed only in defence of country’s territorial integrity and support of civil protection in environmental crises.
Marco Consolo, head of the foreign area
Communist Refoundation Party – European Left