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Foiling A 'Lottery Of Death'

By Andrew Kishner

11 July, 2008

While the mainstream media is running news articles with headlines such as 'How might Israel attack Iran' and 'Can Israel do it alone, or do they need the U.S.?', 99% of the world's citizens reading these news pieces remain oblivious to the radiation effects of a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Such an attack would employ either nuclear weapons, resulting in global radiation fallout, or conventional bunker buster weaponry that would unleash harmful, radioactive uranium dust from Iran's facilities that would likewise circle the globe and endanger the lives of millions.

In either case, innocent citizens in near and far-away lands would be players in a 'lottery of death'. This is how the lottery of death will work: If a rainstorm occurs where you live, in your hometown, and the fallout clouds are, at that moment, above you in the upper atmosphere, you will get irradiated. You can be thousands of miles from Iran and it doesn't matter. The Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), who have been a leading voice in educating folks on the dangers of a nuclear attack on Iran, won't tell you that radiation from an attack on Iran's facilities can end up in your village or city regardless of where you live. Most people don't know that dust particles regularly fly off the surface of deserts in China or North Africa and land in California or Florida. Or from the Nevada Test Site to towns in Utah or Missouri or New York or Quebec or London. Uranium dust will act no differently. The fallout, containing uranium dust or radioisotopes from a nuclear bomb yield, could manifest in the form of rain or snow and contaminate milk or leafy vegetables or other food products anywhere on the globe.

This frightful scenario might remind some of the 'black rain' that occurred after the bombing on Hiroshima. A heavy dark rain fell in areas to the northwest of Hiroshima after the firestorm that destroyed the bombed Japanese city nearly 63 years ago. The rain contained large amounts of radioactive soot and dust that contaminated areas far from the hypocenter.

As for the one percent of the world that is 'in the know' about the real dangers of a 21st century war, they are trying their darnedest. Perusing the blogosphere and the indy-press, one can find rare voices of reason that are attempting to foil an attack by trying to reason with humanity that war is not the answer and that attacking Iran's nuclear facilities with 'limited collateral damage' low-yield nuclear bombs would be a disaster as bad as or worse than Chernobyl.

Activists, peace groups, PSR and other anti-nuclear groups are doing what they can do. It is important that people understand that since our elected leaders aren't listening to reason then we are the ones that must act. And if we don't act, if each and every person doesn't act because they individually feel that one person can't change the world, then the world will never change. Educate yourself about the dangers of nuclear fallout, spread the word, and make your elected leaders know loud and clear that they must listen to reason in order to foil a 'lottery of death.'

Andrew Kishner is a downwinder activist and founder of


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