Peaceniks need to bone up on science

Abraham Lincoln once said that you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. It is those people who seem to get played the fool all the time of which I write this week.
Fool is an ugly name, though. So, for the sake of political correctness throughout the remainder of this column, we’ll call the fools of which I speak “left-wing liberal peace activists.” You see, they’ve been hornswoggled and they don’t even know it.
Their passion for peace has blinded from some rather universal truths. It has led them to accept half-truths and outright lies that happen to fit their belief system as if they came directly from the Gospel.
As a journalist, my first loyalty always lies with the truth. For left-wing liberal peace activists, first loyalty lies with peace. I will no longer abide by people who wish to sound off with their deceptions. From now on, I intend to set the record straight.
I often read quotes from left-wing liberal peace activist groups, such Northwest Iowa Peace Links, that Americans are killing innocent children because of our military’s use of depleted uranium in weapons and armament. Of course, they have no real evidence of this, just some quasi-factual report conducted five years ago in Bosnia.
Here are the real facts on DU.
Natural uranium is a slightly radioactive metal that is present in most rocks and soils as well as in many rivers and sea water. It consists primarily of a mixture of two isotopes, Uranium-235 and Uranium-238, at a proportion 1 part U235 to every 99 parts U238.
Nuclear reactors require U235 to produce energy; therefore, the natural uranium has to be enriched to obtain the isotope U235 by removing a large part of the U238, called depleted uranium. DU is 40 percent less radioactive than naturally-occurring uranium (the stuff that is sitting in the rocks under your basement right now).
Of course, very large doses of DU can cause cancer. How large? Well, for a 200-pound man, the lethal dosage, which must somehow reach one’s blood system, is about three pounds of DU. Now mind you, U238 has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, meaning it is essentially stable. It’s also quite dense, meaning it will pass through the digestive system with only trace amounts entering one’s blood system.
Airborne DU dust particles fall to the ground quickly and cannot be blown off the ground very easily because the material is so dense, which makes inhaling it quite difficult to do, as well. As a precaution, however, soldiers in battle using DU weapons and armor wear air filters.
Its density, however, is greater than that of lead and other steel alloys employed by many other militaries in the world. As a matter of fact, my nuclear physics instructor at Nuclear Power School in the Navy had a large block of natural uranium that he used as a doorstop. This density is an attribute that makes DU of great importance to our fighting forces.
In military applications, when alloyed, DU is ideal for use in armor-penetrating weapons systems. This allows our DU weapons to penetrate enemy tanks and battlements and defeat the enemy from a significantly greater distance. Also, because it is so dense, DU armor plating is a highly effective way to protect or tanks and other combat vehicles.
If we were to follow the left-wing liberal peace activists’ desires, we would be making our troops more vulnerable to attacks and less likely to complete their objectives without casualties. Yet these same people decry the casualties of war and demand that we do something to make the soldiers safer. Of course, their preferred method would be to “bring our boys home.”
Here’s some food for thought. Freedom is the greatest gift God gave us. It should be loved and honored, even at the price of peace. The absence of war isn’t necessarily peace. Peace achieved without victory is little more than slavery.
Don’t believe the left-wing liberal peace activists and their so-called informed opinions. They have but one objective: to stop war, regardless of the cost. Even if that cost is our freedom.