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Biological Blame Game: USA in First Place - 11 November, 2002 - News

The politics of biological weapons

The 21st century has inherited a number of unsettled problems from the 20th century: terrorism, which has already gained an incredible scale; the countless number of hot spots on the planet; and the threat of a biological war. The world isn’t ready for a biological attack, and the anthrax scare in America was an obvious confirmation of this. The mass media were so focused on the problem, which in its turn caused a mass psychosis among the population. A biological weapon is an instrument for big-scale politics, and the USA openly demonstrates it (Washington thinks that the notorious “axis of evil” countries hold biological weapons.)

No evidence is required; accusations are hurled at a country, and then its up to this country to prove its innocence. This is happening to Iraq, North Korea, Iran, and Cuba. This phobia is actively exploited not only by the political establishment, as Hollywood is also playing the game. You’ve probably also heard about the new fashion trends: people have started wearing ties with the biological cultures of anthrax, smallpox, plague, etc.

The threat (or pseudo-threat) of a biological war is actively discussed on the top level. Talks designed to protect the world from the supposed increasing threat of biological war are to be recommenced in Geneva. About a year ago, consultations on the problem were suspended because Americans refused to participate in them. The countries that signed the 1972 Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention have been trying for several years already to make the convention prohibiting development and production of biological weapons work. The convention signed during the cold war was a mere declaration in fact: no measures for the realization of the convention were mentioned in the document at all. In December 2001, after many efforts spend on making the convention effective, Americans abandoned the negotiations, which shocked the world community. The USA says that the system suggested by the convention for control over enterprises in the biological sphere is ineffective and may entail violations, and these violations in their turn will endanger America’s national security, the BBC reports.

The USA won’t sign the convention because it would have to open its laboratories to inspection, which very undesirable for America. Instead, Washington follows the trite principle that the best defense is an offense and accuses other countries of holding biological weapons. The Washington Post reported on Tuesday with reference to sources in the US special services that Iraq, North Korea, Russia, and France hold secret smallpox viruses.

The American military is developing new-generation bacteriological weapons, which is a serious violation of international agreements on the prohibition of these kind of weapons. The Guardian informs that the statement was made by respected experts on both sides of the Atlantic. Professor Malcolm Dando, from the University of Bradford, and microbiologist Mark Wheelis, from the University of California, are sure that the USA is continuing to develop cluster bombs with biological components, with anthrax cultures for instance. The Guardian reports that the scientists point out the obvious contradictions in the domestic and foreign policies of the USA, which is ready to wage a war with Iraq with the supposed goal of stopping the production of the very same kinds of weapons that it is developing itself. Professor Dando says that secret military laboratories are working on the following.

1. Attempts are being made to develop a bacteriological weapon using bacteriological materials open to all; this is being done to prove that terrorists might also do this as well.

2. Research projects are be conducted with the goal of genetically engineering dangerous cultures, including an anthrax resistant to modern antibiotics.

3. These laboratories are also working on the production of dry anthrax spores. However, the scale of these research projects disagrees with the declared goals; it is impossible to find out how the spore surplus is being used.

Specialists in biological and chemical weapons also say that the USA is developing so-called “non-deadly” kinds of weapons, similar to the narcotic gas used during the storm of the theater in Moscow occupied by Chechen terrorists. The American military is also developing new generation biological weapons, which is a serious violation of international agreements prohibiting the production of these kind of weapons.

The US’s double-dealing in the production and usage of biological weapons brings to nothing to all the efforts of the world community to gain control over the usage of such deadly weapons. Moreover, currently, members of the 1972 convention don’t speak in support of international inspections. They just hope that countries that had signed the document 30 years ago will agree to hold annual, non-committal discussions. The main objective they pursue is to constantly remind the world about the necessity to be on the look-out. Isn’t this funny? It’s obvious that the USA is laughing at the whole of the world: Washington wants to postpone the talks on the 1972 convention until 2006. Observers say that new suggestions are ineffective and are unlikely to be approved of by the White House. The principle often used by the USA, “ Quod liced Jovi non liced bovi,” is still in force.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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