WHO’s Proposed Amendments Will Increase Man-Made Pandemics

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by quoth the raven
Wednesday, Aug 30, 2023 - 14:56

By Meryl Nass, Brownstone Institute

This report is designed to help readers think about some big topics: how to really prevent pandemics and biological warfare, how to assess proposals by the WHO and its members for preventing and responding to pandemics, and whether we can rely on our health officials to navigate these areas in ways that make sense and will help their populations. We start with a history of biological arms control and rapidly move to the COVID pandemic, eventually arriving at plans to protect the future.

Weapons of Mass Destruction: Chem/Bio

Traditionally, the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) have been labelled Chemical, Biological, Radiologic, and Nuclear (CBRN).

The people of the world don’t want them used on us—for they are cheap ways to kill and maim large numbers of people quickly. And so international treaties were created to try to prevent their development (only in the later treaties) and use (in all the biological arms control treaties). First was the Geneva Protocol of 1925, following the use of poison gases and limited biological weapons in World War I, banning the use of biological and chemical weapons in war. The US and many nations signed it, but it took 50 years for the US to ratify it, and during those 50 years the US asserted it was not bound by the treaty.

The US used both biological and chemical weapons during those 50 years. The US almost certainly used biological weapons in the Korean War (see thisthisthis and this) and perhaps used both in Vietnam, which experienced an odd outbreak of plague during the war. The use of napalm, white phosphorus, agent orange (with its dioxin excipient causing massive numbers of birth defects and other tragedies) and probably other chemical weapons like BZ (a hallucinogen/incapacitant) led to much pushback, especially since we had signed the Geneva Protocol and we were supposed to be a civilized nation.

In 1968 and 1969, two important books were published that had a great influence on the American psyche regarding our massive stockpiling and use of these agents. The first book, written by a young Seymour Hersh about the US chemical and biological warfare program, was titled Chemical and Biological Warfare; America’s Hidden Arsenal. In 1969 Congressman Richard D. McCarthy, a former newspaperman from Buffalo, NY wrote the book The Ultimate Folly: War by Pestilence, Asphyxiation and Defoliation about the US production and use of chemical and biological weapons. Prof. Matthew Meselson’s review of the book noted,

Our operation, “Flying Ranch Hand,” has sprayed anti-plant chemicals over an area almost the size of the state of Massachusetts, over 10 per cent of its cropland. “Ranch Hand” no longer has much to do with the official justification of preventing ambush. Rather, it has become a kind of environmental warfare, devastating vast tracts of forest in order to facilitate our aerial reconnaissance. Our use of “super tear gas” (it is also a powerful lung irritant) has escalated from the originally announced purpose of saving lives in “riot control-like situations” to the full-scale combat use of gas artillery shells, gas rockets and gas bombs to enhance the killing power of conventional high explosive and flame weapons. Fourteen million pounds have been used thus far, enough to cover all of Vietnam with a field effective concentration. Many nations, including some of our own allies have expressed the opinion that this kind of gas warfare violates the Geneva Protocol, a view shared by McCarthy.

A Biological Weapons Convention

Amid great pushback over US conduct in Vietnam, and seeking to burnish his presidency, President Nixon announced to the world in November 1969 that the US was going to end its biowarfare program (but not the chemical program). Following pointed reminders that Nixon had not eschewed the use of toxins, in February 1970 Nixon announced we would also get rid of our toxin weapons also, which included snake, snail, frog, fish, bacterial, and fungal toxins that could be used for assassinations and other purposes.

It has been claimed that these declarations resulted from careful calculations that the US was far ahead technically of most other nations in its chemical and nuclear weapons. But biological weapons were considered the “poor man’s atomic bomb” and required much less sophistication to produce. Therefore, the US was not far ahead in the biological weapons arena. By banning this class of weapon, the US would gain strategically. 

Nixon told the world that the US would initiate an international treaty to prevent the use of these weapons ever again. And we did so: the 1972 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, or Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) for short, which entered into force in 1975.

But in 1973 genetic engineering (recombinant DNA) was discovered by Americans Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen, which changed the biological warfare calculus. Now the US had regained a technological advantage for this type of endeavor.

The Biological Weapons Convention established conferences to be held every 5 years to strengthen the treaty. The expectation was that these would add a method to call for ‘challenge inspections’ to prevent nations from cheating and would add sanctions (punishments) if nations failed to comply with the treaty. However, since 1991 the US has consistently blocked the addition of protocols that would have an impact on cheating. By now, everyone accepts that cheating occurs and is likely widespread.

A leak in an anthrax production facility in Sverdlovsk, USSR in 1979 caused the deaths of about 60 people. While the USSR tried a sloppy cover-up, blaming contaminated black market meat, this was a clear BWC violation to all those knowledgeable about anthrax. 

US experiments with anthrax production during the Clinton administration, detailed by Judith Miller et al. in the 2001 book Germs, were also thought by experts to have transgressed the BWC.

It has taken over 40 years, but in 2022 all...(READ THIS FULL ARTICLE FREE HERE). 

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