Sunday, January 11, 2009

AIDS & Plagues - Pt.4


In times of the Old Testament, the god Jehovah, brought infestations and plagues. These created a state of blistering and boils, some from a fine powder, others from a mist. This is exactly what CBW (Chemical and Biological Weapons) do. They can be delivered in various forms and using a multitude of methods.

Regarding the Plague from part 3 of this post: It is the infamous "Black Death", caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Aerosol-dispersed plague particles can cause an outbreak of pneumonic plague, a rare, highly lethal, and contagious form of plague.


The following information comes from the Nuclear Threat Initiative website.

In the United States, and for political reasons, no single definition of 'terrorism' has been accepted worldwide, and several different ones are in current use.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as:
"The unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."
The U.S. State Department defines terrorism as:
"Premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience."
Terrorism experts outside government have also developed their own definitions. For example, Walter Laqueur, a terrorism specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., defines terrorism as:
"The sub-state application of violence or threatened violence intended to sow panic in a society, to weaken or even overthrow the incumbents, and to bring about political change."

CBW can be broken down into the following categories:

1. Chemical Warfare (CW) agents are poisonous, man-made chemicals that may take the form of gases, liquids, or powders. When absorbed through the lungs or the skin, these substances have incapacitating or lethal effects on humans or animals. Although many CW agents are liquids, the explosion of a bomb or the use of a sprayer system can transform a liquid agent into an aerosol, or superfine mist of microscopic droplets,that can be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Choking Agents: such as chlorine and phosgene, were used on a large scale during World War I. They cause severe damage to the bronchial tubes of the lungs, causing them to fill with fluid so that victims "drown" in their own secretions. Most choking agents dissipate rapidly in the open air. They could potentially cause mass casualties, however, if released by terrorists in an enclosed space such as a subway station or a sports arena. Some choking agents are commonly used industrial chemicals, requiring little investment in specialized weapons laboratories. Because of resistance from the U.S. chemical industry, the Department of Homeland Security has been reluctant to impose stringent regulations on the use and transport of these chemicals and the physical security of chemical plant sites. No antidotes exist for choking agents such as ammonia, chlorine, or phosgene, so exposures must be treated symptomatically. Inhalation of choking agents typically results in swelling of the lung tissue, which can be managed by administering oxygen, cortisone, and a drug to widen the bronchial tubes. Mechanical ventilators may be required to keep victims breathing while their damaged lungs recover.
  • Blood Agents: such as hydrogen cyanide and cyanogen chloride, interfere with cellular respiration and cause rapid death. Lighter than air, these gases are extremely volatile and dissipate rapidly, but they could have deadly effects in an enclosed space. Manuals detailing the manufacture of weapons designed to release hydrogen cyanide gas have been developed by both Al-Qa'ida and Jemaah Islamiah, the terrorist group responsible for the Bali nightclub bombings. Immediate treatment with antidotes that bind cyanide ions in the blood can accelerate detoxification.
  • Nerve Agents: such as sarin and VX, are the most lethal chemical poisons known: they disrupt the functioning of the nervous system and kill within minutes. Sarin, the most volatile of the nerve agents, evaporates at about the same rate as water. In an enclosed space with poor ventilation, the evaporation of a few liters of sarin can produce a lethal concentration in the air. Outdoors, much larger quantities are required to compensate for the effects of wind and atmospheric turbulence. VX is a dense, oily liquid that acts mainly by penetrating the skin and can persist in the environment for several days or weeks depending on temperature. The lethal dose of VX for a grown man is about 10 milligrams, equivalent to a single drop. If a nerve agent such as sarin or VX is used in an attack, the administration of antidotes within minutes would be required to save lives. Victims who were exposed to lower doses of agent on the periphery of an attack could be treated somewhat later. The nerve agent antidotes stockpiled by the U.S. military are atropine, 2-PAM chloride, and diazepam to prevent seizures, but such drugs may be in short supply in states and localities. Most ambulances carry atropine for treating heart attacks, but in doses less than one-tenth of what a nerve gas victim requires. Thus, each major city should acquire and maintain a stockpile of nerve agent antidotes.
(Video Duration: 0:58)
  • Vesicants: Vesicants, also known as "blister agents," are agents that cause chemical damage resulting in large blisters on exposed skin. Vesicants irritate the eyes, skin, and the linings of the airways when inhaled and can cause damage that leads to death. These agents were commonly used in World War I and the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). No antidotes currently exist for blister agents, which must be treated symptomatically.

2. Biologic Weapons (BW) agents are living organisms or products of living organisms that cause disease in human beings, livestock, or crops and cause incapacitating or fatal disease. Symptoms of illness do not appear immediately but only after a delay, or "incubation period," that may last for days to weeks or even longer.
  • Toxins: Rather than being living organisms, toxins are chemicals produced by living organisms such as bacteria, plants, and animals. Some toxins are the most deadly chemicals known to man; however, they are never contagious. Examples are Mycotoxins, Staphylococcal Enterotoxin Type B (SEB), Botulinum, Ricin.
  • Bacteria: Bacterium is a member of a large group of microscopic single-celled organisms which have cell walls but lack an organized nucleus, and include many kinds which can cause disease. Examples are Anthrax, Glanders, Plague, Q-Fever, Tularemia.
  • Viruses: A submicroscopic infective particle which is able to multiply within the cells of a host organism and typically consists of nucleic acid coated in protein, causing infection or disease. Examples are Smallpox, Hemorrhagic Fever, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis.
To view the Glossary of additional terms used, click here.


So, modern warfare hasn't really changed from what we've seen in this post, as much as we're led to or want to believe. Neither has our tolerance of overhead spraying, poisoned drinking water, and genetically altered and chemically-poisoned foods.

During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980's, Iraq was said to have used multiple CBW agents on Turkish Kurds living in Iraq. What follows are some images of this:

(click to enlarge)


No comments: