Tuesday, July 29, 2008

America's Bioterrorism Nightmare

Mark Silverberg

The revelation late last year from an American bio-defense analyst living in Europe that Syria is ready to respond with biological weapons of mass destruction if the U.S., Israel or Europe attack Iranian nuclear installations has again brought forth the reality that such weapons in the hands of our enemies represent an intolerable threat to our national security. This fear was compounded on July 15th with the revelation in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyasa that Hezbollah has acquired, with Syrian and Iranian assistance, chemicals needed to make weapons such as nerve gas or mustard gas from North Korean suppliers. The Lebanese terrorist organization is allegedly preparing to arm its Katyusha rockets with such chemical warheads. The Al-Siyasa report was based on intelligence provided to the Kuwaiti paper by Syrian opposition figures in the United States. According to Jill Bellamy-Dorsey, who currently directs the Public Health Preparedness program for the European Homeland Security Association under the French High Committee for Civil Defense: "Syria is positioned to launch a biological attack on Israel or Europe should the U.S. attack Iran. The Syrians are embedding their biological weapons program into their commercial pharmaceuticals business and their veterinary vaccine-research facilities," she said.

Bellamy-Dorsey anticipates a variation of smallpox (cryptosporidium) as the biological agent Syria would use probably by infecting water supplies. Cryptosporidium causes a gastrointestinal illness with symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and a low-grade fever, the symptoms of which could last for weeks. The resulting mass illness would greatly inhibit the ability of any nation to defend itself. It is believed that the Syrians have tested their biological weapons in Darfur and that the Syrian military is planning the eventual integration of these weapons into its tactical and strategic arsenals by mounting biological warheads on its long-range surface-to-surface missiles and using them against military and civilian targets.

The Syrian revelation is only the latest in a long line of related warnings that have arisen in the West in recent years. Diseases such as SARS, AIDS, West Nile virus, hoof-and-mouth disease, and mad cow disease have highlighted the challenges of managing deadly pathogens in our shrinking world. But few are truly aware of the horrific nature of these weapons. The accidental release of anthrax from a military testing facility in the former Soviet Union in 1979 and Iraq's admission in 1995 to having quantities of anthrax, botulinum toxin, and aflatoxin ready to use as weapons led President Clinton's Secretary of Defense, William Cohen on November 25, 1997 to give a briefing on a Pentagon report dealing with the threat of chemical and biological weapons in the hands of then Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. After showing a picture of a Kurdish mother and her child who had been gassed by Saddam's army in Halabja in March 1988, he stated: "One drop (of VX nerve agent) on your finger will produce death in a matter of just a few moments." He then sketched an image of a massive chemical attack on an American city.

read more:http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54542

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