By Chris Floyd - The Moscow Times
Feb 21, 2003.
-The rule of law is
Rumsfeld painted the deployment of field
chemical weapons as a "humanitarian
Six million marched for peace last week, but
the Bush Regime and the Blair Regency were unmoved by this outburst from
the ignorant rabble. Instead, the righteous leaders of the "Coalition of
the Willing" (or COW) declared that no power on earth will halt their holy
quest to rid the world of Saddam Hussein and his chemical
Strange, then, to see
one of COW's biggest bovines -- Pentagon warlord Donald "Squinty"
Rumsfeld -- informing the dazed and docile rubber stamps of Congress
of his intention to assault Iraq with, er, chemical weapons.
Congress he has asked COW head George W. Bush to sign a special
waiver allowing American forces to use biochemical weapons against
Iraqi troops and civilians in the upcoming stampede into Iraq, UPI
reported. What's more, the COW chemicals would be launched
unilaterally, as part of the standard Rules of Engagement -- and not
merely in retaliation for an attack with similar weapons by Hussein.
In his extraordinary
testimony, Rumsfeld openly complained about the onerous restrictions
imposed on American forces by the stupid old Chemical Weapons
Convention that the U.S. signed -- indeed, initiated -- many years
ago. Rumsfeld told the Congressfolk of his deep "regret" that the
United States had "tangled ourselves up so badly" with all that
sissy-Mary malarkey in the first place. But now, thank God, a real
brush-clearin', pretzel-chompin' he-man is sitting on top of the
COW, so Squinty is sure to get that waiver.
What Squinty wants to
do is unleash a barrage of so-called "nonlethal" biochemical weapons
against any godless Ayrab stupid enough to resist the incoming herd.
This array of incapacitators -- or to use the Pentagon's quaint
term, "calmatives" -- will include fighting pharmaceuticals
developed by the world's leading drug companies. True, the
weaponization of medicine is something of a departure from the
Hippocratic Oath -- but what's health and healing when your COW is
calling you to war? Anyway, isn't the Hippocratic Oath -- like the
CWC, the ABM Treaty, the UN Charter, the Bill of Rights, indeed, the
very notion of law itself -- outmoded in the new Bush imperium?
Rumsfeld hopes to
emulate the glorious success of Russian security forces, who used
"nonlethal calmatives" to liberate the Nord-Ost hostages from their
captors -- and from the bonds of earthly existence as well. But
there's one slight hitch: The Russians' employment of "calmatives"
-- however blundering and murderous -- was legal under international
law, which permits the use of "crowd-control devices" in domestic
law enforcement situations. But the use of any chemical weapon
against people in wartime -- no matter how supposedly nonlethal it
might be -- is expressly forbidden by a number of international
treaties, all signed by the United States.
Not only that: The
very production of such combat weapons is prohibited -- which is
supposedly why COW is on its high horse about Iraq. Squinty knows
this, of course; that's why he and COW head Bush have quietly
shifted funding authority for "calmative" research from Pentagon
coffers to John Ashcroft's Justice Department -- it gives "domestic"
cover to the military program. Meanwhile, Squinty proudly notes that
production of "delivery systems" for the weaponized drugs is rolling
right along: The COW invaders will be able to use both an unmanned
"loitering vehicle" -- which hovers in the air and sprays
brain-deadening and gut-wrenching juice over all and sundry -- and a
good old-fashioned mortar shell loaded with chemical cocktails.
Rumsfeld painted the deployment of field
chemical weapons as a "humanitarian gesture," but here, too, there's
a slight hitch. "There is no way known to medical science that can
put large numbers of people to sleep without killing a sizable
percentage of them," Harvard biology professor and biochemical
weapons expert Matt Meselson told The Nation. This is particularly
disturbing in the light of Pentagon documents obtained by The
Sunshine Project, a Texas-based group devoted to biochemical warfare
issues, detailing the actual plans for the weapons.
The papers, produced
by the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, stress a concern for
"target discrimination." Like so many Pentagon terms, this phrase
actually means the opposite: The weapons do not discriminate among
targets -- civilian from soldier, for example -- they simply knock
out (or kill) everyone within range, allowing COW troops to move in
afterward and discriminate the victims into piles of "bad guys" and
unlucky innocent bystanders. This is considered particularly
effective in urban warfare, although the JNLWD papers do note that
"soldiers would probably have to be trained to refrain from killing
persons already incapacitated with chemical weapons." Well, let's
hope so, anyway.
Rumsfeld, of course,
knows his way around drugs. He was chairman of two major
pharmaceutical firms, including G.D. Searle, which later merged with
Monsanto which then merged with Pharmacia & Upjohn and is now
merged with Pfizer, creating one of the world's great
conglomerations of medical loot. Doubtless, Squinty dumped any
remaining shares in these various interlocking combines when he
cashed out his $95 million worth of corporate holdings upon taking
office in 2001 -- or rather, many, many months after taking office
and overseeing programs like, well, the weaponization of
pharmaceuticals (before the program's hugger-mugger shift to
well-acquainted with the use of chemical weapons in combat. Back in
1983, when the United Nations first revealed that Saddam Hussein was
exchanging biochemical unpleasantries with Iran, Rumsfeld himself
was kicking back in Baghdad, bringing fraternal greetings to Hussein
from the wise and pious leaders of the West: Ronald Reagan -- and
some guy named George Bush.
Bang! You're Incapacitated
Science Monitor, Dec. 12, 2002 (fee required)
The Pentagon's 'Non-Lethal' Gas
Feb. 17, 2003 (print edition only)
Pentagon Perverts Pharma With New Weapons
The Sunshine Project, Feb. 11, 2003
Plans to Use Illegal Weapons
The Independent, Feb.
Non-Lethal Capabilities Technologies in the 21st
Pentagon Joint Non-Lethal Weapons
Directorate, November 2001
The Guardian, Feb. 17,
New Rules for Non-Lethal Combat
Newsmax.com, Feb. 6, 2003
America's secret bio-arsenal
Star, Nov. 17, 2002 (fee required)
Statement of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
House Armed Services Committee, Feb. 5, 2003
Sonic Pain Stick
Village Voice, Feb. 12, 2003
Rumfeld Key Player in Iraq Shift
News, Aug. 18, 2002