Manlio Dinucci / ilmanifesto.it & Global Research & The Washington Post Editorial Board – 2013-10-03 01:33:43
WASHINGTON, DC (October 1, 2013) — For years, Syria and Egypt refused to abandon their chemical weapons facing a threatening neighbor, Israel, which develops very sophisticated ones, in addition to biological and nuclear weapons. However, while Syria has joined the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, we are taking a look at Israeli activities.
The UN inspectors who monitor chemical weapons in Syria would have much to do if they were sent to monitor the nuclear, biological and chemical weapons (NBC) of Israel.
But according to the rules of “international law”, they cannot do so. Israel has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, nor the Convention Banning Biological Weapons , and has signed but not ratified the Convention Banning Chemical Weapons.
The entrance of the Israel Institute for Biological Research, Ness-Ziona. This structure is the cover for the research and manufacturing of Israeli chemical and biological weapons.
According to Jane’s Defense Weekly, Israel — the only nuclear power in the Middle East, has 100 to 300 nuclear warheads and their appropriate vectors (ballistic and cruise missiles and fighter-bombers). According to SIPRI estimates, Israel has produced 690-950 kg of plutonium, and continues to produce as much as necessary to make from 10 to 15 bombs of the Nagasaki type each year.
It also produces tritium (a radioactive gas with which neutron warheads are made) which cause minor radioactive contamination but higher lethality. According to various international reports, also quoted by the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, biological and chemical weapons are developed at the Institute for Biological Research, located in Ness-Ziona, near Tel Aviv.
Officially, 160 scientists and 170 technicians are part of the staff, who for five decades have performed research in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, pharmacology, physics and other scientific disciplines. The Institute, along with the Dimona nuclear center, is “one of the most secretive institutions in Israel” under direct jurisdiction of the Prime Minister.
The greatest secrecy surrounds research on biological weapons, bacteria and viruses that spread among the enemy and can trigger epidemics. Among them, the bacteria of the bubonic plague (the “Black Death” of the Middle Ages) and the Ebola virus, contagious and lethal, for which no therapy is available.
With biotechnology, one can produce new types of pathogens, which the target population is not able to resist, not having the specific vaccine. There is also strong evidence of research to develop biological weapons that can destroy the human immune system.
Officially, the Israeli Institute conducts research on vaccines against bacteria and viruses, such as anthrax funded by the Pentagon, but it is obvious that they can develop new pathogens for war use.
The same expedient is used in the United States and in other countries to get around the conventions prohibiting biological and chemical weapons. In Israel the screed secret was partially torn by the inquiry that was conducted, with the help of scientists, by the Dutch journalist Karel Knip.
It has also come out that toxic substances developed by the Institute have been used by the Mossad to assassinate Palestinian leaders. Medical evidence indicates that in Gaza and Lebanon, Israeli forces used weapons of a new design: they leave the body intact outside but, upon penetration, devitalise tissues, carbonise liver and bones, and coagulate the blood. This is possible with nanotechnology, the science that casts microscopic structures by building them atom-by-atom.
Italy also participates in the development of these weapons, linked to Israel by a military cooperation agreement and being its number one European partner in research and development. In the last Finance Act, Italy provided an annual allocation of 3 million euros for projects of Italian-Israeli joint research. Like the one indicated in the last notice of the Farnesina (Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), “new approaches to combat pathogens resistant to treatment.”
In this way, the Israel Institute for Biological Research could render pathogens even more resistant.
Translation Roger Lagasse
US Credibility Still on the Line in
Ridding Syria of Chemical Weapons
The Washington Post Editorial Board
(September 30, 2013) — The initiative to eliminate Syria’s chemical arsenal will advance another step Tuesday when the first team of inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrives in Damascus.
The previously obscure agency, based at the Hague and charged with implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention, adopted this weekend a plan under which Syria’s capacity to produce chemical munitions would be destroyed by Nov.â€‰1 and all of its bombs and precursors eliminated within eight months.
The quick action by the OPCW was the latest of several encouraging developments in the Obama administration’s joint effort with Russia. The UN Security Council unanimously passed Friday a resolution mandating the elimination of the Syrian stockpile, albeit without an explicit enforcement mechanism. The regime of Bashar al-Assad delivered a declaration of its stockpile that officials say was broadly in keeping with outside assessments, if not necessarily complete.
DC officials must consider whether its oversight of institutions is sufficient.
Still, there remain grounds for concern about whether the disarmament plan can succeed and about the collateral damage caused by the Obama administration’s embrace of it. To begin with, many experts are skeptical that the timetable can be met. The OPCW has only 150 inspectors on staff. They will have to visit numerous sites across a country in the middle of a civil war.
Of more concern is the possibility that the Assad regime will attempt to deceive inspectors and preserve parts of its arsenal. It has reportedly been moving chemical weapons around ever since President Obama threatened airstrikes last month.
As The Post‘s Michael Birnbaum has reported, the OPCW is not well prepared to respond to noncooperation. If a government alleges that not all sites or weapons have been declared, the agency would have little recourse other than to refer the matter to its inspector general and 41-nation executive council.
Russia, for its part, has made clear that it will not support UN action against Syria unless, as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov put it, violations are “serious enough to merit punishment” and “proven by 100 percent.” That sounded like a virtual invitation to cheat.
The elimination of Syria’s chemical arsenal, one of the largest in the world, would be an important achievement in its own right and would lessen the dangers of the ongoing civil war. But it would not end that war, nor the continuing slaughter of civilians by the Assad regime.
On the contrary: The Obama administration’s decision to partner with Russia rather than carry out military strikes appears to have been a final straw for a number of large Syrian rebel factions, which have broken with their Western-backed leaders and joined an Islamic alliance that includes a faction of al-Qaeda. Unless reversed, that would make the prospect of a political settlement to the war, which Mr. Obama promised to pursue, more remote than ever.
Mr. Obama, who dismissed the conflict as “someone else’s civil war” in his UN address last week, may have traded US influence over the outcome for a chance to eliminate a chemical weapons stockpile. If so, his administration has a much larger stake than any international agency in accomplishing the disarmament.
United States and Weapons of Mass Destruction
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The United States is known to have possessed three types of weapons of mass destruction: nuclear weapons, chemical weapons and biological weapons. The US is the only country to have used nuclear weapons in combat. The US also used chemical weapons in World War I. It had secretly developed the earliest form of the atomic weapon during the 1940s under the title “Manhattan Project”.
The United States pioneered the development of both the nuclear fission and hydrogen bombs (the latter involving nuclear fusion). It was the world’s first and only nuclear power for four years before being joined in the “nuclear club” by the Soviet Union. The United States has the largest number of deployed nuclear weapons in the world, with 300 more deployed nuclear weapons than Russia.
Chemical Weapons History
The US had participated in the formulations of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 which banned chemical warfare among other things but the US never joined the article which prohibited chemical weapons.
In World War I, the US produced its own munitions as well as deploying weapons produced by the French. The US produced 5,770 metric tons of these weapons, including 1,400 metric tons of phosgene and 175 metric tons of mustard gas. This was about 4% of the total chemical weapons produced for that war and only just over 1% of the era’s most effective weapon, mustard gas. (US troops suffered less than 6% of gas casualties.)
After the war, the US was party to the Washington Arms Conference Treaty of 1922 which would have banned chemical weapons but failed because it was rejected by France. The US continued to stockpile chemical weapons, eventually exceeding 30,000 tons of material.
Chemical weapons were not used by the US or the other Allies, during World War II; however, quantities of such weapons were deployed to Europe for use in case Germany initiated chemical warfare.
At least one accident occurred: On the night of December 2, 1943, German Junkers Ju 88 bombers attacked the port of Bari in Southern Italy, sinking several American ships — among them John Harvey, which was carrying mustard gas. The presence of the gas was highly classified, and authorities ashore had no knowledge of it — which increased the number of fatalities, since physicians, who had no idea that they were dealing with the effects of mustard gas, prescribed treatment not consistent with those suffering from exposure and immersion.
According to the US military account, “Sixty-nine deaths were attributed in whole or in part to the mustard gas, most of them American merchant seamen” out of 628 mustard gas military casualties.[Navy 2006][Niderost] Civilian casualties were not recorded. The whole affair was kept secret at the time and for many years after the war.
After the war, the Allies recovered German artillery shells containing three new nerve agents developed by the Germans (Tabun, Sarin, and Soman), prompting further research into nerve agents by all of the former Allies. Thousands of American soldiers were exposed to warfare agents during Cold War testing programs as well as in accidents. In 1968, one such accident killed approximately 6,400 sheep when an agent drifted out of Dugway Proving Ground during a test.
The US also investigated a wide range of possible nonlethal, psychobehavioral chemical incapacitating agents including psychedelic indoles such as lysergic acid diethylamide (experimented to see if it could be used for effective mind control) and marijuana derivatives, certain tranquilizers like ketamine or fentanyl, as well as several glycolate anticholinergics. One of the anticholinergic compounds, 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate, was assigned the NATO code BZ and was weaponized at the beginning of the 1960s for possible battlefield use.
This agent was allegedly employed by American troops as a counterinsurgency weapon in the Vietnam War but the US maintains that this agent never saw operational use.
The North Koreans and Chinese have alleged that chemical and biological weapons were used by the United States in the Korean War; but, the United States denial is supported by Russian archival documents.
On November 25, 1969, President Richard Nixon unilaterally renounced the first use of chemical weapons and renounced all methods of biological warfare. He issued a unilateral decree halting production and transport of chemical weapons, which remains in effect. From 1967 to 1970 in Operation CHASE, the US disposed of chemical weapons by sinking ships laden with the weapons in the deep Atlantic.
The US began to research safer disposal methods for chemical weapons in the 1970s, destroying several thousand tons of mustard gas by incineration at Rocky Mountain Arsenal and nearly 4,200 tons of nerve agent by chemical neutralization at Tooele Army Depot and Rocky Mountain Arsenal.
The US entered the Geneva Protocol in 1975 at the same time it ratified the Biological Weapons Convention. This was the first operative international treaty on chemical weapons that the United States was party to.
The US began stockpile reductions in the 1980s, removing some outdated munitions and destroying its entire stock of BZ beginning in 1988. In June 1990, Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System began destruction of chemical agents stored on Johnston Atoll in the Pacific, seven years before the Chemical Weapons Convention came into effect.
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan made an agreement with Chancellor Helmut Kohl to remove the US stockpile of chemicals weapons from Germany.
As part of Operation Steel Box, in July 1990, two ships were loaded with over 100,000 shells containing GB and VX taken from US Army weapons storage depots such as Miesau and then-classified ammunition FSTS (Forward Storage/Transportation Sites) and transported from Bremerhaven Germany to Johnston Atoll in the Pacific, a 46-day nonstop journey.
In May 1991, President George H.W. Bush unilaterally committed the United States to destroying all chemical weapons and renounced the right to chemical weapon retaliation.
In 1993, the United States signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, which required the destruction of all chemical weapon agents, dispersal systems, chemical weapons production facilities by April 2012.
The US prohibition on the transport of chemical weapons has meant that destruction facilities had to be constructed at each of the US’s nine storage facilities. The US met the first three of the treaty’s four deadlines, destroying 45% of its stockpile of chemical weapons by 2007. However, official expectations for the date of complete elimination of all chemical weapons was after the treaty deadline of 2012.
A policy of ‘calculated ambiguity’ warns of an â€œoverwhelming and devastating” response in the event of CBW (chemical or biological weapons) being used against the United States or its allies. 
Chemical Weapons Disposal
According to the US Army Chemical Materials Agency by January, 2012, the United States had destroyed 89.75% of the original stockpile of nearly 31,100 metric tons (30,609 long tons) of nerve and mustard agents declared in 1997.
The US disposed of the more dangerous modern chemical weapons before starting the destruction of its older mustard gas stockpile which presented additional difficulties due to the poor condition of some of the shells. Of the weapons destroyed up to 2006, 500 tons were mustard gas and the majority were other agents such as VX and sarin (GB) (86% of the latter was destroyed by April 2006).
13,996 metric tons (13,775 long tons) of prohibited weapons had been destroyed by June 2007 to meet the Phase III quota and deadline. The original commitment in Phase III required all countries to have 45 percent of the chemical stockpiles destroyed by April 2004.
Anticipating the failure to meet this deadline, the Bush administration in September 2003 requested a new deadline of December 2007 for Phase III and announced a probable need for an extension until April 2012 for Phase IV, total destruction (requests for deadline extensions cannot formally be made until 12 months before the original deadline).
This extension procedure spelled out in the treaty has been utilized by other countries, including Russia and the unnamed “state party.”.
Although April 2012 is the latest date allowed by the treaty, the US also noted that this deadline may not be met due to environmental challenges and the US decision to destroy leaking individual chemical shells before bulk storage chemical weapons.
The primary remaining chemical weapon storage facilities in the US are Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado and Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky.
These two facilities hold 10.25% of the US 1997 declared stockpile and destruction operations are under the Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives. Other non-stockpile agents (usually test kits) or old buried munitions are occasionally found and are sometimes destroyed in place.
Disposal of chemical munitions has concluded at seven of the US’s nine chemical depots (89.75% stockpile reduction). Pueblo and Blue Grass are constructing pilot plans to test novel methods of disposal. The US also uses mobile treatment systems to treat chemical test samples and individual shells without requiring transport from the artillery ranges and abandoned munitions depots where they are occasionally found.
The destruction facility for Pueblo is expected to be completed in 2012 with disposal occurring between 2015 and 2017. Blue Grass is expected to complete operation by 2021.
In 1988â€“1990, the destruction of munitions containing BZ, a non-lethal hallucinating agent at Pine Bluff Chemical Activity in Arkansas. Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada destroyed all M687 chemical artillery shells and 458 metric tons of binary precursor chemicals by July 1999.
Operations were completed at Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System where all 640 metric tons of chemical agents were destroyed by 2000 and at Edgewood Chemical Activity in Maryland, with 1,472 metric tons of agents destroyed by February 2006.
All DF and QL, chemical weapons precursors, were destroyed in 2006 at Pine Bluff. Newport Chemical Depot in Indiana began destruction operations in May 2005 and completed operations on August 8, 2008, disposing of 1,152 tons of agents.
Pine Bluff completed destruction of 3,850 tons of weapons on November 12, 2010. Anniston Chemical Activity in Alabama completed disposal on September 22, 2011. Umatilla Chemical Depot in Oregon finished disposal on October 25, 2011. Tooele Chemical Demilitarization Facility at Deseret Chemical Depot in Utah finished disposal on January 21, 2012.
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