Dr. Wouter Basson was the head of South Africa’s secret chemical and biological warfare project during the Apartheid era - known as ‘Project Coast’. Most of the project is still secret, but Dr. Basson was thought to have regularly been involved in attacks against anti-apartheid movements. He also allegedly supplied a lethal cocktail of muscle relaxants which were used in the systematic elimination of prisoners of wars and members of the SADF who posed a threat to covert operations. 

Dr. Basson, also named Dr. Death and is thought to be responsible for 230 deaths in total, was found guilty of unprofessional conduct and is currently waiting to be sentenced. 

the thing about chemical weapons and war contaminants—including tear gas—is that their use is always deliberate. they have their immediate effects—killing and injuring people—but the long term effects are even more insidious. chemical weapons (and I use this term deliberately) can cause long term disability and illness in people immediately exposed to them—think cancer, chemical injury, nerve damage, pulmonary and respiratory illnesses, etc.

but even more distressing than that, is research that demonstrates the long term impact of these chemical agents on environments and communities. this shit stays in the air, the soil, the water. exposure causes not only injury and illness to people immediately in the line of fire, it can cause birth anomalies long after the conflict has ceased. add in the fact that these kinds of weapons are deployed against marginalized populations whose access to healthcare is restricted, and you have effectively suppressed and marginalized not only the current generation, but future ones as well.

There is not a lot of research on this, because these weapons are deployed against people the state wants dead anyway— in our current context, Black people in the US and Palestinians in Gaza. let me be real clear about this: chemical weapons are being deployed against Black people by police; this is directed chemical warfare motivated by racism. 

So with tear gas, you get this funny thing where police are praised for using “less lethal” measures, when in fact the long term consequences are pretty damn lethal, but all of that gets covered up by time and distance and “lack of research”. 

There is a pattern here of dumping toxic shit on people, either through outright violence or through industrial environmental degradation (or both!), and then shrugging when a host of ongoing health problems emerge. In particular, use of chemical weapons constitutes an ongoing act of violence designed to disable and surpress populations. Tear gas is different in degree, not in kind.

Some links on this below the cut:

Read More

Dozens of Palestinians, including children, suffered from suffocation on Thursday due to inhaling what is being described as a “strange toxic gas” launched by the Israeli army during its ground incursion in the north and south of the Gaza Strip, Anadolu news agency reported.

Anadolu quoted Dr. Ashraf Al-Qidra, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry in Gaza, as saying that: “Dozens of Palestinians, including children, arrived at hospitals suffering from suffocation after inhaling a white poisonous gas fired by the Israeli army in the northern Gaza Strip and in the Shawkah neighbourhood near Rafah, to the south.”

Al-Qidra urged the Palestinians in Gaza “not to panic when they inhale the strange gas, to protect themselves using tarpaulin coats or nylon clothes and to cover the doors, windows and vents with a moist cloth to prevent air from leaking inside.”

As the Israeli assault continued by air and sea, dozens of Israeli military vehicles invaded the Palestinian territories west of the town of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip and in the south near Rafah while Israeli warplanes and helicopters flew over the area at low altitudes, in the largest escalation of violence since the start of the military operation last week.

A spokesperson for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the start of the ground operation against the Gaza Strip on Thursday evening, claiming that it aims to destroy the tunnels that Hamas uses to penetrate the Israeli territory.

However, the Middle East Eye reported that one of the first Palestinian casualties of the Israeli ground operation was a three-month old baby named Fares Al-Tarabeen.

The on-going military operation, dubbed by Israel “Operation Protective Edge”, has so far resulted in the killing of at least 249 Palestinians and the wounding of 1860 others, according to Palestinian Health Ministry records.

Discoveries Could Help Neutralize Chemical Weapons

Researchers at The Univ. of Tennessee are a step closer to creating a prophylactic drug that would neutralize the deadly effects of the chemical weapons used in Syria and elsewhere.

Jeremy Smith, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair and an expert in computational biology, is part of the team that is trying to engineer enzymes — called bioscavengers — so they work more efficiently against chemical weapons. The work is a joint effort between scientists at UT, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and a French national laboratory in Grenoble. Their study was published recently in the Journal of Physical Chemistry.

Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/discoveries-could-help-neutralize-chemical-weapons

Syria: Strong Evidence Government Used Chemicals as a Weapon

Evidence strongly suggests that Syrian government helicopters dropped barrel bombs embedded with cylinders of chlorine gas on three towns in Northern Syria in mid-April 2014. These attacks used an industrial chemical as a weapon, an act banned by the international treaty prohibiting chemical weapons that Syria joined in October 2013. The Syrian government is the only party to the conflict with helicopters and other aircraft.

On April 29, the director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced  a new mission to establish facts surrounding allegations of use of chlorine in Syria. The group said the Syrian government has agreed to accept this mission and to provide security in areas under its control.

Human Rights Watch interviews with 10 witnesses, including five medical personnel, video footage of the attacks, and photographs of the remnants strongly suggest that government forces dropped barrel bombs containing embedded chlorine gas cylinders in attacks from April 11 to 21 on three towns in northwestern Syria. Witnesses told Human Rights Watch they saw a helicopter dropping a barrel bomb or heard a helicopter immediately prior to an explosion, followed immediately by a peculiar odor.  The witnesses consistently described the clinical signs and symptoms of exposure to a choking agent (also known as a lung or pulmonary agent) by victims.

Read more.

Photo: Screenshot from a video posted to YouTube on April 11, 2014 shows substantial yellow coloration at base of the cloud over Keferzita, Syria, drifting with main cloud, and color intensity appears to quickly dissipate over next 20 seconds.

Surprise! Syria will miss final deadline to destroy chemical weapons


Another one of President Obama’s foreign policy “accomplishments” goes down in flames, and is anybody really surprised? I guess “red lines” are more like “pale pink suggestions.”

from CNS:

The international community will miss its June 30 deadline for the complete destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons program, due to a series of regime breaches of an agreement which the Obama administration has touted as a key foreign policy accomplishment.
At a meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ executive committee Tuesday, the watchdog’s director-general, Ahmet Umzucu, confirmed that there is no way the looming deadline can be met. That’s because President Bashar Assad’s regime has yet to surrender the last eight percent of its declared chemical weapons (CW) stocks.

Even if the chemical weapons were handed over at the Syrian port of Latakia today, they would still need to be shipped by a Danish vessel to Italy, and then transferred to the MV Cape Ray, a U.S. container ship modified to neutralize the agents at sea – a process that will take up to two months.

Umzucu also confirmed that the regime has not destroyed 12 chemical weapons facilities, as required to do under an OPCW “plan of destruction” mandated by a U.N. Security Council resolution adopted last September . The deadline for that objective passed on March 15, unheeded.

In fact the regime has flouted virtually every deadline set down in terms of a framework agreement negotiated between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last spring.

read the rest

What’s deeply troubling about this news to me is that the ISIS in Iraq operates closely with their associates in Syria.  What weapons are available in Syria is also available in Iraq as well.  How long before we see chemical weapons being used in the battlefronts in Iraq?


Syria: Strong Evidence Government Used Chemicals as a Weapon

Evidence strongly suggests that Syrian government helicopters dropped barrel bombs embedded with cylinders of chlorine gas on three towns in Northern Syria in mid-April, 2014. These attacks used an industrial chemical as a weapon, an act banned by the international treaty prohibiting chemical weapons that Syria joined in October 2013. The Syrian government is the only party to the conflict with helicopters and other aircraft.

Republican Praises Syrian Dictator As 'Heroic' AFTER He Murdered Children With Chemical Weapons

Republican Praises Syrian Dictator As ‘Heroic’ AFTER He Murdered Children With Chemical Weapons

The GOP will never cease to amaze me. From Sarah Palin claiming President Obama “pals around with terrorists,” to Louie Ghomert saying the President enables terrorism like Boko Haram, Republicans have been the biggest smear mongers against the Democrats as being the terrorist supporting party.

Perhaps they may need to look in their own back yard.

Syria’s Bashar Assad, the man who ordered…

View On WordPress

Russia said its ally Syria would soon ship more chemical weapons abroad for destruction after being accused of dragging its feet, while activists said civilians in Aleppo were fleeing deadly barrel bomb raids by President Bashar al-Assad’s air force.

Moscow also said on Tuesday that the Syrian government would show up at a new round of peace talks next week, hoping to allay Western concerns over Assad’s commitment to negotiations which ended inconclusively in Geneva last week.

The diplomatic assurances come as government forces escalate their assault on Syria’s second city of Aleppo, using a near daily barrage of barrel bombs that some activists say is forcing residents to flee and slowly gaining ground for the president against rebel forces weakened by weeks of infighting.

Raise your hand if this actually makes you feel any better about the startlingly low percentage of chemical munitions that the Syrian government has actually surrendered to international forces since promising to do-so last year..

Watch on theredpillnetwork.tumblr.com
Why Did the Iraq War Start? The Untold Story - Seymour Hersh - Reasons, Justification 

In the days immediately following 9/11, the Bush Administration national security team actively debated an invasion of Iraq. A memo written by Sec. Rumsfeld dated Nov 27, 2001 considers a US-Iraq war. One section of the memo questions “How start?”, listing multiple possible justifications for a US-Iraq War.

During 2002 the amount of ordnance used by British and American aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones of Iraq increased compared to the previous years and by August had “become a full air offensive”. Tommy Franks, the allied commander, later stated that the bombing was designed to “degrade” the Iraqi air defense system before an invasion.

In October 2002, a few days before the U.S. Senate voted on the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq, about 75 senators were told in closed session that Iraq had the means of attacking the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. with biological or chemical weapons delivered by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs.) On 5 February 2003, Colin Powell presented further evidence in his Iraqi WMD program presentation to the UN Security Council that UAVs were ready to be launched against the United States. At the time, there was a vigorous dispute within the U.S. military and intelligence communities as to whether CIA conclusions about Iraqi UAVs were accurate and other intelligence agencies suggested that Iraq did not possess any offensive UAV capability, saying the few they had were designed for surveillance and intended for reconnaissance. The Senate voted to approve the Joint Resolution with the support of large bipartisan majorities on 11 October 2002, providing the Bush administration with a legal basis for the U.S. invasion under U.S. law.

The resolution granted the authorization by the Constitution of the United States and the United States Congress for the President to command the military to fight anti-United States violence. Citing the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, the resolution reiterated that it should be the policy of the United States to remove the Hussein regime and promote a democratic replacement. The authorization was signed by President George W. Bush on 16 October 2002.

Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix remarked in January 2003 that “Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance—not even today—of the disarmament, which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace.” Among other things he noted that 1,000 short tons (910 t) of chemical agent were unaccounted for, information on Iraq’s VX nerve agent program was missing, and that “no convincing evidence” was presented for the destruction of 8,500 litres (1,900 imp gal; 2,200 US gal) of anthrax that had been declared.

In the 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush said “we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs”. On 5 February 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared before the UN to present American evidence that Iraq was hiding unconventional weapons. The French government also believed that Saddam had stockpiles of anthrax and botulism toxin, and the ability to produce VX. In March, Blix said progress had been made in inspections, and no evidence of WMD had been found. Iraqi scientist Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi codenamed “Curveball”, admitted in February 2011, that he lied to the CIA about biological weapons in order to get the US to attack and remove Hussein from power.

In early 2003, the U.S., British, and Spanish governments proposed the so-called “eighteenth resolution” to give Iraq a deadline for compliance with previous resolutions enforced by the threat of military action. This proposed resolution was subsequently withdrawn due to lack of support on the UN Security Council. In particular, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members France, Germany and Canada and non-NATO member Russia were opposed to military intervention in Iraq, due to the high level of risk to the international community’s security, and defended disarmament through diplomacy.