Ethnic Bio-War

Posted: August 4, 2008 in 2005, Articles, Videos

Biotech advances hold terrifying possibilities
Once-unimaginable weapons move closer to reality

Mon, Dec. 12, 2005

“The so-called ethnic bullet — biological menaces tailored to kill only members of a certain clan or race. Disease-inducing weapons whose effects might be easily reversed — but with an antidote only the weapon maker would possess. A village or city could be faced with the prospect of submission and health or resistance and death. Genetic damage caused by remotely fired ultraviolet, radio or electromagnetic waves.

Substances that can make people hopelessly clumsy, painfully forgetful or pitifully docile.

“(iii) Genetic targeting
Two concerns arise from the possible development of genetically targeted weapons: those that may be used to target the genetic characteristics of different ethnic groups; and those that may be used to target crops and animals.

(a) Human Genome Project and the ethnic bomb
The Human Genome Project (HGP) is an international collaboration, centred in the United States and sponsored by the National Human Genome Research Institute. Its goal is to sequence and identify all the genes on the human genome. The work is nearly complete and has been extended to discover the functions of these genes.

The work of the HGP is important given concern over the possible development of weapons targeted at the specific genetic characteristics of different ethnic groups. It has been argued that “if investigations provide sufficient data on ethnic genetic differences between population groups, it may be possible to use such data to target suitable micro-organisms to attack known receptor sites for which differences exist at cell membrane level or even to target DNA sequences inside cells by viral vectors.”[26] These kinds of novel bio-weapons, developed from the application of genomics and proteomics, would only affect individuals with the particular target protein or structure against which they were designed. In many cases the target would be nearly universal within the human species. However, in other cases there might be alternative structures, and only individuals with a particular form of the structure would be vulnerable to the toxic effects of the new weapon. This possibility has led to speculation about ‘ethnic weapons’ that would affect one ethnic or racial group while leaving others untouched.

Thankfully, among humans the amount of intra-group genetic variation is generally greater than the inter-group variation, making it highly unlikely that such weapons would affect only one ethnic group or ‘race’. Indeed, many analysts share the view of the Royal Society: “…these developments are some years away and in some cases are likely to be more fictional than real”.[27] However, it appears that research into such an ethnic weapon has already been attempted (see box 1 on Project Coast).”

“Another ghastly application of genetic engineering to biological warfare, first proposed in 1970 in the American military journal Military Review,, involves the exploitation of subtle hereditary differences between ethnic populations. A pathogen would be modified so it would be most likely to infect people of a particular ethnic background, leaving those of other ethnicities relatively unharmed. The ultimate in racial discrimination, these tactic has the potential to virtually eliminate certain ethnic groups while leaving others untouched.”

“Israel is working on an “ethnically targeted” biological weapon that would kill or harm Arabs but not Jews, according to Israeli military and western intelligence sources cited in a front-page report in the London Sunday Times, November 15, 1998 (“Israel Planning ‘Ethnic’ Bomb as Saddam Caves In,” by Uzi Mahnaimi and Marie Colvin).

In developing this “ethno-bomb,” the British paper went on, Israeli scientists are trying to exploit medical advances by identifying distinctive genes carried by some Arabs, and then create a genetically modified bacterium or virus. The goal is to use the ability of viruses and certain bacteria to alter the DNA inside the host’s living cells. The scientists are trying to engineer deadly microorganisms that attack only those bearing the distinctive genes.”

“Scientists say they may be able to clone selective toxins to eliminate
specific racial or ethnic groups whose genotypic makeup predisposes them
to certain disease patterns. Genetic engineering can also be used to
destroy specific strains or species of agricultural plants or domestic

“There is emerging international concern about the possibilities of ethnic warfare using targeted biological weapons,” says Moreno, director of U.Va.’s Center for Biomedical Ethics. “It is already known that the old apartheid government in South Africa was conducting research for the possible development of biological agents that could be used against the black population. They were particularly interested in seeking ways to sterilize women of color. There have also been allegations that Israel has shown an interest in these kinds of targeted bioweapons. The international community will need to strongly address such threats in the near future.”


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