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Biological warfare – Wikipedia

Biological warfare (BW)also known as germ warfareis the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi with the intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war. Biological weapons (often termed “bio-weapons”, “biological threat agents”, or “bio-agents”) are living organisms or replicating entities (viruses, which are not universally considered “alive”) that reproduce or replicate within their host victims. Entomological (insect) warfare is also considered a type of biological weapon. This type of warfare is distinct from nuclear warfare and chemical warfare, which together with biological warfare make up NBC, the military acronym for nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare using weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). None of these are conventional weapons, which are deployed primarily for their explosive, kinetic, or incendiary potential.

Biological weapons may be employed in various ways to gain a strategic or tactical advantage over the enemy, either by threats or by actual deployments. Like some of the chemical weapons, biological weapons may also be useful as area denial weapons. These agents may be lethal or non-lethal, and may be targeted against a single individual, a group of people, or even an entire population. They may be developed, acquired, stockpiled or deployed by nation states or by non-national groups. In the latter case, or if a nation-state uses it clandestinely, it may also be considered bioterrorism.[1]

There is an overlap between biological warfare and chemical warfare, as the use of toxins produced by living organisms is considered under the provisions of both the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Toxins and psychochemical weapons are often referred to as midspectrum agents. Unlike bioweapons, these midspectrum agents do not reproduce in their host and are typically characterized by shorter incubation periods.[2]

The use of biological weapons is prohibited under customary international humanitarian law,[3] as well as a variety of international treaties.[4] The use of biological agents in armed conflict is a war crime.[5]

Offensive biological warfare, including mass production, stockpiling, and use of biological weapons, was outlawed by the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The rationale behind this treaty, which has been ratified or acceded to by 170 countries as of April 2013,[6] is to prevent a biological attack which could conceivably result in large numbers of civilian casualties and cause severe disruption to economic and societal infrastructure.[citation needed] Many countries, including signatories of the BWC, currently pursue research into the defense or protection against BW, which is not prohibited by the BWC.

A nation or group that can pose a credible threat of mass casualty has the ability to alter the terms on which other nations or groups interact with it. Biological weapons allow for the potential to create a level of destruction and loss of life far in excess of nuclear, chemical or conventional weapons, relative to their mass and cost of development and storage. Therefore, biological agents may be useful as strategic deterrents in addition to their utility as offensive weapons on the battlefield.[7][8]

As a tactical weapon for military use, a significant problem with a BW attack is that it would take days to be effective, and therefore might not immediately stop an opposing force. Some biological agents (smallpox, pneumonic plague) have the capability of person-to-person transmission via aerosolized respiratory droplets. This feature can be undesirable, as the agent(s) may be transmitted by this mechanism to unintended populations, including neutral or even friendly forces. While containment of BW is less of a concern for certain criminal or terrorist organizations, it remains a significant concern for the military and civilian populations of virtually all nations.

Rudimentary forms of biological warfare have been practiced since antiquity.[9] During the 6th century BC, the Assyrians poisoned enemy wells with a fungus that would render the enemy delirious. In 1346, the bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who had died of plague were thrown over the walls of the besieged Crimean city of Kaffa. Specialists disagree over whether this operation may have been responsible for the spread of the Black Death into Europe.[10][11][12][13]

The British Army used smallpox against Native Americans during the Siege of Fort Pitt in 1763.[14][15][16] An outbreak that left as many as one hundred Native Americans dead in Ohio Country was reported in 1764. The spread of the disease weakened the native’s resistance to the British troops led by Henry Bouquet. It is not clear, however, whether the smallpox was a result of the Fort Pitt incident or the virus was already present among the Delaware people.[17][18] It has been claimed that the British Marines used smallpox in New South Wales in 1789.[19]

By 1900 the germ theory and advances in bacteriology brought a new level of sophistication to the techniques for possible use of bio-agents in war. Biological sabotagein the form of anthrax and glanderswas undertaken on behalf of the Imperial German government during World War I (19141918), with indifferent results.[20] The Geneva Protocol of 1925 prohibited the use of chemical weapons and biological weapons.

With the onset of World War II, the Ministry of Supply in the United Kingdom established a BW program at Porton Down, headed by the microbiologist Paul Fildes. The research was championed by Winston Churchill and soon tularemia, anthrax, brucellosis, and botulism toxins had been effectively weaponized. In particular, Gruinard Island in Scotland, during a series of extensive tests was contaminated with anthrax for the next 56 years. Although the UK never offensively used the biological weapons it developed on its own, its program was the first to successfully weaponize a variety of deadly pathogens and bring them into industrial production.[21] Other nations, notably France and Japan had begun their own biological weapons programs.[22]

When the USA entered the war, Allied resources were pooled at the request of the British and the U.S. established a large research program and industrial complex at Fort Detrick, Maryland in 1942 under the direction of George W. Merck.[23] The biological and chemical weapons developed during that period were tested at the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. Soon there were facilities for the mass production of anthrax spores, brucellosis, and botulism toxins, although the war was over before these weapons could be of much operational use.[24]

The most notorious program of the period was run by the secret Imperial Japanese Army Unit 731 during the war, based at Pingfan in Manchuria and commanded by Lieutenant General Shir Ishii. This unit did research on BW, conducted often fatal human experiments on prisoners, and produced biological weapons for combat use.[25] Although the Japanese effort lacked the technological sophistication of the American or British programs, it far outstripped them in its widespread application and indiscriminate brutality. Biological weapons were used against both Chinese soldiers and civilians in several military campaigns.[26] In 1940, the Japanese Army Air Force bombed Ningbo with ceramic bombs full of fleas carrying the bubonic plague.[27] Many of these operations were ineffective due to inefficient delivery systems,[25] although up to 400,000 people may have died.[28] During the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign in 1942, around 1,700 Japanese troops died out of a total 10,000 Japanese soldiers who fell ill with disease when their own biological weapons attack rebounded on their own forces.[29][30]

During the final months of World War II, Japan planned to use plague as a biological weapon against U.S. civilians in San Diego, California, during Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night. The plan was set to launch on 22 September 1945, but it was not executed because of Japan’s surrender on 15 August 1945.[31][32][33][34]

In Britain, the 1950s saw the weaponization of plague, brucellosis, tularemia and later equine encephalomyelitis and vaccinia viruses, but the programme was unilaterally cancelled in 1956. The United States Army Biological Warfare Laboratories weaponized anthrax, tularemia, brucellosis, Q-fever and others.[citation needed]

In 1969, the UK and the Warsaw Pact, separately, introduced proposals to the UN to ban biological weapons, and US President Richard Nixon terminated production of biological weapons, allowing only scientific research for defensive measures. The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was signed by the US, UK, USSR and other nations, as a ban on “development, production and stockpiling of microbes or their poisonous products except in amounts necessary for protective and peaceful research” in 1972. However, the Soviet Union continued research and production of massive offensive biological weapons in a program called Biopreparat, despite having signed the convention.[35] By 2011, 165 countries had signed the treaty and none are proventhough nine are still suspected[36]to possess offensive BW programs.[36]

It has been argued that rational state actors would never use biological weapons offensively. The argument is that biological weapons cannot be controlled: the weapon could backfire and harm the army on the offensive, perhaps having even worse effects than on the target. An agent like smallpox or other airborne viruses would almost certainly spread worldwide and ultimately infect the user’s home country. However, this argument does not necessarily apply to bacteria. For example, anthrax can easily be controlled and even created in a garden shed; the FBI suspects it can be done for as little as $2,500 using readily available laboratory equipment.[37] Also, using microbial methods, bacteria can be suitably modified to be effective in only a narrow environmental range, the range of the target that distinctly differs from the army on the offensive. Thus only the target might be affected adversely. The weapon may be further used to bog down an advancing army making them more vulnerable to counterattack by the defending force.

Ideal characteristics of a biological agent to be used as a weapon against humans are high infectivity, high virulence, non-availability of vaccines, and availability of an effective and efficient delivery system. Stability of the weaponized agent (ability of the agent to retain its infectivity and virulence after a prolonged period of storage) may also be desirable, particularly for military applications, and the ease of creating one is often considered. Control of the spread of the agent may be another desired characteristic.

The primary difficulty is not the production of the biological agent, as many biological agents used in weapons can often be manufactured relatively quickly, cheaply and easily. Rather, it is the weaponization, storage and delivery in an effective vehicle to a vulnerable target that pose significant problems.

For example, Bacillus anthracis is considered an effective agent for several reasons. First, it forms hardy spores, perfect for dispersal aerosols. Second, this organism is not considered transmissible from person to person, and thus rarely if ever causes secondary infections. A pulmonary anthrax infection starts with ordinary influenza-like symptoms and progresses to a lethal hemorrhagic mediastinitis within 37 days, with a fatality rate that is 90% or higher in untreated patients.[38] Finally, friendly personnel can be protected with suitable antibiotics.

A large-scale attack using anthrax would require the creation of aerosol particles of 1.5 to 5m: larger particles would not reach the lower respiratory tract, while smaller particles would be exhaled back out into the atmosphere. At this size, conductive powders tend to aggregate because of electrostatic charges, hindering dispersion. So the material must be treated to insulate and neutralize the charges. The weaponized agent must be resistant to degradation by rain and ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, while retaining the ability to efficiently infect the human lung. There are other technological difficulties as well, chiefly relating to storage of the weaponized agent.

Agents considered for weaponization, or known to be weaponized, include bacteria such as Bacillus anthracis, Brucella spp., Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Chlamydophila psittaci, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, some of the Rickettsiaceae (especially Rickettsia prowazekii and Rickettsia rickettsii), Shigella spp., Vibrio cholerae, and Yersinia pestis. Many viral agents have been studied and/or weaponized, including some of the Bunyaviridae (especially Rift Valley fever virus), Ebolavirus, many of the Flaviviridae (especially Japanese encephalitis virus), Machupo virus, Marburg virus, Variola virus, and Yellow fever virus. Fungal agents that have been studied include Coccidioides spp..[39][40]

Toxins that can be used as weapons include ricin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B, botulinum toxin, saxitoxin, and many mycotoxins. These toxins and the organisms that produce them are sometimes referred to as select agents. In the United States, their possession, use, and transfer are regulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Select Agent Program.

The former US biological warfare program categorized its weaponized anti-personnel bio-agents as either Lethal Agents (Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, Botulinum toxin) or Incapacitating Agents (Brucella suis, Coxiella burnetii, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Staphylococcal enterotoxin B).

Anti-crop/anti-vegetation/anti-fisheries;

The United States developed an anti-crop capability during the Cold War that used plant diseases (bioherbicides, or mycoherbicides) for destroying enemy agriculture. Biological weapons also target fisheries as well as water-based vegetation. It was believed that destruction of enemy agriculture on a strategic scale could thwart Sino-Soviet aggression in a general war. Diseases such as wheat blast and rice blast were weaponized in aerial spray tanks and cluster bombs for delivery to enemy watersheds in agricultural regions to initiate epiphytotics (epidemics among plants). When the United States renounced its offensive biological warfare program in 1969 and 1970, the vast majority of its biological arsenal was composed of these plant diseases.[citation needed] Enterotoxins and Mycotoxins were not affected by Nixon’s order.

Though herbicides are chemicals, they are often grouped with biological warfare and chemical warfare because they may work in a similar manner as biotoxins or bioregulators. The Army Biological Laboratory tested each agent and the Army’s Technical Escort Unit was responsible for transport of all chemical, biological, radiological (nuclear) materials. Scorched earth tactics or destroying livestock and farmland were carried out in the Vietnam war (cf. Agent Orange)[41] and Eelam War in Sri Lanka.[citation needed]

Biological warfare can also specifically target plants to destroy crops or defoliate vegetation. The United States and Britain discovered plant growth regulators (i.e., herbicides) during the Second World War, and initiated a herbicidal warfare program that was eventually used in Malaya and Vietnam in counterinsurgency operations.

In 1980s Soviet Ministry of Agriculture had successfully developed variants of foot-and-mouth disease, and rinderpest against cows, African swine fever for pigs, and psittacosis to kill chicken. These agents were prepared to spray them down from tanks attached to airplanes over hundreds of miles. The secret program was code-named “Ecology”.[39]

During the Mau Mau Uprising in 1952, the poisonous latex of the African milk bush was used to kill cattle.[42]

Entomological warfare (EW) is a type of biological warfare that uses insects to attack the enemy. The concept has existed for centuries and research and development have continued into the modern era. EW has been used in battle by Japan and several other nations have developed and been accused of using an entomological warfare program. EW may employ insects in a direct attack or as vectors to deliver a biological agent, such as plague. Essentially, EW exists in three varieties. One type of EW involves infecting insects with a pathogen and then dispersing the insects over target areas.[43] The insects then act as a vector, infecting any person or animal they might bite. Another type of EW is a direct insect attack against crops; the insect may not be infected with any pathogen but instead represents a threat to agriculture. The final method uses uninfected insects, such as bees, wasps, etc., to directly attack the enemy.[44]

In 2010 at The Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and Their Destruction in Geneva[45] the sanitary epidemiological reconnaissance was suggested as well-tested means for enhancing the monitoring of infections and parasitic agents, for practical implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005). The aim was to prevent and minimize the consequences of natural outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases as well as the threat of alleged use of biological weapons against BTWC States Parties.

It is important to note that most classical and modern biological weapons’ pathogens can be obtained from a plant or an animal which is naturally infected.[46]

Indeed, in the largest biological weapons accident known the anthrax outbreak in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) in the Soviet Union in 1979, sheep became ill with anthrax as far as 200 kilometers from the release point of the organism from a military facility in the southeastern portion of the city and still off limits to visitors today, (see Sverdlovsk Anthrax leak).[47]

Thus, a robust surveillance system involving human clinicians and veterinarians may identify a bioweapons attack early in the course of an epidemic, permitting the prophylaxis of disease in the vast majority of people (and/or animals) exposed but not yet ill.

For example, in the case of anthrax, it is likely that by 2436 hours after an attack, some small percentage of individuals (those with compromised immune system or who had received a large dose of the organism due to proximity to the release point) will become ill with classical symptoms and signs (including a virtually unique chest X-ray finding, often recognized by public health officials if they receive timely reports).[48] The incubation period for humans is estimated to be about 11.8 days to 12.1 days. This suggested period is the first model that is independently consistent with data from the largest known human outbreak. These projections refines previous estimates of the distribution of early onset cases after a release and supports a recommended 60-day course of prophylactic antibiotic treatment for individuals exposed to low doses of anthrax.[49] By making these data available to local public health officials in real time, most models of anthrax epidemics indicate that more than 80% of an exposed population can receive antibiotic treatment before becoming symptomatic, and thus avoid the moderately high mortality of the disease.[48]

From most specific to least specific:[50]

The goal of biodefense is to integrate the sustained efforts of the national and homeland security, medical, public health, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement communities. Health care providers and public health officers are among the first lines of defense. In some countries private, local, and provincial (state) capabilities are being augmented by and coordinated with federal assets, to provide layered defenses against biological weapon attacks. During the first Gulf War the United Nations activated a biological and chemical response team, Task Force Scorpio, to respond to any potential use of weapons of mass destruction on civilians.

The traditional approach toward protecting agriculture, food, and water: focusing on the natural or unintentional introduction of a disease is being strengthened by focused efforts to address current and anticipated future biological weapons threats that may be deliberate, multiple, and repetitive.

The growing threat of biowarfare agents and bioterrorism has led to the development of specific field tools that perform on-the-spot analysis and identification of encountered suspect materials. One such technology, being developed by researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), employs a “sandwich immunoassay”, in which fluorescent dye-labeled antibodies aimed at specific pathogens are attached to silver and gold nanowires.[51]

In the Netherlands, the company TNO has designed Bioaerosol Single Particle Recognition eQuipment (BiosparQ). This system would be implemented into the national response plan for bioweapon attacks in the Netherlands.[52]

Researchers at Ben Gurion University in Israel are developing a different device called the BioPen, essentially a “Lab-in-a-Pen”, which can detect known biological agents in under 20 minutes using an adaptation of the ELISA, a similar widely employed immunological technique, that in this case incorporates fiber optics.[53]

Theoretically, novel approaches in biotechnology, such as synthetic biology could be used in the future to design novel types of biological warfare agents.[54][55][56][57] Special attention has to be laid on future experiments (of concern) that:[58]

Most of the biosecurity concerns in synthetic biology, however, are focused on the role of DNA synthesis and the risk of producing genetic material of lethal viruses (e.g. 1918 Spanish flu, polio) in the lab.[59][60][61] Recently, the CRISPR/Cas system has emerged as a promising technique for gene editing. It was hailed by The Washington Post as “the most important innovation in the synthetic biology space in nearly 30 years.”[62] While other methods take months or years to edit gene sequences, CRISPR speeds that time up to weeks.[62] However, due to its ease of use and accessibility, it has raised a number of ethical concerns, especially surrounding its use in the biohacking space.[62][63][64]

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Biological warfare – Wikipedia

History of biological warfare – Wikipedia

Various types of biological warfare (BW) have been practiced repeatedly throughout history. This has included the use of biological agents (microbes and plants) as well as the biotoxins, including venoms, derived from them.

Before the 20th century, the use of biological agents took three major forms:

In the 20th century, sophisticated bacteriological and virological techniques allowed the production of significant stockpiles of weaponized bio-agents:

The earliest documented incident of the intention to use biological weapons is recorded in Hittite texts of 15001200 BC, in which victims of tularemia were driven into enemy lands, causing an epidemic.[1] Although the Assyrians knew of ergot, a parasitic fungus of rye which produces ergotism when ingested, there is no evidence that they poisoned enemy wells with the fungus, as has been claimed.

According to Homer’s epic poems about the legendary Trojan War, the Iliad and the Odyssey, spears and arrows were tipped with poison. During the First Sacred War in Greece, in about 590 BC, Athens and the Amphictionic League poisoned the water supply of the besieged town of Kirrha (near Delphi) with the toxic plant hellebore.[2] During the 4th century BC Scythian archers tipped their arrow tips with snake venom, human blood, and animal feces to cause wounds to become infected.

In a naval battle against King Eumenes of Pergamon in 184 BC, Hannibal of Carthage had clay pots filled with venomous snakes and instructed his sailors to throw them onto the decks of enemy ships.[3] The Roman commander Manius Aquillius poisoned the wells of besieged enemy cities in about 130 BC. In about AD 198, the Parthian city of Hatra (near Mosul, Iraq) repulsed the Roman army led by Septimius Severus by hurling clay pots filled with live scorpions at them.[4]

There are numerous other instances of the use of plant toxins, venoms, and other poisonous substances to create biological weapons in antiquity.[5]

The Mongol Empire established commercial and political connections between the Eastern and Western areas of the world, through the most mobile army ever seen. The armies, composed of the most rapidly moving travelers who had ever moved between the steppes of East Asia (where bubonic plague was and remains endemic among small rodents), managed to keep the chain of infection without a break until they reached, and infected, peoples and rodents who had never encountered it. The ensuing Black Death may have killed up to 25 million in China and roughly a third of the population of Europe and in the next decades, changing the course of Asian and European history.

During the Middle Ages, victims of the bubonic plague were used for biological attacks, often by flinging fomites such as infected corpses and excrement over castle walls using catapults. In 1346, during the siege of Kafa (now Feodossia, Crimea) the attacking Tartar Forces which were subjugated by the Mongol empire under Genghis Khan, used the bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who had died of plague, as weapons. An outbreak of plague followed and the defending forces retreated, followed by the conquest of the city by the Mongols. It has been speculated that this operation may have been responsible for the advent of the Black Death in Europe. At the time, the attackers thought that the stench was enough to kill them, though it was the disease that was deadly.[6][7]

At the siege of Thun-l’vque in 1340, during the Hundred Years’ War, the attackers catapulted decomposing animals into the besieged area.[8]

In 1422, during the siege of Karlstein Castle in Bohemia, Hussite attackers used catapults to throw dead (but not plague-infected) bodies and 2000 carriage-loads of dung over the walls.[9]

The last known incident of using plague corpses for biological warfare occurred in 1710, when Russian forces attacked the Swedes by flinging plague-infected corpses over the city walls of Reval (Tallinn).[10] However, during the 1785 siege of La Calle, Tunisian forces flung diseased clothing into the city.[9]

English Longbowmen usually did not draw their arrows from a quiver; rather, they stuck their arrows into the ground in front of them. This allowed them to nock the arrows faster and the dirt and soil was likely to stick to the arrowheads, thus making the wounds much more likely to become infected.

Two instances of documents discussing the use of biological disease by the British against North American Indians during Pontiac’s Rebellion (176366) have been examined by historians, but the actual effectiveness is unknown[11][12]. In the first, during a parley at Fort Pitt on June 24, 1763, Captain Simeon Ecuyer gave representatives of the besieging Delawares two blankets and a handkerchief enclosed in small metal boxes that had been exposed to smallpox, hoping to spread the disease to the Natives in order to end the siege.[13]William Trent, the militia commander, sent a bill to the British Army indicating that the purpose of giving the blankets was “to Convey the Smallpox to the Indians.” The invoice’s approval confirms that the British command endorsed Ecuyer actions.[14][15]

British commander Lord Jeffrey Amherst and Swiss-British officer Colonel Henry Bouquet discussed the topic separately in the course of the same conflict; there exists correspondence referencing the idea of giving smallpox-infected blankets to enemy natives. Four letters are cited from June 29, July 13, 16 and 26th, 1763. Excerpts: Amherst wrote on July 16, 1763, “P.S. You will Do well to try to Inocculate the Indians by means of Blankets, as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race. I should be very glad your Scheme for Hunting them Down by Dogs could take Effect,…” Bouquet replied on July 26, 1763, “I received yesterday your Excellency’s letters of 16th with their Inclosures. The signal for Indian Messengers, and all your directions will be observed.” Smallpox was highly contagious among the Native Americans, and together with measles, influenza, chicken pox, and other Old World diseases was a major cause of death since the arrival of Europeans and their animals. Trade and combat also provided ample opportunity for transmission of the disease. Though the 176364 smallpox outbreak weakened the native’s resistance to Bouquet’s campaign in Muskingum Valley, it is not clear, however, whether the smallpox was a result of the Fort Pitt incident or the virus was already present among the Delaware people.[16] It is estimated that between 400,000500,000 Native American individuals during and after the war died from smallpox.[not in citation given][17][18][19]

Australian aborigines (Kooris) have always maintained that the British deliberately spread smallpox in 1789,[20] but this possibility has only been raised by historians from the 1980s when Dr Noel Butlin suggested; there are some possibilities that … disease could have been used deliberately as an exterminating agent.[21]

In 1997, David Day claimed there remains considerable circumstantial evidence to suggest that officers other than Phillip, or perhaps convicts or soldiers deliberately spread smallpox among aborigines[22] and in 2000 Dr John Lambert argued that strong circumstantial evidence suggests the smallpox epidemic which ravaged Aborigines in 1789, may have resulted from deliberate infection.[23]

Judy Campbell argued in 2002 that it is highly improbable that the First Fleet was the source of the epidemic as “smallpox had not occurred in any members of the First Fleet”; the only possible source of infection from the Fleet being exposure to variolous matter imported for the purposes of inoculation against smallpox. Campbell argued that, while there has been considerable speculation about a hypothetical exposure to the First Fleet’s variolous matter, there was no evidence that Aboriginal people were ever actually exposed to it. She pointed to regular contact between fishing fleets from the Indonesia archipelago, where smallpox was always present, and Aboriginal people in Australia’s North as a more likely source for the introduction of smallpox. She notes that while these fishermen are generally referred to as Macassans, referring to the port of Macassar on the island of Sulawesi from which most of the fishermen originated, some travelled from islands as distant as New Guinea. She noted that there is little disagreement that the smallpox epidemic of the 1860s was contracted from Macassan fishermen and spread through the Aboriginal population by Aborigines fleeing outbreaks and also via their traditional social, kinship and trading networks. She argued that the 178990 epidemic followed the same pattern.[24]

These claims are controversial as it is argued that any smallpox virus brought to New South Wales probably would have been sterilised by heat and humidity encountered during the voyage of the First Fleet from England and incapable of biological warfare. However, in 2007, Christopher Warren demonstrated that the British smallpox may have been still viable.[25] Since then some scholars have argued that the British committed biological warfare in 1789 near their new convict settlement at Port Jackson.[26][27]

In 2013 Warren reviewed the issue and argued that smallpox did not spread across Australia before 1824 and showed that there was no smallpox at Macassar that could have caused the outbreak at Sydney. Warren, however, did not address the issue of persons who joined the Macassan fleet from other islands and from parts of Sulawesi other than the port of Macassar. Warren concluded that the British were “the most likely candidates to have released smallpox” near Sydney Cove in 1789. Warren proposed that the British had no choice as they were confronted with dire circumstances when, among other factors, they ran out of ammunition for their muskets. Warren also uses native oral tradition and the archaeology of native graves to analyse the cause and effect of the spread of smallpox in 1789.[28]

Prior to the publication of Warren’s article (2013), John Carmody argued that the epidemic was an outbreak of chickenpox which took a drastic toll on an Aboriginal population without immunological resistance. With regard to smallpox, Dr Carmody said: “There is absolutely no evidence to support any of the theories and some of them are fanciful and far-fetched..” [29][30] Warren covered the chickenpox theory at endnote 3 of Smallpox at Sydney Cove Who, When, Why?.[31]

By the turn of the 20th century, advances in microbiology had made thinking about “germ warfare” part of the zeitgeist. Jack London, in his short story ‘”Yah! Yah! Yah!”‘ (1909), described a punitive European expedition to a South Pacific island deliberately exposing the Polynesian population to measles, of which many of them died. London wrote another science fiction tale the following year, “The Unparalleled Invasion” (1910), in which the Western nations wipe out all of China with a biological attack.

During the First World War (19141918), the Empire of Germany made some early attempts at anti-agriculture biological warfare. Those attempts were made by special sabotage group headed by Rudolf Nadolny. Using diplomatic pouches and couriers, the German General Staff supplied small teams of saboteurs in the Russian Duchy of Finland, and in the then-neutral countries of Romania, the United States, and Argentina.[citation needed] In Finland, saboteurs mounted on reindeer placed ampoules of anthrax in stables of Russian horses in 1916.[32] Anthrax was also supplied to the German military attach in Bucharest, as was glanders, which was employed against livestock destined for Allied service. German intelligence officer and US citizen Dr. Anton Casimir Dilger established a secret lab in the basement of his sister’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, that produced glanders which was used to infect livestock in ports and inland collection points including, at least, Newport News, Norfolk, Baltimore, and New York City, and probably St. Louis and Covington, Kentucky. In Argentina, German agents also employed glanders in the port of Buenos Aires and also tried to ruin wheat harvests with a destructive fungus.

The Geneva Protocol of 1925 prohibited the use of chemical weapons and biological weapons, but said nothing about experimentation, production, storage, or transfer; later treaties did cover these aspects. Twentieth-century advances in microbiology enabled the first pure-culture biological agents to be developed by World War II.

In the interwar period, little research was done in biological warfare in both Britain and the United States at first. In the United Kingdom the preoccupation was mainly in withstanding the anticipated conventional bombing attacks that would be unleashed in the event of war with Germany. As tensions increased, Sir Frederick Banting began lobbying the British government to establish a research program into the research and development of biological weapons to effectively deter the Germans from launching a biological attack. Banting proposed a number of innovative schemes for the dissemination of pathogens, including aerial-spray attacks and germs distributed through the mail system.

With the onset of hostilities, the Ministry of Supply finally established a biological weapons programme at Porton Down, headed by the microbiologist Paul Fildes. The research was championed by Winston Churchill and soon tularemia, anthrax, brucellosis, and botulism toxins had been effectively weaponized. In particular, Gruinard Island in Scotland, during a series of extensive tests was contaminated with anthrax for the next 48 years. Although Britain never offensively used the biological weapons it developed, its program was the first to successfully weaponize a variety of deadly pathogens and bring them into industrial production.[33] Other nations, notably France and Japan had begun their own biological weapons programs.[34]

When the United States entered the war, mounting British pressure for the creation of a similar research program for an Allied pooling of resources, led to the creation of a large industrial complex at Fort Detrick, Maryland in 1942 under the direction of George W. Merck.[35] The biological and chemical weapons developed during that period were tested at the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. Soon there were facilities for the mass production of anthrax spores, brucellosis, and botulism toxins, although the war was over before these weapons could be of much operational use.[36]

However, the most notorious program of the period was run by the secret Imperial Japanese Army Unit 731 during the war, based at Pingfan in Manchuria and commanded by Lieutenant General Shir Ishii. This unit did research on BW, conducted often fatal human experiments on prisoners, and produced biological weapons for combat use.[37] Although the Japanese effort lacked the technological sophistication of the American or British programs, it far outstripped them in its widespread application and indiscriminate brutality. Biological weapons were used against both Chinese soldiers and civilians in several military campaigns. Three veterans of Unit 731 testified in a 1989 interview to the Asahi Shimbun, that they contaminated the Horustein river with typhoid near the Soviet troops during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol.[38] In 1940, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force bombed Ningbo with ceramic bombs full of fleas carrying the bubonic plague.[39] A film showing this operation was seen by the imperial princes Tsuneyoshi Takeda and Takahito Mikasa during a screening made by mastermind Shiro Ishii.[40] During the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials the accused, such as Major General Kiyashi Kawashima, testified that as early as 1941 some 40 members of Unit 731 air-dropped plague-contaminated fleas on Changde. These operations caused epidemic plague outbreaks.[41]

Many of these operations were ineffective due to inefficient delivery systems, using disease-bearing insects rather than dispersing the agent as a bioaerosol cloud.[37] Nevertheless, some modern Chinese historians estimate that 400,000 Chinese died as a direct result of Japanese field testing and operational use of biological weapons.[42]

Ban Shigeo, a technician at the Japanese Army’s 9th Technical Research Institute, left an account of the activities at the Institute which was published in “The Truth About the Army Nororito Institute”.[43] Ban included an account of his trip to Nanking in 1941 to participate in the testing of poisons on Chinese prisoners.[43] His testimony tied the Noborito Institute to the infamous Unit 731, which participated in biomedical research.[43]

During the final months of World War II, Japan planned to utilize plague as a biological weapon against U.S. civilians in San Diego, California, during Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night. They hope that it would kill tens of thousands of U.S. civilians and thereby dissuading America from attacking Japan. The plan was set to launch on September 22, 1945, at night, but it never came into fruition due to Japan’s surrender on August 15, 1945.[44][45][46][47]

When the war ended, the US Army quietly enlisted certain members of Noborito in its efforts against the communist camp in the early years of the Cold War.[43] The head of Unit 731, Shiro Ishii, was granted immunity from war crimes prosecution in exchange for providing information to the United States on the Unit’s activities.[48] Allegations were made that a “chemical section” of a US clandestine unit hidden within Yokosuka naval base was operational during the Korean War, and then worked on unspecified projects inside the United States from 1955 to 1959, before returning to Japan to enter the private sector.[43][49]

Some of the Unit 731 personnel were imprisoned by the Soviets[citation needed], and may have been a potential source of information on Japanese weaponization.

Considerable research into BW was undertaken throughout the Cold War era by the US, UK and USSR, and probably other major nations as well, although it is generally believed that such weapons were never used.

In Britain, the 1950s saw the weaponization of plague, brucellosis, tularemia and later equine encephalomyelitis[disambiguation needed] and vaccinia viruses. Trial tests at sea were carried out including Operation Cauldron off Stornoway in 1952. The programme was cancelled in 1956, when the British government unilaterally renounced the use of biological and chemical weapons.

The United States initiated its weaponization efforts with disease vectors in 1953, focused on Plague-fleas, EEE-mosquitoes, and yellow fever mosquitoes (OJ-AP).[citation needed] However, US medical scientists in occupied Japan undertook extensive research on insect vectors, with the assistance of former Unit 731 staff, as early as 1946.[48]

The United States Army Chemical Corps then initiated a crash program to weaponize anthrax (N) in the E61 1/2-lb hour-glass bomblet. Though the program was successful in meeting its development goals, the lack of validation on the infectivity of anthrax stalled standardization.[citation needed] The United States Air Force was also unsatisfied with the operational qualities of the M114/US bursting bomblet and labeled it an interim item until the Chemical Corps could deliver a superior weapon.[citation needed]

Around 1950 the Chemical Corps also initiated a program to weaponize tularemia (UL). Shortly after the E61/N failed to make standardization, tularemia was standardized in the 3.4″ M143 bursting spherical bomblet. This was intended for delivery by the MGM-29 Sergeant missile warhead and could produce 50% infection over a 7-square-mile (18km2) area.[50] Although tularemia is treatable by antibiotics, treatment does not shorten the course of the disease. US conscientious objectors were used as consenting test subjects for tularemia in a program known as Operation Whitecoat.[51] There were also many unpublicized tests carried out in public places with bio-agent simulants during the Cold War.[52]

In addition to the use of bursting bomblets for creating biological aerosols, the Chemical Corps started investigating aerosol-generating bomblets in the 1950s. The E99 was the first workable design, but was too complex to be manufactured. By the late 1950s the 4.5″ E120 spraying spherical bomblet was developed; a B-47 bomber with a SUU-24/A dispenser could infect 50% or more of the population of a 16-square-mile (41km2) area with tularemia with the E120.[53] The E120 was later superseded by dry-type agents.

Dry-type biologicals resemble talcum powder, and can be disseminated as aerosols using gas expulsion devices instead of a burster or complex sprayer.[citation needed] The Chemical Corps developed Flettner rotor bomblets and later triangular bomblets for wider coverage due to improved glide angles over Magnus-lift spherical bomblets.[54] Weapons of this type were in advanced development by the time the program ended.[54]

From January 1962, Rocky Mountain Arsenal grew, purified and biodemilitarized plant pathogen Wheat Stem Rust (Agent TX), Puccinia graminis, var. tritici, for the Air Force biological anti-crop program. TX-treated grain was grown at the Arsenal from 19621968 in Sections 2326. Unprocessed TX was also transported from Beale AFB for purification, storage, and disposal.[55] Trichothecenes Mycotoxin is a toxin that can be extracted from Wheat Stem Rust and Rice Blast and can kill or incapacitate depending on the concentration used. The red mold disease of wheat and barley in Japan is prevalent in the region that faces the Pacific Ocean. Toxic trichothecenes, including nivalenol, deoxynivalenol, and monoace tylnivalenol (fusarenon- X) from Fusarium nivale, can be isolated from moldy grains. In the suburbs of Tokyo, an illness similar to red mold disease was described in an outbreak of a food borne disease, as a result of the consumption of Fusarium- infected rice. Ingestion of moldy grains that are contaminated with trichothecenes has been associated with mycotoxicosis.[56]

Although there is no evidence that biological weapons were used by the United States, China and North Korea accused the US of large-scale field testing of BW against them during the Korean War (19501953). At the time of the Korean War the United States had only weaponized one agent, brucellosis (“Agent US”), which is caused by Brucella suis. The original weaponized form used the M114 bursting bomblet in M33 cluster bombs. While the specific form of the biological bomb was classified until some years after the Korean War, in the various exhibits of biological weapons that Korea alleged were dropped on their country nothing resembled an M114 bomblet. There were ceramic containers that had some similarity to Japanese weapons used against the Chinese in World War II, developed by Unit 731.[37][57]

Cuba also accused the United States of spreading human and animal disease on their island nation.[58][59]

During the 1948 Israel War of Independence, International Red Cross reports raised suspicion that the Israeli Haganah militia had released Salmonella typhi bacteria into the water supply for the city of Acre, causing an outbreak of typhoid among the inhabitants. Egyptian troops later claimed to have captured disguised Haganah soldiers near wells in Gaza, whom they executed for allegedly attempting another attack. Israel denies these allegations.[60][61]

In mid-1969, the UK and the Warsaw Pact, separately, introduced proposals to the UN to ban biological weapons, which would lead to the signing of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention in 1972. United States President Richard Nixon signed an executive order on November 1969, which stopped production of biological weapons in the United States and allowed only scientific research of lethal biological agents and defensive measures such as immunization and biosafety. The biological munition stockpiles were destroyed, and approximately 2,200 researchers became redundant.[62]

Special munitions for the United States Special Forces and the CIA and the Big Five Weapons for the military were destroyed in accordance with Nixon’s executive order to end the offensive program. The CIA maintained its collection of biologicals well into 1975 when it became the subject of the senate Church Committee.

The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was signed by the US, UK, USSR and other nations, as a ban on “development, production and stockpiling of microbes or their poisonous products except in amounts necessary for protective and peaceful research” in 1972. The convention bound its signatories to a far more stringent set of regulations than had been envisioned by the 1925 Geneva Protocols. By 1996, 137 countries had signed the treaty; however it is believed that since the signing of the Convention the number of countries capable of producing such weapons has increased.

The Soviet Union continued research and production of offensive biological weapons in a program called Biopreparat, despite having signed the convention. The United States had no solid proof of this program until Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik defected in 1989, and Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov, the first deputy director of Biopreparat defected in 1992. Pathogens developed by the organization would be used in open-air trials. It is known that Vozrozhdeniye Island, located in the Aral Sea, was used as a testing site.[63] In 1971, such testing led to the accidental aerosol release of smallpox over the Aral Sea and a subsequent smallpox epidemic.[64]

During the closing stages of the Rhodesian Bush War, the Rhodesian government resorted to use chemical and biological warfare agents. Watercourses at several sites inside the Mozambique border were deliberately contaminated with cholera. These biological attacks had little impact on the fighting capability of ZANLA, but caused considerable distress to the local population. The Rhodesians also experimented with several other pathogens and toxins for use in their counterinsurgency. [65]

After the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Iraq admitted to the United Nations inspection team to having produced 19,000 liters of concentrated botulinum toxin, of which approximately 10,000 L were loaded into military weapons; the 19,000 liters have never been fully accounted for. This is approximately three times the amount needed to kill the entire current human population by inhalation,[66] although in practice it would be impossible to distribute it so efficiently, and, unless it is protected from oxygen, it deteriorates in storage.[67]

According to the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment 8 countries were generally reported as having undeclared offensive biological warfare programs in 1995: China, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Taiwan. Five countries had admitted to having had offensive weapon or development programs in the past: United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada.[68] Offensive BW programs in Iraq were dismantled by Coalition Forces and the UN after the first Gulf War (199091), although an Iraqi military BW program was covertly maintained in defiance of international agreements until it was apparently abandoned during 1995 and 1996.[69]

On September 18, 2001 and for a few days thereafter, several letters were received by members of the U.S. Congress and American media outlets which contained intentionally prepared anthrax spores; the attack sickened at least 22 people of whom five died. The identity of the bioterrorist remained unknown until 2008, when an official suspect, who had committed suicide, was named. (See 2001 anthrax attacks.)

Suspicions of an ongoing Iraqi biological warfare program were not substantiated in the wake of the March 2003 invasion of that country. Later that year, however, Muammar Gaddafi was persuaded to terminate Libya’s biological warfare program. In 2008, according to a U.S. Congressional Research Service report, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Syria and Taiwan are considered, with varying degrees of certainty, to have some BW capability.[70] By 2011, 165 countries had officially joined the BWC and pledged to disavow biological weapons.[71]

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History of biological warfare – Wikipedia

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Belchertown man wants Amherst’s town name banished – Amherst Bulletin

AMHERST As discussion continues about whether the public square is an appropriate place to honor the Confederacy with statues and memorials, a Belchertown resident is asking state and town officials to end the recognition of Lord Jeffery Amherst by renaming the town of Amherst.

In an email sent the morning of Aug. 17 to the towns Select Board and Town Manager Paul Bockelman, as well as State Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose and State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, William Bowen, of Pine Brook Drive, is calling for Amhersts name to be banished.

Its something thats been on my mind for a while, and its something that should be addressed, Bowen said.

Bowen explained that it is inappropriate to honor a person he describes as a ruthless 18th-century general who was the father of germ warfare. He cites the actions of Lord Jeffery Amherst, in command of British army forces in the North American colonies, and an order to use small pox to exterminate American Indians during Pontiacs Rebellion in 1763.

When he worked in Amherst, Bowen said he met several Native Americans who were bothered by the town using the British generals name.

The American Indians, the Native Americans, are totally offended by the name of Amherst, they really are, Bowen said.

Amherst took its name in 1759, when it separated from Hadley and then-Massachusetts Gov. Thomas Pownall named the new district after his close friend.

There has been periodic controversy over the Amherst name since. Most recently, in early 2016, trustees at Amherst College agreed to drop the unofficial mascot Lord Jeff after students raised concerns about the appropriateness of the honor.

In his email, Bowen writes: In light of what is happening in the U.S. south, with citizens insulted by and demanding the immediate removal of statutes and memorials to those of the Confederate U.S. states, we the people demand and petition the commonwealth of Massachusetts and the city of Amherst, Massachusetts to immediately change the name of Amherst, Massachusetts.

Such a vile person in no way deserves recognition and memoriam in the United States of America, Bowen added. The use of Lord Jeffery Amhersts name is a constant reminder of the atrocities he directed.

Bowen said he isnt sure whether the Legislature will act, noting that he also sent the letter to Sen. Eric Lesser and Rep. Thomas Petrolati.

But hes convinced the matter is under its purview, pointing to discussions on Beacon Hill about prohibiting public schools from using Native American imagery.

Im hoping the Legislature will act; its in the realm of present legislation right now, Bowen said.

Pete Wilson, a spokesman for Rosenbergs office, said a quick review by legal counsel shows that Massachusetts towns have changed their names by special acts of the Legislature, though these likely have followed actions by Town Meetings or city councils in those communities.

Goldstein-Rose said that he wouldnt act unless Amherst officials and residents made such a push.

That is what happened when current Town Manager Paul Bockelman worked inManchester, which is was renamedManchester-by-the-Sea in 1989.

While many of us may want to change the names of our towns for any variety of reasons – and, in fact, we did change the name of a town I worked in previously – it is really up to the residents of Amherst to make this decision, Bockelman said.

Select Board member Connie Kruger said she understands the sentiment, but notes changing the towns name is unlikely to gain traction, based on past history.

Others have tried to do this in Amherst, Kruger said. Its been a conversation over many years.

In fact, in 2000 agroup of area residents aimed to removethe names of Massachusetts communities that were named in honor of those who foughtAmerican Indians, including Amherst and Turners Falls.

The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce is opposed to the change, noting that it wouldcost millions in disruptionsto the change the brand.

Interim Executive Director Jerry Guiderasaid removing Amhersts name is less likely than the current president holding a campaign event at one of the towns mostprogressive cafes.

Youre more likely to see Donald Trump organize a multimillion dollar fundraiser at Black Sheep Deli than see this ever get passed, Guidera said.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

See the original post:

Belchertown man wants Amherst’s town name banished – Amherst Bulletin

Area man wants Amherst to change town’s name – The Recorder

AMHERST As discussion continues about whether the public square is an appropriate place to honor the Confederacy with statues and memorials, a Belchertown resident is asking state and town officials to end the recognition of Lord Jeffery Amherst by renaming the town of Amherst.

In an email to the towns Selecboard and Town Manager Paul Bockelman, as well as State Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose and State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, William Bowen, of Pine Brook Drive, is calling for Amhersts name to be banished.

Its something thats been on my mind for a while, and its something that should be addressed, Bowen said.

Bowen explained that it is inappropriate to honor a person he describes as a ruthless 18th century general who was the father of germ warfare. He cites the actions of Lord Jeffery Amherst, in command of British army forces in the North American colonies, and an order to use small pox to exterminate American Indians during Pontiacs Rebellion in 1763.

When he worked in Amherst, Bowen said he met several Native Americans who were bothered by the town using the British generals name.

The American Indians, the Native Americans, are totally offended by the name of Amherst, they really are, Bowen said.

Amherst took its name in 1759, when it separated from Hadley and then-Massachusetts Gov. Thomas Pownall named the new district after his close friend.

There has been periodic controversy over the Amherst name since. Most recently, in early 2016, trustees at Amherst College agreed to drop the unofficial mascot Lord Jeff after students raised concerns about the appropriateness of the honor.

In his email, Bowen writes: In light of what is happening in the U.S. south, with citizens insulted by and demanding the immediate removal of statutes and memorials to those of the Confederate U.S. states, we the people demand and petition the commonwealth of Massachusetts and the city of Amherst, Massachusetts to immediately change the name of Amherst, Massachusetts.

Such a vile person in no way deserves recognition and memoriam in the United States of America, Bowen added. The use of Lord Jeffrey Amhersts name is a constant reminder of the atrocities he directed.

Bowen said he isnt sure whether the Legislature will act, noting that he also sent the letter to Sen. Eric Lesser and Rep. Thomas Petrolati.

But hes convinced the matter is under its purview, pointing to discussions on Beacon Hill about prohibiting public schools from using Native American imagery.

Im hoping the Legislature will act; its in the realm of present legislation right now, Bowen said.

Pete Wilson, a spokesman for Rosenbergs office, said a quick review by legal counsel shows that Massachusetts towns have changed their names by special acts of the Legislature, though these likely have followed actions by Town Meetings or city councils in those communities.

Select Board member Connie Kruger said she understands the sentiment, but notes the likelihood of changing the towns name is unlikely to gain traction, based on past history.

Others have tried to do this in Amherst, Kruger said. Its been a conversation over many years.

See original here:

Area man wants Amherst to change town’s name – The Recorder

EARLE LOCKERBY: A simplistic approach – The Guardian

My input on the Fort Amherst issue has been two-pronged and consistent. Firstly, that most advocates of renaming were making false statements to support their case. Secondly, that I do not support the expunging of Amhersts name. Mr. Couture has tacitly acknowledged my correctness in the first area: (Lockerby) may be technically correct, as he distinguishes honest history from ideologically driven narrative I can assure him that I am correct, period. I might add that it is honest history that Im interested in here, not ideologically driven narrative. The latter I leave to philosophers and political scientists. Now, for the second matter. Messrs. McKenna and Couture have been at pains to demonstrate that Amherst had a strong dislike of Indigenous people in North America and used language in describing them that is today considered unacceptable. They could have saved themselves the trouble, since what they have discovered is well known to historians. But is that reason to change the name of Fort Amherst? Germ warfare has been used since medieval times. During the Second World War, the co-discoverer of insulin, Sir Frederick Banting, proposed innovative ways of distributing pathogens, including aerial spraying and distribution through the mail. Banting (a Nobel laureate) is revered as a Canadian icon who made a major contribution to mankind. Because of his despicable proposal, should Bantings name be stripped from three schools, a string of research centres, a fellowship and Banting House National Historic Site?

The name of Sir Hector-Louis Langevin, a Father of Confederation, was recently expunged from a government building in Ottawa as a result of claims from indigenous people that he was responsible for the residential school system. Subsequently, it has been determined by historians that it was Sir John A. Macdonald, as Prime Minister and Minister of Indian Affairs, who presented the concept of residential schools to the House of Commons in 1883. In so doing he remarked: When the school is on the reserve the child lives with its parents, who are savages; he is surrounded by savages, and though he may learn to read and write, his habits, training and mode of thought are Indian. He is simply a savage who can read and write. Later, Langevin, as Minister of Public Works, made similar remarks and implemented the policy of his political master by announcing three schools. The views of Amherst and Macdonald reflected commonly-held views of their times; few of Macdonalds parliamentary colleagues would have considered his remarks hateful, repugnant as they are in the context of today.

Macdonalds name adorns buildings and statues in Ottawa and across the country, including Charlottetown, and he is often considered the primary founder of Canada. Are we to obliterate his name from these buildings and pull down statues? There is hypocrisy in getting rid of the low-hanging fruit and leaving the rest. Unless we are prepared to rename everything bearing the names of Banting, Macdonald and many more historical figures who impacted Canada, renaming Port-la-Joye / Fort Amherst National Historic Site would be piecemeal, facile, arbitrary and ad hoc. The recent Langevin episode has given historical renaming a bad name (pun intended), and demonstrates that historical renaming can indeed be a slippery slope.

Mr. McKenna stated that he has been in touch with certain Parks Canada experts, implying that they have enlightened him. Perhaps he and Mr. Couture could obtain further enlightenment from other Parks Canada experts who recommended to the federal government that Amhersts name not be removed from Fort Amherst. I, for one, concur with the Parks Canada recommendation.

I shall now bow out of the Amherst debate, at least for the time being. If others wish to continue it, I trust that they get their facts straight; that they square their renaming advocacy with the broader picture (which Ive only touched on here) in a consistent and coherent way; and that they attempt to bring historical context to bear. In Canada there are more sensible and effective, and less controversial and divisive, ways of pursuing reconciliation with First Nations peoples than renaming sites and buildings and tearing down statues a simplistic approach to fix complex problems.

– Earle Lockerby has written many articles, including peer-reviewed papers, on Island history and has authored and co-authored several books.

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EARLE LOCKERBY: A simplistic approach – The Guardian

UNIT 731 Japan’s Biological Warfare Project

Most of us heard about the horrible experiments on humans of the Nazis done by doctor Mengele. But the Nazis werent alone in conducting cruel experiments on humans.

One of the lesser known atrocities of the 20th century was committed by the Imperial Japanese Armys Unit 731. Some of the details of this units activities are still uncovered.

This webpage was set up to collect and organize the information known to date about Unit 731 and present it to anyone interested.

Unit 731 Complex

For 40 years, the horrific activities of Unit 731 remained one the most closely guarded secrets of World War II. It was not until 1984 that Japan acknowledged what it had long denied vile experiments on humans conducted by the unit in preparation for germ warfare.

Deliberately infected with plague, anthrax, cholera and other pathogens, an estimated 3,000 of enemy soldiers and civilians were used as guinea pigs. Some of the more horrific experiments included vivisection without anesthesia and pressure chambers to see how much a human could take before his eyes popped out.

Unit 731 was set up in 1938 in Japanese-occupied China with the aim of developing biological weapons. It also operated a secret research and experimental school in Shinjuku, central Tokyo. Its head was Lieutenant Shiro Ishii.

The unit was supported by Japanese universities and medical schools which supplied doctors and research staff. The picture now emerging about its activities is horrifying.

Manchurian Plaguev ictims 1910-1911

According to reports never officially admitted by the Japanese authorities, the unit used thousands of Chinese and other Asian civilians and wartime prisoners as human guinea pigs to breed and develop killer diseases.

Many of the prisoners, who were murdered in the name of research, were used in hideous vivisection and other medical experiments, including barbaric trials to determine the effect of frostbite on the human body.

To ease the conscience of those involved, the prisoners were referred to not as people or patients but as Maruta, or wooden logs. Before Japans surrender, the site of the experiments was completely destroyed, so that no evidence is left.

Then, the remaining 400 prisoners were shot and employees of the unit had to swear secrecy. The mice kept in the laboratory were then released, which could have cost the lives of 30,000 people, since the mice were infected with the bubonic plague, and they spread the disease.

Few of those involved with Unit 731 have admitted their guilt.

Some caught in China at the end of the war were arrested and detained, but only a handful of them were prosecuted for war crimes.

In Japan, not one was brought to justice. In a secret deal, the post-war American administration gave them immunity for prosecution in return for details of their experiments.

Some of the worst criminals, including Hisato Yoshimura, who was in charge of the frostbite experiments, went on to occupy key medical and other posts in public and private sectors.

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UNIT 731 Japan’s Biological Warfare Project

Unit 731 – Wikipedia

Unit 731 (Japanese: 731, Hepburn: Nana-san-ichi Butai) was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (19371945) of World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japan. Unit 731 was based at the Pingfang district of Harbin, the largest city in the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo (now Northeast China).

It was officially known as the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army (, Kantgun Beki Kysuibu Honbu). Originally set up under the Kempeitai military police of the Empire of Japan, Unit 731 was taken over and commanded until the end of the war by General Shiro Ishii, a combat medic officer in the Kwantung Army. The facility itself was built between 1934 and 1939 and officially adopted the name “Unit 731” in 1941.

At least 3,000 men, women, and children[1][2]from which at least 600 every year were provided by the Kempeitai,[3]were subjected as “logs” to experimentation conducted by Unit 731 at the camp based in Pingfang alone, which does not include victims from other medical experimentation sites, such as Unit 100.[4]

Unit 731 participants of Japan attest that most of the victims they experimented on were Chinese[5] while a small percentage were Soviet, Mongolian, Korean, and Allied POWs.[6] Almost 70% of the victims who died in the Pingfang camp were Chinese, including both civilian and military.[7] Close to 30% of the victims were Soviet.[8] Some others were South East Asians and Pacific Islanders, at the time colonies of the Empire of Japan, and a small number of Allied prisoners of war.[9] The unit received generous support from the Japanese government up to the end of the war in 1945.

Because of rare opportunities to conduct human experimentations and strong financial support from the army, medical doctors and professors from Japan were encouraged by universities to join Unit 731. [10] Instead of being trialed for war crimes after the war, the researchers involved in Unit 731 were secretly given immunity by the U.S. in exchange for the data they gathered through human experimentation.[11] Others that Soviet forces managed to arrest first were tried at the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials in 1949. Americans did not try the researchers so that the information and experience gained in bio-weapons could be co-opted into the U.S. biological warfare program, as had happened with Nazi researchers in Operation Paperclip.[12] On 6 May 1947, Douglas MacArthur, as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, wrote to Washington that “additional data, possibly some statements from Ishii probably can be obtained by informing Japanese involved that information will be retained in intelligence channels and will not be employed as ‘War Crimes’ evidence.”[11] Victim accounts were then largely ignored or dismissed in the West as communist propaganda.[13]

In 1932, Surgeon General Shir Ishii ( Ishii Shir), chief medical officer of the Japanese Army and protg of Army Minister Sadao Araki was placed in a command of the Army Epidemic Prevention Research Laboratory (AEPRL). Ishii organized a secret research group, the “Tg Unit”, for various chemical and biological experimentation in Manchuria. Ishii had proposed the creation of a Japanese biological and chemical research unit in 1930, after a two-year study trip abroad, on the grounds that Western powers were developing their own programs. One of Ishii’s main supporters inside the army was Colonel Chikahiko Koizumi, who later became Japan’s Health Minister from 1941 to 1945. Koizumi had joined a secret poison gas research committee in 1915, during World War I, when he and other Japanese army officers became impressed by the successful German use of chlorine gas at the second battle of Ypres, where the Allies suffered 15,000 casualties as a result of the chemical attack.[14]

Unit Tg was implemented in the Zhongma Fortress, a prison/experimentation camp in Beiyinhe, a village 100km (62mi) south of Harbin on the South Manchuria Railway. A jailbreak in autumn 1934 and later explosion (believed to be an attack) in 1935 led Ishii to shut down Zhongma Fortress. He received the authorization to move to Pingfang, approximately 24km (15mi) south of Harbin, to set up a new and much larger facility.[15]

In 1936, Emperor Hirohito authorized by decree the expansion of this unit and its integration into the Kwantung Army as the Epidemic Prevention Department.[16] It was divided at the same time into the “Ishii Unit” and “Wakamatsu Unit” with a base in Hsinking. From August 1940, the units were known collectively as the “Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army ()”[17] or “Unit 731” (731) for short.

A special project code-named Maruta used human beings for experiments. Test subjects were gathered from the surrounding population and were sometimes referred to euphemistically as “logs” (, maruta), used in such contexts as “How many logs fell?”. This term originated as a joke on the part of the staff because the official cover story for the facility given to the local authorities was that it was a lumber mill. However, in an account by a man who worked as a junior uniformed civilian employee of the Japanese Army in Unit 731, the project was internally called “Holzklotz”, which is the German word for log.[18] In a further parallel, the corpses of “sacrificed” subjects were disposed of by incineration.[19] Researchers in Unit 731 also published some of their results in peer-reviewed journals, writing as though the research had been conducted in non-human primates called “Manchurian monkeys” or “long-tailed monkeys”.[20]

The test subjects were selected to give a wide cross-section of the population and included common criminals, captured bandits and anti-Japanese partisans, political prisoners and also people rounded up by the Kempeitai military police for alleged “suspicious activities”. They included infants, the elderly and pregnant women. The members of the unit, approximately three hundred researchers, included doctors and bacteriologists; most were Japanese, although some were Chinese and Korean collaborators.[21] Many had been desensitized to performing unpleasant experiments from experience in animal research.[22]

Thousands of men, women and children interned at prisoner of war camps were subjected to vivisection, often without anesthesia and usually ending with the death of the victim.[23] Vivisections were performed on prisoners after infecting them with various diseases. Researchers performed invasive surgery on prisoners, removing organs to study the effects of disease on the human body. These were conducted while the patients were alive because it was feared that the decomposition process would affect the results.[24] The infected and vivisected prisoners included men, women, children, and infants.[25]

Prisoners had limbs amputated in order to study blood loss. Those limbs that were removed were sometimes re-attached to the opposite sides of the body. Some prisoners’ limbs were frozen and amputated, while others had limbs frozen, then thawed to study the effects of the resultant untreated gangrene and rotting.

Some prisoners had their stomachs surgically removed and the oesophagus reattached to the intestines. Parts of the brain, lungs, liver, etc., were removed from some prisoners.[23]

Japanese army surgeon Ken Yuasa suggests that the practice of vivisection on human subjects (mostly Chinese communists) was widespread even outside Unit 731,[5] estimating that at least 1,000 Japanese personnel were involved in the practice in mainland China.[26]

Prisoners were injected with diseases, disguised as vaccinations,[27] to study their effects. To study the effects of untreated venereal diseases, male and female prisoners were deliberately infected with syphilis and gonorrhoea, then studied. Prisoners were also repeatedly subject to rape by guards.[28]

Plague fleas, infected clothing and infected supplies encased in bombs were dropped on various targets. The resulting cholera, anthrax and plague were estimated to have killed around and possibly more than 400,000 Chinese civilians.[29]Tularemia was tested on Chinese civilians.[30]

Unit 731 and its affiliated units (Unit 1644 and Unit 100 among others) were involved in research, development and experimental deployment of epidemic-creating biowarfare weapons in assaults against the Chinese populace (both civilian and military) throughout World War II. Plague-infested fleas, bred in the laboratories of Unit 731 and Unit 1644, were spread by low-flying airplanes upon Chinese cities, coastal Ningbo in 1940, and Changde, Hunan Province, in 1941. This military aerial spraying killed thousands of people with bubonic plague epidemics.[31]

It is possible that Unit 731’s methods and objectives were also followed in Indonesia, in a case of failed experiment designed to validate a conjured tetanus toxoid vaccine.[32]

Physiologist Yoshimura Hisato conducted experiments by taking captives outside, dipping various appendages into water, and allowing the limb to freeze. Once frozen, which testimony from a Japanese officer said “was determined after the ‘frozen arms, when struck with a short stick, emitted a sound resembling that which a board gives when it is struck'”,[33] ice was chipped away and the area doused in water. The effects of different water temperatures were tested by bludgeoning the victim to determine if any areas were still frozen. Variations of these tests in more gruesome forms were performed.

Doctors orchestrated forced sex acts between infected and non-infected prisoners to transmit the disease, as the testimony of a prison guard on the subject of devising a method for transmission of syphilis between patients shows:

“Infection of venereal disease by injection was abandoned, and the researchers started forcing the prisoners into sexual acts with each other. Four or five unit members, dressed in white laboratory clothing completely covering the body with only eyes and mouth visible, handled the tests. A male and female, one infected with syphilis, would be brought together in a cell and forced into sex with each other. It was made clear that anyone resisting would be shot.”[34]

After victims were infected, they were vivisected at different stages of infection, so that internal and external organs could be observed as the disease progressed. Testimony from multiple guards blames the female victims as being hosts of the diseases, even as they were forcibly infected. Genitals of female prisoners that were infected with syphilis were called “jam filled buns” by guards.[35]

Some children grew up inside the walls of Unit 731, infected with syphilis. A Youth Corps member deployed to train at Unit 731 recalled viewing a batch of subjects that would undergo syphilis testing: “one was a Chinese woman holding an infant, one was a White Russian woman with a daughter of four or five years of age, and the last was a White Russian woman with a boy of about six or seven.”[35] The children of these women were tested in ways similar to their parents, with specific emphasis on determining how longer infection periods affected the effectiveness of treatments.

Female prisoners were forced to become pregnant for use in experiments. The hypothetical possibility of vertical transmission (from mother to fetus or child) of diseases, particularly syphilis, was the stated reason for the torture. Fetal survival and damage to mother’s reproductive organs were objects of interest. Though “a large number of babies were born in captivity”, there have been no accounts of any survivors of Unit 731, children included. It is suspected that the children of female prisoners were killed or the pregnancies terminated.[35]

While male prisoners were often used in single studies, so that the results of the experimentation on them would not be clouded by other variables, women were sometimes used in bacteriological or physiological experiments, sex experiments, and as the victims of sex crimes. The testimony of a unit member that served as guard graphically demonstrated this reality:

“One of the former researchers I located told me that one day he had a human experiment scheduled, but there was still time to kill. So he and another unit member took the keys to the cells and opened one that housed a Chinese woman. One of the unit members raped her; the other member took the keys and opened another cell. There was a Chinese woman in there who had been used in a frostbite experiment. She had several fingers missing and her bones were black, with gangrene set in. He was about to rape her anyway, then he saw that her sex organ was festering, with pus oozing to the surface. He gave up the idea, left and locked the door, then later went on to his experimental work.”[35]

Human targets were used to test grenades positioned at various distances and in different positions. Flamethrowers were tested on humans. Humans were also tied to stakes and used as targets to test germ-releasing bombs, chemical weapons, and explosive bombs.[36][37]

In other tests, subjects were deprived of food and water to determine the length of time until death; placed into high-pressure chambers until death; experimented upon to determine the relationship between temperature, burns, and human survival; placed into centrifuges and spun until death; injected with animal blood; exposed to lethal doses of x-rays; subjected to various chemical weapons inside gas chambers; injected with sea water; and burned or buried alive.[38]

Japanese researchers performed tests on prisoners with Bubonic plague, cholera, smallpox, botulism, and other diseases.[39] This research led to the development of the defoliation bacilli bomb and the flea bomb used to spread bubonic plague.[40] Some of these bombs were designed with porcelain shells, an idea proposed by Ishii in 1938.

These bombs enabled Japanese soldiers to launch biological attacks, infecting agriculture, reservoirs, wells, and other areas with anthrax, plague-carrier fleas, typhoid, dysentery, cholera, and other deadly pathogens. During biological bomb experiments, researchers dressed in protective suits would examine the dying victims. Infected food supplies and clothing were dropped by airplane into areas of China not occupied by Japanese forces. In addition, poisoned food and candies were given to unsuspecting victims, and the results examined.

In 2002, Changde, China, site of the flea spraying attack, held an “International Symposium on the Crimes of Bacteriological Warfare” which estimated that at least 580,000 people died as a result of the attack.[41] The historian Sheldon Harris claims that 200,000 died.[42] In addition to Chinese casualties, 1,700 Japanese in Chekiang were killed by their own biological weapons while attempting to unleash the biological agent, indicating serious issues with distribution.[1]

During the final months of World War II, Japan planned to use plague as a biological weapon against San Diego, California. The plan was scheduled to launch on September 22, 1945, but Japan surrendered five weeks earlier.[43][44][45][46]

The majority of victims were mostly Chinese (including accused “bandits” and “Communists”), Korean, and Russian, although they may also have included European, American, and Australian prisoners of war.[47]

Robert Peaty (19031989), a British Major in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, was the senior ranking allied officer. During this time, he kept a secret diary. A copy of his entire diary exists in the NARA archives.[48] An extract of the diary is available at the UK National Archives at Kew.[49] He was interviewed by the Imperial War Museum in 1981, and the audio recording tape reels are in the IWM’s archives.[50]

Unit 731 was divided into eight divisions:

The Unit 731 complex covered six square kilometres (2.3 square miles) and consisted of more than 150 buildings. The design of the facilities made them hard to destroy by bombing. The complex contained various factories. It had around 4,500 containers to be used to raise fleas, six cauldrons to produce various chemicals, and around 1,800 containers to produce biological agents. Approximately 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of bubonic plague bacteria could be produced in a few days.

Some of Unit 731’s satellite facilities are in use by various Chinese industrial concerns. A portion has been preserved and is open to visitors as a War Crimes Museum.

A medical school and research facility belonging to Unit 731 operated in the Shinjuku District of Tokyo during World War II. In 2006, Toyo Ishiia nurse who worked at the school during the warrevealed that she had helped bury bodies and pieces of bodies on the school’s grounds shortly after Japan’s surrender in 1945. In response, in February 2011 the Ministry of Health began to excavate the site.[52]

China requested DNA samples from any human remains discovered at the site. The Japanese governmentwhich has never officially acknowledged the atrocities committed by Unit 731rejected the request.[53]

The related Unit 8604 was operated by the Japanese Southern China Area Army and stationed at Guangzhou (Canton). This installation conducted human experimentation in food and water deprivation as well as water-borne typhus. According to postwar testimony, this facility served as the main rat breeding farm for the medical units to provide them with bubonic plague vectors for experiments.[54]

Unit 731 was part of the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department which dealt with contagious disease and water supply generally.

Operations and experiments continued until the end of the war. Ishii had wanted to use biological weapons in the Pacific War since May 1944, but his attempts were repeatedly snubbed.

With the coming of the Red Army in August 1945, the unit had to abandon their work in haste. The members and their families fled to Japan.

Ishii ordered every member of the group “to take the secret to the grave”, threatening to find them if they failed, and prohibiting any of them from going into public work back in Japan. Potassium cyanide vials were issued for use in the event that the remaining personnel were captured.

Skeleton crews of Ishii’s Japanese troops blew up the compound in the final days of the war to destroy evidence of their activities, but most were so well constructed that they survived somewhat intact.

Among the individuals in Japan after their 1945 surrender was Lieutenant Colonel Murray Sanders, who arrived in Yokohama via the American ship Sturgess in September 1945. Sanders was a highly regarded microbiologist and a member of America’s military center for biological weapons. Sanders’ duty was to investigate Japanese biological warfare activity. At the time of his arrival in Japan he had no knowledge of what Unit 731 was.[35] Until Sanders finally threatened the Japanese with bringing communism into the picture, little information about biological warfare was being shared with the Americans. The Japanese wanted to avoid the Soviet legal system so the next morning after the threat Sanders received a manuscript describing Japan’s involvement in biological warfare.[55] Sanders took this information to General Douglas MacArthur, who was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers responsible for rebuilding Japan during the Allied occupations. MacArthur struck a deal with Japanese informants[56]he secretly granted immunity to the physicians of Unit 731, including their leader, in exchange for providing America, but not the other wartime allies, with their research on biological warfare and data from human experimentation.[11] American occupation authorities monitored the activities of former unit members, including reading and censoring their mail.[57] The U.S. believed that the research data were valuable. The U.S. did not want other nations, particularly the Soviet Union, to acquire data on biological weapons.[58]

The Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal heard only one reference to Japanese experiments with “poisonous serums” on Chinese civilians. This took place in August 1946 and was instigated by David Sutton, assistant to the Chinese prosecutor. The Japanese defense counsel argued that the claim was vague and uncorroborated and it was dismissed by the tribunal president, Sir William Webb, for lack of evidence. The subject was not pursued further by Sutton, who was probably unaware of Unit 731’s activities. His reference to it at the trial is believed to have been accidental.

Although publicly silent on the issue at the Tokyo Trials, the Soviet Union pursued the case and prosecuted twelve top military leaders and scientists from Unit 731 and its affiliated biological-war prisons Unit 1644 in Nanjing, and Unit 100 in Changchun, in the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials. Included among those prosecuted for war crimes, including germ warfare, was General Otoz Yamada, the commander-in-chief of the million-man Kwantung Army occupying Manchuria.

The trial of those captured Japanese perpetrators was held in Khabarovsk in December 1949. A lengthy partial transcript of the trial proceedings was published in different languages the following year by a Moscow foreign languages press, including an English language edition.[59] The lead prosecuting attorney at the Khabarovsk trial was Lev Smirnov, who had been one of the top Soviet prosecutors at the Nuremberg Trials. The Japanese doctors and army commanders who had perpetrated the Unit 731 experiments received sentences from the Khabarovsk court ranging from two to 25 years in a Siberian labor camp. The U.S. refused to acknowledge the trials, branding them communist propaganda.[60]

After World War II, the Soviet Union built a biological weapons facility in Sverdlovsk using documentation captured from Unit 731 in Manchuria.[61]

As above, under the American occupation the members of Unit 731 and other experimental units were allowed to go free. One graduate of Unit 1644, Masami Kitaoka, continued to do experiments on unwilling Japanese subjects from 1947 to 1956 while working for Japan’s National Institute of Health Sciences. He infected prisoners with rickettsia and mental health patients with typhus.[62]

Japanese discussions of Unit 731’s activity began in the 1950s, after the end of the American occupation of Japan. In 1952, human experiments carried out in Nagoya City Pediatric Hospital, which resulted in one death, were publicly tied to former members of Unit 731.[63] Later in that decade, journalists suspected that the murders attributed by the government to Sadamichi Hirasawa were actually carried out by members of Unit 731. In 1958, Japanese author Shsaku End published the book The Sea and Poison about human experimentation, which is thought to have been based on a real incident.

The author Seiichi Morimura published The Devil’s Gluttony () in 1981, followed by The Devil’s Gluttony: A Sequel in 1983. These books purported to reveal the “true” operations of Unit 731, but actually confused them with that of Unit 100, and falsely used unrelated photos attributing them to Unit 731, which raised questions about its accuracy.[64][65]

Also in 1981 appeared the first direct testimony of human vivisection in China, by Ken Yuasa. Since then many more in-depth testimonies have appeared in Japanese. The 2001 documentary Japanese Devils was composed largely of interviews with 14 members of Unit 731 who had been taken as prisoners by China and later released.[66]

Since the end of the Allied occupation, the Japanese government has repeatedly apologized for its pre-war behavior in general, but specific apologies and indemnities are determined on the basis of bilateral determination that crimes occurred, which requires a high standard of evidence. Unit 731 presents a special problem, since unlike Nazi human experimentation which the U.S. publicly condemned, the activities of Unit 731 are known to the general public only from the testimonies of willing former unit members, and testimony cannot be employed to determine indemnity in this way.

Japanese history textbooks usually contain references to Unit 731, but do not go into detail about allegations, in accordance with this principle.[67][68]Sabur Ienaga’s New History of Japan included a detailed description, based on officers’ testimony. The Ministry for Education attempted to remove this passage from his textbook before it was taught in public schools, on the basis that the testimony was insufficient. The Supreme Court of Japan ruled in 1997 that the testimony was indeed sufficient and that requiring it to be removed was an illegal violation of freedom of speech.[69]

In 1997, the international lawyer Knen Tsuchiya filed a class action suit against the Japanese government, demanding reparations for the actions of Unit 731, using evidence filed by Professor Makoto Ueda of Rikkyo University. All Japanese court levels found that the suit was baseless. No findings of fact were made about the existence of human experimentation, but the decision of the court was that reparations are determined by international treaties and not by national court cases.

In October 2003, a member of the House of Representatives of Japan filed an inquiry. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi responded that the Japanese government did not then possess any records related to Unit 731, but the government recognized the gravity of the matter and would publicize any records that were located in the future.[70]

There have been several films about the atrocities of Unit 731.

More:

Unit 731 – Wikipedia

EARLE LOCKERBY: A simplistic approach – The Guardian

My input on the Fort Amherst issue has been two-pronged and consistent. Firstly, that most advocates of renaming were making false statements to support their case. Secondly, that I do not support the expunging of Amhersts name. Mr. Couture has tacitly acknowledged my correctness in the first area: (Lockerby) may be technically correct, as he distinguishes honest history from ideologically driven narrative I can assure him that I am correct, period. I might add that it is honest history that Im interested in here, not ideologically driven narrative. The latter I leave to philosophers and political scientists. Now, for the second matter. Messrs. McKenna and Couture have been at pains to demonstrate that Amherst had a strong dislike of Indigenous people in North America and used language in describing them that is today considered unacceptable. They could have saved themselves the trouble, since what they have discovered is well known to historians. But is that reason to change the name of Fort Amherst? Germ warfare has been used since medieval times. During the Second World War, the co-discoverer of insulin, Sir Frederick Banting, proposed innovative ways of distributing pathogens, including aerial spraying and distribution through the mail. Banting (a Nobel laureate) is revered as a Canadian icon who made a major contribution to mankind. Because of his despicable proposal, should Bantings name be stripped from three schools, a string of research centres, a fellowship and Banting House National Historic Site?

The name of Sir Hector-Louis Langevin, a Father of Confederation, was recently expunged from a government building in Ottawa as a result of claims from indigenous people that he was responsible for the residential school system. Subsequently, it has been determined by historians that it was Sir John A. Macdonald, as Prime Minister and Minister of Indian Affairs, who presented the concept of residential schools to the House of Commons in 1883. In so doing he remarked: When the school is on the reserve the child lives with its parents, who are savages; he is surrounded by savages, and though he may learn to read and write, his habits, training and mode of thought are Indian. He is simply a savage who can read and write. Later, Langevin, as Minister of Public Works, made similar remarks and implemented the policy of his political master by announcing three schools. The views of Amherst and Macdonald reflected commonly-held views of their times; few of Macdonalds parliamentary colleagues would have considered his remarks hateful, repugnant as they are in the context of today.

Macdonalds name adorns buildings and statues in Ottawa and across the country, including Charlottetown, and he is often considered the primary founder of Canada. Are we to obliterate his name from these buildings and pull down statues? There is hypocrisy in getting rid of the low-hanging fruit and leaving the rest. Unless we are prepared to rename everything bearing the names of Banting, Macdonald and many more historical figures who impacted Canada, renaming Port-la-Joye / Fort Amherst National Historic Site would be piecemeal, facile, arbitrary and ad hoc. The recent Langevin episode has given historical renaming a bad name (pun intended), and demonstrates that historical renaming can indeed be a slippery slope.

Mr. McKenna stated that he has been in touch with certain Parks Canada experts, implying that they have enlightened him. Perhaps he and Mr. Couture could obtain further enlightenment from other Parks Canada experts who recommended to the federal government that Amhersts name not be removed from Fort Amherst. I, for one, concur with the Parks Canada recommendation.

I shall now bow out of the Amherst debate, at least for the time being. If others wish to continue it, I trust that they get their facts straight; that they square their renaming advocacy with the broader picture (which Ive only touched on here) in a consistent and coherent way; and that they attempt to bring historical context to bear. In Canada there are more sensible and effective, and less controversial and divisive, ways of pursuing reconciliation with First Nations peoples than renaming sites and buildings and tearing down statues a simplistic approach to fix complex problems.

– Earle Lockerby has written many articles, including peer-reviewed papers, on Island history and has authored and co-authored several books.

Read more here:

EARLE LOCKERBY: A simplistic approach – The Guardian

Area man wants Amherst to change town’s name – The Recorder

AMHERST As discussion continues about whether the public square is an appropriate place to honor the Confederacy with statues and memorials, a Belchertown resident is asking state and town officials to end the recognition of Lord Jeffery Amherst by renaming the town of Amherst.

In an email to the towns Selecboard and Town Manager Paul Bockelman, as well as State Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose and State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, William Bowen, of Pine Brook Drive, is calling for Amhersts name to be banished.

Its something thats been on my mind for a while, and its something that should be addressed, Bowen said.

Bowen explained that it is inappropriate to honor a person he describes as a ruthless 18th century general who was the father of germ warfare. He cites the actions of Lord Jeffery Amherst, in command of British army forces in the North American colonies, and an order to use small pox to exterminate American Indians during Pontiacs Rebellion in 1763.

When he worked in Amherst, Bowen said he met several Native Americans who were bothered by the town using the British generals name.

The American Indians, the Native Americans, are totally offended by the name of Amherst, they really are, Bowen said.

Amherst took its name in 1759, when it separated from Hadley and then-Massachusetts Gov. Thomas Pownall named the new district after his close friend.

There has been periodic controversy over the Amherst name since. Most recently, in early 2016, trustees at Amherst College agreed to drop the unofficial mascot Lord Jeff after students raised concerns about the appropriateness of the honor.

In his email, Bowen writes: In light of what is happening in the U.S. south, with citizens insulted by and demanding the immediate removal of statutes and memorials to those of the Confederate U.S. states, we the people demand and petition the commonwealth of Massachusetts and the city of Amherst, Massachusetts to immediately change the name of Amherst, Massachusetts.

Such a vile person in no way deserves recognition and memoriam in the United States of America, Bowen added. The use of Lord Jeffrey Amhersts name is a constant reminder of the atrocities he directed.

Bowen said he isnt sure whether the Legislature will act, noting that he also sent the letter to Sen. Eric Lesser and Rep. Thomas Petrolati.

But hes convinced the matter is under its purview, pointing to discussions on Beacon Hill about prohibiting public schools from using Native American imagery.

Im hoping the Legislature will act; its in the realm of present legislation right now, Bowen said.

Pete Wilson, a spokesman for Rosenbergs office, said a quick review by legal counsel shows that Massachusetts towns have changed their names by special acts of the Legislature, though these likely have followed actions by Town Meetings or city councils in those communities.

Select Board member Connie Kruger said she understands the sentiment, but notes the likelihood of changing the towns name is unlikely to gain traction, based on past history.

Others have tried to do this in Amherst, Kruger said. Its been a conversation over many years.

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Area man wants Amherst to change town’s name – The Recorder

TONY COUTURE: English army ‘magnitudes more savage’ – The Guardian

So Earle Lockerby in his letters to the editor regarding how General Amherst was not involved in direct hate crimes against the Mi’kmaq (germ warfare, massacres, or other violence) may be technically correct, as he distinguishes honest history from ideologically driven narrative. But repeatedly calling people “savages” (p 279, referring to the loss of French deportees in Dec. 1761 at sea, also refers to the Mi’kmaq directly) when you and your army are magnitudes more savage and sending your biggest bullies to hunt them down, is wrong enough from today’s enlightened point of view.

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TONY COUTURE: English army ‘magnitudes more savage’ – The Guardian

Military Tested Germ Warfare on San Francisco and Other …

One of the largest human experiments ever was conducted on unsuspecting residents in the open air of San Francisco. It was the U.S. Governments own experiment conducted on its own people in 1950.

IFL Science reports[emphasis mine]:

In the wake of World War II, the United Sates military was suddenly worried about and keen to test out the threats posed by biological warfare. They started experiments looking into how bacteria and their harmful toxins might spread, only using harmless stand-in microbes. They tested these on military bases, infecting soldiers and their families who lived with them, but eventually they stepped things up a notch. Disclosed in 1977, it turns out that the U.S. military carried out 239 secret open-air tests on its own citizens.

In one of itslargest experiments called Operation Sea-Spray the military used giant hoses [and burst balloons] to spray a bacterial cloud of Serratia marcescens and Bacillus globigii, both thought to be harmless bacteria at the time, from a Navy ship docked just off the coast of San Francisco. They wanted to investigate how the citys iconic fog might help with the spread of bacterial warfare. And spread it did. Its estimated that all of the citys 800,000 residents inhaled millions of the bacteria over the next few weeks as they went about their daily lives none the wiser.

This entirely unnecessary experiment resulted in the death ofEdward J. Nevinafter he first suffered chills, fever and general malaise. TheS. marcescens bacteria alsodirectly caused the hospitalization of at least 10 others and may have spikedcases of pneumonia during that time. Heres why

S. marcescens, asoil-based bacterium that produces a bloody red pigment was used as a proxy for an anthrax attack. Although it was considered benevolent it can certainly reap death and destruction. In fact, S. marcescens is now one of the most opportunistic pathogens that loves to hang out in hospitals and create sturdy biofilms. Sadly, it latches onto people throughurinary tract infections, catheter infections, lung infections and through other hospital supplies used on vulnerable populations. It is now amongthe top 10 causes of all hospital-acquired respiratory, neonatal and surgical infections.

This bacteria is everywhere. It is now attributed to killing coral reefs via human sewage and causes cornea infections through contact lens cases. It is the reddish-pinkish moldy-looking stuff you see in an unhygienic bathroom or on spoiled food.

It has also symbiotically bonded with bacteria inside wax moth larvae the kind that are born of bee hives.

IFL adds:

But theexperiments didnt stop there. As stated, the military carried out over 200 such tests across the country, from New York to Washington DC., spraying bacteria and other fluorescent and microscopic particles into the air, one of which zinc cadmium sulfide is now thoughtto cause cancer. In another series of experiments, they even went so far as simulating an attack on Washingtons Greyhound bus station and airport.

They sprayedin the New York City subway system, on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and in National Airport just outside Washington, DC.

But the madness still didnt stop there in tandem with the British governments Ministry of Defence, the military sprayed S. marcescens,an anthrax simulant and phenol off the coast of Dorset in southern England from a ship.Not just once over a hundred times. They, too, sprayed zinc cadmium sulfide across large patchesof Britain.

By the way the biowarfare simulation attack on America was deemed a success. Meaning, the conclusion was that another country could indeed attack Americans via ships off the coast.

In Clouds of Secrecy, author Leonard Cole writes,

Nearly all of San Francisco received 500 particle minutes per liter. In other words, nearly every one of the 800,000 people in San Francisco exposed to the cloud at normal breathing rate (10 liters per minute) inhaled 5,000 or more particles per minute during the several hours that they remained airborne.

Heres the worst part, no amount of congressional hearings or lawsuits has ever compelled the government to apologize or take any other view besides justified immunity for their tests. Worse yet, before Nevins death ultimately caused by a urinary tract infection that reached his heart while recovering from prostrate surgery there had never been any reported cases of S. marcescens bacteriain hospitals.

So this writer must ask which is worse, the threat of an anthrax terrorist attack or the now hospital-acquired bacteria that the government sprayed over large swathes of major cities?

This is not a conspiracy theory its a reality. And America is not alone. Canada also has a history of testing biowarfare on innocent people. Not only are these tests on unwitting human subjects reckless and horror-inducing, but they are also clear violations of the Nuremberg Code.

If you know people who trust the governments decisions regarding public health or the environment, perhaps you should show them this article so that they give pause. If you have friends who wish to join the military for its perks please send them this reminder that their superiors may view them as disposable, living biohazards.

Why? Because it happened before time and again even though it is clearly and knowingly amoral.

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Military Tested Germ Warfare on San Francisco and Other …

The case for keeping ‘Langevin Block’ – Macleans.ca

People relax on the front lawn of the Parliament buildings near Langevin Block in Ottawa, Wednesday June 21, 2017. The federal government is renaming the Langevin Block building, which sits across from Parliament Hill, out of respect for Indigenous Peoples. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

As we mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Canadian history is in the midst of an existential crisis. From coast to coast the physical presence of many once-celebrated historical figures is being scrubbed from our midst.

Last week, in honour of the newly renamed National Indigenous Peoples Day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Langevin Block, which houses the Prime Ministers Office, will be officially renamed in order to rid it of the name of Sir Hector-Louis Langevinan individual associated with the residential school system and the federal governments now-discredited plans to assimilate the Indigenous population.

Halifax has seen repeated demands that a prominent statue of city founder Edward Cornwallis be removed from public display because he declared a bounty on Mikmaq scalps in 1749. His name has already been removed from a local school.

Prince Edward Island has heard similar calls for Parks Canada to rename the national historic site Port-la-Joye-Fort Amherst to eradicate the legacy of British military commander Sir Jeffery Amherst, given his reputation as the mastermind behind a scheme to give smallpox-laced blankets to Indigenous foes.

And the Law Society of British Columbia recently hoisted a statute of Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie, the first chief justice of British Columbia, out of the lobby of its building because the presence of the statue is offensive to Indigenous peoples. Begbie is known as the hanging judge for sentencing six Tsilhqotin chiefs to death in 1864.

The vast preponderance of Canadas historical heroes, it seems, were genocidal maniacs undeserving of statues erected or parks, forts, cities or streets named in their honour. As the evidence of misdeeds and character flaws pile up, should we simply wipe the slate clean of all references to our past?

Then again, maybe we shouldnt be so quick to turn our backs on our former selves.

It is axiomatic of history that it exists in context. Historical figures are products of their times, as well as figures astride pedestals in parks. They had full and complicated lives that cannot be adequately understood from a single quotation or act. And with this in mind, lets look again at the charges against Langevin.

As the minister of public works in Sir John A. Macdonalds government, Langevin formalized the residential school system in Canada. Further evidence of his unsuitability for current recognition comes from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report that makes repeated mention of a speech he gave in 1883: If you wish to educate the native children, you must separate them from the parents. If you leave them in the family they may know how to read and write but they still remain savages.

Taken on its own, Langevins quotation is a devastating indictment to modern ears. But what if we let the tape roll a bit longer? Later in that same speech, for example, Langevin said it was his intention to give every native child who graduates from residential school a free homestead. And in response to Langevin, Edward Blake, the leader of the Liberal party of the day, not only used words to describe Indigenous men and women that would be considered horrific today, he also complained that Ottawas plan was overly generous. The Liberal party of the day wanted to spend far less on the native file.

Extreme narrow focus on a few sentences of one speech may provide damning evidence of Langevins unfitness for present-day memorialization. But in the context of his time, Langevin actually stands among the more enlightened representatives of the federal government. As for the accusation that Langevin believed in assimilation of the Indigenous communitya concept now properly and universally considered abhorrenthe is guilty as charged.

But assimilation was conventional wisdom among all elite thinkers of his era. If statements in support of it are to be considered sufficient reason for removal from the historical record, then every politician of note in Canada prior to the 21st century must eventually be struck from the recordfrom Macdonald to Sir Wilfrid Laurier on down. Even Pierre Trudeau, often considered the father of an inclusive, multicultural Canada, was a confirmed assimilationist. His 1969 White Paper on Indian Policy planned to eliminate Indigenous status entirely. When such a plan was firmly rejected by the Indigenous community, Trudeau replied bitterly, Well keep them in the ghetto for as long as they want. Is the legacy of Trudeau senior next on the list for erasure?

And entirely ignored within the current debate over Langevin and the residential school issue is his stature as a key Francophone Quebec federalist during the crucial pre-Confederation era, which was the reason his name ended up on a federal building in the first place. Reconciliation between French and English was once considered a great Canadian virtue. It should still count for something today.

As for Cornwallis, in 1749 he did declare a bounty of 10 British guineas for every Mikmaq scalp delivered to him during a colonial-era conflict known as Father Le Loutres War. Like Langevins speech on residential schools, singular attention on this one act seems sufficient to declare him unfit for present-day consumption. By any standard, scalping is an horrific act. But once again history throws up some uncomfortable facts.

Father Le Loutres War (1749 to 1755) was the handiwork of French Catholic priest Jean-Louis Le Loutre, who goaded local Mikmaq tribes into conflict with the British in hopes of reclaiming New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for the French. For added motivation, he explicitly promised to pay Mikmaq warriors a bounty for English scalps. And they delivered. In 1753, for example, Le Loutre was reimbursed 1,800 French livres by the colonial government in Quebec City for sums he paid to the Mikmaq for 18 English scalps.

The payment of scalp bounties was unsettlingly common throughout North America during the entire colonial period. It was, in fact, standing French policy to offer payments for the scalps of the Englishmen, women and childrenas a subsidy to ensure the continued loyalty of allied Indigenous tribes. Scalp bounties in the English-speaking colonies generally only appeared when a war was on; and their value waned and fluxed depending on the publics panic level. It thus seems unfair to use Cornwalliss scalping proclamation as conclusive evidence against him when both sides in this ancient conflict, including those Mikmaq nations who today demand Cornwalliss expulsion from the public square, were fully engaged in the repulsive tactic.

And while Amherst is widely considered to be the father of modern germ warfare for allegedly handing out smallpox-infected blankets to Indigenous foes, this is a falsehood. There is no proof he ever did such a thing. Amherst responded positively to the suggestion from a fellow officer in a letter dated July 16, 1763, but this came a month after the one and only time British troops actually stooped to such a tacticduring a native siege of Fort Pitt (near present-day Pittsburgh) on June 24, 1763.

Finally, Begbie was indeed responsible for sentencing six Indigenous leaders to hanging for their role in the killing of 20 non-natives during B.C.s Chilcotin War. Yet condemning him into oblivion on this basis ignores his vast record of support and understanding for the provinces Indigenous communities at all other times. He was fluent in several Indigenous languages, recognized the concept of Aboriginal title in his rulings and took a strong position against racism. Begbie was perhaps the most liberal and native-friendly judge of his time. As for his controversial hanging decision, which the B.C. government recently apologized for, he had no choice. The death penalty was mandatory for murder cases. Despite all this, his own law society has removed him from the firmament.

To our great disadvantage, Canada has become obsessed with replaying a slow-motion, high-definition version of our past. Historical figures are now judged by intense focus on individual statements or actions. One infraction at odds with current acceptable standards has become sufficient evidence for expulsion from present-day society. Yet it is reasonable, if not inevitable, to expect that every notable figure from the past has probably said or done something that will grate against modern sensibilities, particularly with respect to Indigenous relations. It is therefore only a matter of time before every statue, park and street named for an historical character in Canada is declared incompatible with the present.

But while the fraught relationship between colonial Canada and Indigenous peoples is an important component of our history, it is not its entirety. We should not allow current attention being paid to the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions findings, necessary and disturbing as they may be, to become a mechanism that strips Canada of our most significant characters and events. Or removes the context and detail from the stories of who we are and where we came from.

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The case for keeping ‘Langevin Block’ – Macleans.ca

Whom Are You Fooling? – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Photo Credit: Jewish Press

In the End By R Jack Riemer

In the end, man destroyed the heaven and the earth. The earth had been tossing and turning, and the destructive spirit of man had been hovering over the face of the waters. And man said: Let me have power over the earth. And it was so. And man saw that the power tasted good, and so he called those that possessed power wise, and those that tried to curb power he called weak. And there was evening, and there was morning, the seventh day. And man said: Let there be a division among all the peoples of the earth. Let there be a dividing line, or a wall, between those that are for me and those that are against me, and it was so. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

And man said: Let us gather all of our resources into one place, and let us create instruments of power to defend ourselves: Let us make a radio to mold mens minds, and a draft to control their bodies, and flags and symbols of power to capture their souls. And it was so. And there was evening, and there was morning, the fifth day.

And man said: Let there be censorship to divide the light from the darkness. And it was so. And man made two great censorship bureaus to control the thoughts of men, one to tell only the truth that he wanted to be heard abroad, and one to tell only the truth he wanted to be heard at home. And it was so. And there was evening, and there was morning, the fourth day.

And man said: Let us create weapons that can kill millions and hundreds of millions from a distance, and let us make clean bombs, and let us learn sanitary germ warfare, and let us make guided missiles. And it was so. And there was evening, and there was morning, the third day.

And man said: Let us make God in our image. Let us say that God thinks what we think, that God wants what we want, that God commands what we want Him to command. And man found ways to kill, with atomic power and with radiation fallout, those that were living, and those that were not yet born, and he said: This is Gods will. And it was so. And there was evening, and there was morning, the second day.

And then, on the last day, a great cloud went up over all the face of the earth, and there was a great thunder over all of the face of the earth, and there was a great cry that reached up from over all of the earth, and then man, and all of his doings, was no more. And the earth rested on the last day from all of mans labors, and the universe was quiet on the last day from all of mans doings, which man in his folly had wrought. And there was nothing. There was no more evening, and there was no more morning there was no more day.

It is mind-boggling that despite Moshe Rabbeinus warning to Korach and his followers of what would occur if they persisted in their rebellion, they did not waver or even hesitate.

Moshe said, Through this you shall know that G-d has sent me to perform all these acts, that it was not from my heart G-d will create a phenomenon and the earth will opens its mouth and swallow them and all that is theirs, and they will descend alive into the pit then you shall know that these men have provoked G-d (Bamidbar 16:28-30). Korachs assembly was comprised of people who had witnessed all the miracles Moshe initiated and had seen him standing atop Har Sinai during the revelation of Matan Torah. Yet here they brazenly persisted in their attempted coup, undeterred. It seems analogous to imprudent sailors who refuse to abandon their sinking ship even as it plunges into the depths with safety boats available.

The Gemara (Eruvin 19a) states that even at the doorway of purgatory, the wicked will not repent. A person can be so utterly blinded by his opinions and feelings that he may fail to adhere to logic and reason. He can become so consumed and convinced by the veracity of his mission that there is no convincing him otherwise, even though the truth of where he is heading seems so obvious to everyone else. This can happen to even the greatest of men. They fall prey to their own machinations and intrigues, as did Korach and his worthy followers.

Rav Shlomo Levinstein relates (Umasok Haohr) that a person once approached the Tchebiner Rav, Rav Yissocher Dov Berish Weidenfeld ztl, to inform the Rav that he had appointed himself as a Rebbe, and he planned to invite people to seek his blessing and advice.

The Rav knew the man well and knew that he was far from worthy of such a title. When the Rav asked him why he felt he was worthy of the position, the man emphatically replied, Why not? If the Bais Yisroel can be the Gerrer Rebbe, and Rav Aharon Rokeach (known as Rav Arele Belzer ) could be the Belzer Rebbe, why cant I become a Rebbe as well?

The Tchebiner Rav was stunned. He replied by quoting the aforementioned statement from the Gemara and asked the man how it is possible for a wicked person not to repent when he sees an ignominious end awaiting him.

The Rav explained that at times a sinner whose soul has been sent to Gehenom to be purged of its iniquities may be on the verge of being released, but still requires a little more time. But then the soul of a righteous person being led to Gan Eden may be led past Gehenom, so that he can seize those lingering souls and insist that they ascend with them.

The Rav looked into the self-appointed Rebbes eyes and said, A wicked person while being led into purgatory will still not repent because he will continue to delude himself of his righteousness. Even at that fateful moment, he will be convinced that he is being led towards Gehenom so that he can rescue the lingering souls while on his way to his eternal reward. He wont even be able to fathom his own culpability.

G-d has endowed man with an imagination that can help him build worlds and accomplish incredible feats. Yet, at the same time, man can destroy himself and his world in the most horrific manner.

The Torah states (Bamidbar 26:11) that the sons of Korach did not die. Rashi explains that although Korachs sons were at first part of their fathers rebellion, while the dispute was unfolding they did teshuvah. Therefore, a special place was designated for them in purgatory where they still dwell.

Rav Shalom Schwadron ztl noted that if the sons of Korach repented before the punishment began they would not have been affected at all. If they repented after the ground opened up beneath them, it would have been too late. So why does it say that they have an elevated place in purgatory? When exactly did they repent?

We must conclude that they repented as the earth was opening beneath their feet. They saw that they were about to be swallowed up, and, at that moment, they began to contemplate that they may have been mistaken. Even at that moment their repentance accomplished something.

What is truly frightening is that the rest of the rebels, including Korach himself, did not harbor any such thoughts of repentance, even then!

Moshe had warned Korach and his adherents of what would transpire if they didnt desist, yet even when they saw it begin to happen, they obdurately maintained their position, even as they descended into Gehenom.

We often read about the tragedies of our ancestors in the Torah with a certain measure of disregard for the folly of their actions. We would be wise to realize that these sins were committed by people of stature, righteous individuals who were privy to the greatest miracles ever performed. If they could stumble so profoundly, we are surely far more vulnerable.

The Mishna in Avos tells us that that Jealousy, desire, and honor remove a person from the world. The tragedy of the meraglim was the result of the pursuit of honor, the rebellion of Korach was the catastrophic result of unbridled jealousy, and the tragedy in Shittim (where the men of Klal Yisrael were enticed to sin by the women of Moav) was the result of intemperate lust/desire. These three tragic accounts are generally read on consecutive Shabbosos during the weeks preceding the Three Weeks of mourning for the Bais HaMikdash: Parshas Shlach contains the story of the spies, Parshas Korach relates the story of the rebellion, and Parshas Balak contains the story of Shittim.

These accounts demonstrate that even the greatest of people must be wary of the dangers of their own passions and pursuits. A person needs to seek the guidance and counsel of teachers and mentors to ensure that the path he is following and the pursuits he is engaged in are not the results of his own foolish machinations, despite his best intentions.

My Rebbe, Rabbi Berel Wein, noted that the twentieth century was a century of Korach. In his words, Rebellion against tradition and the old and the veneration of new theories of social engineering, morality and religion have been the unfortunate hallmark of this, the bloodiest of all centuries. Nowhere has this been more noticeable than in Jewish life. Socialism, Communism, Secularism, Nationalism, atheistic Zionism, Reform, Conservatism, Reconstructionism, Feminism and other assorted theories and movements arose in this century to claim the place of prominence in fashioning the Jewish people and its future. All of them have proven themselves to be woefully inadequate for the task set forth.

Much of the ruin currently clearly visible in the Jewish world is directly traceable to the rebellion against Moshe and his Torah, against Holyoke and tradition, which marks every one of these theories and movements and is in fact the common denominator for all of them. From our perch just above the abyss of Jewish destruction and assimilation, there are determined Jews who shout out loudly that Moshe is true and his Torah is true.

But there are many sons of Korach who still maintain the belief in the false shibboleths of this past century. After an intermarriage rate approaching seventy percent in America, one strains to hear the admission of error from these groups. Unless there is an honest reappraisal of theory and belief on the part of these groups, these sons of Korach will not survive.

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Whom Are You Fooling? – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Colonial Germ Warfare : The Colonial Williamsburg Official …

by Harold B. Gill Jr.

Sir Reginald Bacon, The Life of Lord Fisher of Kilverstone, Admiral of the Fleet

British Captain Simeon Ecuyer, portrayed by Ken Treese, second from right, offered blankets infected with smallpox to the Indians besieging Fort Pitt. From left, interpreters Christopher Jones, Ted Boscana, Treese, and Patrick Andrews.

During Pontiac’s uprising in 1763, the Indians besieged Fort Pitt. They burned nearby houses, forcing the inhabitants to take refuge in the well-protected fort. The British officer in charge, Captain Simeon Ecuyer, reported to Colonel Henry Bouquet in Philadelphia that he feared the crowded conditions would result in disease. Smallpox had already broken out. On June 24, 1763, William Trent, a local trader, recorded in his journal that two Indian chiefs had visited the fort, urging the British to abandon the fight, but the British refused. Instead, when the Indians were ready to leave, Trent wrote: “Out of our regard for them, we gave them two Blankets and an Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect.”

English translation of Grotius on peace and war.

Though a connection cannot be proven, a smallpox epidemic erupted in the Ohio Valley that may have been the result of the distribution of the infected articles at Fort Pitt. Whatever its origins, the outbreak devastated the Indians. Such tactics appear atrocious and barbaric to modern readers, but at the time anything was alright to use against “savages.” Nor was all-out war foreign to the Indians. During Pontiac’s Rebellion the Indian warriors killed about 2,000 civilian settlers and about 400 soldiers. They, too, tried to “extirpate” the enemy.

The Fort Pitt incident is the best documented case of deliberately spreading smallpox among unsuspecting populations, but it likely was not the first time such a stratagem was employed by military forces. It appears that Ecuyer and Amherst proposed the same idea independently at about the same time, suggesting that the practice was not unusual.

Attempts to spread sickness and disease among enemy forces has a long history. The ancient Assyrians poisoned their enemy’s water supply, and ancient Greeks poisoned the water supply of their enemy with the herb hellebore, which caused violent diarrhea. In 1340 attackers used a catapult to throw dead animals over the walls of the castle of Thun L’Evque, causing such a stink that the air was so unendurable the defenders negotiated a truce.

Engraving of Benjamin West’s portrait of Henry Bouquet. – Beinecke Library, Yale

Sir Jeffrey Amherst, shown here in Joseph Blackburn’s 1758 painting, suggested Bouquet infect the Indians with smallpox. -Mead Gallery, Amherst

In Virginia Dr. John Pott, the physician at Jamestown, was said to have poisoned Indians in 1623, during a round of retaliation for a Powhatan uprising in which 350 English died. On May 22, Captain William Tucker with twelve men went to the Potomac River to secure the release of English prisoners held by Indians. When the party arrived, it invited the Indians’ leader and his men to conclude a treaty of peace with a drink or two of sack that Pott had prepared for the occasion. The Indians demanded that the English interpreter take the first drink, which he did, but out of a different container. Afterward a group of Indians, including two chiefs, were walking with an English interpreter. At a given signal the interpreter dropped to the ground and the English discharged a volley of shot into his Indian companions. The English said that about 200 savages died of poison and fifty from wounds. The colonists had invited the Indian leader Opechancanough, the mastermind of the uprising, to attend the party and were disappointed by not finding him among the dead.

Some people had reservations about using such tactics, even against savages. It was reported that Pott was “very much blamed” for his actions.

By the seventeenth century European military leaders were becoming conscious of ethics in warfare, and rules to follow in “civilized war” were slowly being developed. Hugo Grotius published his codification of accepted rules of war in 1625. Grotius departed from the classical view, and did not regard the entire population of the antagonist state as the enemy and subject to enslavement or extermination. Other writers were making attempts to better define “enemy.” Some thought distinction should be made between those who were part of the military force and those who were not.

The next significant work on the rules of war was Emmerich de Vattel’s Law of Nations, published in 1758. De Vattel thought “the enemy may be deprived of his property and of whatever may add to his strength and put him in a position to make war,” and further, “a belligerent lays waste to a country and destroys food and provender in order that the enemy may not be able to subsist there…Such measures are taken in order to attain the object of the war, but they should be used with moderation and only when necessary.”

Grotius and de Vattel thought women and children, as well as the elderly and infirm, should not be considered the “enemy.” They thought it was an improper practice to use poison weapons and to contaminate drinking water. Neither specifically condemned the intentional spread of disease among the enemy, most likely because, with the exception of smallpox and syphilis, it was not known how diseases spread. What impact these writers and other philosophers made on the military leaders is not known, but it appears that they were aware public opinion regarded it as immoral, and they attempted to hide evidence that they engaged in spreading disease among the enemy.

There is no proof that anyone attempted to spread disease among the enemy troops during the American Revolutionary War, but there is a plenitude of circumstantial evidence. Almost from the beginning, Americans suspected the British were trying to infect their army with smallpox. Just before Virginia’s last royal governor, Lord Dunmore, departed from his base at Norfolk in 1776, the Virginia Gazette reported that his lordship had infected two slaves who had joined his forces and sent them ashore in order to spread smallpox, “but it was happily prevented.”

The Virginia Gazette reported the failed smallpox plot of Lord Dunmore.

Most British troops had been inoculated or had had the smallpox and were immune. In Europe smallpox was endemic, almost always present. Nearly everyone had been exposed to the disease from an early age, so most of the adult population had antibodies that protected it.

Most American soldiers, on the other hand, were susceptible. Because of less dense population, Americans often reached adulthood without coming into contact with the smallpox virus, and had no immunity. Some suffered inoculation, a procedure which usually produced a milder infection, but laid low the patient for days. George Washington faced a dilemma. If he ordered the general inoculation of the army, that would put most of his troops in the hospital at the same timea certain disaster if the British learned of it.

Washington tried to get around the problem by ordering all new recruits who had not experienced the disease to be inoculated before they were sent to the main army. Hospitals were set up to undertake the work. Even with his precautions, at one time about one-third of the army was incapacitated with either the disease or the inoculation.

When the American siege of Boston began in April 1775, smallpox was epidemic among civilians there. Most British soldiers had been inoculated, and the British were inoculating those troops who had not had the disease. Washington suspected some of the civilians leaving the city had been inoculated in hopes of spreading the disease among the Continentals. In December deserters coming to the American lines said that “several persons are to be sent out of Boston, …that have been inoculated with the small-pox” with the intention of spreading the infection.

Washington’s aide-de-camp thought the report was an “unheard-of and diabolical scheme.” Washington heard the story with disbelief. He wrote that he could “hardly give Credit to” the information. A week later he told John Hancock:

Chad Chadwick, as the doctor, inoculates Mike Luzzi while Dan Moore on the ground, Jay Howlett on the bed, and Sonny Tyler against the wall suffer the effects of immunization.

The information I received that the enemy intended Spreading the Small pox amongst us, I coud not Suppose them Capable ofI now must give Some Credit to it, as it has made its appearance on Severall of those who last came out of Boston.

A Boston physician said “that he had effectually given the distemper among those people” who were leaving the city. Rumors and suspicions of British efforts to spread disease in the American troops were persistent throughout the war.

Smallpox played a role in the failure of American forces to capture Quebec. It was rumored that General Guy Carleton, British commander in Quebec, sent infected people to the American camp. Thomas Jefferson was convinced the British were responsible for illness in the lines. He later wrote: “I have been informed by officers who were on the spot, and whom I believe myself, that this disorder was sent into our army designedly by the commanding officer in Quebec.” After the defeat at Quebec the American troops gathered at Crown Point, where John Adams found their condition deplorable:

Our Army at Crown Point is an object of wretchedness to fill a humane mind with horrour; disgraced, defeated, discontented, diseased, naked, undisciplined, eaten up with vermin; no clothes, beds, blankets, no medicines; no victuals, but salt pork and flour.

George Washington ordered the inoculation of American troops to prevent infection by the British.

Inoculation produces a milder form of the disease, making the patient ill for several days. Interpreter Dan Moore is the sick soldier.

In most cases the evidence against the British is strong, if circumstantial, yet some evidence is quite explicit. When the British sent an expedition to Virginia in 1781, General Alexander Leslie revealed to Cornwallis his plan to spread disease among the Americans. He said that “above 700 Negroes are come down the River with the Small Pox,” whom he proposed to distribute “about the Rebell Plantations.” His motive was clear, but it is not known if he carried out his plan.

It is evident that the British had few qualms about the tactic of infecting the general population as well as the enemy army with smallpox. In 1777 a British officer, Robert Donkin, published in New York a little book entitled Military Collections and Remarks. In a footnote he offered a suggestion:

Dip arrows in matter of smallpox, and twang them at the American rebels, in order to inoculate them; This would sooner disband these stubborn, ignorant, enthusiastic savages, than any other compulsive measures. Such is their dread and fear of that disorder!

Elizabeth A. Fenn, professor of history at George Washington University, writes in her article “Biological Warfare in Eighteenth-Century North America: Beyond Jeffery Amherst” that because the Americans were referred to as “savages” Dunkin believed any means was justified to exterminate them. Such attitudes were probably often talked of, but they were not the kind of suggestions that should be put in writing. Someone must have believed that Donkin had gone too far. The footnote survives in three copies of the book. In all others, it has been removed.

What are considered acceptable military tactics at one time may not be acceptable to later generations. Eighteenth-century warfare was increasingly conducted by relatively compact armies with the result of less loss and harassment of civilians. “Laws of war” were becoming more concerned with the protection of noncombatants as well as unnecessary suffering of military personnel. By the end of the nineteenth century efforts were being made to prevent the horrors of chemical warfare.

The First Hague Peace Conference of 1899 issued a declaration prohibiting the use of poison and materials causing unnecessary suffering. The Geneva Protocol adopted in 1925 prohibited the use in war of “asphyxiating, poisonous, or other gases and of all analogous liquids, materials, and devices,” as well as biological methods of warfare. The Geneva Protocol has been accepted by most countries though not always followed. A German military maxim applies; roughly translated, it says: “To get out of a desperate situation, you have to bend the rules.”

Consulting editor Harold Gill contributed to the autumn 2003 journal an article on colonial divorce.

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We’ll pass on the Liberal Lollapalooza – Net Newsledger

In July of 1764 near what the Anishinabek called the crooked place Niagara Falls Sir William Johnson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for British North America, met with some 2500 Chiefs and headmen to create an alliance that would be key to they creation of Canada. illustration by Charles Hebert

By Maurice Switzer

THUNDER BAY OPINION So, if you had a neighbour who kept stealing stuff from your yard, and constantly screamed obscenities at your kids, would you attend his birthday party if you got an invitation in your mailbox?

How about if you had a neighbour who stole your yard and kidnapped your kids?

Now you have some idea of how First Nations people feel about all the fuss being made over Canadas 150th birthday.

In the first place, 150 years isnt very long to people whove been around for thousands of years it leaves one with the same feeling you get when you see some wet-behind-the-ears pup like Justin Bieber publishing an autobiography TOO SOON!

People need to understand that those 150 years just happen to represent the worst period in history for the first peoples to inhabit these lands. Dont expect any July 1st fireworks displays in the 100 First Nations who live under boil-water advisories some for over a decade.

The $500 million being spent by the federal government on Canadas sesquicentennial bash is triple the amount it was ordered by a human rights tribunal to provide equal funding for First Nations child welfare agencies. This discriminatory gap is literally costing Native kids their lives.

This is the first of a series of four columns that will list 150 reasons Indigenous peoples have to feel less than enthusiastic about participating in the Liberal Lollapalooza. There are many more, but we just want to offer enough information to rain a little on the parade, not entirely engulf it.

3-4. The two sons of Chief Donnacona are kidnapped by Jacques Cartier in 1534 on the French explorers first trip up the St. Lawrence River, where he is greeted with great hospitality at the Iroquoian village of Stadacona. Cartier whisks them off to show as trophies to the King of France in what undoubtedly qualifies as the worst example of making a good first impression in the history of European diplomacy.

5-6. Two Mohawk chiefs are killed by the same musket-ball fired by Samuel de Champlain during a 1609 sortie into what is now New York State in which the celebrated Father of New France accompanies Huron fur-trading partners. This alliance results in the Iroquois virtually annihilating the Huron Nation within the next 50 years.

7-13. Seven years is the length of the apprenticeship the Hudson Bay Company requires applicants with any Indian heritage to serve if they hope to get jobs with the greedy multinational fur merchant. At the same time, raw European recruits qualify immediately for employment.

14-17. Four months how long it takes King George III to whip together the Royal Proclamation after Odawa chief Pontiac and a couple of hundred warriors capture nine British forts on what is the western frontier of Canada. Pontiac is not impressed with the arrogant English, who have defeated the French in the Seven Years War and experimented in germ warfare by distributing smallpox-infected blankets among the Natives. The Royal Proclamation says the Indian tribes of North America are nations, who are not to be molested in their own lands.

18-41. The largest gathering of Indigenous peoples in the history of the North American continent 3,000 chiefs representing 24 Nations of peoples living around the Great Lakes convene at Fort Niagara in July, 1764. They hear the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for British North America Sir William Johnston pitch the first major treaty on the continent. In exchange for the rights to create settlements and share existing Indian territories, the Kings representative offers an estimated 35,000 gifts, the cash equivalent in todays terms of $20 million, a huge swath of the centre of North America to be set aside as exclusive Indian territory, and a sacred promise to the assembled chiefs that Your people will never be poor; they will never want for the necessities of life..as long as the sun shines, as long as the grass grows, as long as the rivers run, and as long as the British wear red coats.

On July 1st, 2017, the sun will be shining over Parliament Hill, the grass will be growing even if temporarily trampled by thousands of Canadians watching performers on a huge stage and waiting for the fireworks to start and the Ottawa River will be roaring over the Chaudiere Falls. Tourists will be asking to pose for photos beside Mounties wearing their scarlet Red Serge tunics.

The half-billion-dollar party will be taking place on land that has never been legally acquired by the Government of Canada, and will be watched on television by thousands of people, some of whom live in homes without a safe source of drinking water, and whose children experience the highest degrees of poverty, disease, and youth suicide in the Western world.

To be, unfortunately, continued.

Maurice Switzer is a citizen of the Mississaugas of Alderville First Nation. He operates Nimkii Communications, a public education practice with a focus on the Treaty Relationship between First Nations and Canada.

This is part one of a series stay tuned for the next part on Monday, June 18/17

LAKE SEUL FIRST NATION Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler says that…

WASHINGTON The Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald John…

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We’ll pass on the Liberal Lollapalooza – Net Newsledger

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GERM WARFARE – Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning

I meant every word – Fort Madison Daily Democrat

Terry Altheide took exception to my last letter citing, of all things, the dirt under my fingernails. (They look clean to me) At any rate, I said what I meant, and I meant what I said. In fact, Id advise people to read it again. Other people thought my letter was both detailed and factual, but you cant please everyone.

Mr. Altheide characterizes my letter as wildly wacky, a hate-filled diatribe that shows my splenetic personality. I try not to hate anyone. Its bad for the digestion. What Mr. Altheide calls hate-filled, and Mr. Bindewald calls name calling is merely a description an accurate description of #45.

Elisabeth Parker writes: Trumps America gets uglier with each passing day. I cant really argue with that. A Harris County, Texas deputy and her husband are indicted on murder charges in the senseless death of John Hernandez thanks in part to cell phone video.

Kali Holloway writes: The trickle-down effect of Trumps campaign rhetoric and election is now being felt among kids in schools across the country. Bullying has taken on an alarming twistwith White students using the presidents words and slogans to bully Latino, Middle Eastern, Black, Asian, and Jewish classmates. The articles subtitle is This is Trumps America.

Sixty-three percent of white men and 53 percent of white women (that voted) voted for Trump. Is this the America they voted for? If Trump voters have angst defending their choice, too bad. Resistance is indeed the order of the day. Being anti-education or demeaning teachers wont change our nations history. It wont alter the fact that among the traditional values that this country was founded upon were slavery, attempted genocide, exploitation, and germ warfare.

I choose to stand for other traditional values, like kindness, compassion, honesty, equality, helping those in need, speaking up for and protecting the powerless. I will stand against, and call out anyone, including the president of the United States, who threatens these values or victimizes our citizens. My letter did exactly that.

William Windsor

Fort Madison

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I meant every word – Fort Madison Daily Democrat

‘New’ way to look at smallpox – Fiji Times

IN the past two decades there has been a growing interest among historians, students and masses at large, to explore medical history and the impact of medicine and diseases on society. Pacific medical history is one of the most ignored fields among historians. All preceding history has remained Eurocentric. Moreover, medical history is an esoteric field as one needs rigorous training as a medical historian to write clinician history. The vaccine, vaccination and means of production are historically contested fields.

Smallpox, perhaps more than any other disease, has inspired fear and terror in human beings because of its disgusting appearance, its extreme contagiousness and disfiguring consequences, especially in the eighteenth century when it seemed to be particularly virulent.

Pacific Islanders regarded new diseases like smallpox as a “white man’s disease” as they indeed have regarded measles (Bach, S, The Colony of Fiji, 1874-1924, Government printer, Suva, Fiji, 1924, P.50) but they were impressed with the idea of vaccination that it was the “white man’s cure” for the new disease. A disease such as smallpox had failed to make entry and the white man’s medicine was a marvelous thing to them.

Globalisation of disease

The global spread of diseases, with the exception of deliberate attempts at biological warfare, has been largely unconscious and unintended.

According to the “germ theory of disease”, the globalisation of disease was primarily unintended byproduct of European expansion and trade. Instead of being a last resort, the lethal microbes were used as hegemonial instrument to colonise the South Pacific in general and Fiji in particular. Military power, contagious diseases spread by microbes/micro-organism and superior technologies were the natural corollary used to colonise the New World.

There were also some deliberate attempts to spread diseases. James A Michener writes in his book Return to Paradise (Bantam Books, USA, 1966) about one such practice of the freebooter in the Pacific.

He describes the process as such: “A freebooter would catch a native, wait till he caught either measles or whooping cough, and then plop him on some island. Sometimes in less than a month 50 per cent of the population will die.” (p185)

What is more outrageous is that when the ship will go back to Australia, the satanic captain would “narrate in public their cleverness in getting even with natives who were not willing to become slaves”.

Various aspects of vaccination and their effects on society need to be researched, especially the history of the origin of smallpox, starting from Egypt and its further dissemination to distant parts of the New world such as Oceania (including Australia, PNG and New Zealand), the remunerations of local or provincial vaccinators in comparison with the European counterparts have witnessed a huge discrepancy.

Historical background

Fiji was ceded to Britain on October 10, 1874. Before the cession of Fiji to Britain, a report upon the effect of the climate of the newest possession was compiled by surgeon staff of her majesty’s ship Pearl, Adam B, who visited in 1873-1874 and documented diseases in Fiji.

He mentioned Fiji was strictly tropical, could materially check the spread of diseases and prevent the accumulation of poisonous miasmatic arising from the enormous quality of decaying vegetable matter. He also mentioned smallpox and fever were as yet nearly unknown in Fiji.

The report on the health of the white population of Fiji mentioned the manner in which it was affected by the climate and modes of living together with some remarks on the different diseases, the nurturing of children, white and half-caste and the general hygienic state of the Islands.

Penalty on absentee

Various repositories such as the National Archives of Fiji reveal the attempts by vaccinators and physicians to carry out a mass vaccination of the islanders soon after the establishment of colonial rule. These efforts were met initially with very cold response from the islanders. In those vaccination campaigns, children were not brought by the parents.

A fine was later imposed by the administration on parents. Thus, some reports and ordinances passed for prevention of smallpox became highly valuable which are kept at the National Archives.

Why vaccination?

After a comprehensive survey of the history of the origin of smallpox and vaccination in the Pacific, especially in Fiji, it can be concluded from first-hand records that the British had several reasons for making the vaccination campaign a success.

Firstly, despite the islanders’ resistance of vaccination and inspection, the colonisers had employed a huge administrative set-up by appointing European and native vaccinators to cure not just themselves but also the natives who could be colonised in the long-term. This reflected British’s political motives to govern Fiji and simultaneously have a strategic advantage in the South Pacific.

Secondly, in addition to the political motive, they also had economic reasons for the British’ vaccination campaign to maintain constant flow of income by using natives and foreign labourers in Fiji’s plantations without the disruption of the deadly epidemic. Thirdly, this campaign also had a religious underpinning as smallpox was considered to be a “white man’s disease” and a vaccination campaign was used as “white man’s cure” to spread Christianity in Fiji.

Therefore, medicine was used as an auxiliary of religion. (Henderson, GC Fiji and Fijian 1835-1856, Angus and Robertson Ltd, Sydney, 1931,P.134) Besides religious mission, this campaign was also used to justify the acceptance of the British in Fijian society and extend their position as a saviour to cure mankind.

Lastly, all possible approaches were adopted for the vaccination campaign to succeed such as the hiring of vaccinators; natives, Europeans, missionaries, traders and private vaccinators; and issuing of vaccination certification; prosecuting and fining the defaulters who avoided vaccination; publishing and conducting lectures; even contesting with the buli and importation of lymph from New Zealand.

Conclusion

Overall it can be said that vaccination campaign had been a combination of economic, political, religious, social and strategic implications to successfully colonise the Fiji Islands by the British. This research probably raises more questions than the answers.

* Dr Mumtaz Alam is an assistant professor in history at the College of Humanities and Education of the Fiji National University. The views expressed are his own and not of this newspaper or his employer. For comments or suggestions, email: mumtazalig@gmail.com

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‘New’ way to look at smallpox – Fiji Times


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