NaturalNews) Throughout the course of human history, governments — even those that claimed to be benevolent — have killed millions of their own people in horrible fashion through the use of what were essentially weapons of mass destruction. A new historical review by Dr. Stefan Riedel, MD, PhD, for Baylor University Medical Center documents some of those uses, but there are other examples as well that Natural Newsfound in its own research.
Dr. Riedel’s review was spurred in part by the continuing threat of global terrorism and, in some current conflicts, the use of weapons of mass destruction against civilian populations. But in addition to the standard threats — chemical and conventional weapons – there should be additional concerns about non-traditional, biological threats, and the current deadly Ebola virus outbreak serves as a reminder that pandemics can also be unleashed on populations as a means of decimating them.
The historical review noted:
Because of the increased threat of terrorism, the risk posed by various microorganisms as biological weapons needs to be evaluated and the historical development and use of biological agents better understood. Biological warfare agents may be more potent than conventional and chemical weapons.
Biological warfare has been used for 2,500 years
In the past century especially, there has been substantial progress in the fields of biotechnology and biochemistry, progress that has “simplified the development and production” of biological and chemical weapons. Also, Dr. Riedel’s review found that the field of genetic engineering is most likely the deadliest of all.
“Ease of production and the broad availability of biological agents and technical know how have led to a further spread of biological weapons and an increased desire among developing countries to have them,” the review said. “The threat of bioterrorism is real and significant; it is neither in the realm of science fiction nor confined to our nation.”
Early in our history, men learned how to kill one another using incurable, untreatable sickness as a biological weapon. As early as 600 B.C., the use of infectious diseases was recognized as a way to impact, with deadly results, entire armies and the populations that supported them. Indeed, biowarfare has been used for some 2,500 years, according to a 1995 study:
The techniques of delivery and weaponization of biological warfare agents have gradually evolved from the catapulting of plague victims to the deliberate use of infected clothes, insect vectors, and specialized weapon systems.
“The crude use of filth and cadavers, animal carcasses, and contagion had devastating effects and weakened the enemy,” Dr. Riedel’s review added.
Another tactic adopted by warring factions was the poisoning of water sources of the opposing military force — a tactic that was continued often through the many European wars, as well as the American Civil War. The tactic has been used into and throughout the 20th century as well.
Middle Ages and more technological advances
Military tacticians and leaders during the Middle Ages understood that bioweapons — infectious diseases — could be deployed against opposing armies and their supporting civilian populations.
For example, in 1346 during the siege of Caffa, a strongly fortified seaport controlled by the Genoese (now, the region is known as Feodosia, which is in Crimea, recently annexed by Russia), the assaulting Tartars fell victim to a plague epidemic. But the Tartars used it to gain military advantage; they catapulted cadavers of the deceased into the city, which then led to an outbreak of plague there. That forced the Genoese forces to retreat.
An epidemic of plague, known also as the Black Death, followed and continued to sweep through Europe, the Near East and North Africa during the 14th century. It has been called the worst pandemic in recorded history.
Written by J. D. Heyes
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