Is a new Islamic State in the Middle East a real world wide threat in the making like a new USSR?
Joseph S. Howard, II, and Edward I. Whitted, “The Future of Non-Strategic Nuclear Forces, are these capabilities still needed”, report LA-12063-MS, April 30, 1991, originally classified Secret – Formerly Restricted Data, Nuclear Weapon Data, Sigma 3. The executive summary on page 3 states that tactical nuclear weapons are vital to credibly deter nuclear proliferation for coercion of the West, and: "As a deterrent to regional Soviet or Russian aggression as long as resurgence or reconstitution remains feasible." By pandering to irrational fears and claiming to "reduce" the "risk" of nuclear war by eliminating tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, we're increasing the risk of WWIII by removing vital, Cold War-proved deterrence of escalation of enemy aggression. Similarly, by disarming in the 1930s, Britain didn't reduce the risk of another World War. The removal of overwhelming force by the democratic side doesn't historically "reduce world war risks". It increases the risks.
Therefore, it is vital to deter not only a direct attack, but it is equally vital also to deter escalation through piecemeal aggressions, which were the way WWI and WWII started in Europe. America tried economic sanctions against Japan after it invaded China and other countries in the far east: the sanctions backfired by leading to a surprise attack on America's Pacific Fleet, 7 December 1941. Thus, "pacifist options" always encourage exploitation, coercion, aggression and ultimately a more serious and costly war, than preventative first strikes against exploitative, paranoid, corrupt dictatorships that don't abide by any law of reason other than force. We proved this time and again, yet pacifists keep exaggerating the "risks of escalation" due to the use of force. The fact is, there is a greater risk of serious escalation if you show weakness to dictators, than if you use force to cripple the military power of the enemy. If you just use economic sanctions and diplomacy, as we did with the economic reparations against Germany in clause 231 of the Treaty of Versailles and disarmament conferences, you can end up (after a 1929 type world economic slump) pushing the enemy into secretly preparing for a war and launching invasions in order to sort out its finances. It has proved better to use force or credible deterrence to deal with the military threat, than to wrongly punish the ordinary people of a region who are already suffering at the hands of their well-fed dictator. There are costs in any case, but pandering to utopian dreams has proved a sure way to escalate a crisis into a world war.
There is a Jewish State, Israel. So why not a Islamic State? Islam at its basis is anti-corruption so at that level it will be stronger than the Marxist doctrines of the USSR. The problem is of course that there are different sects of Islam, e.g. Shia and Sunni, which differ from each other just as the Catholic and Protestant sects of Christianity differ. In countries where nationalism is replaced by dogmatic faith, and several dogmatic faiths exist, there is no real unity, and civil war is only averted by dictatorial style force, censorship, coercion, and suppression of civil liberties. This is how and why Gadaffi held Libya together with brutal force, and why you had people like Saddam in Iraq, the Taliban in Afghanistan, and a series of hard liners in the USSR. In a militantly culturally divided, ethnically diverse country, any weakness of leadership leads to economic failures through political compromise, until an effective dictator emerges.
However, there is a failure to acknowledge that the founding of a new state is often due to what can be described as violent terrorism. Israel was founded in British Palestine following Jewish terrorist attacks on the British Army forces in Palestine, immediately after WWII when Britain was trying to demobilize troops and grant independence to such countries. So terrorist tactics can be used to found new states, which once founded may become more peaceful (until attacked). Is the new Islamic State a new threat to global security, like a new variant on the USSR, but replacing Marxism with Islamism? Will it be supported by an alliance of Russia and other generally anti-Western states (China, North Korea, Iran, etc.)? Will it seek to spread over the world, just as Marxism aimed to do during the Cold War? Should it be opposed somehow, either by force or by deterrence and preparations for terrorist attacks, or should it just be ignored?
The author of the Cold War Fourth protocol, Frederick Forsyth, has written a new article on the threat from Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Daily Express, 22 August 2014, p13):
The Cold War has been replaced by a new nightmare... the Muslim world gone mad "... in Gaza the ruling Hamas ... even with 2,000 Palestinian dead, still avers its sole ambition is to wipe out Israel. In Syria the Free Syrian Army was first eclipsed by the Al Nusrah brigades, so extreme even Al Queda disowned them. They have now melded into the genocidal Islamic State. Other mass-murdering groups infest Iraq, Yemen, the Horn of Africa ... Will this madness-for-killing ever turn on we who try to live in peace ... It already has, in Western embassies in Africa, in two office block towers on Manhattan Island ... Either we live in submission or permanent fear or we fight back. The latter will take - like the Cold War - time, trouble, and huge sums of money we would prefer to devote to hospitals, schools ..."
The fact is, as we've shown using the true scaling laws of damage above in the previous blog post, a few nuclear weapons - even if of megaton yields - don't hold a candle to the really weapons of mass destruction, the huge numbers of conventional weapons used in conventional warfare. Hence, contrary to CND's anti-nuclear propaganda lies on nuclear weapons effects, it is not nuclear proliferation, or the use of nuclear weapons in WWII, that have caused mass destruction. It is conventional wars with their millions of smaller yield bombs which kill more and destroy more.
This is historical fact, not speculation. If you have a massive stockpile of nuclear weapons and are prepared - credibly with civil defense to mitigate retaliation - to use weapons, you can end threats quickly without mass civilian casualties or civilian property damage. If we had been able to drop one H-bomb on Hitler's Berchtesgaden during his 1938 meeting with Prime Minister Chamberlain there, the fanatical leader and his British anti-Jewish collaborator would have both been disposed of, the anti-Hitler elements in the German Army would have been able to take charge, and WWII would have been averted by nuclear deterrence, or preferably anti-Nazi nuclear coercion based on a lack of nuclear stockpile balance. Asymmetry with a large excess on the part of free democracy permits coercion, as Reagan argued when re-arming America in the 1980s to overcome Russia.
" It has been estimated that about 1,000 British Muslims have fought for the Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq, while more than 4,000 joined the cause of the Taliban in Afghanistan.... there are thought to be more British Muslims in the Islamic State terror network than in our Armed Forces ... Yet our political and civic leaders also bear a terrible responsibility ... extremism has flourished in a climate formed by the twin strategies of mass immigration and multiculturalism.
"Open borders have led to a phenomenal expansion in Britain's Muslim population to almost three million ... the dogma of cultural diversity has become one of the central obsessions of the state. We are constantly told that we must celebrate the vibrant enrichment of our society. But, by its emphasis on cultural differences and its loathing for traditional British values the doctrine of diversity has been a catastrophe for Britain. In place of integration it has promoted division and separatism. We are a land increasingly without a mutual sense of belonging or shared national identity. It is little wonder that, according to one recent survey, 26 per cent of Muslims here said they feel no loyalty to Britain. Enthusiasts for multi-culturalism love to blather about tolerance, yet it is richly ironic that their pernicious creed has promoted intolerance, misogyny and reactionary oppression. In predominantly Muslim areas diversity means the triumph of the burka, sharia law, fundamentalism in state schools ... reinforced by the cowardice of the authorities, so afraid of accusations of racial prejudice that they even fail to uphold the basic standards of our Western civilisation. ... In one appalling example of official attitudes in 2008 the West Midlands police urged that Channel 4 producers should be prosecuted for incitement to racial hatred after the broadcast of a programme exposing the activities of Muslim hate preachers in Birmingham's mosques. ... our public bodies have refused to demand from migrants any allegiance to Britain or any understanding of our heritage. ...
"In 2000 the Government's own Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain argued that "British history needs to be revised, rethought and jettisoned" and that we should no longer be considered a nation but rather "a community of communities". Self-abasement by our authorities also means that any problems that Muslims face in Britain can always be blamed on racism and so-called Islamophobia. ... From the burka to sharia law they demand separatism and then complain about marginalisation. Their social exclusion is voluntary. But the fashionable narrative of victimhood has been eagerly seized on by the extremists to encourage a climate of hatred to the West. In reality the jihadists are not the victims but the exploiters. That was graphically illustrated by an address in 2013 by the notorious extremist Anjem Choudary to his followers: "The normal situation is for you to take money from the Kuffar (non-believer). So we take the Jihad Seekers' Allowance. We are going to take England." It is telling that, before the advent of multi-culturalism generations of Muslim migrants were much better integrated into British society."
This backfiring of appeasement-kindness sentiments is of course nothing new. The road to hell is always paved with good intentions. The British appeasement and disarmament "peace" policy of the 1930s which encouraged Hitler to rearm and exploit British weakness was fundamentally responsible for fostering the disasters which led to WWII. The Foreign Enlistment Act of 1870 should rescind the nationality of all those fanatics who join a foreign army: once they go, they should no longer be considered British, their passports should be electronically cancelled and they should be arrested on attempt to enter Britain, and preferably deported to Guantanamo Bay for debriefing instead of costing British taxpayers a fortune for a lengthy trial, expensive and comfortable basic hotel-standard "prison" accommodation, and endless legal appeals to every court in the land plus the European Court of Human Rights. Unfortunately, the threat of deporting terrorists is made impossible by Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. The USSR murdered 40 million against Hitler's 6 million.
Don't let's forget the BBC dogma that right wing nationalism in the UK is what started WWI, WWII and the Cold War, not the expansionist forced socialist-agenda “people’s union” movements in Germany and Russia! "Equality" to the BBC means financial inequality, via unequal taxation to drive away business and convert us into another failed USSR. "Justice" to the BBC means injustice, a punishment to the moral so that the immoral feel better about themselves. The sacrifice of 1,400 kids on the BBC's altar of "political correctness" by BBC employee Sir Jimmy Saville, or else by OBE Joyce Thacker's "Rotherham child services" (or is it called "BBC-IS terrorism services"?) is mere "trivia" to the BBC and the government, to whom its "real" real danger is providing an "excuse" for someone in the right wing to point out the truth, about where the threat is.
Marxists like Labour Party Leader Ed Milliband's father Ralph Milliband wrote that he wanted Hitler to win WWII to teach the right English nationalists like Churchill a lesson: "The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world . . . you sometimes want them almost to lose (the war) to show them how things are." Likewise, the BBC's definition of "equality" means unequally taxing people, punishing and discouraging employers who enable shareholders like pensioners to avoid starvation by having a pension independent of the government's trillion pound national debt, which risks pension cuts due to the threat of rising interest rates on the national socialist debt. This is not the “real threat” to the BBC, which see the “risk” as a being cutbacks to stop funding failed USSR agenda policies that discourages business and job creation by unfair taxes which prevent employment in those areas.
The reason for this policy is that the left wants high unemployment, precisely because the unemployed are more likely to be disaffected and to vote for an EUSSR extremism which claims to guarantee “progressive change and equality” but actually does the very opposite, starting wars and spreading poverty and misery. In BBC news, the "right" are falsely associated by the BBC with the left wing Hitler’s socialist-expansionist eugenics pseudoscience Nazis who murdered 6 million Jews, whereas the left wing who worship the USSR's Lysenko-type eugenics pseudoscience regime which murdered 40 million Jews, Ukrainians and others are "moral" as far as the BBC is concerned. This is what the BBC call equality.
As a result of the propaganda failure of the economically successful West in the Cold War (despite the economic failure of the USSR, its scare mongering, fact-censoring propaganda now drives the Western media, which lost the propaganda war despite winning the economic war against the expansionist socialism of the USSR) is now fashionable to try to separate the evil doers in the USSR like Stalin from the gullible or self-serving party apparatchiks of the USSR, but the same was not done with Nazism simply because it was defeated militarily. Thus, nobody tries to excuse the Nazi political dogma of fascist eugenics by blaming all the evil on a handful of gas chamber camp commanders or a few maligned leaders. Instead, the politics and its adherents take blame, together with fellow-travellers of the Nazi political message. But because of fierce left wing fanaticism during the Cold War, backed by the USSR's overseas propaganda efforts, this dismissal of flawed political dogma was generally not applied to the USSR during the Cold War, with the exception of Ronald Reagan's 1983 "evil empire" speech. In other words, you can't excuse Nazism of its crimes by simply putting all the blame on Hitler who died long ago.
But this is precisely the excuse that the USSR used. So there is no consistency: the biggest evil, the USSR, is still being treated by historians with kid gloves, essentially because it developed nuclear weapons and ICBMs during the Cold War. The Palestinians killed in Gaza are a consequence of the integration of Hamas terrorists with within the civilian Palestinian population, just like the Vietnam kids napalmed in Vietcong villages in 1972. You can't fight insurgents who blend into the civilian population with conventional weapons, without civilian casualties. It's not a matter of surgical strikes or precision conventional raids. If insurgents blend into the civilian population, you have only unpleasant choices: either you must segregate that civilian population with checkpoints to provide security, deter attacks using a credible threat which is adequate to achieve real deterrence (not soft prison in Britain), you must surrender to terrorist coercion, or else fire on civilian targets and cause civilian casualties.
As we stated in previous posts, irrational views of nuclear weapon escalation caused the Vietnam fiasco. By blowing down a 10 miles wide belt of trees between North and South Vietnam using air burst H-bombs, a properly defensible border could have safely established to protect South Vietnam. Instead, all sorts of irrational and specious arguments were used to prevent any course of action that would provide security and safety. Closing down real arguments as "taboo" is the trick of the dictators.
By preventing a full survey of all possible options using specious groupthink-based dogmatic censorship, democracy fails in its claim to defend the principles of free liberty. To the extent that democracy fails to defend itself and its own so-called ethical principles, perhaps it is sensible to take seriously the idea of tolerating an Islamic State in Iraq-Syria. But this is too much like the argument that existed for pulling out of the Vietnam War. The French pulled out after defeat in the 1950s, and the Americans moved in through gradual escalation under the democrats, first Kennedy and then Johnson. By not using the 1945 nuclear option of fellow democrat Harry S. Truman, they fought a battle against insurgency that could not really be won, because the Vietcong were masters of propaganda and prepared with hardened tunnels for a sustained, survivalist long war of attrition. They merely had to wait for the debt, propaganda defeat, and casualty count on the American side to mount up to breaking point, just as it had when the French were in Vietnam. The recent problems of insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan after Western wars of intervention to topple the regimes of Saddam and the Taliban are examples of the same mindset of the Vietcong: to view the war as American and British interventionism in matters that are none of their business. However, as the Munich example in September 1938 demonstrated clearly, the appeasing non-interventionist view of Prime Minister Chamberlain that foreign wars are "quarrels in a faraway country between peoples of whom we know nothing" is ignorant, callous, short-sighted, and a sure fire way to encourage potential aggressors to start a World War.
There is a declassified 1991 Los Alamos report on the need for tactical nuclear weapons to provide CREDIBLE deterrence of Russia in the post-Cold War era, to avoid the 1930s style appeasement culture that encourages enemy coercion, aggression and finally a World War:
Joseph S. Howard, II, and Edward I. Whitted, “The Future of Non-Strategic Nuclear Forces; are these capabilities still needed”, report LA-12063-MS, April 30, 1991, originally classified Secret – Formerly Restricted Data, Nuclear Weapon Data, Sigma 3. Vital extracts:
“ * As a deterrent to regional Soviet or Russian aggression as long as resurgence or reconstitution remains feasible. …”
Page 16: “Deployment of nuclear weapons to Europe created an extended deterrence umbrella for conventional force deficiencies. … The US, after fighting a war against totalitarianism, turned to a grand strategy of containment of Soviet imperialism. … therefore, the NATO alliance was formed to draw the line against further Soviet expansion. Unfortunately, the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO) alliance deployed forces far beyond those required for its own defense. Unable and unwilling to match the conventional force goals of the 1952 Lisbon Conference, the US deployed its first theatre nuclear weapons for NATO in 1953. Over the past 45 years, NATO nuclear doctrine has evolved from ‘massive retaliation’ in MC 14/2, to ‘flexible response’ in MC 14/3, then to the development of provisional political guidance (PPG) for initial and follow-on nuclear use … now to the proposed ‘weapons of last resort’ … the presence of theatre nuclear weapons (now NSNF) gave an aura of credible response options before the ultimate response.”
Page 18: “The presence of NSNF in Europe contributed to the long peace of 45 years. These weapons helped to DETER the Soviet Union from initiating nuclear coercion or overt aggression against the NATO alliance. … We argue that the existence of theatre nuclear weapons was a major factor for the past 45 year peace in Europe. Prior to the stabilizing effects of NATO, due in part to its nuclear weapons, the European continent had been the scene of several major wars and periods of crises, largely stemming from rampant nationalism [no, invading over countries is socialist imperialism, not nationalism, and expansionist socialism is the OPPOSITE of nationalism, it is dictatorial socialism where one group tries to create a world government akin to the Roman Empire, USSR, or EUSSR; truly nationalist countries are concerned with their OWN AFFAIRS, not with invading other countries for Marxism or Nazi Liebestraum]. The strategies of NATO worked. They worked in spite of ambiguities in NATO declaratory policies; ambiguities necessitated by political constraints and public acceptability. … But it all worked to keep the peace. The US policy of extended deterrence within NATO’s nuclear declaratory and operational strategies made the cost of aggression too high to Soviet leaders. These weapons engendered cautious behavior. …”
Page 21: “A future nuclear-proliferated world would present enormous challenges to US defense interests. … Several of these nations maintain profoundly hostile relations to the US. … a future resurgent and mobilized Soviet Union remains feasible. While intentions can move towards amicability, they can subsequently be reversed … the greater Russian Republic, should some republics become autonomous, may have future cause to counter US vital interests … Therefore, we are incredulous of US forces without NSNF [tactical nuclear weapons] to prevent war or to terminate war against hostile nuclear-armed states. The rationale for NSNF must rest upon its capabilities to deter a plausible resurgent Soviet Union, or any of several regional powers with potential nuclear capabilities. As NSNF kept the long peace in Europe because it engendered cautious behavior, so should NSNF be kept as an incalculable risk towards any nuclear state contemplating aggression.
“The rationale for NSNF [tactical nuclear weapons] also involves the element of credibility: the NCA should have options other than central strategic forces for an appropriate response.”
Page 27: “Credible deterrence necessitates WILL to employ nuclear weapons as expressed in declaratory strategies and roles, and effective military CAPABILITY.”
“ 3. Middle East, regional adversary, e.g., federation of Iran and Iraq [currently IS, Islamic State]…
“… It is not necessary for our purposes to spell out the road to crisis or to war. It might be a future combination of nuclear coercion, renewed interest in East European domination, oil proclivities towards the Middle East, or others.”
Why we must pray for Scottish Independence and the end of the UK in today's referendum.
Labour's 11 disastrous years in "power" (really it was unelected Jack Jones and his union friends who controlled Harold Wilson like a robot) between 1951 and the 1979 Winter of Discontent (following an IMF bailout negotiated by James Callaghan), were due to entirely to the effect of the Scottish labour MPs tipping the general election results in Labour's favour! Without Scotland in the UK, Labour wouldn't have got in at all during 1951-79, and England wouldn't have been ruined. Also, look what Scottie Gordon Brown did to run up a £800 billion national debt when Chancellor and PM. Thus, we can't afford Scotland for its political effects. It's too expensive: British Empire and "United" Kingdom were corrupt forms of communism, like the USSR or the EU, diluting efforts to quickly and effectively tackle hard realities by the agenda of the irrational, emotional Marxist ranting and chanting “campaigners” who drown out facts with shouted lies.
So the UK must break up, and the sooner the better. We can't afford the irrational, eco-unhinged left wing extremists. We must also be wary of what happens when the Scots ruin their economy, as taught by history. The Treaty of Perpetual Peace signed in 1502 by King James IV of Scotland and King Henry VII was broken 11 years later by James' declaration of war on England. So we will need to be ready and armed. Hopefully, Alex Salmond will get his independence and does a good job. We must acknowledge the hard fact that economically failed provinces are a breeding ground for popular Marxist idealism that proves a disaster. All forms of political union dilute individual freedoms and give partial control of your life to other people living elsewhere, in different circumstances. Why do that? Independence equals freedom.
The fact that Conservative PM David Cameron has panicked and joined Labour's Ed Milliband and Liberal Democrat deputy PM Nick Clegg in promising Scotland that if they reject independence they will be given more powers and a retention of the "Barnett formula" that already spends annually over £1,600 more per person on public services in Scotland than the UK average, shows that Cameron is deluded and is sowing the seeds for chaos whatever the referendum outcome (Wales and Northern Ireland already want similar treatment, citing it as proof of inequality). Cameron, Milliband and Clegg have now promised in a joint declaration a continuation of the inequality of the higher state spending per person in Scotland than England and Wales enjoy, as a bribe for voting "no" to independence. Scots already have free social care for the elderly and free student tuition that is not available in England! These people like the global "prestige" of a "UK" and he is personally related to the Queen who has let it known that she wants the UK to continue. The UK Civil Service also pressurize against democracy because they want their power to continue: they don't want to risk losing the UK's seat on the UN Security Council and losing control of the UK's independent Trident nuclear weapons (currently based in Scotland) to a base in the USA. In addition, the left-leaning union mentality of the Civil Service prefers "UK" to "Great Britain (GB)", as witnessed for instance by the domain name of the Government's website, www.gov.uk.
If Scotland does not get independence, we're in serious trouble. If it does, we will lose Scottish oil revenues in the short term, but will gain more independence and long term benefits by losing the many deluded Scottish MPs from Westminster. The Scottish MPs who are anti-fracking will be gone, so England will be able to frack easily by deporting those Scottish environmental protesters trying to increase Scottish oil dependency.
Socialism is the groupthink delusion that the more everyone interferes in everybody else's lives, the less conflict and the less war you have. Hence, the socialist USSR and the socialist Nazi Party were forever interfering with others, and thus starting wars, while "justifying" such provocations with idealism propaganda that claimed to be "reducing tensions" and "eliminating differences" to "eliminate war and conflict". In reality, socialism proved to be the ultimate cause of all wars.
The whole of 20th century history demonstrates the need for nationalism, and destroys the case for attempted socialism unions. If Russia and Germany had kept to nationalism (i.e. concerned with their own country's people, not invading everyone else) there would have been no world wars and no Cold War. Nationalism is the opposite of expansionism. Nationalism is the process of politicians serving their own people, instead of trying to become the next Napoleon by invading or dominating the rest of the world. The power struggles and their devastating socialist compromises and economic failures resulting from the conflict between left wing Scottish MPs and moderate English MPs during the 20th century proves the need for nationalism and destroys the case for union. The EU is a similar travesty of democracy. England should be ruled by English elected MPs, without the Scottish contingent who currently get a say both in London and in Holyrood! Here's Leo McKinstry on the hypocrisy of so called (un)United Kingdom political racists:
The profession of love for Britain by our party leaders on the campaign trail in Scotland has been a complete sham. They cannot convince because they do not believe. Far from feeling that spirit of national pride which is instinctive to most people, the metropolitan elite is so obsessed with multi-culturalism and European integration that it sees patriotism as a form of xenophobia, even racism. This sneering attitude was perfectly captured in the report of the Labour Government's inquiry into "The Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain", published in 2000, which stated that the very term British had "racist connotations", so the country's history had to be "revised, rethought and jettisoned".
That was the view also followed by the Labour politician Robin Cook, who showed his contempt for the idea of British nationality by claiming that the British are nothing more than "a gathering of countless different races and communities, the vast majority of which are not indigenous to these islands." That statement was a travesty of the truth. Until the modern era of mass immigration, Britain was one of the most homogenous nations on earth. In 1940 there were just 238,000 foreigners living in the country, less than half the current influx of immigrants every single year. ... to the modern political class, Britishness is not expression of nationhood but rather a vehicle for promoting the twin creeds of mass immigration and cultural diversity. ... unpatriotic politicians like Nick Clegg, neurotically devoted to the EU and mass immigration, are so desperate to foil Scottish independence. It also explains their ferocious hostility to any surge in English patriotism, which is seen as a dangerous threat to their projection of social revolution. So pride in England has to be painted as dark menace, a phenomenon of extremism. There are few more disdainful phrases in the Left-wing [and Hitler] lexicon than "Little Englander."
... Jack Straw once said that "the English are potentially very aggressive, very violent," a sweeping generalisation that he would not dream of using about any other people. This antipathy towards England has been graphically highlighted during the Referendum campaign, not only by the Scottish nationalists but also by the Westminster politicians. In their eagerness to appease the Scots, they have treated the English as second-class citizens, only to be used for they money, never consulted about their future. This gross injustice is seen in its worst form in the pledge by the three party leaders to retain the notorious Barnett formula, by which public expenditure in Scotland per head is 20 per cent higher than in England, despite English MPs have no real say in the governance of Scotland.
The Science of the Ebola treatment drug, ZMapp
Moving away from the sad news of agenda-driven, paranoid, power-crazed scare-mongering irrational bigots in UK politics, let's look at news of the development of the ZMapp protein drug for use against the devastating Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Ebola spread from bats to chimpanzees and was then identified in humans who ate the chimpanzees as bush-meat in 1976:
Fifteen years ago, Dr Gary Kobinger was working on a treatment for the cell membrane mucus regulation disease, cystic fibrosis, caused by the recessive CFTR gene. If the two sets of chromosomes in your somatic body cells contain a total of either one or two working copies of the CFTR gene, you don't get cystic fibrosis, but if both of the copies of that gene are defective, you do get the disease. Cystic fibrosis results from the lack of the CFTR protein, causing an improper salt ions (sodium and chlorine) balance across cell membranes, a problem that severely affects those organs where control of fluid transfer over thin membranes is vitally important, e.g., the lungs (since oxygen is dissolved in a thin layer of salt water in lung membranes), and also the pancreas, liver and intestines.
Kobinger, now Head of Special Pathogens at Canada's National Microbiology Lab, 15 years ago, was studying how to place healthy CFTR genes into the lung cells of people with cystic fibrosis, thereby curing that disease. He decided to use a virus that could effectively enter cells. The Ebola virus seemed ideal, since it is a long tangling thread covered with spikes, which will be engulfed by a cell after the Ebola virus sticks to it. By simply putting working CFTR genes into Ebola viruses whose DNA had been corrupted to prevent the lethal effects of Ebola, Kobinger hoped to have an effective cure for cystic fibrosis. But one problem with using viruses to implant genes into cystic fibrosis victims is that their immune system starts to fight off the virus carrying the new genes, before an appreciable percentage of the lung cells have been infected. Another problem is that most lung cells infected with the working CFTR gene are automatically killed off (i.e., undergo "apoptosis") by the DNA repair enzymes whose job it is to prevent cancer. So it turns out that although the ideal is attractive, it simply can't work as an effective cystic fibrosis treatment.
Kobinger then came up with the idea of using the spikes on the Ebola virus to stimulate the immune system into producing antibodies that automatically fight Ebola. (This is the usual way science goes in the real world: you look for one thing, it doesn't work out, but instead you come up with an idea that does something else effectively. The alchemists who were motivated by the fantasy of turning base metals into lead failed to do so, but in their efforts they learned a lot about acids, salts, and thus laid the basis of medieval chemistry.) Kobinger then exposed monkeys to the spikes of the Ebola virus, and discovered the specific antibodies which the monkeys produced against the spikes on the surface of the Ebola virus, proving that that these antibodies, part of the ZMapp protein, gave an animal a 99.98% probability of survival against Ebola, according the 2014 BBC Horizon's documentary about the development of the proof tested ebola cure. In fact, 100% of the infected monkeys actually survived. Two other antibodies were produced in the same way using mice, and the three antibodies together are called ZMapp.
"... a combination of monoclonal antibodies (ZMapp), optimized from two previous antibody cocktails, is able to rescue 100% of rhesus macaques when treatment is initiated up to 5 days post-challenge. High fever, viraemia and abnormalities in blood count and blood chemistry were evident in many animals before ZMapp intervention. Advanced disease, as indicated by elevated liver enzymes, mucosal haemorrhages and generalized petechia could be reversed, leading to full recovery."
- Xiangguo Qiu, et al., Reversion of advanced Ebola virus disease in nonhuman primates with ZMapp, Nature, Published online 29 August 2014.
Instead of distributing this drug to everyone infected in Africa, it has only been used on a few Western aid workers: the contaminated Africans are being isolated in clinics without any proof tested drugs. The media "journalists" who should be exposing this scam and reporting on why there are hold ups, are instead going along with the $billion aid charity demands to "treat" ebola victims without proof tested drugs. To understand this, you need knowledge of media propaganda - the political spin of groupthink biased journalists - not biology. In science, you don't claim that nobody knows what a new kind of hammer will do when it hits a human thumb, when the effect has "only so far been tested on primates." In science, if faced with a real time, ongoing emergency with a 70% lethal agent, you accept that the effects on humans are in all probability similar to those for a similar dose per unit body mass in lab monkeys, and you don't worry about the "human risks" of side effects from a new drug that has only "so far been successfully tested on primates". The "caveats" about the "animal tests" and the risks of side effects are pointless when there is a threat that has a 70% mortality rate without effective treatment. Side effects would need to be extremely dire to offset the 70% mortality rate from withheld treatment, and no such side effects were seen in the monkeys or the several humans given Zmapp so far! The real point of the endless waffle about Zmapp "only being proved on monkeys" is political: it is an excuse to do nothing medically significant for the African ebola victims except to give them an antiseptic bed to die in, while being tended by people wearing spacesuits. This "milks" the crisis for the politically motivated scare mongers who earn a living from replacing reason with fear, replacing knowledge with ignorance, replacing real debate with superstition, and turning demands for action into demands for money (while pretending to be anti-capitalist, of course). No wonder that the Western African communities are now being criticised by the plastic "socialist" media as being "ignorant" of the need for them to accept such ineffective "treatment". Using Zmapp, so the experimental evidence suggests, would swiftly end this epidemic. Which is why the media in general now prefer to cosy up to the groupthink politics, claiming that despite Zmappäs success at reducing ebola monkey deaths from 70% to 0%, we mustn't "rush into thinking that it's the way forward for thousands of ebola infected human beings."
If this isn't an abuse of the groupthink consensus of scientific authority for money making politics, what is it? Stupidity? Racism? Gambling with other people's lives in the old-fashioned "West knows best" way of the 19th century African Missionaries? Surely, this drug needs to be distributed with all haste to all infected victims with a 70% risk of death, unless or until something else more effective is developed. It defies medical ethics to withhold it using bogus arguments. It is sophistry, not science, to try to find null and void excuses to withhold effective treatment just in order to prolong a crisis for cynical power-driven propaganda ends. Fortunately, the US is accelerating Zmapp development, but there are thousands of currently infected people who don't have enough time on the cards to wait for more papers to get through the peer review process, etc. When someone's heart has stopped, you don't book them in for a careful, full scan next week: you administer CR even if it involves risks, because the time available is limited. Likewise, for Zmapp, a fast course of action is needed.
To manufacture Kobinger's antibodies for use in human Ebola patients, Professor Charles Anrtzen used tobacco plants because they have well understood viruses that infect the leaves. He removed some genes from the viruses that infect tobacco plants, then replaced those genes with the three genes that transcribe the three ZMapp proteins, and injected the virus into the tobacco plant leaves. Within 10 days, the tobacco plants with infected leaves had produces the ZMapp antibody proteins, which was then purified from the leaves within a couple of weeks. Injected into monkeys with Ebola, 100% of the monkeys survived even when treatment was delayed for five days after infection. It works by hormesis: activating the immune system to be alerted to fight against viruses of the ebola type. The drug also cured two American and one British accidentally infected ebola victim carer. The ZMapp drugs almost immediately terminated the debilitating Ebola symptoms, leading to a full recovery for all the human patients treated.
This ZMapp Ebola cure success story proves how it is possible to produce a gene therapy drug to combat a deadly epidemic disease. One more piece of good news that will help humanity to fight biological warfare scare mongering politics, and to help cure the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
|Above: Extracts from UK National Archives document WO 189/4875 (PDF version linked here) showing an 8 May 1944 British report on the possibilities for a chemical warfare attack on Tokyo, Japan. The report discusses the impact of the weather on the concentrations of chemical warfare agents achievable, before concluding that incendiary bombs should be used to burn the city down, the course of action finally taken during Operation Meetinghouse to burn Tokyo down using American B-29 bombers loaded with incendiaries on 9-10 March 1945, by far the most destructive air raid in history, devastating a much larger area than that from both nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki put together. Out of copyright 1944 report.|
Above: the UK defence readiness for a war with Russia was reviewed on the Prime Minister's orders in a Cabinet Office Home Defence Committee meeting on 26 November 1962, following the October 1962 Cuban missiles crisis between Russia and America, in UK National Archives document CAB 134/2021. This Cuban crisis was the Cold War equivalent to the September 1938 Munich crisis, which had a similar influence in finally forcing the British media and the government to focus on the threat of war and to make the utmost efforts to plan to avert unnecessary risks:
"Review of Home Preparedness in the Light of the Cuba Crisis and of Exercise Felstead. The Chairman said that, in the light of the Cuba crisis in the previous month, the Prime Minister had asked for an assurance that Government War Book planning was sufficiently flexible to enable us to respond quickly and appropriately both to a threat of war not immediately involving the United Kingdom or NATO, and to a sudden emergency in which we might have not more than two or three days' warning of the outbreak of war. In considering these questions, the Committee would wish to take into account the lessons learned in Exercise Felstead ... and certain proposals put forward by the Home Office ..."
- CAB 134/2021, 27 November 1962.
Let’s quickly summarize a well-publicised, declassified British Cold War official exercise, the 27 September 1968 British Government War Book exercise conducted by the Cabinet, which was code-named “Invaluable”, and rehearsed for a WWIII scenario whereby Russia shipped arms to Syria, unsettling NATO’s ally Turkey. In response, Russia built up its naval force in the Baltic and sent Russian aircraft over Europe, carelessly shooting down an international civilian airliner, as is what recently occurred on 17 July 2014 when Russia used a BUK to shoot down flight MH17!
Eventually, escalation occurred and Russian forces ended up massing on Europe's borders, while Russian backed British Communist Party leaders forced Britain’s Dock Workers and Railway Unions to strike, hindering war preparations to deter Russia. Finally, on 17 October 1968 the “Invaluable” exercise continued with protection of Britain’s telephone system against damage, and improved fallout radiation protection of public buildings using concrete blocks, while Russia invaded Western Europe, including Austria, West Germany, Greece and Turkey, unleashing secret biological and chemical weapons to subdue opponents. Here is why we need tactical nuclear weapons to deter the new Russian conventional threat to Europe:
Update; 13 October 2014
Again, here's a summary of the true facts about the effects of radiation which Nazi style groupthink media political agendas censor out of all discussion to keep the public in ignorance of truth: "Radiation Scare Mongering Debunked" (please see also Dr Sander's 2010 radiation effects textbook, published by Springer).
The problem with using the Kurds as "boots on the ground" to fight well-equipped and funded IS forces in Iraq, is that we cannot give them adequate weapons because Turkey doesn't want the Kurds to be armed. Turkey has influence on this matter, since it is a member of NATO. About 20% of Turkey's population are Kurds, and Kurdish separatists have been fighting for an independent Kurdistan in Southern Turkey. The Kurds are being fought off with IS's captured American weapons, but we won't supply such weapons to the Kurds because they are a long standing enemy of Turkey which is a NATO member. Turkey's NATO membership has a long history of prompting crises, since it was NATO's 1950s supply of Jupiter nuclear missiles to Turkey (to help it deter the USSR from invading) which gave Khrushchev an excuse for stationing IRBM's in Cuba, thus the October 1962 missiles crisis.
Kurds are not being properly armed to defend themselves against IS, which has captured modern American weapons. The scandal is that Turkey (a NATO member) vetoes arming of the Kurds, because Kurdish separatists have been campaigning for an independent state of Kurdistan in Southern Turkey. Turkey thus doesn't want any weapons falling into the hands of Kurds who want independence. So political factors are standing in the way of the "moral idealists's" solution, which is of course to arm both sides in a conflict as "equally" as possible in an effort to prolong the war, the suffering, the destruction, and the debt bomb bill the West will be expected to pick up as a result of the maximised humanitarian crisis. The un-"United Nations" has also effectively helped IS, since Putin's repeated Russian vetoes on action against Assad allowed the Syrian civil war to drag on, resulting in IS. You couldn't invent this absurd scenario as a credible fiction plot. Any political "compromise" with Russian terrorists at a negotiating table is procrastination: maximised harm.
17 October 2014 update: new declassified UK National Archives reports issued on 7 October
Ten days ago, on 7 October 2014, the UK National Archives received and released updates to various Cold War nuclear weapons effects civil defence series, including document HO 338/146, Communications: effects of electromagnetic pulse (EMP), which as we have discussed in previous blog posts, was based on a secret American report (namely, B. J. Stralser's 1961 E. G and G. report, Electromagnetic effects from nuclear tests), summarizing damage due to Nevada tests below 75 kt, from radial electric field EMP coupled from the cables from the deposition region back to the control room, 30 miles away. Glasstone and Dolan's 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons incorrectly states that EMP from a surface burst or near surface burst can only cause damage within roughly the 2 psi overpressure region. This is incorrect, because the EMP is piped out in power cables for many, many times that distance, with only relatively gradual attenuation due to cable resistance and load resistance. Recent American studies show that due to the shielding of prompt gamma rays and UHF EMP frequencies by buildings (city skylines), the transversely radiated EMP from a surface burst in a city is largely shielded, compared to a nuclear test on an unobstructed desert surface. However, it is likely that some electrical cables will exist within a few hundred metres of ground zero in a city surface burst, and these will disperse EMP to the rest of the city in microseconds, before the blast damages the cables. This is precisely what happened at the first British nuclear test, Operation Hurricane in 1952, when unexpected EMP pick up in the cables near the bomb ship damaged recording equipment at much greater distances:
|Newly released high quality Kerr cell camera photos of the fireball development at Operation Hurricane, a 25 kt explosion in a ship at Monte Bello, 3 October 1952. The dark object at the lower right in the photos is the bows of the 1,450 ton ship (HMS Plym), which are initially "sticking out" of the fireball and thus partially shielding it (the bomb was located 2.7 m below the water line at the other end of the ship). Source: AWRE-T1/54 (National Archives document ES 5/2), PDF copy here (which contains lower quality photos due to the use of photocopies, not photographic prints). Cables running to the control point from the ship carried out EMP, damaging electronic recording instruments.|
Other reports released to the UK National Archives on 7 October 2014 include HO 338/145, Research into effects of a nuclear attack on London: estimates of number of casualties, the 1980 report HO 338/156 on the Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch Working Group on Domestic Shelters, which led to the UK Government's Protect and Survive and Domestic Nuclear Shelters - Technical Guidance publications in 1980-2, and the 1981-4 report HO 338/157 of the Working Group on Domestic Shelters: Chemical protection Sub-Group. (American technical reports on the effectiveness of simple civil defence countermeasures against chemical and biological terrorism can be found here.)
Update (28 November 2014):
"Neutron bomb research started right at the end of Eisenhower administration, but then it took forever. Honestly, I don't think anyone even liked it, because it was such a nasty idea, but I think what they eventually came to like about it was that they could bargain it away in peace talks. From a military standpoint, it didn’t make a lot of sense because, if you knew you'd just been dosed with a lethal dose of neutrons, you'd probably fight harder while you still had hours to live."
Sam Cohen does address all this in "Shame", his last and finest book on the neutron bomb! First up, enemy soldiers won't know their neutron dose, and if they have received the 8000+ R, they'll have a few minutes only, before they are incapacitated with radiation sickness. In any case, they won't even know immediately it was a neutron bomb, because, by cube-root scaling, 1 kg of TNT at 10 metres distance, 1 ton of TNT at 100 metres distance and 1 kiloton at 1,000 metres, all give the same blast pressure!
Second, deterrence needs a nasty threat in order to ***deter*** an enemy, thus averting the actual explosion from being needed. E.g., when Reagan deployed W79 enhanced neutron artillery shell warheads to Western Europe, and neutron warhead options developed for cruise missiles, the USSR suddenly became interested in arms control, and was prepared to scrap its enormous number of threatening Warsaw Pact T54 tanks, etc, helping leading to the end of that Cold War.
This contrasts to the USSR's 1979 top secret Warsaw Pact exercise "Seven Days to the River Rhine", where 500 kt strategic nuclear weapons were detonated by the USSR over Western European cities like Vienna! (After the exercise, the USSR invaded Afghanistan on 25 December 1979.)
If we had the neutron bomb in 1935, Hitler would have been unable to start WWII. Conventional weapons just aren't fearsome enough to deter war, while strategic IRBM warheads are only really credible for deterring those particular weapons on the other side. Nuclear deterrence needs to be credible to work, and the neutron bomb deters the massed tank columns that Hitler (and the Kremlin's Warsaw Pact) relied on to overcome handheld antitank rockets.
If you can deter a massed tank invasion using the threat of the neutron bomb, you force the enemy to avoid highly concentrated forces (ideal targets for neutron bombs). The resulting dispersal of force is then easy to "pick off" with handheld anti-tank rocket launchers, without needing any actual detonations of neutron bombs.
Now suppose a situation arises where the enemy decides to use nuclear weapons first. If you have neutron bombs available, you can respond to their aggression in a very controlled way, averting severe fallout, blast and fallout effects due to the height of burst and the small yield of the neutron bomb. So, all told, even if deterrence fails, the neutron bomb offers a way to minimise civilian casualties. Propaganda of course claims the opposite, and tries to ignore and/or censor the truth. The risks of this deception are clear from history.
In the 1930s propaganda for disarmament was based on fear-mongering of weapons effects, e.g. H. G. Well's film showing that whole cities would be gassed within hours of a future war starting. This was popularized by Professor Joad and many others, and Churchill was attacked in favour of appeasement of aggressors. Peace did not result. Conventional weapons were in existence prior to WWI and WWII. Nuclear weapons ended world war. The question Sam Cohen poses is whether we should try to use them, in the form of the neutron bomb, to try to deter not merely world war, but to deter and de-escalate some of the recurring regional wars that are not resolved by political diplomacy, and which over time kill more people than died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Whether the answer is yes or no, it seems to me that deserves serious debate, not the usual flippant anti-nuclear propaganda tactic of "closing down the argument", without a genuine two-way debate.