Saddam and Biological Weapons (Archived)

In 8 February 1998, the New York Times published a report about biological weapons and the reason behind the tightening of the embargo against studies to develop and use them in wars.


The mere mention of biological weapons raises fear and terror, as this kind of weapons is different from others with its ability to multiply and spread and come back to destroy the original user. In other words, whoever uses biological weapons is an enemy to humanity at large. For instance, it is possible to say that one gram of the Anthrax germ can kill more than 10,000,000 people.


Reports from the UN indicated that Iraq had been making studies and research to produce biological weapons – in addition to chemical ones – for the past 20 years.


The New York Times’ report pointed out that the American president Bill Clinton put a lot of emphasis on this point, which had a big influence on embarking fears and reminding of epidemics, such as the plague which killed one third of Europe in the nineteenth century.


But how real and logical are these fears?

Dr. Matthew Meselson from Harvard University said that “there is a lot of ambiguity, as these weapons have not been tested before, and all we know is that despite their low cost and ease of production, they are technically ineffective, considering the difficulty in transferring them from one place to another, and they are affected by many factors, such as the wind which makes the user more prone to get their effect than the opponent, and missiles such as Scud are unable to carry them since germs are killed when the missile explodes or falls. An example is the Anthrax germ which has to stay in the form of spores and enlarged series by as much as 2000 times.”


The American biologist Zindler said that biological weapons are terrifying but ineffective as weapons, and that is why they haven’t been used in our modern times, and there is no moral distinction between biological and nuclear weapons, since both of them kill humanity.


 The report also pointed out that there is a semi-agreement and unanimity in France and Italy and most countries in Europe that America is deliberately exaggerating the dangers of biological weapons being produced by Saddam Hussein to justify attacking Iraq.


No one disagrees that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and an enemy of humanity and his history is full of some of the most disturbing forms of crimes, but there are things that should be kept in mind when dealing with that tyrant.


          As much as the Arab and Islamic world is suffering from Saddam’s crimes, the Iraqi people have been in suffering much more since he took the office.


          Attacking Iraq, as American officials say, is not intended to kill Saddam himself, but the target is Iraq as a country and the helpless people of Iraq. Missiles do not avoid women, children and the elderly, especially that the tyrant does not mind using his people as a human shield. We could only wish that Saddam becomes the real target, but America believes it is not right to kill the president of a country even if he was a criminal and a tyrant, but finds justifications to punish and attack the entire people.


          Attacking Iraq could support and strengthen Saddam Hussein when the stricken people have no choice other than defending their land.


          Fueling the innocent people of Iraq against their brethren and neighbors in the Arab world, and deepening the wounds that need long years to heal, then America leaves the region boiling with hatred and grudges, while saying that its war is against the tyrant and his administration and not the Iraqi people.


For all that and other reasons, it is necessary to study the choices thoroughly when dealing with the tyrant, and to keep in mind the consequences of these choices on the long run, so that we do not become a tool to achieve some goals that might not be beneficial to our people.



OKAZ Newspaper – Tuesday 20 Shawwal 1418 AH falling on 17 February 1998 AD