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Friday, November 04, 2005

The Left's Biggest Lie

This piece with it's link back to Dafydd ab Hugh is worth reprinting in full, courtesy of Powerline. Adolf has not inconsiderable experience dealing with pesticides (just ask dim) and in particular with insecticides of which organophosphates are a particular group. These derive from chemical compounds discovered during World War Two by predominantly German companies such as BASF and Bayer. Sarin was and is one of these.

When the Iraq invasion was in full swing I remember seeing a piece from a jounalist embedded with the US Infantry who had discovered a large number of drums containing what, if I remember correctly, were called 'commercial insecticides.' This dump was located only a few score metres from shell filling equipment for liquids and a substantial number of shell casings. I sat up with a start.

Aha, I thought. There we are, so that's how they were going to do it.

To my surprise the media did no follow up, the US authorities allegedly reported (so the media said) that there was no trace of WMD, only insecticides and everyone went to sleep. I blogged about it at the time, pointing out that many commercial OP insecticides commonly used thirty years ago in New Zealand and Australia have the capacity to kill very large numbers of people, even when administered in very small quantities. The connection was so blindingly obvious that I could never understand why it was ignored.

'Many times, we found huge drums of cyclosarin-based "pesticides" hidden in camouflaged ammunition bunkers... and many times we found empty chemical rockets and artillery shells, often at the same ammo dumps. But evidently, that doesn't constitute chemical weapons according to the ISG. But if Hussein's regime had actually poured the first into the second, then and only then would they be defined as chemical weapons.'

Of course Saddam Hussein had WMD and plenty of them. We know them from their brand names such as Azodrin, Phosdrin, Metasystox, Bidrin, Dichlorvos to name but a few.. They kill by screwing up the nervous system. They are nerve agents, not quite as potent as sarin but never the less very potent and well able to kill people exposed to them. Got it? All you have to do is trot along and look up the LD50 ratings for some of these compounds and then ask why an army would keep hundreds of gallons of this stuff in a bunker near artillary shell filling equipment, in an area where few vegies are grown.

Oh, by the way, for the uninitiated pseudo blogger journalists around the place, LD50 means the number of milligrammes of material required per kilogramme of live weight, to kill half of a population. The lower the figure, the more toxic the compound.

To help you understand this try and realise that the dermal (absorbed through the skin) LD50 rating for rats (it's difficult to get accurate data for humans) applying to Dichclorvos ranges from 75 to 107 and the rating for dieldrin is 60 to 90. The rating for Sarin appears to be around 5 to 10

So much for the competence of yet another UN agency which when looking for WMD expected to find a bright red drum bearing the label 'WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION.'
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Posted by Adolf Fiinkensein | 11/04/2005 11:50:00 AM


Blogger Rob O'Neill said...

You don't think that including commercial pesticides within the meaning of WMD could be a bit problematical, Adolf?

You know, as under that definition just about every country in the world would have WMDs.

Why didn't George Bush just say he was going in there to take away Saddam's pesticides?

Maybe we need a new term for this class of weapons: PMDs. Pesticides of Mass Destruction.

11/04/2005 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger RightWingDeathBeast said...

We're talking about pesticides right next to empty shells Rob. That doesn't seem suspicious to you?

Never join the police, will you.

Sargeant A: OK, rookie Rob, we're on the lookout for a serial killer who hangs his victims.

Rob O'Neill, constable in training: Righto.

Sargeant A: Aha! Here's a house with a noose hanging off a tree in the back yard, and a trapdoor beneath. What does this tell us, rookie? Should we investigate?

Rob: It's nothing! Nothing! Every house has rope! Is owning rope a crime now?

Sargeant A: Sigh.

11/04/2005 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Rob O'Neill said...

Heh. I recognise the reference there Death Beast!

I'm not saying it's not suspicious, I'm asking whether classifying commercial pesticides as WMDs could be a bit problematical. I mean if we do that, there's a hell of a lot more invading, sorry liberation, to be done.

and what about the companies making and exporting these WMDs? Shouldn't they be closed down?

11/04/2005 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Rob you have just plummeted in my estimation. Logiz, Ackers1, Ben Wilson, Cadmus I expected.

Just about every country in the world does not have mucho grosso stores of OPs in underground bunkers alongside shell filling equipment, many miles from the nearest water melon of cabbage patch.

I reckon a dozen 105 mm howitzer shells loaded with 80%w/v Dichlorvos would kill a hundred men in troop transporters in one minute flat. wonderfully volotile, that dichloros, you know, just goes straight in through the skin before you've even had time to scream 'incoming' or grab the atropine tablets. Kills like hell for the first ten or fifteen minutes and after an hour or so it just breaks down and disappears. Bloody good for fogging and killing midges, mozzies and flies. Of course it kills all the birds and animals and people who happen to be about the place as well.

Didn't you just love the comment about Saddam's army having the most insect free weapons dump in history?

11/04/2005 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Rob, you miss the real point which is that any substance or implement can become a weapon if the user so decides. Common salt in the hands of the right madman can be used to kill an awful lot of peopole. Simply nitrogenous fertiliser in the hands of a couple of chaps in Melbourne can become a truck bomb or it can even cause a flurry of stupidity from Lefties who see conspiracies between a Liberal PM and six or seven Labor state premiers and the leader of the Labor opposition.

11/04/2005 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Bernard Woolley said...

And this issue is why they will have such a hard time fighting terrorists. For two reasons: -

1. Terrorists have discovered that the best means of killing people is still with explosives. Not with chemical weapons as they are much harder to deliver unless you have militarised the chemical (compare the LD50 of Sarin to Dichclorvos, for example, and note that Sarin is 10 times more efficient at providing a Lethal Dose). Militarised anthrax is just the same when you compare it to naturally occurring anthrax - it has a much smaller size and is more easily inhaled.

You also have to be careful not to destroy the WMD during delivery, not to mention other fun things such as wind and the environment.

2. In modern society, everything is a tool and they can be applied to good or bad ends. Pesticides are no different, as is the computer I'm writing from. This in itself will make it very difficult to class some 'tools' as WMDs - like Boeings.

RWDB - I could have some Ammonium fertiliser and motor oil in my shed at home. Does that make me a terrorist? You'd be suprised and amazed what all good terrorists and fire fighters can construct with material commonly found in nearly every home.

What this highlights is that the context of the fertiliser in Iraq is important. If it wasn't going to be used with the shells, what was it going to be used for. Why was it being stored there instead of somewhere more appopriate?

11/04/2005 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Rob O'Neill said...

Well, those mozzies get pretty pesky.

Of course they also proved unwilling to use their pesticides in anger when they had the chance.

(Yes, I know they were under threat of massive retaliation, but given they are a bunch of crazy lying towelheads and allies of Al Qaeda to boot, I'd have expected at least one to give it a shot)

11/04/2005 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Yes Rob, I agree with you there. I have wondered the same. I suspect the Yanks got there so quickly the Saddamites didn't have time to fill the shells and just ran away. Let's face it if they had been in too much of a hurry they would have killed thelselves first. What is even more perplexing is why the American and Brit authorities did not make more forceful use of the information we are discussing today. However, the fact remains that all the loud claims of NO WMD IN IRAQ are in fact shown by the above discourse to be nonsense.

11/04/2005 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Rob O'Neill said...

Maybe it's more complicated than filling up a shell, Adolf.

This guy follows a similar argument to you but describes the pesticides as "chemical precursers" that need to be weaponised before use. (See at the end: "Operating under the guise of legitimate industrial and agricultural chemical production and storage, Iraq would have gone into full-scale conversion of its stockpile of chemical precursors into weaponized agents, had the Coalition not attacked and seized Iraq.")


Where I suspect he's wrong is that they didn't do this under inspections and sanctions either, when they also had these "precursors" in their possession.

Therfore it wasn't the invasion that stopped them weaponising these, but the sanctions and inspections.

11/04/2005 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger Lyndon said...

Should you maybe fix that article link?

11/04/2005 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

According to lefties non toxic herbicides are Chemical weapons when they used by the US for the purpose for which they were developed (defoliation) but large quantities of Pesticides in a desert arouse no suspicion whatsoever.


11/04/2005 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Kimble said...

Given what has come to light regarding oil leakage at the UN, do you think that sanctions would have been able to prevent aquisition on the 'precursors' for an indefinite period of time?

Saddam HAD WMD's. Nobody can deny that. He did not have them when the US arrived. We dont know what happened to them. NOT finding WMDs isnt so much a smoking gun, indicating the invasion was conducted under false pretenses, as the possibility of there being a loaded gun in the hands of people we dont know who arent adverse to violence and dont like us very much.

11/04/2005 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Rob O'Neill said...

They already had the "precursors", Kimble, or pesticides by their other name.

Though it's good to see you agree with me that these pesticides don't qualify as WMDs.

11/04/2005 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger Wanderlust said...

Slightly OT, but not by much:

Recall that shortly after the fall of Baghdad (specifically, 20 March 2003), Putin joined in the chorus of "where's the WMD, George?" His questions on the issue got great press coverage by the MSM at the time, and the US DoD did little to directly refute the comment.

There are at least three salient points to consider about the Putin episode, that dovetail directly into this discussion (of why the US military or DoD didn't push the WMD issue in regards to pesticides):

1. Around the same time as the so-called "smoking memo" dustup (which became known in the US as "Rathergate" due to the "fake but accurate" meme), the UN reported that approximately 300 tonnes of high explosives disappeared shortly after the initial US invasion of Iraq - specifically, explosives that included HDX, something that the average Joe Bloggs cannot purchase commercially. So if you followed this story, the US didn't find WMD, but it did find WMD - or at least militarised high explosive of a type used to ignite fission bombs. (I think that means, "they didn't find WMD = BAD", and, "they did find WMD, but failed to secure it = BAD", all at once. Makes my poor little brain spin round and round...)

2. As you guys have stated, firefighters and certain others understand the weapons value of common household chemicals. The last thing public officials would want broadcast is a report (regarding OP chemicals used as WMD) that, in essence, demonstrates how terribly easy it is to commit terrorist acts, without a lot of effort or difficulty in either sourcing or constructing the weapons. Not only do you have to contend with panic being whipped up in the press (as the MSM gets off on doing whenever it can, these days - see the scare articles all over the place about the "bird flu pandemic" and the "as bad as 1918 flu pandemic" meme making the rounds now), but you also have to deal with the consequences of officially telling potential terrorists just how ridiculously easy their job can be.

3. Our boy Putin was smarting over the fact that the speed, and relative ease, of the US invasion of Iraq (especially the taking of Baghdad with only token resistance), considering that two Russian generals were detached to Saddam's overnment to, among other things, prepare Saddam's military for the defense of Baghdad. This information was reported in the Guardian, regarding Russia's semi-covert assistance of the Saddam regime. In short, Russia lost face in a big way because of US military tactical success in Iraq, The Moscow Times reports:

Many Russian generals truly believe that a bombing campaign that leaves some buildings still standing is ineffective. Precision-guided munitions are widely considered to be costly pranks -- not real weapons. In Chechnya, we tried to use some of these gadgets, but they did not work, as most Russian officers and men have not been trained in how to use the limited number of modern weapons our military inherited from the Soviet armed forces.

The worst possible outcome of the war in Iraq for the Russian military is a swift allied victory with relatively low casualties. Already many in Russia are beginning to ask why our forces are so ineffective compared to the Brits and Americans; and why the two battles to take Grozny in 1995 and 2000 each took more than a month to complete, with more that 5,000 Russian soldiers killed and tens of thousands wounded in both engagements, given that Grozny is one tenth the size of Baghdad.

The Russian media is generally avoiding the hard questions and serving up anti-American propaganda instead.

So consider: the then-Soviet Union invades Afghanistan in 1980, only to get its arse kicked by local mujahadeen forces armed with light weapons from the CIA; but the US invades Afghanistan in 2002 and changes its government and institutes free elections. The Russian military arms Saddam, trains his army in defensive combat, and trains his spies, but the US armed forces make light work of mopping up military resistance in a couple short weeks. And if an article by Ion Mihai Pacepa (former Romanian KGB head) in the Washington Times is true, Russia helped hide WMD's from under the US's - and everyone else's - nose, in a way that would allow Saddam to begin his WMD exploits again within a few months of restart; which, by the way, several former Iraqi scientists testified Saddam intended to do.

But I digress.

Those who state that the War on Terror (WoT) is WWIV, and that it will be a long one, should realise just how understated that observation is, in a political landscape where wars are shifting from political/ideological justifications to those of religion. Students of history will agree with the famous words of that baseball sage, Yogi Berra: it's deja vu all over again. And technology, so long hailed as the salvation of the human race from suffering and servitude, will now in the hand of the religious terrorist become its undoing.

11/04/2005 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Rob O'Neill said...

Wanderlust, get posting on that blog of yours and I'll give you a link straight off.

(Remind me)

11/05/2005 02:13:00 PM  

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