End of the high flight?

The imminent military strike by the usa gives rise to fears of blind retaliation. But the arguments of those opposed to the ruse are also taking on new weight

It is not that the danger was not seen in the u.S. "Even if it was only partially successful, a terrorist attack (…) serious consequences for the entire nation", wrote the national commission on terrorism in july in its report to the u.S. Congress. Explicitly, the ten security experts involved also warn against the use of biological agents, deadly chemicals or nuclear material. Pathogenic substances can be extracted from natural resources or obtained from the pharmaceutical trade. The fact that such attacks have so far remained without far-reaching consequences is primarily due to the lack of knowledge in the handling of such substances. But the danger grows with the increasing liberalization of the market.

End of the high-flying?

Fermenter in iraq, believed to have been used to produce bioweapons, photo: unscom

In the usa, preparations for further terrorist attacks have been in full swing since last week. Not only the work of intelligence and security forces is on the agenda, but above all the effectiveness of civil protection should be increased. The excitement does not lack a certain logic: a counterstrike by the u.S. Military sets in motion a classic action-reaction logic, regardless of whether the bombs are the "right" or "wrong" terrorists will meet. It can be amed that a structure that could pull off a coordinated action like the one last tuesday has not played all its cards yet. Strong national security measures and militaristic approaches ideally bring about medium-term successes. In the long run, however, the u.S. Will be forced to consider the control of weapons, especially those used for the mass destruction of life. Self-criticism is in order.

The center for international policy calls upon the u.S. Government to, "fighting shoulder to shoulder with other states against terrorism". A unilateralist policy has been clearly shown to be absurd in the last few days. The experts of the think-tank demand an end to the policy of sanctions, because it has created violence (through impoverishment). Cuba, central america, panama and sudan are cited as examples. The criticized foreign policy line became especially clear in washington’s withdrawal from international arms control. Not only the classic treaties for the control of nuclear weapons are affected, but also the chemical weapons convention and, most recently, the biological weapons convention have fallen victim to us unilateralism.

False alarm is still in the first place, but the straight line could quickly shift

Whether this will change depends on whether the arab states are taken on board in the emerging anti-terrorist alliance. It will, of course, be difficult for the u.S. To demand that the arab league tighten its control over, for example, the trade in biological substances, after the u.S. Has shirked its own responsibility (u.S. Rejects additional protocol to the biological weapons convention). The seeds are growing as the network of the alleged mastermind usama ibn ladin is uncovered. The connections reach all the way to used car dealers in frankfurt, hesse. And they include a number of non-profit organizations.

According to intelligence, one of them is the international islamic relief organization (iiro) based in jeddah, saudi arabia. In addition to refugee projects, the international organization also runs agricultural programs and health projects. According to a report by the "frankfurter allgemeine zeitung" a brother-in-law of the wanted ibn ladin is said to be "have headed the iiro of the philippines at least in the past". Experts find such linkages particularly troubling. "Using front companies, it is easy to obtain biological warfare agents or chemical substances", says the hamburg headquarters of the sunshine project. The hurdles of getting a canule of anthrax through customs are probably not very high if airport security officials have their eyes on knives and nail files.

The headquarters of the "international islamic relief organization" in jeddah

When the japanese aum sect sprayed the nerve agent sarin in the tokyo subway eight years ago, there were nowhere near as many fatalities as might be feared in such a case. Und das, obwohl die gruppe uber eine hervorragende logistik, schier unerschopfliche finanzquellen und willige helfer verfugte. But the tokyo attack was only the prelude. According to u.S. Estimates, about ten states currently have functioning biological or chemical weapons programs, some of them in the middle east. It is likely that the knowledge of these sources is not necessarily limited to state institutions.

Barbara hatch rosenberg, professor at the state university of new york and head of the biological weapons working group of the federation of american scientists (fas), is urging her government to return to the negotiating table "to strengthen the biological weapons convention" in geneva. The u.S. Delegation had departed from there on the 25th. July surprisingly and despite announcements to the contrary withdrawn. The u.S. Must disclose its biological weapons research in the interest of sustainable international control in order to remain credible, the scientist demands: "unser ziel die pravention sein."

In germany, too, despite the schroders’ "unrestrained solidarity" criticism has not completely died down. Angelika beer, defense policy spokeswoman for the green party in the bundestag, continues to press for a u.S. Return to the negotiating table. In an interview with telepolis, she reiterates the need for verification mechanisms, "and these should be stronger than previously formulated". It has been shown that nato countries, and perhaps other signatories to the convention, do not honor the agreements. This is not a good example.

A general change of position by the americans in the control of arms is to be expected. Interview with angelika beer, the grunen’s spokeswoman on country policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *