8, January, 2021
Germs have been called the ‘ultimate weapon.’
So when Matthew Pottinger, Deputy National Security Adviser to US President Trump told a global Zoom conference of Parliamentarians that the Coronavirus pandemic originated from the Wuhan virology laboratory, we should take notice. China is using investigations by the World Health Organisation, WHO, as camouflage, he said.
Pottinger was formerly a Reuters and Wall Street Journal correspondent in China. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese. His brother is a virologist.
At Wuhan, Shi Zhengli, known as the Batwoman is known to have collected deadly viruses from distant bat caves. The Coronavirus strain in Covid-19 seems to be modified for ‘gain of function‘ that allows it to spread rapidly and genetic modification that requires high technology. In the spring of 2020, Chinese doctors in Wuhan who warned of the coming disaster disappeared or ‘were disappeared‘.
Where did the Chinese learn these high technology and highly dangerous virology techniques?
US agencies were banned from such research at home but then Dr Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease collaborated with Wuhan on multi-million dollar contracts aimed at bat Coronavirus ‘gain of function‘ research. This makes a virus more infectious for humans and can lead to a pandemic.
War as Fear-mongering
Bio-weapons have an extra attribute compared to other systems — spreading widespread fear and panic across continents. Fear of disease can paralyse societies, lockdown the economy and allow an enemy, who knows the secrets, to gain the supremacy of power, production and prestige.
Bio-weapons are potent. During World War II, atomic weapons killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese. Bioweapons much more. In the Middle Ages, Black Death killed an estimated millions upon millions — an estimated 40 to 60 percent of Europe’s population. If weaponised, such germs would be absolutely devastating.
In today’s world of communications and propaganda, the fear factor can have massive repercussions, far greater than the minimal percentage of extra deaths that may or may not have been involved. Taking into account the psychological warfare causing addictions and suicides, the normal death rates in 2020 may well be below average rates in many countries. In some countries deaths by influenza has disappeared from the ‘official’ statistics. Many ask: why is the West in lockdown?
Of all countries, China has real grounds for concern about biological warfare. It learned from bitter experience about biological attacks last century — as a victim.
This experience may have set that nation’s security goals like no other. The means of defence is a priority. Morale at home must remain high, panic minimised, centralised government firm, and official death rates as low as possible.
On 25 June 1950, barely a month after Robert Schuman had announced the French proposal for a European Community, the Korean War broke out.
Allegations were made that biological warfare was being used. By whom?
The Chinese Communists said that the Americans were guilty. Captured airmen confessed, they said. The American authorities riposted that they were victims of ‘brainwashing‘.
The Chinese had good reason to be afraid of biological warfare. And with the USA’s victory over Japan in WW2 and capture of their secrets, they had good reason to suspect the Americans had advanced biowarfare techniques. In WW2 Japan was the foremost power that had developed biological weapons for attack and defensive schemes at home.
In December 1952, when before representatives of European States, French Foreign Minster Robert Schuman proposed the creation of a European Health Community, these allegations were still current.
Was the threat of a new wave of biological warfare part of Schuman’s project for a European Community of Health to protect its populations? The battle to get such an idea accepted was formidable but so were the consequences if Europe had no defence against such threats. Such an ambitious project with such a variety of opposers required a steady political hand to navigate it through the waters against nationalism, pharmaceutical cartels, and left-wing propaganda allied to the USSR in Europe and the rising Chinese Communist powers in Asia who threatened French interests in Indochina.
Schuman had suggested the European Defence Community to the French Government in mid-September 1950 just after the outbreak of the Korean War. But the idea provoked heavy opposition, both from Gaullists and Communists, inside and outside Parliament.
Why was such a Defence Community necessary when, in April 1949 western leaders had signed the Treaty of Washington creating NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance? NATO was the broad picture for defence against the USSR but it did not ensure full European needs and protection of their interests. The EDC attempted to find an efficient, common approach to a common danger by integrating national armies with a European command against a powerful USSR.
Having the necessary political and military infrastructure was of primary importance. But what if the population itself was held hostage by the threat of biological war? How could civilians be protected? If integrating the national units of the army, navy and airforces into European ones was becoming an almost impossible task, how would politicians be able to find a unified policy to deal with complex civilian threats like disease? Without such a policy Europe could easily fall into the chaos caused by the intentional spread of disease exacerbated by undisciplined refugee movements.
The European Health Community seems tailor-made to deal with these life and death issues. A democratically organised defence including even countries outside NATO would provide solidarity against tyrants with bio-weapons.
Schuman, unfortunately, was unable to see the project through to a signed treaty. He was forced out of office in early 1953 by a combination of nationalists, Communists and Gaullists. What he proposed then should be examined to decide what is needed now.
Making war impossible
Mutual defence against biological warfare and outlawing it inside the Community fits in directly with Schuman’s avowed purpose in creating the European Community system. It was designed to cover a number of problems, all within the theme of ‘making war not only unthinkable but materially impossible‘ among its Member States.
Schuman’s Plan for a European Health Community would have resolved not only the major problems of the health of Europeans but provided a mighty shield of protection against biowarfare.
This was the height of the Cold War. The Community drew on the studies that the European population should expect and design defence correspondingly. The properly functioning Community system enables detailed investigation of fact, submitted to intense questioning by interest groups, and the means to take unified action based on a democratic process that engages all strata of societies.
The Community’s purpose was also to provide democratic, transparent and effective defence against chemical and biological warfare, not to mention the health devastation of radiation that might be caused by atomic war.
In 1346 the Mongols catapulted diseased bodies into the Italian trading post of Caffa in the Crimea. The Italians fled in the ships and brought the disease to Italy and Europe. The ensuing bubonic plague or Black Death killed between 30 and 60 percent of Europeans.
Spanish ‘Flu, H1N1
In World War 1, Germans tried to cripple the horsepower of the Allies by spreading anthrax or glanders. At the close of the war Spanish Flu wiped out more people than had been killed in battle. It illustrated the debilitating spread of such a disease, a Corona virus. Known as H1N1, it infected 500 million people, a third of the world’s population. Estimates of deaths range from 17 to 100 million. It attacked young people, at first soldiers in crowded barracks. Fear and panic spread worldwide. If the strongest section of society was stricken down so easily, who could escape this disease?
The disease may have been generated from the spread of disease in animals, to fowl and then to humans by the conditions of modern agriculture and the economy. But what if such a disease was artificially produced for military purposes?
Because of these dangers the League of Nations proposed a treaty banning bacteriological weapons. At Geneva on 17 June 1925, 128 nations signed the ‘Protocol for the prohibition in War of Asphyxiating, poisonous and other Gases, and of bacteriological Methods of Warfare.’
That did not solve the problem. Far from it.