Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Thom Hartmann: The Genetically Modified Bomb

The Genetically Modified Bomb


by Thom Hartmann
Published on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 by
CommonDreams.org

Imagine a bomb that only kills Caucasians with red hair. Or short people. Or Arabs. Or Chinese.

Now imagine that this new bomb could be set off anywhere in the world, and that within a matter of days, weeks, or months it would kill every person on the planet who fits the bomb's profile, although the rest of us would be left standing. And the bomb could go off silently, without anybody realizing it had been released - or even where it was released - until its victims started dying in mass numbers.

Who would imagine such a thing?

Paul Wolfowitz, for one. William Kristol for another.

And, history shows, when the men who define U.S. military policy from the shadows set their sights on something, it's worthy of our attention.

I have brown hair and eyes, both determined by specific genes, and there are probably other markers deep within my DNA that would show a geneticist that most of my ancestors are Norwegian, Welsh, and English. While there's no one gene for race, there are numerous genes for the various components of what we call race - hair color and texture, skin and eye color, eye and nose shape, predispositions or immunities to disease like Sickle Cell Anemia or Tay-Sachs, and the like.

When creating a genetic bomb to target specific groups, such genetic profiles are actually far subtler and more accurate than the coarse pseudo-category we call race. Among men named Cohen all over the world, for example, researchers have found a specific genetic profile tying them all back to a common ancestor. Another group with a common genetic profile are people with ADHD ("The Edison Gene"), who uniquely share common inherited variations in their dopamine-regulating genes regardless of their ostensible race, geography, or ethnicity.

Thus, anybody who's part of a group with a shared genetic profile may be at risk in the future, suggest the authors of The Project for a New American Century's (PNAC) report titled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century."

The report notes that, "Much has been written in recent years about the need to transform the conventional armed forces of the United States to take advantage of the 'revolution in military affairs....'" They point out that our military requires a dramatic transformation, lest we lose our ability to fight future, unconventional wars. Some may be fought in cyberspace, others underwater or in outer space. And some even within our own bodies.

Consider what would happen if there was a virus or bacteria that only infected a particular type of person, killing, disabling, or sterilizing only those of a particular genetic profile. Consider the political leverage a nation would have if they could credibly threaten the extinction of all people worldwide with almond-shaped eyes, or the sterilization of everybody with a gene that tracks them back to a common ancestor or region.

Three years ago, Wolfowitz, Kristol, and their colleagues suggested this is something the Pentagon should be thinking about. Not just germ warfare, but gene warfare.

And it's not limited just to warfare: Imagine how genetic terraforming could replace diplomacy, could even render the United Nations irrelevant if entire ethnic groups were wiped out or could be controlled by the threat of extinction. Or how it could change the face of politics if an organism got loose that killed off all the people of a particular minority who tend to vote for a particular political party.

Genetically targeted weapons could change world politics forever, according to PNAC.

"And," their report notes, "advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool."

Given that Kristol, Wolfowitz, and their conservative PNAC associates like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Eliot Abrams, Jeb Bush, and John Bolton have already brought us two of their early 1998 recommendations - the seizure of Iraq and a huge increase in defense spending - it's tempting to wonder if this is another of their other politically useful ideas being explored by the Pentagon.

Or maybe we'd rather not know. At least not those of us with politically problematic relatives.

***********

Thom Hartmann (thom at http://thomhartmann.com) is the award-winning, best-selling author of over a dozen books, and the host of a syndicated daily talk show that runs opposite Rush Limbaugh in cities from coast to coast. www.thomhartmann.com. His most recent book (September 2003) is "The Edison Gene." This article is copyright by Thom Hartmann, but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media so long as this credit is attached and the title is unchanged.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news