Biological Warfare Said
Being Waged Against Iraq
By Francis A. Boyle
Professor of International Law
Dear Friends: It is a matter of public record that the United States government relatively recently used a biological herbicide in Peru in the Upper Huallaga Valley, allegedly for the purpose of destroying the coca plant, but undoubtedly as part of counter-insurgency warfare against the guerillas there. In any event, the biological herbicide destroyed most of the food crops for the campesinos. The US government is now contemplating doing the same thing in Afghanistan.
Francis A. Boyle
Professor of International Law
Francis A. Boyle
Law Building
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign, Ill. 61820
Phone: 217-333-7954
Fax: 217-244-1478
International Action Center
39 West 14th St. #206, NY, NY 10011
(212) 633-6646 (212) 633-2889 fax
web page:
For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Sarah Sloan/Deirdre Sinnott
Attention: News Editor Kadouri Al-Kaysi (212) 633-6646
February 2, 1999
Biological Warfare Against Iraq: A Supplement to Sanctions
The United States is engaged in biological warfare in Iraq. Hoof-and-Mouth disease has either killed or crippled more than one million sheep and cattle in Iraq in the last seven weeks. The destruction of Iraq's livestock will have a catastrophic impact on the protein intake of the Iraqi people who are already malnourished from eight years of economic sanctions.
Nearly all of Iraq's eighteen provinces have been hit by outbreaks of the viral disease, according to United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) officials who were interviewed by Associated Press reporter Vijay Joshi.
The Hoof-and-Mouth outbreak was reported just seven weeks ago, according to the UN official. Since then 982,000 sheep and 50,000 cattle have been infected. More than 50,000 new-born lambs and calves have died. Unless the disease is quickly contained it may well become a full-blown epidemic that is likely to infect Iraq's other seven million farm animals.
Did the United States cause this disease outbreak? The answer to this question is yes!
Did the CIA actually implant the virus into Iraq's livestock herds? That is still unknown. But the UN weapons inspectors (UNSCOM), who were thoroughly penetrated by the CIA, purposely destroyed Iraq's vaccine laboratory in 1993. This laboratory, located in Baghdad, had produced the vaccine that wiped out Hoof-and-Mouth disease in Iraq.
This laboratory was so effective that it produced enough vaccine so that Iraqi farmers were able to vaccinate their animals three times a year, 50% more than the minimum requirement. Thus, Hoof-and-Mouth disease was completely eradicated in Iraq. The Iraqi-produced vaccine was manufactured in such large quantities that it was even exported throughout the Middle East.
But this facility was destroyed in 1993 because the United States insisted that the facility could potentially be used to produce biological and chemical weapons. If the United States government did not insist on destroying this vaccine facility there would be no Hoof-and Mouth disease in Iraq. It is as simple as that.
Isn't the destruction of this facility an act of biological warfare? That Hoof-and-Mouth disease would return, absent the vaccine, was entirely predictable.
Iraq allowed this facility to be destroyed in 1993 for only one reason: They were promised that eventually sanctions would be lifted, that commerce would begin again, that oil sales would allow them to begin rebuilding their industrial, scientific and healthcare infrastructure.
Five years later, after 9,000 "weapons inspections," after Iraq has been crippled economically, the U.S. is still insisting that economic sanctions must be maintained.
Because the United States has not been able to overthrow the current Iraqi government and replace it with a Kuwaiti-style puppet regime, a new strategy has evolved in the recent months. New massive bombings like the Dec. 16-19, 1998, raids in which more than 1,000 bombs and missiles were dropped have been coupled with an intensified CIA covert operation - funded by Congress to the tune of $97 million.
This is the full-court press to destabilize and overthrow the current government of Iraq. The U.S. wants to act quickly because world public opinion is turning against the economic sanctions that have killed more than 1.7 million Iraqis from hunger and disease in the last eight years.
Is it possible that the United States government has actually introduced the virus into Iraq's livestock? An independent investigation of this possibility needs to be urgently undertaken. It is certainly not out of the question given the biological warfare resources and strategic thinking current in the Pentagon.
"Biological warfare can include the use of bacteria, rickettsia, viruses, and toxins to induce illness or death in humans, animals, and plants," wrote United States Air Force Lt. Colonel Robert P. Kadlec, in a recent document for the Air Force.
Lt. Col. Kadlec cites Winston Churchill's 1925 vision of the use of Biological Weapons when he wrote "pestilence's methodically prepared and deliberately launched upon man and beast. Blight to destroy cattle,_ Anthrax to slay horses and cattle _"
This document, entitled "Biological Weapons for Waging Economic Warfare," speaks of how biological weapons could affect the economies of targeted Third World countries. "Lesser developed or developing countries are in a much more precarious position. If the target commodity was a principal cash crop or food sources, using Biological Warfare weapons may inflict a grave blow to that nation's economy or society and possibly result in some political impact. History has recorded the chaos and instability created by such natural catastrophes as famines and epidemics. Using Biological Weapons in this fashion would have applications to waging low intensity warfare with strategic outcomes," concluded this recently written document. This document couches the biological weapons scenarios in the language of "defense," but the U.S. has both an offensive and defensive orientation in the use of these weapons.
The U.S. has the largest stockpile of biological weapons in the world. It has used biological weapons against Cuba's sugar in the twentieth century; the same methods were used in the war against Indian peoples in North America in the 19th century. Is it impossible that the U.S. war to destabilize Iraq would include the introduction of viral diseases among Iraq's livestock?
Even if the CIA didn't implant this virus into Iraq's farm animals, Washington's strategic planners knew full well that Hoof-and-Mouth disease would certainly come back to haunt Iraq once its capacity to vaccinate its animals was destroyed.