Friday, September 18, 2009


Ebola and Marburg, Plague, HIV, Smallpox, Tuleremia, Anthrax etc. We are all familiar with these horror inducing viruses and bacteria as causes of some of the worst diseases that humankind has ever seen. We don't completely realize how horrible they are unless we ourselves have experienced them, we therefore,do everything we possibly can to avoid them. Imagine somebody's surprise and horror, when one learns that one of the largest most capable nations, has been at work for decades working on ways to bring the diseases to us. That is basically a summary of my thoughts when I was reading this book. Ken Alibek, former director of the Soviet Union's top biowarfare production facility, Biopreparat, describes in full detail and without holding anything back, the full scope of the Soviet Union's commitment to use nature to its(USSR's) advantage against fellow humans.
For me, this book arises a lot questions and thoughts about several things. One major issue being our innate tendency of submission. Before and during the Cold War, Russian leaders encouraged scientists, who as doctors had promised never to intently harm human life, to produce some of the deadliest weapons of mass human destruction we have ever seen. They enlisted propanganda, a prime weapon, to brainwash people and instilled fear in them; fear of being caught thinking bad thoughts; fear of being reprimanded for associating with a known dissenter; fear of being punished for a mistake; fear of anything deemed suspicious. With these two historically successful weapons (fear and propaganda) the USSR enlisted some of the most brilliant minds science has ever seen in this race to destroy humanity. Sounds hypocritical? That's what politics is.
It is therefore important to realize that for someone as important as Ken Alibek to defect, there must have been something going on there that was so bad that it was breaching the sometimes lacking ethical and moral beliefs of the scientists (for the few who were aware of the full implications of their research). Most of the current United States biodefense strategy and biowarfare intelligence is based on what Ken Alibek had to say when he defected from the Soviet Union. What he had to say was both chilling and very helpful because it helped launch an emphasis on bioterror in the United States and around the world.
Once I opened the book, I could not put it down, suspenseful as it was in a very realistic way. In a way, it was so suspenseful because what he describes is something one can only imagine in a science fiction movie. The little fact that twists everything is that this book is NONfiction. Everything is real yet as you read, you find it so hard to imagine that something like that could be carried out by your fellow humans. My conclusions: what else are people going to start using as a weapon of mass destruction? What's next before hell breaks loose?

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