Thursday, October 06, 2005

When are WMDs not WMDs?

When are Weapons of Mass Destruction not Weapons of Mass Destruction?

When does research into a biological weapon with a proven track record not breach the Biological Weapons Convention?

When is it a clever thing to do to recreate a killer that took more lives than the Black Death? Or more lives than World War I?

The answer is... when it is done by American scientists in the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in an attempt to understand what made the 1918 Influenza virus so devastating. Oh, and to make things more interesting they made the genetic sequence information available online.

If this was any other country in the world the Tomahawk Missiles would already be on the way. How can the American government expect other less stable nations around the world to not develop WMDs when they do so themselves with such blase? I believe they would never knowingly release the virus, but the point is they should be setting an example to the rest of the world, not flaunting their double standards.

Update: To be fair, here is a post from CNN which is more in favour of the American scientists. Though I still think its a dumb thing a) to do this research at all, and b) to make the story, let alone the gene sequence, public.

No comments: