In recent months, the US Air Force has issued calls for ethnic Russians to provide DNA samples for a mysterious “research” program. US Air Force Captain Beau Downey claimed that the samples were required for “locomotor studies to identify various biomarkers associated with trauma.”.
Downey further stated,
“The request (by the research centre) did not specify where the samples should be received from, but to continue the study, similar samples were required. Since the supplier originally provided samples from Russia, suitable for the initial group of diseases, the control group of the samples should also be of Russian origin.
The goal is the integrity of the study, not the origin (of the samples)”
However, given the fact that the US military has attempted to obtain Russian DNA samples without the permission of the Russian government and furthermore, given the low state of Russia-US relations, many are questioning whether the sought samples are intended to be part of a biogenetic weapons program.
Biogenetic weapons are defined as biological agents designed to inflict debilitating diseases or other internal bodily afflictions on a specific group of people, based on a shared genetic code.
While it is unclear if such a weapon has ever successfully been developed, the US and Israel have in the past, attempted to create such a devastating bio-genetic weapon.
In the late 1990s, it was reported that Israel had successfully created a biogenetic weapon which was specifically designed to target Arabs and only Arabs.
An archived press clipping from 1998 reports,
“According to a Jerusalem Post report quoting the London-based Foreign Report, Israel has successfully developed what is being called an ‘ethnic-bullet’, which will target only Arabs. The report quotes an ‘unconfirmed report’ which originated in South Africa, which details how Israeli scientists have made a biological weapon tailor made to attack targets with the Arab genetic system. Long-term studies of Iraqi Jews was credited with providing the genetic code needed to target Arabs. According to the report, the ethnic-bullet program was originally developed for use in Apartheid South Africa for use against blacks. Scientist in both countries worked together towards the development of the Israeli program. Israeli officials declined to confirm the existence of the ‘ethnic bullet,’ but one told the newsletter: ‘We have a basket full of strategic surprises which we will not hesitate to use if we feel that the State of Israel is under serious threat”.
The popular US based technology magazine Wired, also ran a story on Israel’s biogenetic weapons program in 1998. The story reads,
“ISRAEL IS REPORTEDLY developing a biological weapon that would harm Arabs while leaving Jews unaffected, according to a report in London’s Sunday Times. The report, citing Israeli military and western intelligence sources, says that scientists are trying to identify distinctive genes carried by Arabs to create a genetically modified bacterium or virus.
The ‘ethno-bomb’ is reportedly Israel’s response to the threat that Iraq may be just weeks away from completing its own biological weapons.
The ‘ethno-bomb’ program is based at Israel’s Nes Tziyona research facility. Scientists are trying to use viruses and bacteria to alter DNA inside living cells and attack only those cells bearing Arabic genes.
The task is very complex because both Arabs and Jews are Semitic peoples. But according to the report, the Israelis have succeeded in isolating particular characteristics of certain Arabs, ‘particularly the Iraqi people.’
Dedi Zucker, a member of the Israeli parliament, denounced the research in the Sunday Times. ‘Morally, based on our history, and our tradition and our experience, such a weapon is monstrous and should be denied.’
Last month, Foreign Report claimed that Israel was following in the ignominious footsteps of apartheid-era research, in their supposed efforts to develop an “ethnic bullet.”
A year later, a report from Reuters citing British scientists, confirmed that such a biogenetic weapon was possible given the advanced state of genetic mapping, although the report neither confirmed nor denied the existence of an Arab killing Israel biogenetic weapon.
Russians are therefore clearly worried that the US military intends to collect samples of Russian DNA in order to engineer a biogenetic weapon similar to the ones Israel is said to have created in the 1990s. The fact that genetic mapping technology has advanced even further since the 1990s, makes this fear all the more magnified.
In the 1980s, the Soviet Union feared that the AIDS virus was created in a US military bio-weapons lab in Fort Detrick, Maryland. While the story was dismissed by the US as geo-political propaganda, many black Africans and African-Americans continue to believe that the CIA had a hand in either creating or weaponising the AIDS virus. To this day, AIDS continues to disproportionately effect black men across the globe.
The notion that AIDS was part of a CIA experiment aimed at population modification, was spoken of widely in the 1980s. The American musician Frank Zappa even wrote a musical about the alleged phenomenon called ‘Thing Fish’.
In the year 2000, the neocon think-thank that would provide the George W. Bush administration with many important advisers, the Project for the New American Century published a report which spoke of the desirability of weaponising genetically mapped biological agents for use in 21st century warfare. This was one of the factors leading to Russia banning the export of domestic DNA samples in 2007, as was reported in Russian mainstream media at the time.
While exporting Russian DNA samples remains illegal in most circumstances, the US military is still keen on flaunting Russian law.
President Vladimir Putin has responded to the latest attempts by the US military to collect Russian DNA samples in the following way,
“Do you know that biological material is being collected all over the country, from different ethnic groups and people living in different geographical regions of the Russian Federation? The question is – why is it being done? It’s being done purposefully and professionally. We are a kind of object of great interest.
Let them do what they want, and we must do what we must”.
The latter part of Putin’s statement derives from the Melian Dialogue of the Athenian historian Thucydides. In his History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides recounts Athenian envoys trying to convince the small island of Melos to surrender its sovereignty or be destroyed. The dialogue includes a famous line which is usually translated as “The strong do as they will and the weak submit as they must”.
Putin therefore is suggesting that no matter what the US has in store for Russia, the leadership of the Russian Federation is able and willing to take defensive matters in any scenario. The seemingly cautious statement from Putin, is actually incredibly forceful when read carefully.
Based on past experiences, the US is not operating under innocent intentions and therefore, Russia should not take any chances.