weapons of mass destruction

  1. Do you think nuclear weapons should be considered the same as chemical, or biological weapons? No way! Yet, i heard on the radio folks talking about how America saved lives by using a weapon of mass destruction ending WWII.
    It is disturbing to hear all the inspections for potential weapons of mass destruction, when America is the only country that has intentionally used a nuclear weapon of mass destruction.
    Also, I never heard of "ground zero" being called anything except the place a nuclear detonationion occurs. Yet, 9-11 site is always refered to as "ground zero."
    I guess I'm just venting over fear, and all the weapons inspecting, and how the most destructive weapon was all ready used by America, so our enemy(s) would have no ethical or moral dilemas to use a weapon of mass destruction against us. Paranoia will destroy ya (lets hope not)
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   Q.
    I think anything that is capable of executing masses of people in one swoop is "weapons of mass destruction." Chemical and biological definitely fall into that category for me. It doesn't matter if an entire nation can be killed with a nuclear bomb, or if that same entire nation can be killed with a deadly chemical weapon, does it?

    I think the term "ground zero" doesn't only imply nuclear. "Ground zero" probably refers to any point in which a large explosion or detonation/release of something that killed a large amount of people occurred. 9/11 in my mind is definitely "ground zero." Jet liners with full tanks of fuel were used as bombs. Killed thousands. No different than any other bomb, in my mind. Sort of like, we all know guns kill people and that is a weapon. Yet, if I kill someone with a baseball bat, that becomes a weapon.

    Since the only time the US has used a nuclear bomb you say is during WWII, in which the nearly the entire world thought should be stopped, I'm not worried. I'm only worried about the scud missiles en route to Yemen, and others we haven't even discovered yet.
  4. by   sunnygirl272
    i am with susy k....
  5. by   renerian
    I am afraid for humanity as well. I think if you can kill many people in one mighty swoop, earlier sited, then it is a weapon of mass destruction. I fear for our country as well.

    renerian
  6. by   OC_An Khe
    Mario
    Any weapon can be a weapon of mass destruction. Depends on how it it used. Look to the WWII raids on Dresden and Tokoyo fire bombing. Going back further in time where to you think the expression "the city was put to the sword" (all inhabitants killed by the sword) came from?
    It's who uses the weapon(s) AND HOW THEY ARE USED AND MORE IMPORTANTLY WHY THEY WERE USED that really should control the discussion.
  7. by   mario_ragucci
    Well, I don't like the ground zero term used. And it's not like another country falls to a sword. You might can run from a group of people running everyone through, but you can't control or stop a runaway nuclear reaction. Small pox can be vaccinated against, and deadly gas can be avoided, but nuclear would stop the show, AEB WWII. America might surrender to a nuclear enemy, right? I just wonder sometimes why "they" keep mentioning all these inspections. No terrorist or country has so far used any weapon of mass destruction, but keep hearing about them.

    Yes, the allied bombing during WWII were the only use of mass destruction. There is a difference between killing thousands, and hundreds of thousands. It's not an easy topic to actually discuss, mass destruction, unless you know the magnitudes.
    Plus, what can the media report? Suppose evidence of a nuclear weapon of mass destruction was found in Iraq. Can anyone then threaten them to hand it over? That would be like asking for it (their use).
  8. by   Q.
    Iraq can have nuclear weapons if they wish; but they just need to be honest about it. They've never been honest about their weapons program.

    Besides, whose to say that smallpox is the only biological weapon? There are things of which there is NO vaccine. Some gases are permeable to even military grade gas masks, as I'm sure you know. And with 9/11, most of the people who were killed never had a chance. . There are people who survived the WWII bombing you are referring to; because they weren't wiped out, does that mean nuclear isn't a "weapon of mass destruction?" No. Just because some people survive such an attack does not negate it's intended purpose. Like 9/11, like the threat of smallpox or any other "unknown," it's meant to kill everyone. It's success rate is irrelevant in my mind.
    Last edit by Susy K on Dec 16, '02
  9. by   sunnygirl272
    originally posted by mario_ragucci small pox can be vaccinated against, and deadly gas can be avoided. [/b]
    poor mario, at it again...
    sarin characteristics:
    pure form - colorless liquid and vapor.
    odor - almost none.
    use - military chemical nerve agent.
    caution: extremely toxic by all routes of exposure; emits very toxic fumes of fluoride and phosphorus oxides when heated to decomposition or reacted with steam.

    vx gas is one of the most dangerous chemicals created. it is used in chemical warfare.

    it is normally in its liquid state despite its name. it has a low volatility; is odourless and is an excellent adhesive. a special form has been developed that is so adhesive that it is virtually impossible to remove from the surface that it is in contact with. this leads to strategic attacks on enemy bases or airfields so that the vx remains stuck to the area and has the potential to kill any one attempting to use the base or airfield.

    tabun - ga
    nerve agent
    (dimethylphosphoramido-cyanidate)
    description:
    in 1936, germany first developed tabun as an insecticide. dr. gerhard schrader first noticed the effects of nerve agents on humans when he and his lab assistant began to experience shortness of breath and contraction of the pupils. tabun was the first nerve agent discovered. ga is a clear colorless and tasteless liquid with a slightly fruity odor.
    signs and symptoms:
    the symptoms are: runny nose; tightness of the chest; dimness of vision and pin pointing of the eye pupils; difficulty in breathing; drooling and excessive sweating; nausea; vomiting, cramps, and involuntary defecation and urination; twitching, jerking, and staggering; and headache, confusion, drowsiness, coma, and convulsions. these symptoms are followed by cessation of breathing and death. symptoms appear much more slowly from a skin dosage than from a respiratory dosage. although skin absorption great enough to cause death may occur in 1 to 2 minutes, death may be delayed for 1 to 2 hours. respiratory lethal dosages kill in 1 to 10 minutes, and liquid in the eye kills almost as rapidly.

    soman - gd
    nerve agent
    (pinacolyl methyl phosphonofluoridate)
    description:
    soman was discovered in germany in 1944. gd is a lethal cholinesterase inhibitor. doses that are potentially life threatening may be only slightly larger than those producing least effects. soman is a colorless liquid when pure with a fruity odor. the industrial version is yellow-brown with a camphor-like odor.
    signs and symptoms:
    symptoms of overexposure may occur within minutes or hours, depending upon dose. they include: miosis (constriction of pupils) and visual effects, headaches and pressure sensation, runny nose and nasal congestion, salivation, tightness in the chest, nausea, vomiting, giddiness, anxiety, difficulty in thinking and sleeping, nightmares, muscle twitches, tremors, weakness, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, involuntary urination and defecation. severe exposure symptoms progress to convulsions and respiratory failure.

    mustard - hd
    blister agent
    (bis- (2-chloroethyl) sulfide)
    description:
    although first synthesized in the 1800's, the germans first used mustard in 1917 during world war i. mustard (liquid) is colorless when pure, but is normally a brown oily substance. mustard (vapor) has a slight garlic- or mustard-like odor. mustard remains a health hazard for an extended period of time. mustard is a toxic agent that is considered non-lethal by the army. however, complications from mustard exposure can lead to death.
    signs and symptoms:
    an individual exposed to mustard will feel very little pain and will not notice symptoms for quite some time. however, the longer the exposure without removal of the mustard agent, the more severe will be the damage to affected areas of the body. mustard is a blister agent that affects the eyes, lungs and skin. the eyes are very susceptible, reacting to very low concentrations from mustard. exposure to mustard on the skin can range from redness and inflammation to severe blisters and extreme soreness. inhalation of the agent will cause irritation of throat, tightness of chest, hoarseness and coughing. if medical treatment is not received in the early stages of contamination, severe bronchopneumonia with accompanying high fever can occur.
    treatment:
    there is no known antidote for mustard exposure; the process of cellular destruction is irreversible. therefore, it is very important to remove the mustard as quickly as possible. the best means of removal is by flushing with water and household bleach, or washing with soap and water after using an absorber of mustard, such as flour.
    inhalation: hold breath until respiratory protective mask is donned. remove from the source. immediately. if breathing is difficult, administer oxygen. if breathing has stopped, give artificial respiration. mouth-to-mouth resuscitation should be used when approved mask-bag or oxygen delivery systems are not available. do not use mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when facial contamination is present. seek medical attention immediately.


    basically, from my pathetic understanding, as far as nerve gases go..although not all are really a feasible threat, mustard is really the only one that one would have a chance against...and a pathetioc, painful chance that would be....

    how pray tell ,would we be able to avoid exposure to any of these? some are odorless, tasteless, colorless...


    now for smallpox...here is a list of people who should not get the vaccine...it reallly includes a fair number of people if you stop and think about it..
    eczema or atopic dermatitis. (this is true even if the condition is not currently active, mild or experienced as a child.)
    skin conditions such as burns, chickenpox, shingles, impetigo, herpes, severe acne, or psoriasis. (people with any of these conditions should not get the vaccine until they have completely healed.)
    weakened immune system. (cancer treatment, an organ transplant, hiv, or medications to treat autoimmune disorders and other illnesses can weaken the immune system.)
    pregnancy or plans to become pregnant within one month of vaccination.
    in addition, individuals should not get the smallpox vaccine if they:

    are allergic to the vaccine or any of its ingredients.
    are younger than 12 months of age. however, the advisory committee on immunization practices (acip) advises against non-emergency use of smallpox vaccine in children younger than 18 years of age.
    have a moderate or severe short-term illness. (these people should wait until they are completely recovered to get the vaccine.)
    are currently breastfeeding.
    Last edit by sunnygirl272 on Dec 16, '02
  10. by   donmurray
    Then there was the attempted release of sarin in the Tokyo subway by that sect a couple of years ago, killed several people.
  11. by   Q.
    Wow Sunny, you impress me!
  12. by   sunnygirl272
    Originally posted by Susy K
    Wow Sunny, you impress me!
    <<takes a bow>>
    hey...i ain't just a sexy blonde with big bosoms, and junk in my trunk...

    actually, just feeling extra cranky today...this served as a good , and mutually educational outlet...
  13. by   kmchugh
    Originally posted by mario_ragucci
    Well, I don't like the ground zero term used. And it's not like another country falls to a sword. You might can run from a group of people running everyone through, but you can't control or stop a runaway nuclear reaction. Small pox can be vaccinated against, and deadly gas can be avoided, but nuclear would stop the show, AEB WWII. America might surrender to a nuclear enemy, right? I just wonder sometimes why "they" keep mentioning all these inspections. No terrorist or country has so far used any weapon of mass destruction, but keep hearing about them.

    Yes, the allied bombing during WWII were the only use of mass destruction. There is a difference between killing thousands, and hundreds of thousands. It's not an easy topic to actually discuss, mass destruction, unless you know the magnitudes.
    Plus, what can the media report? Suppose evidence of a nuclear weapon of mass destruction was found in Iraq. Can anyone then threaten them to hand it over? That would be like asking for it (their use).
    Mario, you missed on many levels. First, weapons of mass destruction include nuclear (which really has a burr under your blanket), biological, and chemical. Sunny has given us an impressive description of the effects of most chemical agents, but since you claim to have been in the military, I'd have thought you'd have been familiar with most of those. Additionally, a little tidbit the military never let you know: Remember the nerve agent antidote autoinjectors? We were told to administer them at the first symptom. Unfortunately, at that point it would be too late. IMHO, nerve agents would be a far more horrendous way to die than instant vaporization of a nuclear blast.

    As for the use of the term "ground zero," I'm really sorry you don't like it. But hey, what are you gonna do?

    No, America would not surrender to an enemy with nuclear capability, AEB our refusal to back down in the cold war. AEB our staring down the Russians in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    As for no country or terrorist group using weapons of mass destruction, again, you have not studied your history very closely. Of course you are aware of the US using them to end WW II by the atomic bombing of Japan. You've called the US a terrorist country for doing so. And, as Don Murray pointed out, a cult in Japan released Sarin in the Japanese subway a few years back. Several people died. In WW I, nearly all participants used mustard gas and nerve agents against each other.

    Most important to this discussion, however, is Iraq. It has been documented that Iraq, under the leadership of Hussein, used nerve agents (Sarin, I think) against both the Iranian army as well as against the Kurds in his own country. There is a picture that stands out in my mind, which can give you nightmares. It is of a Kurdish mother, holding an infant not more than a year old. Both are dead. Both are in rictus, backs arched. It is apparent they died in hideous agony.

    Are you suggesting that we must back down anytime a potential foe has a weapon of mass destruction? If so, the future for our country would be pretty bleak.

    Kevin McHugh
    Last edit by kmchugh on Dec 16, '02
  14. by   OzNurse69
    Originally posted by kmchugh
    As for no country or terrorist group using weapons of mass destruction, again, you have not studied your history very closely. Of course you are aware of the US using them to end WW II by the atomic bombing of Japan. You've called the US a terrorist country for doing so. And, as Don Murray pointed out, a cult in Japan released Sarin in the Japanese subway a few years back. Several people died. In WW I, nearly all participants used mustard gas and nerve agents against each other.

    Kevin McHugh
    I agree Kevin. By my understanding, the US is so far the only country to use a nuclear weapon as a weapon of mass destruction IN A WAR-TIME SITUATION. However, going back to Susy's observation, what about Sept 11? Is not a fuel-laden jumbo jet, deliberately aimed at a high population centre so as to cause maximum loss of life, a "weapon of mass destruction"? Seems to me it is, by anyone's definition.

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