This is not a question of if, but when.
I guess if Bill Gates says it people will pay more attention. Biological and chemical weapons are considered weapons of mass destruction, part of the triad with nukes, but they get a lot less press. There’s also the fact that they’ve rarely been used, even by militaries, mainly because they haven’t been very useful. They tend to be as dangerous to the employer as the target. They kill and maim indiscriminately.
But that’s no longer true, particularly for bio-weapons. Now that DNA has been decoded, weapons can be targeted to attack only people with certain codes. Think specific ethnic groups. The reality is, bioweapons will be favored over more crude destructive weapons such as nukes or even conventional weapons, because they will incapacitate/kill while leaving the infrastructure intact. Almost the perfect weapon.
They exist, thus they will be used. In the same manner we will see a nuclear detonation. They exist, one, at least, will be used. The most likely target for a nuke is in a cargo container in a port city. For bioterrorism, look at any terrorist group that is battling along ethnic lines.
Here’s the link to the article where Gates talks about it. But don’t go away quite yet.
Even without bioterrorism, the threat of a pandemic is also lurking. The last really, really bad one was 1917, when 50 to 100 million people died. While the article says a new pandemic will be contained better, I tend to disagree. In 1917 one couldn’t get on a plane on one side of the world and end on the other within 24 hours. If it’s a very fast pandemic, we’re in big trouble.
So here’s how to deal with both:
One of the greatest things George Washington did was walk away after his last term as President. There were those who wanted to anoint him king. Others who wanted him President-for-Life. But he gave up the power willingly.
I was pondering this several years ago. I thought about how, in our long history, we’ve had Presidents overstep their bounds. Break the law. Jefferson himself, with the Louisiana Purchase. Polk and the trumped up Mexican War which expanded our country almost as much as the Purchase– ie California, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, etc. Lincoln taking powers during war that were illegal.
How were they stopped? Did the process work? Or did Hamilton and Jefferson, two very opposite men, sit down and hammer out an agreement, a secret Allegiance, that could be invoked to stop a rogue President?
The very first law, enacted by the very first Congress, is the oath of office for military officers. That’s how serious it was considered. It’s an oath I took at 17, on the Plain at West Point. It’s one I still believe in.
Today, Monday and Tuesday, for President’s Weekend, The Jefferson Allegiance is FREE. Take the time to read a thriller steeped in history and politics. This book was a #2 National Bestseller at Barnes and Noble when it first came out.
Have a great weekend!
Given the concern over the Oroville Dam, let’s not underestimate the danger. We can look to history for how bad this can become.
3 minutes before midnight on 12 March 1928, the St. Francis Dam, north of Los Angeles, failed.
Designed by William Mulholland, a self-taught engineer, the story of why the dam failed is in my short nonfiction book, which is free for download here.
It’s curious to note there is a sister dam just like it, the Mulholland Dam in LA, holding the Hollywood Reservoir. While it was greatly reinforced after the St. Francis disaster, it’s something to think about.
Never underestimate the power of water.
Here are some more images from the disaster. Mulholland at the site of the collapse the day after:
And below is the dam before