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Humans have always been the masterminds of what doesn’t belong to humankind just to satisfy innate desires of being superior to the other. Wars have been created not to dismantle other nations, but to showcase their superiority. The subsequent development of science has led to the invention of modern weapons for better warfare. It rose from picking up guns and bombs to squeezing out information. Between guns and information, the one weapon that made its own name is a bio weapon or biological weapon. From the time of the epics, bioweapons have been the major reason of fear among the masses. Its history tells us how it became the reason for more deaths than even a nuclear bomb. They remain in the form of poison or in the form of tiny microbes. Most of them require a host to survive, since in several instances, it has been seen that fungi and bacteria have given moderate results. The question comes, when did it originate and how did it reach so high in weapon textbooks even after the presence of political diplomacy.

To know that we must dive into the history of bio weapons and who normally used it on whom because the target matters a lot for the ones who deploy such weapons.

Europe has been the place from where the primitive bioweapon originated. To be more precise, Eurasia with its population of Scythians used snakes on a large scale population, remains of dead corpses to contaminate the water of the enemy land. You need to take out Homer’s Iliad and other epics of Greek and Roman literature to understand that the bioweapons were just not microbes, but they were juices of venomous plants, dead remains of animals, and in some cases, acids of ants.

The history of Italy too is filled with bioweapons. The same Italy which is today suffering from this deadly outbreak, once used to control a whole bio weapon factory. In the battle to conquer Ethiopia, the kings of Southern Europe just like Barbarossa used extracts from the dead bodies to poison water bodies leading to the initiation of a major outbreak which formed a plague conjuring one third of Africa.

The Czars of Russia too, dismantled the European nations by extracting fluid off the bodies disposed of in a plague run area and then deploying it over nations like Sweden. In many cases, they used potent antibiotics as a major bait to earn huge sums of money. Modern Europe today boasts of diplomacy, but the rightists of old Europe were the main masterminds of bioweapons.

The book of the Native Americans documents their dreadful past that came in the hands of the British. Jeffrey Amherst, commander of then the United Kingdom army was a staunch believer of the Church and used to follow the wrath of the God on those who do not obey him. Under his instruction, the British army deployed a small pox strain right over the land of the Native Americans leading to the death of lakhs. He advocated that it was much needed to conquer America. He was knighted after he successfully killed the people to conquer America. He also won against Napoleon by deploying a major biological weapon over France.

Germany under Wilhelm I used bioweapons to start a plague in Russia. Thousands were killed and that was the vital event that shook the ground of politics in World War 1. Hitler used bioweapons to tackle the Jews. Superpowers became allies because of the presence of bioweapons on both sides. It cultured the area of fear among the masses and the governments of smaller countries to automatically surrender.

Japan, to defeat the superpowers in World War II, started to experiment on smaller countries of China with strains of microbes causing anthrax, syphilis, smallpox etc. They started a plague killing thousands in China just to establish power over the allied forces.

Today the United States speaks that China may have deployed the Coronavirus over the world. But US needs to remember its history first because the US leaders first took charge to release botulinum and anthrax if Germany attacks America. In the Middle East, countries planted bioweapons on each other to showcase power and superiority.

So, history tells us that the bioweapons that have been either tested or deployed on a location belong to rich and powerful countries. Another interesting thing is that in all these countries the establishment either believed in spreading monarchy or it simply used to follow the idea of reigning on other nations. Right after the outbreak of Coronavirus, people have started bashing China as the country to have deployed a biological weapon. But I think they might have forgotten that China has signed a peace treaty to not deploy or test any kind of biological weapon. The Geneva Protocol of 1925 was signed by 108 nations. This was the first multilateral agreement that extended prohibition of chemical agents to biological agents. So there’s a chance that it might have been released from any laboratory due to a biological test but this narrative fails too. Let’s go to the basics of outbreaks from the past:

The novel strain of Ebola was thought to be the work of America to dismantle Africa. But after vital research it has been found that the Ebola strains have evolved with time and their structures have changed to better insert in a vector (carrier) to travel the world.

The H1N1 virus too was thought to be the work of China, but the narrative badly failed when researchers found that the strain has been present for hundreds of years, but due to the evolution of a flank DNA, it became much more effective in transfusing with the host.

Chicken pox killed almost half of France in the 1800s. It led to a massive economic fall across Europe. The French Government doubted that it might have been Britain to do so. But later it was found that a sailor traveled from South Asia in a ship, which infected the crew and led to this major outbreak.

Take for example, Cholera. A Portugese came with the strain in his body and infected the whole country. Cholera killed more than 60 million people in our nation. One must understand that a microbe evolves faster than any other species. It has a much higher doubling time and can better equip with the changing environment.

The Coronavirus strain was not the first virus of its family. For the very first time in 2007, three Chinese scientists started experimenting on the virus to figure out the characteristics of the virus. Its peculiar structure made it hard for the researchers to culture any type of vaccine. Never in the history of bioweapon warfare, a country has killed its own people to test a weapon. Never. The virus had a carrier in the market of Wuhan. The strain is a novel strain and when a country deploys a bio weapon, it prepares a vaccine first. China doesn’t have any kind of vaccine and so it has kept its infected people in quarantine. It has used harsh measures to take people in isolation. How many instances can you present to me where a country has done such stupidity?

One should understand the history of biowars and before that people should read the history of outbreaks. We stand in an era of globalisation where every other country needs the other to develop. China isn’t a foolish country to commit such suicide. Ideological differences have always made countries blame each other. Rightists claim the leftist ideology pushes China to do such acts. There too one must dive inside history to see that those monarchs who released bioweapons in the past 500 years, each one of them followed the fundamental structure of the society: oppression, and all of them either followed the church or they believed in establishing subjugation.

So here one must understand that wars are not fought to establish ideologies. Rather they are fought to establish power. It is most unlikely now that a major strong country would deploy any kind of nuclear weapon or bioweapon. In today’s world these are used as defensive measures. A single bioweapon or nuclear missile could be the death sentence of that country’s governance. Everyday more than a million microbes evolve into a new structure. Some we are immune to, others cause outbreak. More people died of diabetes and obesity in all these years than bioweapons. So, they’re investing their poison as food and drinks. They do not need any other weapon to do anything else. Superpowers can crush the economy of third world countries in minutes. So, it would be a great mistake to think that the strain was used as a bioweapon. To be precise, it won’t be rational by any means.

Kabir Deb is a published writer and poet. Born in Haflong and completed his Masters on Life Sciences from Assam University. His work has been published from different national and international magazine like Different bTruths, Counter Currents, Reviews, Cafe Dissensus, Spillwords magazine and his works rely on political activisvm. He recently won the Reuel International Poetry Prize in 2019. His debut book is now available in stores.


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