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Bill_T
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Registered: ‎03-20-2007
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Early Chapter Discussion: Biowar

In one powerful passage about the changing of the marine environment, Dr. Richard Graff asks Monk Kokkalis,"did you know Saxitoxin, from shellfish, has been classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction?"

Many predict that "World War III" will be a war of biology. Do you think that a major conflict using biological weapons is likely? How can we prepare a defense? Is it time we reconsider biowarfare research for our own defense? Would such research be ethical?



Note: This discussion topic is particularly suitable for readers who have only read the first part of The Judas Strain, through the end of "Exposure" (p. 132). If you wish to discuss plot elements introduced later in the book, consider posting in a separate thread.

Click on "Reply" to post your thoughts about this discussion topic, or click "New Message" on the main page to start a new topic thread.
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katknit
Posts: 347
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Early Chapter Discussion: Biowar



Bill_T wrote:
In one powerful passage about the changing of the marine environment, Dr. Richard Graff asks Monk Kokkalis,"did you know Saxitoxin, from shellfish, has been classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction?"

Many predict that "World War III" will be a war of biology. Do you think that a major conflict using biological weapons is likely? How can we prepare a defense? Is it time we reconsider biowarfare research for our own defense? Would such research be ethical?



Note: This discussion topic is particularly suitable for readers who have only read the first part of The Judas Strain, through the end of "Exposure" (p. 132). If you wish to discuss plot elements introduced later in the book, consider posting in a separate thread.

Click on "Reply" to post your thoughts about this discussion topic, or click "New Message" on the main page to start a new topic thread.


I believe it is only a matter of time before a major bioterrorism attack occurs. There are so many opportunities. The internet provides any interested party with the necessary info and knowledge. It's possible to obtain almost anything on the net, with a fair amount of privacy. Water supplies, atomic energy plants, medical waste, research labs with minimal security - the possibilities are mind boggling. Our government has been and still is conducting research in biomed weaponry, and it's an unfortunate necessity. Where the US seems unready is in the area of adequate response should an attack be made. There's a head in the sand mentality here despite all the warnings.
No two persons ever read the same book. [Edmund Wilson]
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vivico1
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Early Chapter Discussion: Biowar


Bill_T wrote:
In one powerful passage about the changing of the marine environment, Dr. Richard Graff asks Monk Kokkalis,"did you know Saxitoxin, from shellfish, has been classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction?"

Many predict that "World War III" will be a war of biology. Do you think that a major conflict using biological weapons is likely? How can we prepare a defense? Is it time we reconsider biowarfare research for our own defense? Would such research be ethical?
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You ask this as if, it hasnt already happened, we arent already doing it, and the research and development AND trials on humans arent happening already! :smileywink: Ethical? Ethical to governments is only something to worry about, when things become known. And then they find a way to make the unethical at least seem practical.

After seeing the effects of the Atomic Bomb, Einstein was asked, what do you think WWIII will fought with? He said I dont know how it will be fought, but I know how WWIV will be, with stones and clubs. (I do believe it was about III and IV he said this, because it was after the bomb, but if it was somehow II and III, forgive me but you get the jist.) We are going to blow ourselves back to the stone ages, with all kinds of weapons, and bio may be one of the biggest.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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JamesRollins
Posts: 105
Registered: ‎07-25-2007
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Re: Early Chapter Discussion: Biowar

Biowarfare is a dangerous pot to be stirring. Nature is the master of this method of combat: from the chemical warfare going on constantly among the flora of the Amazon, to the complex rise and fall of bacteria involved in our own intestinal tracts. We humans are ham-fisted amateurs. So with dangerous nations/sects/powers dabbling in this field, do we as a nation defend ourselves by "fighting fire with fire" or perhaps proceeding with the strategy of "the best defense is a strong offense"? Any thoughts/comments?

Jim


Learn more about The Judas Strain.
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vivico1
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Re: Early Chapter Discussion: Biowar


JamesRollins wrote:
Biowarfare is a dangerous pot to be stirring. Nature is the master of this method of combat: from the chemical warfare going on constantly among the flora of the Amazon, to the complex rise and fall of bacteria involved in our own intestinal tracts. We humans are ham-fisted amateurs. So with dangerous nations/sects/powers dabbling in this field, do we as a nation defend ourselves by "fighting fire with fire" or perhaps proceeding with the strategy of "the best defense is a strong offense"? Any thoughts/comments?

Jim


Thats a hard one Jim, with the war thats going on now, trying to decide now about the best defense is a good offense and all. Its so complicated now, but the world is in general. I think that if we keep messing with the things you mention here, we may very well create something by accident that we have no control off. After all, arent most discoveries and even inventions ones made accidentally, or secondary to something else? Can we risk such a think with nature. Do you remember in the movie Jurassic Park, where there are baby dinos being born to ones that shouldnt be able to, and Jeff Goldblum says, you cant just create things that dont belong here or cant live in this environment and expect them to do what you want, because nature will always find a way!

I wished if we have to be in this arena now (and i dont see how we stay out if everyone else is in), I wished it could be on a strictly defensive way, being prepared for what might come instead of first strike things but no nation works that way. We still have enough nukes to destroy the world a hundred times over and russia is selling off theirs to countries that want them, for things they need instead. We dont really have a way to get rid of them. But it got that way on both sides with the first strike, fight fire with MORE fire mentality. But we are talking about living material here that we dont know for sure the things they can do. I believe very much that even the Judas Strain you have in this book, is a possible thing. But once we let the genie out of the bottle, what do we do, when we cant control it or it mutates?

When i was in college in the late 70s, early 80s, we talked in one of our courses about some president of ours and government officials talking about the use of a bomb that kills all the people off but leaves the building all intact to take over after the war and no reconstruction needed! I thought wow, now thats cold, can we be that cold? Kill the people and keep the property? But some years later when the world started talking more about bioweapons, I thought, thats really what they were talking about wasnt it!

Its so hard for me to think about the best defense is a strong offense right now with this war. I thought I understood it in the beginning but I dont know anymore. I support our men and women in uniform anywhere they go but I dont know about what we are doing any more. The idea of hitting them there before they bring it to our soil, well to tell you the truth, I dont think we live in a world where we can do that anymore, not with guerilla warfare like this and bombings. We can chase them all over and stay in wars forever to try to keep them off our soil but I really think the truth of it now is, we are not going to be able to do that, not these kinds of attacks. We are just joining in now with what other countries in the world have had to deal with for years and years and cant stop this way. We have been blessed but we couldnt keep it off our soil forever when you can carry bioweapons and nuclear devices in a backpack. So maybe we need to bring our troups home and work on intel here and defenses here and prepare because the offense on these things just isnt working. I just dont know but I do know we need intel on whats going on in the world and work on defense and vaccines and cures, not making them for us to destroy with. Vivian
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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hawaiianchique
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎07-24-2007
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Re: Early Chapter Discussion: Biowar

Terrorist groups may see biological weapons as power. However, I believe they would be using them at their own risk. Who can harness nature?? Do people honestly believe they can control the very organisms that create the world around us? It's just like the Judas Strain. You don't know what can happen. Even with all the knowledge the top scientists in the world have, they could never be completely prepared for the possible consequences of using biological weapons. God help us if and when biological warfare breaks loose. That was one very important point made by the book. Even on a small scale, biology couldn't be controlled.
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skipster56
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎07-23-2007
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Re: Early Chapter Discussion: Biowar

I have done some extensive research on terrorism for my novel,
Dangerous Love, 2010 A.D. I can tell you that a terrorist's mind is working 24/7 on how to disrupt a large group who does not see the same view of life, as they do. The U.S. has had terrorists in the past, but you don't see it as much because we live in a democracy. Terrorists, positively Do NOT believe in democracy. Third world countries that are run by people that have bullied their way into power, rule the country with an iron fist. Not for or by the people, strictly against the belief of people that do not believe in what they believe. I am sure, some of you have gone onto "Slates" message boards. You can see the tempers in there that shows hate of people that don't agree on how this country is run. Maybe I don't either, but the difference between me and a terrorist is I believe in democracy. Terrorist just believe in what they believe, but the Taliban are like the old Japanese pilots that believed in death to strike upon its target. Terrorists will die for their cause over there. If you go onto the Iraq or Iran web site, you will NOT see any pictures of women in any situation of the media. That is because of their belief but they don't believe in settling it through talks and the one thing they don't believe in strongly is losing.
View the new web page for Dangerous Love at www.skipstover.com
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