Merchants of Death

The sale of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons is spreading at an irreversible rate. The world is being swept toward Armageddon in a torrent of greed.

Biological, chemical and nuclear warfare is a nightmare just waiting for a delivery system. Many experts consider missile technology sales to terrorist nations, especially in the Middle East, to be the world’s biggest threat to international security.

Last June, the North Korean government put a gun to mankind’s head by saying they won’t stop selling missile technology to other nations unless America ends the economic sanctions imposed on North Korea after the 1950-1953 Korean War. North Korea’s most recent customer: nuclear-equipped Pakistan.

China, too, is handing out ammunition to the madmen of the world by continuing its negotiations to sell important missile technology to Iran and Libya. The U.S. Congress is presently investigating reports that this American missile technology was provided to China (possibly illegally) and used to improve China’s strategic nuclear missiles. In spite of a 1994 agreement not to sell such dangerous technology, Chinese leaders apparently feel fully justified in their actions.

The Middle East is a veritable tinderbox of doomsday arsenals. Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel, Egypt and Libya all have advanced missile technology and one or more forms of chemical, biological and/or nuclear capability. According to arms-control experts, there are at least 25 countries from the steppes of Asia to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea which now have or are developing weapons of mass destruction. The Wall Street Journal of February 18 stated, “The Middle East is thick with them, whether it be nuclear warheads in Israel, anthrax in Iraq or missiles tipped with nerve gas in Iran.”

Deadly Cargo

The real fear about spreading missile technology is not the missiles themselves, but the deadly cargo they can carry.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, over 30,000 nuclear weapons, plus weapons-grade uranium and plutonium sufficient to make an additional 100,000 weapons, became accessible to terrorist nations. Intelligence Digest of June 26 states, “Russia’s one remaining strength is its ability to supply arms and technology to states that are blacklisted by the U.S. and Western Europe.”

Today, becoming a nuclear power is more a matter of the pocketbook than the brain. The materials and the expertise can already be found in the marketplace—all it takes is money—and there is no way to undo the knowledge of how to make these nightmarish weapons. One of the lessons being written with the blood of human misery is that there is always a market for the technology of death—no matter how much human suffering it causes.

Likewise, chemical and biological agents are easy and cheap to manufacture and can kill people by the hundreds of thousands. Chemical and biological agents are the poor man’s atom bomb. Recipes for biological weapons can be found on the Internet. All that is needed is about $10,000 for a beer fermenter, a biological “starter” culture, and a gas mask.

Doesn’t human life mean anything to these merchants of death? Has their twisted malice taken them beyond all human sensibilities and turned them into vicious animals? Don’t they care about the horrible suffering and agony which chemical and biological agents cause?

Witch’s Brew

One of the deadliest chemical agents is a poison called VX. One tiny drop of the liquid form of VX absorbed through the skin causes nausea, convulsions and seizures, killing victims within minutes as they gasp helplessly for air because of paralyzed chest muscles. U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen recently stated that Iraq still has enough stockpiles of VX to “kill every man, woman and child on the face of the earth”—as well as bombs and missiles capable of delivering the witch’s brew.

Sarin nerve gas was used in 1995 by the Aum Shinrikyo (Sacred Truth) cult in Tokyo’s subway to kill a dozen people and injure another 5,000. Iraq used sarin in its war with Iran in the 1980s as well as on unsuspecting and unprotected Kurds and Marsh Arabs in March 1988, massacring 4,000. Like all nerve gases, sarin suffocates by paralyzing respiratory muscles and can result in death within 15 minutes.

Mustard gas, which is easy to manufacture, was also used by Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. The horrors of mustard gas and its gruesome cousin, chlorine gas, were first introduced to humanity during World War I. Exposure to mustard gas immediately causes severe eye and lung damage, as well as serious skin blistering, and is lethal in large doses.

Novichok is designed to be absorbed directly through the skin and is up to ten times more toxic in humans than VX. A microscopic amount can kill. In lethal doses, Novichok shuts down the nervous system and causes paralysis, killing much like a pesticide kills an insect. But even in sub-lethal concentration, the effects are devastating, causing immediate choking and collapse. And those “lucky enough” to live are plagued with toxic hepatitis, chronic liver disease and epilepsy for the rest of their tortured lives.

Botulinum is one of the most deadly biological agents known to science—15,000 times as powerful as VX nerve gas and 100,000 times worse than sarin. This extremely lethal toxin, derived from the bacteria which causes botulism (a severe form of food poisoning), likewise paralyzes the respiratory muscles and suffocates its victims within 12 to 36 hours.

Anthrax spores are a powerful biological poison produced by animal bacteria which can be spread through the air, and cause black pustules, vomiting, fever, pneumonia, septic shock, meningitis and death by suffocation within two to four days. A gram of anthrax culture contains a trillion spores, theoretically enough to kill 100 million people. U.N. inspectors have confirmed that Iraq produced some 8,000 liters of anthrax spores during the 1980s—enough to kill every person in the world.

Ricin is a potent biological agent derived from the castor bean which can be spread by aerosol or in liquid form. Ricin causes blood poisoning and leads to heart failure, or worse, a collapse of the circulatory system, causing a slow, agonizing death. There is no antidote.

Even without a missile delivery system, chemical and biological weapons are a major threat wherever there are people. By putting a chemical or biological mixture into a paint sprayer powered by an air compressor,

triggered by a timing device, terrorists could easily kill and injure thousands. An office building could become a virtual coffin for hundreds of people simply by slipping a toxic agent into air ducts and letting the fans distribute the airborne death to unsuspecting workers who, within minutes, will be writhing and dying in agony.

Horrors of Nuclear War

An article entitled “Practicing for Armageddon” in the March 9, 1992, Newsweek told about the horrifying effects of a nuclear detonation on the human body. It said, “Nuclear explosions produce thermal radiation, blast and nuclear radiation. Thermal radiation (heat and light) results from the fireball that forms when huge amounts of thermal energy superheat the air surrounding the detonation. Two pulses [of energy] are emitted. The heat from the first pulse destroys the fluid and/or other tissue in the human retina, causing permanent [blindness in those who survive]. The second pulse inflicts skin burns so grotesque that a Hiroshima survivor, Dr. Michihiko Hachiya, reported patients with facial features melted together.

“Next, a shock wave develops from the fireball’s expanding gases and high pressure, bringing death from unbelievable winds that literally rip the flesh from the body. The shock wave also brings severe compression (overpressure). In many cases, this overpressure squashes the body, causing organs to hemorrhage and rupture. Initial and residual nuclear radiation deal the final dose of death, entering the body by inhalation, ingestion and absorption. Its effects are found in destroyed bone marrow, collapsed lungs, gastro-intestinal damage, cell mutations and tissue ionization. In [tissue ionization]…, naturally occurring water and salt in the body ionize (chemically alter) and may form into a compound called sodium hydroxide…a substance similar to toilet-bowl cleaner. Grotesque? Shocking? Unimaginable? Absolutely. But that is the reality of nuclear weaponry.”

Do the leaders of India and Pakistan really comprehend what they are doing? Do those selling weapons of mass destruction truly understand the hideous effects of their merchandise? If they do understand what they risk unleashing on humanity, then truly they must be madmen who will take their places right alongside Adolf Hitler, Stalin and every other mass murderer in history!

The Mind of Satan in Mankind

The possibilities for mass destruction are almost endless if people are of such a mind. And where does that mind come from? This madness can only be attributed to the influence of the “god of this world,” Satan the devil (II Cor. 4:4), who was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). God revealed to the late Herbert W. Armstrong that Satan is the “prince of the power of the air” who can literally broadcast attitudes of rage and hate-filled insanity into the minds of those who are ignorant of his devices (Eph. 2:2; II Cor. 2:11).

Satan is filled with wrath because there is only a short time remaining in the 6,000 years of this present age of human misrule in which he has reigned supreme on the earth (John 14:30; Rev. 12:12). Soon the returning Jesus Christ will dethrone Satan (Rev. 20:1-3) and his broadcasting will finally cease after millennia of driving mankind into bloody fits of vengeance and wrath. Satan will almost accomplish his goal of destroying even the “very elect” of God (Matt. 24:21-22, 24), but our Creator will not allow His plan of salvation for mankind to be defeated. In the meantime, however, mankind must learn to see clearly who and what we have so horribly become under the wretched influence of Satan.