09 January, 2021

EHC4. Germs the ultimate weapon and the European Health Community

Germs have been called the ‘ultimate weapon.’

So when Matthew Pottinger, Deputy National Security Adviser to US President Trump told a global Zoom conference of Parliamentarians that the Coronavirus pandemic originated from the Wuhan virology laboratory, we should take notice. China is using investigations by the World Health Organisation, WHO, as camouflage, he said.

Pottinger was formerly a Reuters and Wall Street Journal correspondent in China. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese. His brother is a virologist.

At Wuhan, Shi Zhengli, known as the Batwoman is known to have collected deadly viruses from distant bat caves. The Coronavirus strain in Covid-19 seems to be modified for ‘gain of function‘ that allows it to spread rapidly and genetic modification that requires high technology. In the spring of 2020, Chinese doctors in Wuhan who warned of the coming disaster disappeared or ‘were disappeared‘.

Where did the Chinese learn these high technology and highly dangerous virology techniques?

US agencies were banned from such research at home but then Dr Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease collaborated with Wuhan on multi-million dollar contracts aimed at bat Coronavirus ‘gain of function‘ research. This makes a virus more infectious for humans and can lead to a pandemic.

War as Fear-mongering

Bio-weapons have an extra attribute compared to other systems — spreading widespread fear and panic across continents. Fear of disease can paralyse societies, lockdown the economy and allow an enemy, who knows the secrets, to gain the supremacy of power, production and prestige.

Bio-weapons are potent. During World War II, atomic weapons killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese. Bioweapons much more. In the Middle Ages, Black Death killed an estimated millions upon millions — an estimated 40 to 60 percent of Europe’s population. If weaponised, such germs would be absolutely devastating.

In today’s world of communications and propaganda, the fear factor can have massive repercussions, far greater than the minimal percentage of extra deaths that may or may not have been involved. Taking into account the psychological warfare causing addictions and suicides, the normal death rates in 2020 may well be below average rates in many countries. In some countries deaths by influenza has disappeared from the ‘official’ statistics. Many ask: why is the West in lockdown?

Of all countries, China has real grounds for concern about biological warfare. It learned from bitter experience about biological attacks last century — as a victim.

This experience may have set that nation’s security goals like no other. The means of defence is a priority. Morale at home must remain high, panic minimised, centralised government firm, and official death rates as low as possible.

Korean War

On 25 June 1950, barely a month after Robert Schuman had announced the French proposal for a European Community, the Korean War broke out.

Allegations were made that biological warfare was being used. By whom?

The Chinese Communists said that the Americans were guilty. Captured airmen confessed, they said. The American authorities riposted that they were victims of ‘brainwashing‘.

The Chinese had good reason to be afraid of biological warfare. And with the USA’s victory over Japan in WW2 and capture of their secrets, they had good reason to suspect the Americans had advanced biowarfare techniques. In WW2 Japan was the foremost power that had developed biological weapons for attack and defensive schemes at home.

In December 1952, when before representatives of European States, French Foreign Minster Robert Schuman proposed the creation of a European Health Community, these allegations were still current.

Schuman’s Purpose

Was the threat of a new wave of biological warfare part of Schuman’s project for a European Community of Health to protect its populations? The battle to get such an idea accepted was formidable but so were the consequences if Europe had no defence against such threats. Such an ambitious project with such a variety of opposers required a steady political hand to navigate it through the waters against nationalism, pharmaceutical cartels, and left-wing propaganda allied to the USSR in Europe and the rising Chinese Communist powers in Asia who threatened French interests in Indochina.

Schuman had suggested the European Defence Community to the French Government in mid-September 1950 just after the outbreak of the Korean War. But the idea provoked heavy opposition, both from Gaullists and Communists, inside and outside Parliament.

Why was such a Defence Community necessary when, in April 1949 western leaders had signed the Treaty of Washington creating NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance? NATO was the broad picture for defence against the USSR but it did not ensure full European needs and protection of their interests. The EDC attempted to find an efficient, common approach to a common danger by integrating national armies with a European command against a powerful USSR.

Having the necessary political and military infrastructure was of primary importance. But what if the population itself was held hostage by the threat of biological war? How could civilians be protected? If integrating the national units of the army, navy and airforces into European ones was becoming an almost impossible task, how would politicians be able to find a unified policy to deal with complex civilian threats like disease? Without such a policy Europe could easily fall into the chaos caused by the intentional spread of disease exacerbated by undisciplined refugee movements.

The European Health Community seems tailor-made to deal with these life and death issues. A democratically organised defence including even countries outside NATO would provide solidarity against tyrants with bio-weapons.

Schuman, unfortunately, was unable to see the project through to a signed treaty. He was forced out of office in early 1953 by a combination of nationalists, Communists and Gaullists. What he proposed then should be examined to decide what is needed now.

Making war impossible

Mutual defence against biological warfare and outlawing it inside the Community fits in directly with Schuman’s avowed purpose in creating the European Community system. It was designed to cover a number of problems, all within the theme of ‘making war not only unthinkable but materially impossible‘ among its Member States.

Schuman’s Plan for a European Health Community would have resolved not only the major problems of the health of Europeans but provided a mighty shield of protection against biowarfare.

Today it could have resolved Covid-19 problems emanating from the Wuham biosecurity laboratory in China, according to US authorities.


This was the height of the Cold War. The Community drew on the studies that the European population should expect and design defence correspondingly. The properly functioning Community system enables detailed investigation of fact, submitted to intense questioning by interest groups, and the means to take unified action based on a democratic process that engages all strata of societies.

The Community’s purpose was also to provide democratic, transparent and effective defence against chemical and biological warfare, not to mention the health devastation of radiation that might be caused by atomic war.

Ancient biowarfare

In war the population should expect the unexpected. Civil rules are thrown out the window. Romans bathed their swords in excrement or fluid from corpses to infect their enemies with tetanus.
In second century Hatra, near Mosul, the Parthian inhabitants defended their fortress from the attacking Romans by launching pots full of deadly scorpions onto the legionnaires.
And then came an attack with global consequences…

In 1346 the Mongols catapulted diseased bodies into the Italian trading post of Caffa in the Crimea. The Italians fled in the ships and brought the disease to Italy and Europe. The ensuing bubonic plague or Black Death killed between 30 and 60 percent of Europeans.

Spanish ‘Flu, H1N1

In World War 1, Germans tried to cripple the horsepower of the Allies by spreading anthrax or glanders. At the close of the war Spanish Flu wiped out more people than had been killed in battle. It illustrated the debilitating spread of such a disease, a Corona virus. Known as H1N1, it infected 500 million people, a third of the world’s population. Estimates of deaths range from 17 to 100 million. It attacked young people, at first soldiers in crowded barracks. Fear and panic spread worldwide. If the strongest section of society was stricken down so easily, who could escape this disease?

The disease may have been generated from the spread of disease in animals, to fowl and then to humans by the conditions of modern agriculture and the economy. But what if such a disease was artificially produced for military purposes?

Because of these dangers the League of Nations proposed a treaty banning bacteriological weapons. At Geneva on 17 June 1925, 128 nations signed the ‘Protocol for the prohibition in War of Asphyxiating, poisonous and other Gases, and of bacteriological Methods of Warfare.’

That did not solve the problem. Far from it.

Japan’s Plague Polemology
Lieutenant General Shiro Iishi, supremo of Japan’s bacteriological warfare programme.

In Japan it led to a cynical escalation of bio-weapon research. One Japanese officer took a different view to the commonly expressed horror and revulsion at bio-weapons.

Shiro Iishi (later Lt General) argued that if all nations banned such warfare, Japan must do all in its power to create the most virulent germ weapons and investigate the most effective methods for destroying enemies with lethal diseases.

That was the start of the operation known as Unit 731, a hellish atrocity that plumbed greater depths of depravity than the Nazis and Dr Mengele.
Born of a wealthy family, surrounded by servants, Iishi made a world tour studying bio-war research: major institutions across USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Scandinavia, the Baltics, USSR, Turkey, Ceylon and Singapore.
In 1931 General Tetsuan Nagata launched a false flag war on China. An explosion ripped into Japanese owned railway property. The military blamed the Chinese and decimated a Chinese military base. It led to the Japanese take-over of mineral-rich Manchuria.
As Japan conquered Manchuria and parts of China, Nagata called on Iishi to begin his experiments on Chinese human beings. Type A research, said Iishi, was attack warfare; type B, defence, could be done in Japan.
Thus began a decade of human experimentation including dissection without anaesthetics, and production of plague, typhoid, cholera and anthrax. Victims included Americans, French, British, Ukrainians, Koreans and Mongolians. Following the systematic kidnapping of some of its citizens in Harbin, the Soviets took aerial photographs of the vast Pingfan installation where they were kept.
Japanese military squadrons released anthrax bombs over China and poisoned waterways. Use against the USSR when war broke out was planned.

Spanish Flu and Swine Flu
Swine Flu was a respiratory disease like Covid-19. It was another form of H1N1. It hit in 2008 and more people were infected than the Spanish Flu but with less lethality (0.01 to 0,03 compared with 2 to 3 % for Spanish Flu.)
The fact that the historic virus of 1919 suddenly raised its lethal head nearly a century later, raised the question about whether it had been experimented with to produce a gain of function of its transmissibility.
About half a million people died, the same sort of figure as seasonal ‘flu. Like Covid-19 it was more infectious than lethal. The obese and those with other health problems are most often the victims.
Figures for mid October 2020 show similar lethality at between 2 and 3%. In September the European death rate for all diseases including Covid-19 were below the average annual death rate. Thus people were living longer! But in October the number of infections started to increase.
Germs and germ warfare
Germs were obviously a main theme of a European Health Community, but what about germ warfare?
There were already well-established health services in all the Member States. A large sector of the population was employed. Many States had their own pharmaceutical firms. Some, like Switzerland and Germany, had extensive international interests that they wished to protect against intrusion.
In the international sphere there were already world organisation like the United Nations and specifically the World Health Organisation, WHO.

WHO and Europe
Should European nations submit entirely to the WHO? Would that help in the needs and interests of Europeans? That is a question that is still relevant today.
To the latter question Paul Ribeyre replied that for Europe, the action of the WHO was too universal to hope to respond to Europe’s specific needs. Besides, he added diplomatically, a Community (composed of nations who were not part of the Soviet bloc) had to deal with their own special characteristics.
The United Nations at this time was the major scene of ideological battling. The Soviet influence inside the UN could seriously interfere with health issues, especially if an agency like WHO was ‘captured’ by the Communists of the Soviet States and its allies.
Ribeyre went further. He said that the Community needed to set up its own form of authority that would deal inside its own European limits. WHO had already proved inadequate to deal with far lesser problems.
An example of UN incoherent policy was that of narcotics. Some countries had an economic interest in the export of narcotics to the detriment of health of others.
It was not possible to gain worldwide consensus. Countries that had a monopoly control of pharmaceuticals or an economically discriminatory policy across borders had a potential tool in the ideological warfare of the time.
Europe had to define its health interests and protect them.

Schuman to the defence
Schuman was at the forefront in creating a defensive structure for France within Europe. He analysed the various means that could be exploited to ignite war across Europe.
After WW2, Europeans reverted to their own forms of nationalism. The military alliances of the war dissolved. The West had combined with the Soviet Union to fight Fascist German and Italy.
In the early postwar years, Europeans faced two major dangers, Schuman said. First was the uncertain future of Germany, presently divided between East and West. Secondly, the Soviet Union, which retained its massive Red Army, was threatening to invade the rest of Europe.
Schuman expanded the Dunkirk Treaty with UK to create with the Benelux countries the Western Union or Brussels Pact. While stressing the preservation of western values such as human rights, it required the means to resist external aggression. Its military committee was the embryo of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
How should Europeans boost their defence structure and ensure the safety of their citizens?
The European Coal and Steel Community of 1951 had the twin aims of strengthening the means to make arms while overseeing that armament firms did not get into the driver’s seat of government.
The Korean War, required more urgent means to be applied to collective European defence. The invasion of Korea was seen as a dry run for the invasion of Europe by the USSR. However, although the treaty for the European Defence Community was approved in the parliaments of five nations, in France parliament with a combination of communists, nationalists and Gaullists made sure that French approval was suspended. That put the EDC into long-term cold storage.
NATO could provide the defensive umbrella against Soviet aggression. But Europe’s many nations and opposing histories was far different from North America. Europeans had a far more difficult challenge about how to protect themselves in the event of war.
Europeans competed with each other, even wanting to build their own atomic bombs. The question of atomic war was later tackled in the Euratom treaty of 1957.

Germ Wars
But what of Germ Warfare? Protection was evidently something that Europeans had to do for themselves. They could not expect the Americans and Canadians to provide it.
The European Health Community Treaty provides a few possibilities that this could be instigated on a European Community basis with strong Community institutions to safeguard democratic values.
The most obvious gain would be to share expertise and and supplies against all the varied maladies of mankind. Europeans would be stronger and the economy would benefit hugely. But all that could be lost if war broke out or if an enemy tried to infect the population before invasion. So it is logical to surmise that EHC could be the nucleus of means of protection and defence.
Politically this was a very delicate subject. Nations of Western Europe still did not trust each other even though they had fought a war together.

The Democratic Mechanism
How could Europeans get together and trust each other in such a delicate but essential task? The goal to be attained was to create a powerful decisional system but also to find a way to encourage the free cooperation of experts, hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical firms and people.
While the countries and peoples were different from the first Community of Coal and Steel, the governance was to be the same.
This shows that in the minds of architects of the European Health Community, there was only one model to that had the potential for this. That was the supranational Community and its already know five institutions.

The plans of the structure of the EHC were published in striking detail in 1952. 

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