Gulf War Syndrome
Before and during the Gulf War of 1991, intelligence sources reported that the Iraqis had an advanced chemical and biological weapons programme and that these would be used on Allied troops. In the years that followed, a new sickness manifested itself, called Gulf War Syndrome. Claims that this sickness has now spread to Gulf War veteran's families and doctors heightens the suspicion that it may be caused by an engineered viral agent.

In 1975 Iraq began a massive procurement drive for all the components, technology and expertise needed to produce chemical and biological weapons.

Iraq obtained blueprints from the US and built plants all over the country. The technology, components, equipment, expertise, delivery systems, all came from the West and earned companies in Britain, Germany and America millions of dollars.

The West supplied everything the Iraqis needed. Modified artillery proximity fuzes were supplied by British companies, together with the machinery with which to make them.

So, from the late 1970s Western Governments were fully aware that Iraq was engaged on a sinister CBW programme - because Western firms were supplying the technology for it.

Professor Garth Nicholson from Califormia, engaged in investigating the cause of GWS, says that the mycoplasmas can cause suppression of the Immune System. He added that the agent was 'born in a test tube and given a spear to attack the body's immune system. He terms it 'the HIV envolope' gene.

Another doctor studying GWS says 'the mycoplasma found in Desert Storm vets has very strong retroviral DNA sequences. He adds: Thus in all probability it was engineered and did not evolve naturally'.

A spokesman from Britain's own CBW research facility, Porton Down, says that the state of biotechnology is such that it is possible to transpose genes which could then 'express certain ssubstances into other organisms' - for example debilitating toxins.

An engineered virus could be produced with lethal, damaging or incapacitating capabilities. Intelligence reports suggest that the Iraqis were working on common viruses which could be 'tailored' to battlefield situations - 'bad' viruses in the words of one source.

Using a common virus (such as a flu virus) which initially was merely incapacitating would protect the aggressor from immediate retaliation. The deployment of such weapon would not be immediately obvious as flu or a common cold would be dismissed by field medical personnel as just that.

In 1995 the Uniited Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) released a 530 page report detailing its findings on Iraq's Biological Weapons programme. Iraq confirmed that since 1985 it had been mass producing toxins and delivery systems.

The source of Iraq's technology was not disclosed in the report. A spokesman said 'it has long been the policy of the Special Commission not to disclose the details of supplier countries and companies.

In essence, in the absense of full cooperation from Iraq, the Commission had to do a deal with those countries and companies involved with Iraq's weapons programme, in order to get the information it needed.

The true extent of how much the West helped Iraq with these programmes has yet to come out. And perhaps here lies the reason why scientists seeking answers from the US and UK governments have met red herrings, red tape, and walls of silence.

For if the general public were to make the connection between a (transmissable) Gulf War Syndrome, and their Government's role in allowing Iraq obtain the neccessary technology to create it, they might just get a little upset.

This story was first published on Pete Sawyer's 'Assignments Unlimited' homepage.

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