I ate my wafer...

7/13/2004

politics once again

I have been avoiding political commentary for quite a while, but the Blandus/Jake combo has sucked me back in.

Sarin is the Crystal Meth of WMDs...

The topic is, Sarin gas, which is the easiest to synthesize of all nerve agents. Hence its use in the Tokyosubway , the Iran-Iraq war, etc.

As Blandus readily insinuated, Sarin is powerful stuff. However, the shelf life of Sarin is quite poor as chemical weapons go. In fact, a matter of a few weeks totally degraded Iraqi Sarin manufactured in, and around the Iran-Iraq war. So, unless the Sarin found happened to be of very late production, say immediately before Gulf War 1.0, it has been basically inert for many years. (Note, when I say Inert, I should say very weak...it probably would be as lethal as concentrated Chlorine bleach or Nitric acid fumes.)

In any case, as far as WMD's go, Sarin found in Iraq is a pretty insignificant threat to us. Why? Because terror organizations would just make their own Sarin here, if they wanted to use Sarin. In fact, I would say that in moderately skilled hands, making Sarin is a about as easy, and less detectable than making methamphetamine.

So, even if you buy a significant link between Iraq and al Qaeda
(big hint, neither the Tawhid, nor Ansar al-Islam cut it) the amount of threat, to America, posed by Iraqi Sarin is and was insignificant. If we ever are attakced with Sarin, it will certainly be made right here. Fun factoid o' the day: It would cost our friends way less money in chemicals supplies than it did to buy their plane tickest on Sept.11 if they wanted to synthesize the amount of Sarin used in the subway attacks.

4 Comments:

  • I accidentally copied a link to making MDMA instead of Meth...but I'm to lazy to edit it. Sorry.

    By Blogger Bob, at 10:37 PM  

  • Interesting. And in this particular case, isn't it confirmed that the warheads had *trace* amounts of Sarin?

    Soooo...we're talking about old, discarded war heads from years ago with trace amounts of the equivalent of bleach.

    Sounds like we should bomb the hell out of another country if we can avoid such horror!

    By Blogger S.F., at 12:15 AM  

  • Oh Bob! I want more funny work stories! ;)

    By Blogger TheAmber, at 9:38 AM  

  • The "trace" amount of sarin discovered in an Iraqi artillery shell planted near the Baghdad airport was about 1.5 gallons. News reports did not say if it was old or new sarin (though later reports of small caches of artillery shells were specified as older).

    How much damage can 1.5 gallons of sarin gas do? Even if it is old?

    The WMDs found (no matter the age of the sarin) were undocumented (at least according to mainstream news articles). This provides additional support for the charge that Iraq was in violation of UN sanctions and upholds one of the rationales for the war.

    The point of my entry on the Ockhamist was to display that even the media reports demonstrate that our intel was not all wrong and that the SIC report cannot be construed to say that "Bush lied."

    By Blogger Blandus, at 1:13 PM  

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