Policing The Pax Americana


by Stephen James Kerr

George W. Bush’s government is very interested in stopping the proliferation of chemical and other types of weapons. The President is quick to mention Iraq’s chemical and biological agents.

And yet the emergence of a whole new class of chemical weapons based on sedative drugs is not on the national agenda. The gassing to death with Fentanyl of 169 people in Moscow was a sneak preview of the coming war on terror.

States have secretly embarked on a new chemical arms race in which the weapons are sedatives and the field of combat is medicine. And there is no outrage coming from the White House. There are two reasons why.

Mr. Bush required Vladimir Putin’s signature on the UN’s ultimatum to Iraq, and of course he got it. Putin plays a weak hand, with only the strength to sign on the dotted line. The United States has placed military bases over much of the USSR’s former territory. Putin, famous for his respect for the democratic will of the Chechen people, will now be given a ‘free hand’ in Chechnya, Russia’s only remaining pipeline route for Caspian oil. This was the reason for the Chechen war, as the collapse of the Soviet Union broke Moscow’s oil monopoly in the Caspian. All of Putin’s bluster disappeared once he was assured that Chechnya, and thus a chance to suck the spoils of Iraq was his for the taking. Why let some detail of international arms control law get in the way?

Because the Bush Government needs these very same weapons to police the Evil Axis it is about to conquer. The National Academies of Science [ www.nas.edu ] have issued a report urging the rapid development and deployment of so-called ‘non-lethal weapons.’ Topping the priority list are sedative drug weapons and ‘malordorants’; sleeping gas and stink bombs. NAS also has a few fine words for laser beams. This Republican bad trip currently costs the taxpayer $27 million per year.

Of course there’s a good reason for the Bush government to develop new chemical weapons, while backing up its sermons on peace and disarmament with the fire and brimstone of the United States Army, Navy, Airforce and Marines.

The Pax Americana will be taken with bombs, but it will be held with police state methods and a strange new generation of weapons that violate existing arms control treaties. Discussion papers from the ‘non-lethal’ programme describe an increasingly polarized world, divided between ‘haves and have nots.’ ‘Non-lethal weapons’ will be used to win wars, in the ‘homeland’ and in the far-flung reaches of the Pax Americana. ‘Non-lethal weapons’ are the technocrats’ latest fix to a social problem they can’t solve: our human needs and wants.

And if past practice of the US government is a guide, these new weapons will be field tested on the people of Iraq.

A few short weeks from now, Washington may be busy anesthetizing the people of Baghdad. If past performance is any indicator, 20% of Iraqis exposed to this chemical weapon will die. There is exactly zero naxalone in the country. That’s the antidote for the drug Fentanyl, 80 times more powerful an opiate than morphine, that can easily slow the metabolism to the point where a person stops breathing. The Chechens fell asleep, and they were systematically shot. The sniper’s bullets left neat holes. Russians had the vaccine, but some didn’t receive it in time, while others choked on their own vomit from their reaction to the toxic gas. Over 100 are still in the hospital. That’s how the object of what the Pentagon terms ‘non-lethal force’ turns effortlessly into a causality.

The Pentagon privately admits that ‘non-lethal’ is a misnomer. By 2009, the US Government will spend $200 million on ‘non-lethal weapons.’

Not surprisingly, this bargain basement repression is nearly unknown to the public that pays for it. If the United States is planning on testing a whole suite of new weapons in Iraq, then these plans should be publicly debated. Readers of the free press have to content themselves with reading between the lines, like this.

The Washington Post recently printed a feature article on the prospect of what the Pentagon calls, ‘urban operations,’ and what in the English language is commonly known as invading and conquering cities. The US Marines have figured the job out. They found in urban war games that the entire US Marine Corps would be required to take and hold a Chicago sized city, populated by a moderately hostile population. There are lots cities on the road to the front in the war against terror; Riyadh, Tehran, Pyongyang…

And the Pentagon has a winning plan. “Pentagon strategists envision cordoning off Baghdad, providing escape routes for civilians and surrendering military personnel, and striking critical facilities whose loss, over time, should make the city, and Hussein’s government fall,” as per the paper of record. Translated this means laying siege. When describing the wars we wage against others, American newspapers speak in tongues only the US Attorney General can understand. We’re talking about breaking a city that is already broken, by twelve years of economic sanctions. We’re saying, let’s drive people from their homes, and make them submit. The US group, Physicians for Social Responsibility predicts 250,000 deaths and total social collapse when this illegal siege takes place. But we’re too busy loading the USNS Bob Hope with tanks and singing the national anthem to bother with such trivia.

We’re on a mission from god, according to Tom Delay. He’s in charge.

Now let’s assume for a moment that the brave women and men at the Pentagon are all about saving lives. It seems we need to take over ‘their’ cities, without killing too many of ‘them,’ but we need to be way more effective at subjugating ‘them’ quickly, all packaged for the six o’clock news. It’s got to look neat, and like Hollywood. All the same, this is war. And war is hell. The US Army needs what it calls a ‘force multiplier,’ in plain English, leverage. One high tech soldier needs to do the job of many. And once we’ve conquered ‘them,’ they’ve got to work for us We’re building an empire, without blood. People want to join us, ‘cause we’re the good guys. The US Army calls the good guys the “Blue Team” in war games.

Iraq is on what the US Military calls “The Red Team.” It’s also the team where the US military places journalists such as Jeremy Scahill who is in Iraq. I have yet to receive a membership application. Journalists who do their jobs and write in plain English are not beloved of the Pentagon. Scahill describes the formation of Iraqi civil defense teams and a deep bitterness. Many poor people have acquired M-16s after 20 years of war. Iraq will not go quietly, even though we have nearly kicked Iraq to death. Iraqis hate what the Americans have already done, and we’re not welcome. Ever the ideal houseguest, we’re coming over anyway, according to Mr. Bush.

The Washington Post story presents a balm to lessen the pain of our unwanted arrival, properly translated. “Navy Capt. Tom Johnston, head of the Centre for Joint Urban Operations at the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, said the U.S. military has progressed since World War II from laying siege to cities to waging “effects-based operations” that seek to destroy an enemy’s will without harming large numbers of civilians or devastating infrastructure.” It should be easy to avoid destroying the infrastructure this time, as we finished doing that in 1998.

We will wage ‘effects based operations,’ that do not kill, but rather break the ‘will.’ This is one definition of a ‘non-lethal weapon’. It is also the Pentagon’s. ‘Non-lethal weapons’ are weapons of siege warfare. That is the operational implication of the technology, and its past tactical use; dealing with hostile civilians and social unrest, from streets of Seattle to a Moscow theatre. The Republican right has a world to pacify, now that the Democrats are out of the way.

Enter the ever so harmless fellows at the Pentagon’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, (JNLWD) bringing us the world non-lethality and ‘force protection’ for a song. According to one non-lethal expert, Sid Heal of the LAPD, “People don’t get the amount of law enforcement they can afford, they get the amount they can tolerate.”

The non-lethal Generals at JNLWD beg for our tolerance, for just a moment, while they develop some new devices to attack civilians. The theory here is that the more effective less-lethal weapon is one that kills less often. It’s hard to know how to keep score. The non-lethal men have worked on an equation to measure the likelihood of someone dying from one of their creations. They did think of us. For a non-lethal weapon, if Probability of effectiveness (Pe) is 100, then Probability of kill (Pk) is zero. A perfect non-lethal weapon never kills. The perfect lethal weapon kills everybody. Let’s input what little data we have while we’re still standing.

The Moscow gas killed 169 people out of approximately 800, 128 dead hostages and 41 Chechen hostage takers all together. That makes the Moscow gas about 20.1 % lethal. So the Moscow gas has a value of Pe 79.9 or a Pk of 20.1. But “is the glass half full, or half empty?” The US Airforce turns that filing cabinet cliché into a requiem while contemplating possible deaths from non-lethal weapons in ‘Beyond the Rubber Bullet.’ Chechens and Russians will be interested, surely in these equations, debated by the US Marines with British officers in London on November 30, 2000.

The declassified minutes of that meeting and other reports detailing the level of the Pentagon’s interest in this same drug, Fentanyl are available on the website of the Sunshine Project, [www.sunshine-project.org ] the tiny US German NGO that has attempted to bring this programme to light.

The project’s director, Ed Hammond believes that the same type of sedative drugs used in Moscow could be used in American military operations. “They want to use calmatives throughout the ‘full spectrum of force’. So you’re talking about the US military using these things in every kind of operation, from ‘peacekeeping’ to even full scale war. What the Pentagon planners clearly are anticipating is that US forces will repeatedly be put in a situation where they feel they need to drug large quantities of civilians. I think that there is a major problem there.”

Several JNLWD documents depict their targets – all civilians, and a disproportionate number are people of colour. A JNLWD presentation on the use of ‘malodorants,’ – stink bombs – depicts the possible targets of such a weapon: two African women, two South American native women, a Chinese girl eating from a rice bowl with chopsticks, and the token – a white male college student. These improved stink bombs target specific ethnic groups for their imagined tolerance for certain smells. Other targets depicted include photographs of massive political demonstrations, and strikers. That report is called “Odorous substances for non-lethal applications” and was prepared by the US Army’s Edgewood Chemical and Biological centre. It’s available at http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2002nonlethdef/index.html  together with ‘Beyond the Rubber Bullet’ and other tidbits of less than lethal thinking.

Hammond’s group has charged JNLWD with racism.

JNLWD sees targets everywhere, and they have quite the imagination about how to act when they’re off visiting the provinces of the Empire. In their quest for a better ‘non-lethal weapon,’ JNLWD tested ‘US Govt. Standard Bathroom Odour,’ vomit, burnt hair, sewage, cherry, almond, menthol…The US Government Bathroom Odour stunk the most. Targeted policing is about to go global, and Washington is busy ‘weaponizing’ farts, transforming nouns into verbs and liberally dispensing hyphens. War is in the air.

Perhaps the non-lethal service badge will feature ‘Silent, but non-deadly,’ embroidered in gold. The Iraqis will no doubt be impressed when Baghdad, the cradle of literacy starts to smell like a suburban Chicago toilet, and US military commanders talk about ‘effects based operations.’

According to JNLWD’s website. “World events mandate a need to project non-lethal force across all levels of war.” The fart heard round the world, the start of the American Empire.

It’s fine to ask how lethal we want to get in the war on Iraq. We already have an impressive record of lethality. Over one million two hundred thousand innocent Iraqis have been killed by war and sanctions at the rate of twelve per hour, for the last twelve years. Perhaps we might like to slow down.

But we all know that’s not going to happen. And we need to keep it neat.

So when we go to Iraq, we will be waging ‘effects based operations’ to break the enemy’s ‘will,’ based on the effects of the weapons being developed by the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate. The non-lethal scientists at JNLWD have been working on some less deadly surprises for Evil Dictators and global villains (cleverly disguised as Iraqi civilians) who cross our path. JNLWD tells us they merit review.

There’s a nifty thing that looks like nothing but a kevlar badminton net. This ‘portable vehicle arresting barrier’ is supposed to be able to stop a truck that is driving at it. What if the driver sees the net? Perhaps we will smother Iraq will with endless shuttlecock, in deference to the British, who owned Iraq before the Iraqis rose up and threw them out. But of course, this net thing is from a James Bond movie!

There’s the pulsed energy projectile weapon. I must say it looks rather lethal, mounted atop its Armored Personnel Carrier. This brings us one step closer to the kind of laser weapons we’ve all seen in movies like Star Wars, Attack of the Clones. Now we’re really going to see what happens when somebody gets hit with a ‘pulsed energy projectile,’ which is what these little bargains fire. These create explosions on whatever surface is hit with one, including the skin. Perhaps Iraqis will simply run away in terror.

‘Thermobaric technology’ is being developed, that will use “extended flash, sound, temperature, and pressure conditions to disorient and/or temporarily incapacitate individuals.” What about the good old telephone book? Police forces the world over know it to be blunt, heavy and freely available. The phone book leaves few incriminating marks. But of course it is not manufactured by Republicans.

But Advanced Tactical Lasers are manufactured by Republicans, who leave incriminating marks on everything they touch, but never go to jail. The ATL certainly looks advanced. These will be fired from C130 aircraft. Looking more like the 21st Century every day at the Pentagon. The ATL creates an “effect like a welding torch,” and will be shot from several thousand feet. It’s very accurate.

The future combines stuff that is weird, with the tried and true. Now for the weird stuff.

NLWD has a running gear ‘entangler’ that looks like a big bunch of purple skipping ropes. Combine this with the badminton net, and you might be able to catch a stupid driver. Perhaps in the future people will be stupid.

Today, which is before the future, people are paying increasing amounts of money for HPM Area Denial Systems, which appear to be some kind of electromagnetic device mounted on top of, you guessed it, an Armored Personnel Carrier. If the Iraqi people love us so much why do we need to protect ourselves from them inside APCs?

Perhaps because when we use the ‘non-lethal’ mortar round on them, the one with the liquid payload dispenser that’s brought to you by the good Republicans and Democrats at General Dynamics, care of JNLWD, they will be a bit upset. JNLWD denies that there will be a chemical payload for this munition, but the contracts they have with the manufacturer indicate that a ‘liquid payload dispenser’ is being sought. A typo, surely. JNLWD spokespeople state that the munition will instead be filled with little rubber balls. Other documents describe filling up these balls with pepper spray. And JNLWD scientists at Penn State University’s Applied Research Lab have been busy mixing pepper spray with a chemical that they are in no way interested in – sedative drugs, or ‘calmatives.’ This mixture gets wiped on “high tech test dummies.” They want us calm while our eyes are burning, and our money spent on ways to better attack us.

There is no connection between any of these facts, according to JNLWD.

JNLWD is studying the micro-encapsulation of chemicals for use with a mortar. It’s also developing what it calls a ‘ring airfoil projectile,’ a ‘less lethal configuration for the delivery of selected chemical agents.’ A project for an unmanned airborne vehicle to dispense ‘non-lethal payloads’ is desired by the Navy and Air Force. Perhaps the XM99 blunt trauma grenade with ‘stingballs’ will traumatize Iraqis more than JNLWD’s experiments on cadavers, pigs and Styrofoam pads would lead their scientists to believe?

Probably. This is where the story goes from weird to worrying. True to an historical pattern of behaviour in the world’s only superpower, Washington is not doing unto others, and the press says nothing about it, except hallelujah. Owners of media no longer blink at a Christian universe where the crusades are taken as a template for international relations, and Moses pedals assault rifles to children.

This is the same universe run by the grown ups in the US Government who urgently require the protection afforded by this new generation of military capabilities. While it preaches asceticism to the world, Washington is busy proliferating weapons for which there does not seem to be a demonstrable social need, unless the United States military is about to engage in policing activities on a global scale. But that’s what seems to be happening. JNLWD is working with the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the US Department of Justice, ever the friend of the downtrodden, to develop these new high tech crowd control weapons. Meet the non-lethal Generals, helping us help ourselves to their oil, ‘culture, resources and talent,’ as per the President of the United States.

The 32nd Commandant of the United States Marine Corps is General James L Jones, in charge of the Pentagon’s non-lethal programme. His first orders were “Continue to March.” Col. George Fenton is the commander of JNLWD. He’s been quoted in the New Scientist as desiring a “magic dust, that would put everyone in a building to sleep, combatants and non-combatants.” Behold crewcut, sedative, ray gun and pepper spray quick, before they subdue our five senses.

” Ecce Homo.”

Just as Pilate washed the blood from his hands and cleaned his conscience, so shall crewcut, sedative, ray gun and pepper spray crown with thorns any head that now rises up. Ready with improved vinegar and spear, crewcut, sedative, ray gun and pepper spray shall minister unto our wants. Cartophilus wanders the earth, longing for the Second Coming of Christ, and more money for the Pentagon. “Move faster! Why stop here?”

And we should forgive them for building these better thumbscrews, their rationale explicitly stated in power point presentations from the ‘non-lethal’ programme. The nations do so furiously rage together, after all. As do the classes. Increasing levels of economic inequality, the separation of the world into a large pool of ‘ have-nots’ set against the determination of the ‘haves’ to continue having, “LEADS TO CIVIL UNREST!” as so vividly described with flaming type in a presentation called “New Horizons Non-Lethal Technology” by Edward Vasel, who refers to himself as Dr. Pepper. This 53 page Power Point presentation is located on the web at : http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2002nonlethdef/index.html . It does not mention George W Bush’s tax cuts, but it does speak of Pepperballs, a condiment which may soon be available for free to “hungry refugees, agitated and unwilling to wait” for the distribution of emergency food, if we don’t have the guts to put them all to sleep as contemplated by Penn State researchers.

Pepperballs are fired from ‘non-lethal’ guns.

If Dr. Pepper is to be believed, there will be 7.2 billion of us by 2015, and this will necessitate the restriction of civil liberties so that the current economic order can be maintained. The report features plenty of pictures of civilians being gassed in Seattle and elsewhere. This perspective fits with a Pentagon document released last year entitled Vision 2020, calling for US domination of land, sea, air and space, available at http://www.dtic.mil/jv2020/  .

McCarthyism + Enron + Star Trek. = the future.


At the strategic level of war, that is where the balance of power between states is decided, sticky foam and high tech badminton nets will prove next to useless. Surely some will protest, has Iraq not borne our grief, and carried our sorrows? Has Iraq not been bruised by our transgressions, by the inequities of war and sanctions? Not enough for some. The Pentagon is preparing to lay on Iraq once again the inequities of us all, while Jerry Falwell prepares to dip the nation in the blood of the lamb.

Crewcut, sedative, ray gun and pepper spray, together with their friends at the National Academies of Science have a suggestion for the strategic ‘force multiplier’ that Washington requires right now, and they’re called chemical weapons. Coincidentally, the authors of the NAS report work for Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Oak Ridge Laboratories, and Raytheon, among others. All are working on non-lethal weapons of some description. The study was sponsored by the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate already involved in the development of these weapons, in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and according to The Sunshine Project, the Biological Weapons Convention. Thus the NAS report is a recommendation for continued paycheques to crewcut, sedative, ray gun and pepper spray.

But no amount of laser tag with Iraqi soldiers is going to provide the leverage that Washington requires for ‘urban operations.’ There aren’t enough US Marines to control Baghdad. Perhaps we’ll shoot each Iraqi a pepper ball across the bow. We can’t even run Kabul, and sticky foam is not the factor giving us even a tactical advantage there. It’s guns, bombs and the terror they inspire. We shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel. And then we need to keep them down while we take their oil, like we do in Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Kuwait, Indonesia…

So when the nearly deadly men at JNLWD get together, as they did on November 30, 2000, they don’t spend much time discussing how to tangle up the wheels of cars with a purple rope. JNLWD officers are concerned that they do not have enough intelligence on the ventilation systems of buildings, and the ‘internal arrangement of rooms.’ See new weapons and their politics change the game of war.

Watch their pedigreed patrons leave their bloody footprints in a dance of death across the pages of history.

Chemical weapons are weapons of terror and oppression. We remember the horrors of mustard gas, and the nerve gas chambers. Curiously, Mr. Bush has not drawn on this rich vein of historical memory, on the real images of this horror that chemical weapons have brought us. Perhaps he fears most to look in the mirror or at old family photos. Mr. Bush’s own grandfather, Prescott was one of Hitler’s bankers, wrist slapped for trading with the enemy in World War II. There is no sin a US Senate seat cannot wash clean, even the stench of Zyklon B.

The horror of that endless pile of corpses is precisely why Mr. Bush says he’s so worried about all those chemicals that his father George helped Saddam acquire back in the 1980s while Donald Rumsfeld was busy stumping for the US agriculture lobby in Baghdad. Shortly thereafter Saddam Hussein “used chemical weapons to kill thousands of people,” according to Bush’s Cincinnati ‘speech,’ never mentioning the complicity of his own father in those crimes, the gassing of countless innocent Iranians and Kurds.

Chemicals can vastly increase the power of individual actors on the world stage, Evil Dictators, terrorists and bankers alike. But unfortunately the public has not yet divined the malign shape of that strange coincidence; the common interests of all three. If anesthetic gas can be turned against civilians by the Russian government, and tear gas by the Seattle police, a lunatic can gas the Tokyo subway. The difference is a molecular matter. A similar unexpected provocation recently destabilized Earth’s most powerful society, which now threatens civilization with endless war, and endless work for crewcut, sedative, ray gun and pepper spray.

The Reagan – Bush government’s sale of chemical agents to Iraq, in over 700 contracts listed by the US Senate Banking Committee in 1994, helped Iraq to strategically defeat the Iranian army in the Iran – Iraq war. Saddam gassed tens of thousands of people into early graves, and a whole nation into early submission. Chemical warfare is inherently destabilizing, because new chemical capabilities imply an ever-escalating series of countermeasures, not unlike nuclear weapons proliferation. They excuse pre-emptive action, because their very existence seems a provocation. And we’re against chemical weapons, except when we need to use them.

And so this year Washington set about undermining the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, charged with overseeing the CWC. US Secretary for Disarmament, John Bolton performed a diplomatic extra-juridical execution on one Jose Bustani, the activist Director General of that organization. Bustani wanted to admit Iraq into the Convention. That would have got rid of Bush’s only pretext for war, and taken away all the Pentagon’s new toys. The USA rejected the Biological Weapons Convention.

Washington needs to leverage its forces in Iraq, and the field of battle will be chemical and biological. The field will be medical. The US public has been prepared for chemical warfare in Iraq and the USA for months, in an endless tirade of news stories about Saddam’s weapons, Anthrax scares and West Nile virus alerts.

Nor has the free press until now fully described how crewcut and sedative, ray gun and pepper spray assembled their forces for urban war games in London on the first anniversary of the Battle of Seattle, though the record of this meeting has been in the public record for months on the website of the Sunshine Project. At this gathering ‘calmative chemicals,’ US military jargon for sedative drug weapons were discussed widely, and the Chemical Weapons Convention was identified as the primary barrier to their development.

But what is most disturbing about the record of this meeting are the other military concepts discussed, like torture for example. Pentagon planners described their ideal system as able to tune up to increasing levels of lethality, presenting the ‘operator’ with “choices ranging from mild discomfort to sever [sic] injury or even death. Such a system could be used against a wide variety of targets, from healthy young men, to children, the elderly and the infirm.” A dial was discussed, to be slowly turned by crewcut, sedative, ray gun and pepper spray.

We shall break them, with an improved rod of iron.

But the non-lethal Generals protested in London on the first anniversary of the Battle in Seattle. They are culturally sensitive. These are the men of the 90’s. Yesterday’s men, but with softer swagger stick. “In some societies the debilitating and humiliating effects of certain non-lethal weapons could be considered worse than death. The violation of such cultural norms could vastly complicate, if not jeopardize a military mission, with the attendant irony that in such cases the use of lethal force could well be the most feasible and desirable choice.” So now we can each be non-lethally attacked in a way that respects our cultural distinctiveness, and if that doesn’t work we can be quickly dispatched. Perhaps this is where the fart gas comes in?

It’s certainly where the fine print comes in. The military does not like the term ‘non-lethal’ because members of what the US military calls ‘the red team,’ members of the public and journalists, will get the crazy idea that non-lethal weapons will not lead to casualties. They call it a “red media campaign.” In their own words, “In some cases non-lethal weapons may be employed to save lives and property, while in others they may be used to enhance the effectiveness of lethal weapons.” More efficient killing to protect ‘lives and property’, means getting gassed then shot, in Moscow.

Just as the body count begins to rise, crewcut, sedative, ray gun and pepper spray flee the scene. They are not responsible. Read the warranty. “For lethal weapons, fatalities are expected. For non-lethal weapons, fatalities and permanent injury are unintended consequences.” According to Department of Defence Directive 3000.3 “Non-lethal weapons shall not be required to have zero probability of producing fatalities or permanent injuries.” Thus they excuse themselves, with their deepest regrets, and a sympathy note.

The Pax Americana will be policed, with sedatives, farts, laser beams and weasel words. I can’t wait to surrender.

The real effects of warfare on people are rarely described in the media. We never hear the cries of the people our states murder in our names. And so we have to substitute ourselves, we have to imagine ourselves as the targets of these new ‘non-lethal weapons,’ to understand what we are really buying for pennies at the Pentagon, from crewcut, sedative, ray gun and pepper spray.

According to the not so deadly Generals ‘non-lethal weapons’ will attack our five senses, described so eloquently by a presentation bearing the JNLWD logo as “smell, taste, feel, hear sight.” It states here that “Non-lethal capabilities will attack a target’s senses, and cognitive / motor abilities,” using “accurate, long-range payload delivery, with non-lethal delivery means.”

Our five senses, heretofore a site of pleasure, will now become a source of pain or annoyance. They will be turned against us, and we will be smothered. These will be very effective weapons indeed. ‘Non-lethal weapons’ are new weapons of torture, on a mass, impersonal scale. Torture generalized, at once the technological expression of the operational principle of international relations, and its ‘non-lethal’ effect at the most intimate level, the threshold between pleasure and pain. Perversion in the purple flesh.

Our resistance will be put down and smothered, by the death deprived Generals of JNLWD, anonymously dominating the full spectrum – of the human senses.

Where we find pleasure in the smell of an autumn day, crewcut, sedative, ray gun and pepper spray would substitute shit, burnt hair and vomit. The hands holding our brothers’ hands, the hands raised up in defiance will be burned, with a ‘pulsed energy projectile,’ at a temperature of 130 degrees. Crewcut, sedative, ray gun and pepper spray would set off flash-bang grenades in theatres, music to the ears at Sandia National Labs. The less-lethal men are busy mixing pepper spray with sedatives to rub in our eyes. And I thought I knew all there was to know about the crying game. Should we still have the temerity to resist, our very consciousness, our free will shall be thwarted by an ‘incapacitating agent’ in the form of anesthetic gas, sprayed from an unmanned aircraft, piloted by crewcut, sedative, ray gun and pepper spray.

For their promoters, these new weapons are about the triumph of the will. For us they are about the systematic breaking of it.

*

Documents from the Pentagon’s Non-Lethal Weapons Programme are available at

http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2002nonlethdef/index.html

and at http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/nld4/

JNLWD can be visited at http://www.jnlwd.usmc.mil/

Visit the Sunshine Project at www.sunshineproject.org

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