US prepares to use toxic gases in Iraq

James Rogers
03 Mar 2003 11:24:04 -0800

On Mon, 2003-03-03 at 11:04, JS Kelly wrote:
> well, not only that -- i suspect the 9% mortality figure was in the low
> range. the gas used in the moscow theater siege was "calmative" and it
> still killed 119 of 750.. with another 145 in intensive care "many on
> respirators and dialysis machines because they have no lung or kidney
> function" 

One of the strongest criticisms of what the Russians did is that they
actively hindered the medical treatment of the victims, particularly
with respect to being unwilling to divulge the nature of the chemical
used.  As I understand it, it turns out that there is a cheap and
effective antidote to the chemical used (usually used to neutralize
narcotics in the bloodstream), but the Russian government neither
provided the antidote to the victims nor gave the doctors the
information that would allow them to make the determination themselves. 
As a result, they had to let the chemical run its course in the body,
which ended up killing a lot of people due to overdose.  The Russians
*could* have had a big stash of neutralizer on-site and saved most of
the people who died.

All those people didn't have to die, but the Russian government was
apparently more concerned about the dissemination of information that
would allow people to develop effective counter-measures against the
chemical weapon.  I would expect the same type of active inaction in the
US would crucify politicians, but you never know.


-James Rogers