Thursday, June 27, 2013

WWII's Opium Wars : Britain's efforts to weaponize life-saving penicillin

The shabby ways in which the Churchill Conservatives, coupled loosely with Republican friends in the American OSRD, conspired to weaponize life-saving wartime penicillin should not surprise anyone with any historical knowledge.

Britain was a past-master at using life-strangling blockades of someone else's civilian population to substitute for the possible combat deaths of the officer sons of the British elite.

Napoleon had been defeated by just such a blockade policy and the Opium Wars against China had shown just how effective covert drug warfare can be in de-stabilizing a nation's populace.

(A lesson hardly lost on the OSRD's successors in the CIA et al.)

But Churchill and Britain were playing with fire when they attempted to severely limit the production of penicillin and restrict its use to only those frontline Allied sick combatants deemed recoverable for further combat.

Because in the 1940s we did not have the arsenal of about 100 viable antibiotics that we have today.

We had only a half dozen members of the Sulfa drug family and they were all rapidly failing --- due to overuse bringing on rapid bacterial resistance.

Wars bring on sudden pandemics - like WWI's horrific Spanish Flu.

One wonders what would the world response had been to Sir Winston Churchill (the Harry Lime of British politics) if tens of millions of people had needlessly died, before penicillin production was brought up to speed ?

The world was very lucky indeed that Henry Dawson was not so callous as Churchill and the Allied scientific establishment on the turning a precious lifesaver into a weapon of war...

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