The Anonymous Widower

Twisted Mind That Gave Us Chemical Warfare

The title of this post is the same as that of an article by Ben Macintyre,  in today’s copy of The Times.

It is subtitled.

Fritz Haber’s pacifist wife killed herself as he plotted Great War carnage…and he picked up a Nobel price.

Fritz Haber was a brilliant chemist, described in the first paragraph of his Wikipedia entrry.

Fritz Haber ( 9 December 1868 – 29 January 1934) was a German chemist who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1918 for his invention of the Haber–Bosch process, a method used in industry to synthesise ammonia from nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas. This invention is of importance for the large-scale synthesis of fertilisers and explosives. The food production for half the world’s current population depends on this method for producing nitrogen fertilisers. Haber, along with Max Born, proposed the Born–Haber cycle as a method for evaluating the lattice energy of an ionic solid.

This description is rather stained by the second paragraph.

Haber is also considered the “father of chemical warfare” for his years of pioneering work developing and weaponizing chlorine and other poisonous gases during World War I, especially his actions during the Second Battle of Ypres.

Ben Macintyre feels strongly about Haber and finishes with this paragraph.

Rescinding Haber’s Nobel prize will not stop Assad from killing his own people with poison bombsbut it would be a profound symbolic expression of the moral revulsion over the misuse of science so dramatically demonstrated by Haber’s wife a century ago.

I don’t know whether Nobel prizes can be rescinded, but the article is a very informative read about the origins of chemical weapons.

 

 

 

April 14, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , , | 3 Comments

Russia Has Killed More Civilians Than ISIS

The title of this post is taken directly from The Times.

August 20, 2016 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

I Just Don’t Get It

There are reports tonight like this one, that President Assad’s forces have nerve-gassed and killed large numbers of their own people in Damascus.

If we go back to Hitler, who let’s face it was a monster, you could even see some form of evil twisted logic in what he did, especially, as he targeted particular groups.

But there seems to be no logic of any sort to President Assad’s actions.

In the BBC report, I think even Frank Gardner is baffled too.

The only possible reason, is that Assad and his cronies are psychopaths, who get pleasure in killing others.

August 21, 2013 Posted by | News, World | , | Leave a comment

Syria And Sarin Gas

following the attack on the Tokyo subway with sarin gas in 1995, I asked a friend, who is one of Cambridge’s most eminent chemists about how difficult it is to make sarin gas. He indicated that making the gas is not the problem, but stopping it killing those who make it, is a difficult one, as even a tiny leak is fatal.

For protection, he said, you need the best protection suits. And they are very difficult to obtain and extremely expensive.

So who is providing Syria with these suits? Or do they want to kill everybody, even their own soldiers?

But with Syria, who knows what they think?

April 27, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Monstrous Crimes Against Innocents

Not my words but a phrase from the first leader in The Times accusing President Assad of Syria of carrying out atrocities against his own people.

What is going on thee can’t go on for much longer and we should act.

How about letting him come to the Olympics and then arresting him. I’m sure he’d love some nice Dutch hospitality in The Hague.

June 8, 2012 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

He’s Done More Damage and Killed More than Bin Laden

Someone has just said this on BBC Breakfast about Ratko Mladic.

Let’s hope he gets his final rewards in the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, just like Bin Laden should have faced a similar court!

But will the arrest of Ratko Mladic be a force for good?  Mark Urban on the BBC has tried to answer that question here.

May 27, 2011 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment