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I don’t know whether Nobel prizes can be rescinded, but the article is a very informative read about the origins of chemical weapons.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

Surely Taking Your Children To Syria Is Child Abuse?

I’m no lawyer, but I did live with one of East Anglia’s finest children’s barristers for forty years and for at least twenty of those years, C was at the top of her profession.

So to my trained-by-association legal mind, if you take your children to a war zone, like Syria, you’re putting your children in danger and that in my view and probably would in C’s mind, be akin to child abuse and should get the mother, father or guardian into Court.

As well as the case of the three Bradford sisters on their way to Syria and possible oblivion, we also have the case of the attack on the pregnant woman in Peckham.

In the second case someone has been charged and will appear in Court today.

As the Authorities knew something was up with the Bradford sisters, why was nothing done to sort the problem earlier, when they went to Manchester Airport the first time?

When I went out on Eurostar on my way to Kassel, there was a lady about fifty, who was travelling with a young girl of about four. The lady got a minute or so’s questioning from Immigration at St.Pancras. Which was quite right, as C was often in Court trying to get children produced that had been sneaked out of the Jurisdiction. I seem to have read that immigration rules have been tightened to make taking children out of the country, against one parent’s wishes more difficult.

Perhaps, if they were tightened again, it might stop a repeat of the case of the Bradford sisters and their nine children.

June 18, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

Violence In The Middle East

David Aaronovitch in his piece in The Times today entitled, Moderate Muslims – It’s Time To Be Outraged, makes some very good points.

But this fact is telling.

In the Israel-Palestine conflict 10,000 have been killed in the past 25 years, compared to 100,000 in Syria in just three.

All are one too many!

But where are the moderate Muslims trying to sort this violent mess out?

July 3, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Boys With Be Boys

There is a lot of speculation in the media, as why Muslim men are flocking to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Was it ever any different?

Go back to the Middle Ages and it was rape and pillage in the Crusades or with Henry the fifth, and later it was piracy with Drake and Grenville.

Nelson And Wellington were not short of volunteers and in Victorian times, it was all about Empire building, with a small personal fortune thrown in, if you were lucky!

Perhaps the nearest parallel to that of Syria and Iraq today, was the International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War. Many of those who fought in the Brigades or openly supported them went on to be important figures in later life.

You could also argue that both the First and Second World War was an outlet for many men, who had an excess of testosterone.

I also remember a General, saying that the Falklands War did a lot of good for Army recruitment.

I am a pacifist or more likely a coward, but we shouldn’t be too quick to condemn those, who go to fight in Iraq and Syria.

The ones we should condemn are the countries and arms dealers, who are giving the likes of the odious President Assad, the weapons they are using to kill their own people.

June 24, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Farage Says Yes!

Nigel Farage of UKIP saying that the UK should accept more Syrian refugees is a bit of a surprise.l  Here’s an extract from a report on the BBC.

The UK should take in some refugees from Syria’s civil war, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage has said.

He told BBC News that Western countries should agree to take an allocation, but he did not specify numbers.

I wonder what his typical supporter thinks of this statement!

December 29, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment

The Syria Debate on Radio 5 Live

I was invited to be a member of the public at this debate on College Green by the Houses of Parliament today.

I didn’t say much, but it was an interesting experience. I found it fascinating to see how they set it all up and I think I learned something, if ever I get interviewed by the media again.

I don’t think we contributed much to the debate, but then only time will tell what will happen in Syria.

August 29, 2013 Posted by | News | , , | 1 Comment

The Two Faces Of Ed Milliband

Ed Milliband has just stated on BBC Television, that whatever we do in Syria must be totally legal.

So where was he, when Blair decided to go into Iraq as Bush’s poodle? Answers on a properly creosoted fence please!

August 27, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | 3 Comments

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