The Gazette and Daily from York, Pennsylvania on April 21, 1970 · Page 17
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

The Gazette and Daily from York, Pennsylvania · Page 17

York, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 21, 1970
Page 17
Start Free Trial

Ths Gazette and Daily, York, Pa., TjT) TTQRTj,-Tuesday Morning,- April 2), 1VU y Another Hideous Weapon For The U.S. Death Lab In Vietnam By CHRIS ROBINSON (From Liberation News Service) for launchers and rockets. Northrop's Electro-Mechanical Division is presently negotiating for additional work and launcher design services, while Northrop Carolina, Inc. of Ashpville, N.C. is negotiating for an XM74 ballistics study. The Pentagon has spent $10.8 million since 1968 for research, development, procurement, and testing of FLASH. Now it is time to see how it works in a real live war. both the Brunswick Corp. of Sugar Grove, Va. and the Northrop Corp. of Anaheim, Calif. In April, 1969, Brunswick was awarded a $1.4 million contract for 1,095 XM202 launchers and 16,740 XM74 rocket clips (including 66,960 rockets). Brunswick was supposed to receive another $1.5 million contract in October, 1969, but the award has not been formalized. In January, 1969, Northrup's Nortronics Division received $578,500 because it is the first weapon to successfully use a factory- filled incendiary round, which extends the range of previous flame and incendiary devices used by ground forces. The Army plans to expand the operational use of the concept by devising rounds for tank guns and larg'e caliber rockets to contain as much as four gallons of TEA. FLASH uses the XM202 launcher and XM74 rocket clip produced by TRB From Washingfon SALT May Be The Last Stop On The Line New York Army Digest reports in its March, 1970 edition, that a new weapon is being sent to Vietnam for 'operational evaluation" by the US Army and Marine forces. FLASH (or XM191 Multi-Shot Portable Flame Weapon) has been designed as a replacement for the flamethrower which has been in use since World War II. Since the early 1960's Vietnam has been a testing ground tor new weapons in the U.S. counterinsurgcncy arsenal. Herbicides, the TALOS missile, CS tear gas, and an assortment of electronic sensors are among the weapons proved in practice in Vietnam. "We have recognized the importance of the area (Vietnam) as a laboratory," said General Maxwell Taylor in a 1963 Congressional testimony. "We have had teams out there looking at the equipment requirements of this kind ol guerrilla warfare." FLASH is a portable weapon which" can be fired by one man. Four fiber-glass launching tubes in a rectangular arrangement holds a pre-loaded clip of four 66mm rocket shells. The rockets are 21 inches long, weigh 3 lbs., and are propelled at 360 feet per second by a standard M45 rocket motor. Each rocket contains 1.35 lbs., of polyisob uty le ne-t hick e ne d triethylaluminum (TEA), a new incendiary chemical considered superior to napalm because it ignites on contact with the air. DMS Inc., McGraw-Hill's defense marketing service, reports that FLASH was "designed to neutralize hard, soft, or jungle targets." It has a range of 200 meters against point targets, and 730 meters against area targets. FLASH is especially significant Sometimes you pinch yourself in Washington to make sure you heard right. It happened to me the other day in a long, lushly furnished Senate subcommittee room on foreign relations with all the senators perched up at one end behind their bench like the Supreme Court. What the witness said was so commonplace in one way that nobody bothered to write it down. Me? I got to thinking about the war between Athens and Sparta. It was two and a half thousand years ago. Nobody believed in that, either. It happened, though, and the war lasted 27 years and ruined both nations. This new war would last maybe 27 minutes. It would ruin both nations, too. Ruin is hardly the word. You and I wouldn't be here anymore. This is how the witness, nuclear scientist W.K.H. Panofsky put it, quietly pleading with the Senators: for God's sake help see that the SALT talks at Vienna get somewhere! (SALT is 'Strange Growth' Proves Just That on any. The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his-' opponent a man to be suspected . . . The fair proposals of an adversary were met with jealous precautions by the stonger of the two, and not with generous confidence." There is a lot more to it; well, it applies more to Vietnam, perhaps, than the piffft war. Today, what most people don't realize is that SALT may, be the last stop on the line. If these MIRVs, these multiple nuclear warheads (each aimed at a different target, taking out, say, Boston, Albany, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond and two or three more cities in one efficient blast) are really deployed, then it raises everything to a new order of magnitude. Crazy? 'Impossible? Yet how can anyone doubt the potentiality of the delivery of these new missiles who has gone through the vicarious agony of this last week's moonshot? A rough kind of stability in the balance of terror has existed for some years. Russians have had enough nuclear warheads to kill every American eight times; we have had enough to kul every Russian around 20 times. Fair enough, you say, and go back to your borsht. But a grave new situation has come to a head in the last few months. The nuclear arms race has moved so fast that it is almost beyond control. We and they are now actually moving into, instead of talking about, the era of ABMs and MIRVs. Once begun, it can hardly be stopped. Our own guess is that given almost any encouragement from Vienna the Senate will refuse to vote the ABM deployment into its second phase. You can look at it as another defeat for Mr. Nixon if you want to but of course the stakes are infinitely bigger. The Senate is closely divided. Mr. Nixon got his first ABM deployment by only one vote. He wants Congress to take the next step. He believes in facing down his adversary from a position of strength. So did Athens. So did Sparta. What meets us now is a terror confrontation so delicately honed that military men on either side propose a drastic new step, "Launch On Warning" (L.O.W.). Push the red button the minute the radar shows a missile attack coming. Don't wait, shoot. And so last week some of us prayed for the safe return from behind the moon of three brave men in desperate danger and a few of us threw in a prayer for civilization itself that can send out and spend such brave men. Its journey is just as perilous. shorthand for Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.) "We have numerical superiority of 3 to 1 in nuclear warheads," he said, "and US MIRV's are ready for deployment . . . Even after absorbing a first strike the level of damage the US could inflict would be such that the society of the attacker would be unlikely to survive." And he repeated the phrase later. '. . . A retaliatory blow of such enormous magnitude as to endanger the very survival of the society of the attacker." At first you simply reject that kind of talk. Is the man kidding? Then you recall that even at that minute representatives of the human species have managed to get round the moon and are horrifyingly and magnificently trying to return. Man can go anywhere. Man can do anything. Nothing can stop Man ... except Man. Why the scholar thinks of Athens and Sparta is that the whole war was so useless, so senseless so inevitable. Everybody but fools knew it was crazy. But they were scared of each other; they didn't know how to prevent it. That is why Thucydides is the most tragic of all authors. He set himself year by year to get out a sort of resume of how far the war had got. It was a kind of annual World Almanac, body count and everything. Athens and allies on one side, and Sparta and allies on the other, only wanted "bargaining from a position of strength." Who said that? Richard Nixon. He took the normal Cold War approach in his 1968 campaign to Russian calls for a conference. Russian leaders told their people that's all they wanted, too. And yet you and I know (or are almost certain we know) that the SALT talks won't get anywhere. And you and I know (or are almost certain we know) that this nuclear pifffft won't take place, the one that will wipe out the very society of the belligerents. Thucydides knew it, too. It was the greatest war in history up to that time. He was the journalist with a ringside seat who had the gloomy fun of recording it. (You can get as much enjoyment out of a gloomy view with a little practice, as you can out of an optimistic view.) About the fifth year he noted a psychological effect: "Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take on that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question; act. (From The Massachusetts Boston-One day early in 1937 a technician showed Dr. Louis Dienes a culture dense with tiny colonies of growths. "Dr. Dienes," Technician .Marguerite E. Burke said, "there is a very strange growth here." No bacteria were visible with the microscope. Dr. Dienes examined the culture with a special staining technique that revealed the nature of the tiny colonies. The mysterious growth was Mycoplasma. Dr. Dienes chuckled as he recalled the irony of that day. The Massachusetts General Hospital bacteriologist was one of several scientists from all over the world who had spent years unsuccessfully hunting for that elusive1 organism in man. "After all that searching I found it-accidentally," he said. This is often true of important research discoveries. French investigators had spotted Mycoplasma in cultures from an epidemic of cattle in 1898. Since it became evident that these organisms could cause serious disease in animals, scientists had searched for them unsuccessfully in humans. In the 1930's an English researcher made some progress toward unlocking some of the organism's secrets.; However, it remained for Dr. Dienes' General Hospital News) chance discovery to find Mycoplasma in man. The culture which his technician showed him came from a pus-filled gland (Bartholin's) that Dr. Langdon Parsons had removed from a patient. Dr. Parsons himself had cultured it looking for a common bacterium and turned the culture over to Dr. Dienes for study. Later, Dr. Dienes also found Mycoplasma in cultures made from the mouth. No evidence has ever turned up of disease caused by Mycoplasma in the mouth. Those organisms he discovered in the urinary tract area, however, can produce cystitis, an inflamation of the urinary bladder, and pyelitis, an inflamation of the kidney's basin-like structure called the renal pelvis. When antibiotics came into use in the 1940 's, both of those diseases became curable. It was found that streptomycin wiped out the Mycoplasma-caused infection in a few days. Dr. Dienes related the dramatic case of a man with cystitis who had been discharged from the Army. "he was made an invalid by the disease. He went to a number of hospitals, and they had been unable to do anything for him. "The patient was then admitted to the MGH, treated with streptomycin and cured in two days."

What members have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 11,100+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Try it free