Newsletter (07 January 2004)

SPHERICAL-COW-CONCEPT and how to wake-up the judicial myopia?

* Has been requested in Luxembourg the day 24.2.2003 to the European Commission and to the WHO.

Mobile phone “do nothing” to protect from potential health risks.


1. phone safety should “do more” to protect from potential health risks?.

2. false-health-basis: SPHERICAL-COW-CONCEPT

Omega: see under _cow_concept.doc

3. How to wake up the judicial myopia?

Message from Dr Miguel Muntané


Thanks for your support

Dear Fellows:

If you wish to send a Letter to the Editor, here is the address:

Also many thanks to those who sent e-mails to our city officials.



Public Hearing: An Invitation - Wireless Antennas

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

I hope all is well with you. Most probably you know about the neighbors of 1600 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, California, who have been fighting Sprint antennas proposed on the roof of Starbucks Cafe and Barney's Restaurant on Cedar. The public hearing to decide on the antennas is on:

Tuesday, January 20, 2004, 7:00 PM

Hearing will be held in:

Old City Hall

2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way

City Council Chambers - Second Floor

Berkeley, CA

Please come to the hearing to support the neighbors. Note that no one is exempt from the radiation from these antennas. There are already more than 300 antennas in Berkeley and cell-phone companies keep on applying for new antennas; for instance, application for antennas on French Hotel has been filed. If you would like to know about the health problems of the radiation from wireless base-station antennas, please let me know. I can provide you a recent paper published in a peer-reviewed medical journal in 2003. The paper shows health problems of people who live near wireless antennas in a city in Spain.

There is an effective way to show your opposition to these antennas. Please write to Mayor Tom Bates and Council Members and urge them to deny permit to these antennas. Believe me, there are already many antennas in Berkeley or in your town. Here are the e-mail addresses you need: (Mayor Tom Bates) (our database)

I greatly appreciate your support.

Best regards,

Shahram Shahruz


Microwave, Chemical, Acoustic Weapons: Troubling Questions

Pulling Punches

Big plans for futuristic, nonlethal weapons are afoot, but their use would raise troubling questions

By William M. Arkin,

a military affairs analyst who writes regularly for Opinion. E-mail: .

January 4, 2004


The days of lethal force are certainly not over. But, boosted by the war on terrorism and the demands of the guerrilla war in Iraq, the development of new and exotic nonlethal weapons has gotten a huge lift.

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld recently approved a new research and development program that features such weapons prominently. Rumsfeld's director of "force transformation," retired Adm. Arthur Cebrowski, has said publicly he believes the department needs to vastly increase spending on nonlethal weapons. And the director of readiness for special operations forces told an industry gathering before Christmas that nonlethal weapons were needed for stopping vehicles that might contain suicide bombers, for clearing facilities without entering them and for incapacitating dangerous persons.

Yet with all of the high-level support and the new mission demands, nonlethal weapons have two fatal flaws that will ultimately stand in the way of their being widely fielded.

The modern era of nonlethal weapons began after the Gulf War in 1991, when military futurists started advocating the development of weapons aimed at disabling enemy capabilities without harming civilians or damaging property. When the Clinton administration came to office, the weapons were seen as natural tools for the then-growing peacekeeping missions in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Noncontroversial types of nonlethal weapons were deployed, including pepper spray, rubber bullets, beanbag rounds and new and better riot gear.

But in the case of exotic "directed energy" technologies (such as laser, sound-wave and microwave weapons), the technologies were not as capable as advocates had promised, and concerns about human rights and legality slowed development. Meanwhile, many in the conventional military questioned the efficacy of such "wonder weapons."

When President Bush took office, advocates of nonlethal weapons believed they would finally be given the support they needed. The administration committed itself from the beginning to reinventing the military for the 21st century. But then the events of Sept. 11 and the immediate needs of a military fighting a war pushed the actual deployment of futuristic new weaponry further into the future. The Iraq war came and went without the debut of a widely discussed "E-bomb" that would fry Saddam Hussein's electronic capabilities. In Iraq, as in Afghanistan, lethal weapons, together with skillful employment of special forces and intelligence, proved to be the centerpiece of the American fighting capability.

Still, as is common with many parts of the vast Pentagon bureaucracy, the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate created by Congress in 1996 to focus primarily on peacekeeping continued to provide seed money to a variety of projects. With a significant budget increase after Sept. 11 and almost a decade of tinkering in research laboratories, the directorate now says nonlethal weapons are "at a crossroads." The program, it says, is moving forward "beyond the rubber bullet modality" into exotic new capabilities.

The most promising new capability, according to military sources, is the "active denial system," a euphemism for a microwave weapon that could stop would-be attackers from advancing. A Humvee-mounted prototype utilizes a powerful millimeter-wave beam that penetrates skin to a depth of about 1/64th of an inch, heating water molecules and producing what a Marine Corps legal opinion calls "intolerable pain." Proponents say the beam would stop or turn back individuals at a distance exceeding that of small arms range, and could be used to protect installations from infiltration as well as to flush out insurgents during offensive operations.

Every potential American weapon is reviewed to determine its biological effects and its compliance with international law. Perhaps in this regard the most controversial nonlethal weapons are designer chemical warfare agents that can tranquilize or incapacitate individuals and crowds, or smell so foul that they instantly repel people. A sense of what such weapons could do was seen in October 2002 when Russian special forces used an incapacitating gas to try to free more than 700 hostages being held by Chechen rebels in a Moscow theater. The 41 terrorists were all killed. But the dose used was more dangerous than expected and 129 civilians also died.

Immediate questions were raised both about the propriety of using such agents around civilians and about the legality of such chemicals. Chemical weapons are prohibited by international convention, though they can be used for domestic law enforcement purposes. This irony of this drew Rumsfeld's scorn during a congressional hearing. "We are doing our best to live within the straitjacket that has been imposed on us," he said. He decried the possible scenario in Iraq where "our forces are allowed to shoot somebody and kill them, but they're not allowed to use a nonlethal riot-control agent under the law." Such agents aren't yet ready for use in Iraq, although in certain military missions, such as handling prisoners of war and protecting U.S. forces against attack, there is widespread recognition that great potential exists for nonlethal weapons.

This has been particularly the case since the October 2000 attack on the U.S. guided missile destroyer Cole in Yemen. For protection of ships against terrorists, the Navy is testing an acoustic weapon that was delivered in 2003. San Diego-based American Technology Corp. developed the prototype for a powerful focused sound beam the size of a satellite dish that allows sailors to signal approaching boats and then deliver a debilitating ultrasonic beam if intruders get too close.

Other acoustic and microwave weapons are also under development. Defense industry researchers have designed a variety of lasers and high-intensity light sources that temporarily blind, and the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate recently increased the budget for the so-called Clear-A-Space mission that aims to develop a brilliant flash, dazzling light or noise source that will, without harming them, compel people to move out of a space (such as an aircraft passenger compartment).

The Pentagon recognizes this tricky balancing act. The latest program request for nonlethal weapons, obtained by The Times, speaks of a need to "exploit observed anxiety of adversaries when faced with advanced, unconventional weapons whose effects are more challenging" while at the same time "making disjunctive participants *in a crowd* more receptive to the message and will of *American* forces." The next generation of weapons, the classified program document says, will combine "silent" and "invisible" engagement "to minimize the 'CNN Effect' " and support U.S. psychological and foreign policy objectives.

Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times,1,7579579.story

Informant: kevcross5