When Puppies Die
On Animal Abuse, Al-Qaeda's Got Nothin' on the US Military
by Jeremy Sapienza
August 22, 2002

Just in case there were a few of you left who aren't biting the "al-Qaeda is the most evil group of people to exist in the history of the world" bit, along comes the "they kill puppies!" tapes. Let's set aside for a moment the fact that, wait – do they even have yellow labs in Afghanistan? And in a place where people are lucky to find scraps to eat, how is it that this dog looks like a just-out-of-the-washing-machine teddy bear? But I digress.

Assuming these tapes weren't made in Studio City, how is what al-Qaeda did with a few dogs worse than what the United States and other governments do all the time? Now, I'm no PETA fan, but they do make some interesting points. For example:

"No matter where you stand on international conflicts, it is a painful fact that the Israeli army has also blown up unanesthetized pigs with Scud missile explosives and conducted other painful experiments on dogs, monkeys, doves, mice, toads, and guinea pigs. An article in the March 17, 2000, issue of Ha'aretz, Israel’s most respected daily newspaper, reported that experiments carried out by the Israel Defense Forces on animals were so horrific that the soldiers forced to conduct the experiments had to seek psychological counseling."

Pigs in Israel?

Anyway, PETA says the horrors of the Israeli tests are a drop in the bucket compared to what the good ol' US of A has done to man's best friend and various other species.

"Each year, at least 320,000 primates, dogs, pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, cats, and other animals are hurt and killed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) in experiments that rank among the most painful conducted in this country...The cost to taxpayers for these military experiments is estimated to be in excess of $100 million annually."

Say what you will about Osama, but he used his own damn money to torture animals.

I did some of my own research and found out that, in addition to the fact that PETA basically ripped off verbatim a few paragraphs from a few different sites without citing them, the US Military, which kills five primates a day, has done many things to animals that would make Mengele shudder.

Medical Research Modernization Committee reports:

"Utilizing the DOD database listed above, while searching on Brooks as the performing institution, brings up 14 separate projects at Brooks. Twelve of these projects bring $4,845,000 into the till for Brooks. The funding amounts for the other two are listed as 'classified.' Of these 14 experiments, 10 involve primates, and the rest use rats, mice, or other rodent species. The 10 experiments that involve primates are highly invasive. The 'subjects' of these projects must endure laser effects on the eyes, radiation, and high-power microwaves."

Cha-ching for the mad scientists at Brook Air Force Base.

"187,257 animals die in actual DOD labs, and 139,840 suffer in non-DOD labs funded by DOD contracts."

So we've got 327,097 animals killed (this excludes the total number of animals experimented on) directly or indirectly by the DOD. And we're supposed to flip out about three dogs?

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine claims the price tag is actually

"$200 million a year on experiments using hundreds of thousands of animals, often with no more than the vaguest scientific rationale. By all appearances, some Department of Defense programs have become little more than checking accounts for ivory tower research...

"We have found scores of military tests that kill animals and serve no realistic military purpose."

"...military experimenters use pigs to experiment with laser tattoo removal and use rats, pigeons, and squirrel monkeys to study drug abuse...

Brucellosis, anthrax, dengue fever, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, equine infectious anemia, and the filoviruses ebola and marburg are being tested in other military experiments...

Mustard gas, first used in World War I, continues to be a favorite agent for Department of Defense animal experimenters. Yet good treatments are already available and are easy to use."

Seems to me like a bunch of wackos making out like bandits in two different ways: cashing in at taxpayer expense with a thoroughly useless career and getting off on killing animals like a five-year-old pulling the legs off a lizard.

The National Anti-Vivsection Society says that

"[m]any military experiments are conducted to test new weapons and new developments in biological and chemical warfare. In so-called 'wound labs,' military experimenters suspend conscious and semi-conscious animals in a sling and then shoot them with high-powered weapons to provide battlelike injuries for military surgeons to practice on."

And can any of us ever forget the ridiculous pictures of Roborat? Not that I feel a particular affinity for these rodents (having dealt with one of the invaders in my house recently), but wouldn't it suck to be remote-controlled?

However, the pièce de resistance, in my mind, is the so-called "Atomic Ark."

"In 1946, near the Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific, 4,000 sheep, goats, and other animals loaded onto a boat and set adrift were killed or severely burned by an atomic blast detonated above them. The military nicknamed the experiment 'The Atomic Ark.'"

I think I'm done here.

* * *

A side note on Islam and animal cruelty:

"One might also appeal to the Islamic law (Shari'ah) to oppose using animals in military research in general and in the so-called wound laboratories in particular. The...Ahadith, as well as the Juristic Rules, would seem to support the view that our wars are our own problems and that we have no right to make the animals suffer for them."

* * *

So, in agreement with PETA, yes, I hate it when puppy-dogs die. "What the al-Qaida did to that dog was appalling, but let’s be honest with ourselves that we and our allies are guilty of the same sort of barbarism.”

We? Leave me out of this.

Jeremy Sapienza is Assistant Webmaster/Editor for Antiwar.com, Editor-in-Chief for the anarchist webzine Anti-state.com. He lives in Miami Beach.

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