Molecular nano weapons in China vs. U.S. 'unilateral disarmament'

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By Lev Navrozov

Lev Navrozov emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1972 He settled in New York City where he quickly learned that there was no market for his eloquent and powerful English language attacks on the Soviet Union. To this day, he writes without fear or favor or the conventions of polite society. He chaired the "Alternative to the New York Times Committee" in 1980, challenged the editors of the New York Times to a debate (which they declined) and became a columnist for the New York City Tribune. His columns are today read in both English and Russian.
Lev Navrozov

Monday, March 15, 2004

Eric Drexler published his seminal monograph, subtitled “The Coming Era of Nanotechnology”, in 1986. Five years earlier, in 1981, his article, published by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, had outlined nanotechnology.

On March 5, 2004, the magazine “Howard Lovy's NanoBot” reported that “a National Nanotechnology Initiative official tried, unsuccessfully, to uninvite Eric Drexler from a conference at the University of South Carolina on 'imaging and imagining Nanotechnology.'”

Image or imagine an attempt to uninvite Einstein from a conference on space-time physics.

What crime has been committed by the founder of nanotechnology? In his book of 1986, entitled “Engines of Creation”, he spoke of the creative possibilities of nanotechnology. But he would not conceal the possibilities of “molecular manufacturing” and hence nano-weapons. Indeed one chapter of his book of 1986 was entitled “Engines of Destruction”.

Outrageous, isn't it? Sheer militarism! Imagine Einstein writing a letter to President Roosevelt about the possibility of nuclear weapons!

Of course, the National Nanotechnology Initiative is not engaged in such militaristic applications of nanotechnology, receives U.S. government allocations for its research, and believes that such military possibilities of nanotechnology (molecular manufacturing) are Drexler's militaristic fantasies on which no U.S. government allocations should be wasted.

But attacked for his “militarism”, Drexler does not surrender, and sent to “Howard Lovy's NanoBot” the following statement:

    “Molecular manufacturing will bring a revolution in military affairs greater than the transition from hand-made spears to mass-produced guns. It is unwise to be on the wrong side of such a technology gap. NNI [National Nanotechnology Initiative] policy today opposes not only research on molecular manufacturing, but also open dialog on its scientific basis and potential consequences.”

Drexler does not mention China by name. To do so would be a sacrilege, an obscenity, an act of war. But he makes the case powerfully by saying:

    “In a competitive world, the denialist policies of the NNI place us on a path to unilateral disarmament. Continuation of those policies thus poses a grave threat.”

The Chinese specialists from among the Chinese dissidents have been studying — under the auspices of our Center for the Survival of Western Democracies, Inc. and under the guidance of its manager Isak Baldwin — the development in China of post-nuclear superweapons in seven fields, including molecular nanotechnology. Here is the Web site “Nano Science and Technology Network” of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Translated from the Chinese:

    Nano-bio Studies
    Title of Research: Nano-bio Studies
    Completion Date: Jan 2000
    Completed by: LI, Min Qian, HU, Jun, ZHANG, Yi

Look at the completion date: January 2000. The research which the US government-funded National Nanotechnology Initiative regards as militataristic and impossible as of 2004 had been completed by January 2000!

The quotation from the “Briefing of Contents” of this research is long, but it can be read — against the background of unilateral disarmament of the West to which Drexler refers above — as a death sentence, and surely the death of Western Civilization is worth several minutes of attention.

    Briefing of Contents:
    Nano-bio Studies primarily consist of two aspects:
    I. Applying the newly flourishing nano technology to solve research and biology problems;
    II. Applying organic molecules to manufacture molecular parts, imitate and manufacture molecular machines which are similar to organic molecules. The ultimate purpose of nano technology is to manufacture molecular machines, the inspiration of which originated from the large number of organic molecules existing in biological systems. They are viewed as the molecular machines of nature by Feynman [whom Drexler considers his forerunner] and others. Seen from this perspective, nano-bio studies should be a central area of nano technology.
Or here is a document about two years later announcing an international symposium on MOLECULAR NANOTECHNOLOGY & SELF-ASSEMBLY OF METALLO-NANOSYSTEMS to be held in Beijing on Nov. 10-12 2002. The symposium is sponsored by a periodic Fragrance Mountain Conference, financially supported by a host of government-funded organizations, including the People's Liberation Army General Equipment Department, National Defense Science Engineering Committee, and National Ministry of Education.

At least five reports include “molecular self-assembly” in their titles, and one report includes “nano-supermolecular self-assembly”.

Going back to the unilateral disarmament (as Drexler puts it) of the West, one curiosity can be mentioned.

Those who deny the role of molecular nanotechnology and regard it as a militaristic fantasy often refer to Michael Crichton's sci-fi thriller “Prey” to prove that molecular nano weapons have been the fantasy of sci-fi authors — and Eric Drexler who is thus dragged to the level of sci-fi thrillers. Now, Hollywood stars have been assembled for the movie version of the sci-fi thriller “Prey”.

I have always assumed that the thriller was about a global nano war. Long after the Cold War we saw a sci-fi film on the U.S. mainstream television in which Soviet Russia conquered the United States and machine-gunned all members of Congress. Since the producers knew nothing about the Soviet development of post-nuclear superweapons, it was not clear how Soviet Russia could conquer the United States, given Mutual Assured Destruction.

But “Prey” is not about a war with China (are you crazy?). Nor is it about any nano war. This is its plot in two sentences:

“In the Nevada desert, an experiment has gone horribly wrong. A cloud of nanoparticles (micro-robots) has escaped from the laboratory…” Do you understand? The United States may destroy mankind with that militaristic nano research! Stop it! Thank God, the plot is Michael Crichton's invention! There has been no such experiment! And do you want to know the truth? The experiment is impossible! It is militaristic fantasy! Only Drexler and the Chinese do not understand it! But fortunately, Drexler's Foresight Institute is starved out of U.S. government funds! Otherwise they would make that mischief which “Prey” depicts! As for the Chinese, let their government waste hundreds of billions of dollars on what is impossible — unscientific! Ha-ha-ha!

On a more serious note, here is a New York Times interview with John Kerry on March 6, 2004. Its last section is entitled “On North Korea, China [in that order], and proliferation.”

The presidential candidate explains that in negotiations with, for example, North Korea, “China's been particularly helpful.” Such is the global role of China: to help the United States to prevent nuclear proliferation in countries like North Korea. The fact that China began to build its nuclear arsenal in 1963 is not mentioned by Kerry, and, indeed, is almost unknown to the electorate. THE enemy is North Korea, while China helps to disarm THE enemy. Let THE enemy tremble:

    “On the other hand, make no mistake, and this is very important: North Korea should never doubt the resolve of the United States to be serious about proliferation”

Thank God, the United States has a helpmate — China, to cope with that terrible North Korea, threatening the world!

Lev Navrozov's (] new book is available on-line at To request an outline of the book, send an e-mail to

March 7, 2004

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