We have been conditioned, by seeing films of mushroom clouds and images of nuclear destruction in Japan at the end of WWII, to have some understanding of the horrific effects of a nuclear war. We have NOT been conditioned to understand the effects of Twenty-first Century advanced biological war. The kill numbers are very similar, just with biowar you don't get the "big bangs", the mushroom clouds, the nuclear bombers, the ICBMs, etc. Just sub-microscopic genetically engineered super killer viruses that we have absolutely no defense against, delivered in secret, with a slow horrifying unstoppable migration through the global human population. All the fear of a naturally mutated form of "bird flu" that might kill tens of millions is simply "child's play" compared to multiple designer military viruses that are built to kill in the many hundreds of millions to billions of people globally.
It costs approximately US$1 million to kill one person with nuclear weapons-of-mass destruction but only approximately US$1 to kill one person with biological weapons-of-mass destruction. Bioweapons are truly the "poor man's nukes". The Iranians are known to have a biological weapons program and they, and their allies, certainly have the means to deliver biowar agents into the Israeli and European and North American homelands. Bioweapons do not have to be dispersed via missiles or bombs, they are perfect for non-traditional normally non-military delivery systems. Being very small (there are, for example, typically approximately 40 million bacterial cells in every gram of soil and massively more viruses in the same gram), they lend themselves to an enormous variety of non-detectable methodologies for delivery and use in war, both regionally and globally.
What is being missed here, with all the talk of Iran developing nuclear weapons or not (depending on one's viewpoint), is that Iran is already a state that possesses WMD. HELLO, ANY WAR WITH IRAN IS HIGHLY APT TO INVOLVE LARGE SCALE DEATHS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD DUE TO THE NATURE OF THE IRANIAN WMD THREAT. Hello again, this means that YOU...the person reading this...is apt to die from biowar in event of a war with Iran! We are in a MAD....mutually assured destruction....pre-war state with Iran, just as we are with Russia and and to a lessor extent with China when it comes to nuclear weapons. A famous line from the movie "Wargames" (referring to engaging in nuclear war and the odds of "winning" such a war) is "the only winning move is not to play". Sad to say, this does not seem to have any bearing on the apocalyptic strategy of the neocon push for war with Iran.
The nature of biowar is that it is a "gift that keeps on giving". Once released, advanced recombination DNA based viral bioweapons will continue to spread and kill and kill ....regardless if Iran (and its ally Syria) are but a sea of green radioactive glass devoid of all life. With advanced biowar agents, it is not the quantity that counts but the quality; humans themselves become the vectors and delivery systems of the bioweapons. It does not require large amounts of weapons running into the millions or billions of tons of high explosives; nor does it require ICBMs and cruise missiles and $100 million dollar warplanes to deliver the bioweapons. A very small group of human assets, prepositioned with small amounts of easily hidden biowar weapons (submicroscopic viruses), in the Middle East, Europe, Canada, and America can begin the process that will result in the deaths of hundreds of millions or even billions of human beings. When you get right down to it, does it matter if you die from some exotic bioengineered hemorrhagic fever or from radiation poisoning/nuclear blast .......dead is still dead.
To begin to understand the truly horrific nature of the biowar threat, one only has to look to history for some "mild" examples. The Black Death bubonic pandemic, believed caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is estimated to have killed between a third and two-thirds of Europe's population after it spread to Europe in 1347 from South-western/Central Asia.
As frighting as a totally antibiotic resistant Yersinia pestis bacteria is, it remains "child's play" compared to the more advanced recombination DNA technology used in most biowar programs. This typically involves the recombining of viral DNA into new virus, "designer virus". The Soviets, years ago, engineered a new virus that combined elements of Smallpox and Ebola. With the genetic engineering of viruses those doing the "designing" can engineer into the virus a wide number of different characteristics. For instance, an advanced hemorrhagic fever can be designed to be: airborne (capable of being transmitted via sneezing), with a very small amount of viral material required to infect a human host, with a incubation period of 14 days or longer, with most of the incubation period that is both highly contagious and at best looks like a mild version of the common cold, with the resulting hemorrhagic fever having a mortality of 90% or more.
The same technology can be used to create a large number of different viruses which can all be released on a target population at the same time, vastly complicating detection and containment and treatment programs. In fact the normal research and development process used in genetic engineering results in a large number of different new viruses.
We are in a period of extreme danger to us all. Even more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis of the 60s. Yet far too many people are so uneducated as to the real dangers from advanced Twenty-first Century biowar that they are totally blind to the profound risk to their own lives.