Poison Arrows: North American Indian Hunting and Warfare

Poison Arrows: North American Indian Hunting and Warfare

Poison Arrows: North American Indian Hunting and Warfare

Poison Arrows: North American Indian Hunting and Warfare


A groundbreaking study of a subject that has been long overlooked, Poison Arrows imparts an extraordinary new perspective to the history of warfare, weaponry, and deadly human ingenuity.


The late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have witnessed a renewed concern among nations of the world regarding the use of biological and chemical weapons of war, especially by terrorists and socalled rogue nations. The fact that all major nations possess extensive weapons laboratories and production facilities, combined with events of the past several decades, illustrates that anxiety over these weapons is firmly based in reality.

In 1968 at Dugway, Utah, a laboratory testing an extremely toxic agent precipitated a chemical cloud that killed 6,000 sheep. The plant was later closed. An accidental release of aerosol in 1979 from Compound 19, a biological weapons plant in Sverdlovsk, Russia, killed sixtysix people who were directly downwind. On April 26, 1986, at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station in the Republic of Belarus, a reactor mishap released approximately seventy radioactive substances, affecting to some extent almost the entire population of the republic and forcing the evacuation of 24,000.

More ominous than accidental assaults are intentional applications of biological and chemical agents. In 1988, the Iraqi government attacked the Kurdish village of Birjinni with the nerve agent sarin, killing hundreds of innocent men, women, and children. In the 1980s, chemical weapons were reported in Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq. In 1995, the Aum Shinri Kyo cult released sarin in Tokyo's subway system during rush hour, injuring 5,500 and killing 11. Americans were terrorized in 2001 and 2002 with the specter of anthrax-tainted mail moving through the postal system, and in January 2003, several men were arrested for producing ricin, a poison more deadly than sarin, in a small apartment in London. In 1997, then Secretary of Defense William Cohen singled out Libya, Iran, Iraq, and Syria as countries aggressively seeking nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

It is safe to say that the threat of biological and chemical weapons . . .

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