From poisonous language to poison gas

Daily attacks on civilians:

Pakistan: church bombings and mosques destroyed

Iraq: public gatherings, mosques, funeral processions, car bombings

Afghanistan: car bombings, assassinations, suicide bombings

Kenya: shopping mall

Nigeria: students attacked in their dormitory at night, 60 killed

Syria: bombings of civilians, women and children killed with poison gas, people maimed, homeless.  And all of this in  broad daylight.

The world: ???

All of the above is well known, but I wanted to know more about the history of poison gas. This blog is not the place to share all of my research, but the United Nations has a brief history of modern agreements on chemical weapons on their site, and if you search Google for “International agreements prohibiting the use of poison gas” you will find much more information for yourself.

Despite all of the international agreements in place, in the Middle East there is unfortunately a history of much use of poison gas. It was used in Yemen by Egypt in 1967, by Iraqis against the Iranians, Shiites and Kurds in the 1980-88 Iraq/Iran war, and now by Syria against its own people.

I wonder who these stockpiles of poison gas that were used so cavalierly against civilians were actually meant for? Were there consequences for the use of these weapons? If 188 of the 292 members of the United Nations agree that there should be no use of these weapons, why have there been no consequences?

Perhaps you, my readers, can help me answer these troubling questions.


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