Chemical weapons

A few things to think about when you’re deciding if the US should bomb Syria because of their use of chemical weapons:

  • the US implicitly endorsed the use of chemical weapons by Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s (and the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam war could be seen as chemical warfare)
  • the US is one of 13 countries with declared chemical weapons production facilities
  • 161 countries have signed the Ottawa treaty which bans the use of mines–the US is one of 36 countries that have not signed it
  • 112 countries have signed the Cluster Munitions Treaty which bans the use of cluster munitions–the US has not signed it
  • the US is one of 190 countries that have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, they are one of 5 of the signatories to have nuclear weapons (India, Israel, and Pakistan have not signed the treaty and North Korea withdrew)

Now look at this list when you hear statements such as this:

Kerry also said he was pleased with the release of a new video that shows the suffering that Syrians faced from the use of chemical weapons.

“Those videos make it clear to people that these are real human beings, real children, parents being affected in ways that are unacceptable to anybody anywhere by any standards,” Kerry said. “And it is the United States of America that has always stood with others to say, ‘We will not allow this. This is not our values. This is not who we are.’”

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