I have not written in a while. Busy.Busy. Busy.
I have some minutes to chit chat and I wanted to repost an article written by Lizzie Tomei on the Dangers of Chemical Weapons.
We have all just recently experienced with Boston the horrors and shock of terrorism. The first question is why the hated? Why is it okay for someone to make explosives to kill innocent people. The truth is: it can never be acceptable. I dont care what the prejudices are. Terrorism is wrong. Full stop.
We must spare a thought or two for innocent Nigerians living in Northern Nigeria whose every day reality is terrorism. Sadly, even Nigerians living in Nigeria dont even bait an eye lid. Every day, its business as usual.
The news cycle since last night: Assad’s use of Chemical Weapons. I think the guy is some kind of terrorist. Frankly.
Here is the article. When is the violence in Syria going to stop?
What is a chemical weapon?
A chemical weapon is a “toxic chemical contained in a delivery system, such as a bomb or shell,” according to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The organization notes that the Chemical Weapons Convention, however, defines them more generally as “any toxic chemical or its precursor that can cause death, injury, temporary incapacitation or sensory irritation through its chemical action.” Chemicals that fit this description but that also have routine industrial use are only considered weapons if they are “produced and stockpiled in amounts that exceed requirements” laid out in the Convention.
The bombs and shells used to deliver chemical weapons are also considered weapons in their own right.
Which chemical weapons does Syria have?
A 2008 paper put out by the Center for Strategic and International Studies said that Syria is believed to possess mustard agents — also known as “blistering agents,” for the burn-like wounds they cause — and nerve gas. Nerve agents are “organo-phosphorus” chemical compounds that can be absorbed either through inhalation or contact with the skin, according to the OPCW.
Syria is believed to have cluster warheads that can deliver chemical weapons, according to CSIS, and the country may also have chemical bombs, rocket warheads, and chemical artillery shells.
What governs the use of chemical weapons?
International conventions including the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (full name: The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction) prohibit the use of chemical weapons. Scott D. Sagan, a political science professor at Stanford, wrote in a 2000 book chapter that “the use of both chemical and biological weapons is now deemed illegal by the international community, and any state that violates this norm is likely to face significant international opprobrium.”
The OPCW, headquartered at the Hague, is the body responsible for implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention. Though the OPCW is an independent organization, it works in formal cooperation with the United Nations toward the prohibition of chemical weapons.
According to crimesofwar.org, a private, non-profit website that seeks to explain international humanitarian law, the 1925 Geneva Protocol allowed countries “to develop and stockpile chemical weapons for ‘defensive’ purposes,” though it banned “first use” of the weapons. Conventions since have been much more strict.
The heart of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, according to crimesofwar.org,
“is that each State party undertakes never, in any circumstances, to develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, or retain chemical weapons, or transfer them directly or indirectly to anyone; never to use chemical weapons or engage in any preparations for doing so; and never to assist, encourage, or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited by the treaty.”
Culled from www.globalpost.com
December 6th 2012.