Why do Chemical weapons matter?

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posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 08:26 PM
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The basis of the world's involvement in Syria is the use of chemical weapons.They use the excuse that Chemical weapons are so horrific that anyone using them should immediately be taken out.

Why? Why are chemical weapons some sort of "red line" (not to use buzzwords or anything) Because they are awful? Newsflash, war is awful. Killing is awful. Thrusting pieces of hot metal through people's bodies at supersonic speeds is awful. Blowing people apart into bloody chunks is awful.

It's ALL terrible, why do chemical weapons get such a special role? Why is saddam bad for gassing people, why is the use of chemical weapons in syria so bad?

If something is so serious that you need to resort to violence and killing, you are already at that red line. Millions of Africans getting hacked apart by machettes seems far more heinous than chemical attacks. The expected death toll for America's strikes exceeds the number killed by chemical attacks in syria.

This idea doesn't seem to be talked about much, which surprises me. A death is a death, if I kill one guy by shooting him in the head, another guy by chemical weapons, another guy by blowing hip apart, and another guy by hacking him apart with a large knife, what does it matter? I've done something terrible either way.

It seems very odd to assign a special level of "badness" to chemical weapons while ignoring the horrible atrocities and acts of physical violence that goes on all over the world. It doesn't matter if Assad used chemical weapons. it doesn't matter if the rebels used Chemical weapons.

It seems so incredibly arrogant to place a higher worth on some people's lives compared to others. John smith doesn't matter, because he died via being shot to death, burned to death, hacked to death, etc. But bob bobstien DOES matter, because he died from chemical weapons. It shocks me to think that some people actually hold the idea that killing people has levels of acceptability depending on the method used.

I'm not making a judgement about whether or not anyone should get involved with Syria (personally I don't feel we should) I'm making a judgement on how arrogant and hypocritical it is to condemn chemical weapons use while being "ok" with other heinous forms of killing. Those deaths from chemical weapons are evidently more important than the millions killed from US intervention, or millions killed from african infighting.

Am I alone feeling this way?




posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 08:42 PM
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I do wonder if chemical weapons are demonized because countries in power have banned all weapons that would have any chance at defeating them. Nuclear? Nope! Chemical? Nope!. white phosphorus? Nope.

What are these "rules" of fighting war really here for?

If you want to defeat an enemy are you really going to play by the enemies rules?

Great topic this is.



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 08:46 PM
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James

That's a fair point and I agree.

I suppose it's all about the simultaneous quantum of innocent people that you can wipe out. Certainly the variety of ways that innocent people are killed is horrific and I don't really see the difference between being hacked to death or left partially melted and dying very slowly after a nuclear air burst.

There is however a difference in the manner of the attack insomuch that the numbers of victims can be amassed much quicker with less effort.

Kind Regards
Myselfaswell
edit on 4-9-2013 by myselfaswell because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 08:48 PM
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reply to post by James1982
 


I'll tell you why, as one old enough, perhaps, to remember what it may, and I say "MAY" have been like in the perpetual shelling of Berlin and London, during WWII.....

In those days, you heard the planes. And even if you didn't, they had radar and an alarm system set up: ever heard a bomb alert from those days? So you had a "chance," a slim one, albeit, to get somewhere, under the piano in the living room, a bomb shelter if you were lucky enough to have one, etc......

Think, for a second, about the reality, of being under fire…quite simply.

Now, after you've imagined that, imagine a chemical being set off in a soundless, small, hissing bomb.......but the gasses that are emitted, almost silently, and there are a plethora of other ways this could happen other than a bomb......and even more silent, and creepingly killing.......what you thought was fog rising from the river beside the subway, etc., is, in fact, a gas, that once you breathe it and start choking and bleeding from the lungs, clogging your every attempt, thereafter, to breathe, doubling you over, so that you cannot run from that "fog," for you cannot draw enough breath to escape it and get to somehwere you don't see that "mist," and then lay there in the street, bleeding from your lungs, unable even to cry out, nor move......

sorry for the graphic explanation……but do you get it, now???
Sincerely,
Tetra50



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 08:52 PM
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reply to post by James1982
 


We Americans have decided that Chem Weps are not Humane , so as the Worlds Moral Authority, we must Act.

By the Way... I have a Angent Orange and Napalm Tree in my Backyard , they are Natural, not Chemical.



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 08:53 PM
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When you t hink about the logistics of it, which means the real sensations and qualities of living through it or dying in it, this is why nuclear bombs are similar in terms of the UN, and the "world community," in using them.....

Look at some pictures of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, for one. The clothes burned off a child runnning through the street, that's how powerful the bomb is, IF you live at a distance enough from the strike zone to spare your life, and JUST burn the clothes offf your body. And needless to say, if you were at that distance, even, you'll be dead in a few days, from the radiation poisoning.

Then, there's living at a further distance, no burning of your clothes, etc. Have you ever read, "On the Beach?"
It's a book about after a worldwide nuclear war between Russia and the US, and understand only TWO bombs were exchanged, in this hypothetical........two or three people left in Australia, live their six months out on the beach in Australia, knowing the nuclear fallout cloud would be drifting their way soon, and poisoning them, despite they saw no bomb, no mushroom cloud, etc........



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 08:54 PM
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Because war started becoming civilized in the middle ages, and certain types of warfare became considered dishonorable. In modern times we try and keep down the collateral damage on the civilian non-combatants by preventing weapons that kill indiscriminately. That is also why landmines are prevented under certain countries and international articles of warfare. It ended up that the most common casualties caused by the use of landmines were children.

Chemical and biological agents are considered to be along the same lines as mines, in that they cannot be pinpoint targeted and can cause massive amounts of indiscriminate collateral damage to the civilian non-combatant population.



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 08:54 PM
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reply to post by James1982
 


In fact, how important I feel your question is, is how many stars and flags I can give it, so people really, really think about what this means….

Thanks for an opportunity to say that, James.....



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 09:01 PM
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reply to post by tetra50
 


Technically there should be no distinction as horrific as it may seem. Oddly enough I think it comes down to leveling the playing field in war because I see no difference of a bus full of children being blown up with some IED versus nerve gas. Even more horrible to say that when you do use a gas you keep the infrastructure in tact...we use depleted uranium that has a far longer and slow killing effect from our warthogs so it does bring up an interesting and certainly legitimate question...

War is war and you simply just can't pretty it up...the outcome will always be death but one may be quicker than the other..and more cost effective..

Guess we could compare it to someone on death row...hanging or lethal injection...most people would say lethal injection because it seems like a more humane way to die but when you get down to it they both suck...
edit on 4-9-2013 by chrismarco because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 09:02 PM
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Originally posted by myselfaswell

There is however a difference in the manner of the attack insomuch that the numbers of victims can be amassed much quicker with less effort.


Kind of like the 30,000 bombings we did at Kosovo Sen McCain mentioned this morning when speaking to the House of Representatives.

In reply to ManOfHart, there are no rules in war only survival and if possible winning.



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 09:09 PM
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Again folks, look at why land-mining is also considered banned in modern warfare for the answer here.
Wars are meant to be fought on a battlefield with the civilians out of harms way as much as possible. Weapons are made to be accurate to prevent collateral civilian deaths. All the weapons that are “banned” in modern warfare of of the type that kill indiscriminately, and have a high probability of creating unnecessary mass civilian casualties.

Chemical weapons were invented in WWI (biological goes back to the dark ages at the very least), but in WWI the use of chemical weapons was limited to the “no mans land” between the trenches of the soldiers. In modern times as the battles moved in closer to civilian populations the use of such weapons became outlawed in the rules of warfare.



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 09:16 PM
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reply to post by defcon5
 


Beat me to it...

Basically it's the indiscriminate way chemical weapons kill.

A machete can be aimed at any part of the body.
A gun pointed at any body.
Artillery pointed and aimed at any selected part of ground.
A tomahawk missile can be aimed at a certain structure.

You get the picture right?

But chemical weapons once released are on the mercy of the wind and other atmospheric conditions. It's all about accuracy and ability. Weapons that have been banned internationally tend to be those that are inaccurate and deadly, as in once it's deployed there is no telling just who it will kill.

Their is a few other weapons that could easily fall under the "outlawed" category that are not. Napalm being one of them, it is however restricted to only be used against military forces. To be honest most nations have their own rules about what they will use and what they won't, most follow the international rules on the subject though.

Your right though op, death is death no matter how it happens, targeting who you want to kill however is a different ball game.
edit on 4-9-2013 by RAY1990 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 09:18 PM
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Originally posted by tetra50
reply to post by James1982
 


I'll tell you why, as one old enough, perhaps, to remember what it may, and I say "MAY" have been like in the perpetual shelling of Berlin and London, during WWII.....

In those days, you heard the planes. And even if you didn't, they had radar and an alarm system set up: ever heard a bomb alert from those days? So you had a "chance," a slim one, albeit, to get somewhere, under the piano in the living room, a bomb shelter if you were lucky enough to have one, etc......

Think, for a second, about the reality, of being under fire…quite simply.

Now, after you've imagined that, imagine a chemical being set off in a soundless, small, hissing bomb.......but the gasses that are emitted, almost silently, and there are a plethora of other ways this could happen other than a bomb......and even more silent, and creepingly killing.......what you thought was fog rising from the river beside the subway, etc., is, in fact, a gas, that once you breathe it and start choking and bleeding from the lungs, clogging your every attempt, thereafter, to breathe, doubling you over, so that you cannot run from that "fog," for you cannot draw enough breath to escape it and get to somehwere you don't see that "mist," and then lay there in the street, bleeding from your lungs, unable even to cry out, nor move......

sorry for the graphic explanation……but do you get it, now???
Sincerely,
Tetra50


I get that chemical weapons are terrible. The issue is that there seems to be a disconnect between what war and conflict actually are, vs what we WANT them to be. We want warfare to be clean and easy so as to make it easier to perpetrate and less offensive. That's wrong. Like I said before, if a situation is grave enough that military action needs to be taken, then it's grave enough that ALL military action IS taken.

It's similar to the popularity of tasers among police. The initial idea of a taser was to give an intermediary step between going at someone with a baton, and shooting someone dead. But now it has become a replacement for the baton, or a replacement for actual police work. If someone hassles you, tase them. It's no longer a tool to avoid shooting someone, it's a tool to increase force and pressure where normally there would be none.

Making warfare so clean makes it too easy to accept. If you knew military action meant chemical attacks, ammunition designed for max trauma, all out, TRUE warfare, people would not so easily accept and condone it. But we make all these rules and regulations to civilize warfare. Warfare should NOT be civilized, it is supposed to be the most brutal thing known to man. That keeps it from being used when it shouldn't be.

Another poster brought up another aspect to it, that the "big" nations get a leg up by banning such methods of warfare. When you have a large, rich, stable country, it's easy to assemble an effective military. Chemical weapons give more bang for the buck, and allow a smaller weaker enemy to wield more power than they could limited by those with better toys.We don't like that. We don't like that an enemy might have a weapon capable of actually hurting us.

I'm against chemical weapons in the same way I'm against hacking people to death or blowing them up. It shouldn't be done except under the most extreme circumstances, and in those circumstances, it's no holds barred. That's how war should be, I can guarantee we'd see a LOT less of it if that was the case.

The demonizing of such weapons also gives an easy way to make someone look bad. Killing a few thousand with chemical weapons is evidently worse than killing millions with more conventional means.



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by chrismarco
reply to post by tetra50
 


Technically there should be no distinction as horrific as it may seem. Oddly enough I think it comes down to leveling the playing field in war because I see no difference of a bus full of children being blown up with some IED versus nerve gas. Even more horrible to say that when you do use a gas you keep the infrastructure in tact...we use depleted uranium that has a far longer and slow killing effect from our warthogs so it does bring up an interesting and certainly legitimate question...

War is war and you simply just can't pretty it up...the outcome will always be death but one may be quicker than the other..and more cost effective..

Guess we could compare it to someone on death row...hanging or lethal injection...most people would say lethal injection because it seems like a more humane way to die but when you get down to it they both suck...
edit on 4-9-2013 by chrismarco because: (no reason given)


Thank you for bringing up the DU.

Just another example of the disconnect we are expected to believe in. Shelling a country with DU is ok and nobody bats an eye. Even though there are known factual issues, they are glossed over.

The US, and other "no chem" countries use weapons and commit acts just as bad as Sarin gas attacks.

When you say war is war you are right, but that's not what "they" want you to think. They want you think war means watching someone else die from bullet wounds on TV, or having a family member overseas. That's not war. If the American people truly were exposed to what war is they would stop their lust for it.



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by chrismarco
reply to post by tetra50
 


Technically there should be no distinction as horrific as it may seem. Oddly enough I think it comes down to leveling the playing field in war because I see no difference of a bus full of children being blown up with some IED versus nerve gas. Even more horrible to say that when you do use a gas you keep the infrastructure in tact...we use depleted uranium that has a far longer and slow killing effect from our warthogs so it does bring up an interesting and certainly legitimate question...

War is war and you simply just can't pretty it up...the outcome will always be death but one may be quicker than the other..and more cost effective..

Guess we could compare it to someone on death row...hanging or lethal injection...most people would say lethal injection because it seems like a more humane way to die but when you get down to it they both suck...
edit on 4-9-2013 by chrismarco because: (no reason given)


Huh. No reflection on you personally, but I find your assessment mind numbingly devoid of any real human emotion, as to the question of the thread, of why chemical weaponry is different.

Here, again, as an example:




Guess we could compare it to someone on death row...hanging or lethal injection...most people would say lethal injection because it seems like a more humane way to die but when you get down to it they both suck...


No you cannot make an equal comparison to someone on death row…. for reasons you already state: collateral damage. So, I take it, because you brought up a very important fact, that the infrastructure is left untouched, while the people, regardless of their politics, an inconvenience, obviously, by just the fact they are there and being there, someone would then have to figure out where they stand, i guess?, would then necessarily just POOF, be gone....

Oh, well, I guess someone would have to wait a while for the chemicals or nuclear fallout to be rendered harmless, before dealing with the corpses. The "infrastructure," other than water, which will be fouled, as well as land, soil, and bodies there, too, for a time period would indicate, then cholera, etc....., but hey, the infrastructure, buldings, bridges, highways, anything worthwhile, would be there still?

Am I getting the gist? Do not mean to offend, as to that I see what you're saying. But then you go on to talk about comparisons to death row, in which there are absolutely none, whatsoever, in what is being discussed here. Where is the collateral damage on death row? Oh yeah, there are families, on both sides of the death row equation, affected for years to come. I do not dispute that at all. But it isn't comparable. Not the same, really, is it, as dying along with the person convicted either through their guilt, lack of money for adequate defense or just plain bad luck (that's how ridiculous I feel our criminal justice system has become, in some ways, through no fault of its own, but through the logistics, hidden controls and technology of this day and age).

No, it isn't even comparable whatsoever, as just being a mother with her children, poor, living in the city center, struggling to live and raise those children, caught in the middle, having done absolutely NOTHING WRONG WHATSOEVER, having not been even accused of anything, just waking up one morning in the middle of this crappy crisis which you personally have nothing to do with, and finding this "fog" that's killing your chldren before you can carry them away from it, or be overcome by it, yourself........



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 09:25 PM
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Originally posted by defcon5
Again folks, look at why land-mining is also considered banned in modern warfare for the answer here.
Wars are meant to be fought on a battlefield with the civilians out of harms way as much as possible. Weapons are made to be accurate to prevent collateral civilian deaths. All the weapons that are “banned” in modern warfare of of the type that kill indiscriminately, and have a high probability of creating unnecessary mass civilian casualties.

Chemical weapons were invented in WWI (biological goes back to the dark ages at the very least), but in WWI the use of chemical weapons was limited to the “no mans land” between the trenches of the soldiers. In modern times as the battles moved in closer to civilian populations the use of such weapons became outlawed in the rules of warfare.


Civilians are always on the loosing end of war, regardless of who "wins" It doesn't matter where the battles take place. Either it's a battle for your life, or it's not. If it's not a battle for your life, NO force should be taken. If it is a battle for your life, nothing should be off the table. You make war too palatable and you get our modern american idea of running around the world attacking everyone.

Again, if the chance of massive civilian casualties was a bigger reality, don't you think it would be less likely that military action is taken every time someone gets offended?



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 09:30 PM
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reply to post by James1982
 


I addressed that point, in fact, when I spoke about the nuclear arms race being explained at the time as a deterrence, I think.

However, I still disagree with you. Because we will still strike, whether it's all out collateral damage or not. We've proven this, time and time again. Or we'll backdoor fund the terrorists, and go in with surgical strikes, and make it look like we were considering your points, when we really weren't. We'll do it either way, is the point. The other way is just sneakier. Is that better, really? Or just more convoluted and producing of even more corruption and lies?

I'd rather "surgical strikes," in definitive territory of such as weapons storage and armament, etc. But even this, is no longer trustworthy, really. Cause we'll just SAY that's what it was, and who knows the difference, really. And meanwhile, we'll see some stuff on MSM about women and children being killed in a strike the US said was on a weapons storage facility, etc.....

You know, there's no way to cut this to make it better, really, than any other option, because so much of it is fueled by info most of us no longer trust, regardless, in whatever country, coming from whichever side.

But I guarantee you this, if you had a choice between living in a surgical, conventional strike zone, and chemical weapons deployment or nuclear fallout, I guarantee I know what you would personallly choose, for you and your loved ones. And that really, is what your question addressed. Bringing it home, and what you would wish to live or die through, what your best chances would be.....

You discuss this, if I were in the Middle East, as a "spoiled American," who really has never had to consider such things, other than Pearl Harbor. You know this is why so many hate us, don't you?
Tetra50



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 09:32 PM
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Thanks to Defcon 5 and ray1990 I think I get it...Important to me because I was wondering too. Chemical weapons are not targeted death (which we are OK with:lol
Instead, they kill indiscriminately whoever is unfortunate enough to be within range. It makes me wonder though if drones will one day be on the blacklist?



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 09:40 PM
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reply to post by James1982
 


Collateral damage on the civilian population is an unfortunate and sometimes unavoidable side effect of war. The rules were put in place to limit that as much as possible. By limiting weapons to ones that have to be directly targeted, or attended and controlled by their operator, they attempt to limit their use to only other combatants.

Just to further prove my point...
This is also why its considered against the rules of conflict to kill non-combatant soldiers as well. Examples of non-combatant soldiers being: medics, war correspondents, and Chaplains. As long as none of those personnel pick up a weapon, under various rules of conflict, they are not to be killed or fired upon.
edit on 9/4/2013 by defcon5 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 09:47 PM
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reply to post by James1982
 



James, war has always been organized with rules regarding engagement. All the way through history this is evident. Those with no rules in combat are always remembered as the most sick and evil. People like Ivan the Terrible, Attila the Hun or Genghis Khan.

These people did not follow the norms of warfare such as the formalities or the rules of engagement. Not to give you a history lesson or anything but I think you can imagine why their is rules even in ancient times regarding things like the siege of a city or the acceptance of surrender or the non killing of religious folk for instance.

War never changes only the benefits of war, be it gold, slaves, land, stability etc. The rules of engagement might change and the tools used to win but war is always about the possible gain.

The thought of using violence indiscriminately is the worst idea of violence their is. IMHO.





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