Understanding the Chemical weapons taboo

September 24, 2013
During the civil war in Syria more than 100,000 civilians have been killed but only the use of chemical weapon triggered a response from the EU and the United States.
This raised a moral question: Why mass killing with "conventional" weapons is being ignored by the rest of the world, whilst the use of chemical weapons draws immediate attention and the need for international action.
What is the Chemical weapons taboo? Why was it created and how? I'll try and find some answers.
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uzi birman

Chemical weapons - A short History

Interesting Historical reason: poison and gas were considered the weapons of the weak. "Brave" men fight while "sneaky" women poison.
http://theweek.com/article/index/249224/a-brief-history-of-chemical-warfare

How Chemical Weapons Became Taboo

Some claim that humans have an instinctive and natural fear of poison and dangers that one cannot see.
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/138771/richard-price/how-chemical-weapons-became-taboo

Chemical weapons - it's easy to taboo the non useful weapons.

An interesting claim addresses the efficiency of the weapons. Chemical weapons were simply not useful, not accurate and not stable enough during the 20th century warfare when the taboo was formed. This might be the reason why army officials were willingly giving its use up.
http://www.vice.com/read/are-chemical-weapons-actually-useful-in-war

Impact on Society and Environment

Chemical, Nuclear and Biological weapons might have impacts that can not be anticipated on the environment and future generations.
http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2001/11/00_harigel_cbw.htm

Chemical Weapons Convention - further reading

http://www.opcw.org/chemical-weapons-convention/
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John Doe |
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