The use of Chemical weapons must be condemned but it is a pity that all it took for the world to finally sit up and notice the heinous human rights crimes in Syria is a threat of chemical weapons that could affect us. It is as if the world is saying the indiscriminate killings in Syria do not matter as long as there is no threat of breaking a ‘No chemical weapon’ Convention that could come to haunt us all. Must we wait until there is a direct or indirect threat to us before we notice the sufferings of another?
The use of chemical weapon in warfare was condemned as abhorrent a long time ago. The first international agreement limiting the use of chemical weapons dates back to 1675, when France and Germany came to an agreement, signed in Strasbourg, prohibiting the use of poisoned bullets. The anxiety about the large scale use of Chemical weapons intensified following the horrors of World War 1 finally culminating in the adoption of Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction. The agreement is administered by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Yes, the ban on chemical weapon is an international agreement, it should be respected. However it is sad that Syria is in the news for the alleged use of chemical weapons that killed hundreds of people but Syria had been in the background even though in the past three years of Syrian war, hundreds of thousands have been killed, more than 2 million displaced and an estimated 1 million children become refugees.