gwen (gwenix) wrote,
gwen
gwenix

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Er, wow

Bush Approves Use of Tear Gas in Battlefield, reported in Common Dreams and Toronto Star

President George W. Bush has authorized American military forces to use tear gas in Iraq, the Pentagon says, a development that some weapons experts said could set up a conflict between American and international law.

I first said, "It's only tear gas," but then I asked some questions and was pointed to How Stuff Works on Tear Gas.

At a time when the world has recently seen the recurrence of the use of mustard gas, this time in the Middle East, it is also worthy to note that in 1969, at the United Nations General Assembly, 80 countries voted to ban the use of any chemical in war, inculding tear gas, under the Geneva Protocol.

This is also an action that is directly against the citizens of Iraq. Which leads me to the sad article:

"We believed the Americans, when they said they were not going to attack civilians," he said. "Why would the Americans do this to me?" As nurses arrived to wheel him away for surgery, he added: "But we Iraqis will never accept that this country is ruled by anybody but Iraqis, so we will fight to the last drop of our blood."

[edit later:]

In looking over the UN resolutions passed in the past few decades, I happened upon this which pretty well concludes the "tear gas being acceptable" as false, as the CWC from the UN explicitly says:

5. Each State Party undertakes not to use riot control agents as a method of warfare.
...
7. "Riot Control Agent" means:

Any chemical not listed in a Schedule, which can produce rapidly in humans sensory irritation or disabling physical effects which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure.
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