The first mechanized global conflagration, known as "World War
I," introduced us to massive gassing. Governments used mustard
gas then; people with grudges are now using sarin gas, volatile
fertilizer blends, and other chemical wonders to terrorize mass
transportation systems, federal buildings and other symbols of
official power. Some philosophers might point to the inevitable
results of setting bad examples and teaching military tricks;
poets might speak of karmic debt; but the fact is, chemical (and
biological) weapons are with us. But not forever, some leaders
When George Bush was running for President in 1988, he vowed
that, if he did nothing else, he wanted to "ban chemical weapons"
from the planet. Well into his one-term administration, lost in
the back pages of the news, it was announced that many nations
had indeed signed a chemical weapons ban treaty, which was to gain 160 signatories by 1993.
Surely if 160 countries believe it's possible to eliminate chemical weapons, which are easy to make and easy to hide, we should be able to eliminate all nuclear weapons, which are much more expensive and difficult to develop and stockpile.