Dangers of Chemical Warfare Can't Be Papered over with a Treaty

By Mona Charen Copyright Creators Syndicate, Inc. | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), April 1, 1997 | Go to article overview

Dangers of Chemical Warfare Can't Be Papered over with a Treaty


Mona Charen Copyright Creators Syndicate, Inc., St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Just because the Cold War is over does not mean that the great divide in foreign policy thinking has vanished - the one between wishful thinkers and realists.

Oh, that's not the way the wishful thinkers would put it. They'd say that they are the party against (pick one or more) (1) war, (2) nuclear holocaust and (3) chemical and biological weapons. The hopes of the wishful thinkers have a history of being codified in lovely sounding international treaties. The current incarnation is the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Chemical and biological weapons are horrifying and vile. But the question the U.S. Senate must ask as it considers whether to ratify the treaty is this: Will a piece of paper and one more United Nations bureaucracy really make the United States or the world any safer from the threat of these weapons? The answer, regrettably, is no. The real world answer to fear is reason, not a feel-good treaty that could make things worse. Reason told us that only deterrence, not treaties (and there were many), kept us safe from nuclear attack during the Cold War. Deterrence keeps us safe still, which is why we are not dismantling our nuclear arsenal. Deterrence is the only answer to the chemical and biological threat, as well (along with any defensive technology we can devise, but that's part of deterrence). It was deterrence, not the 1925 Geneva Convention outlawing chemical weapons, that prevented Adolf Hitler from using poison gas in World War II. Remember the pictures of Londoners in the Underground during the early days of the war? They were all equipped with gas masks. Treaty or no, both sides were fully armed with poison and the defensive technologies of masks and uniforms. The treaty was ignored, but the balance of terror ruled. How would we verify compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention? Impossible. Chemical weapons are called the "poor country's nuclear weapons" because they are so cheap and easy to manufacture. The sarin gas that killed so many on the Tokyo subway was made in one small room. Two of the worst chemical agents, phosgene and hydrogen cyanide - both of which were used to devastating effect in World War I - are not banned by the treaty. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Dangers of Chemical Warfare Can't Be Papered over with a Treaty
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.