Blessed are the Peacemakers
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Good Gifts Catalogue - Gifts that really count
Filed in: plougshares, peace, gifts, charity
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
White phosporus is not listed in the shedules of the Chemical Weapons Convention. It can be legally used as a flare to illuminate the battlefield, or to produce smoke to hide troop movements from the enemy. Like other unlisted substances, it may be deployed for “Military purposes … not dependent on the use of the toxic properties of chemicals as a method of warfare”(4). But it becomes a chemical weapon as soon as it is used directly against people. A chemical weapon can be “any chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm”(5).
We know that actual warfare tends to produce conditions where boundaries are blurred and dubious tactics are justified. The problem for the coalition of the willing is that now it is clear that the justification for doing this at all is now in tatters. As George Monbiot concludes,
Saddam Hussein, facing a possible death sentence, is accused of mass murder, torture, false imprisonment, the embezzlement of billions and the use of chemical weapons. He is certainly guilty on all counts. So, it now seems, are the people who overthrew him.
George Monbiot � War Without Rules: On Del.icio.us: warfare, chemical, weapons, illegal, USA, Iraq