06.09.2013 Author: Vladimir Odintsov

The History of Chemical Weapons in The United States

2262361431For the last week all the world’s media has been covering the White House threats to “punish” Syria, which leaves me wondering. When has the United States acquired the role of a chief prosecutor for the usage of chemical weapons? Suppose they did. But why does the White House keep silent than about the crimes Americans have committed themselves in this domain? It seems that nobody is willing to question the international self-proclaimed global policeman, even though there’s some questions to be answered. How about the atomic bombings of the innocent people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? And is there an excuse for the usage of chemical weapons against the US political rivals?

After the WWI the United States have created the biggest chemical factory to date in the State of Maryland – the Edgewood arsenal. This “segment” was immediately occupied by a dozen of companies that started to produce chemical substances right away. This “business” was supported by the Congress, which was first to create the  Chemical Corps and which kept on ignoring  the Geneva protocol of 1925 that prohibited the usage of chemical and biological weapons.

Today Pentagon has a wide array of chemical weapons including chemical grenades, aerosols, cartridges, stinkpots that neutralize the target for a considerable amount of time. Moreover the United State has the deadly chemical field charges in store.

During the Vietnam war in a so-called operation “Operation Ranch Hand” the White House allowed 15 different types of chemical weapons to be tested in the military conditions. This constituted the world’s first usage of herbicides and defoliants for the military purposes. But the plants were not the only targets of these chemical attacks, since Pentagon was using a wide array of chemical weapons against people of Indo-China. As a result hundreds and hundreds of kilometers of jungle forests were burnt to the ground, rare species were exterminated from the face of the Earth, thousands of people died and hundreds of thousands were seriously injured after the exposure to chemical substances , including the US soldiers. The estimated amount of chemical substances used by Pentagon in the 1961-1971 period amounts to a 100 thousand tones.

Back in 1970 at the Paris International Conference on the usage of chemical weapons in Vietnam the White House was accused a number of times for the inhumane usage of chemical substances against the civilians. Those substances have become a delayed-action bomb in the South-Eastern Asia, causing the enviromental damage and the health problems for thousands of people for decades to come.

But these accusations of the international community haven’t stopped the White House from accumulating extensive amounts of WMDs. Back in the 80s the media reported that Pentagon was investigating the possibilities of improving the military herbicides to make them effective in Europe, on the Korean Peninsula, on a varied number of terrains in Africa, in the Caribbean basin, in South America.

In this regard it comes as no surprise for anybody that around 7 thousand people were killed in Brazil during the test usage of a “brand new way of cleansing territories from forests” during the construction of Tucuruí Dam. This chemical substance that was used for this purpose was no different from the highly toxic dioxin. As a result of these “tests” two tribes of native americans have ceased their existence, the valley of the Amazon river suffered a tremendous amount of damage and the sites of the “testings” reminded an area in the aftermath of a nuclear strike.

One can also name the Iraqi chemical attacks against the Iranian troops and innocent Kurds in the 1980-1988 period that were “approved” by Washington. But the White House officials don’t seem to like remembering these facts, they can still justify them since they were carried out for “the good” of the United States.

Or should those officials explain what is the purpose of storing the American chemical charges are stored abroad? There’s a pretty extensive list of countries where you can find the US chemical warehouses: Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, South Korea and the Philippines.

Why a country that hates the chemical weapons so much will have all those bases? And if you’re going to accuse someone, should you have a clear conscience yourself in the first place? It’s only logical this way, but not the other way around.

Vladimir Odintsov, political analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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